Friday, October 2, 2020

More military leaders slam Trump, endorse Biden

Former commander of US forces in Afghanistan endorses Biden reports Steve Benen at MSNBC/MaddowBlog. It’s striking how many retired military leaders, many of whom have been apolitical for decades, have stepped up to denounce Trump, endorse Biden, or both.

Donald Trump kicked off 2019 with a tweet attacking retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal. “‘General’ McChrystal got fired like a dog by Obama,” the Republican president wrote, adding, “Known for big, dumb mouth.”

McChrystal, of course, is a highly decorated four-star general and combat veteran who devoted nearly all of his adult life to serving his country. Trump nevertheless questioned McChrystal’s service – note his use of scare quotes around “general,” as if he hadn’t earned his rank – and publicly mocked him.

It’s against this backdrop that McChrystal has thrown his support behind Joe Biden.

Retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal endorsed Democratic nominee Joe Biden for president on Thursday, saying that the nation needed a commander in chief that was “humble enough to understand that they are a servant.” McChrystal made the endorsement even though there had been tension between McChrystal and Biden in the past.

During an MSNBC appearance, the retired general described Biden as someone who is “humble enough to listen to experts and who is humble enough to respect people who serve and have served.”

The line appeared to reference recent reporting on Trump denigrating military service, dismissing fallen heroes as “losers” and “suckers.”

… why is he endorsing the former vice president now? “I think my willingness to endorse him now should signal to people that there was a respectful relationship then and just how important I think it is to replicate that kind of respectful relationship between senior military and leaders now,” McChrystal said of Biden this morning.

But it’s also worth acknowledging just how many retired U.S. military leaders, many of whom have been apolitical for decades, have stepped up to denounce Trump, endorse Biden, or both.

[For example:]

Those criticisms came just two weeks after retired Adm. Bill McRaven, the former commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command, perhaps best known as the Navy SEAL who oversaw the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden, made similar public comments.

“This fall, it’s time for new leadership in this country,” McRaven said, adding, “President Trump has shown he doesn’t have the qualities necessary to be a good commander in chief…. The country needs to move forward without him at the helm.”

See Benen’s post for details on the hundreds of military leaders slamming Trump, endorsing Biden, or both.

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