A former official in the Obama Pentagon suggested in an op-ed that the military may have to defy “insane” orders by President Trump.
Rosa Brooks, who served as counselor to the U.S. defense undersecretary for policy from 2009-11, didn’t say what would happen if the generals refused to obey an “insane” Trump order or how the change in president — presumably she would not want to hand the government over to a cabal of military officers — would actually work.
Nor was she really specific about what would constitute an “insane” order, although she mentioned invading Mexico or nuking China — two possibilities so remote that it is more likely she wins top prize at the Westminster Dog Show than Trump orders an attack on China or Mexico.
In short, reading through her op -d, you might wonder who the insane one really is. Trump or Brooks?
“Donald Trump’s first week as president has made it all too clear: Yes, he is as crazy as everyone feared,” Ms. Brooks wrote. “[One] possibility is one that until recently I would have said was unthinkable in the United States of America: a military coup, or at least a refusal by military leaders to obey certain orders.”
For the first time in her career in public service, including three years as senior counselor to the Pentagon’s policy chief from 2009 to 2011, “I can imagine plausible scenarios in which senior military officials might simply tell the president: ‘No, sir. We’re not doing that.’”
Ms. Brooks‘ editorial comes as a recent poll by Public Policy Polling group found that 40 percent of registered voters support Mr. Trump’s impeachment.
In addition, 52 percent of voters polled said they would rather have President Obama in the Oval Office, opposed to the 43 percent who support the Trump presidency.
“Donald Trump’s making history once again with a sizeable share of voters already wanting to impeach him, and a majority of voters wishing they could have Barack Obama back,” Public Policy Polling Group President Dean Debnam said Thursday.
In the editorial, Ms. Brooks noted that Mr. Trump’s “thin-skinned, erratic, and unconstrained” approach to defense matters of defense could put top U.S. military leaders in a position where they would be forced to execute orders that may be “dangerously unhinged” from a basic understanding of national security.
“The prospect of American military leaders responding to a presidential order with open defiance is frightening — but so, too, is the prospect of military obedience to an insane order,” Ms. Brooks wrote.
“After all, military officers swear to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, not the president,” she added.
Our Miss Brooks did mention impeachment — but she finds GOP control of the House and Senate a big obstacle (something a 4th grader knows.) She also mentioned that Vice President Pence and the Trump cabinet could invoke the 25th Amendment, which allows for the removal of a president if he is physically or mentally unable to discharge his duties. Presumably, this wouldn’t happen unless Trump ordered the military to nuke China or invade Mexico. Or was it nuke Mexico and invade China?
She grudgingly admitted that another way to get rid of Trump would be to wait for…well, it’s embarrassing to admit, but we could wait for like, you know, the next election.
Yeah, democracy is so messy. Better to place the fate of our country in the able and capable hands of people like Rosa Brooks — no matter how insane she is, she will be less insane than Trump.
In the meantime, here is her “evidence” that Trump is “insane”:
But Trump isn’t subtle or sophisticated: He sets policy through rants and late-night tweets, not through quiet hints to aides and lawyers. He’s thin-skinned, erratic, and unconstrained — and his unexpected, self-indulgent pronouncements are reportedly sending shivers through even his closest aides.
What would top U.S. military leaders do if given an order that struck them as not merely ill-advised, but dangerously unhinged? An order that wasn’t along the lines of “Prepare a plan to invade Iraq if Congress authorizes it based on questionable intelligence,” but “Prepare to invade Mexico tomorrow!” or “Start rounding up Muslim Americans and sending them to Guantánamo!” or “I’m going to teach China a lesson — with nukes!”
If one definition of insanity is losing touch with reality, I put it to you: What makes Brooks less insane than Trump? It’s lunacy to suggest Trump would so cavalierly order the use of nuclear weapons or suddenly decide to invade Mexico. Ergo, the individual who harbors these fantastical ideas of what Trump would do needs to be in a padded room and shot up with Thorazine.
That goes for the editors of the august magazine Foreign Policy who published this drivel in the first place.
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