Why We Ask:

Our mission and operations are funded 100% by conservatives like you. Please help us continue to extend Liberty to the next generation and support the 2020 Year-End Campaign today. —Christy S. Chesterton, Director of Advancement

Mona Charen / Nov. 28, 2019

On Being the Good Guys

People often offer cynical interpretations of American support for Israel. It's the malign influence of the Jewish lobby, or Israel is a colonial outpost of the American hegemon or Israel has brainwashed American policymakers. What these right-wing conspiracists, anti-Semites and committed leftists miss is that there isn't any mystery about the bond between the U.S. and Israel. U.S. support for Israel, and vice versa, has been based on shared values.

People often offer cynical interpretations of American support for Israel. It’s the malign influence of the Jewish lobby, or Israel is a colonial outpost of the American hegemon or Israel has brainwashed American policymakers. What these right-wing conspiracists, anti-Semites and committed leftists miss is that there isn’t any mystery about the bond between the U.S. and Israel. U.S. support for Israel, and vice versa, has been based on shared values.

Israel shares with the United States respect for human rights and the rule of law. Though often besieged by enemies who target innocent civilians in terror attacks, use their own civilians as human shields, and celebrate as heroes terrorists who massacre unarmed men, women and children, Israel does not sink to that level. Though Israel vigorously defends herself, she does not resort to targeting civilians, nor to indiscriminate bombing (despite accusations to the contrary). And — this is crucial — when Israeli soldiers go too far and kill unarmed Palestinians, Israel does not name public squares after them. They are tried and punished.

It is never easy to hold one’s military to account. Within Israel, soldiers tried for war crimes have had their supporters and trying them is controversial. But Israel’s willingness to hold itself to high standards marks it as a civilized country.

War crimes and abuses are part of war. No country is pure. What distinguishes the good guys from the bad is how the nation responds to those transgressions.

President Donald Trump’s latest assault on America’s moral standing was his decision, over the objections of the military and the pleas of his own defense secretary, to pardon three servicemen convicted of, or charged with, war crimes. “We train our boys to be killing machines, then prosecute them when they kill!” he tweeted. Note that Trump is not arguing that these cases are miscarriages. He’s saying war crimes should not be punished.

Any number of current and former servicemen have bristled at this. We do not train our soldiers to be killing machines — and contributing to that stereotype is hardly pro-military. Veterans already face skepticism from potential employers out of misplaced fear that PTSD or some other combat-induced mania will incline them to murderous rampages.

While war does require aggression and violence, the U.S. military abides by (or used to) the Law of Armed Conflict and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. As Fred Kaplan noted, “American troops are trained as much in when not to shoot their weapons as they are in how to shoot them.” Our troops receive intense training about avoiding civilian casualties.

Trump’s pardons are a slap in the face to the dozens of Navy SEALs and others who risked their careers to come forward and report gross violations, and to the hundreds of thousands of American servicemen and women who behaved honorably on the battlefield. Just as Trump offered a green light to Turkey’s strongman Recep Erdogan to slaughter our Kurdish allies, he’s provided permission to the American military to commit similar outrages.

Trump does not understand morality — not in war, and not in peace. Glance at his pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, an abuse-of-power poster boy. Arpaio arrested journalists who wrote critical pieces about him and even a county supervisor who got in his way. He sent a SWAT team to a suburban home supposedly looking for a cache of weapons. The goons wound up burning down the house and killing the family’s dog. No illegal weapons were found in the ashes.

We are at our best when we refuse to countenance crimes by our own. On March 16, 1968, Chief warrant officer Hugh Thompson Jr. and two crewmen were flying a reconnaissance mission over a village in South Vietnam when they noticed the bodies of elderly people and children. It was My Lai. Seeing American soldiers advancing on Vietnamese civilians, Thompson signaled that his men would shoot if they killed any more. The massacre was halted.

Thompson’s actions that day eventually won him the Soldier’s Medal for “heroism not involving conflict with the enemy.” His conduct is taught at West Point.

As for Lt. William Calley, the only American soldier convicted of murder at My Lai, President Nixon altered his sentence to house arrest. But he didn’t pardon him.

Building an honorable ethic in the nation’s military has been the work of decades, even centuries. Undermining it can be the work of months. Admiral William McRaven has spoken up. Now would be a good time to hear from H.R. McMaster, James Mattis, Stanley McChrystal, Colin Powell, Joseph Dunford and as many others as possible who care to uphold what is right.

COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2020 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.