So, I don’t support wars of imperialism, and I don’t support wars for capitalism, or wars of politically-motivated occupation, or wars of patron obligation (so-and-so is an ally so the patron fights for the client state regardless of the circumstances). That kind of ancient, amoral geopolitical thinking has led us down a dark path and has caused a great deal of suffering. Frankly, I believe that individual soldiers should be entitled to choose what conflicts they will not participate in. I believe that if this were the case, we would have fewer foolish or improper wars. Many would argue that this is not practically feasible, and perhaps there’s some truth to that, but it is moral, and people who agree to go and kill for you, to risk their lives or health for you, or to die for you, should be allowed greater latitude and agency in judgement about such things, not less.
The United States government, and its military, have done a lot of terrible things throughout history. But they have also done some genuinely good and necessary things, too, and not just during World War II. It’s a sad characterization of humanity, but sometimes war, or the credible possibility of war, is necessary. Sometimes an evil is necessary to achieve a more comprehensive justice, or even to achieve peace itself. Maybe I’ll go to Hell for saying that, but it’s what I genuinely believe.
Regardless of how you feel about the United States or its military power, or how that power has been used historically, however, consider the role of the person charged with the direct leadership and safety of that apparatus. The ‘God Emperor’ mantle, as the fascist right were so fond of putting it only a short time ago. For that person to generally denigrate the very people for whom they have the responsibility of leading and caring for, for that person to betray them to an enemy against which he has sent them to fight? There’s no greater sin that a leader can commit than to put himself before the wellbeing of those he or she has been chosen to lead. All politics, domestic or global, and all historical circumstances aside, that’s a depravity of character itself. President Trump has repeatedly, unapologetically demonstrated this flaw. He does not belong in any leadership role, particularly not the crucial one he currently occupies. A leader should, above all, love those he or she leads. Donald Trump loves only himself.