Retired Marine General John Allen: Trump’s threats of military force may be ‘the beginning of the end of the American experiment’

Retired Marine General John Allen: Trump's threats of military force may be 'the beginning of the end of the American experiment'

General John Allen, a former commander of US forces in Afghanistan and a former special presidential envoy of the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS under the Obama administration, wrote in an opinion piece for Foreign policy that “even for the casual observer, Monday was horrible for the United States and its democracy.”

His comments come after the president declared himself “his president of law and order” when peaceful protesters outside the White House gates dispersed with gas, explosions, and rubber bullets, apparently for Trump I could visit a nearby church. He remained in the bricked-up building for a few minutes before returning to the White House.

The episode followed nearly a week of protests across the country that were sometimes turned violent by the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man who died while in police custody in Minneapolis.

“Donald Trump is not religious, he does not need religion, and he does not care about devotees, except to the extent that they meet their political needs. The President did not project any of the highest emotions or desperately needed leadership each quarter. this nation during this terrible time, “Allen wrote.

“We know why he did all of this on Monday. He even said it while holding the Bible and standing in front of the church. It was about MAGA: ‘making America great again,'” he continued.

Allen’s comments echo the message of the former Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who said in a statement on Wednesday that “we must reject any thought of our cities as a” space of battle “that our uniformed army is called to” dominate. “

“At home, we should use our armed forces only when asked to do so by state governors, on very rare occasions. Militarizing our response, as we saw in Washington, DC, creates a conflict, a false conflict, between the military and civil society,” Mattis wrote.

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Trump on Wednesday night softened his tone by sending the military into American cities, saying, “I don’t think we have to do it,” before reiterating that he has “very strong powers to do it” in an interview with his former press. secretary Sean Spicer.

Still, Allen called Trump’s threats a dangerous turning point for the country and urged the American people to line up behind the message of George Floyd’s brother Terrence, who called for peaceful protests on behalf of his brother and urged people lets vote.

“So while June 1 could easily be mistaken for a day of shame and danger if we listen to Donald Trump, if we listen to Terrence Floyd instead, it is a day of hope. So mark your calendars, this could be the beginning from shifting American democracy not to illiberalism, but to enlightenment, “Allen wrote.

“But it will have to come from the bottom up. In the White House, no one is home.”

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Cory Weinberg

About the Author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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