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Our "War President" Goes to Battle
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`He who seeks to defend everything, defends nothing.’
King Frederick the Great of Prussia.

This is one of the most important maxims of military history. Every young officer should have it drilled into his head.

Yet the confused administration of President Donald Trump has been doing just this as it fights an invisible foe no one expected. Trump, who dodged US military service using phony doctor certificated about his feet, now shamelessly styles himself ‘a war president.’

This new affectation mirrors Trump’s well-known love of ostentatious displays, military parades, and bombastic talk. When draft-dodgers grow old, they often become flaming warmongers and carriers of the big stick. Fox-TV watching older American men replaced their long faded sexual prowess with calls for martial action by…..the young, of course.

Now, as the coronavirus spreads, our self-proclaimed ‘War Leader’ has drawn his sword to defend endangered America. But Trump can’t decide if he is waging war against a vicious virus or fear itself. For the first two weeks of the epidemic he dismissed it as a ‘hoax’ spread by lefties. It was surprising the Clinton Democrats did not claim the plague was started by Moscow.

When the light of reality put an end to Trump’s Panglossian cheer, the president assumed the costume of doctor in chief and began warning that the ’Wuhan’ virus was very dangerous and likely introduced by foreigners (read Muslims, Chinese and Mexicans). If only his wall had been built.

That’s Trump’s happy story. The factual version shows Trump & Co was so busy provoking Iran into an air war, politicking in Washington and studying polls of Midwestern evangelical voters that they totally missed the advent of the coronavirus, even though they had plenty of time to see the onrush of this viral tsunami.

In the military, we used to call it ‘asleep on guard duty’ – just like Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld on 9/11.

The mighty, all-powerful US had plenty of 500 lb and 1,000 lb bombs, fuses, fuel air explosives, napalm and 20mm shells for Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, West Africa, and other unfortunate targets, and supplies to stock over 800 military bases around the globe, but not enough ventilators, respirators, face masks or even beds to accommodate the flood of sick Americans.

As the great Frederick said, one cannot defend against everything or every eventuality. But a strategic surge capability for such life-and-death materials is essential. So are emergency supplies of essential items.

The US is not Romania. We are spending \$1 trillion on our military this year when all departments are included. Tell me they can’t afford backup face masks or ventilators? Supposed there was a chemical/biological attack on the US? What would we do? Use torn up pieces of the NY Daily News as gas masks? This is what people did in Europe for toilet paper in the threadbare 1950’s. Maybe we will do it again.

Trump treated this virus attack as a political problem, alternately dismissing it or claiming decisive action. Proper government action was delayed for weeks by Trump calling the virus a ‘hoax.’

A nation that could produce an entire Liberty ship during World War II in 24 hours was left telling frontline nurses to wear scarves around their mouths because there were no stocks left of N95 facemasks, respirators or gowns.


It was easier for the Italians. They have Europe’s oldest population. So they just let their elderly sick die off in favor of younger, more robust patients. The Pope has remained out of site with what are termed ‘sniffles’. He may well have the virus as do many who mixed with crowds. A penitent China is now shipping masks to Italy.

In his usual regal style, Trump has been taking responsibility for every aspect of the virus epidemic. That’s dangerous, because he could end up being blamed for some of this disaster’s health and economic damage. A much better example is California’s cool, competent governor, Gavin Newsom who has managed this crisis with skill and aplomb. He could very well run for president in the next election.

Some environmentalists will even suspect that the current plague is the planet’s payback against Trump and his flat earth Republicans for their devastation of our wildlife, forests and waters.

Mother Nature’s revenge.

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
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  1. Saggy says: • Website

    A nation that could produce an entire Liberty ship during World War II in 24 hours was left telling frontline nurses to wear scarves around their mouths because there were no stocks left of N95 facemasks, respirators or gowns.

    At my wife’s (the Dr.) hospital they had a meeting yesterday and the infectious disease experts told the medical staff not to wear masks. (She continues to wear a mask, however).

  2. Alistair says:

    Trump didn’t react to COVID-19 swiftly, because he had – himself authorized its deployment against the Iranian targets in Iran; the Coronavirus is likely a US-Israel Engineered Biological warfare that has been deployed in city of Qom, in center of Iran — to destabilize the Iranian government and provoke a regime change in that country, but the infection went out of control, certainly way beyond the US-Israeli estimate; so it had become the global pandemic.

    The use of such weapon had to be authorized by President Trump himself, and probably based on recommendation of Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu.
    As a Bio-Weapon, the “New Coronavirus” was used to give the final knockout to the Iranian regime which is already under the most severe US economic sanctions, it was intended to provoke mayhem in Iran by overwhelming the country’s limited healthcare resources — already restrained due to the US economic sanctions — hence, to induce a regime change by public uprising — but something went terribly wrong — certainly way beyond the US-Israeli experts expectations; the virus had leaked out of Iran to China and Italy and later to some 100 countries around the world, including USA and Israel; this is called “ collateral damages by friendly fire”.

    At first, Trump didn’t react swiftly to Coronavirus infection, because his military advisors had told him the effects of the Bio-Weapon will be limited to the local area in Iran — will be contained within Iran, where the Bio Weapon was deployed by the US-Israeli military with the authorization of President Trump himself.

    • Replies: @windjammer
  3. Trump, who dodged US military service using phony doctor certificated about his feet,

    I stop reading when I see shit like this. The author is stating that he has incontrovertable evidence that a physician falsely and fraudulently provided a medical certificate, thereby risking his medical license, for the sole purpose of Trump avoiding military service.

    If Mr. Margolis has that evidence, I would certainly like to see it, as would, I suspect, the overwhelming majority of US voters. I’m waiting, Mr. Margolis.

  4. ISL says:

    China was not penitent. Italy sent China aid and the warm gesture was returned. China is also building good will for the BRI against NATO/EU/US geopolitics, and in the developing world. Why do you think Russia chose now to tank oil? CVid19 will have real geopolitical implications.

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts
  5. From a story in WaPo today:

    Azar couldn’t get through to Trump to speak with him about the virus until Jan. 18, according to two senior administration officials. When he reached Trump by phone, the president interjected to ask about vaping and when flavored vaping products would be back on the market, the senior administration officials said.


  6. @Alistair

    I think we have to try to pay attention to the timeline of this pandemic very closely. It can also be traced genetically, as done here:

    But some stories fall outside the Box. As reported on NPR, Italian doctors in Lombardy were dealing with mysterious fatalities with all the same indicators of Covid-19 way back in November-December.

  7. Kenneth says:


    You say, “For the first two weeks of the epidemic he dismissed it as a ‘hoax’ spread by lefties.”

    Granted, Trump is criticized for hesitating on this until after 40 people, I believe, had died in the United States from this coronavirus.

    However, Obama didn’t act for SIX MONTHS during 2009 and the H1N1 Swine Flu–after 5000 people had died–just in the United States! You conveniently didn’t mention that!

    I still look forward to your columns, despite the fact you despise Trump so much.

    But your slant against Trump in this column is totally unfair.

  8. Anonymous,[603] • Disclaimer says:

    Please Eric, focus more on the ‘& Co.’ part of Trump & Co.

    Would a more eloquent Obama-like ‘leader’ make you happy? You posture as a world-wise international man of mystery, yet you come off as so clueless. It’s odd, in a strange way.

  9. The Scalpel says: • Website

    payback against Trump and his flat earth Republicans for their devastation of our wildlife, forests and waters

    Wrecked a decent article with this pandering to the Obamites and Clintonistas. It is clear that environmental damage is nonpartisan. The DNC certainly does not promote the Green Party or the greener aspects of their own party. The primaries have shown that democrat rank and file won’t elect them either

  10. @Curmudgeon

    As I recall, the physician in question is long deceased, but his daughter confirmed the story to the press. It seems that he had been one of Trump Sr.’s tenants and was given a request he couldn’t refuse.

  11. Random thoughts:

    1. “Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier”. It’s doubtful that Trump thinks of himself meanly at all for any reason, but he’s a draft-dodger, we know it, and he knows we know it, so I suspect it does gnaw at him.

    2. Nature’s revenge – unrealistic though they are, it’s hard to resist thoughts of this kind. Trump and his backers seem to desire a blackened, emptied world in the image of Giedi Prime. The Chinese are annihilators of nature, and their disgusting practices periodically unleash these nightmares on the world. One day, they could create a virus that kills billions. Nature’s revenge is pretty indiscriminate, which is fair enough, but people are joining the dots and the blame is increasingly landing where it belongs.

    3. The draft dodger-in-chief is now an active, direct threat to the lives of American people. He is proposing measures “back to business as usual” that will kill thousands. Is there anyone in the administration or bureacracy that can intervene in any capacity?

    4. Can Newsom run for president this year, please?

    • Replies: @Slimtall
  12. Slimtall says:
    @Rob (London)

    It is odd that you people never mention all the shit america does to the rest of the world.

  13. “the Wuhan virus and introduced by foreigners”

    Well did it NOT originate in Wuhan China? And isn’t China a foreign country?

    As usual Eric Margolis is critical while offering no advice. He’s like a film critic who never likes any movie.

  14. Gavin Newsom strikes you as cool and competent? Jesus fuck man.

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