Washington | The relationship of Donald Trump with his army are at their worst since the minister of Defense Mark Esper and former military officials met, including Jim Mattis, have repudiated the president on his way to respond to the manifestations of racism in the country.
The head of the Pentagon has publicly dissociated it from the president, who is commander-in-chief of the american armed forces, saying it is opposed to the deployment of the american army on the territory to respond to the demonstrations interspersed with riots that have earned the United States as a whole after the death of a black man at the hands of a white policeman.
“I am not in favour to declare a state of insurrection,” said Mr. Esper in reference only to the decree which would legally for the president to deploy troops to the active face of the american citizens, and not more of the reservists of the national Guard.
A few hours later, it is the predecessor of Mr. Esper, Jim Mattis, who, him, has focused on Wednesday, a blow to front-end to Donald Trump accusing him of wanting to “divide” America, in a column published by the magazine the Atlantic.
“When I joined the army, there is about 50 years old, I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution”, wrote the ex-head of the Pentagon, who had resigned with a bang in December 2018 in order to protest against the announcement by Mr. Trump for a total withdrawal of Syria, without consultation with the allies of Washington.
“I never imagined that soldiers who shall take the same oath may be able to receive the order, regardless of the circumstances, violate the constitutional rights of their fellow citizens — and even less for a commander-in-chief elected to go and ask for a photo, so preposterous, with the military leaders by his side”.
Politicising the army
Mr. Mattis was referring to the images devastating of Mr. Esper and the chief of staff, general Mark Milley, walking Monday evening with Mr. Trump near the White House after the violent dispersal of demonstrators, who were protesting peacefully.
Two former chiefs of staff have also taken part in the debate. “America is not a battlefield. Our fellow citizens are not the enemy,” tweeted the ex-general Martin Dempsey, who led the staff from 2011 to 2015.
Its immediate predecessor, the ex-general Mike Mullen expressed concern that the military “being used for political purposes”.
David Lapan, a former Pentagon spokesman, told the AFP has never seen such a repudiation of the president, including someone of the stature of Jim Mattis.
“This president has politicized the military, as ever,” he added, recalling the images in front of the church Monday evening.
Mr. Esper, and general Milley “have waited too long” before disengaging from the president and “they have left the situation to fester”, he added. “They have lost in some measure the confidence of the troops and the american public”.
Even late, the public statement of Mark Esper against the use of the army against the protesters released the word within the Pentagon and opened the debate on the racial disparities.
“I am George Floyd”, he tweeted an advisor of the general staff, the adjutant of the US Air Force Kaleth Wright, who is black. “What happens too often in this country to black men victims of police brutality (…) could happen to me”.
“Every soldier and civilian employee of the department of Defense oath to support and defend our constitution,” said in a message to the troops the secretary of the Army, Ryan McCarthy. “This includes the right of the people to gather peacefully”.
General Robert Abrams, who commanded u.s. forces in South Korea said Friday it has itself opened up a debate on racism within their forces.
“What I have heard I broke the heart. We must do better,” he tweeted, calling on all its heads of units to open a discussion with their soldiers, even if they are not aware of problems. Because “i you do not see a problem, you may be part of the problem”.
It is now the future of the minister of Defence appears fragile. The spokesperson of the White House Kayleigh McEnany did not say on Thursday if Mr. Esper still had the confidence of the president.