Trump Won't Name Forts We Won 'Beautiful World Wars' With After Al Sharpton


During his interview with Chris Wallace this morning, Donald Trump was asked about his plans to veto a National Defense Authorization Bill — which funds operations and gives soldiers a pay raise — that included plans to change the names of various militay bases named after Confederate generals — which is something the military itself wishes to do. Trump explained that he did not care what they said, he wanted them to keep their same names because they were the forts we won wars out of. "Beautiful world wars," he described them.

Beautiful world wars. Beautiful world wars. Beautiful world wars. I don't know if anyone who was actually involved in any of the World Wars or any of those who’ll serve, unlike President Bone Spurs, in future wars would describe them as "beautiful." Or anyone else, for that matter. Anyone who is able to read or listen to other people or know literally anything about war other than playing G.I. Joe.

"Go to that community where Fort Bragg is, in a great state, I love that state, go to the community, say how do you like the idea of renaming Fort Bragg, and then what are we going to name it? Are we gonna name it after Al Sharpton?"

Putting aside the fact that he does not appear to actually know that Fort Bragg is in North Carolina and also admitted to not knowing who Bragg was and also the fact that Fort Bragg was not built until after World War I, that is ... wow, that is pretty racist. And snide.

All people are asking is that we not honor people who fought to keep other human beings as slaves.

These "forts" by the way, have also done some real terrible things, outside of winning "beautiful world wars." Fort Benning, in Georgia, is the site of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC). That might not sound very familiar to most people, but its old name might: The School of the Americas, also called the School of Assassins. It's where we trained Manuel Noriega and various other Latin American despots, where we trained Latin American military leaders with manuals that "advocated torture, extortion and execution," many of whom went on to participate in an astounding number of extrajudicial killings of political dissidents, peace activists and union members. (Here is a list of some of the most notorious graduates along with the people they killed and tortured.)

The name was changed in 2006 entirely as a PR move. For absolutely no other reason than that. Why? Because the name "School of the Americas" was so closely associated with dictators, torture and murdering union members and people kept calling it the School of Assassins. It was a bad look.

And yet, the place where it was located, Fort Benning Georgia, is still named after Confederate General Henry L. Benning. That is embarrassing. It is just as embarrassing, just as much of a PR disaster, as teaching soldiers to torture and kill their own people and training future dictators. That too, is a bad look.

We'll have more on the interview for you tomorrow. For now, it is your open thread!

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse


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