Mike Esper’s firing could be more than mere sour grapes

Donald Trump, the outgoing president of the United States, fired the nation’s secretary of defense today.

Taken in the context of Trump’s denial of his loss in the presidential election, the support he’s getting from his GOP enablers, and the mob that is his core group of supporters – the MAGAts – this should cause patriotic U.S. citizens pause.

Mike Esper has not been on Trump’s happy list since the summer of 2019, when the then-secretary of defense advised Trump to release funds that Congress had appropriated as military aid to Ukraine. Trump was attempting, at the time, to blackmail Ukraine into making public statements that would put Hunter Biden, the son of his presumed rival in the upcoming 2020 election, Joe Biden, in a bad light.

To put it more plainly, Trump wanted dirt on Hunter Biden that he could use against Joe Biden in the election campaign. 

Esper also was against pulling troops out of northeastern Syria in 2019, a move that left U.S. allies there flapping in the wind and that ultimately benefitted Iran, Russia and Turkey. It was a move widely criticized by U.S. military and diplomatic experts.

Finally, Esper was vocal in his opposition to allowing Trump to use U.S. troops to quell unrest in our nation’s cities following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests. Which, by the way, was a position in line with U.S. laws that limit a president’s power to use the military on American soil and especially against U.S. citizens.

Those are all reasons an insecure person like Trump would use as justification for firing Esper. 

But there could be a deeper, more duplicitous reason for Trump’s firing of a secretary of defense who is against using the U.S. military against U.S. citizens.

Esper’s firing looks to me like preparation for military participation in a coup d’é·tat. Esper goes away and Trump puts in his own yes-man (Christopher Miller, who has been serving as director of the National Counterterrorism Center). Then, when Trump wants them, U.S. troops will be in our streets to put down protests, riots or insurrections as he continues his refusal to concede defeat to Biden, and digs in his heels about exiting the presidency.

The threat to our national security likely won’t end here, either. According to CNN, “Esper’s firing has raised concerns that other top national security officials who have earned Trump’s wrath may be next in the line of fire.”

Then what?

I realize this might sound far-fetched, but ask yourself – what other things has Trump done that you never thought you’d see in the United States of America? Based on what you’ve seen, how deranged and narcissistic do you believe he is?

Plenty, from where I’m sitting.

With this man it’s possible, so it won’t hurt to be prepared if this is where the continuing nightmare of Trump is headed.

If it is, we average citizens will have to hope members of our military insist on remaining true to their oaths to uphold the Constitution; that they’ll keep the faith with their fellow citizens and our democratic institutions; and that they’ll side with decency rather than the desires of a self-serving egomaniac.

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Black outlined graphic indicating copyright 2020 Martin C. Fredricks IV

Featured image from the U.S. Department of Defense website.

5 Comments

  1. This only goes to show how paper thin the border is between a healthy Democracy and sinking into a an Autocracy. Luckily our allies around the world are not hesitating to congratulate Biden as the new president elect. It should give cause of concern in the minds of at least some Republican Senators and Representatives who still haven’t prostituted themselves fully to Trump.

    1. “…. at least some Republican Senators and Representatives who still haven’t prostituted themselves fully to Trump.”

      I can’t think of even one… little help here?
      The whole party is not only prostituted to Trump, but also to his deplorable “base” of Faux Noise propagandized lemmings.

  2. Martin —
    This is another interesting, well thought out assessment of the situation. I’ve seen several.
    What is desperately needed is some plans of action that might turn out to be successful.
    Unarmed demonstrators can not successfully counter armed and trained troops. I was one and, trust me, there are way too many RWNJ Authoritarians in the military. Patriots (which takes a necessary level of history and honesty, not to mention love of one’s co-citizens of all ilks), not so many. I call it the “Chuck Norris” syndrome. He of the program of “meet new people, kick the hell out of them, go have a ‘buddy beer’ at the local bar”.
    Even if the largest part of the upper brass does not agree with “orders” from the White House’s Has-been, i won’t lay bets on how things will shake out.
    There was a book titled: “It can’t happen here.” Ah, but it can.
    And remember: “No plan of action survives contact with the enemy.”

Let me know what you think!