Of course, when you see these words, you immediately think, “What? He thinks our military would overthrow the president because we took in refugees?”
No, he means the refugees would launch the military coup:
“This could be one of the great military coups of all time if they send them to our country — young, strong people and they turn out to be ISIS. Now, probably that won’t happen, but some of them definitely in my opinion will be ISIS.” Bolling helpfully suggested a “Trojan Horse” and Trump liked this so much that he repeated his warning at a stop in Franklin, Tennessee:
“This could be the ultimate Trojan horse. This one could be written about for a long time. They probably think, ‘This is going to be easy. We will send all these ISIS people.’ So a big percentage could be them.”
Right. All they have to do is get into the U.S. military, rise to high enough rank to be in a position to orchestrate a coup, and then carry it out in the face of overwhelming odds. No problem!
And how will there ever be enough of them to accomplish this bizarre plan? Rest assured: Trump will invent any number needed to make it plausible to the conservative echo chamber:
“Obama wants to — listen to this — he wants to take in 200,000,” he added. “You know, 200,000. That’s like an army. Now I’m looking the other day. It’s all men. Like, where are the women? They’re very strong men. Why aren’t they back there fighting for their country?”
At a wild guess, I might say that because on any given day, these people are having bombs dropped on their heads by any of eleven different nations. As Micah Zenko of the Council on Foreign Relations tweeted last Wednesday:
Eleven countries have participated in bombing Syria: US Israel Australia Bahrain Canada Jordan Saudi Arabia Turkey UAE France Russia
— Micah Zenko (@MicahZenko) September 30, 2015
200,000, Trump says. A number he invented. Nobody in the administration has talked about 200,000 refugees. Trump won’t say where he got the number. But he needed something army sized, so he said 200,000. After all, the factual 10,000 is hardly threatening, is it? (A senate aid, hardly an unimpeachable source, said the number could go as high as 100,000.)
Just as a sidenote, but a highly relevant one, Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh reported last year that the United States had 151,000 troops oversees, “stationed across the globe in nearly 150 countries worldwide.” And obviously, that number is not the sum of our military strength:
[C]onsistent with the 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance, we are in the process of drawing down Active Army end strength from a wartime high of 570,000 to 490,000—a 14 percent cut—by the end of FY 15. The Army National Guard will reduce from 358,200 to 350,200 and the Army Reserve will remain relatively constant, decreasing from 205,000 to 202,000 Soldiers.
As David Vine wrote recently at The Nation, “Although few know it, the United States garrisons the planet unlike any country in history, and the evidence is on view from Honduras to Oman, Japan to Germany, Singapore to Djibouti.”
While there are no freestanding foreign bases permanently located in the United States, there are now around 800 US bases in foreign countries. Seventy years after World War II and 62 years after the Korean War, there are still 174 US “base sites” in Germany, 113 in Japan, and 83 in South Korea, according to the Pentagon. Hundreds more dot the planet in around 80 countries, including Aruba and Australia, Bahrain and Bulgaria, Colombia, Kenya, and Qatar, among many other places. Although few Americans realize it, the United States likely has more bases in foreign lands than any other people, nation, or empire in history.
But Donald Trump says Syrian refugees will launch one of the greatest military coups in history. Against the most powerful nation on earth.
Not surprisingly then, Trump is all about “Syria for the Syrians,” and “America for Americans” (never mind that Americans are immigrants and refugees or their descendants themselves) calling for a safe-zone in Syria for them. Of course, if there was a safe zone in Syria, they’d stay there, wouldn’t they? Trump, of course, always vague on details, doesn’t say where this safe zone will be, or how it will come about.
And then the petulance sets in:
“If they come in, and if I win, they’re going back. They’re going back,” he announced. “We have to help them in that sense, but we don’t have to help them by taking them into our country.”
He doesn’t say how he is going to help them in their own country. It’s easier to just invent things, and then say them, and get applause from “REAL PEOPLE”:
Last night, Donald Trump retweeted a rather curious tweet:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 4, 2015
Apparently, “REAL PEOPLE” like endless servings of bullsh*t, because this is what Donald Trump’s campaign is churning out in record quantities. It is what he served up in his interview with Eric Bolling yesterday.
In this most recent example, he makes up a figure of 200,000, which he then proclaims is an army-sized number, insists they must all be men, and that of course, some of them will be Islamic State fighters trying to infiltrate the United States. It then follows – apparently – that somehow, these Islamic State fighters will join the U.S. military and somehow launch a coup.
I must not be a REAL PERSON. I am just not seeing that invented numbers and what-if’s trump – if you’ll pardon the expression – our shared reality and the world of actual facts. So I will continue to make fun of Donald Trump in the name of our shared reality, because facts do matter.
Of course, if Trump ever admits facts do matter, he will at the same time be admitting that HE does not.
Image: Fox News screen capture