Trump Misfires in Attack on Gen. John Allen

Gen. John Allen, a four-star general with an impeccable record, spoke at the Democratic National Convention and criticized Donald Trump’s foreign policy and support for torture, though not by name. Naturally, Trump is firing back — and widely missing the mark.


“They had a general named John Allen, and he — I never met him,” Trump said during a campaign rally. “And he got up and he started talking about Trump, Trump, Trump. Never met him. And you know who he is? He’s a failed general.”

Allen is a retired four-star general who served as commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. He was President Obama’s top choice to oversee U.S. and NATO operations in Europe, but instead he retired to assist his wife with chronic health issues. He came out of retirement in 2014 when the president named him Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State in 2014, a position he held for a year.

“He was the general fighting ISIS. I would say he hasn’t done so well, right? Not so well,” Trump added, referring to the Islamic State terrorist group.

Wrong on every count. He was not the general fighting ISIS, he had already retired from the military and was named as a presidential envoy, a diplomatic position, to the coalition that is fighting ISIS. And in fact, that coalition has done very well. The territory that ISIS controls in Iraq and Syria has shrunk dramatically, so much so that the group is now making plans for ending the caliphate and becoming a stateless terrorist group.

And I love how he makes a big deal out of the fact that he’s never met Allen. What percentage of generals in this country do you suppose Trump has met? A vanishingly small percentage, I’m sure. But remember, this is man who claims that he knows more about ISIS than our generals do, an absolutely laughable declaration.

But this is Trump’s standard M.O. — if you say something bad about him, you are, by definition, a loser and a terrible person. If you’re on his side, you’re the greatest person on earth. Facts don’t matter. The only thing that matters is that anyone who criticizes you must be demeaned and dismissed, without ever bothering to engage the actual substance of their criticisms. It’s like a kid on a playground yelling “I’m rubber and you’re glue.”

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