Retired US Navy Admiral and former Navy SEAL William McRaven released another op-ed criticizing President Donald Trump, this time over the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria.
Titled “Our Republic Is Under Attack From the President,” McRaven’s New York Times op-ed claims America is veering away from its steadfast values, bringing uncertainty to the future of the nation and its allies abroad, and claiming Trump is at fault.
“President Trump seems to believe that these qualities are unimportant or show weakness. He is wrong,” McRaven wrote.
“These are the virtues that have sustained this nation for the past 243 years. If we hope to continue to lead the world and inspire a new generation of young men and women to our cause, then we must embrace these values now more than ever,” he continued.
“And if this president doesn’t understand their importance, if this president doesn’t demonstrate the leadership that America needs, both domestically and abroad, then it is time for a new person in the Oval Office — Republican, Democrat or independent — the sooner, the better. The fate of our Republic depends upon it,” McRaven wrote.
McRaven claims that the withdrawal of U.S. troops in Syria, and the consequential abandonment of U.S. allies, the Kurds, is a withdrawal of values that have been synonymous with America’s greatness throughout history.
“If we don’t care about our values, if we don’t care about duty and honor, if we don’t help the weak and stand up against oppression and injustice — what will happen to the Kurds, the Iraqis, the Afghans, the Syrians, the Rohingyas, the South Sudanese and the millions of people under the boot of tyranny or left abandoned by their failing states?” McRaven wrote.
“If our promises are meaningless, how will our allies ever trust us?” he continued. “If we can’t have faith in our nation’s principles, why would the men and women of this nation join the military? And if they don’t join, who will protect us? If we are not the champions of the good and the right, then who will follow us? And if no one follows us — where will the world end up?”
According to McRaven, these concerns are shared by others, some of whom expressed them to him at two recent events – a change of command ceremony at Fort Bragg, and an Office of Strategic Services Society (OSS) annual gala.
McRaven claims that he witnessed “frustration, humiliation, anger and fear” regarding the state of the nation from participants at the events, including one retired four-star general who reportedly shook his arm and said, “I don’t like the Democrats, but Trump is destroying the Republic!”
“The America that they believed in was under attack, not from without, but from within,” he wrote. “It is easy to destroy an organization if you have no appreciation for what makes that organization great.”
McRaven wrote that America’s power doesn’t come from its assets, but rather from its values.
“We are the most powerful nation in the world because we try to be the good guys. We are the most powerful nation in the world because our ideals of universal freedom and equality have been backed up by our belief that we were champions of justice, the protectors of the less fortunate,” he explained.
McRaven led the Joint Special Operations Command and oversaw the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden. In 2014, he retired after 36 years of serving as a Navy SEAL.
Last year, he also denounced Trump’s criticism of the media as “the greatest threat to our democracy in my lifetime.”