Killing Sergeant Johnson

According to Rep. Frederica Wilson (D- Awesome Hats), President Donald Trump told the widow of Sergeant La David Johnson, who, along with three of his fellow soldiers, was murdered by Islamic terrorists in Niger, “He knew what he signed up for … but when it happens, it hurts anyway.” According to Trump, he said no such thing. And even if he did, he didn’t mean it that way, or something to that effect. While I have no doubt Trump’s condolences were delivered with his usual artlessness, I do doubt he took the call anything less than seriously. Trump may be crude, but he’s not cruel. If he’s as soulless as Wilson insists, he wouldn’t have bothered to make the call in the first place.

Nonetheless, when Wilson decided to turn what was the worst moment of Mrs. Johnson’s life into a political football, Trump did what Trump always does: take Wilson’s kickoff and immediately go on offense. In less time than it took to fly Sgt. Johnson home from a third-world dead zone about which both Wilson and Trump are probably only dimly aware, Trump vs. Wilson became the game all the cool kids were watching. Between Trump’s tweets and Wilson’s interviews with left-wing TV pundits, and the accompanying circus, the squabble turned into the Super Bowl. Wilson went so far as to claim his attitude was motivated by racism. Trump went so far as to drag White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s son from his deserved rest. Wilson’s team cited Trump’s appalling criticisms of Senator John McCain as proof he doesn’t care about the military; Trump’s team laughed at the idea of the authors of Benghazi and “Welcome home, Sgt. Bergdahl” pretending they do.

Meanwhile, a pregnant widow laid her head on her husband’s casket. Later, she accepted a folded flag and probably thought about the fact that, if she’s lucky, her oldest child might hold on to some dim memories of a father gone far too soon.

Sergeant La David Johnson, along with three of his fellow soldiers, was murdered by Islamic terrorists while trying to train local forces to counter Islamic terrorists; a cruelly ironic reminder of how and why we waste the lives of men like Sgt. Johnson and then turn them into sock puppets in tabloid political tableaus. The lesson of Sgt. Johnson’s death shouldn’t be about Trump’s callousness any more than Wilson’s craven politicizing. The lesson should be that a father, husband and hero died to advance America’s globalist foreign policy; a foreign policy which sent him to a place beyond the end of civilization. A man, by all accounts a good man, died in Niger for no good reason. And his wife and children were forced to watch his funeral turn into a free-for-all. Though I don’t doubt it “hurts anyway,” that is most decidedly not what he signed up for.

— Ben Crystal

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