USA: we’re supposed to be the good guys

Published 9:55 am Thursday, February 25, 2016

Donald Trump wins again. I have to admit I’ve just been cheerleading for Trump ever since I came back to the newspaper because I didn’t actually believe the entire Republican Party would actually nominate him.

Since he announced his candidacy, I’ve been cackling with glee, but I thought the Republicans would flip the switch at some point and one of the grown ups, Christie, Bush, etc., would stand up.

They’re all gone. The remaining candidates, Rubio and Cruz, are even worse than Trump.

I guess I’ll now have to start rooting for Trump for real. He actually does now seem like the Republican candidate who is for America and the good of the American people. Other than himself, America is his top priority.

Well, I’m going to have to come back to this another day.

Something that’s been bothering me mightily is a story my boy Trump told to an audience last week about former US Army General John J. Pershing executing Islamic POWs with bullets dipped in pigs’ blood.

I’m deeply offended by this. According to the fictional story Trump told, the execution of these POWs cowed all the other Islamic fighters into giving up or surrendering or something else.

All that I’ve seen written about this is whether Trump’s story is true or not. I’ve seen nothing about what this story says about us.

As hard as it may be to believe, there actually is a code of conduct involved in waging war. If any general ordered the execution of 49 POWs, he is guilty of war crimes and murder.

I was in the Army. I didn’t see combat, thank goodness, but I know a little something about the Code of Military Conduct. It does not excuse or condone war crimes and murder.

I know Trump was merely relating a story he’d read online or been told about, but instead of questioning its authenticity he did like the nuts who circulate it and assumed it was true and that it was an effective way to stop Islamic extremism because they would think they wouldn’t be going to paradise for being a martyr.

First, Pershing is a well-respected US Army General. He wouldn’t have been if he was known as a war criminal because he would have been executed in disgrace.

He didn’t do anything like this. Let him keep his honor.

Second, the Islamic fighters, then and now aren’t that stupid. They may abhor anything to do with swine, but they’re not going to base their entire religious life around it.

Frankly, if you smeared pigs’ blood all over ISIS fighters, you would get a huge upsurge in those extremists with renewed fervor to destroy the infidels.

Third, this kind of thing makes us the bad guys. I’ve always thought of us as the good guys. I want to be a good guy.

Engaging in deliberate, systemic war crimes would put us on equal footing with the worst Nazi that ever drew breath.

So what does this story tell us about ourselves? It says we, the people of the United States of America, want to be a nation of evil. It means war crimes, murder, and even genocide are okay with us and it’s how we roll.

Torture is now okay with huge segments of our population and now indiscriminant murder is not only acceptable, but the most effective way to get what we want?

Have we let our position as the only remaining superpower go to our heads? We now admire how the Soviet Union handled its problems and “governed” its people? Hitler is our shining example of a good leader?

I’m sorry I’m not joining that state. If that’s where the United States wants to go…I’m just glad I’m nearing the end of my existence on Earth.

For me, the United States is the good guy in the world – leading through morality, decency, and goodness; not through brutality, threats, and evil.


Keith Hoggard is a Staff Writer at Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be contacted at or 252-332-7206.