by William Skink
Common Defense is supposedly a group of progressive veterans, at least that is how it is described in the bio that always accompanies Joshua Manning’s posts at Cowgirl:
Josh Manning is a combat veteran and serves on the leadership team of Common Defense, a group of progressive veterans who want to affect political change. You can follow him on Twitter @joshuamanning23
And here is Common Defense’s mission:
Common Defense is a diverse, grassroots organization of U.S. veterans and military family members who are fighting to preserve the core values we swore to uphold and defend. Together we vow to protect our communities from hate and violence, to serve on the front lines for social, economic, and environmental justice, and to champion a truly equitable and representative democracy.
And here is the problem: Joshua Manning is a neoliberal-supporting Hillary cheerleader who warned Montana Democrats against supporting Bernie in the primaries. Don’t believe me? Just read this:
Watch the Benghazi hearings or just the highlights. Tell me that is not a president who would stand up against the far right. Imagine Sanders in the same chair, what would he be doing and saying? Maybe he would not have taken action in Libya. Maybe Qadaffi would have wiped out the eastern half of Libya’s population. Imagine that hearing.
Could she turn in the general election to the triangulating Clinton we all fear? Sure. The passion for Sanders is real and understandable for just that reason. But he will not sustain it. Clinton has made so many promises short of what Sanders has said, and in some cases to his left, that she would have a hard time turning back on them, I trust her, I trust the team around her. As president, I cannot think of anyone more qualified to take on the risks of running an imperial presidency against Congress to do the right things despite the risks. I think she, more than anyone else, would love the challenge and risks associated with doing whatever is good and necessary to spite the right.
I can’t imagine anyone who considers themselves a progressive making a statement like this. But it gets worse. Manning is now decrying the militarism of Trump in a brazenly disingenuous manner.
Before getting to the Cowgirl post, here is a piece by Manning from last December at Foreign Policy dot com. In this post Manning adds his voice to the clamor for Michael Flynn’s head. I will mention before the quote that the removal of Flynn was a precursor to Trump’s pivot to the neolibcon lust for military intervention. From the link:
In choosing Flynn as his national security advisor, the president-elect has elevated a man who leans toward conspiracy theories as justification for action. Flynn wants to take assertive action in the Muslim world and I think he will push for that no matter what the facts may be.
My worry is that Flynn will start laying a path for conflict or war against Iran. He will have the ear of President Trump, not known as a reader, so Flynn will have a dominant role in telling the president what is going on.
For me, that represents a nightmare scenario. It is not a question of whether it will happen, it is when and how it will. I am genuinely fearful.
I don’t believe for a second that Manning’s concern is that Flynn represented a path for conflict with Iran. What Flynn represented was a threat to the Deep State’s desire to stop any chance of deescalating tensions with Russia.
If you think Manning is coming at this from a progressive position, please consider that his warning against Bernie included labeling Sanders as being “extreme left”. Sure.
And did I mention Manning’s “most trusted” economic thinker is Paul Krugman?
All this brings me to the most recent, cringe-worthy post by combat veteran Joshua Manning. Here are the opening paragraphs:
I spent a year and a half of my Army career in Iraq. I know what it takes to fight terrorism and foreign adversaries. The solution is not the President Donald Trump brand of hyper-militarism and stupid wars. Unbridled defense spending and giving the reigns to the generals and defense contractors is not what our military and veterans need or want. There are many people who voted for Donald Trump, and you can imagine many of them will vote for Gianforte, but they did not vote for one thing: Forever War.
We are still nearly a decade and a half into Bush’s wars and Trump wants to start more. Seriously, look at the posturing towards Syria, Iran, and North Korea. If you think these are just empty threats and military bluster, then take moment to think about how playing Russian Roulette with Kim Jong Un plays out.
There are glaring omissions in these two paragraphs, like Obama’s perpetuation and expansion of Bush’s military intervention, Hillary’s SOS reign of terror in places like Libya, Honduras and Ukraine, our Arab allies supporting the same jihadists Manning claims to know how to fight after a deployment in Iraq, and the full weight of the Deep State attacking Trump until he acquiesced to the hyper-militarism Manning is pretending to oppose.
Manning is trying to parlay his war experience into a one-side partisan attack on Trump and GG. Don’t buy the bullshit. Manning is a neoliberal shill who supported forever-war candidate Hillary Clinton and now is trying to bash Trump after the Deep State got their way and reshaped Trump by pushing him relentlessly with the anti-Russia hysteria into their interventionist mold.