Ruining the Army

Update, July 7: The A.P. appears to have got the story in the first paragraph below wrong. There is still a real problem, but of a different kind, which appears to be about the country’s confused imigration system: “No, President Trump Is Not Purging The Military Of Immigrants”.

“US Army quietly discharging immigrant recruits” . . . Corrupting the army like this is bad for the immigrants affected, their fellow soldiers, all U.S. citizens and residents, not to mention our military readiness and national security. It’s also unconscionable.

This is just one of the ways the current administration is misusing and spoiling the army in the homeland itself. There is also this: “The U.S. Military Is Preparing to Hold 32,000 Immigrants in Detention Centers”.

The army—and the country—can do better (and did). In 2016, for example: “Immigrant to citizen: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and U.S. Army work on naturalization”.

Image source: U.S. Army

Richard Evans on Trump

How do the early days of the Trump administration look like the Third Reich? Historian Richard Evans [an important historian of Nazi Germany] weighs in”; interview by Isaac Chotiner, Slate, Feb. 10, 2017.

The question might still seem hyperbolic to many, but sober, historically informed analysis along such lines can be informative for understanding both present and past.

What’s Going On?

No really, Laurel Leff wants to know. This isn’t a poltical-rhetorical question but something bigger. What are we to make of the president’s recent nod to Holocaust denial? We need to consider the matter in an open, fearless, and dispassionate way, but how?

For those of us who teach and research the Holocaust and anti-Semitism, the Trump administration’s refusal to mention Jews in a statement commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day has been both horrifying and confusing.

Read Leff’s whole piece, and if you haven’t read Deborah Lipstadt on why “Holocaust denial” is an appropriate term here, be sure to follow that link in Leff’s piece too.