Military bases honoring Confederate officers: No way!

Friday, 12 Jun, 2020

The US Navy and Marine Corps recently banned using the Confederate army flag at military bases as the country discusses questions of race and the US military rethinks its traditional use of these symbols.

David Petraeus, a former US Army general and Central Intelligence Agency director, wrote an opinion piece in The Atlantic that the time has come to remove the "names of traitors like Benning and Bragg from our country's most important military installations".

In a series of tweets, Mr Trump argued the bases have become part of a "Great American Heritage".

For what it's worth, I'm not aware of any effort to erase Washington, Jefferson, and Madison from American history, which in the context of Confederate generals wouldn't make sense anyway: Washington, Jefferson, and Madison didn't go to war against the United States.

He added, "Therefore, my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations".

"We must recognize the importance of history, but we must come together and have some kind of open discussion about the nation", the official said: "This week highlights the need to understand these sentiments and to consider changes to the army secretary".

Retired Army Gen. and former Central Intelligence Agency director David Petraeus wrote an essay published by The Atlantic on Tuesday calling for confederates names to be taken off the bases.

US military bases named for Confederate military leaders are all located in former Confederate states.

Such jarring hairpin turns are standard procedure for this White House, however - as Donald Trump veers from professions of support for minorities to moves that could rankle many of them.

Trump on Wednesday ruled out renaming US military bases that are named for Confederate leaders and has threatened to veto any legislation with such a requirement.

However, the panel's Republican chairman, Senator Jim Inhofe, expressed concern, telling reporters on a conference call he wanted local input on decisions on base names.

And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., reiterated her call for members of Congress to enact legislation that would purge the Capitol of Confederate statues.

She said he is "fervently" opposed to changing the base names and believes that doing so would amount to "complete disrespect" for soldiers who trained there over the years.

Bragg was a major slave-owner and is largely considered to be one of the most incompetent generals of the Civil War.

"That is an absolute non-starter for the president", McEnany said.

It follows the nationwide protests against the police killing of George Floyd, an African-American man in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

As demonstrations have swept the country, cities have removed Confederate statues and institutions have barred displays of the Confederate flag, saying they do not want to honor those who fought to continue enslaving black Americans.

Anger from anti-racism protesters has also focused on statues of southern Civil War heroes and most lately a statue of explorer Christopher Columbus, who opened the Americas to European settlement.

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) separately told the network he didn't have any problem with changing the base names.