Just when I think that there is nothing more that Donald Trump can do that will shock me, along comes another shocking moment that leaves me wondering, what were Donald Trump voters thinking? The latest Trump fiasco is worse than anything else he has said, or done, especially for the American soldiers who have given their lives for the protection of America. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and this one is shocking.
As you can clearly see, Donald Trump is saluting North Korean No Kwan Chol, a military official. The picture comes to us courtesy of the North Korean propaganda machine. As has been pointed out earlier, the real winner of the Korean summit was Kim Jong Un. North Korea has not wasted the opportunity to let its people, and the world know that North Korea is being treated as an equal by the American government. On Monday, we’ll delve deeper into the geopolitics of the Korean peninsula. Today, we’ll focus on the picture.
The fact that North Korea included the salute in its propaganda video proves what a propaganda win the summit was for Kim Jong Un.
The poignant image shows Donald Trump deferring to the North Korean military.
As most readers know, the president is the commander in chief of the United States military forces. As such and confirmed by Army Regulation 600-25 (September 24, 2004 version), all U.S. military personnel in uniform must salute the president. (1-5 (f)) There is no requirement for the president to return the salute, although it is customary in the American military that junior personnel are to initiate the salute and the superior officer is to return the salute. However, this is only required when both individuals are in uniform.
According to several news sources, it was Ronald Reagan that started the tradition of U.S. presidents returning a salute. Remember, presidents are in civilian clothing and the Army manual states that personnel in civilian clothing are not required to salute. However, the regulations require military personnel in uniform to salute the president.
The president returning a salute is a courtesy.
On May 24, 2013, Barack Obama was chastised on social media for not returning a Marine’s salute as he boarded Marine One. Video footage shows Obama returning to shake the Marine’s hand.
A military salute is to show respect for an officer, the flag or the country.
Although civilians tend to see a military salute as sycophancy among the ranks, the reality is that in most militaries, the salute is a professional expression of service between the members.
On July 30, 2012, Donald Trump chastised Barack Obama via Twitter for Obama bowing to the Saudi king.
We now have a picture of Donald Trump saluting a North Korean military officer, a courtesy reserved for allies and members of the same military.
I am not a citizen, nor did I serve in the United States military and yet I am outraged by the Trump salute. Why? Because it shows clear disrespect for the atrocities committed by the North Korean military and the disrespect of the sacrifices made by American servicemen/women. Especially for those who have have served on the demilitarized zone or during the Korean War.
Of course, none of this matters to the Make America Great Again voters because it was never about America. Their vote for Donald Trump was nothing more than a vote to keep immigrants out of the country, to demonize Mexicans and to make believe that America’s failures are the result of other countries.