US President Donald Trump is taking part in a ceremony to hand over certificates at the prestigious West Point Military Academy near New York, in the midst of a dispute between him and the Pentagon and at a time he is accused of politicizing the army.
Defense Minister Mark Esper, himself a graduate of the West Point Academy, opposed last week the deployment of the army against the demonstrators, saying that “the option to use the soldiers in service should not be but The last resort, in the most urgent and dangerous conditions. ”
Likewise, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Mayle, on Thursday expressed his remorse for standing in his uniform, after the violent dispersal of the demonstrations near the White House, and said, “I should not have been there,” sorry “to give the impression that the military is interfering in domestic politics. “.
The two officials disagree on other issues with the president, as they expressed support for the idea of renaming military bases bearing the names of Confederate generals loyal to the slave system from the time of the Civil War, an idea that Trump vehemently opposed.
Trump, who at one point though, according to some media outlets, dismissed Mark Esper, anxious to calm his relations with the Pentagon, and told Fox News, “I have good relations with the military,” adding, “This is what they believe, there is no problem.”
Trump, who has never performed his military service, has often spoken to the military during his foreign visits and has not hesitated to clap for controversial statements he has made, and he has also urged them to yell at reporters to denounce the support of part of the US military for his views.
And his speech on West Point, from which many US military and government officials have emerged, could take a political turn as well. Former graduates of the academy did not hesitate to warn the new graduates in a letter of “any blind compliance” with orders, recalling the danger posed by “tyrants”.
In the message, 400 former graduates of the academy representing all generations and serving in ten previous administrations reminded that “politicizing the armed forces weakens the link between the US military and society”, adding, “If this link is broken, the damage to our country will be incalculable.”
Trump announced since April that he will participate in the delivery of certificates at “West Point” located about 100 km north of New York, the epicenter of the Corona-COVID 19 virus in the United States.
The organizers had to make adjustments to the ceremonies to allow for the greatest possible social respect. Exceptionally, this year the families of 1,100 graduates, including 229 women, were not invited to participate in the ceremony.