Newsroom commando Ralph Peters cashiers self

Cashiering is a historical military ritual in which an officer who has betrayed his oath or failed in his duty is required to stand before the assembled troops and have all symbols of rank and service stripped from his uniform, to demonstrate most forcefully the disgrace he has brought upon himself and possibly them.  His cap is knocked off and crushed underfoot; epaulettes or shoulder boards are ripped from his tunic; brass buttons are cut away; all medals, awards, and symbols of rank and past service are torn off and dropped in the dirt; and finally, his formal sword is broken over the knee of a fellow officer, with the two pieces scornfully cast at the disgraced officer's feet.  It is a rite of personal and professional degradation, purposely intended to convey as much contempt and evoke as much shame as possible, to deter other officers from bringing such dishonor upon themselves and their services.

This weekend, retired lieutenant colonel Ralph Peters went on CNN's dubiously titled Reliable Sources and, in the presence of the show's serially unreliable host, Brian Stelter, and all those unfortunate souls in airport waiting areas across the nation being force-fed this liberal Sunday-morning drivel, cashiered himself.  It appears that fulminating Trump Derangement Syndrome brought this former Fox News military analyst to perform this sad ceremony.

To his credit, he did a bang-up job of it.

First, Peters said:

Well, the most dreadful part is that we have a president who does not respect our system of government, does not understand our government, who is not interested in understanding our government, who believes that the Constitution is a menu from which he can choose only the most delectable items, who disdains career bureaucrats, who doesn't respect the Constitution.

Whap!  There went Peters's headgear.  Then this self-anointed Russia expert proceeded to do one of those Russian kick dances on his fallen headdress while ripping away his shoulder boards with this:

But the twin – the evil twin of that is that I believe, as a former Russia analyst for most of my career, and having worked directly with Russian intelligence services, I am convinced that the president of the United States is enthralled to Vladimir Putin.  There is no other way to explain his behavior.  And he perfectly fits the profile of the kind of people the Russians target.

Poor Peters continued this ritual of self-abasement by ripping away his buttons and medals with this:

I left Fox because as a former military officer who took an oath to the Constitution, I could not be part of a channel that to me was assaulting the Constitution, the constitutional order, the rule of law.  But that said, Fox isn't immoral, it's amoral.  It was opportunistic.  Trump was a gift to Fox and Fox in turn is a gift to Trump.  As you observed earlier, it's a closed loop and so people that only listen to Fox have an utterly skewed view of reality.

Peter's sword-breaking was reserved for this observation:

[P]eople supporting Trump are radicals.  These ... couch potato anarchists ... don't have a program to make America great again, and by the way America is great right now, rather, they're destructive.  They want to tear things down.  They want vengeance.  And Trump is brilliant at that.  He's done what autocrats and charlatans and false messiahs throughout history have done. He's told core supporters, you're not to blame for the mistakes you made. You're not to blame for your failures. It's them, it's the minorities, it's the immigrants, it's fake news, it's the deep state.

As a combat veteran, which Peters is not, I have to wonder if this sneering, whiny-voiced news show commando has a clue as to how many millions of his military family he has just branded as destructive, vengeful, racist couch-potato anarchists, followers of a false messiah and derelict in our oaths to the Constitution.  It is a fact that a substantial majority of military personnel, whether active-duty, retirees, or veterans, are conservative in their politics, so Peters had to know he was spitting in the faces of millions of his former comrades.  While not enamored of some of Trump's antics, many of us see him as something of a political Patton – a bit headstrong, perhaps, and sometimes crude in his language, but nonetheless an effective, hard charging leader who knows who and where America's antagonists are and takes the battle to them with whatever weapons are called for.  And wins.  We, and I suspect our enemies as well, find it hard to imagine this president drawing a bright red line for an adversary and then turning tail when it is defied, leaving America to be mocked by some pissant potentate as it was under his presidential predecessor.

Except for a few former senior officers fearful of losing their monetized security clearances with the cushy sinecures in corporate boardrooms and network greenrooms those bring, this loose-lipped, self-cashiered light colonel is most likely going to find his newly chosen political parade ground a lonely place indeed.  As Peters's disloyal diatribe gets around the military community he has so scurrilously slandered, he soon may wish that he had performed an additional historical military ritual: seppuku, the Japanese face-saving rite of self-disembowelment.

Image: kevin higgins via geograph.

Cashiering is a historical military ritual in which an officer who has betrayed his oath or failed in his duty is required to stand before the assembled troops and have all symbols of rank and service stripped from his uniform, to demonstrate most forcefully the disgrace he has brought upon himself and possibly them.  His cap is knocked off and crushed underfoot; epaulettes or shoulder boards are ripped from his tunic; brass buttons are cut away; all medals, awards, and symbols of rank and past service are torn off and dropped in the dirt; and finally, his formal sword is broken over the knee of a fellow officer, with the two pieces scornfully cast at the disgraced officer's feet.  It is a rite of personal and professional degradation, purposely intended to convey as much contempt and evoke as much shame as possible, to deter other officers from bringing such dishonor upon themselves and their services.

This weekend, retired lieutenant colonel Ralph Peters went on CNN's dubiously titled Reliable Sources and, in the presence of the show's serially unreliable host, Brian Stelter, and all those unfortunate souls in airport waiting areas across the nation being force-fed this liberal Sunday-morning drivel, cashiered himself.  It appears that fulminating Trump Derangement Syndrome brought this former Fox News military analyst to perform this sad ceremony.

To his credit, he did a bang-up job of it.

First, Peters said:

Well, the most dreadful part is that we have a president who does not respect our system of government, does not understand our government, who is not interested in understanding our government, who believes that the Constitution is a menu from which he can choose only the most delectable items, who disdains career bureaucrats, who doesn't respect the Constitution.

Whap!  There went Peters's headgear.  Then this self-anointed Russia expert proceeded to do one of those Russian kick dances on his fallen headdress while ripping away his shoulder boards with this:

But the twin – the evil twin of that is that I believe, as a former Russia analyst for most of my career, and having worked directly with Russian intelligence services, I am convinced that the president of the United States is enthralled to Vladimir Putin.  There is no other way to explain his behavior.  And he perfectly fits the profile of the kind of people the Russians target.

Poor Peters continued this ritual of self-abasement by ripping away his buttons and medals with this:

I left Fox because as a former military officer who took an oath to the Constitution, I could not be part of a channel that to me was assaulting the Constitution, the constitutional order, the rule of law.  But that said, Fox isn't immoral, it's amoral.  It was opportunistic.  Trump was a gift to Fox and Fox in turn is a gift to Trump.  As you observed earlier, it's a closed loop and so people that only listen to Fox have an utterly skewed view of reality.

Peter's sword-breaking was reserved for this observation:

[P]eople supporting Trump are radicals.  These ... couch potato anarchists ... don't have a program to make America great again, and by the way America is great right now, rather, they're destructive.  They want to tear things down.  They want vengeance.  And Trump is brilliant at that.  He's done what autocrats and charlatans and false messiahs throughout history have done. He's told core supporters, you're not to blame for the mistakes you made. You're not to blame for your failures. It's them, it's the minorities, it's the immigrants, it's fake news, it's the deep state.

As a combat veteran, which Peters is not, I have to wonder if this sneering, whiny-voiced news show commando has a clue as to how many millions of his military family he has just branded as destructive, vengeful, racist couch-potato anarchists, followers of a false messiah and derelict in our oaths to the Constitution.  It is a fact that a substantial majority of military personnel, whether active-duty, retirees, or veterans, are conservative in their politics, so Peters had to know he was spitting in the faces of millions of his former comrades.  While not enamored of some of Trump's antics, many of us see him as something of a political Patton – a bit headstrong, perhaps, and sometimes crude in his language, but nonetheless an effective, hard charging leader who knows who and where America's antagonists are and takes the battle to them with whatever weapons are called for.  And wins.  We, and I suspect our enemies as well, find it hard to imagine this president drawing a bright red line for an adversary and then turning tail when it is defied, leaving America to be mocked by some pissant potentate as it was under his presidential predecessor.

Except for a few former senior officers fearful of losing their monetized security clearances with the cushy sinecures in corporate boardrooms and network greenrooms those bring, this loose-lipped, self-cashiered light colonel is most likely going to find his newly chosen political parade ground a lonely place indeed.  As Peters's disloyal diatribe gets around the military community he has so scurrilously slandered, he soon may wish that he had performed an additional historical military ritual: seppuku, the Japanese face-saving rite of self-disembowelment.

Image: kevin higgins via geograph.