Maj. Danny Podcast

A Veteran’s View of Trump, Endless Wars, and the 2020 Election

Danny Sjursen talks about the most recent rift between Trump and the military and what veterans really think about the president and his policies.
[Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0]

By Daniel Larison / The American Conservative

In this week’s episode of “The Emperor Has No Clothes,” Kelley, Matt, and I spoke to Danny Sjursen, an Iraq and Afghanistan War veteran-turned-antiwar activist. He talks about the most recent rift between Trump and the military and what veterans really think about the president and his policies. You may be surprised. We also talk about how successful—or not— Democrats will be in trying to turn the military community against him.

Listen to the episode by clicking here.

Danny Sjursen
Danny Sjursen

Danny Sjursen is a retired U.S. Army officer and contributing editor at His work has appeared in the NY Times, LA Times, ScheerPost, The Nation, Huff Post, The Hill, Salon, Popular Resistance, and Tom Dispatch, among other publications. He served combat tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan and later taught history at his alma mater, West Point. He is the author of a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge. His forthcoming book, Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War is now available for pre-order. Sjursen was recently selected as a 2019-20 Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Fellow. Follow him on Twitter @SkepticalVet. Visit his professional website for contact info, to schedule speeches or media appearances, and access to his past work.

1 comment

  1. Trump, the Crazed Outsider who avoided Vietnam by “bone spurs”, and Biden, the Ultimate Insider who avoided Vietnam by “asthma” (though he could still play football at Delaware), are very similar in their lack of intrinsic appeal to Veterans and the military. As Kissinger said ““Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.” That sums up our betters’ views (Tulsi Gabbard is gone, there are no anti-war politicians allowed.)
    Biden’s record on war, coups and sanctions, and soft corruption in “colonized” countries are long-standing (since 1973) and clear; he is Hillary with a smaller penis. Trump’s record is more nuanced, and mostly ineffective; for all his saber rattling he has not started a single war (in DC’s view, to his major discredit), and his every effort to end our many wars (many with Biden playing a substantial role) and withdraw troops has even led Congress to push bills saying they, not the Constitutional Commander-in-Chief, should be deciding when to withdraw troops. I believe the imbroglio over what he said years ago in France is just pushback against military outrage at Congress wanting to keep the Wars going (and to start new ones) at any cost.
    I have no doubt that Trump has said nasty stuff about the military, but almost all of it is aimed at political rivals (such as McCain, who is not as revered by the military as the MSM makes out, and the Gold Star father at the DNC), and at high level brass Generals and Military Intelligence Heads who have decided to play politics, since they seem to be incapable of doing anything useful.
    I have third hand knowledge of the supposed Trump trashing of the troops, for what it is worth (probably worth much more than these talking head podcast Luke Harding-like “newsmakers”. I do respect Sjursen, for what he has been through). My friend in the army says his friends in secret service and military liaisons detailed to Trump in France said the trip to the cemetery was canceled because helicopters don’t land in thick flag and car caravans were deemed not secure in France; they heard no bad-mouthing of veterans by Trump. My guess is, as in the Impeachment over holding up Ukraine money (as Biden also bragged about doing in the CFR on Youtube), those four anonymous sources include at least three CIA agents and one Democrat (and with the eleven military agent Democrats elected to the US House in 2018, those could fit both definitions!) While I hate Trump, I loathe Biden (a softer version of evil Hillary). Third party or write-in (maybe Jesse Ventura?) for me in November.

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