Petraeus: Time To Remove Names Of Confederate 'Traitors' From Military Bases
Former CIA Director David Patraeus penned an opinion piece in The Atlantic on Tuesday arguing that it is time to remove the names of “traitors” from U.S. military bases.
The Hill reported that the retired Army general wrote "it is time to remove the names of traitors like Benning and Bragg from our country’s most important military installations.”
Petraeus was referring to training bases named after Gen. Henry Benning and Gen. Braxton Bragg, both of whom he described as subpar military leaders “who left much to be desired.”
"These bases are, after all, federal installations, home to soldiers who swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States," the 67-year-old wrote. "The irony of training at bases named for those who took up arms against the United States, and for the right to enslave others, is inescapable to anyone paying attention. Now, belatedly, is the moment for us to pay such attention."
"We do not live in a country to which Braxton Bragg, Henry L. Benning, or Robert E. Lee can serve as an inspiration. Acknowledging this fact is imperative. Should it fail to do so, the Army, which prides itself on leading the way in perilous times, will be left to fight a rearguard action against a more inclusive American future, one that fulfills the nation’s founding promise," he concluded.
The Hill noted that Petraeus changed his political affiliation in 2002 from Republican to Independent.
His op-ed comes in the midst of ongoing protests against police brutality and racial injustice, sparked by the death of George Floyd — an unarmed black man who died after a Minneapolic police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes as he said he couldn’t breathe.
The protests have renewed calls for Confederate monuments to be removed.
The Hill reported that Petraeus’ words follow on the heels of the U.S. Marine Corps announcement last week that depictions of the Confederate flag would be banned on Marine installations.
"The Confederate battle flag has all too often been co-opted by violent extremist and racist groups whose divisive beliefs have no place in our Corps," a Marine Corps statement on Friday read. "Our history as a nation, and events like the violence in Charlottesville in 2017, highlight the divisiveness the use of the Confederate battle flag has had on our society."