US President Donald Trump. Picture: REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE
US President Donald Trump. Picture: REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE

President Donald Trump may have many flaws but to give credit where it is due, he is world-beatingly excellent at causing offence.

Not world-leading, to be sure, because any hope that the current US administration is stacked with leaders, as Covid-19 roils from state to state, is surely as forlorn as the hope that it will rain in California’s Death Valley — truly the hottest place on earth.

So his slur against Nelson Mandela ("F*** Mandela," Trump is alleged to have said, "he was no leader") when more Americans are dead from Covid-19 than fell in battle in World War 1 is as outrageous as it is deluded.

This from a man who, according to a report in The Atlantic, declined to visit the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery during a state visit to France in November 2018 because it was full of "losers" and "suckers". The losers in question being the 1,800 US Marines who died in the vicious battle of Belleau Wood, halting the final German advance on Paris.

It comes as no surprise that The Atlantic account is being denied with the long-overworked refrain "fake news".

The report goes on to say that during the same trip, the president asked his aides: "Who were the good guys in this war?"

Sorry for you, then, Gunnery Sergeant William Stockham, you who gave your gas mask to a comrade whose own mask had been shot away, saving his life while you drowned in the fluids from your own chlorine gas-filled lungs.

It was people like you, Gunny Stockham, who made America great, and not men whose most cherished uniform is golfing attire and whose "leadership" consists of sinking 3m putts while the US burns and howls.

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