The Washington Post

Mr. Trump and Gen. Lee

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Regarding Dana Milbank’s Sept. 12 Washington Sketch column, “Robert E. Lee, a stone-cold loser”:

So former president Donald Trump believes “If only we had Robert E. Lee to command our troops in Afghanista­n, that disaster would have ended in a complete and total victory many years ago.” If only Mr. Trump could read, he’d know that the South lost and it was Lee who surrendere­d to Ulysses S. Grant.

James M. Guiliano, Williamsbu­rg

Former president Donald Trump

was right: “Except for Gettysburg,” Confederat­e Gen. Robert E. Lee “would have won the war.” An insightful and brilliant observatio­n, but why stop there? Except for Stalingrad, Adolf Hitler would have won the war in Europe. Except for Midway, Emperor Hirohito would have won the war in the Pacific. Except for 38 electoral and 7 million popular votes, Mr. Trump would still be president. In the end, an “except for” is nothing more than a euphemism for failure or, in Mr. Trump’s vernacular, being a “loser.”

As for Lee being “remembered as perhaps the greatest unifying force after the war was over”? Mr. Trump’s gifted and perverse ignorance of all things, especially relating to history, could not have been more poignantly displayed. Greatest unifying force? I’ll agree, if we overlook the 620,000 soldiers from both sides who were killed on U.S. soil, many of whom were casualties in battles Lee fought in a war Lee was essential to dragging out for four bloody years. I’ll agree, if we overlook contrastin­g those losses against the combined total of approximat­ely 527,000 U.S. combatants killed in World War I and World War II. I’ll agree if — no, upon reflection, I can’t.

Here’s a fact, Mr. Trump: Lee was in reality no unifying force, no hero, but a traitor — and I say this as a U.S. Military Academy graduate — who betrayed his oath of office as a leader. Sound familiar? (Does Mr. Trump remember Jan. 6, or was that, also, just one of those “except for” moments in history?)

J.D. Lock, Colmar, Pa.

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