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Old 09-26-2022, 04:58 AM
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Question The disturbing strategy behind MAGA complaints about a ‘woke military’

The disturbing strategy behind MAGA complaints about a ‘woke military’
By: Max Boot - Columnist / The Washington Post - 09-26-22 / 6:00 a.m.

This summer, I attended the promotion ceremony of a friend, an Army general who was pinning another star on his uniform. A Christian chaplain said a blessing and then the speakers extolled my friend’s lifetime of service to the country. Finally, the general took the oath of office on a Bible held by his wife. It was all very traditional and very moving.

If you think there is anything remotely surprising about this — if you imagine that the speakers would have been extolling the joys of transgenderism or denouncing white privilege — well, you’ve been watching too much Fox “News.” Donald Trump Jr., for example, claims a “militant female” can become an admiral or general in today’s military “for no other reason other than they’re probably female,” or “if you can say, ‘Hey I’m trans.’ ” Tucker Carlson asserts: “It has been one calculated humiliation after another for the U.S. armed forces: vax mandates, anti-white ideology, sex changes, drag shows. Whatever is necessary to telegraph to the United States military you are worthless.”

Needless to say, these fanciful descriptions from bomb-throwers who never served in uniform bear no relation to reality. The U.S. military remains one of the most conservative institutions in America with traditions dating back centuries. That the military now welcomes African Americans, women and LGBTQ people — all groups that were kept out in the past — only strengthens an institution that needs to draw on the talents of the whole country to defend it.

So why are cartoonish inhabitants of the Fox News Cinematic Universe caterwauling about a “woke military”? Because the military has resisted Trumpian attempts to politicize it. The MAGA brigades want to populate the military with far-right officers who will do whatever Trump or a Trump mini-me commands, no matter how illegal.

Peter Baker and Susan Glasser’s new book “The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021” — the best account yet of the worst presidency — serves as a useful reminder of all the ways that President Donald Trump tried to harness the military to carry out his unhinged agenda. The authors report that Trump told then-White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, a retired Marine general, that he wanted generals as loyal to him as Nazi generals supposedly were to Adolf Hitler. (The stable genius had no idea that German officers plotted to kill Hitler.) Trump wanted “his” troops to shoot both undocumented migrants and Black Lives Matter protesters in the legs. He even listened to pleas from his disgraced former national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, to have troops seize ballot boxes after the 2020 election.

Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, became anathema to Trump & Co. not by embracing “critical race theory,” but by making clear that the military would place loyalty to the Constitution above loyalty to Trump. The turning point, Baker and Glasser report, came when Milley publicly apologized for being duped into walking behind Trump through Lafayette Square after it has been cleared of protesters. “Why did you apologize?” Trump demanded. “It’s a sign of weakness.” Ever since then, this combat veteran has been subject to unconscionable abuse from MAGA World. (Tucker Carlson: “He’s not just a pig, he’s stupid.”)

All of these attacks against the military for being too “woke” should be seen as part of the MAGA strategy to harness the armed forces (“the guys with the guns,” as Milley put it) to advance their authoritarian agenda. Blake Masters, the ultra-MAGA Republican Senate nominee in Arizona, has even advocated firing all the generals (“they’re left-wing politicians”) and replacing them with “the most conservative colonels.”

Unfortunately, there would be little to stop a President Trump or a President Ron DeSantis from doing precisely that as long as the Senate confirms their new generals. A MAGA president could even summon back to active duty loony retired generals such as Flynn or Don Bolduc (the GOP Senate nominee in New Hampshire) and appoint them to senior commands — as long as the Senate consents.

There would be no shortage of MAGA retirees to choose from: 124 retired generals and admirals, including Bolduc, signed an open letter last year that pushed false claims of voter fraud and argued that, under the Democrats, “our Country has taken a hard left turn toward Socialism and a Marxist form of tyrannical government.” If Trump wins in 2024, he could choose his Joint Chiefs from their ranks.

Little wonder that five former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and eight former defense secretaries signed an open letter of their own warning that “We are in an exceptionally challenging civil-military environment” because of, among other events, “the first election in over a century when the peaceful transfer of political power was disrupted and in doubt.”

The growing chorus of MAGA complaints about the “woke military,” nonsensical as they are, indicate that the challenges will only grow. A homegrown extremist movement that has already captured control of one of the two major political parties is now trying to bend the armed forces to its supreme leader’s malign will.

About this writer: Max Boot is a Washington Post columnist, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of “The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam.”

Personal note: Make America Great Again - really?
Re-facing a Nation with slander - and pre-dispositional authority or
without consideration of the facts - contains disturbing presentations
and has brought about excessive ciaos within our Nation.
This is unnecessary & contemptuous behavior that is unacceptable in
its outcome - as we see it today & all our histories of our yesterdays.
We are not a 3rd world country - nor are we allowing prejudicial
concepts to rally around. We are One Nation Under God -
With Liberty & Justice - For ALL!!
Our Constitution was built on the backs of those who realized that
Those who buy into these belief's are American's - and those who
follow these recent so-called leaders - are contemptuous and un-American.
Have many of you have forgotten how many lives were given to be called
an American! Have you forgotten your History and all the War's & Conflict's
that our-fore-Father's - Sister's & Brother's fought and died for!
This Nation was made by them and their sacrifices - and it will succeed
to eliminate such disturbing antic's and/or behavior.
Make America Great Again?

Hell its been great since it's conception.
We are not perfect - but we are willing die for this Nation - should it
be needed. Current civil action's or instabilities caused by other's to
defame or ridicule our Nation and/or it's Capitol - has crossed over the line.
We don't need a Supreme Leader - what we need is UNITY! If we
loose that - we are just another 3rd world country living in ciaos.
We are either United or We Will FALL!

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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