In testimony before the House Wednesday, Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked about the military’s new emphasis on politics and critical race theory.
The nation’s top general leads in this segment by suggesting that he’s merely studying critical race theory and wokeness to understand them as a military leader should study ideas to understand their nature and whether they pose a threat or not. That would be fine, even commendable, if it was true. As Sun Tzu wrote, know your enemy.
But then Gen. Milley, America’s top soldier, gets within inches of trashing the United States Constitution, which he swore an oath to defend with his life.
The disturbing part comes when, after ticking off his communist reading list, Milley gets heated:
“I personally find it offensive,” the emotional general opines, “that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our commissioned, non-commissioned officers, of being quote ‘woke,’ or something else because we’re studying some theories that are out there.”
The general’s feelings are irrelevant. It is noteworthy that he’s playing the “I’m offended” card, though. That’s beneath a man of his rank. A poor, dumb, former airman shouldn’t have to remind Gen. Milley that being personally offended means nothing when bullets are flying.
Milley knows this. He’s playing for his audience at the White House.
Milley continued, and here’s where it gets sticky for the republic.
“That was started at Harvard Law School years ago,” Milley said, fallaciously appealing to Ivy League authority, “and it proposed that there were laws in the United States.”
“Anti-bellum laws, prior to the Civil War,” Milley continued, getting the word “antebellum” wrong, “that led to a power differential with African Americans that were three-quarters of a human being.” He also got the Three-fifths Compromise wrong.
The Three-fifths Compromise was struck at the time of the ratification of the United States Constitution four-score and a few more years prior to the Civil War, to paraphrase the Republican president who freed the slaves — and whom a Democrat later murdered for it. The Three-fifths Compromise, as North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R) accurately explained to clueless reporters a few months back, was a good thing.
“See, this is another example of why we need to teach real history. The Three-fifths Compromise was put into our Constitution to limit the power of slaveholding states in this nation,” Robinson explained. “The slaveholding states wanted to count their slaves as whole individuals for the purpose of having a population count that would give them control of our federal government. The Three-fifths Compromise prevented that.” He goes on to explain that slavery wasn’t a settled issue at the time the Constitution was written and ratified, which is true. Slavery had existed for millennia prior to the United States’ existence. The founders wrestled with the issue while cobbling 13 colonies together into a nation while also fighting a revolution against the world’s top superpower of the time. Robinson moves on from there to give a much more accurate history of Jim Crow than Gen. Milley appears to be capable of rendering.
Gen. Milley needs remedial American history, stat, to correct the errors he has internalized into his thinking processes and command. But he probably pleased the only audience member who matters to his career.
This man is our top soldier. He serves a president who lies that antifa is “just an idea” and who instituted systemic racism in COVID relief until a federal court stopped him.
As if to outdo his top general and plagiarize from one of the most scurrilous members of Congress at the same time, Joe Biden riffed on the Second Amendment Wednesday and revealed that he understands American history even more poorly than does Gen. Milley. My colleague Matt Margolis covered Biden’s remarks.
“Those who say the blood of lib- — ‘the blood of patriots,’ you know, and all the stuff about how we’re going to have to move against the government. Well, the tree of liberty is not watered with the blood of patriots,” Biden said. “What’s happened is that there have never been — if you wanted or if you think you need to have weapons to take on the government, you need F-15s and maybe some nuclear weapons.”
The “those who say” — whom Biden glibly denounces — is Thomas Jefferson, primary author of the Declaration of Independence and third president of these United States. Jefferson wrote the following in a letter to William Stephens Smith (son-in-law to America’s second president) in 1787:
And what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
He did, which tells us quite a bit about the quality of mind occupying the Oval Office at the moment.
Biden gets another thing wrong in all that mess. Americans have means other than military conflict to “take on” the government.
We have these novelties called elections. They were a radical notion when the founders including Jefferson established them. Biden and his Democrats are aware of that and the threat it poses to their power next year, which is why they pushed for S.1, the permanent Democrat power-grab bill. Thank the founders and Senate Republicans, it flopped.
But they’ll be back. And they’ll have the woke military brass backing them too.