There is little doubt that domestic terrorism is–and always has been–a threat to the United States in the modern age. Whether it be of the Left or the Right, it’s a problem. But, the recent statements by the current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), US Army General Mark Milley, during a particularly tense Congressional hearing in which the chairman debated Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) about the presence of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in the Pentagon’s training, was bizarre.
During the highly viewed debate, General Milley insisted that, while he personally didn’t understand the details of CRT, he felt it was “important” for the US military to understand it. Milley then blurted out that he wanted to understand “the roots of White Rage.”
In an earlier post, I elaborated the truth behind Milley’s commentary (that it was not real “woke-ness” but instead a cynical, political calculation on his part to ensure that the Pentagon gets continuous funding in what he assumes is a New Age of Liberal imperiousness in Washington).
But, my friend and colleague, Seth Leibsohn who hosts an excellent radio show in Phoenix, Ariz., encouraged me to do a follow-up about a comment that I made in passing in the first post about Milley’s comments.
You see, during his lecture on defending CRT training for the military before Congress, Milley parried away from Gaetz’s charged comments by reminding his audience that, as a US military officer, Milley had also read the works of communists–Marx, Lenin, Mao–as part of his training.
At the time, Milley and his fellow officers had read these things largely because the United States was at war with a foreign enemy threat doctrine, communism that threatened the safety and stability of the United States, its government, and its way of life.
Reading Marx or Sayyid Qutb’s Milestones makes sense because the DOD was at war with both communism and Islamism.
And let’s get real here: the reason that the Q-Anon cosplayers stormed Capitol Hill was because they believed that Donald Trump did not lose the election and that there was chicanery happening. This isn’t rocket science.
QAnon isn’t a movement; it’s a group of malcontents who were ginned up by internet memes.
Anyway, the DOD taking up CRT as a must-read begs the question: Just who is Milley and Biden’s DOD at war with, praytell?
While the military does swear to defend the United States “against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” there is now a long tradition following the Civil War that the US military is not to be used as a law enforcement tool.
Certainly, domestic terrorism is a concern…for America’s domestic security services, like the FBI, and state and local law enforcement.
In the early twentieth century, when anarcho-communism was exploding (in many cases, literally), then-Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, a fierce anticommunist, made his Department of Justice–with the nascent Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) under a young J. Edgar Hoover–prosecuted a quasi-war against suspected communists in the United States.
The Palmer Raids were a hellish experience. But never were they conducted by members of the United States Armed Forces. They were federal, state, and local law enforcement officers waging the war against those domestic terrorists. A similar pattern was at play during the controversial McCarthy era’s Red Scare and during the Vietnam War protests and Civil Rights movement of the 1960s-70s.
Yes, the US National Guard has been deployed in certain moments of civil unrest, but they are usually severely limited in their actions and the military prefers to hold back and defer to local law enforcement.
During the 2020 race riots, for example, US National Guard was deployed. But their touch was relatively light. Dittos on 1/6, when the military was severely reticent to involve itself that day–even as former Vice-President Mike Pence, who was in the Capitol building, apparently demanding that the military intervene to stop the rioters that day, the military was unwilling to get fully engaged in that event.
We know this because this was precisely General Milley’s stance on a similar issue last year, when Donald Trump was president.
Last year, the country was confronted with race-related, political insurrectionism that was far more diffuse than the events of January 6.
Throughout the country, Black Lives Matter (BLM) and ANTIFA militated against the US government as led by Donald Trump; they committed billions of dollars of property damage; they threatened fellow citizens; they harmed innocent people.
Even FBI Director Christopher Wray testified last year about the threat of ANTIFA. While he stopped short of labeling it an outright terrorist organization, his description of it sounds pretty similar to how the US national security establishment describes al Qaeda and other designated terrorist groups.
Of course, the vast majority of people who went to march were not violent. But they were not the people who organized the events. Those innocent people who wanted to take part in what they believed was a lawful protest were being used as human shields by the Leftist militants of ANTIFA and BLM.
In fact, these organizations devastated the very communities they claimed to be serving–all in the name of political action (which, by definition is domestic terrorism). And, like any terrorists, these organizations deflected blame for the destruction from themselves to the very authorities trying to bring order and stunt the damage.
Further, it is bizarre that Milley, the same general who purportedly got into a “screaming match” with former President Donald Trump over the forty-fifth president’s desire to invoke the Insurrection Act in order to quell what was a race-related insurrection in the summer of 2020, is so readily wading into what is clearly a domestic political issue, such as CRT.
While the Q-Anon riot at Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021 was a caustic scene, it ultimately paled in comparison to the widespread damage that Leftist militias visited upon the country throughout the summer of 2020. Milley may have been correct when he admonished Trump Administration officials that his hands were tied legally when they sought to invoke the Insurrection Act.
That is for lawyers to debate and determine. Personally, I see little distinction between the terrorists who plagued the country in 2020 and the Q-Anon rebels who vandalized Congress on January 6.
Why was Milley and his fellow officers so certain that Trump could not deploy military force to stem the violence in 2020 but they are now certain that the military has any real application to whatever is going on between the Biden Administration and these Q-Anon weirdos?
Shouldn’t America’s vast military might be pointed outward at the multiple foreign threats that now challenge the safety and security of the United States, rather than chasing domestic criminals?
Remember this scene from the great Battlestar Galactica: