MacArthur was fired; Milley should be court-martialed

Douglas MacArthur was one of the nation's greatest generals.  In his time, there was no more revered, lauded, and beloved military figure.  He graduated first in his class at West Point, where, after service in WWI, he served as its superintendent.  During WWII, he was promoted to the rank of General of the Army in 1944 and given command of all Army forces in the Pacific.  On September 2, 1945, it was MacArthur who accepted Japan's unconditional surrender, ending the war.  Following the surrender, he served as the military governor of Japan, helping to usher in a modern government and economy.  When North Korea invaded South Korea, in June 1950, it was MacArthur whom Truman put in command of the U.N. forces to repel the invasion and prevent South Korea from falling to communism.  It was a no-brainer.

After MacArthur drove the North Korean forces back across the 38th Parallel, the official demarcation line between the North and the South, beginning with a brilliant landing at Inch'ŏn harbor, the Communist Chinese sent massive forces into Korea in support of the North and drove the U.N. forces back below the 38th Parallel and into South Korea.  

Unfortunately for MacArthur, he had an ego to match his brilliant military acumen.  It was this brash and flamboyant side that resulted in his being unceremoniously relieved of command of the U.N. forces.

Truman's stated policy was for a more limited war in Korea to limit casualties and not risk a third world war.  MacArthur disagreed with this policy and wanted to expand the conflict to continue the advance into China and said so, publicly.  In doing so, he defied the commander-in-chief, President Truman, and thus, he was deemed to have threatened the civilian-military control balance.  For this transgression, along with several other earlier episodes of defiance, on April 11, 1951, Truman removed MacArthur from his command for insubordination.  In a statement made to the American people regarding the firing, Truman explained he had done it "so that there would be no doubt or confusion as to the real purpose and aim of our policy."  In short, the civilians are in charge and set the policy, not the generals.

It has now come to light that while Trump was president, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Mark Milley, on his own initiative, in a demented effort at professional courtesy, contacted a top-ranking Chinese general to give him the "heads-up" that if the U.S. were to attack, he would call ahead to let him know.  In addition, Milley communicated to and apparently coordinated with speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and then–minority leader Charles Schumer, in the waning days of the Trump presidency, to limit Trump's abilities as the constitutionally designated commander-in-chief by improperly inserting himself into the nuclear launch sequence.  Not only were these acts insubordinate, but they arguably constitute conspiracy to commit treason.  They make what MacArthur did look like an infraction of failing to salute a superior officer.

One of the greatest military leaders in the history of this country was removed from command of forces engaged in a shooting war for questioning the civilian war policy.  In contrast, Milley not only spoke against policy but affirmatively acted against a sitting president.  This warrants not only immediate removal from his post but also a referral for court-martial.  If convicted, Milley should be stripped of rank and dishonorably discharged.

In 1951, that is exactly what would have occurred.  Unfortunately, this is 2021, and, given the degenerated mental acuity of the current commander-in-chief and the clown show that is his administration, it is unlikely that anything will happen to Milley.  Congress, which is controlled by power-hungry wannabe Marxist Democrats, who, ironically, once held a deep distrust of the military, will also sit idly by as the destruction of the Constitution by the military leadership continues.

To paraphrase the late Senator Fritz Hollings, I never knew Douglas MacArthur, and he was obviously no friend of mine, but rest assured nonetheless: General Milley is no Douglas MacArthur.  If being removed from command can happen to a great military leader and great American like Douglas MacArthur, then it should definitely happen to the likes of General Mark Milley.

Image via Picryl.

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