When leftists start defending the military leadership...
The Foreign Affairs website features an article by liberal professors Ronald R. Krebs of the University of Minnesota and Robert Ralston of MIT and Harvard's Kennedy School, which criticizes conservatives for their recent distrust of America's military. The article is titled "Why Conservatives Turned on the U.S. Military," with a sub-heading that reads "Right-Wing Attacks Are Eroding Trust in the Armed Forces." The authors criticize conservative politicians and pundits for labeling the U.S. military as "woke." The article is fundamentally misguided in that it confuses conservatives' dislike for Pentagon policies with the Democrats' longstanding disrespect for the troops.
The authors recount conservative reactions to General Mark Milley's astounding phone calls to his counterpart in China (promising to warn China in the event of a U.S. strike, according to Bob Woodward's new book) and to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (discussing President Trump's alleged craziness), as well as Milley's believing it's important to include Critical Race Theory in army training and at our military academies. On these facts, the authors conclude that "The long Republican romance with the military appears to have finally come to an end." They opine, too, that "the consequences for the U.S. military could be dire."
Conservatives, according to the authors, have been in a "love affair" with the military for decades. But President Donald Trump, they write, ended that affair after he turned on the active-duty generals he appointed to key positions in his administration — Michael Flynn and H.R. McMaster (national security advisers), John Kelly (chief of staff), and James Mattis (defense secretary). Trump, they write, grew to dislike those generals and "abuse[d]" them. Trump and his generals disagreed about fighting what Trump called "endless wars."
Most recently, according to Krebs and Ralston, the military brass suffered what they term an "onslaught by right-wing pundits and politicians," naming Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and several GOP senators and congressmen. The authors note that Republican and conservative criticism of the military stems in part from their perception that the military brass has become too political.
To be fair, the authors place some blame on the military for its leaders, in fact, becoming too political. But, in the end, they conclude, conservatives and Republicans are mostly to blame. Conservatives and Republicans, they suggest, must dial back their rhetoric because "[u]nwarranted vilification of the armed forces threatens the United States' military capabilities." And they warn that "[c]onservative leaders and pundits must stop their political attacks before it is too late."
Contrary to the authors' broad claims, conservatives are not attacking the military in general — they haven't "turned on the U.S. military." Krebs and Ralston equate distrust of an all too obvious political-military elite with a distrust of the armed forces. But there is no evidence that conservatives have anything but immense respect and admiration for the fighting soldiers, sailors, and airmen who defend our country to the best of their abilities.
There is nothing comparable in GOP circles to the "loathing" of, and disrespect for, the military that, say, the Clintons demonstrated both before and while they were in the White House. And no one talks about troops "terrorizing kids and children" as Obama once did.
The left's new "love affair" with our current military leadership should come as no surprise, given those leaders' promotion of Critical Race Theory and their focus not on winning wars, but rather on ferreting out "white supremacists" from the armed forces. The left's new love of the military does not extend to the rank and file who raise questions about accountability, or lack thereof, among the military brass for the debacle in Afghanistan, or for the drone strike that killed an aid worker and several children instead of a terrorist, as was originally claimed.
One such soldier who publicly raised these issues was sent to the brig for voicing those concerns, without a word of protest from the left. For Democrats, the woke military leadership must be protected at all costs as it fundamentally transforms our armed forces into social justice warriors — the only type of warriors the ideological left respects and admires.
Image: The Dems' definition of military pride (text added). U.S. Air Force Graphic.
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