It’s not hard – your stars are right there, generals, right on the shoulders of those new uniforms you decided to adopt with the express purpose of evoking World War II and the memory of victory over a modern, peer-competitor military. Maybe, you thought, wearing winner’s gear would ease the pain of getting creamed by a bunch of Seventh Century throwbacks.
Yeah, we know your boss is a senile old fool with delusions of competence. His failure will be addressed at the ballot box. But your failure, generals and admirals, is something only you can address, at least until President DeSantis comes and separates the wheat from the chaff in the Pentagon.
Yeah, we know, you have to follow the orders of the civilian authorities – though not if it’s Trump, since he was not part of the in-crowd you aspired to join as adjunct military members. Your passive-aggressive mutiny against the guy the American people elected set back civil-military relations 250 years. You took the one institution most Americans still trusted and turned it into a roiling cauldron of hot garbage. And don’t try to hide behind “You gotta support the troops.” We do. But you suck, and we know you suck, and you know you suck.
If you didn’t suck, you’d have quit. When President Durwood told you to ditch Bagram Air Base, you joint chiefs should have got together, realized this was going to get a bunch of the guys that America entrusted to you killed, and decided to resign. You can’t disobey, but you can take a stand.
Well, you did take a kind of stand. You just stood there. As one sergeant major told me today, the newest second lieutenant would identify this op as a disaster in the making. Now, far be it from me to contradict an E9, but I expect he would agree that even the greenest Girl Scout recruit would ask, “What the unholy hell are you idiots thinking, pulling the military out and giving up our secure airbase before you’ve completed your noncombatant evacuation operation?”
You could have quit. You could have salvaged some shred of honor after your years of total failure, but making a stand would come at the expense of your careers.
Yet it would have worked. A bunch of generals saying “No more?” That would have forced the politicians to do a rethink. But you just saluted, same as the guys who enabled Vietnam – something Army schools used to tell us (before they hired faculties full of pronoun people) we officers needed to do if the time came.
You chose not to.
Maybe you dug the pomp and circumstance – it’s good to be the general. Or maybe you imagined that you – the guys who have not won a war in two decades – were the only ones competent and capable enough to polish this strategic turd into a tactical diamond.
But it’s hard to believe you’re that delusional. It’s hard to believe that even the same band of Ibram X. Kendi fanboys who couldn’t decide whether our greatest strategic threat is the weather or Americans who voted for Donald Trump could imagine that only they stood between President Asterisk and total defeat.
You know what the Sergeant Major of the Army tweeted today, just before about a dozen of our troops were blown apart in exactly the way anyone not rocking in his chair, gulping mush, and staring at his stories on the tee-vee saw coming?
“Diversity is a number – do you have people that don’t look or think like you in the room? Inclusion is listening and valuing those people. #WomensEqualityDay reminds us we’re smarter and more lethal when we come together as an inclusive, cohesive team. Our values demand it.”
This gooey pablum would be funny if a dozen families weren’t getting a knock on the door tonight. But they are, and this frivolous idiocy is not funny. You need to resign too, Sergeant Major. Just go away.
Maybe General Milley did get something right. A soldier of recognized bravery earlier in his career, and (according to one soldier who served under him) a good battalion commander as a light colonel, he has demonstrated the Peter Principle in spades. He is the worst Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in history, a disaster in every way, but he has accomplished one thing besides adding to America’s “L” column. He has united the country. Remember his ridiculous screed about “white rage?” Well, today – because of his failure – he has managed to unite Americans of all colors and shades in their rage at a failed military establishment whose lack of seriousness and gross incompetence has not only humiliated our country but gotten our troops killed. He has created a rainbow of rage.
Salvage some dignity. Though, if I had a say, the whole lot of you would be court martialed for your negligence. You’d happily nuke from orbit a specialist who dropped his NVGs on a patrol, but you just lost another war and you’re probably headed to a board seat at Raytheon. The British Royal Navy used to shoot admirals for failure to encourage the others. I note that when this innovative personnel incentive program was in effect, Britannia ruled the waves.
Today, what does America rule? The Chinese are laughing at us. The Taiwanese have got to be rethinking their position. Iran is cackling. Our allies are furious. Way to go.
This happened on your watch. You didn’t give the order, but you chose to go along and get along. Now a dozen of the men we entrusted to you are getting along to Dover, and we can only pray more don’t follow.
You won’t do it, because if you were the kind of men who would do it you would not have to be told to do it. But you should do it. It might save a little shred of your dignity. Rip those stars off your shoulders and throw them down on the Resolute desk.