Retired generals scaremonger about armed insurrection

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

For all the claims of insurrection, 1/6 was pretty tame as a full-fledged revolt. I mean, they broke little and mostly just wandered around the Capitol until they left and went home. There was no effort to hold the ground, eject Capitol police, or anything of the sort.

That’s not saying there weren’t issues, of course. What we saw wasn’t good, and I wasn’t exactly thrilled watching it unfold. In fact I feared that it could lead to something much worse.

However, the left has been tripping over itself lately to claim that 1/6 was just a preview of a full-fledged fascist takeover of the government. Now they have retired generals doing it for them.

As we approach the first anniversary of the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, we — all of us former senior military officials — are increasingly concerned about the aftermath of the 2024 presidential election and the potential for lethal chaos inside our military, which would put all Americans at severe risk.
In short: We are chilled to our bones at the thought of a coup succeeding next time.
One of our military’s strengths is that it draws from our diverse population. It is a collection of individuals, all with different beliefs and backgrounds. But without constant maintenance, the potential for a military breakdown mirroring societal or political breakdown is very real.
The signs of potential turmoil in our armed forces are there. On Jan. 6, a disturbing number of veterans and active-duty members of the military took part in the attack on the Capitol. More than 1 in 10 of those charged in the attacks had a service record. A group of 124 retired military officials, under the name “Flag Officers 4 America,” released a letter echoing Donald Trump’s false attacks on the legitimacy of our elections.
The potential for a total breakdown of the chain of command along partisan lines — from the top of the chain to squad level — is significant should another insurrection occur. The idea of rogue units organizing among themselves to support the “rightful” commander in chief cannot be dismissed.
First, everything must be done to prevent another insurrection. Not a single leader who inspired it has been held to account. Our elected officials and those who enforce the law — including the Justice Department, the House select committee and the whole of Congress — must show more urgency.
But the military cannot wait for elected officials to act. The Pentagon should immediately order a civics review for all members — uniformed and civilian — on the Constitution and electoral integrity. There must also be a review of the laws of war and how to identify and deal with illegal orders. And it must reinforce “unity of command” to make perfectly clear to every member of the Defense Department whom they answer to. No service member should say they didn’t understand whom to take orders from during a worst-case scenario.

Oh, the horror.

In truth, an insurrection may well be horrible. However, I find it amusing how this is suddenly a problem.

The generals writing this note how the commanding general of the Oklahoma National Guard refused an order to require all his troops to be vaccinated, holding it up as a sign of things to come. Meanwhile, officers ignoring Trump’s orders were heralded as heroes.

So what’s behind this concern over insurrection?

After all, if there’s a chance of such a thing, we in the gun community would be the ones behind it, right? I mean, we’re the guys talking about how our rights are so important to prevent tyranny. If we were gearing up to fight the federal government, wouldn’t we be the ones talking about it?

Yet, we’re not.

I mean, you’ve got the odd hypotheticals of “what would we do if X happens?” Those are always going to be around. They’re actually harmless.

What you don’t have are people making plans. They’re not buying equipment or stockpiling ammunition, preparing for the day they get to overthrow the government.

Why would they?

Right now, Biden’s approval rating is somewhere just south of Ghengis Khan’s. The chances of either him or anyone else getting a second term aren’t really great. Democrats are likely to lose the House and Senate in next year’s midterms as well, and that’s assuming West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin doesn’t jump to the Republican side and flip the Senate before the midterms.

So why bring it up?

Well, it’s important to remember that at least one of the authors admits to ties with a group called Vote Vets. This is a progressive group of military veterans who try to use their veteran status to lend gravitas to their arguments.

Any political group knows they’ll raise more money when people are afraid. Our side does it all the time as well. They do it because it works. So, you get these guys scaring the pants off of the left in hopes they’ll donate a whole lot more money. That’s money they can use to try and hold their ground in the midterms.

The truth is that there’s no real discussion of an insurrection except by the people who will most benefit from such a discussion. Those are the progressive groups who want to keep Americans afraid that fascism is on the rise, generally while ignoring what actual fascism really is.