I forgot something about the performatively heroic Mark Milley and generals insulting presidents, but it looks like everybody else forgot it too. It literally woke me up last night, and my interior monologue called me an idiot. Give me a minute to get to the part I missed. Let’s consider this part three in an ongoing series. Part one is
Another thing I've been thinking about as a comparison, as the long-ago recipient of an NCOER warning that the young Sgt. Bray was deficient in the critical military value of tactfulness:
Imagine a subordinate had treated Mark Milley the way Mark Milley treated Donald Trump while he was still in uniform. A colonel on the joint staff, say for example, or the J-3, giving public interviews to say that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was a dangerous fool who had to be restrained by his subordinates. They even made phone calls to foreign adversaries to tell them how unstable Milley was, and to promise that they wouldn't attack without calling to give a warning first. "If Milley gives you an order, run it by me before you obey it."
What would Milley think of that? What would the news media think of it? What would other military officers think of it?
Via an alert reader, thoughts on Milley "barking accusations at the moon":
I think the progressives thought they had already won. When Brexit then Trump shattered their world view, they truly lost their minds. Ever since they have been at war fighting to get back they believe they had already won. They think it was stolen from them.
The real problem is, of course, the misrepresentation.
A relative of mine recently said "Trump is the most lying president in history" Fine, please name a lie. (He couldn't) I said, let me help, and told him a dozen provable Biden lies.
Then he said the same about corruption. I did the same.
"The Adults are in charge!" I listed the failures.
"I am still voting for Biden, he is better than Trump. I just like him more"
He could not make an argument at all. (Oddly he was able to do this in things outside of politics: he made a pretty convincing argument that even if Lee had not engaged at Gettysburg, and instead ran to sack Washington, the Confederates still would have lost)
The MSM Chants the narrative, the obeyers chant it back. Milley also conquered Mars, making it the first planetary territory of the US! Didn't you know that? Equal odds that that will first show up as a headline to the Babylon Bee or New York Times.
A few "Skunks" are not going to solve that problem. I have come to the horrible conclusion that alcoholics and normies have to hit rock bottom (and take all around them with them) before, maybe, they change.
I remember hearing an expression once about the Law: a good lawyer knows the Law, but a great lawyer knows the judge. There's a similar principle at play here: a "good" leader does what's right, but a "great" leader helps the right team. All the platitudes about "our democracy" and the "liberal rules-based order" and so on are merely a pretext for rationalizing whatever the elites already want for selfish reasons. This is similar to the legal rhetoric dressing up a judge's ruling in favor of the party to which he is clearly biased for non-legal reasons. Mark Milley is good, because he is helping the correct side of the culture war.
Church lady voice: That Mr. Obama, now he was a real role model, so thick skinned and fair and stable. He'd never do something so childish and unbalanced as fire a general over a mild (and accurate) critique of his VP. That's just fascist, that's what it is. It sounds like something that *spits* Donald Trump would do.
Chris, don’t you know that... (checks rulebook...) it’s OK when Democrats do it.
Milley needs to be court martialled. Not fired.
Amen Brother Amen. Miley is slime as was Vindman.
Watched the movie version of the McChrystal fracas recently, and it was clearly an unethical reporter, despite the ideological filters. Despite the presentation, I liked the general more.
Why does it feel like, with Trump's election in 2015, a huge number of people in positions of power decided that was their cue to start behaving like hysterical children? Because I just don't see that he was much different than any of the other idiots they put in charge.
I think it was because he didn't show them what they felt was the proper deference and their massive egos exploded. The people in power today have one singular trait and no discernable competence. That trait is pride. I've often noted that the more someone relies on pride the less they rely on their own competence. Or that these two are inversely correlated. Truly brilliant and competent men don't get offended that easily. They may demand respect but that's not what these guys are doing. They're whining in public for respect. Kind of the opposite really.
We need more reporters and pundits who used to be in the military. One of the reasons Defense isn't getting punished for Afghanistan is that media people weren't there and know hardly anyone who was there, in 2021 or earlier.
Apart from the insubordination, think about the staggering lack of professional judgement so many of the top commanders have shown lately. The Fat Leonard Scandal involved bribing admirals, men who earn in the high six figures, with a few thousand dollars-worth of goodies and some prostitutes. Why was McChrystal talking to Rolling Stone in the first place? Did no one on his staff know who they were; did they imagine they were on his side? Why was Petreus, a four-star and CIA director, unable to keep his mistresses from cyberstalking each other while he fed one of them classified information for the biography she was writing of him while she was a serving Lt. Col? Why did Hertling go on CNN to warn the public about the dangers of the “full-semiautomatic” AR-15? I half expect Milley to appear on the Ali G show next.
One set of rules for the right, another for the left. Running America like a high school clique.
Wow, brilliant work! Your mind is working even while you sleep. I am so happy I found you on Substack with your original piece on this subject. I cannot wait to read what you produce.
Wasn’t there also a little part of the story about these comments being made under the influence of a couple too many Bud Light Limes?