ANALYSIS – General Milley’s comments were beneath him, even if Trump provoked him. As I wrote about earlier, former President Donald Trump made typically inappropriate remarks when he implied outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, due to his back-channel calls to China’s top general, deserved the ‘DEATH’ penalty for treason (all caps were in Trump’s post on Truth Social).
While no one should take Trump’s bombastic social media posts too seriously, I did say Trump was wrong to add fuel to an already flammable political environment in our country with his comments. I have also criticized Milley for his many overreactions to Trump’s words and deeds during his time in office.
In doing so, Milley made Trump out to be something he wasn’t, placed himself smack in the middle of the Democrat Party narrative of Trump, and undermined the commander-in-chief and the presidency.
In my view Milley has also been at the very least deliberately and willfully ignorant of the extreme woke policies the Pentagon has been pushing. Still, despite all my jabs at Milley, I respected his decades of service to the uniform and our country.
It’s a shame then, that Milley chose to take the low road on his way out of the DC swamp, demeaning himself and the institution, while himself politicizing the military against Trump.
As the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board wrote:
Gen. Milley retired this week after four years as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “We are unique among the world’s militaries,” the top military officer said at a retirement ceremony on Friday, noting that service members swear an oath to the Constitution.
“We don’t take an oath to a country. We don’t take an oath to a tribe. We don’t take an oath to a religion. We don’t take an oath to a king, or a queen, or a tyrant or a dictator. And we don’t take an oath to a wannabe dictator.”
Readers will catch the parting shot at Mr. Trump. The media certainly did. And who could blame Gen. Milley for loathing Mr. Trump? Casually floating the idea of harming a U.S. military officer is conduct unworthy of a wannabe Commander in Chief.
Yet it was still dispiriting to hear Gen. Milley’s remarks about a former President, in public, while wearing the uniform of the U.S. Army. Mr. Trump is the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination. Like it or not, he commands political support in the country. That doubtless includes a large chunk of the enlisted ranks of the United States military services. The end-of-tour catharsis of a swipe at Mr. Trump isn’t worth polarizing the force over politics.
I agree wholeheartedly with the Journal. Milley knows better, and with his bitter and snarky jabs at Trump chose to take the low road rather than the high road on his way out.
Despite my great misgivings about the truly woke new Joint Chiefs Chairman, Air Force General C.Q. Brown, I also concur with the Journal’s parting words: “We hope that turning down the temperature of politics in the U.S. armed forces is a priority for the new chairman—perhaps behind only the military threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party.”
Message to Brown: We need an apolitical military leadership no matter the provocations from any political leader. That also means being non-ideological and non-woke.
It’s a shame Milley couldn’t see that while he was chairman, and also couldn’t just leave gracefully.
Opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of Great America News Desk.