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21 Dec, 2021 20:03

This is how you get an actual civil war, America

This is how you get an actual civil war, America

The rising, alarmist rhetoric about purges and surveillance needed to root out potential “insurrectionists” in the US military is far less likely to prevent a shooting civil war than to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Millions of Angry, Armed Americans Stand Ready to Seize Power If Trump Loses in 2024” blared a headline of a Newsweek piece on Monday, quickly going viral on Twitter. The argument it makes is seemingly absurd on the face of it. After all, if Republicans view the US government as tyrannical and illegitimate, what exactly stopped them from rising up in arms over the 2020 election? General Mark “Woke” Milley’s collusion with the Democrats? 

Ah, no, says the author – the January 6 “insurrection” crowd was “mostly unarmed, undoubtedly thanks to Washington DC’s strict gun-control laws.” This utterly moronic argument that people allegedly seeking to overthrow the government by storming the Capitol would pay any heed to gun laws seems enough to dismiss the piece out of hand. Which would be a mistake.

That’s because the Newsweek piece did not appear in a vacuum. Just three days prior, the Washington Post published an op-ed by three retired US generals that clearly inspired it. Antonio Taguba, Paul Eaton, and Steven Anderson warned about a “2024 insurrection” and the “significant” potential for “a total breakdown of the chain of command along partisan lines,” with entire units going rogue to support a “Trumpian loser” over the “rightful commander-in-chief.”

That alone ought to make it clear where their loyalties lie, without knowing that Eaton advised Hillary Clinton in 2008, backed Barack Obama, and cut an attack ad against Donald Trump in 2016, working with the Democratic outfit Vote Vets – or that Anderson works for John Kerry’s American Security Project while pretending to be a “conservative Republican.”

Taguba, Eaton, and Anderson want the military to “undertake more intensive intelligence work” at all bases to “identify, isolate, and remove potential mutineers; guard against efforts by propagandists who use misinformation to subvert the chain of command,” and understand how “misinformation” spreads in the ranks. They also want the Pentagon to “war-game the next potential post-election insurrection or coup attempt.

Just in case there were any doubts, Eaton went on CNN to argue that Republican propaganda about the 2020 election – which he insists was “one of the best, one of the safest, one of the most well-monitored elections we ever had” – is “infecting” the impressionable youths joining the military. Therefore, the Pentagon must ban Fox News and Tucker Carlson, and “message better,” he said.

This obsession with narratives and “messaging” helps explain why the Pentagon failed in Afghanistan and Iraq, but that’s a different topic for a different time. Eaton’s co-author Anderson also appeared on CNN and cited rejection of vaccine mandates as proof the troops need to be re-educated in “Civics 101.” 

We need to gather intelligence about people in our midst. We need to find the next generation of insurrectionists out there and get them out of the army,” he told the network.

Yes, you heard it right: here are retired military generals advocating ideological purges and doubting the loyalty of the troops to the regime. Aside from being as un-American as it gets, the sentiment is virtually guaranteed to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Never mind the lessons of history from other countries, has no one read Robert Heinlein’s sci-fi novella ‘If This Goes On—’? The fastest way to foment a mutiny is to subject the troops to an inquisition. 

Yet that’s precisely what’s coming. On Monday, the Pentagon announced an update to rules about “extremist” behavior that would be grounds for discipline and maybe even dismissal. Much like social media’s ever-shifting ‘community guidelines,’ the new rules don’t define extremism, but focus on behaviors allegedly in support thereof – such as liking social media posts. They were informed by recommendations from Bishop Garrison, a rabidly partisan activist appointed as “equity” adviser by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. One doesn’t have to be a genius to figure out how these rules will be enforced by the same military that thinks it’s perfectly fine not to punish murderers of children, but cashier a colonel who dared ask for accountability.

The Democrats have had a strange obsession with civil war all this year. It is somewhat puzzling, given that they just fought and won one. What was last year’s “fortification” but a culmination of a years-long effort to replace the old constitutional republic with a more “equitable” Our Democracy, after all?

Meanwhile, the supposedly dangerous, armed-to-the-teeth Republicans basically rolled over, stupidly convinced the old rules were still in effect. Even if a number of them think Biden is not a legitimate president, they are not willing to challenge the system they still believe in. Yet in their very moment of triumph, the Democrats are about to launch a witch hunt that may push their opponents over that edge.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.