The current trend is for retired generals and admirals to produce open letters critical of the governments in their countries. This has happened, too, in the United States, with a new letter signed by 120 retired American generals and admirals.
These high-ranking officers begin by claiming that the American nation is in “deep peril” and that there is a conflict in the country between “supporters of Socialism and Marxism” and “supporters of Constitutional freedom and liberty.” I am not hallucinating; this is really what it says.
These former military officers recall that, last year, 317 retired generals and admirals signed another letter regarding the November election, in which they warned that “with the Democrat Party welcoming Socialists and Marxists, our historic way of life is at stake.”
They next question whether the country really had “fair and honest elections that reflect the will of the people” in November. The letter is also critical of the FBI and the Supreme Court for having “ignored” alleged fraud, and accuses election reform proposals currently being debated of intending to “destroy election fairness” and allow Democrats to “forever remain in power.”
In addition, they go after Joe Biden, questioning his mental and physical condition, his aptitude to make military decisions, and his ability to maintain personal control of the country’s nuclear arsenal.
They are sharply critical of Biden’s 50 executive orders overturning decisions made by Donald Trump, as well as “population control actions such as excessive lockdowns, school and business closures, and most alarming, censorship of written and verbal expression,” references, I assume, to measures undertaken to counter the COVID-19 pandemic.
These former high-ranking officers, whose views must reflect the sentiments of many in active service, even refer to the current administration as a “tyrannical government,” and reiterate that they are opposed to Socialism, Marxism and Progressivism.
The signatories go on to appeal to American citizens to begin electing “congressional and presidential candidates who will always act to defend our Constitutional Republic.”
These retired service members further list additional national security issues and actions, which include: closing the borders to illegal immigration; ending censorship on social media platforms and holding technology companies accountable for the content they publish; an increase in sanctions and restrictions on China; rejection of negotiations over a nuclear deal with Iran; resistance to any eventual agreements between Iran and China; strengthening support for Israel; opening the Keystone pipeline so as to reduce energy dependence; ending “politically correct” policies and “critical race theory” in the military; and, finally, doing away with “anarchy” in cities by granting more powers to the police.
The idea that socialism and Marxism might be triumphing in America is, given my ideological convictions, something I wish were true. But it obviously is not.
What I see instead is the evident disorientation of people who might be patriots but have not understood that the world they helped to build with American military engagement, working to defeat the Soviet bloc and giving shape to the current world order, for example, has slipped out of their control.
Now, confused by the consequences of globalization, which have created new powers that do not obey them, and immersed in a political world determined by Twitter, they search for an enemy they can understand.
And so they return to the rhetoric of Sen. Joseph McCarthy from the 1950s during the Cold War, and to denouncing hypothetical communist infiltration of the American government: It’s all they need to promote a new witch hunt.
Reading all the demands and complaints from these generals, however, and placing them alongside statements by Biden referring to Vladimir Putin as a “murderer,” or giving a task force 90 days to come up with evidence that China created the COVID-19 virus (attitudes not too unlike Trump’s incendiary rhetoric, the former president whom these generals appear to so admire), what stands out is a sense of continuity, not rupture. This appears to be the case, at least, in matters of national security and international economic policy.
The open letter from these retired military leaders, though, reveals how fragile Biden is domestically, and highlights this dangerous irony: The superpower that is trying to show the world that it is in charge, it turns out, is struggling to control its own military ranks.