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11 June 2020

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Yeah, Right

I completely agree with you: an order for troops to disperse a mob is neither unconstitutional nor illegal.

I doubt that Milley would be all that concerned if Trump issued such an order, so long as he was certain that it was that order that was carried out.

But I suspect he feared that such an order would (or could, take your pick) degenerate into a Tiananmen Square massacre.

Seen in that light this letter would represent a reminder to the troops that the US Army is not meant to be in the business of visiting massacres upon its own citizenry.

Maybe he is just being a Nervous Nelly - I don't know - but reminding the troops that there is a distinction between "dispersing a mob" and "massacring protestors" is not necessarily a bad thing.

It might represent an overly pessimistic assessment of the troops, but Milley might regard it to be better to be prudent than to be wise after the event.

But, still, the letter is insubordinate. He should resign.

David Habakkuk

As ‘Vegetius’ says, General Milley appears to be unfamiliar with the Constitution he claims to be defending.

The point is not simple that Article 2, Section 2, Paragraph 1 specifies that ‘The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States’.

It is also that. according to Article 4 Section 4:

‘The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.’

Actually, the relationship between ‘republicanism’ and belief in ‘democracy’ – and also, the ‘rights of man’ – has been massively contentious, and continues to be: and hardly just in the United States.

As a matter of very well known historical fact, there were deep ambivalences among the ‘Founding Fathers’ about democracy. What the Constitution does do is place the source of political legitimacy in ‘We the People’.

But many of them were the inheritors of a long tradition of Western thought, which saw democracy as having an inherent propensity to degenerate into tyranny.

And very much ‘republican’ thought has, rather unsurprisingly given its debt to Roman debates, been preoccupied with the phenomenon of ‘Caesarism’ – when, for one reason or another, an individual succeeds in securing acceptance of his claim that he represents ‘We the People’ better than collections of elected representatives.

Involved with this is the fact that, rather commonly, ‘republican’ thinkers have seen ‘constitutional’ government as having definite preconditions. Commonly, its survival has been seen as depending not simply on a balance between governmental functions, but also one between social forces.

Likewise, it has commonly been assumed that it depended upon cultural preconditions. When in 1798 John Adams described the American Constitution as being ‘made only for a moral and religious people’, and as ‘wholly inadequate to the government of any other’, he was drawing on a long tradition.

These arguments go back a long way before the American Revolution, to the roots of modern ‘republicanism’ in the reworking of Roman themes by Machiavelli and other figures in the Italian Renaissance. And they continued onwards.

Among conspicuous European examples are Tocqueville’s anguished reflections on his countrymen’s attempt to imitate the success of the American Revolution, and explain why it had ended in the Terror and the ‘Caesarism’ of Napoleon, and the reflections of his compatriot Élie Halévy, a century later, on the ‘Era of Tyrannies’ in interwar Europe.

Of course, if one believes that ‘democracy’ can only produce ‘constitutional’ government given certain preconditions, certain things naturally follow.

For one thing, nobody but a damn fool – or Francis Fukuyama – would believe that a sensible response to the patent bankruptcy of Marxism-Leninist forms of ‘universalism’ was to conclude that the world could be remodelled on the basis of the values of the ‘Declaration of Independence.’

Equally important, there is no reason to believe that the United States is necessarily immune from the degenerative tendencies which have shipwrecked other polities in the past:

Rather clearly, many figures at the top of the U.S. military and intelligence apparatus – in sharp contrast to some lower down – have learnt very little from the failures of the attempts to remodel alien societies over the past decades.

It is perhaps unsurprising that the current CJCS has provided such a clear example of ‘doublethink’, where the subversion of the basic principles of the constitutional order is justified in terms of the values which are supposed to underpin it.

kakaouskia

Greetings

I have been reading for quite some time and I guess the time has come to write a comment.

I agree with Walrus - In the age of nuclear superpowers one should avoid signalling to the world that he has no control of his armed forces.

As for the whole situation, I have asked family with access to the Chinese social media to tell me how the people perceive the latest events in the USA.

The reply was that for the systematic re-writing of history, removal / destruction of monuments, censoring of films to fit a political agenda, telling people how to speak or what book to have in their libraries the Chinese have two words: Cultural Revolution.

For the generation that lived through that the parallels are too numerous to ignore.

And they remember how the cultural revolution ended in China: Deng coming to power and culling the leaders plus unleashing the PLA on the more hardcore "red guards"

I hope it does not come to this for the people of the USA.

jonst

Fourth and Long, re "ethnic fractures with in the N.G.", we've (I) have been through this movie before. Late 60s early 70s. The answer to it? frog march out those who, for whatever reasons, good or bad, don't want to follow lawful orders. If that means a bare bone military for a while, so be it, give me a 100 men who will follow orders over 10K that want to debate and gripe about things. Same with the regular military. Get em out! And that goes for the top as well as the bottom. And slowly start all over after the madness passes. And it always passes. Re Milley and coup. He does not strike me as a man to carry out big ideas, good or bad ones. Now Miley Cyrus on the other hand...

EEngineer

Is there any possibility that the letter and other similar actions are bait to draw out the unfaithful? The obvious follow up is whether it was offered up freely or as bluff/misdirection. I say obvious because for all of Trump's seemingly random behavior, his singular defining talent seems to be enraging his adversaries into showing their hand and doing stupid self-defeating things. IE, inflicting TDS on them. Most of what he says comes off as word salad to me but the results so often appear to be those of a wizard casting a spell.

JP Billen

Turcopolier -

What about the use of federal troops to put down prison riots, do those count?

If so include the 1946 Battle of Alcatraz where two platoons of marines used grenades against the armed convicts. They were under the command of Vinegar Joe Stilwell who at that time was CG 6th Army at the San Francisco Presidio.

turcopolier

mishkilji

If you choose to interpret your oath to the constitution as requiring disobedience to a lawful order you should be prepared to take the consequences. that applies to generals as well as privates.

Barbara Ann

EEngineer's theory; that this is a ruse to draw out seditionists, is interesting - it may explain why Milley remains in place. I would certainly not consider such a ploy out of character with the VSG's animal cunning.

"[CJCS] Mark Milley did not give the White House a heads up before he released a recorded video on Thursday admitting it was a "mistake" to appear in a photo-op last week with President Donald Trump, three administration officials told CNN." Who is being played here?

Of note is that the eternal weather vane of Deep State interests; the ever loyal (joke) Lindsey Graham wasted no time in pledging allegiance to Milley yesterday:

"I have nothing but deep admiration for and total confidence in General Milley as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

I support his statement in both substance and spirit regarding the recent presidential visit to St. Johns"

https://twitter.com/LindseyGrahamSC/status/1271159268675387395

Mark K Logan

turcopolier,

A suggested addition to your list:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1892_Coeur_d%27Alene_labor_strike

paidup

The letter is over a week old. Col is it possible it has something to do with this idea-"It was more or less a textbook regime-change op, or “color revolution,” or whatever you call it. All the essential pieces were in place. All they needed Trump to do was declare himself dictator and impose martial law, so the generals could step in and remove him from office.

Unfortunately for the Resistance, Trump didn’t do that."
https://www.unz.com/chopkins/the-worst-literal-hitler-ever/

Babak makkinejad

David Habbakkuk

John Adams was clearly correct.

And as I have observed repeatedly before, only the English or people primarily derived from the English stock can operate the machinery of Westministerian Democracy. And even there, one wonders for how much longer, certainly in England.

Inside the United States, the License to Smoke Dope has been conflated with Liberty. Among one of its consequences, has been circumvention of others'Liberty.

The previous government in the United States, assaulted Religious Liberty on behalf of sexual License. Ergo Christians voting for Trump.

In foreign policy, the idea of Freedom of Action and the use of Diplomacy as the method and practice of reducing the inherent risks of that Liberty, has been replaced, by License to use Power; thus reducing that initial position of Liberty.

And where the United States has gone, so has the Western Diocletian civilization.

The distinction first made by Saint Paul, between Liberty and License, was developed by Western Diocletians into a set of theories and practices over the centuries.

Should that fail, we will be back to the position of the Rabbis and Mullahs that men cannot live in Liberty, it will always degenerate into License.
And that Tyranny is the natural state of man.

Charles Schulte

Missed one:
The "whiskey tax" became law in 1791, and was intended to generate revenue for the war debt incurred during the Revolutionary War. The tax applied to all distilled spirits, but consumption of American whiskey was rapidly expanding in the late 18th century, so the excise became widely known as a "whiskey tax".

Keith Harbaugh

Colonel, there was an interview with Diana West about some topics you know a great deal about, Islam and the U.S. military.
It is rather lengthy (~ 1 hour), but if you have the time and interest to watch some of it, I would be interested in your opinion.
https://youtu.be/kZ8F3qGS3Hs

It was mentioned and somewhat discussed here:
https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/06/13/diana-west-discusses-ideological-pentagon-vs-a-pragmatic-commander-in-chief/

anEnt

I don’t support using the military to resolve domestic policing issues, but I do find it odd that neither Milley nor his staff were able to call to mind or ucmj case search the fact that we killed the Nuremberg Principles in 2003 in the Ehhren Watada case before finalizing a memo like this. There is has been no concept of an illegal order in the military since. The military apparently thought it wise to make itself more fragile in this way, and here we are. One wonders whether General Milley might find himself in Watada’s shoes soon.

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