An unsent resignation letter from US Army General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has been released in an article by the New Yorker. The letter reads like that of a petulant teenager airing grievances, and shows you can somehow get degrees from the Ivy League without learning how to properly express yourself at an elite level. (Milley has three degrees, from Princeton, Columbia, and the US Naval War College).
The letter was written in the days after the events that unfolded at Lafayette Square on May 29, 2020, when President Donald Trump held up a Bible in front of a church that had been burned by militant activists during one of the several nights of civil unrest that took over Washington, DC.
Milley had walked up towards Lafayette Square with President Trump, before "quietly peeling off to his waiting black Chevy Suburban," the New Yorker writes. They write that this moment was a misjudgment for Milley, who called it a "road-to-Damascus moment."
The content of Milley's letter is extremely political, overly emotional, and indistinguishable from a screed you might find in the bowels of Tumblr or a Libs of TikTok expose. The fact that our military is led by men of such low caliber makes it abundantly clear why the world’s strong men do not view America as a strategic deterrent in world affairs any longer.
"I regret to inform you that I intend to resign as your Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Thank you for the honor of appointing me as senior ranking officer. The events of the last couple weeks have caused me to do deep soul-searching, and I can no longer faithfully support and execute your orders as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It is my belief that you were doing great and irreparable harm to my country. I believe that you have made a concerted effort over time to politicize the United States military. I thought that I could change that. I’ve come to the realization that I cannot, and I need to step aside and let someone else try to do that," Milley's resignation letter read.
The fact that our military is run by emotionally unstable middle-aged white men should be terrifying to anyone who has children currently in service. Milley asks men to follow him into battle against the Russians and the Chinese but he’s not fit to be followed through a drive-thru.
"Second," Milley continued, "you are using the military to create fear in the minds of the people—and we are trying to protect the American people. I cannot stand idly by and participate in that attack, verbally or otherwise, on the American people. The American people trust their military and they trust us to protect them against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and our military will do just that. We will not turn our back on the American people."
This letter was written in the wake of an attack on the White House by rioters following George Floyd's death in Minneapolis, Minn. Rioters had taken over Lafayette Square, had set fire to St. John's Church, and all that was done was that they were ordered to be cleared out.
Democrats, activists, and mainstream media outlets blasted the clearing of the rioters, claiming that it was somehow inhumane. This is because the going narrative was that these rioters who set fire to St John’s Church were considered to be "mostly peaceful protestors."
Yet because of the riots, Trump was taken to the bunker over the concerns for presidential safety. His administration was criticized not only for clearing rioters away from the White House, but for taking the president to a safe location.
Later, during the January 6 riot, Vice President Mike Pence was taken to a secure location. This fact has been used to symbolize the severity of the riot, and Trump has been blamed for it. However, when a riot near the White House was severe enough for security to have concerns for the president's safety, that has been framed as symbolizing Trump's weakness. This is a direct contradiction, and those contradictions, as well as the demand that we hold two conflicting ideas in our heads as though both are true, are accelerating.
"Third," Milley continued, "I swore an oath to the Constitution of the United States and embodied within that Constitution is the idea that says that all men and women are created equal. All men and women are created equal, no matter who you are, whether you are white or Black, Asian, Indian, no matter the color of your skin, no matter if you’re gay, straight or something in between. It doesn’t matter if you’re Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Jew, or choose not to believe.
"None of that matters. It doesn’t matter what country you came from, what your last name is—what matters is we’re Americans. We’re all Americans. That under these colors of red, white, and blue—the colors that my parents fought for in World War II—means something around the world. It’s obvious to me that you don’t think of those colors the same way I do. It’s obvious to me that you don’t hold those values dear and the cause that I serve," he wrote.
"And lastly it is my deeply held belief that you’re ruining the international order, and causing significant damage to our country overseas, that was fought for so hard by the Greatest Generation that they instituted in 1945. Between 1914 and 1945, 150 million people were slaughtered in the conduct of war. They were slaughtered because of tyrannies and dictatorships. That generation, like every generation, has fought against that, has fought against fascism, has fought against Nazism, has fought against extremism. It’s now obvious to me that you don’t understand that world order. You don’t understand what the war was all about. In fact, you subscribe to many of the principles that we fought against. And I cannot be a party to that. It is with deep regret that I hereby submit my letter of resignation," it concluded.
That letter was dated June 8, one week after Trump's appearance at Lafayette Square. According to the New Yorker, Milley was unsure if he should submit the letter to the president. "He called political contacts as well, including members of Congress and former officials from the Bush and Obama Administrations," they report, with most telling him not to resign and instead to get fired.
"My sense is Mark had a pretty accurate measure of the man pretty quickly," Secretary of Defense Robert Gates would later say. "He would tell me over time, well before June 1st, some of the absolutely crazy notions that were put forward in the Oval Office, crazy ideas from the President, things about using or not using military force, the immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan, pulling out of South Korea. It just went on and on."
Milley would later apologize in a commencement address at the National Defense University, where he said that he "should not have been there," adding: "My presence in that moment, and in that environment, created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics."
Milley is the one who is playing politics, and he's doing it with the popular language of grievance and emotion that we have come to expect in our misguided youth, come to expect from our misguided youth, not from our generals, let alone the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
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