It's time once again to rev up the official outrage machine. Libertarian Fox News personality Tucker Carlson has gone on the air and called America's top general Mark Milley "a stupid pig". This insult was not, unfortunately, because of Milley's leadership roles in the stupid, swinish perma-wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was for taking the liberal side in the stupid, swinish culture wars. Milley had the absolute effrontery to appear before Congress and defend the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) as part of an elective philosophy course offered at the US Military Academy.
So, from the Washington Post's resident neocon Max Boot to the New York Times' liberal Paul Krugman, the pundits of the Duopoly are not only castigating Carlson, they are in lockstep sanctifying Milley and the entire bloated military establishment in the process.
It was only a year ago that the media were piling on in the opposite direction, rightly castigating Milley for his stupid role marching right beside Donald Trump to that infamous church photo-op as federal troops fired teargas canisters at peaceful protesters demonstrating against the George Floyd murder at a park across the street from the White House.
Since Milley did later apologize for taking part in that swinish bit of political theater, all was forgiven. His career and his reputation were saved and he became openly Woke, embracing diversity training and other putative anti-racism reforms within the ranks, while still maintaining that he finds it very offensive to be called Woke.
Ostentatiously capitalizing the word "white" to, perhaps, virtue-signal its own devotion to racial fairness in its ratings-intensive lucrative culture wars coverage. CNN reported on Milley's retort to GOP provocateur Rep. Mike Walz:
"I want to understand White rage.(said Milley.) And I'm White. And I want to understand it."
Tying the question to the January insurrection, Milley asked: "What is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution? What caused that? I want to find that out. I want to maintain an open mind here."
Milley then humble-bragged that reading Marx and Lenin and Chairman Mao did not lead him to Communism. He studied leftist theory merely to obtain "situational understanding" of the Enemy.... apparently in much the same way that the military has co-opted anthropology to glean "total situational awareness" of countries and populations which they invade and occupy.
Over at the New York Times, Krugman, who once upon a time was one of the few pundits critical of the invasion of Iraq, nodded approvingly, unfavorably comparing the swinish cult of Republican ignorance to the enlightened trillion-dollar war machine, now so cozily aligned with the war-happy Democrats, who are once again pretending to feebly challenge Joe Biden's decision to drop more of those high-IQ megaton bombs on Syria and Iraq in supposed defense of the occupying American forces.
All you need to be a good upstanding liberal is to recognize scientific facts. "To be a Republican in good standing," Krugman writes, "one must deny the reality of man-made climate change, or at least oppose any meaningful action to limit greenhouse gas emissions. One must reject or at least express skepticism about the theory of evolution. "
So it's not enough to criticize Tucker Carlson for criticizing Milley's loyal allegiance to Biden's new anti-terrorism manifesto, which stupidly and swinishly lumps white supremacists in with what it calls "extremist" critics of capitalism and globalization. You also have to diss leftists and glorify endless war if you want to remain members in good standing of the Club. You must remember that the only racism that counts in this particular narrative is the racism within the military. It does not apply to the racism inherent in the endless wars of aggression against non-Americans in foreign lands.
As Jodi Melamed of Marquette University explains in Represent and Destroy, it is precisely the official civil rights statutes on the American books as well as the mass media's shallow embrace of "diversity" and multiculturalism -- along with corporate-funded academia's complicit production of an elite black managerial-political class -- that paradoxically gives cover to the global racist predations of the American Imperium. The US political system has been able to "capture" the energy of 60s and 70s social movements and then cynically put it to work for capitalism and international conquest. This policy is most recently manifest in an infamous CIA recruitment video, which celebrates feminism and diversity within the unaccountable surveillance/regime change state.
As long as the military starts leaning Democrat and diversified, no war can be unjustified. Writes Krugman:
"The U.S. military has traditionally leaned Republican, but the modern officer corps is highly educated, open-minded and, dare I say it, even a bit intellectual — because those are attributes that help win wars."
My published response to his column:
Since the leadership of the modern armed forces is now so full of open-minded intellectuals, I'm waiting for them to also testify publicly that since the US military is the biggest single polluter in the history of the world, we should begin shutting down the 800-plus bases around the globe.Climate change reversal should include divesting ourselves of the tanks, aircraft, nukes, incendiary bombs and ships of our "defense" industry and our forever-wars - which, by the way, we are still not "winning." Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that the modern, open-minded masters of war are embracing critical race theory. Now let's hear the Best & the Brightest also acknowledge that throughout American history, our wars have had a distinctly racist component going all the way back to the Puritans. Before George Washington was a general and a president, he was a real estate speculator who thought that Britain's treaties with Indian populations were a pretty dumb idea, and best ignored. Tucker Carlson and his ilk certainly do come from a long line of landed aristocrats. US regime change wars also have been disproportionately targeted at countries with majority black and brown and Asian populations. You simply can't claim to be woke and still continue bombing innocent people ("collateral damage"). The generals should also read Judith Butler's great essays on violence, and wake up to the fact that our leaders consider that some lives simply aren't worth enough to be grievable.