So, Admiral McRaven Just Called for a Military Coup, Kinda

Laying the groundwork to normalize the idea of one

Admiral William McRaven, famous for being the guy who told the guy who told the other guy who told the other guy who told that guy to go kill bin Laden, has essentially called for a military coup against the President of the United States in a New York Times Op-Ed.

He begins with something to get the blood up, a call to the good military stuff, invoking generals who are “highly decorated, impeccably dressed, cleareyed and strong of character, [yet] were humbled by the moment” at a change of command ceremony. Then a little history, invoking the WWII Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner to today’s CIA and Special Operations community, who had “faith that these values were worth sacrificing everything for.” In case it wasn’t clear, they “personified all that is good and decent and honorable about the American military,” he tells his Op-Ed’s intended audience, that very same military.

Then, invoking that oath that requires the military to protect America against all enemies, foreign and domestic, McRaven explains to them why they may soon again be called to battle: “The America that they believe in was under attack, not from without, but from within.” This is not subtle. McRaven wants everyone down to the newest private to get the message Lima Charlie (Loud and Clear.)

McRaven continues “These men and women, of all political persuasions, have seen the assaults on our institutions: on the intelligence and law enforcement community, the State Department and the press. They have seen our leaders stand beside despots and strongmen, preferring their government narrative to our own. They have seen us abandon our allies and have heard the shouts of betrayal from the battlefield. As I stood on the parade field at Fort Bragg, one retired four-star general, grabbed my arm, shook me and shouted, ‘I don’t like the Democrats, but Trump is destroying the Republic!’”

Quick Summary: The president is destroying the Republic, from within. The last folks who wanted to destroy the Republic were the Nazis, the Commies, and the terrorists, and you know what we did to them.

McRaven’s next step is reassuring the troops that whomever they are next ordered to kill, it is all for a good cause. “We are the most powerful nation in the world because we try to be the good guys. We are the most powerful nation in the world because our ideals of universal freedom and equality have been backed up by our belief that we were champions of justice, the protectors of the less fortunate.” That leaves aside the silliness of such a statement in light of what hell the American pursuit of justice has wrought among the millions dead in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia, never mind in an earlier century across Southeast Asia and the Americas. This is not about that. This is about dehumanizing the next enemy, who may look alot like you this time McRaven is hinting, to convince his shooters they are killing for freedom.

Finally, what this is really about. You guys need to be ready to take out Trump.

Here are McRaven’s words: “If this president doesn’t demonstrate the leadership that America needs, both domestically and abroad, then it is time for a new person in the Oval Office — Republican, Democrat or independent — the sooner, the better. The fate of our Republic depends upon it.”

Now everyone knows the election where Americans get to choose the next president is a year from now, no sooner. A generous soul, reading McRaven’s sentence in isolation would say that bit about “the sooner the better” maybe means he is hoping for impeachment to supersede the election, you know, get Trump out sooner without the risk and muss of allowing The People a say in it all. That’s certainly what McRaven would claim, perhaps with a wink at Jake Tapper this Sunday across the desk. But take this Op-Ed and reimagine something similar being said by a displeased colonel in the Turkish or Iranian army, or what as an intelligence officer yourself you’d be reporting about it from Moscow if it was said to you by a prominent Russian former general with deep personal loyalties into his former special operations forces at a time when a CIA officer (“the whistleblower”) is the driver behind an active impeachment process.

Sure, McRaven is not ordering Seal Team Six into action today. But go ahead, convince yourself he isn’t laying the groundwork, or at least trying to remind people he could. In case you believe I am being overwrought, here’s what Tom Nichols of the Naval War College said: “I don’t think it’s possible to overstate the importance of a retired four-star writing this piece right now. This is a watershed in American civil-military relations.” Nichols may have meant that as a good thing, but it is not.

The frightening thing is McRaven’s literal call to arms does not occur in a vacuum. Once intelligent people are talking about actual civil war in America. This began after Trump retweeted a pastor saying impeachment would cause a “civil war-like fracture in this Nation.” Never mind that it was a retweet, and never mind that the original statement used “like” to make a comparison. The next headline was set: Trump Threatens Civil War If He’s Impeached. Another headline asked: “If Trump’s Rage Brings Civil War, Where Will the Military Stand?”

This tracks with the meme that Trump will refuse to leave office if defeated in 2020, or will declare himself the winner even if he loses. “Trump Is Going to Burn Down Everything and Everyone,” reads the headline from a NASDAQ-listed media outlet. “Before Trump will allow himself to be chased from the temple, he’ll bring it down,” wrote Charles Blow in The New York Times.

That’s just what the MSM is saying; it gets worse the further off the road you drive. “Trump is going to try everything, Fox is going to try everything, and they’re going to both further the injuring of societal reality and inspire dangerous individuals to kill and maim,” Jared Yates Sexton, a well-known academic, tweeted on September 28. “There’s a vast number of people in this, people who have been taught their whole lives that they might need to kill in case of a coup or corrupt takeover,” he continued. “Trump and Republicans signal to them constantly. They’re more than ready to see this as the occasion.” And of course this all festers alongside the relentless prattle from doctors who have never been inside the same zip code as their patient declaring the president, custodian of the nuclear codes, mentally ill, a danger to himself and others.

That’s a nation McRaven feels might need to call on its military to intervene. Don’t dismiss this Op-Ed too quickly. Consider it instead… timely.

On  a more personal note, I’ve been fired, accused, hated on by friends and relatives, and deplatformed multiple times for “supporting Trump.” I do not. But I am willing to think past him. It’s the old warning about not throwing the baby out with the bathwater; what we say and do now to get rid of Trump will survive him, and become part of the political lexicon forever. Impeach a president still widely supported by the American people three years into his term over a phone call? Sure, seems OK. Tolerate calls for violence, veiled threats of a coup in our largest newspaper? Constantly call the president dangerously mentally ill, a literal nutcase who should be institutionalized? That’s how to operate a democracy?

And spare me the idea that Trump is not widely supported, with his low approval ratings. President Obama’s 11th quarter in office, October 2011 same now as Trump, was the worst of his administration, based on his quarterly average job approval ratings. His 41% approval average is down six percentage points from his 10th quarter in office, and is nearly four points below his previous low of 45% during his seventh quarter.

Source: We Meant Well

  1. DarkEyes says

    How about it, dear admiral, if the people choose to take you and your cronies out, uh?
    It is always the Management that has guild on situation like now.
    ‘You, sir, are a failure. While you are only thinking of your OWN interests, your stocks in MIC at Wall Street and your filthy blood profits.

    “Admiral” is attached to an honorable, proud and honest navy, serving their country adhered to the Constitution of the United States of America since 1771.

    You, Mr McRaven, sir, are a disgrace for bringing down the honor of the American Republic.
    To use the titel “Admiral” here is a dishonorable deed to all the other good admirals in the US Navy.

  2. CHUCKMAN says

    One comment here refers to hate and fear in America.

    I am afraid that is the real problem with the country, but not as the person making the comment seems to think.

    I see hate and fear on all sides, and it’s a pretty sickening. It really has to do with the almost complete corruption of the country’s major institutions and its leadership on all sides, with neither establishment party standing for anything.

    There is the fear that the whole edifice is going to come tumbling down. And it is a justified fear. It is going to come tumbling down. The world economy is fragile, and America does nothing but attack what stability it does have, in all major regions of the world.

    And it does so with the incredible arrogance of someone who fanatically believes he is right and will listen to no one else. Tariffs everywhere. Sanctions everywhere. Attacking important international organizations everywhere. Assaulting allies and those opposed to you. Creating enemies you don’t even need to have.

    It insists on treating the world’s economy as a zero-sum game from which it demands a greater share than it has been getting. The limits of that should be apparent to high-schoolers, never mind thousands in Washington with exalted titles and salaries.

    And it attacks every organization and institution intended to help ameliorate the world’s problems and to bring orderly ways of doing things.

    Trump is in fact a terrible, utterly incompetent president. He hasn’t a single real achievement of any substance even judged on his own unbelievably narrow terms.

    There are no arguments in his favor. Even when he takes an appropriate action, he does it badly, hurting others, without giving it a thought. He stands for absolutely no principle of any description, except the importance of his being re-elected. Even his patriotism is a hollow show, just advertising slogans for himself.

    But what else do we see in Washington? An utterly corrupt Congress unable to stand up for any principle beyond protecting the interests of the lobbyists offering the highest donations and ancillary benefits like good publicity in the corporate press. Any single voice that arises, critical of even a portion of what’s going on, is shouted down, called insulting names, and crowded out from access.

    It’s literally a standard of government from the Third World. The only grace and polish are those applied to window dress and pose as something else.

    A Congress whose focus is running a world empire and gigantic military establishment serving plutocrats who keep it in campaigns funds and privileges and benefits. Where do you see anything for “we, the people,” except in empty windbag speeches?

    And then we have those monstrous sick creations, the Pentagon and CIA. An army of monsters who do nothing for this world but bomb people and overturn governments and oppose all independence of thought in the world.

    Now, we even have threats of military coup in the air. Of course, as perhaps some will not know, that has appeared before. President Kennedy was acutely aware of the possibility in the tensions of his day. The film “Seven Days in May” was made with his encouragement as a way to raise the issue in public.

    Of course, in the end, it wasn’t the Pentagon that revolted, it was the CIA, and half of Kennedy’s head was blown onto the streets of Dallas, which makes the insider attacks on Trump’s legitimacy actually seem rather tame.

    America effectively subsidizes the high psychopathic portion of its population, dressing them up in shiny uniforms and big suits.

    The level of thinking is primitive: you are either with us or against us. Some liberty of thought. Some democratic ideal. Some great principle to spend a trillion dollars a year on.

    We could add the NSA too now, a monstrous bureaucracy of super computers spying on literally everyone, both abroad and at home. The idea of privacy and indeed independence crushed, in the name of the security of the state.

    America simply unbelievably insists on telling everyone else in the world what they should be doing, and it cannot even run its own affairs competently.

    It does not take care of its own citizens in need, it allows urban and rural rot everywhere, it cannot repair its infrastructure, it cannot even begin to balance its own budgets, it borrows at a frightening rate, but it spends hundreds and hundreds of billions on telling other people what to do and on destroying their various ways of life.

    It really should be clear that this gigantic circus is not going to continue for very much longer. It has become a parody of what it seemed to be in, say, 1946, and it is very sick in fundamental ways not visible day-to-day in movements of the stock market and approval ratings for politicians.

  3. LS says

    I wonder how much of the McRaven family portfolio is in “defense”.

    1. DarkEyes says

      Must be quite high according to his arguments.

  4. AriusArmenian says

    Moral and ethical midgets that confuse hate and fear with thinking.

  5. Ronnie&MargaretInDementia says

    The only war the US military could ever win! One against it’s own Govt, bless the poor little PTSDed up darlings, lets face it they haven’t won a war since 1946 it’s time we gave them one to get them back in the game. It will be fully backed by the DEMs of course, the real war party, they talk a good progressive politik but once they get in power they act more like Republicans every time. Farewell America it was fun while it lasted, never a dull moment, but the world needs some steady heads and common sense not to mention rational.economic policies (printing money isn’t a policy it’s what you do when you don’t have one), come back when you’ve extricated yourselves from your own exceptionalist sphincter and grown up a bit.

  6. LS says

    And I have a message to the Seal Teams and other members of the military. Maybe you should make an example of a certain retired admiral calling for a leftwing coup d’etat?

  7. Mary E says

    First of all, this General’s ‘announcement’ is not surprising – it is what Americans have been saying behind closed door, and hinting in the press, for months and months. The biggest problem is that the Congress has taken so long to get on board with impeachment proceedings against this delusional and confused fool in the White House.
    Impeachable offenses really should include the decimation of the environment of the US, the beating to a pulp of any healthcare whatsoever for the American people and the ruination of US diplomacy. We keep that in mind and could all go on and on, but the point is: Get Rid of the antiAmerican Bum

    1. LS says

      Your ‘impeachable offenses’ are nothing but vague non-sequiturs you pulled out of your scarpy liberal ass.

      You liberals are unfit to live in a democracy.

  8. MyWikiDisQus says

    Another retired Pentagon staff officer who spews jingoistic blather against the President of The United States because Mr. Trump wants to stop endless wars that have nothing to do with defending America.

    The lobbyists for the weapons industry are out in full force along with the national media puppet propagandists to vilify POTUS because war profiteering means more to them than the lives of the sons and daughters who die oversees in pointless sacrifice.

    These militaristic cravens want war to justify their existence and that’s why we need to stop them now otherwise it will be World War III and the end of humanity as we know it.

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