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Three Trump-obsessed former generals penned a conspiracy theory laden op-ed for The Washington Post late last week warning of a potential coup and civil war in 2024 unless certain steps are taken now to nullify the threat.
These steps include purging the military of those accused of wrongthink, making it “perfectly clear to every member” of America’s armed forces “whom they answer to” and prosecuting any Republican who challenged the 2020 presidential election results.
Written by retired U.S. Army Gen. Paul D. Eaton, retired U.S. Army Major Gen. Antonio M. Taguba and retired U.S. Army Brigadier Gen. Steven M. Anderson, the piece centers around the thesis that after Democrats win the 2024 election, Republicans will install a shadow government.
This shadow government, the generals claim, will be led by either former President Trump “or another Trumpian figure.”
“Imagine competing commanders in chief — a newly reelected Biden giving orders, versus Trump (or another Trumpian figure) issuing orders as the head of a shadow government. Worse, imagine politicians at the state and federal levels illegally installing a losing candidate as president,” the generals write.
“All service members take an oath to protect the U.S. Constitution. But in a contested election, with loyalties split, some might follow orders from the rightful commander in chief, while others might follow the Trumpian loser. Arms might not be secured depending on who was overseeing them. Under such a scenario, it is not outlandish to say a military breakdown could lead to civil war.”
As proof that this could happen, the generals cite “the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol” where a pro-Trump rioter, Ashli Babbitt, was killed by a U.S. Capitol Police officer. According to the generals, this riot that lasted a few hours was a “coup” that’s destined to happen again.
“We are chilled to our bones at the thought of a coup succeeding next time,” the generals write.
In fairness to them, many on the right worry that if Trump runs for reelection and wins in 2024, members of the left may one day stage their own “insurection” again like they did during the the Black Lives Matter “protests” of 2020:
Continuing their op-ed, the generals express feeling especially concerned because of “signs of potential turmoil” (or dissent, rather) in the military.
“On Jan. 6, a disturbing number of veterans and active-duty members of the military took part in the attack on the Capitol. More than 1 in 10 of those charged in the attacks had a service record,” they write.
The generals also complain about 124 retired military officials who’d simply penned a letter — kind of like an op-ed — “echoing” Trump’s claims that the 2020 election had been rife with fraud and impropriety.
The generals even raise concerns about a currently enlisted official, Oklahoma National Guard commander Gen. Thomas Mancino, refusing to carry out President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate that some say is authoritarian.
“Mancino … refused an order from President Biden mandating that all National Guard members be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Mancino claimed that while the Oklahoma Guard is not federally mobilized, his commander in chief is the Republican governor of the state, not the president,” they write.
It’s not clear whether the generals reacted similarly in 2020 when a number of Democrat governors refused, in defiance of then-President Trump, to deploy National Guards units to protect Washington, D.C. from violent left-wing rioters.
Regarding President Donald Trump’s (R) call to governors, Gov. Northam said, “The message was regrettably not one of healing. It was not one of unity. It was one of divisiveness and I regret that coming from the leader of the most powerful country in the world.”
— Nathaniel Cline (@nathanielcline) June 2, 2020
Northam also said, “I’m not going to send our men and women in uniform of a proud National Guard to Washington for a photo op.”
— Nathaniel Cline (@nathanielcline) June 2, 2020
The generals conclude their op-ed by listing detailed instructions on how to prevent Republicans from forming a shadow government and executing a so-called “coup” in 2024.
The first step is for every “single leader who inspired” the Jan. 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol to be “held to account,” meaning prosecuted.
The general consensus on the left is that every elected leader who simply challenged the results of the 2020 election is responsible for the riot. For some inexplicable reason, the left has chosen not to apply this same logic to all the Democrats who’d challenged the results of the 2016 election:
The second step is for members of the military to be forced into submission.
The Pentagon “must reinforce unity of command to make perfectly clear to every member of the Defense Department whom they answer to. No service member should say they didn’t understand whom to take orders from during a worst-case scenario,” the generals write.
The Pentagon must also “identify, isolate and remove potential mutineers” (or dissenters, rather) who’ve raised concerns or objected to questionable orders that have been handed down to them from the Biden administration.
Last but not least, the Pentagon must perform war games that, from the sounds of it, would pit a Democrat government against all Republican dissenters.
“Finally, the Defense Department should war-game the next potential post-election insurrection or coup attempt to identify weak spots. It must then conduct a top-down debrief of its findings and begin putting in place safeguards to prevent breakdowns not just in the military, but also in any agency that works hand in hand with the military,” the generals write.
“The military and lawmakers have been gifted hindsight to prevent another insurrection from happening in 2024 — but they will succeed only if they take decisive action now.”
The generals’ op-ed is one of several fear-mongering, conspiracy theory laden pieces that have dropped from the establishment press in recent weeks.
Wasn’t this kind of piece called deeply troubling and offensive when conservatives wrote them like 8 minutes ago? https://t.co/hAVYMaJfB1
— David Marcus (@BlueBoxDave) December 13, 2021
The irony, critics argue, is that the people writing these pieces think conservatives are crazy. But while it’s true the right contains its fair share of conspiracy theorists and fear mongers, they tend to exist on the fringe. Over on the left meanwhile, the ones spouting radical rhetoric sit at the very top of the pyramid.
More ironic still, critics say, is that THIS is the type of rhetoric that could trigger a real civil war …
These anti-American pussies know there wasn’t an insurrection. But if they start doing political purges of the military they’re going to divide this country in a way we haven’t seen since 1865. https://t.co/1cml1MKij3
— Dan Gainor (@dangainor) December 18, 2021
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