The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Former Military Leaders Spewing Lies to Justify New Crackdowns

May 24, 2021

Over 120 retired U.S. generals and admirals published an open letter echoing many of the same conspiracy theories and far-right talking points as Donald Trump. All those generals and admirals repeated the claim that the 2020 election was stolen. They also say that the Democratic Party had been taken over by Marxists and “socialists” and that the lockdowns and business closures during the pandemic were part of a Marxist and progressive plot against America, etc.

After the letter was released on May 11, a number of former high ranking generals and admirals denounced it for being “anti-democratic,” and insisted that people in the military should stay out of politics.

But many of those military officers who signed were already well-known for their far-right-wing, racist and bigoted ideas. One signatory, retired Army Lt. Gen. William Boykin, had been exposed as a “three star bigot” and “religious fanatic” on the 60 Minutes television show, when he was still a top Pentagon official back in 2004. Retired Vice Adm. John Poindexter, who was the deputy national security adviser for President Ronald Reagan, was convicted in the Iran-Contra Affair back in the 1980s. And only recently, retired Army Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc ran for the U.S. Senate in New Hampshire on a platform denouncing “liberal and socialist pansies.”

This shows that the ideas that Trump represents were not erased or pushed to the side even though he lost the 2020 election. That is because racism, bigotry and ultra-right-wing ideas existed long before Trump came around, especially inside the U.S. military.

This is because of what the military’s role actually is, all the dirty wars that it has fought against peoples around the world in order to impose the interests and profits of the U.S. ruling class, wars from Viet Nam and Korea, to Panama, Iraq and Afghanistan. At home, the U.S. military has been the boss’s iron fist that has been used to break strikes, break up protests and demonstrations, and attack urban rebellions. In the past, it fought wars to exterminate Native American populations.

All this was done while resorting to racism, bigotry and the most reactionary ideas as a justification. Barbaric words are used to spur on and make acceptable barbaric, inhuman actions.

There can be plenty more of that in the near future: “Our Nation is in deep peril. We are in a fight for our survival as a Constitutional Republic like no other time since our founding in 1776,” warn the generals and admirals in their letter—which is what military officers usually say when they are preparing a military takeover, coup or putsch in order to crack down against the population. The letter stops short of actually calling for that. Instead, it calls for greater participation in elections. “We urge all citizens to get involved now at the local, state and/or national level to elect political representatives who will act to Save America.”

But of course, that could change very quickly, if the U.S. ruling class deems it necessary to unleash massive violence as a last resort to preserve its interests and maintain its order.