In his impassioned farewell address, departing Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley said the words that are likely to be among his most long-remembered.
“We are unique among the world’s militaries,” Milley said. “We don’t take an oath to a country, we don’t take an oath to a tribe, we don’t take an oath to a religion. We don’t take an oath to a king, or a queen, or a tyrant or a dictator. And we don’t take an oath to a wannabe dictator.”
That was seen as a very, very direct shot at former President Donald Trump.
Milley added, “We take an oath to the Constitution and we take an oath to the idea that is America – and we’re willing to die to protect it.”
Though Trump had appointed Milley to the top Pentagon post in 2018, the two had become increasingly hostile towards one another in the summer of 2020.
Their relationship hit a breaking point after the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. He has since faced the ire of Trump – who last month wrote on his Truth Social platform, “[Milley] turned out to be a Woke train wreck who, if the Fake News reporting is correct, was actually dealing with China to give them a heads-up on the thinking of the President of the United States. This is an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH!”
Critics quickly slammed the former president, suggesting it was the statement that a despot or dictator would make – not the leader of the “free world.”
Is Trump a Fascist?
Today it is common for both extremes to seem to be embracing qualities of fascism – and hardly a week goes by when the label of “fascist” isn’t flung at the other side. However, Trump’s words and actions say his critics have reached an extreme that can only be described as veering into fascism.
Mehdi Hasan, host of “The Mehdi Hasan Show” on MSNBC, noted that the former president threatening to kill a general was “very Kim Jong Un of him,” comparing Trump to North Korea’s dear leader, who has no qualms about killing those who slight him in the least.
Hasan also noted how Trump took aim at the media, calling for NBC News and “in particular MSNBC” should be “investigated for its ‘country threatening treason,'” and how Trump stated, “When I WIN the Presidency of the United States, they and others of the LameStream Media will be thoroughly scrutinized.” That would seem to be a direct assault on the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
It would seem that even as Trump makes these statements, his loyal followers stand behind him. Paul Krugman of The New York Times also made the case that it is Trump’s fascistic stance that has made him appealing to his followers – and why many refuse to support Ukraine in its war against Russia. Where the Republican Party of Ronald Reagan saw anything the Soviet Union (Russia) did as evil, the MAGA crowd isn’t so convinced.
Krugman explains, “The answer is, unfortunately, obvious. Whatever Republican hard-liners may say, they want Putin to win. They view the Putin regime’s cruelty and repression as admirable features that America should emulate. They support a wannabe dictator at home and are sympathetic to actual dictators abroad.”
Perhaps they should be careful what they wish for. Dictators and despots love power, not their people.
Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.
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