Home/Rod Dreher/In The Navy

In The Navy

Still from 'In The Navy' by the Village People (1979) (Source)

A reader writes, in response to my earlier CIA goes woke post:

If the CIA and the military have been conquered by Wokeness, then the culture war has been won by the Left. Take a look at what the Navy decided to celebrate recently:
The reader continues:
I highly doubt these four were assigned to a crew and discovered by happenstance they were all gay. This was deliberate and a sign that LGBTQ not only serve openly in the military, but their culture and politics are the de facto norm in the services. The Navy clearly set this up as a propaganda move. You don’t have to harbor any ill will towards those in the LGBTQ community to know this is totally unbecoming of military professionalism and a sure sign our military isn’t any different from those of any other totalitarian society of yesteryear. A military consumed by ideology isn’t any kind of profession of arms.
Honestly, I don’t know how this helicopter would perform in a war. I don’t know how well our military as a whole would perform in a major-power conflict like the one the Pentagon is preparing for. What I do know is that our military and intelligence services can no longer be relied upon. History has proven, time and again, that militaries that become politicized tend to be very ineffective and are veritable meat-grinders of human life. If they’re good at anything, they’re good at suppressing their own people and, even there, they’re not all that effective. Like so much of our population, the military is in a performative stage, thinking they can do and say almost anything but there won’t be any actual consequences for it. Likewise, the leadership is letting it all happen because, as Gray Connolly said recently (I can’t find the tweet, unfortunately), they effectively sell themselves to the highest bidder, be it in politics or the private sector.
Rod, this isn’t a professional military. Not by a long shot. The only reason the military still has a veneer of professionalism is because of there are still men and women at the lower levels, who do all the hard work, who still hold that line without being distracted by the Wokeness. But how much longer can they do so? A glass ceiling has been put in place where it’s impossible for anyone to advance unless they keep their mouths shut and “perform” the prescribed dance. Some of them manage to do it, but many can’t and won’t.
Meanwhile, in France, the military is threatening a coup d’etat to prevent the downfall of the country. At this point, I have to wonder, what’s worse? A military willing to take over our government at will? Or a military that’ll just stand by as our country self-destructs?
The reader is referring to a recent open letter signed by twenty retired French generals, appearing in Valeurs Actuelles, a conservative French magazine. Note that these generals are retired, not active duty. Here’s the Google Translate version of the letter:

Mr President,
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Government,
Ladies and Gentlemen, Members of Parliament,

The hour is serious, France is in danger, several mortal dangers threaten it. We who, even in retirement, remain soldiers of France, cannot, in the current circumstances, remain indifferent to the fate of our beautiful country.

Our tricolor flags are not just a piece of cloth, they symbolize the tradition, through the ages, of those who, whatever their skin color or their faith, served France and gave their lives for it. On these flags, we find in gold letters the words “Honor and Fatherland”. However, our honor today lies in the denunciation of the disintegration which strikes our homeland.

– Discrimination which, through a certain anti-racism, is displayed with a single goal: to create on our soil a malaise, even hatred between the communities. Today, some speak of racialism, indigenism and decolonial theories, but through these terms it is the racial war that these hateful and fanatic partisans want. They despise our country, its traditions, its culture, and want to see it dissolve by taking away its past and its history. Thus they attack, through statues, ancient military and civilian glories by analyzing words that are centuries old.

– Discrimination which, with Islamism and the suburban hordes, leads to the detachment of multiple plots of the nation to transform them into territories subject to dogmas contrary to our constitution. However, each Frenchman, whatever his belief or his non-belief, is everywhere at home in France; there cannot and must not exist any city, any district where the laws of the Republic do not apply.

– Discrimination, because hatred takes precedence over brotherhood during demonstrations where the power uses the police as auxiliary agents and scapegoats in the face of French people in yellow vests expressing their despair. This while infiltrated and hooded individuals ransack businesses and threaten these same police forces. However, the latter only apply the directives, sometimes contradictory, given by you, the rulers.

Perils are mounting, violence is increasing day by day. Who would have predicted ten years ago that a professor would one day be beheaded when he left college? However, we, servants of the Nation, who have always been ready to put our skin at the end of our engagement — as required by our military state, cannot be in front of such acts of the passive spectators.

Also, those who lead our country must imperatively find the courage necessary to eradicate these dangers. To do this, it is often sufficient to apply existing laws without weakness. Do not forget that, like us, a large majority of our fellow citizens are overwhelmed by your dabbling and guilty silence.

As Cardinal Mercier, Primate of Belgium, said: “When prudence is everywhere, courage is nowhere. “ So, ladies and gentlemen, enough stalling, the situation is serious, work is enormous; do not waste time and know that we are ready to support policies which will take into consideration the safeguard of the nation.

On the other hand, if nothing is done, laxity will continue to spread inexorably in society, ultimately causing an explosion and the intervention of our active comrades in a perilous mission of protecting our civilizational values ​​and safeguarding our compatriots on the national territory.

As we can see, it is no longer time to procrastinate, otherwise, tomorrow the civil war will put an end to this growing chaos, and the deaths, for which you will bear the responsibility, will number in the thousands.

The letter caused a sensation in France. An opinion poll taken after its release showed that 58 percent of French voters — including almost half of President Macron’s voters — supported the letter.Here’s a Nathan Pinkoski piece from First Things explaining the context. Excerpts:

From an American perspective, the whole text is astonishing. It would be impossible to find twenty retired American generals, let alone two, who would dare suggest that the logic of “antiracism” entails racial warfare.

But in France, the letter speaks to conventional political debates. Macron and his ministers now launch regular attacks on antiracism and identity politics, arguing that this American-made ideology threatens national unity and the integrity of the Republic. A recent poll indicates that 74 percent of the French think “antiracism” has the opposite effect. It is also not unusual to speak about the threat of war, even civil war, breaking out on French soil. In 2015, after Islamists killed 130 people on the streets of Paris, President François Hollande declared that France was at war. In 2016, Patrick Calvar, the head of DGSI (France’s internal security agency) said that France was “on the edge of a civil war.” And another group of generals has just released a short report on how a “hybrid war” has been declared against France.

As a result, it is unlikely that the letter will change much of the national conversation. Still, it is significant because it raises the question of what role the army now plays in France’s beleaguered Republic, what role it has historically played, and what parallels exist.

Pinkoski explains how, since World War II, the stability of various French governments have depended on the Army. More:

Moreover, the army is under considerable duress. Since the 2015 Muslim attacks in Paris, the French army patrols the entire country. Having decided to give up machine guns at the frontiers to allow open borders, France now has machine guns on every street corner. The army patrols cities, train stations, and airports. It defends schools and synagogues, and appears in front of churches during Christian holidays. Unlike in the past few decades, the French now feel closer to the army because they see more of it; the regularity of the Islamist attacks reminds them why the soldiers are there, and they are grateful. Unlike the police, who have spent the past year issuing fines for not wearing masks, the army preserves its reputation.

Of course “antiracism” instigates racism. The French are correct on this. But in the US, some of our own military leadership is pushing Ibram X. Kendi’s crackpot antiracist book. The US Navy advises its sailors to read the book. And there’s more.Macron and other French leaders are entirely justified in wanting to keep this insane, society-destroying ideology out of their country.

Keep in mind that the reader who e-mailed me that isn’t objecting to gays in the military. He’s objecting to the military centering LGBT cultural politics. Just do your job and fly the damn helicopter, not the damn flag.

Anyway, I guess there’s no possibility that any of our retired generals will sign a letter telling the military to get its head out of its woke rear end and focus on fighting actual wars, not the culture war. A friend who works in the national security field messaged me to say:

I think as the West becomes more and more ideological we are going to be very surprised by how many countries choose Russia or China over an increasingly decaying West.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

leave a comment

Latest Articles