I am far from a political scientist, but I have a good grasp of history and have long argued that the differences between communism and fascism were minor in comparison to their similarities. Consider, both 20th-century ideologies promised a utopian vision of the future that would ensure well-being for all. Both stemmed from a political, social, and cultural construct that erased traditional ideas regarding good and evil. Each deplored what they saw as the pathetic ennui of bourgeoisie existence and believed in the destruction of the old world in order to build a new international order based on their respective ideologies.
In terms of materiel and human cost the two belligerents wrought an orgy of violence that killed millions, led humanity into its darkest hour, and where the final destination was the deplorable Gulags of Siberia and the gas chambers of Auschwitz.
World War II was the most horrific conflagration of all time where an estimated at 75 million died. But what most people don’t realize is that in actuality WWII was primarily a struggle between the Hitler’s Wehrmacht and Stalin’s Red Army. We can never discount the human suffering and sacrifices made in all theaters of the war, but the fact remains that WWII was primarily a struggle between two bankrupt ideologies.
To comprehend the barbarism that plagued the last century, we must first come to grips with the thought processes that inspired so much destruction. As Victor David Hanson has written, prior to the war, Stalin had applied an ideological litmus test to all matter’s military, i.e., promotions, rewards, punishments, and even strategy and had put to death thousands of gifted officers deemed ideologically impure and filled the Red Army’s ranks with devout communist yes-men. The results were predictable, and the Soviets lost more than 7 million men in combat before Stalin was forced to suspend the active role of his pet commissars and zealots.
Meanwhile, Hitler practiced his own brand of culling, and he filled the Wehrmacht with generals whose chief attributes were Nazi fanaticism. As a point of fact, the generals who had given Hitler victories in the early stages of the war Rommel, Guderian, Heinrici, von Kleist, von Kluge, von Leeb, von Manstein, von Rundstedt, and von Witzleben were all either sacked, murdered, or recalled.
Why would these two leaders sacrifice their best officers for the sake of ideology? While I cannot answer that question, I think it’s wise to heed Winston Churchill warning, “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” So, we should ask ourselves, is the U.S. Military committing ritual suicide by invoking woke ideology? Wokeness in the military is being imposed by elected and appointed leaders in the White House, Congress, and the Pentagon who have little understanding of the purpose, character, traditions, and requirements of the institutions they are trying to change. The push for it didn’t begin under the Biden administration—wokeness in the military began when Barack Obama was elected and has since become ingrained in the ethos of our armed forces giving our current military leaders a clear choice – comply with woke ideology or leave the military.
Woke ideology undermines military cohesiveness and leadership and leads to personnel serving in specialties for which they are neither qualified nor ready while taking time and resources away from training and weapons development.
Look no further than the army’s woeful recruitment numbers and it should come as no surprise that wokeness in the military acts as a disincentive to join for many young Americans. In 2015, then Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus rejected out-of-hand a Marine Corps study concluding that gender-integrated combat formations did not move as quickly or shoot as accurately, and that women were twice as likely as men to suffer combat injuries. He rejected it because it did not comport with the Obama administration’s political agenda.
That same year the Department of Defense opened all combat jobs in the U.S. military to women, and Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter committed to “gender-neutral standards” to ensure that female service members could meet the demanding rigors involved in qualifying for combat. Meanwhile, the Army has been working for a decade to put in place the gender-neutral test, but after finding that women were not scoring as highly as men, the Army threw out the test. And today, there is no test to determine whether any soldier can meet the fitness requirements for combat specialties.
President Obama also initiated a change to the Pentagon’s longstanding policy on transgender individuals in the military. Before that change could take effect, the incoming Trump administration put it on hold awaiting future study. Subsequent evidence presented to Secretary of Defense James Mattis—including the fact that transgender individuals suffering from gender dysphoria attempt suicide and experience severe anxiety at nine times the rate of the general population—raised legitimate concerns about their fitness for military service, leading Trump to impose reasonable restrictions on military service by those suffering gender dysphoria.
But only hours after his inauguration in January 2021, President Biden signed an executive order doing away with those restrictions opening military service to all transgender individuals. Then to add insult to injury, Biden decreed that active members of the military can take time off from their duties to obtain sex-change surgeries and all related hormones & drug treatments at taxpayer expense.
The Biden administration has also ended support for a longstanding policy prohibiting individuals infected with HIV from serving in combat zones. The policy had been based on sound science tied to the need for HIV medications and the danger of cross-infection through shared blood.
Physical fitness, long a hallmark of the U.S. military has been progressively watered down in pursuit of the woke goal of “leveling the playing field.” The Army, for instance, recently lowered its minimum passing standards for pushups to a total of ten (10) – yes, you read that correctly, and increased its minimum two-mile run time from 19 to 23 minutes. Not surprisingly, the new Space Force is considering doing away with periodic fitness testing altogether.
Navy Secretary Mabus decreed that Navy sailors would no longer be known by traditional job titles such as “corpsman,” adopting instead new gender-neutral titles such as “medical technician.” The resulting blowback was so severe from enlisted sailors who cherished those historic titles that the Navy was forced to reverse the changes. But wokeness has a way of creeping back, and last year the Navy released a training video to teach sailors the proper way of using personal pronouns—a skill most of us learned by the 4th grade.
Wokeness also comes in the form of conflating the mission of war fighting with environmental ideology. President Biden told a group of airmen that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had determined the greatest threat facing America was global warming—a claim the Joint Chiefs were forced to walk back. Biden then signed an executive order imposing a massive regimen of environmental goals and requirements for the Department of Defense. These goals included transitioning to all electric non-tactical vehicles by 2035, carbon-free electricity for military installations by that same year, and net zero emissions from those installations by 2050. As a result, the Pentagon announced it will devote over $3 billion of its already stretched-thin military budget to climate-related initiatives in 2023.
Stalin and Hitler purged their respective militaries for the sake of ideology, and it cost the lives of millions. Now it appears that like the Nazis and Soviets before them, the U.S. military has chosen to embrace another bankrupt ideology in which to brainwash its fighting men and women. The results of this transition are predictable—just let history be your guide
Quote of the day: “A country is only as strong as the people who live in it. Our decline is apparent” – Bill O’Reilly