United States military leaders are very busy attending to the greatest challenge facing our military:
Soldiers who do not get all their news from CNN
Here is the breathless first paragraph of the story in The Daily Press.
WASHINGTON — During military training sessions to address extremism in the ranks, some service members have challenged why the Pentagon is not treating the violence during racial injustice protests last summer as equal to the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Oh no! Our citizen soldiers are questioning CNN's, I mean, our military leader's woke orthodoxy.
Note something subtle here as well, the framing of the argument.
...treating the violence during racial injustice protests last summer
They are at least recognizing the violence (more on that in a bit) but then frame it as "racial injustice protests." Some were, maybe even most if you include all the thousands of local protests, but Antifa's repeated attempts to burn down a federal courthouse had less to do with anger and frustration over racial injustice and more to do with anger and frustration over the injustice that you can't find a PS5 anywhere, and their moms are threatening to throw them out of the basement.
...as equal to the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol.
The "racial injustice protests" were merely violent, whereas what happened at the U.S. Capitol was "deadly."
It would be easy to breeze right by that, but it matters, repeating this framing, subtly, quietly, over and over matters. People will forget that the 2020 BLM riots were much more deadly, despite the media contorting itself to claim otherwise.
Right now, few people understand anything about the circumstances surrounding the deaths that occurred at the January 6 riots, only one of which has been tied to an act of identifiable violence when a Capitol Police officer shot a Trump supporter.
That the two events are viewed as equivalent by some troops has caught the Pentagon's attention...
That chill you just felt go up your spine?
Probably just an errant breeze.
"This is coming from every echelon that we're talking to," said Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Ramón Colón-López. "Some people may think that, ‘all right, so the events of 6 January happened. How come you're not looking at the situation that was going on in Seattle prior to that?'"
Sounds like reasonable questions, assuming you aren't General Don Lemon.
The military has started a Defense Department-wide effort to educate service members on what constitutes extremist behavior and why it is impermissible in the armed forces.
It started with stand downs, or daylong training and discussion sessions, ordered by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin following the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
The Pentagon is also weighing whether any additional mechanisms are needed, such as ways for service members to confidentially report potential extremist behavior within their units.
Nothing builds morale and instills an esprit de corps quite like worrying about whether the guy who is supposed to have your back, is stabbing you in the back because you watch Tucker Carlson.
It can be difficult to tell the difference between the "useful idiots" who ignorantly parrot talking points and those who know exactly what they're doing, but look closely at this headline from Military.com.
Some Troops See Capitol Riot, BLM Protests as Similar Threats, Top Enlisted Leader Says
Again, this is a false framing. It's not a riot vs. a protest. It's a riot vs. riots, plural, hundreds, over months.
Some troops have drawn equivalencies between the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and last year's protests for racial justice during recent stand-downs to address extremism, worrying the military's top enlisted leader.
Our worried top enlisted leader:
He said that is one example of the mindset many military leaders are encountering, and he is "concerned about the way that some people are looking at the current environment."
"This is coming from every echelon that we're talking to," he added.
The rank and file watch something other than CNN and MSNBC. That's the problem.
Colón-López said the confusion some younger troops have expressed shows why the training sessions on extremism are needed.
Those conducting the sessions wanted "to make sure that military members understand the difference between Seattle and [the Jan. 6 riot in] Washington, D.C.," Colón-López said. "But some of our younger members are confused about this, so that's what we need to go ahead and talk to them about and educate them on, to make sure that they know exactly what they can and cannot do."
And he drew a distinction between those who lawfully exercised their First Amendment rights to protest during last summer's protests in support of racial justice and the Black Lives Matter movement, and those who "latched on" to the protests to loot, destroy property and commit other crimes.
But no such "distinction" is afforded to those at the January 6 rally, about 99+% of whom were there to exercise their first amendment rights as well.
They do this all the time. The few hundred rioters January 6 are indicative of all Trump supporters whereas the hundreds of BLM and Antifa rioters are just a few bad apples.
Again, useful idiots? Diabolical political agents cleverly consolidating power?
Both, almost certainly, but which is which, and does it really matter in the end? This is happening. This is real.
"we needed to educate them"
The word "educate" appears five times in the piece, four times spoken by a military leader.
While those TV personalities are exercising the right to free speech troops have fought for, he said, "make sure that you're well-educated and don't be an automatic mouthpiece for something unless you understand the issue."
Oh, the lack of self-awareness is so thick I can barely breathe.
Colón-López acknowledged that the "information overload" troops today face -- not just traditional media and memos from service leaders, but also a panoply of social media amplifying different messages -- can leave troops feeling confused and uncertain where to go to get reliable information.
Why, CNN and MSNBC, of course!
"What I am committed to is to make sure that our people understand right from wrong," he said. "That our people ... are well-educated to be able to carry on, in an honorable fashion. And if they hear somebody saying the wrong things, that they're quick to go ahead and correct them ... without being confrontational."
When asked about networks or television personalities popular among service members who have drawn those equivalencies, Colón-López said, "Those are very, very tough conversations to have with people, because sometimes they're emotional about the subject."
You know what gets people emotional? Being told not to believe what you can see with your own eyes.
The military remains an apolitical organization, Colón-López said, and it doesn't matter if an extremist group is far right or far left -- both are off limits.
The amazing thing to me is that this is being done right out in the open. There is no attempt to hide it. The guy is doing media interviews about it!
They either don't think they need to worry about push back because they think what they're saying makes perfect sense (useful idiots) or they know what they're saying is ridiculous but it doesn't matter as the citizenry has already been prepped, academics are in line, the news media will continue to run cover for them, and corporate America is doing their share inculcating their employees as are public school teachers with the children.