Noted Drag Queen enthusiast, Iraq war warmonger, and NeverTrumper, Max Boot, attacked me by name in the failing Washington Post last week. He called me a “random . . . troll,” “MAGA extremist,” and part of the “far-right forces trying to subvert American democracy.”
Truly, it is an honor to be insulted by a man so utterly wrong about everything. I am disturbed only by the fact that Boot didn’t also call me a racist. What am I doing wrong? Where can I improve? Maybe Max can give me some pointers in next week’s column.
Boot, of course, is an unrepentant moron at his best and a vile shill for aggressive war at his worst. Whatever else may happen on the Day of Judgment, at least I won’t have to answer for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians and American soldiers. Not so for Boot.
My sins, according to Boot, involve asking General Patrick J. Donahoe, former commanding general of the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence, about COVID policies and their connection to the massive increase in military suicides in 2020 and 2021. Donahoe’s response was pure liberal snark. He tagged my college into his tweet and told them to “come get their boy.” When another Twitter user asked him how many wars he had won, he responded by calling him a “Putin Bot.”
Asking generals why they lose wars and why their soldiers keep killing themselves is “trolling” and a sign of malign allegiance to Russia. This is the kind of far-right extremism that poses a deep danger to “Our Democracy™.”
Boot huffed with indignation in his piece quoting my appearance on Laura Ingraham’s show in which I called Donahoe a “woke loser who loves cancel culture.” I wasn’t wrong.
There is not a single American general today who can point to a war that he’s helped win. America’s humiliating retreat from Afghanistan and the disastrous collapse of Iraq under ISIS pressure, to say nothing of our idiotic adventures in Libya and Syria, were stunning indictments of our military leadership class.
The only conflicts America’s generals have won are budget battles. They can’t win wars but they always get paid. To quote my own Federalist piece from last year, “America’s Generals Lied, Lost Wars, And Looted The People They Claimed To Serve”:
Instead of profiles in courage, America’s military leaders deserve profiles in grifting. Current Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin made $7 million once leaving the service. Gen. James Mattis is reportedly worth $5 million, including $150,000 annual payouts from Theranos for serving on their board. Theranos was a blood-testing company indicted for fraud. Not a single senator asked Mattis about the connection at his confirmation hearing as secretary of defense. Gen. David Petraeus, after leaving the CIA in disgrace after revelations of leaking classified information to his mistress and personal biographer Paula Broadwell, went on to a successful career in academia, public speaking, and private equity. His net worth is estimated at $2 million.
The generals lied, America lost, and the people got looted.
Max Boot is getting angry now because General Donahoe, whose social media misbehavior threw me into the spotlight, is under investigation for his petulant ideological temper tantrum. Donahoe’s long awaited retirement is currently on hold as part of the inspector general’s investigation. It is a tough break for Donahoe. He was so close to collecting his long-awaited major general’s pension for the rest of his life. At his current O-8 pay scale, that will mean making roughly $150,000 a year, until he dies, to do absolutely nothing.
Donahoe earned that paycheck, see. He oversaw decades of military failure, a COVID response that led to a massive increase in suicides, and the total degeneration of the spiritual foundation of a once proud martial tradition. He expects peons like you and me to salute his humble service.
I don’t think I will.
In General Donahoe’s military, troops that wouldn’t submit to medical experimentation and tyrannical mandates got kicked out while transgender inclusivity briefs are pushed down the throats of those who bent the knee.
In General Donahoe’s military, Air Force cadets at their academy’s diversity training were encouraged not to use gendered words like “mom and dad” and to be “color conscious” not “colorblind.” At Joint Base Langley-Eustis in July, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Summer Festival featured a drag show, paid for with taxpayer dollars.
In General Donahoe’s military, the Marine Corps isn’t immune either. Commandant David Berger has insisted that consideration of “diversity, equity, and inclusion” will drive Marine Corps recruiting going forward. It is critical that the Marine Corps become less white and less male.
Under the watch of men like General Patrick Donahoe, the Cultural Revolution came for the military. Today, even the names of old American bases are changing. The implication is clear: The America that honored the courage and generalship of Confederate war heroes (while condemning their cause) was racist and evil. The amnesty and peace that characterized the American attitude, both North and South, that followed the Civil War was not a sign of humanity but inhumanity.
Max Boot and his ilk have always despised the old America. What Boot sees as far-right extremism, I see as a longing for normalcy. Ordinary Americans want a military, and a country, that serves their interests. Not Ukraine’s. Not D.C.’s. America’s.
That concept is inconceivable to America’s policy makers, woke generals, and leading media commentariat. To the General Donahoe’s of the world, critics who question the goodness of the system that has showered him in honors and emoluments are comparable to traitors. It makes you a “Putin bot.”
That the Army is acting now to give him a slap on the wrist is small consolation for those of us who watch the whole vast complex of military and industrial might declining into absurdity and ideology. If it were up to me, Donahoe and the rest of his fellow flag officers would be stripped of their ranks, pensions, and fake awards and pushed into private life. For the first time in their lives, they would be forced to do something other than navigate the bureaucratic maze.
America needs military leaders who actually love the country, who think mutilating the genitals of children is wrong, and who aren’t interested in promoting communist propaganda about racial oppression and colonization. We need a fighting force that can stop the real threats to American life and liberty—like drug dealers carrying fentanyl across the border in quantities that could kill millions at a time.
In the end, I doubt anything serious will happen to Donahoe. Max Boot can rest easy. In no time at all, Donahoe will have a chance to truly let his liberal freak flag fly, pension checks safely in hand. Maybe he can even join the Lincoln Project! There is no lack of opportunities for grift in his post-retirement world. The spigot of cash and weapons has been turned on with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Surely he can find a way to suckle at the defense contractor teat. He’d be a fool not to. Maybe Donahoe can even sign up to fight with Zelenskyy and company. He can finally put paid to the “Putin Bots” in real life and not just on social media.
The real fight, in the end, falls to ordinary Americans like you and me. To us remains the monumental task of saving our country from profound ideological corruption. It won’t be easy. But it is worth doing.
Max Boot ain’t seen nothing yet.