The Washington Post published an article on Dec. 17 titled "Opinion: 3 retired generals: The military must prepare now for a 2024 insurrection."
It was based on conjecture, innuendo, and outright fabrication. The authors, all retired U.S. Army generals, acted as a Praetorian Guard to protect the false, prevailing narrative about the Right posing a grave threat to our nation and its democracy. It was propaganda disguised as scholarship.
To call a political protest, even one that turns into a riot, an "insurrection" is a serious matter. Insurrection, the American Heritage Dictionary tells us, is an "open revolt against civil authority or a constituted government ... specifically, the armed resistance of a number of persons to the power of the state." The Washington Post article claimed the riot was a "deadly insurrection," although the FBI investigated the circumstances and found no evidence of a coordinated effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election or overthrow the federal government.
Few protesters carried firearms, and none used them. Surely, if this was an intentional effort to overthrow the government and the firearms were carried for that purpose, at least some of the rioters would have used them?
Moreover, not one person has been charged with insurrection. Most have been charged, rather, with misdemeanors such as trespassing. Many were incarcerated for months in solitary confinement without bail — perhaps, one suspects, to discourage others from political dissent. With few facts to support their argument, the generals instead appeal to the readers with an inaccurate claim that the insurrection was deadly. Only one person was killed in the riot, Ashli Babbitt, an Air Force veteran and protester. She was shot by a Capitol police officer. It has been repeatedly claimed that five officers died in the Jan. 6 riot, but no death among law enforcement personnel has been recorded as a consequence of that day's events.
Mislabeling Jan. 6 raises the question of whether there has been a deadly insurrection in our recent history. The answer is yes, but it did not take place on Capitol Hill.
It was, rather, the violent chain of events that followed the death of Trayvon Martin, and then, in 2014, of Michael Brown. These self-defense shootings sparked the creation and popular following of Black Lives Matter, a revolutionary movement run by avowed Marxist agitators, whose efforts to overthrow the rule of law burst into full flower after the murder by a police officer of George Floyd in 2020. The nation endured and has not yet recovered from months of riots, murder, vandalism, and looting, with legitimate authorities ousted from city centers. This was a violent effort to end the rule of law, in short, insurrection.
The Capitol riot pales in comparison with the carnage and mayhem instigated by BLM and antifa in the period preceding the 2020 presidential election. Author Mike Gonzalez notes in his book BLM: The Making of a New Marxist Revolution that between 2014 and 2019, which does not reflect the surge in 2020, civilian homicides increased by 10% due to the more than 1,600 BLM protests during this period.
It is strange that retired general officers would engage in ideological pandering when actual military readiness is in decline. They turn a blind eye to the armed forces' waning capacity to counter real threats (most notably from China) and misdirect attention from actual domestic insurrection perpetrated by the radical Left. These insurrectionists are a continuous threat and will doubtless remain so up and through the 2024 election.
A nonpartisan, veteran-founded nonprofit group, Stand Together Against Racism and Radicalism in the Services, has formed to fight this ideological threat to America. Learn more at www.starrs.us.
Authors:STARRS); Ron Scott, Ph.D., is a retired Air Force colonel and the vice president and vice chairman of STARRS; and Mike Rose is a retired South Carolina state senator and the executive vice president and general counsel for STARRS.Rod Bishop is retired Air Force lieutenant general and the president and chairman of Stand Together Against Racism and Radicalism in the Services, Inc. (