Training on “extremism” is needed to re-educate troops who see the “Capitol riot” and last year’s Black Lives Matter “protests” as similar, according to the Pentagon.
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.
In a Thursday briefing with reporters at the Pentagon, Ramón “CZ” Colón-López, the senior enlisted adviser to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that some troops have asked, when the Jan. 6 riot is brought up, “How come you’re not looking at the situation that was going on in Seattle prior to that?”[…] 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.”
Here’s the difference:
– The Capitol “riot” was a mostly peaceful protest where 5 Trump supporters died, including 14-year Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt who was shot in the chest by a Capitol police officer while unarmed.
– The BLM riots were the most damaging riots in U.S. history, costing some $2 billion in insurance payouts alone. The police, FBI and military kneeled before the “protesters” in humiliating acts of submission. The media covered-up attacks on their own reporters so they could describe the riots as “peaceful protests.” At least 25 people were killed during the riots and an unprecedented deadly crime wave followed.
Colón-López also noted the military was called to respond after the Capitol attacks, but was not called up to support law enforcement during the Seattle protests.
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 sometimes, he said, younger troops see messages on TV that blur the lines between the two, and “we needed to educate them” on the difference.
“No, that’s not what that meant,” Colón-López said. “There were people advocating [against] social injustice, racial injustice and everything else, and it is the right of citizens.”
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.”[…] Colón-López stressed the refrain commonly heard from top military leaders that the vast majority of troops do not share extremist views.
And the military isn’t interested in monitoring troops’ online activities at home, he said. A service member who Googles QAnon, for example, may just want to become educated on the online conspiracy theory movement, he explained. That wouldn’t mean someone necessarily believes in that ideology.
But, he noted, the military needs to be watchful of how service members carry themselves while on duty, and what troops’ friends say they are doing.
Colón-López said it’s too soon to tell whether extremist organizations are becoming more or less likely to recruit from among the military’s ranks. But, he said, the force is being made aware that such groups are actively recruiting service members, “and we need to make sure that they stand clear from them.”
“It’s not good for the department, and it’s not good for the image of the military,” he said.
We’re supposed to be grateful that the Pentagram is (allegedly) not spying on our troops’ “online activities” while they’re at home.
How do ideological purges help the image of the military?
How does going to war with Tucker Carlson help the image of the military?
How does demanding the troops deny what’s right before their eyes help the image of the military?