Two of my favorite Army generals were both played by George C. Scott: George S. Patton in “Patton” and Buck Turgidson in “Dr. Strangelove.”
Patton, at the battle of El Guettar, had set a trap. When the Germans were getting the sauerkraut kicked out of them, Patton smiled and said “Rommel, you magnificent bastard. I READ YOUR BOOK!” He turned what he learned from his enemy, on his enemy.
Sun Tzu, the author of “The Art War” said: “Know your enemy and know yourself.”
Knowing one’s enemy is a product of learning and usually reading. Generals often have detailed and extensive libraries containing books on philosophy to war-making. But all books are not equal. And there’s no equity in literature. The subject matter is worth remembering and using, or it’s not. Reading books by Ibrim X. Kendi isn’t bad in and of itself; reading the subject matter and taking it as gospel is.
The Chief of Naval Operations testified at a congressional hearing, and his answers and dodges were indefensible. He said his reading list for sailors included Kendi’s “How to Be an AntiRacist.” Ok. I don’t know what that book has to do with combat readiness or unit cohesion but ok, read it. Admiral Gildray ducked and weaved like a pro. He wouldn’t directly answer whether he supports Kendi’s thesis that capitalism and racism are “conjoined twins,” but supports CRT. When asked if he agreed with Kendi that Justice Amy Barrett, a sitting Supreme Court Justice was a “white colonizer” for adopting a black Haitian he refused to condemn Kendi’s racism. “No sir, I am not going to answer that question.”
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Mark Milley, also testified and bellowed that he was offended, that Congress members were offended. He said he wants to know what causes “white rage” and quickly linked that term to January 6th. He said he’s read Mao and Marx. That’s fine, General. So have I. I’ve read the Koran and the Bible, “Mein Kampf” and “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.” It’s important to “know your enemy,” but
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