Commentary

Commentary on extremism was a Trojan horse for ideology

I read the commentary, “Enough about ‘not picking sides.’ The only right position is against white supremacy and extremism,” by Esteban Castellanos, U.S. Air Force Academy Class of 2003. He and his co-signers use terms such as “insurrection,” “white supremacy,” and “extremism.” They represent a view that whites, especially our nation’s Founders, inspired by a Judeo-Christian tradition, are oppressors.

Esteban was born while I was stationed at Sembach Air Base, West Germany, as a forward air controller flying the OV-10 Bronco when I was not operating out of an MRC-108 jeep with radio pallet, armored personnel carrier, or OH-58 Kiowa helicopter. We trained aggressively to maintain a level of readiness to counter the Marxist ideological threat from the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact alliance. My wife recalled that I was gone an average of 250 days each year during our three-year assignment.

The Western alliance was outnumbered by enemy forces in the range of 3:1 to 5:1. But that represented the “physical” element (tanks, fighters, bombers, etc.) that Carl von Clausewitz wrote about in his seminal work, “On War.”

Clausewitz also wrote about the “moral” element: the esprit de corps and anything else that unites a military force. The moral is three times more powerful than the physical. The successful strategist targets the moral element. This notion was not revolutionary. More than two millennia earlier, Sun Tzu argued that effective deception allowed a general to defeat the enemy via a “sheathed” sword in his book, “The Art of War.”

Castellanos and his co-signers demonstrate naivete in “taking sides” in a situation that is being manipulated and orchestrated by elements within America’s society bent on destroying it — the proverbial Trojan horse. I have not read any commentaries by Castellanos or his co-signers criticizing Black Lives Matter and antifa riots and looting deliberately staged to influence the 2020 presidential election.

Nor have I read commentaries about First Amendment rights being violated when fellow Americans have been canceled, doxed, fired, and a whole range of punishments for not complying with the “antiracist” (antiwhite) orthodoxy pushed by ideologues like Ibram X. Kendi and Robin DiAngelo, prophets of the new woke religion based on critical race theory and its neo-Marxist ideology. For those who have read F.A. Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom” published in the 1950s for an American audience, they will recognize the pattern that fuels and justifies totalitarianism.

I respect Castellanos and his co-signers for taking ownership for their view. Yet, if the view is dangerous to the well-being of America by generating action, is this not by definition sedition: “conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch”?

And what is the ultimate authority in America? Although exercising delegated authority, it is not the president, the Congress, or the Supreme Court. It is “we the people” exercising God-given inalienable rights to equality, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is this ultimate authority that compelled “patriots” to assemble and seek redress of grievances (as First Amendment rights) at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

We do not yet know the extent the assembly was hijacked. Those who broke the law should be held accountable, unlike the lack of justice involving Black Lives Matter and antifa riots and looting going into the presidential election.

There is no doubt that those who are anti-America will employ, to the maximum extent possible, the deception Sun Tzu wrote about in “The Art of War.” Its effectiveness can be seen in commentaries such as Castellanos’.

Dr. Ronald J. Scott Jr., Ph.D., retired Air Force colonel, is a member of the Class of 1973, United States Air Force Academy and served over 30 years in uniform, to include Europe during the Cold War, the Middle East, and Asia.

Editor’s note: This is an op-ed and as such, the opinions expressed are those of the author. If you would like to respond, or have an editorial of your own you would like to submit, please contact Military Times managing editor Howard Altman, haltman@militarytimes.com.

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