Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, defended the U.S. Military Academy's curriculum from criticism by Republicans at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Wednesday. Milley specifically waved off complaints about an elective class at West Point that teaches critical race theory and explored "white rage," but he more generally stood up for the importance of academic study of differing views and difficult subjects important to understanding America, like race.
"I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our commissioned, non-commissioned officers of being 'woke' or something else because we're studying some theories that are out there," Milley said, in response to comments from Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Mike Waltz (R-Fla.). The "wokeness" of the military has also been a talking point on Fox News, by Tucker Carlson and others, and host Laura Ingraham slapped back at Milley on her show Wednesday night.
"We are sending our tax dollars to this military in an attempt to week out so-called 'extremists,'" Ingraham said, saying these "extremists" are just "conservative evangelicals" and not, as the Pentagon contends, white nationalist militants. "Why is Congress not saying we're not going to give you a penny until all this is eradicated from the military budget? Nothing. 'This is my offer to you: nothing," she said, quoting Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II." That's what I would say," she said. Ingraham accused Milley of spreading a "far-left Marxist racist ideology" in the military, adding, "I am totally outraged by him and his ridiculous response today."
Gaetz also criticized Milley and the U.S. military after the hearing, writing: "With generals like this it's no wonder we've fought considerably more wars than we've won." People in the replies noted Gaetz's legal troubles and, more on topic, his lack of any military experience.