The Generals, the Presidents and this Explosive new book.
By Chido Nwangwu
Special to USAfrica magazine (Houston) and USAfricaonline.com, first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet.
There are two major controversial reveals in the latest, best-selling blockbuster book, Peril, by the legendary journalist Bob Woodward and Robert Costa — both of The Washington Post. They understand the ways of Washington DC. Woodward has worked at the same place for 50 years, won two Pulitzer Prizes (first regarding Watergate coverage with Carl Bernstein) and has written 20 national bestselling books. The much younger but very diligent Costa is a national political reporter at The Washington Post, and former moderator of Washington Week on PBS. It’s a formidable investigation journalism tag team.
The first controversy off the book is that the chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley called his Chinese counterpart twice during the closing weeks of the relatively erratic presidency of Donald J. Trump, complicated by the attack and insurrection against the US Congress by Trump supporters and their allies.
Milley, reportedly, called to reassure Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army of China that “Things may look unsteady… but that’s the nature of democracy, General Li. We are 100 percent steady. Everything’s fine. But democracy can be sloppy sometimes.”
The book also reported that the American top soldier Milley said in his first call: “General Li, I want to assure you that the American government is stable and everything is going to be okay….. We are not going to attack or conduct any kinetic operations against you. If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise.”
The second issue is regarding the report the President of the United States Joe Biden overruled his Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Defense Secretary retired General Lloyd Austin’s efforts to extend the presence of the Armed Forces of the United States in Afghanistan.
in terms of sequence regarding the calls, Gen. Milley’s first call took place on Oct. 30, 2020, with the alleged knowledge of President Trump’s Defense Secretary Mark Esper. Mr. Trump lost the November 2020 presidential elections to Mr. Biden, four days after the call. Although Trump and his followers here in the United States and millions in Africa especially Nigeria remain fixated on the fertile fiction that he was rigged out! Evidently, for Trump and others, it is a good fundraising story and lie to spread all these months.
The second call was made by Gen. Milley on January 8, 2021; two days after the violent attacks and insurrection directed at the U.S. Capitol/Congress by mainly angry and disappointed Trump supporters.
Meanwhile, it’s being reported that Gen. Milley communicated similar assurances to his counterparts in major countries around the world.
However, for some Americans especially the conservatives, activist Republicans, millions of individuals and groups, the soldier went too far with his phone call to his counterpart military affairs leader of the Super-power country that I will classify as America‘s favorite frenemy, China!
As at the time of my wrapping up the concluding paragraphs of my column #TheViewFromAmerica early on September 16, 2021, America’s embattled top soldier Milley did not have any reaction or statement on these issues. The controversial, new book will go on sale next week.
Meanwhile, we will witness some congressional investigations and drama in Washington DC. Sen. Marco Rubio, Republican from Trump’s new home state of Florida, has written President Biden a letter on September 14, 2021 calling on him to dismiss Gen. Milley, allegedly in his words for actions which “actively undermine the sitting Commander in Chief.”
In fact, that enraged former President Trump who should have been aware of the Recorded and monitored highest levels security calls, only a few days ago called for the trial for treason against Gen. Milley — if the report was true. “I assume he would be tried for TREASON in that he would have been dealing with his Chinese counterpart behind the President’s back and telling China that he would be giving them notification ‘of an attack.’ Can’t do that!…. Actions should be taken immediately against Milley,” Trump wrote.
Trump concluded with his disdainful, crass insult of the war fighting General Milley as a “Dumbass”.
Interestingly, permit me to point out, that this, now, so-called “dumb ass” Milley was appointed by Trump in 2018!
*Dr. Chido Nwangwu, the author of the forthcoming 2021 book, MLK, Mandela & Achebe: Power, Leadership and Identity, serves as Founder & Publisher of the first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper on the internet, USAfricaonline.com, and established USAfrica in 1992 in Houston. He is recipient of several public policy and journalism excellence honors, civic engagement and community empowerment awards and has appeared as an analyst on CNN and SKYnews. He served as an adviser on Africa business to Houston’s former Mayor Lee Brown. @Chido247