It says here the Army’s court-marshaling a woman who didn’t show up for deployment to Afghanistan. What’s her sorry excuse? She’s a single mother and her child care arrangement fell through. Oh, sure! (Just what you’d expect your fifth columnists to say.)
Tag Archives: Afghanistan
The New York Times published on Saturday an indispensable account describing the elaborate process Obama used in making his decision on Afghanistan. Say what you will about the wisdom of the president’s decision, the Times pieced together a story that only “The Newspaper Of Record” could have done. It’s a fresh reminder that if blogs, tweeting, TV and even public radio (itself in financial trouble) are our only sources of information, we’ll be even in greater peril than we already are.
The Generals Manipulated The Young President
A disturbing aspect of the story–which neither the Times nor many others commentators made enough of–was the naked manipulation of the president by key generals. The newspaper reported, first and scant analysis, that General McChrystal’s report, seeking 40,000 new troops, was leaked by Bob Woodward. (Gee, how would that have happened?)
The article went on to recount how friction between the White House and the generals intensified on October 1, “When McChrystal was asked after a speech in London whether a narrower mission, like the one Mr. Biden proposed, would succeed. ‘The short answer is no,’ he said.”
Yes, and the long and short of it, general, is that you flat out violated the taboo on generals injecting themselves in governing. No one can tell me this was an accident. As one who toiled on the Defense Appropriations Committee for years, I can assure you, nothing like this happens by accident.
The Times tells us that Defense Secretary Robert Gates gave his top brass a good talking to, which, I presume, is meant to assuage us. Again, the Times: “[Gates] publicly scolded advisers who did not keep their advice to the president private.” As if a four-star general is an naif, ignorant of such fundamentals!
According to The Times, White House anger over these events “stunned . . . the military, who were . . . ‘bewildered by how over the top the reaction was from the White House,’ as one military official put it’.”
Over the top?
The only thing over the top here is the insubordination of military commanders who did not trust a president to make the “right” decision and decided to lead him by the nose to the one they thought was.
Take this test of current events prepared by the Pew Research Center, one of the premier survey organizations in the U.S. (Click on this link). At the end, it will tell you how your countrymen fared. I offer no comment.
So the hawks circling Obama will get got their troop escalation in Afghanistan.
It galls me how they pose as Brave Thinkers Who (Alone) Understand The Dangerous World We Live In.
I say to them: if a bigger war is so vital to our security, show some political spine and support a thing that would separate patriots from posers – a $30 billion surtax to cover the cost of a troop surge. (Best estimate: $1 million per soldier per year.)
If you can’t do it, then you’re saying the adventure is not vital after all.
The surtax’s proponent, Rep. Dave Obey, makes the sound point that if national health insurance reform and other vital domestic initiatives have had to be “deficit neutral” (yes, they have!), so should this military adventure.
But don’t expect a lot of takers.
In the years I observed DC’s military hawks and deficit hawks (usually the same birds), they lose their tail feathers when the question is — Gasp! Raising taxes! — or making the military live on a pay-as-you-go-basis. Continue reading