Posts Tagged ‘troop increase in Afghanistan’

Last night Hil was watching Larry King interview Bob Woodward about his new book:  “Obama’s Wars“.  Even though I don’t normally watch “puff-piece” quasi-journalistic interviews, I sat down, because I’ve read several of Woodward’s books.
The most interesting (damning) thing I heard during the hour was the claim that President Obama attended a meeting with his Secretary of Defense and Joint Chiefs expecting to get several options for Afghanistan and was only given one.  The President stated having only one option was unacceptable and Secretary Gates replied (something to the effect):  “Yeah, we owe you one there.”
The option provided – to increase troops – was ultimately adopted.
What I have to ask is – why was Gates not asked immediately for his resignation and the head of the Joint Chiefs given one week to formally (and personally) present at least two additional options?
Basically, we are talking about insubordination by the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs.
They knew what was requested and they appear to have chosen NOT to perform their duties.  There is nothing at all wrong with disagreeing with policy, but when you are in command and you honestly feel you cannot fulfill or comply with the orders you have been given, the only honorable course of action is for you tender your resignation.
In the United States of America, the elected government (the President) is the superior command authority of the military.  The Joint Chiefs willful attempt to corner the President in the decision making process of an active conflict is the grossest form of misconduct and they should be ashamed of themselves.
If this story is true, this book will be a future case study at the military academies (and at civilian universities) as to how senior officers can fail in their service to a democratic society.
Needless to say, it staggers me to think of this group of men who have “dedicated” their lives to the service of their country can so fundamentally misunderstand the nature and role of the military in the history of the United States.
I put this on a par with the insubordination shown Lincoln (by McClellan) during the Civil War and MacArthur’s actions towards Truman during the Korean Conflict.
My mind has drifted back to this topic several times today…
When I got home from work, I went into the bedroom to change and there was a bag on my pillow.  Inside was a present…  A book!
Bob Woodward’s “Obama’s War“, with a note from my Hil saying,
Dear Kev,
Thought you would like spending time reading this book.  So I got if for you.
Love Always,
Small, frequent acts of personal thoughtfulness and kindness…  towards me (and others).  That’s why I love her!

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Well, it’s been about 7 weeks now and I’m down just over 26 pounds!  Not great, but not bad either.  I’m now at 306 and a bit…  I’m now hoping for sub-300 by Christmas.
Last Thursday, 3 Dec 09, Hil and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary.  We went out for an Indian dinner.  It was quite nice – quiet, because it was the middle of the week.
Over the weekend, we went out and bought a replacement PC for the home and a netbook for wandering around the house (or just sitting in bed).  The desktop is just a netbook without a built-in monitor.  Since all we do is a bit of word processing and web surfing, it should be more than enough for us – for now.  I can always go out and get a beefy-er PC if it turns out we really need one.
We got the DVD “Up” over the weekend.  It is a terrific little movie!!  We both thoroughly enjoyed it.  Definitely a movie to watch repeatedly – Squirrel!!
Way back when I was in the Army, my roommate was a guy named Jeffery Barron.  He noticed I was into serial adventure novels and he suggested his personal favorite – “John Carter of Mars” by Edgar Rice Burroughs.  I bought the series (11 books) but never got past the first one.  Anyway, I was looking at my shelves and I’ve been carrying these books around the world for almost 30 years, so I’ve decided to read them.  I’m now into book four.  They’re pretty good in a “Indiana Jones” kind of way.  The problem is you always know he’ll somehow survive for the next book.  Still, it’s good light reading to get the mind off of the “real” world.
Two political updates:  health care is not doing well.  We need a national health care system with 100% of the public able to apply for it.  It should also have private options for anyone who wishes to supplement their regular coverage.  At the moment, the insurance and drug lobbies have too much money invested for there to be a real solution.  It looks like once again, we’ve missed a major opportunity to improve America.
The second note is on President Obama’s decision to increase the troop level in Afghanistan.  As mentioned in my previous blog, this is a terrible mistake.  The “war” there is not sustainable, let alone winnable.  We need to get out – plain and simple.

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