Sunday, January 28, 2007
Politics be damned. "Bull" Halsey was a leader. He erred on the side of boldness, to his detriment at Leyte Gulf, but he went after what he believed to be the greater threat to the entire pacific campaign; and was exonerated for his decision later on.
Name ONE of our current leaders with the temerity to say something like that today.
Not. Gonna. Happen.
In order for our leaders to survive and get into positions so they can fight the war, they have to appease politicians (see Gen Petraeus' confirmation before congress.) Since politicians are always concerned with their next election before what is the right thing to do, they would never allow a leader to alienate even one of their constituents. (I guess I'll never see that fourth star.)
The 9/11 attacks were an attack on the civilian population (with the exception of the Pentagon) and -not- a valid military target. Pearl Harbor was at least a military objective, as were the military-industrial cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That we find our leaders, less than six years later, debating not only whether we should prosecute this war, but how we should prosecute it, is horrifying. Our representatives are by and large lifelong civilians, whose only military experience is either academic, or through adding pork projects to their states. The veterans who do serve in our highestr levels of gummint are warriors from WWII to Desert Storm. They are a huge minority, often silenced by the pantywaist cut-n-run bunch.
We need warriors, total warriors, (google the definintion of total war) in the halls of congress as well as in theater.
I think that since we give veterans a 10% preference for civil service, we should extend that to representatives--and an additional 10% for combat veterans--at the polls. Imagine how many would sign up immediately, just to garner the benefit! So many of them have no idea of what is entailed in a depoyment, or the "truth in fact" about what it takes to win a firefight, let alone a war.
Just what in the hell qualifies them to determine whether or not a General Officer is the right guy for the job? How many of them can rely on any personal experience other than campaigning to achieve victory? How many of them understand anything about the mitilary, other than what they hear from focus and special interest groups? How many of them rely on USA Today and NYT polls, and their party talking points, and their own staffer's opinions to base their votes? It's akin to the Lighthouse for the Blind choosing the pattern for our Uniforms, and the Fondation for the Deaf choosing the music for our Victory Parade.
And our Freedom, our very Nation, is what is on the line.