They embraced it

Watching civilian reporters talk about military matters is about like me trying to talk about quantum physics, where I might be able to recite the terminology, but remain completely clueless about the concepts.  It’s like I wandered over to Malcolm Pollack’s blog when he gets really engrossed in one of his many scientific topics – I read the words (having to look up most), but remain lost.

All afternoon I’ve been thinking about writing about “moral courage” and trying to put into words my disgust with this CINC and it’s in that context that President Obama completely disgusts me.  I have felt for a very long time that he is not fit to command the US Armed Forces – that is my heartfelt belief.  Every action he undertakes rests on his political agenda, replete with his arrogant, elitist inner-circle concocting “narratives” to spin it (lie) to the public.  The endless lying may be his undoing  in this Bergdahl situation, where he released some of the most dangerous Gitmo detainees in exchange for the return of what was not a “military hero”, possibly a deserter/collaborator.  Still, these self-important dilettantes turned military experts, continue this sad parade of brazen mendacity.  They are now military experts and military historians, cockily tossing out military phrases with abandon, of which they know nothing.

The military operates under a different code of laws  called the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and after spending my entire adult life around the Army, (serving a short time on active duty, the bulk as an Army spouse), in addition to reading for years about military matters, I am not a JAG lawyer, nor will I ever pretend to be one.  Bowe Bergdahl deserves to have the circumstances of his case investigated and if charged with crimes under the UCMJ, then he is entitled to legal representation and a fair trial – that much I do know.

The Army leadership owes it to every man and woman who swears an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States to investigate this situation and follow the UCMJ.  Sending out Susan Rice or those twits at the State Department to lie/deflect/denigrate other soldiers who have come forward to speak of their first-hand knowledge, will not make this matter disappear – our military can not defend America if the bonds of trust between the rank and file soldiers and the top brass collapse due to moral cowardice from the top.

Gladius offered some thoughts on moral courage, which sum up this situation:

“I absolutely agree that the Army leadership should have collectively stood up and said no to the exchange — but before it happened.  Now, I believe they have their hands tied in saying anything other that what Dempsey said about “may pursue an investigation.” Undue command influence has happened too often of late, when high-ranking officers order a specific investigation or a specific outcome of an investigation. I do believe Dempsey could strengthen his statement from “may pursue” to “will pursue through proper authorities”,  but I doubt he can now go further. The time of courage has passed.

Physical courage is spontaneous and happens usually without meditation and pre-planning. To be sure, we soldiers can be trained to react in certain ways, but instincts of survival can be hard to overcome.

On the other hand, moral courage is deliberative, purposeful and done with full awareness of the consequences.

The reverse of both is equally true. Physical cowardice is spontaneous and done without pre-planning in most cases. Again, to be sure, we can be trained to react better to overcome our natural tendencies. On the other hand, once again, moral cowardice is deliberate, purposeful and done with full awareness. Those in leadership, in my opinion, are guilty of moral cowardice. They knew it; they embraced it; and, they were aware of the consequences.  It was a gamble they took to protect their immediate position with no regard to the long time effect.”

Ralph Peters, a retired Army intelligence officer, author of numerous books on national security/intelligence/strategic matters and fictional novels, knows far more than me, your humble, mumbling amateur blogger, so I highly recommend you click over to National Review Online and read his entire piece, “Why Team Obama Was Blindsided by Bergdahl Backlash”.  Peters states:

“Our military leaders need to rediscover their moral courage and honor our traditions, our regulations, and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. We need a fresh, unprejudiced 15-6 investigation (the military equivalent of a grand jury). We already know, as the military has known since the first 24 hours after Bergdahl abandoned his post, that sufficient evidence exists for a court-martial, but it’s important to do this by the numbers.”

I agree with Gladius that “moral courage is deliberative, purposeful and done with full awareness of the consequences”, but I believe there is still time for moral courage and let’s hope that someone in our top military leadership speaks out.  Russ Vaughn, in an excellent piece, “A Five-Sided Kennel of Cowardice”,  astutely harkened to the power of one courageous voice:

“A single, public resignation by a single honorable four-star could have stopped this executive branch arrogance in its tracks, like a kitchen light breaking up a roach-fest.”
When in doubt, go back and start from the beginning, so let’s listen to the echoes of George Washington’s wisdom (additional links here in old LB blog post):
“I hope I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain (what I consider the most enviable of all titles) the character of an “Honest Man.”
And from there, perhaps, there’s still hope we can find our way to declare a truce in the relentless partisan political battles tearing America apart and :
“Let us erect a standard to which the wise and honest may repair.”


Filed under Culture Wars, General Interest, Military, Politics

6 responses to “They embraced it

  1. Minta Marie Morze

    Liberty, I’ve read all your posts (and followed links) on this matter, and watched FOX and meandered about the Internet, and I’m almost speechless. Almost.

    Expect this story to grow rapidly. Whatever the intent of the Administration—and there are several clear threads to this maneuver—this one is going to get away from them. For one thing, it sets a precedent that is monstrous and dangerous beyond the norm for this crowd. A lot of things are going to happen that are outside the administration’s field of play. Moreover, some of the ex-military figures who are speaking out are those who have earned the respect of a large percentage of Americans. And there are other factors.

    According to some talking heads—not fools—the people who actually held Bergdahl are notorious for asking for cash ransoms, not exchanges of personnel. Not only is this going to be really interesting over the next little bit, it’s also going to be stranger than anyone knows right now. Details are coming out.

    Right now, the Left is frantically trying to weave several narratives by which they will try to cloak Reality. They will be trying several of them out, hoping some will take root in people’s minds and grow into the thicket it would take to camouflage this latest foray of theirs into their perennial quest to control events.

    But the problem they will always have is that they keep assuming that they can ignore or shapeshift Reality by using what they believe is their genius.

    All scammers trust in their ability to find the right lie or group of lies to keep them on target. And in this case, the Administration knows that it has the MSM on its side, so that the lies don’t have to have more than a passing relationship to the Truth.

    But . . . .

    After a while, even the MSM will get fed-up with the grotesque nature of some of the lies they have to tell, and with the blatant resultant destruction that will accumulate until it reaches a critical mass. This Administration is producing a lot of corruption and scandals that are creating a lot of damage in this country and throughout the world. These are spreading like a plague, and, to further mix my metaphors, there will come a time when the Piper will have to be paid. The Piper’s price is always dear.

    As you have no doubt noticed, there are few things as ugly and frenzied as a part of the Left reaching the point when it turns against another part of the Left. After all—it knows where the bodies are buried. And, the Tipping Point cometh more quickly than people think.

    Just think of the apocalypse when the MSM and other loyal Leftist apologists realize—actually deep down realize—that when any system failure comes, they will be as hungry, as frightened, and as vulnerable as the people they consider their inferiors (i.e., “everyone else”). Remember that the real problem with the Titanic was that it had way too few lifeboats. The S.S LEFTIST DREAM has very, very, very few lifeboats, and they are only for the small cadre of Those At The Extreme Top.

  2. JK

    ” … this one is going to get away from them.”

    I think Minta you’ve nailed it precisely.

    ” … the Administration knows that it has the MSM on its side … ”

    Short-term very likely the Administration can assuredly coast along on that comfortable “knowledge” but with the beginning parts I then into II it seemed the treatment (don’t nobody faint – I’m about to type a word … and pluralize! nobody’s ever seen me type anywhere) anyway, with the treatment “our heroes” have and are receiving getting wall-to-wall coverage and now this “prisoner swap” …

    Well, let’s let John McCreary tell the tale:

    The mainstream media have covered the increased risk of hostage-taking as the direct and foreseeable result of the hostage exchange. This was not a prisoner of war exchange. … The timing could hardly be worse for Allied forces. As NATO draws down its forces, the Taliban get an influx of experienced leaders, undermining years of effort to degrade the leadership.

    John’s “[t]he timing could hardly be worse” I’d be bold enough to venture as … well, let’s allow somebody else’s words since I’ve copied and pasted my way to this far along

    Now the reason Minta I’m *disagreeing* with you on what the Administration “knows” is because of … drumroll … what still another somebody said

    “The efforts and endeavors of all Mujahidin, leading council of the Islamic Emirate, the detainers and keepers of the American prisoner ‘Bergdahl’ and generally the whole nation which played a significant role in this colossal victory are appreciated and I beg even deeper divine help, guidance and favorable turn of circumstances for all of them.”

    I “think” I have a slight clue as to what the audience to that immediately above utterer very likely “heard” and venturing again – this time not so boldly though – and the MSM will duly note it very publicly (though perhaps not always taking care to what constitutes the route between A to B) but Mullah Omar’s “[E]ven deeper turn of circumstances for all of them” will likely mean the Taliban will soon be opening the Waziristan version of a Holiday Inn.

    [Just in the … very slight … chance I lost somebody using words ‘route” ‘A’ and ‘B’ … think way way back to when the MSM was all over using the phrase “connect the dots” usually with the words “failure to” in close proximity.]

  3. Minta Marie Morze

    Hi, JK!!

    You must forgive me if I seem to go off the rails here a bit, or you may agree. I’m in a pensive mood, and it isn’t Tennyson’s Daffodils that caught my inward eye.

    Most of the politicians and their camp followers in DC and elsewhere—on both sides—seem to believe that what is happening now is the normal political/ideological fight between viewpoints, and so we get them doing things like giving advice in interviews, wondering why the administration is doing or not doing something, etc., when what is actually going on is a crisis in a struggle that has walked with mankind for millennia. Internationally, both the Islamists and the Left True Believers (and their MSM bushy-tailed minions) see something of the wider spectrum of this metaphysical crisis and are doing what they can to further their side. But because of their ignorance of Reality, of Truth, their handiwork is going to be far more destructive than most of them believe.

    It’s the same ageless conflict. The Destroyers vs. the Creators. The Enslavers vs. the Liberators. The Collectivists vs. the Individualists.

    Metaphorically speaking, the Collectivists build Gulags and do terror, and the Individualists build Cathedrals and do science.

    Right now, the Administration is losing its grip on some of its followers in the media and elsewhere, because an edifice constructed on ever-shifting sands must eventually be torn apart, and some are feeling the tremors.

    When it is taunted so arrogantly, Reality finally turns on its tormentors and eviscerates them. As to whether the denouement of this particular crisis manifests itself as a Danse Macabre or a Renaissance, my personal opinion is that the Left brought Obama to the presidency too soon. Its prematurity may have been by the Hand of Providence. I believe we will have an American* Reawakening, but I also believe it is going to get unspeakably ugly before then.

    *”American” here means a body of ideas codified in our Declaration, and Constitution, and imbued with the Judeo-Christian Ethos. “The United States” is another matter altogether, and the amount of America embedded in it at any particular time waxes and wanes. I believe America’s Rebirth will be widespread geographically.

  4. JK

    Not to fear Minta my friend, worrying you might “go off the rails” ’cause I’m already off and can probably cushion your fall. That is, if you manage to veer far enough I don’t have to move very fast – I walk, er, ambulate with a cane.

    However I am glad you defined “America” (though your inclusion stating “The United States is another matter” helped greatly) because though usually in a different context I’ve often been seen around the interwebs arguing, America extends from Tierra del Fuego to somewhat north of the Arctic Circle.

    Bad habit I picked up in the Navy I suppose – it’s just that neither of the two sorts of ships/boats I would’ve been going somewheres on didn’t go through the Panama Canal. Carriers cause too big and the only sort of vessel the Navy allows to be called properly a boat, for another reason.

  5. Minta Marie Morze

    I know the drill, JK. And I know this is all controversial—because what isn’t nowadays? This is just the way I look at it.

    There are two continents, called North America and South America, and they’ve been carved up into many countries, one of which is called the United States of America. There is a body of ideas called “America” that was, toward the end of the 1700s, metaphysically embedded in the geographical physical entity called the United States of America, (also the USA), which occupied a lot less physical land then.

    The USA has expanded to encompass a lot of territory, some of it even in the Pacific Ocean and not in the continents at all. Moreover, the USA could encompass more or less physical territory over time, and, all such territory, no matter what continent or ocean claimed its physical land, it would still be part of the USA. However, at any given time, the body of ideas called “America” is mapped over either the entire geography of that USA, or part of it, or none of it. For instance, Obama is doing his best to extirpate (the gestalt) America from (the geographical) USA.

    I find it is a highly functional way to view it all. It is the reason why people can speak of someone being “anti-American”. It is why people can say, “I hate America”. Sometimes the same people who make a point of saying America extends through the North and South American continents also quite often take pride in the fact that they are anti-American and hate America.

  6. Pingback: Our pathetic Republican Hypocrites | libertybelle diaries

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