Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Loose Lips



From historical accounts I have read, pirate ships were often very democratic enterprises. Pirates were sometimes allowed to vote on who would be their Captain. If he failed to fulfill their goals – pillaging, plundering and all that – a vote would be called and they could elect a new Captain.

The previous Captain would often be set adrift in a dinghy or marooned on a deserted island, with scant provisions and a single merciful shot in his pistol.

But according to The Code, once engaged in combat, the Captain’s word was law. There could be no arguing in the midst of battle.

This is pretty much the attitude our nation held to when then-President Bush took America to war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Demanding some sort of response to the 9-11 attacks, the nation went to war. And anyone who dared criticize the President / Commander-in-Chief was shouted down.

Here’s TV personality Bill O’Reilly in 2004: “You don’t criticize the commander-in-chief in the middle of a firefight. That could be construed as putting U.S. forces in jeopardy and undermining morale.”

And then there’s Sean Hannity in 2006: “He’s the commander-in-chief. And what I find frankly repugnant about you and some of your fellow Democrats – you have undermined our president…”

Of course, that’s when the President was a Republican.

So last week, in the face of a new threat – created in large part by the previous U.S. intervention and the upsetting of the balance of power in the Middle East – President Obama announced the return of a military campaign in Iraq. As did his predecessor, the President is working to pull together an international coalition to stop ISIS, optimistically limiting the scope of engagement to aerial bombardment.

No “boots on the ground”.

A surprisingly bi-partisan Congress voted its approval of the President’s decision, but stopped short of officially declaring “War” before leaving town to go campaign for re-election.

So have the O’Reillys and Hannitys of the world stopped the endless partisan attacks on the Democrat President now that we are again in the midst of combat? Have they thrown their undying support behind our Commander-in-Chief?

Hardly.

Bill O’Reilly, yesterday: “Let me repeat. President Obama has put together 62 nations that say they don’t like ISIS and are willing to help out. Yet only four will bomb ISIS positions in Syria and not Great Britain, France or Belgium. They won’t do it. So that’s a weak coalition – a bunch of nations that are talking, but not acting.”

Sean Hannity, today: “A new report shows that our president couldn’t be bothered with daily intelligence briefings. That might help explain his unparalleled incompetence when it comes to foreign policy.”

Wow. Talk about undermining the Commander-in-Chief! So much for boosting the morale of our troops! Not to mention how our allies must feel!

A WWII Billboard

Oh, if only we had a REAL Commander-in-Chief once again – like the one that got us into this mess in the first place: the one who convinced the world of a non-existent threat to justify removing Saddam Hussein from power; the one who declared “Mission Accomplished!” well before the mission was accomplished. 

The one who, in a moment of refreshing honesty, declared to the American people: 
“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.”

Yep. That’s what we need. Said no one. Ever.