posted by Justin Oldham
There's a dirty little secret regarding that troop sure that nobody is talking about. The specifics of just HOW that surge works will damage the
Republicans even further, when the details come out. The idea seems to be to accelerate the current deployment schedule while at the same time
extending the tours of troops already in theater by at least five months. [Edited by Don W]
OK, so FDR and I think HST let the generals wage war but on the grand strategic plan they had adopted. Well defined areas of responsibility. “I’ll
do what I’m designated to do, you do what you are best qualified to do.” HST fired MacArthur for not following orders. HST did not want a land
war on the Asian land mass. And HST was not about to delegate the use of the atom bomb to any subordinate. The American people, the world, and history
deserved better. “The Buck Stops Here.” Thank you Lord, for HST! A student of history.
Unfortunately, in large part due to technology never imagined by our FFs, it is all too easy for modern presidents to self delude that somehow God
made them Carl von Clausewitz, Junior. FDR had his “Map Room” in the White House basement. But FDR was crippled, he could not walk. Before FDR,
the president would walk to the War Department building just down the street. JFK used the Oval Office to run the Cuba Missile Crisis. But it was LBJ
who began the highly problematic and generally unsatisfactory practice of micro-managing war, just because they can! I admit it is easy to believe the
line between political and military decisions is sometimes murky. Especially if you want to.
Commander in Chief in 1787 meant overall command. But not that the president was a 6 star field marshal. Lincoln indeed was closely invovled in
appointing generals but he did not command troops in the field. After he found US Grant, he left the generals to do their task without further
interference. So don’t make me angry by comparing Lincoln to Bumbler43.
Then came Jimmy Carter in the failed rescue of the hostages. Operation Desert One. Carter was said to be watching on live tv in the basement of the
WH. He is said to have ordered the termination of the mission. I’m sure without knowing he had help explaining the situation to him and consulted
with his top advisers on options available before he gave the order. In a well-run environment, OTOH, and IMO, that order would have been the call of
the on-site commander.
Then came Granada, followed by Panama, and lastly Mogadishu. Except for the dead soldiers, all penny-ante operations. Both Reagan’s Granada and
Bush41's Panama were unconstitutional and violated international law. Clinton, OTOH, was legally operating in Somalia under UN aegis to protect
humanitarian aid workers. Hmm? 2 GOP, 2 illegal. 1 Dem, 1 legal.
My real point is that Bush43 has precedent to micro intrude into pure military operations. By so doing, he confuses the proper role of the president,
and that of commander in chief. As president, he sets overall policy and goals. As commander in chief, he assures the competence of his military
commanders on the ground. It’s obvious to me Bush43 enjoys playing war far more than he enjoys running a country. That’s more like work. Something
entirely foreign to Bush43. Thanks Mama Bush, he’s your boy. He reminds me of old Emperor Caligula. Are we going to need a constitutional
amendment explaining the implications of Commander in Chief? I give you Bill Clinton who understood that best.
[edit on 1/12/2007 by donwhite]