Friday, November 21, 2008

Military by Consensus

From "Think Progress,"
Obama will not immediately move to repeal the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy which bans openly gay individuals from serving. Obama reportedly “first wants to confer with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and his new political appointees at the Pentagon to reach a consensus and then present legislation to Congress.”

Another "commander in chief" who lets the generals dictate policy?

Another four years of, "General Petraeus will tell us when the troops can come home" in the future for our armed forces?

I can tell you for sure, this is not what I voted for.

Harry Truman integrated the military by executive order in 1948, and he did it over the objection of many of "his generals." He did it because it was the right thing to do and because he knew that, in the long run, it would serve the best interest of the military. He told the generals who opposed it that they either got behind it and supported it or they resigned, and that mere acceptance of it was insufficient.

He didn't wait for it to become popular, and he didn't wait for a "consensus of generals" to emerge. He led, he didn't follow.

Today the title of commander in chief is used by the media, by the president and by the president-elect endlessly and with unprecedented frequency, but the president is constantly "being guided by his generals," making statements like "Petraeus will tell us" when something can be done and, now our president-elect is apparently waiting for a consensus to allow gays to serve openly in our military as they do in almost every civilized nation in the world. And he's not going to do it himself, he's going to pass the buck to Congress.

Is Obama going to be a real leader, or is he going to be another "commander in chief" who gets pushed around by his generals? Anyone who wants to be called "commander in chief" needs to be a "commander in chief." Repealing DADT will take about five minutes of time, although it may take a few hours afterward to find replacements for a handful of dinosaur generals.

It's a Nike thing: just do it.

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