I've been doing some soul searching since the great liberal massacre of 2014 and decided to impart my thoughts here, on Daily Kos, again after numerous years of silence. You'll note I'm not an elder but hardly a young one to this site so please keep your attacks on my Party devotion to a minimum (as in not at all). I'm thinking of doing more of this, writing diaries, because being ignored is great. It's something I crave. My thoughts are not conventional, among conservatives or liberals, and I'm often told what a crackpot I've become so be prepared for a gasp, hand to breast, or even a profanity. Know up front that my response is that I don't care whether you agree or not. It's how I see things, from where I sit, and I'm just trying to be funny. If some point comes from my attempt to make Jon Stewart envious then swell (if that word doesn't give away my generational age then you're too young for my diaries).
My return will be a response to this PBS article. Robert Burns and Julie Pace tell us that there's some concern, among Republic's (I return respect by leaving off the "an" from their Party designation just as they omit a letter from ours), Panetta, Hagel and "Foreign policy experts" (whomever they may be) that the WH is micromanaging the Pentagon and creating "a lack of clarity." They say Pentagon policy recommendations are often discussed exhoustively by the WH and sometimes result in conclusions that remain vague. Troubling enough that the 21st century's a complicated place but our President has the nerve to discuss ideas, even think about them, before telling the Pentagon's senior staff how to proceed (often too cautiously for their blood). How galling to not just accept recommendations by foreign policy experts and shuffle off to pardon a turkey or put a wreath on something. Eisenhower be damned, the Pentagon will have it's say. Gates was stunned to find the WH had installed a phone linking them to HIS special operations headquarters in Kabul. Had it ripped out, Gates did, ordering commanders to reply to a WH inquiry "...go to hell." I guess old Republic Robert showed Obama who was boss.
Three S'sOD and "top Pentagon officials" are bothered that the WH seems cool toward their inclinations to use force. While my heart bleeds for them I seem to recall that being a big reason why Obama won two elections (with the largest percentage of vote since FDR on both occassions). I remember that being important to me but I do mushrooms. Imagine, The Man is actually trying to keep us from becoming too mired in regional confllicts created by our apparently mistaken idea that Arab nations are feverish to welcome Christianity and USA occupation. Gall.
Stephen Biddle, an occasional adviser to U.S. combat commanders (that's the way PBS actually describes him), says the WH has fallen victim to "group think." I know Mr Biddle cooks up brilliance in the privacy of his den with a cigar and brandy but beg to suggest he's wrong. The WH has fallen victim to a brilliance not seen since Jefferson dined alone.
Pentagon officials, and ex-officials, complain there is no clarity. Imagine that! The world is soooo easy, left or right, yet the WH can't come up with clarity! What is wrong with our President? Reacting to world events as they happen, starting with the most peaceful of responses before employing more, um, decisive ones? smh. There used to be such certainty, "when good was good and evil was evil. Before things got so...fuzzy." (nod to Don Henley) How will FOX be able to tell it's viewers what the USA will do if there's no certainty? These poor officials. They're so put upon.
President Obama has often demonstrated a vast intelligence that is capable of sifting through lots of information, ideas, and nuance to find the most hopeful action that can achieve positive results. A committee, like that of Congressman Darryl Issa, dithers around for years without results or consensus. It gets bogged down into political obssessions and ambitions, becoming as effective as a wet match. That would be a much better process than one man the nation trusted to make such judgments and asking for national representatives to approve? I suspect it would be more desireable if that one man were a warmonger like John McCain. National voters, not just those of a Gerrymandered District or even a state, expressed their newfound feelings for killing (85% approved of it in 2003) and Obama seems to have heard them pretty well. If collective USA citizens (a sort-of committee) hold the wisdom of of our nation (a notion I would dispute because of 2003) then it would seem Obama, by winning election twice, is the smartest man in the room. Acting like it makes him a bit arrogant, though, according to Pentagon top staff and officials. Rudeness will not be tolerated unless it comes from the Tea Party.
If only we had someone decisive, like Rmoney, to create clarity for our nation's warmongers. A WH willing to go after our real enemies, like Dick and Bush, or even Nixon, almost did. Someone who obeys the Pentagon-friendly Congress and abides by their decisions, like Reagan unto Contras. Someone who could transcend being a leader and become something great. Let me assure you all that Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, or JFK would never have taken the arrogant attitude of believing in their own determinations for the world's interest.
And the really amazing aspect of all this is that IT'S WORKING. Republic's own 2/3 of the states, both houses of Congress, and SCOTUS. If Don will excuse another nod, "The Devil is downhearted, babe, 'cause there's nothing left for him to claim."