Syria. Never in recent rhetoric about various horrors have Americans so managed to display a complete inability to think critically.
Scales as he presents himself
This whole “anti-war” screech of the modern left would generally and usually seem reasonable until one makes the mistake of reading the “analysis” of why a policy of neo-isolationism ought to be the Way Things Am™.
Some routinely becomes All, events from different times and places are conflated without context: Al Qaeda, Iraq, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Abu Gharib (I keeds you not) and lord knows what else. The sheer commonality of false linkages (e.g. some Al Qaeda = ALL opposition) has left me uncharacteristically silent. How do you refute endless speciousness?
Add the propaganda, lapped up with an uncritical spoon, and y0u have a toxic brew:
A war the Pentagon doesn’t want
Robert H. Scales / Washington Post
Robert H. Scales, a retired Army major general, is a former commandant of the U.S. Army War College.
The tapes tell the tale. Go back and look at images of our nation’s most senior soldier, Gen. Martin Dempsey, and his body language during Tuesday’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on Syria. It’s pretty obvious that Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, doesn’t want this war. As Secretary of State John Kerry’s thundering voice and arm-waving redounded in rage against Bashar al-Assad’s atrocities, Dempsey was largely (and respectfully) silent.
Dempsey’s unspoken words reflect the opinions of most serving military leaders…
Seriously. Sounds serious until you realize that Scales is a Faux Nooz KKKommon Tater.
A fact that the Washington Post questionably omits? Really? The following bit of “logick” ought to convince you he’s from Faux:
By no means do I profess to speak on behalf of all of our men and women in uniform.
OK. Fair enough until General Mayhem completely contradicts it [emphasis added]:
But I can justifiably share the sentiments of those inside the Pentagon and elsewhere who write the plans and develop strategies for fighting our wars. After personal exchanges with dozens of active and retired soldiers in recent days, I feel confident that what follows represents the overwhelming opinion of serving professionals who have been intimate witnesses to the unfolding events that will lead the United States into its next war.
In other words, I can’t speak for all soldiers: just the ones that know enough to matter.
OK. And here’s who General Dissatisfaction REALLY is, btw: a fading old duffer making his money on the sawdust circuit of seminars and panels, aided and abetted wonderfully by his Faux Nooz “credentials,” but ALSO by managing to get this slander into the Washington P0st. This is the swill that ends up on speaker brochures as “General Scales’ writings have appeared in the Washington Post…“
Signing his latest book (2004) Lessons from the Iraq War
He continues and the fans lap it up:
They are embarrassed to be associated with the amateurism of the Obama administration’s attempts to craft a plan that makes strategic sense. None of the White House staff has any experience in war or understands it. So far, at least, this path to war violates every principle of war, including the element of surprise, achieving mass and having a clearly defined and obtainable objective.
I note that General Disdain doesn’t mention Chuck Hegel or John Kerry, Vietnam war vets who also saw actual combat. (Scales fought at the battle of Hamburger Hill in 1969, which may explain his clear revulsion at the civilian leadership of the military).
They are repelled by the hypocrisy of a media blitz that warns against the return of Hitlerism but privately acknowledges that the motive for risking American lives is our “responsibility to protect” the world’s innocents. Prospective U.S. action in Syria is not about threats to American security. The U.S. military’s civilian masters privately are proud that they are motivated by guilt over slaughters in Rwanda, Sudan and Kosovo and not by any systemic threat to our country.
I guess Gitmo and Iraq don’t bother them, however. A “finely tuned” sense of hypocrisy.
They are outraged by the fact that what may happen is an act of war and a willingness to risk American lives to make up for a slip of the tongue about “red lines.” These acts would be for retribution and to restore the reputation of a president. Our serving professionals make the point that killing more Syrians won’t deter Iranian resolve to confront us. The Iranians have already gotten the message.
They are embarrassed. They are repelled. They are outraged. Sounds like a bad parody of the Declaration:
He has refused
He has forbidden
He has dissolved
He has endeavoured
He has obstructed …
Because this is all about Obama’s ego, AND it is taking us into a WAR!
Scales today, scraping out a living as an Important Monkey
Both are unprovable and outrageous assumptions. Like much of the lefty rhetoric, the difference between a “strike” and a “war” is completely ignored.
And, you know they’re all NON-SERVING AMATEURS! — which didn’t seem to bother the former General when the Iraq war of choice (a War Crime, according to the Nuremberg Trials and thereafter) stampede and memorial rodeo was a whooping it down the streets. Yee haw!!
OK: this is straight up garbage from an arrogant partisan who has been out of the game for a long time. In all fairness, he “authored the book, Certain Victory, the Army’s official account of the first Persian Gulf War,” according to Wikipedia.
And by “partisan” I mean a specialized kind of partisan, who bleeds army or navy or air force, etc. blue. They are the keepers of the mythos, the guardians of freedom, sentinals of liberty and tend to overstate their importance in the scheme of things, as has been the nature of the military in all ages. He is passing on gossip from his buddies with brass shoulderpads, and letting slip the professional’s contempt for the civilian — a contempt that is no more warranted than a civilian’s contempt for the military, by the by.
But they have quietly become “conservative” partisan over the years, and that is a disturbing thing. (Several times in his comments I get the distinct whiff of Eau de Seven Days In May. For, if nothing else, this is the attitude that precedes it. We have a long tradition of respect for the office of the President, if not the occupant. Baby Bush played that card unto death — your kid’s, not his — and it is uttely unseemly for a member of THAT military establishment to voice his contempt for any sitting president in the terms that General Sedition would suggest. Duty. Honor. Country. Remember?)
But a reminder that our military leadership (and much of the officer corpse [sic]) are hard-core Republican haters who lap up Limbaugh the way a suckling infant takes its mother’s milk. And if General Custer is speaking for their collective ATTITUDE towards the civilian leadership, I think it’s time for a Little Big Horn. Just sayin.)
And what do we learn from General Malaise’s lesson in right wing military disrespect of the office of the president according to a self-admitted gossip?
Nothing at all.
Look: I GET that you’re embarrassed about your support for the illegal wars. I really do.
And I GET that you’re frustrated that the greatest mass murderers of the Twenty First Century thus far were an AMERICAN Admininstration. But this isn’t that. GOT IT?
I fought it and saw it for the epochal mistake that it was, and that’s historical fact, not a lot of blather from a has-been retired armchair general (he headed the U.S. War College according to the latest iteration of his résumé. In other words, he’s as “establishment” Pentagon mentality as it’s possible to get.)
Wonder how many warnings he gave us on Iraq …
I have the bona fides as an intelligent and correct anti-war activist.
And I do not look at this and see the lies into Iraq, nor the yellowcake slanders.
I see Rwanda, if anything, but most importantly, I see THIS episode.
And I see this rage directed NOT at those who used chemical weapons to slaughter nearly 1500 civilians in Syria. I see this rage directed at the President, which, in this case is not merely inappropriate, but overtly MAD. Nuts. Insane. Crazy and inappropriate venting. I understand the venting, but at least vent where it belongs.
Otherwise we end up sounding like the serpent in the Post.
This is Syria. Iraq is at the right.
Bush and Cheney poisoned the waters, and it astonishes me to watch all the silent bastards who kept their traps shut during the vile leadup to the Iraq War, and the mindless jingoism following 9-11 pretending to be the suddenly converted, pretending that they’re not going to get into another Iraq War.
It’s like the Beatles: you can’t find anyone who sneered at the Beatles in 1964 in 2013. Why EVERYBODY thought the fab four were,well … fab. No one remembers that a large part of the pre-Faux Nooz audience made every homosexual and troglodyte slur imaginable against them.
So, too, we were all in favor of the bad war THEN, but no one seems to remember that NOW. I do: It was a very lonely place being AGAINST that war.
Even General Discombobulation is poisoned by it:
Our military members understand and take seriously their oath to defend the constitutional authority of their civilian masters. They understand that the United States is the only liberal democracy that has never been ruled by its military. But today’s soldiers know war and resent civilian policymakers who want the military to fight a war that neither they nor their loved ones will experience firsthand…
Get it? It’s NOT about Syria or chemicals. It’s about being conned into Iraq, and not having the cojones to admit it. So it’s diverted to dumping on President Obama, Secretary Kerry and Secretary Hegel.
No “Noël” here
Unlike most of you, I remember* the aftermath of the Vietnam War, where militant war weariness ruled the mindless roost until Reagan played the shell game between Grenada and Lebanon (where “important” and “breaking” news only seemed to happen on Sundays, during the halftimes of NFL games) and invaded Grenada after losing 222 Marines in a truck bombing in Lebanon and exiting with tail twixt legs, and we CHEERED!
[* I didn't say "lived through," I said "REMEMBER." Remember the Mayaguez? Remember the great "war toys" debates? Remember the hoary cliché "There will never be another Vietnam"? What a joke THAT turned out to be. Hell, remember "Never get involved in a land war in Asia"?]
And we’ve been cheering ever since. We even brought back that worst song of the annoying Seventies: “Tie A Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Old Oak Tree,” which doesn’t even APPLY!
And then Daddy Bush invaded Panama for reasons that REMAIN obscure (assuming you don’t understand Noriega’s part in Iran-Contra), and we cheered s0me more.
And the “NEVER AGAIN” voices of Vietnam fell asleep and we found ourself in Iraq, “The War That Will Pay For Itself” while the treasury was being looted, wholesale.
These are the critical thinkers whose arguments I have avoided for the past week.
[And I remain stubbornly agnostic on the question, having received NO new or valuable analysis in the tsunami of snark.]
And will, ghod willing, continue to avoid.
Now he seigs in hell
This is THIS, it is not THAT. This is NOW, it is not THEN. All is not the same as Some.
I hold out no great hope that you will hear this, but I am required to make the attempt.
Consider it made.We conclude with General Disaster’s semi-concluding paragraph:
Over the past few days, the opinions of officers confiding in me have changed to some degree. Resignation seems to be creeping into their sense of outrage. One officer told me: “To hell with them. If this guy wants this war, then let him have it. Looks like no one will get hurt anyway.”
I so loves it when some courageous officer slanders the president anonymously through a Faux Nooz mouthpiece. Gives me a real sense of what “Duty. Honor. Country,” means.
Real “courage” there, General.