Friday, August 31, 2007

Be careful what you wish for

Jill at Brilliant at Breakfast:
The weaselly Democrats are too fucking frightened to take on this lunatic [Bush], even if it means that thousands more American families receive the knock on the door that no one wants to hear. No price in American lives is too much to pay for them to keep their jobs and not have to expend the effort to explain to the Fox Noisebots in their districts what's really going on. God knows the Republicans won't do it; they're too busy getting off -- and making money -- off of the war effort.

That leaves the military. We know that Congress won't live up to its Constitutional duty to remove this guy from office before he can do any more harm to the Constitution and to our country. We are now left with only the hope that the military will rise up and say "Enough."

A military coup -- that's what it's come to, folks. Because that's the only thing that will rescue us form the clutches of this monster.
A few minutes later, she posts the ominous news that "[m]embers of the 1st Battalion 265 Air Defense Artillery have mobilized and are on a plane headed first to Ft. Bliss, then for federal active duty in the capital region." Although it's probably nothing, I am a bit concerned about calls for a military coup of some sort. They don't always go well.

Seriously, though, I have generally figured that if anyone has the capability to call Bush on his bullshit, it is the military leaders. I will never advocate any sort of military coup, just based on knowledge of history, but it may not come to that. (Fred Kaplan did offer an interesting argument last year that "a military coup in this country right now would probably have a moderating influence.") The U.S. may just run out of combat-ready troops soon, anyway, which presumably would force the civilian leadership to pay more attention to the military leadership.


tODD said...

I realize (or hope) that all that coup talk is so much blowing-off-steam. But much as I am so sick of this war, as well as much else this president has done, I'm not sure I agree with you about wanting the military to stand up to or publicly dispute with Bush (perhaps I misread you?).

Our military defers to the President because they seriously respect the idea of civilian control of the military. And we here want to keep it that way.

Does this deference mean that the Commander in Chief can, if he so chooses, completely ignore the advice of military leaders and destroy our military at the same time he wages a ridiculous war? Yes, but it also means that the military remains a tool of the state, not a separate entity from it.

The last thing I want is a situation like they have in Turkey, where the military vets (or tries to) candidates for office. This is partly ironic, because Turkey's military is staunchly secular in an otherwise Muslim state, and their exercising power leads to a more Western/liberal kind of government. But at the expense of a non-elected military influence. Which isn't so Western/liberal, after all.

Anyhow, I don't think our military leaders aren't telling Bush things are going poorly. I just think he's ignoring them for his own bad reasons. And, much as I don't like Bush, I like things that way.

That said, I do wish the Democrats weren't so lame. They are the legitimate, immediate check on Bush's ongoing travesty, but they refuse to (a) reclaim the war powers granted them in the Constitution and (b) impeach the dude. I don't really relish voting for them in 2008, given their current performance.

cryptic_philosopher said...

I see your point. I'm not advocating outright mutiny or rebellion or anything like that. However, I do not know of a specific historical instance where a U.S. president has demanded the military do something it is not physically capable of doing--how would the Joint Chiefs et al respond to, say, further strains on our combat troops? The military is under thge authority of the civilian leadership, no doubt...I just hope they have the cojones to tell it like it is to the White least more so than the Democrats in Congress. I worry that the next ground invasion will be conducted by Blackwater and financed by China's purchase of additional T-bills...Congress would have authority over a decision like this, not the military.

Man, I'm depressed.