Thursday, June 21, 2007

Politics- perhaps some thin ice on this one-

is another blogger that I came across today. She noted a news piece or commentary that really caught me:

"Although House members lack the power to confirm military officers, they too appear willing to break from the tradition of not criticizing the military leadership. Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher said Wednesday she thought Pace was guilty of a dereliction of duty because of his support for President Bush's Iraq policy. "

Andi's comments: "Dereliction of duty? Does this mean that thousands and thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines are also guilty of dereliction of duty for supporting the mission they've been called to carry out?"

Andi continues: "I'm not a military strategist, but I suppose one can make a credible case for mismanagement of the war on the part of certain officials. A cause for removal when egregious violations occur is certainly warranted, but attacks on military leaders who support our goal and who are trying their damndest to do their jobs is troubling, to say the least. "

My comments: Ms. Tauscher doesn't seem to understand some rules of engagement in military decision-making, nor what constitutes dereliction of duty. It doesn't matter what you think about decisions being made after they are made. The time to provide your input and feedback is almost always before the decision is made. After a superior makes a decision, your job is to implement it- regardless of your feelings about it.

The military is not a democracy. I was told what job I would do, and when and where. I wasn't asked "what job do you think needs to be done, and when and where would you like to do it?"

Further, the only time one should be disobeying an order in the military is when the order is unlawful. The president's policies regarding the conduct of war in Iraq can in no way be considered unlawful, or I would expect Congress would have done something about it. If I remember right, they even passed some legislation essentially green-lighting his activities. Were they derelict in their duties if they voted in favor of that legislation?

I'm not used to the lack of control that in some ways is part and parcel of the military, which is one reason I chose to be a reservist, but that's how it is. Ms. Tausher's comments reflect what to me seems part ignorance and part irresponsbility. But that's just my opinion.

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