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Left-Think and The General Staff


TCOTS’ Bob Belvedere pointed to NRO’s Andy McCarthy who pointed to Victor Davis Hanson.  Great reads, all.  Quite chilling.

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A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state...

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Back already?  Kidding aside: In their discussions of the situation of General Stanley McChystal, McCarthy and Hanson reveal a side of militray brass that I found disturbingly familiar. I’m not a military vet, though I had seen these character paradigms before… at grad school.

The elitism and sense of entitlement of rank; the arrogance directed downstream ‘balanced’ by insubordination upstream; the environment totally isolated from the ‘real’ economic world; even the strictures of pay-grades, protocols and heierarchical command.  In the world of academia, it seemed that 90% of the population were openly leftist with only a tiny fraction displaying any sort of counter-establishment libertarian or conservative mindset.  Is there more?

Thus the questions:  Is America’s military commanded primarily by leftists and progressives?  They take an oath to the Constitution, but how many of the staff know and understand the Constitution?  America’s Conservatives are proud of their support and volunteerism in our armed forces, while the Left and many libertarians stop at nothing to trash the military and it’s primary role of protecting American security and vital interests.  One wonders, then, about ultimate loyalties and intent and the state of our Constitutional security.

Really, I don’t know.  I don’t even know if I have the right questions.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Mrs. Kissell permalink
    2010/06/25 08:39

    “Really, I don’t know. I don’t even know if I have the right questions.”

    Manly statement, thanks, rare and refreshing.

    A couple of things:

    1- McChrystal, like many GOs, is a Hillary supporter.

    2- Company and Field Grade Officers today tend anti-leftist while GOs today tend leftist. Note, please, the word *tend* and its overtones.

    3- The issue faced by all Officers today is that their oath is to protect and defend the Constitution of the USA against all enemies foreign and domestic, whereas, their CinC hates, despises, attacks and subverts the Constitution of the USA, being a domestic enemy of the Constitution of the USA, as also is her-his entourage.

    4- McCrystal was and remains alive to the meaning of his Oath Of Office, made no error in judgement, no mistake, no act of insubordination, no unthinking blunder, no offense against his profession or his position. He discharged his Oath in the manner he considered most effective and fitting, and no one has authority to second-guess him regarding his course of action.

    5- Best to look at what Stan did, withhold verdict and appreciate his elegance.

    • 2010/06/25 13:44

      Thank-you for the thoughtful response. Much there, too, between the lines. I’ll have to mull this over. I’m a right-brained graphic artist with a thing for over-all pattern, not an historian or mathematician with a strong left-brained linear critical capacity.

      Much appreciated.

      • Mrs. Kissell permalink
        2010/06/25 23:10

        Thanks for the very fine work you do here, I am an admirer, and grateful!

  2. Danby permalink
    2010/06/25 16:19

    My brother (E-8 Sgt Patrick Baker, US Army, Ret.) like to say that the US Army is the closest the world has seen to a perfect Communist state. Everyone is taken care of. Everyone is a slave to the State.
    Anyone who spends substantially all of his adult life in the US Army will either come out a committed leftist (McChrystal) or an ardent conservative (my brother). There is no 3rd option.

  3. 2010/06/25 17:39

    Interesting, Danby.
    Like Academia, military funding isn’t self generated but rather comes from outside. That there are those in the Forces who appreciate what they’re protecting speaks well. (Can’t say that occurred much in grad or undergrad school – though a few professors appreciated the markets that made their disciplines possible.)


  4. 2010/06/26 06:11

    For years it has been of grave concern to me that we require new officers to take an oath to something we have no reason to expect they understand. They can not be expected to learn about the Constitution in public schools, they are even less likely to learn about it in college, and our military academies do not teach it effectively.

    Years ago, while teaching in a course for new officers in my branch of the service, another instructor and I developed a course on the Constitution. It was introduced with half a dozen recent events that demonstrated how easily an officer could find him or herself faced with orders that ran counter to the Constitution. We were careful to take no sides on those issues, but we wanted to point out that an officer must understand the principles we have taken an oath to defend, because odds are, the way things are going, that in a 20 year career, someone will ask us to do something the Founding Fathers wouldn’t have supported.

    We were allowed to teach the course one time. Despite the care we took, the course was judged “too dangerous” because it suggested that we may, at some point, actually have to defend the Constitution against domestic enemies.

    The military is a (perhaps slightly more conservative) product of society. When you supply us with young men and women who know nothing about our history, who cannot explain the difference between a republic and a democracy (and who believe our nation to be the latter, instead of the former) and who think “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” comes, either from the Bible or the Constitution, it’s only a matter of time before the military is no longer the institution of moral, educated people Jefferson said is required to maintain a republic.

    • 2010/06/27 04:29

      Thanks –
      I was reading the biblical account of Moses under the rise of the “new pharaoh.” I was struck by two things: Firstly, how a privileged people such as the sons of Israel in Egypt became, overnight, total slaves to the regime. No-one saw it coming.

      I was also struck by recalling “from each… to each…” and how perfectly succinct it was in summing-up the slave state. “From each… to each…” is a zero-sum approach to wealth: but wealth is not a zero-sum phenomenon. I find marx’ whole notion appallingly ignorant.

      If you still have the notes for the Constitution course, it may yet serve as an asset. Home-schoolers, other service branches, perhaps one of the military colleges or prep schools, police or intelligence academies – perhaps even one of the civilian academic schools – versions tailored for the particular market? Sounds like a “keeper.”

  5. 2010/06/27 05:29


    That’s quite a coincidence. My family is reading the same thing right now in our nightly reading, and just yesterday my wife and I were talking about slavery – and how our own nation seems to be giving itself over willingly to a state of slavery.

    Another thing that strikes me about the account of the Exodus is how, when Moses first receives his instructions he’s told that Pharoah’s heart will be hardened. There was never any question as to whether he would let Israel go willingly. His role in life was to be hard-headed so that God could demonstrate his power and the lengths to which He would go for his people.

    As for the course notes, they are long gone – too many intervening years and too many moves – but we homeschool our kids and are doing our best to make sure they know what our nation was supposed to be and why.

    Incidentally, I may have a chance to interview Mosab Yousef over the phone in the coming days. A reader of my blog wrote to say her son lived with him. The son is asking him if he’s willing to talk with me. I’ll keep you posted.

    • 2010/06/27 12:26

      Thanks for the thoughts, Steven.

      An interview – that’s BIG, as Eric Donderos would say! We can have your interview crossed-posted on Libertarian Republican and over at Free Mosab. I’ll give you Eric’s blog mail address. Best of luck with it.

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