In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 19, 2006 / 21 Nissan, 5766

Court of inquiry

By Tony Blankley

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Yesterday, The Washington Post published three quarters of an exceptionally fine editorial titled "The Generals' Revolt." Referring to the retired generals who are speaking out, the key paragraph reads:

"Much of their analysis strikes us as solid — but the rebellion is problematic nonetheless. It threatens the essential democratic principle of military subordination to civilian control — the more so because a couple of the officers claim they are speaking for some still on active duty. Anyone who protested the pushback of uniformed military against President Bill Clinton's attempt to allow gays to serve ought to also object to generals who criticize the decisions of a president and his defense secretary in wartime. If they are successful in forcing Mr. Rumsfeld's resignation, they will set an ugly precedent. Will future defense secretaries have to worry about potential rebellions by their brass, and will they start to choose commanders according to calculations of political loyalty?

"In our view, Mr. Rumsfeld's failures should have led to his departure long ago. But he should not be driven out by a revolt of generals, retired or not."

As I wrote a column yesterday that also harshly criticized the revolting generals — retired and active ("Seven Days in April — Generals prepare to 'revolt' against Rumsfeld," Washington Times) — obviously I heartily agreed with the Post's similar stance.

But the reason I argue that the Post editorial is only three fourths fine is that it does not recommend any curative action. All they call for is that people should "object." But an editorial from the newspaper of record in our capital that has identified the rebellion as "[threatening] the essential democratic principle of military subordination to civilian control" is shirking its responsibility by stopping short of recommending necessary action.

Because, if The Washington Post thinks — as I do — that we are seeing before our eyes a coordinated act of multiple insubordination by a group of generals, then such action should not go unsanctioned. The dangerous precedent must not be permitted to stand — whether or not one agrees with their substantive criticism of their civilian superiors.

When the United States teaches Third-World militaries how to be professional, one of the key instructions is that the officer corp should be taught to be loyal to their government and its constitution — never personally loyal to the current leader. (Hitler famously required an oath of personal loyalty to him from the Wehrmacht officer corp.)

And it is on exactly that point that the Post correctly fears a dangerous precedent is in the process of being set. They rightly fear that based on what is currently happening to Secretary Rumsfeld, "will future defense secretaries have to worry about potential rebellions by their brass, and will they start choosing commanders according to calculations of political loyalty?"

The obvious answer to their question is yes — unless the current insubordinations (if that is what they be) are promptly and severely sanctioned. Once generals start getting selected for their personal loyalty to a president, we are a dangerous step closer to the plague of Caesarism that not only corrupts governments around the world today — but ended the Roman Republic and brought on Rome's Imperial Age.

Overwrought? Can't happen here? Take a chill pill? Maybe. But bad habits start very innocently and slowly corrupt a person or a country. For example, who would have thought 20 years ago that if a congressman stood up and said that our laws regarding our border and immigration should be enforced, he would be broadly accused of racism? And yet today, after 20 years of incrementally increasing indifference to our border laws, such is the case.

Things have been getting increasingly verbally sloppy in the military for some time. In the lead up to the Iraq War, senior officers were on background in major newspaper articles leaking bits and pieces of then currently debated secret war plans. In our intelligence services — NSA, CIA, DIA, ONI, etc — similar loose lips have gone on unsanctioned so long that it is now virtually standard operating procedure.

Rome was neither built, nor destroyed in a day. But it was destroyed.

Of course, sitting around the bar at the officer's mess and letting off steam about the secretary of defense or the president is a time-honored practice. But coordinated attacks on the secretary of defense from active-duty generals to retired generals to cable television and the New York Times is not a time-honored practice — not yet.

And while I would have wished that the Washington Post editorial had given action guidance (and thus political cover) to our government, the real responsibility for vindicating the principle of military subordination to the civilian government lies with the president and secretary of defense.

Politically unpleasant as it may be, they should promptly order a court of inquiry pursuant to Article 135 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice to determine if, as is widely suspected, or if not, the current military clamor for Secretary Rumsfeld to be fired involves any acts of insubordination.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Tony Blankley is editorial page editor of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.


© 2006, Creators Syndicate