General Martin Dempsey is the poster boy for the fact that the flag ranks of the military are, by-and-large, populated by shameful political animals. In yesterday’s House Armed Services Committee meeting he ran headlong into John Kline (R-MN) and it wasn’t pretty.
Rep. Kline is no armchair warrior. He served 25 years in the Marine Corps before he retired at the rank of Colonel. He served as a helicopter pilot and was ultimately accorded the responsibility of flying Marine One. He also served as a personal military aide to Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.
We love his opening lines about the fact that we don’t have a strategy in Iraq. Note that neither Dempsey or Ashton Carter, Obama’s Secretary of Defense, even attempted to rebut that. Because their boss admitted it.
Then Kline got to the meat of the question, “Where are we in Iraq today? Are we winning? Are we losing? Is it a stalemate? Is it a quagmire? What is Iraq today?”
As Scott Johnson noted at Powerlineblog, Dempsey’s answer was the equivalent of the old joke about the Lone Ranger and Tonto being surrounded by hostile Indians. The Lone Ranger says, “What are we going to do, Tonto?” Tonto’s response, echoed by Dempsey, was, “What do you mean ‘we’ paleface?”
In answer to the question, Dempsey didn’t like the “personal pronoun ‘we’.” In the best Obama fashion Dempsey passed the buck saying that it was up to the Iraqis to prevail not the US.
Kline obviously disagreed, and there’s one of two options for Dempsey’s admission. Either he believes that the US has no part in the mess we made when Obama refused to negotiate a Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqis and pulled out our remaining troops that were the stabilizing effect in the country, in which case he’s a damn fool; or he’s simply lying to support his boss. Either way, he’s a disgrace to his uniform and to the honorable service of every member of the military who put their lives on the line to liberate Iraq.
Obama promised to “fundamentally change” the nation. He may have accomplished that with the US military, if General Dempsey is his model soldier.