Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Thinking Soldier's Man

I did not see this intriguing interview when it appeared on Jon Stewart's show on August 23, but caught up to it today on a remarkable website called I was led to this site by today's article by Fred Kaplan in the NY Times. The article is entitled "Challenging the Generals." It is an eye-opener. Kaplan has opened a view of a culture of intellectuals within the US Army who are challenging the generals and questioning our policies in Iraq, and elsewhere.

I have to admit that I discount the US Army and the other services so deeply in view of our disastrous conduct in Iraq (and in view of my own experience in the USAF from 1955 through 1959) and have such a strong prejudice against all of our military leadership, that it comes as a real challenge to open my mind and listen to voices such as that of John Nagl. Take note of his performance on Stewart's show. Note how respectfully Jon treats him.

I went to the website of the Small Wars Journal, cited by Kaplan, and learned that John Nagl is a West Point graduate, a Rhodes Scholar and has a Ph. D from Oxford. The list of bloggers and contributors to Small Wars Journal have, in general, similarly impeccable academic and professional credentials. I am sufficiently impressed with the Small Wars Journal, as a kind of Foreign Affairs for military intellectuals, that I will add a link to it to my blog and hope that readers will take note of it.

Pardon me, but I did not know we had such people a Nagl in our armed services. I take responsibility for my own ignorance. I now know how little I know. Somehow we should learn that we have such people in our armed services and open up our channels to their thinking and find a way to support them and let them know they are heard.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Obama Does Cheney

This post continues the intriguing theme begun with the last post -- namely, the confusion and mystery concerning the true identity of Dick Cheney. Just as Nick Kristoff discovered and revealed that Cheney is the lost twin of Ahmadinejad, I have discovered that Barack Obama, in whiteface, has been passing himself off as Dick Cheney, giving interviews and making the Vice President look like a fool.

Have a look at this video. Obama gives a good impression here of the Vice. But if you look and listen closely you will see immediately that this is not Dick Cheney. The demeanor is just a little bit too sincere to be Dick. The argumentation is too calm and reasonable. Cheney has never expressed himself in this way. Obama has the gestures down, but not the mentality. We can forgive Senator Obama for this shortfall, however. It is not easy to understand the dark side of the Vice President, let alone mimic it.

The give-away, however, comes in the final minutes of the "interview," wherein Obama/Cheney expresses himself so tenderly over the potential loss of American lives should we invade Iraq. Note the sly use by Obama of the phrase " how many dead Americans was Saddam worth?" Then note the wicked answer he puts into Cheney's mouth: "...not many." At a time when the death toll of American military men and women in Iraq approaches 4,000, it is not merely diabolic, it verges on bad taste, for Obama to put such words into Mr. Cheney's mouth.

I think we must conclude that this kind of vicious jab at a sitting Vice President, while perhaps satirical in intent, lies at the very outer edge of fair campaigning. One wonders whether Obama has perhaps hired Carl Rove.