Wednesday, September 17, 2014

News You Can't Use

Freedom of the press is a good thing. The press peels back the onion and allows us to see past the superfluous surface of a story into the core realities of what’s really going on. Freedom of the press helps to define who we are as a nation and we are all the richer for it.

But sometimes I’d like to strangle them! Yesterday was one of those times.

By now you have probably heard that the country’s top military commander, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey, opened the door for the possible use of US ground forces in the war against ISIS. In his testimony before congress about the president’s plan to defeat ISIS Dempsey said this:

“My view at this point is that this coalition is the appropriate way forward. I believe that it will prove true, but if it fails to be true and if there are threats to the United States, then of course I would go back to the president and make a recommendation that may include the use of US military ground forces.”

Dempsey’s comments are being portrayed in the media as being at odds with the president’s continued assertions that he would not allow the country to “get dragged into another ground war in Iraq.” The tone in the reporting is clear…the president is lying…in spite of statements to the contrary he is preparing to use US military forces against ISIS.

NEWS FLASH!!! This is the United States of America not a third world banana republic run a blood thirsty general. In this country the military leaders do not decide when and how to go to war…the civilians do. Our civilian president is the Commander-in-Chief…not General Dempsey. The general was doing his job; giving a hypothetical answer to a hypothetical question. His job is to be prepared at all times to offer for the president’s consideration a host of military options to the numerous conflicts taking place around the world.

If you were to look in the good general’s brief case you would undoubtedly find briefing reports for military options in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, China, etc. etc. Generals make military recommendations. Presidents decide whether or not to implement them.

The president’s stated plan is to use a coalition of local armed forces to take the fight to ISIS. the jury is out as to whether or not his plan will succeed. If that coalition fails the president will have to decide if ISIS poses a significant enough threat to national security to order the US military back into the region. Dempsey said that if it comes to that he’ll have his recommendations ready. No kidding!

This is a non-news story and anybody with a brain should understand that.

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