Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Don't Join

By the time the Colonel was barely into his teens, he knew his calling was to serve his nation is uniform.

For much of his young adult life (the term "adult" used in the age-defined sense, not necessarily denoting any particular maturity in the Colonel's case), he self-identified with terms such as "patriot," "warrior," even "jingoist."

For the Bama bandwagon boors who have stumbled upon this post in search of a life beyond ponderous pachyderms, hound's tooth print toilet paper, and tree-killing herbicides, the term "jingoist" does not refer to one who sings jingles.

Nope, the Colonel's favorite song -- Mr. Key's poem, "The Defence of Fort McHenry," set to the tune of a popular, if difficult to sing, British social club anthem -- ain't a very catchy tune. 

In fact, the Colonel has rarely sung the National Anthem.

Hard to sing with tears in your eyes and a large lump in your throat.

Suffice it to say that you'd be hard pressed to find anyone in the land of the free who loves the ideals for which our nation stands more than the Colonel.

As many of the two dozen of you who subject yourselves to the drivel posted hereon will recall, the Colonel spent a goodly portion of his career commanding a goodly portion of the Marine Corps' recruiting apparatus.

No one believed in the high calling of the cause of filling our ranks, nor took to heart the slogans and ideals with which we challenged the youth of our nation, more than the Colonel.

The Colonel considers membership in the American veterans' community in general, and in the fellowship of the Marine Corps in particular, to be the second greatest collection of men and women to which anyone can aspire -- a Christian Church being the first, of course.   

So it was with a particular sense of bewilderment and personal loss that the Colonel recently answered a young man's question about joining the military with: "Don't."

The Colonel can no longer in clear conscience recommend uniformed military service to our nation. 

The leaders of our military -- civilian and uniformed -- have lost any semblance of moral authority, let alone direction, having succumbed shamefully to the siren song of political correctness.

"Atheist" chaplains?

Women in the infantry?

Persecution of professing Christians?

Open acceptance of "anything goes" sexuality?

Mistreatment -- downright neglect -- of veterans' suffering?

Failure to address -- with strong caring leadership -- the plague of suicide symptomatic of a huge moral leadership vacuum?  

The Colonel could go on and on...

The Colonel used to respond positively to those who -- often flippantly -- expressed gratitude for his service.

This is how the Colonel now answers those perfunctory platitudes -- particularly from politicians:

"Don't insult my intelligence.  If you appreciated my service even the least little bit, you would not so willfully trample the rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution for which I pledged my life and for which so many of my brothers and sisters have given theirs."

Friday, September 06, 2013

Thinking the Unthinkable

The Colonel is thinking the unthinkable these days.

Not hard to go there; not with all of the dithering, denial, and double-speak coming from the Obama Administration.

Referring to this administration's fecklessness as "amateur hour" offends all amateurs everywhere.

Let's look at a real possibility -- the Congress of the United States, the constitutionally empowered war-declaring branch of our federal government may very well tell the President, "No, we do not approve of military action against the Syrian regime."

What then?

Does the President disregard express congressional disapproval and direct the United States' military to prosecute an act of war, anyway?

The White House, as have nearly all administrations in American history, claims that the President has the authority to act without Congressional approval.  Precedent says so.

The Constitution?  Not so much.

While Article II, Section 2 names the federal executive as the "Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States," the clear intent of the Constitution's framers -- found in their writing in support of the Constitution's acceptance and  ratification -- was that the role of Commander in Chief in war was to be as a result of Congressional authorization of that war in the first place.  

There was NEVER intent to give the President latitude to attack other sovereign nations as he saw fit, no matter how "moral" the cause.   

The Constitution DOES give the President latitude -- moreover, responsibility -- to act in defense of the United States pending Congressional declaration of, and funding for, war against the enemy attacking the United States, its property, its citizens, and its critical national interests.

The current situation in Syria does not meet that test.

Most commentators the Colonel has heard pontificating on the subject seem to assume that our military, given an order contrary to the express will of Congress, will obediently salute and execute.  

And, that is what has the Colonel thinking the unthinkable.

To what authority does the military of the United States owe ultimate obedience? 

The Constitution, of course! 

The Colonel posits that a presidential order contrary to the express will of the Congress of the United States is an unconstitutional -- an illegal -- order.

Commanders should -- must -- refuse it. 

Would that cause a Constitutional crisis?

You betcha!

One brought on by none other than the executive, himself.

He would, of course, fire the refusing commander(s).

What could happen then?

Lots of "unthinkables."