Tuesday, March 22, 2011

War grumping

I'll be very surprised if Maureen Dowd's next column isn't about this subject: Heather Michon, Was Obama henpecked into war? Salon 03/22/2011. This is based on the report that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UN Ambassador Susan Rice and adviser Samantha Power all played important roles in the decision to go to war with Libya. She cites several interesting incidents of writers who seemed to be particularly disturbed by this, including Robert Dreyfuss and Jacob Heilbrunn. This is bound to send MoDo's gender obsessions into overdrive. I wouldn't be surprised if The Voices start speaking to her on the subject, those voices in her head that she sometimes transcribes.

Michon cites National Review for an example of a conservative bent out of shape over this. I came across another, from the Old Right isolationist Justin Raimondo in Libya's Slippery Slope Antiwar.com 03/21/2011; he calls them the "Amazonian triumvirate."

I've already grumped about commentators referring to the President routinely as the Commander-in-Chief; the Constitution makes him the Commander-in-Chief of the active duty armed forces, no of anyone else.

Why was Mike Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, making the rounds on Sunday to explain the war that started on Monday? The President and his civilian officials should be the ones making those explanations. One among several reasons is that the Chairman of the JCS can only speak in those situations about the mission assigned to him, not about the decision-making process, and not about the political reasons for the decisions.

I consider myself fortunate that so far, more than three days into the Libya War, I haven't yet been e-mailed or Facebooked any version of Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA." It's not the National Anthem. I don't understand why some people treat as though it were. This has bugged me since way back during the Gulf War or even before I was in a big country bar and a singer expected everybody to stand for his performance of that particular tune.

This song seems more appropriate to the moment:


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"It is the logic of our times
No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."

-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?


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