*Who Speaks for the Privates, the Corporals, and the Sergeants?
Traditionally, I don’t voice my opposition to Kevin Drum of Mother Jones or to Matt Yglesias of Think Progress, but today, I am making an exception.
Take, for example, Kevin Drum writes of the following in today’s, “The (Lack of) Power of Congress”.
“I’m a longtime advocate for the position that, cases of clear self-defense sake, Congress should issue a declaration of war before the president commits combat troops overseas. At the same time, I recognize that this virtually never happens anymore. At best we get vaguely worded ‘authorizations of force,’ at worst we get nothing at all. Every president since Roosevelt, and most of them before him, have operated this way. So, I’m not especially put out that President failed to get congressional approval before committing the United States to support the no-fly-zone over Libya. He’s just acting the way every president in recent memory has acted.”
Then, he proceeds to include Matt Yglesias and whom is quoted as writing the following::
“The main reason congress tends, in practice, not to use this authority is that congress rarely wants to. Congressional Democrats didn’t block the “surge” in Iraq, and congressional Republicans didn’t block the air war over Kosovo. And for Congress, it’s quite convenient to be able to duck these issues. Handling Libya this way means that those members of congress who want to go on cable and complain about the president’s conduct are free to do so, but those who don’t want to talk about Libya can say nothing or stay vague. Nobody’s forced to take a vote that may look bad in retrospect, and nobody in congress needs to take responsibility for the success or failure of the mission. If things work out in Libya, John McCain will say he presciently urged the White House to act. If things work out poorly in Libya, McCain will say he consistently criticized the White House’s fecklessness. Nobody needs to face a binary ‘I endorse what Obama’s doing/I oppose what Obama’s doing’ choice.”
And as for my opinion, both Drum and Yglesias, demonstrate that these two Progressives, have yet to come to realize that the soldiers and who will do the fighting and dying, do exist despite their opinion-making and as if the Privates, the Corporals, and the Sergeants, have no personal or particularized interest in the major public policy decision-making with the end-result leading to putting more lives at risk, is insulting. At least from my point of view!
And even worse, I have yet to hear or read, in these past eleven years, of a conservative pundit speaking up before and on behalf of the Privates, the Corporals and the Sergeants.
And we, the Privates, the Corporals, and Sergeants, will continue to speak up for ourselves,. And even amongst ourselves, when and where necessary. Therefore, we recognize when we are being cavalierly dismissed and abjectly rejected when we are not permitted for not having access to and to address these members of America’s Decision-Making Table.
And to the stellar defense of Obama by Drum and Yglesias, and to redirect our ire or angst onto Congress, is the height of arrogance among America’s Great Scribblers. And for Progressives to exemplify this past behavior of history, for willy-nilly, sending the Privates, the Corporals, and the Sergeants into “harm’s way” is an unfortunate behavior practiced by, thankfully, the few among the Progressives and by virtually all among the Conservatives.
*Note: Cross posted from the web site of the Chicano Veterans Organization.