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15 May 2012


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Re the arm around the shoulder. A recent story also had BHO announce to his staff, "John Allen is my man." http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/the-triage-commander-gen-john-allen-hastily-transforming-us-mission-in-afghanistan/2012/05/12/gIQAzbttKU_story.html

That feels vaguely creepy to me. If the positions were reversed i think many would say the term was patronizing.

I think Allen is a good man, but I wish we had Marshall.

Bill H

The number of ways in which BHO displays his lack of understanding of the military continues to astound me.



GCM was a man who would stop his staff car in Washington to give GIs a ride but who lived by the thought that "an officer on duty has no friends." pl

Morocco Bama

The worst is when they put the arm around someone and squeeze their trapezius muscle. It's definitely a gesture of domination, and it's usually done by an insecure individual attempting to project more power than they actually possess. It's BHO saying, in body language, "let's remember, you're my bitch."

The General reminds me of Alfred Bellows from I Dream of Jeannie.




General Officers in WWII served in WWI and recognized that the Germans could defeat the Americans. Failures were shoved aside.

Vietnam Veterans have all retired from active service. The last 40 years show we learned nothing.

The Euro collapse and the never ending wars can only be explained by corruption or stupidity. Or, is it the nature of Oligarchs to be both?

Al Spafford

As did Bush "the Shrub", least we forget!


And where is our GCM of today?


Marshall was also Secretary of State from 1947-48; he oversaw the European Recovery Program, better known as the Marshall Plan. Marshall was again named Time's Man of the Year for 1947 (also in 1943) and received the Nobel Peace Prize for his post-war work in 1953. He was the only U.S. Army General to have received this honor. He later became Secretary of Defense when Truman fired Louis Johnson when the outset of the Korean War showed how unprepared that Department was for war.


My late father, in amusement parks, would never try his hand in the air rifle shooting gallery, no matter how much I and my brother wanted him to. He would say, if he missed he would bring shame to the Army , and if he did not, he would be showing off to the civilians, since he was in uniform. And yes, I remember more than once stopping his jeep to pick up soldiers on their way to the barracks from leave. He would chat them up like long lost nephews, but once through the gates, the soldier would become markedly invisable to my father.

William R. Cumming

EUCOM should end as should US involvement in NATO but yes the USA now faced with the choice of a fourth bailout of Europe from WWI, WWII, the Cold War, and now the collapse of a financially integrated Europe. IMO of course.



Well maybe Allwn can be in charge of closing the command. pl



Dempsey looks like a possibility. pl


Yes, he certainly is being lectured by the arm chair generals. I hope that, like General Shinseki, General Dempsey focuses on being right and not on being popular.

The Twisted Genius


Yes, I also have great hopes for Dempsey. He reminds me of my first generals in the 25th, Willard Scott and Arthur Brown.


Pat, the Washington Post got it partially right. The next Commander in Afghanistan will be a Special Operations type; good guess it will be a Navy Seal but there are some good candidates from the Army. Rodriguez was not a player in the rolling of McKierron. A good friend who knows him well has made it clear he was above the fray. What was not mentioned is there will be an opening at CENTCOM to fill also. Rodriguez would be a good choice for this position.

Tim Vincent

Well.....why not?
Allen seems just as quick to apologize to any one, anywhere for anything.
Sound familiar?
Obama - the great apologizer.
Only the American electorate, it seems, is dumb enough to elect as President someone who doesn't like their country.
Ever see Obama end his speech with "God bless the United States"?
As much emotion as:
"Uhhh...Big Mac and small fries."


@ Mr Vincent

Arrgh, either stfu or post something worth reading! you're polluting the comments/posts by Col Lang and others that I come here everyday to read.


Bush used to end his utterings that passed as speech with "God bless the United States". But he had in mind only the God he believed in, I am sure of it. There is no place for religion, in governing any body of people, more so for a nation of very diverse nationalities, religions and colors like US. Intentional Absence of reference to higher dieties makes me believe that he takes the job of leading and representing all Americans regardless of belief. Religion belongs in the private sphere, not public. And I am buffled how this argument leads to "He doesnt' like his own country" just because he is careful not to mix God and Government. Is there a name for this fallacy?



Well... McChrystal and Rodriguez were roommates at WP? Yes? They were certainly classmates in '76. McChrystal was Director of the Joint Staff while Rodriguez was MA to SECDEF and somehow Petraeus was another near classmate from WP ('74) was COCOM at CENTCOM? And out of this mix emerged a need to remove General McKiernan who is not a woopooer? Do I have the facts right? It has been a while... pl


re: apologising - when a Predator delivered bomb wipes out the odd wedding party, or a night raid wipes out a couple bystanders - what does one do? Say: 'Hey it's war, screw you if you can't take a joke?'

What do you want? Leaders like the IAF's (in)glorious Dan Halutz who, when asked what he feels when dropping a 1000 lb bomb on a Palestinian city, answered: 'A slight bump on the wing'?

Like it or not, the US probably have done a couple things (google 'Iraq+Excess+Deaths' to get the general idea) worth apologising for.

It is about as disingenuous as ludicrous to say that those who do the apologising are self hating Americans or hate America. What that says about you is telling in its own right, namely that you, probably, and unlike them, are indifferent to what they apologise for.



"In 1942, FDR once called Marshall, "George" when they were alone in the Oval Office. Marshall asked him not to do that again."

If memory serves me correct, Fleet Admiral Leahy asked President Truman not to address him as Bill.



OK. That makes two. The GCM story was told me by Forrest Pogue, Marshall's greates biographer. pl

Bill H

And I will forever despise Barbara Boxer for dressing down a general who was testifying before her committee for calling her "ma'am" instead of "Senator," in public and at great length. If she felt the need to do that, which in itself was a bit arrogant since he was being perfectly respectful, she should have had the decency to do it in private.

I am inclined to despise her for some other things as well, of course, but...


Bill H

I remember that. It was typical of the hyper-sensitivity of some women, hopefully only of Boxer's generation. That BG was giving her the instinctive term of address drilled into military people for a lady. I used to take c--p from women in government who were my peers when I reflexively held a door for them or a chair. pl


When every speech made is ended with "God bless the United States" then the words themselves become just as meaningful as any other tired cliche.

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