Democracy Arsenal

« Can Someone Get Jon Kyl a Copy of the Constitution? | Main | Do Surgical Strikes Work? »

October 05, 2009

Dear NYTimes Caucus Blog -- That's Not What Michael Meant
Posted by David Shorr

Notwithstanding PT Barnum's dictum about bad publicity, I must object to the way NYTimes.com watered down Michael Cohen's broadside on the attempted railroading of President Obama so that his point was almost unrecognizable. Michael gave us an impassioned reaffirmation of how the chain of command works in our system. Maria Newman's synopsis for The Caucus is worth parsing, mainly because it typifies how the essential principle gets lost in this debate. According to that summary, Michael:

traces the recent history of presidential reliance on the generals, finding that the mild upbraiding of Mr. McChrystal from both General Jim Jones and Mr. Gates suggested that this administration would shift decision-making back to the White House.

Yeah, anyone who saw the news understood the assertion of authority. If that was really as far as Michael went, it wouldn't be much of a contribution. Instead, he was saying what needed to be said: our elected leaders don't take orders from military commanders; it's supposed to be the other way around.

I don't think any of the senior brass are at all confused on this point, and Michael's post takes Republicans like Senator Kyl to task for their political games. But as I say, I'm really perplexed by the minimal attention to the principles at stake. This isn't just another political story about competing Washington power centers. In fact, civil-military relations isn't really the proper name for these issues, it's civilian control of the military.

Michael raises the specter of military juntas not because it's a realistic prospect here, but because this is an issue of the fundamentals of democracy -- elected leaders are the deciders, and the military executes the orders that come down the chain of command. When the United States preaches good governance around the world, this is often a primary concern, confining the military to the barracks and keeping it out of the political sphere. In fact, it's often US officers delivering this message, integral to many of their military-to-military exchanges.

So no, the military commander's judgment on the requirements for a given strategy is very important professional counsel, but it doesn't settle the matter.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451c04d69e20120a5c26d7f970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Dear NYTimes Caucus Blog -- That's Not What Michael Meant:

Comments

Dear NYTimes Caucus Blog -- That's Not What Michael Meant

Thank you for your sharing.! seslichat seslisohbet

This is very beauty article, I like it, thank you!
Don't try so hard, the best things come when you least expect them to.
Don't waste your time on a man/woman, who isn't willing to waste their time on you.

Thank you for your sharing! I like i very much!

Great comments! You are so nice, man! You never know how much i like'em!

Hi,
I was little bit confused about issue but your post solved my confusions.Thank you very much for sharing informative post.

Türkiyenin ilk Hiphop Sitesi Hiphop, Gekko G Fan Sitesi Gekko G, Mask animasyon thank you very good site

Are you fighting in Final Fantasy XIV for FFXIV Gil or Final Fantasy XIV Gil?
Can you suffer yourself being called newbie in FFXIV Gil game?
Are you seeking unofficial Buy FFXIV Gil cheats or Final Fantasy XIV guides in order to make Final Fantasy XIV Gil faster?
Can you get millions of Cheap FFXIV Gil in one day?
Even if you know how to farm Buy Final Fantasy XIV Gil you have to prepare enough Final Fantasy XIV Power Leveling first to buy height class Final Fantasy XIV Items, to upgrade your Final Fantasy XIV characters.
Buy aika gold
Then why not Buy FFXIV Gil from us?
In Final Fantasy XIV it's the fastest way FF14 Gil,for you to get rich. We are online 24 hours a day ready and 7 days one week to power up your FFXIV Gil accounts with FFXIV Gil. Here is the best place for the Final Fantasy XIV Online players to buy your Final Fantasy XIV Gil.
We are the professional website in FFXIV GIL sale.FFXIV GIL here,We are professional FFXIV Power Leveling online. We update price every single day to make sure we are the lowest in the market.(we don't compare price with scam sites which uses unbelievable low price to deceive.)
Our slogan:Cheapest price, Fastest delivery, Best service!

Cheap aika gold
In the 2 years we are in this field , AIKA Goldbuilt many business with tens of thousands of customers. They are very satisfied with our service.So if you want to get a log of Cheap FFXIV Gil ,no doubt ,come to our website to buy. Our customer service is ready for you on line now!(GM MMO)

I like it, you can try Replica NFL Jerseys.

I'm sorry, but it's not good enough to say "do over." The pundits' second thoughts should carry the cargo of their previous assumptions, heady projections and salient selling points.I'm a businessman, but also about this thing.nike air max .

The comments to this entry are closed.

Emeritus Contributors
Subscribe
Sign-up to receive a weekly digest of the latest posts from Democracy Arsenal.
Email: 
Powered by TypePad

Disclaimer

The opinions voiced on Democracy Arsenal are those of the individual authors and do not represent the views of any other organization or institution with which any author may be affiliated.
Read Terms of Use