Tag Archives: Election

Managing for Peace

52nd Infantry Regiment Teaches the Peace SignYesterday, President Obama announced planned changes to his security team. CIA Director Leon Panetta will be nominated for Secretary of Defense. General David Petraeus, now head of operations in Afghanistan will be nominated to run the CIA. Lt. General John Allen will replace Petraeus in Afghanistan. Ryan Crocker will be nominated to be the next US ambassador to Afghanistan.Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, a holdover from the Bush administration kept around to protect Obama from typical first-term weak-on-the-military attacks by the opposing party, is stepping down and will likely enter the revolving door into the defense industry boardroom – or several of them.

There is nothing unusual in changes. The President is running for reelection and it is smart politics to announce changes prior to the campaign. The President continues to manage government well. None of the changes will be abrupt. Gates will step down June 30 and Panetta, assuming confirmation, will take over July 1st. All are non-controversial defense insiders and should get an easy confirmation and even a few Republican votes.

Nothing unusual, except for why Obama’s really doing it — Obama’s planning to end the war in Afghanistan, and with it, cut back on military spending. You didn’t hear it here first. Obama has been saying it for two years. He could not do it with the team he had. He can do it with the new team.

Gates, has been dead-set against Pentagon budget cuts, now he won’t have to make them. Petraeus has an unfinished job and wasn’t about to tell the President to draw down troops or tarnish his reputation or ego. Now he can continue fighting in Afghanistan using the CIA and trust Allen to be a good soldier. Panetta will do what he’s always done — manage well and make the Commander-in-Chief look good. Ryan Crocker, with his experience in Iraq and Pakistan is the person to manage Karzai and his corrupt government. This is the team to end the war before election day 2012. You did hear that here first.

Things could change, but it seems perfectly aligned to happen. We’ve been at war since 2003. The men and women in service deserve to come home. Our reserve units need to be retooled. Our allies are tired and have had enough. Voters stopped paying attention when they lost their jobs and their homes.

So what’s next? How will the corporate side of our military react? Just how much clout do their lobbyists for war have? Will our private contractor army stand down? Will the neocons give up on invading Iran until after the election? How will Israel react to the idea that we would not be actively making enemies on their behalf? Could Libya or Syria heat up and be next? Have the oil sheiks enough guns, tanks and jets to fight off revolution without us?

It is all part of the plan. The political plan. If America is truly ready for peace, as defined by good poll numbers for Obama fall a year from now, we’ll finally have peace. If not, well, whatever it takes to get elected. Please tell your pollster you are ready for peace when they call.

Fool me thrice

I have a friend who remarried his first wife. It worked out about the way one would expect. As he was sitting in the court room in what was the second divorce from the same woman, he was called to rise before the judge to  hear the order, “Mr. McKelvey,” the judge began, “I see here that you have already been granted a divorce from this woman once before.”

“Yes, your honor,” my friend humbly submitted.

“Mr. McKelvey, in South Carolina, we only allow one divorce per woman. Surely you can understand anyone who’d need two deserves what he gets.”

After the laughter in the court room subsided, the judge did order the divorce and my friend, at least so far, has not repeated the same mistake of marrying her a third time.

However, it looks as if America is getting ready to do just that – assuming the polls hold true, the tea party comes out and the Democrats stay home, for the third time in my generation, there may be a Republican majority in the House of Representatives. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me; fool me three times, God help us all.

Just for the record, let’s take a look at how well earlier marriages with Republicans have gone. The following table lists the economic calamities in the USA during the past century and lists the party in control at the time.

Chart of those in power for the last century or so.

“There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.” – George W. Bush

And for those in the mood, from the Tams, What Kind of Fool (Do You Think I am).