Friday, June 06, 2003

The Ensigns of Command

Nods to Tresy for reminding me of one of my "favorite" Bush quotes:
"I'm the commander. See, I don't need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being the president. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation." -- Bush to Bob Woodward, in "Bush at War"
In the comment section that followed one anonymous poster replied:
As for fratboy fuckhead's assertion that "he's the commander": One of the thing good officers understand is that while they do indeed command, they have an obligation to those they command to accomplish the mission while husbanding their resources. One of those obligations is to not squander lives due to their own incompetence. This is why fratboy coward would last about five minutes in a combat situation. He's got Douglas Niedermeyer written all over his deserting ass...he'd be fragged in the space of days, if not hours, by his own troops, who would suss out in very short order that he's unworthy of respect and would throw their lives away in a heartbeat for his own glory.
I was just thinking about this this morning. A commander is not someone who, by right of their position, gets to order people around. A commander is someone who takes on the responsibility of using the resources under their command, especially the soldiers, in such a way that you accomplish your mission while also protecting the welfare of the people who have put their faith in you. Bush has failed on both counts. He has failed in his mission to find bin Laden, Saddam and WMD. At the same time he has consistently put the people he commands into harms way and continues to do so primarily for the purpose of propping up his own sagging poll numbers. He is a complete and utter failure as a commander and the quote above shows exactly why: because he thinks being a commander means being able to bark "Jump!" and having everyone say "How High?" That may work in the boardroom Mr. Bush (though I have my doubts about that as well), but it doesn't work in the field of battle.


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