Exit Strategies

Where Have All the Francos Gone?


Well, Obama has gotten rid of that insubordinate general! And he can now rest assured that no prominent military man will ever make fun of him or Biden again. The president’s claim at today’s press conference that McChrystal’s ouster marked a “change in personnel, not policy” was apparently meant to be comforting … but in fact, indicated that the useless Afghan war will probably drag on for another decade.

AltRight reader “Niccolo” left the following astute -- though, I must say, potentially dangerous -- comment regarding my last piece on McChrystal:

Obama should consider himself very, very lucky that civilian rule of the US Armed Forces is sacrosanct. Had this not been the case, he could have been very easily brushed aside by such men.

The president as “Commander-in-Chief” has become one of the most beloved phrases in the American political lexicon -- a trend that culminated in John Kerry’s corny “reporting for duty” salute at the 2004 Democratic convention. Americans aren’t likely to give up on this notion any time soon. (It should be noted that the Constitution authorizes the president to be “Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States,” though the language clearly indicates that the Founders never dreamt that a president would be presiding over an unending state of war in multiple parts of the globe.)

Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal likely has abiding disgust for civilians like Obama, Biden, and Holbrooke, who have been designated his superiors; however, I don’t think for a moment, he ever contemplated suspending Constitutional dictates, declaring a State of Emergency, and for the good of the nation, dismissing Obama and installing himself as a temporary dictator, as the Romans understood it. And the fact that he lacks a popular following in the country is only a secondary reason why he would never do such a thing.

Personal ambition is always a factor in matters of state; however, it’s certain that Francisco Franco recognized that accepting the legality of the general elections of 1936 would lead to the further subversion of the state, leftist attacks on the Spanish nation and Church, and eventually, Communist rule in his homeland.

We’re certainly not experiencing anything like the dire exigent in which Franco and the Spanish Right found themselves during the summer of 1936; however, if we were, our military higher-ups seem to lack, entirely, the vision one needs to take wise, decisive action.

McChrystal -- a skilled, efficient, “get ‘er done” operator and, as we’ve witnessed, a brutally honest man -- probably represents the best the armed services have to offer at the moment. (Others who have worked their way up the chain of command include the shrewd “political general,” David Petraeus, and the new breed of military diversicrats like Doug Casey, whose views -- “Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength” -- seem to resemble those of the Columbia English department.)

Alas, McChrystal seems to only know how to figure out the best way to develope a counter-insurgency strategy -- which tells one nothing about why one’s fighting or what one’s fighting for.