07 March 2006


Uniformed Military at Political Rallies

Josh Marshall (Talking Points Memo) has been keeping an eye on Republican use of uniformed military at campaign rallies, something that is explicitly prohibited by military rules and regulations. See here and here and here and here.

The existence of this ban and the enforcement of it are hugely important both to good order and discipline within the military and to preserving our democratic republic. The military can't be made into an arm of one or the other political party. Nor can the executive be allowed to enlist members of the armed forces, either individually or en masse, willingly or not, as soldiers in his domestic political battles.

This is about preserving a professional military and preserving our system of government. It's a big deal. We need to find out a few more specifics about what happened at the Musgrave event. Perhaps the newspaper account is deeply misleading about what actually happened. But if this thing that looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, is a duck, then it needs to be nipped in the bud.

How can clowns who pretend to worry so much about the effect of homos in the military on unit cohesion and discipline be so rudely ignorant of how even-handed applications of rules creates a functioning military force. Oh, right? (1) These are the same people who think it's okay for officers to proselytize enlisted at the US Air Force Academy, and (2) the same people who thought it was okay to let Saddam's military run away, not impose substative order in Iraq, and then expect the populace to be grateful and no insurgency to exist; i.e., jokers who haven't seriously thought about what makes military operations work (in the small or in the large).

Thanks to Mustang Bobby for the reminder.

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