Saturday, January 3, 2009

America's Active-Duty Military and Obama: Guardedly Pessimistic

The Military Times polled active-duty service members on how they felt about President-elect Barack Obama. Six out of ten are uncertain or pessimistic. More uncertain than pessimistic, when you look at the numbers:

How Active-Duty U.S. Military Feels About President-Elect Obama
Don't Know8%

Follow-up questions showed that America's soldiers were concerned about Obama's time in the military - zero - and his experience leading men and women in uniform - also zero.

It's probably just as well that most of them aren't old enough to remember the Vietnam War, when 'experts' in Washington would give detailed orders to troops in the field. Like taking a hill, regardless of cost, and then retreating: just to show what American soldiers can do.

That sort of clueless micro-management was being used as an example of how not to run an organization, thirty years later, in management journals.

And now America has a young, charming, apparently-idealistic, president; in the middle of a war; with hundreds of thousands of lives at immediate risk; and the fate of western civilization in the balance; and he's a Chicago college professor with absolutely no military experience at all.

Pleasant dreams.

In the news:

Somebody, reading this, may think, 'what do those soldiers know? They're just uneducated minority dupes of the military-industrial complex.'

"Everybody Knows that America's Poor and Minorities are Fighting America's Wars, Right?," part of the "911 Was an Inside Job! Our Boys Need to Know!" post, might be an interesting reality check.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.