By Ted Belman
By Daniel John Sobieski
It was not hyperbole when GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump said that under President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the U.S. military had been “reduced to rubble” and left floundering without a coherent strategy or meaningful capability to win wars. It is a fait accompli, engineered by our commander-in-chief to reduce America’s global footprint, an America he has profusely apologized for, and one he blames for all the world’s ills.
Almost as soon as he took office, President Obama began a military purge not dissimilar to those routinely conducted by third-world despots, with the goal of eliminating voices that might oppose his withdrawing America from the world stage. As Investor’s Business Daily editorialized:
We recognize President Obama is the commander-in-chief and that throughout history presidents from Lincoln to Truman have seen fit to remove military commanders they view as inadequate or insubordinate. Turnover in the military ranks is normal, and in these times of sequestration and budget cuts the numbers are expected to tick up as force levels shrink and missions change.
Yet what has happened to our officer corps since President Obama took office is viewed in many quarters as unprecedented, baffling and even harmful to our national security posture. We have commented on some of the higher profile cases, such as Gen. Carter Ham. He was relieved as head of U.S. Africa Command after only a year and a half because he disagreed with orders not to mount a rescue mission in response to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi.
Rear Adm. Chuck Gaouette, commander of the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, was relieved in October 2012 for disobeying orders when he sent his group on Sept. 11 to “assist and provide intelligence for” military forces ordered into action by Gen. Ham.
Other removals include the sacking of two nuclear commanders in a single week – Maj. Gen. Michael Carey, head of the 20th Air Force, responsible for the three wings that maintain control of the 450 intercontinental ballistic missiles, and Vice Adm. Tim Giardina, the No. 2 officer at U.S. Strategic Command.
From Breitbart.com’s Facebook page comes a list of at least 197 officers that have been relieved of duty by President Obama for a laundry list of reasons and sometimes with no reason given.
Retired four-star general and Fox News analyst Jack Keane, architect of the Iraq surge that produced the victory Obama threw away, recently spoke on Kilmeade and Friends about Obama’s ongoing purge of the military of officers who oppose his isolationist and defeatist policies:
It’s also a fact that a number of our general officers, not all of them but a number of them, were asked to leave before what would normally be accepted as the routine tenure for that particular position, and General Mattis is a case in point who had very strong views on Iran. Most of us agree with those views but I know the administration did not agree with them. General Flynn, who you know very well and had on your show, was an outspoken proponent for understand radical Islam, how dangerous this particular threat was and was trying to communicate that, he was not able to server out his full tenure. So yes, that’s another fact that we can substantiate, that there were generals who did leave earlier than what their tenure would be and the characteristic they all shared together is they did disagree with the administration on various points.
General Mattis is an old-school warrior known for his colorful rhetoric and his commitment both to his men and to his mission. He, along with other generals like David Petraeus and Stanley McChrystal, did have a problem with Obama’s quest for a substitute for victory in Iraq and Afghanistan. As the New York Post reported:
Lost in the inaugural hullabaloo was Tuesday’s news that President Obama has relieved Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis, the colorful and highly decorated Marine who’s been in charge of the crucial US Central Command, which oversees the various wars in the Middle East, since 2010[.] …
But why? Could it be that, as Obama prepares to cede Afghanistan back to the Taliban, the last thing he needs is an obstreperous general gumming up the surrender?
For an administration whose relationship with the military is, to put it mildly, fraught with tension, Mattis is yet another wall trophy, to go alongside the heads of Gen. Stanley McChrystal (fired in 2010 as the commander of the US forces in Afghanistan) and David Petraeus, who left CentCom to be buried alive at the CIA (and later resigned over the Paula Broadwell sex scandal).
Officially, the administration offers a nothing-to-see-here explanation for Mattis’ departure, noting that his tenure in the crucial job was about average for the post.
Maybe. But politics is at play here as well. The brusque Mattis apparently fell afoul of National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, an Obama apparatchik. Why? Because Mattis says things the Obama team doesn’t want to hear, especially about what might well become the next theater of operations – Iran.
Retired U.S. Army major general Paul Vallely, also a Fox News analyst, shares the view that President Obama has actively purged the military of “hawks” willing to give him contrary advice:
Retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, an outspoken critic of the Obama administration, notes how the White House fails to take action or investigate its own officials but finds it easy to fire military commanders “who have given their lives for their country.” Vallely thinks he knows why this purge is happening.
“Obama will not purge a civilian or political appointee because they have bought into Obama’s ideology,” Vallely said. “The White House protects their own. That’s why they stalled on the investigation into Fast and Furious, Benghazi and ObamaCare. He’s intentionally weakening and gutting our military, Pentagon and reducing us as a superpower, and anyone in the ranks who disagrees or speaks out is being purged.”
As Donald Trump was making his remarks about our depleted and emasculated military, word came that President Obama wants to cut the Army further from its current depleted size of 475,000 to 450,000 by 2018. Obama wants to cut an Army that as it is cannot meet its military readiness requirements, according to retired Army major general Bob Scales, who noted the hypocrisy of President Obama’s tribute to Sgt. First Class Cory Remsburg at the 2014 State of the Union address:
Gen. Bob Scales, a retired U.S. Army major general and former commandant of the U.S. Army War College who is now a military analyst for Fox News, told Greta Van Susteren the day after the State of the Union of the sad state of U.S. military preparedness and expressed a fear it would lead to more Cory Remsburgs.
“Yeah, it broke my heart,” Scales said. “This great guy, Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg, think of this, Greta: 10 tours in Iraq and Afghanistan in 10 years. What does that say about the overcommitment of our Army? And here is a president who uses him as an icon for the State of the Union.
“And yet the very service that he comes from, the Army, has 85% of its brigades not combat-ready. It does not have one single developmental program for a combat system at all. Zero.”
President Abraham Lincoln kept firing generals until he found the likes of Sherman and Grant, with the will and ability to win. Somehow I don’t think victory anywhere is President Obama’s goal. Donald Trump was right: President Obama has reduced the U.S. military to rubble. And he is about to make the rubble bounce.
Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.
The Clinton role in the rise of Islamic irredentism has now come full circle. Bill Clinton might get the credit for the original Muslim tilt. Bosnia (1992-95) set the table for a series of interventions that gave birth to the so-called Arab Spring and any subsequent triumphs of Islamofascism. Ironically, Bill Clinton could be both righteous about civil wars in the Balkans and oblivious to genocide in Rwanda simultaneously.
Muslim lives matter, Black Africans, not so much.
In the past decade, with an assist from an uncritical media, a “long war” chimera has emerged to rationalize indecision and serial failure abroad. After being told that al Qaeda was on the run and the Islamic State was the “junior varsity,” Americans are now told that Muslim wars are so “complicated” that solutions to religious fascism and terror must be deferred to the indefinite future. The “long war” scenarios now being spun by the Pentagon and the Obama/Clinton camp are excuses for inaction, the political equivalent of kick-the-can.
Such apologetics, if not appeasement, is nothing new. America has been risk averse since World War II. Ironically, while eschewing formal war declarations, the cloak and dagger faction of national security community is still populated by the same Cold War cowboys that flourished during the containment years. Anti-Communist rationale has now morphed into a pernicious, if not indiscriminate democratic imperialism, a series of hair-brained regime change operations with no regard for consequence — or the day after.
The instability and chaos that plague the 21st Century are created problems. Policies such as regime change, counter insurgency, nation building, and “humanitarian” intervention are probative. Withal, the US State Department, and the various US national security apparati, has facilitated the spread of terror, the immigrant tsunami, the rise of the Islamic State, the resurgence of jihad (nee Crusades), and the spread of Islamism worldwide.
When Donald Trump claims that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton created ISIS, his rhetoric might be figurative, but the underlying truth is literal. The political vacuums created by toppling secular authoritarian Muslim states have been filled by our worst political nightmare, religious fascism.
Bosnia, like much of the Balkans, is just one of the sectarian fault lines of civilization. Indeed, it was Muslim unrest that precipitated Serb pushback, civil war, and the eventual collapse of Yugoslavia. The so-called “ethnic” cleansing that followed had more to do with religion than race. Bosnians are, for the most part, Muslims with a bloody fascist pedigree.
Bosnian irredentism did not begin in 1991.
Early in World War II, an Irish historian captured the flavor of what the Germans would sponsor in the Balkans for the duration:
Serbian and Jewish men, women and children were literally hacked to death. Whole villages were razed to the ground and the people driven into barns to which the Ustasi set fire. There is in the Italian Foreign Ministry archive a collection of photographs of the butcher knives, hooks and axes used to chop up Serbian victims. There are photographs of Serb women with breasts hacked off by pocket knives, men with eyes gouged out, emasculated and mutilated.
During WWII, Bosnia was part of fascist Croatia, a primary collaborator in the Nazi occupation of the Balkans. Josip Broz Tito led the Christian resistance to the Wehrmacht occupation whilst Muslims filled the ranks of two Waffen SS Divisions.
These units are credited with genocidal atrocities against Jews, Roma, Catholic, and Serb Orthodox minorities as well as Tito partisans. The creation of Muslim units within the SS was overseen by Himmler himself to exploit the commonalities of Nazi secular and Muslim religious worldviews. Arab and German Anti-Semitism was the icing on the Balkan fascist cake.
German and Muslim genocidal collusion dates to the 19th Century and WW I with the so-called “Kaiser’s Jihad” where Germany sponsoredethnic/religious cleansing, atrocities with which Muslim Turks were only too happy to comply. To this day, the American government refuses to recognize the Armenian Christian Holocaust (1.5 million dead) as genocide.
A generation later, the Muslim Mufti of Jerusalem had a direct hand inrecruiting Balkan Muslims to the Shutzsaffel. The scimitar of Islam adorns the crest of the most infamous genocidal SS unit on the Eastern Front.
Crest, 13th Mountain Division, Waffen SS, Croatia
The Ustasi regime’s Jasenovac death camp in Slovonia, “the Aushwitz of the Balkans,” was the worst in Europe because much of the killing was done by hand – sword, ax, or knife.
By the end of the 20th Century, Brussels and Washington seem to have become nose-blind to the stench of Bosnian fascist history. Allied intervention on the side of Muslims in erstwhile Yugoslavia was of a piece with the chest thumping that accompanied the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The end of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union signaled the beginning of new proxy wars with Russia.
Albeit, the fall of the Soviet Union, the Warsaw Pact, and totalitarian Communism was never enough for hard liners, left and right, in the West. Cold warriors, Neo-Cons, and Islamophiles are seldom able to take yes for an answer.
The religious fascism now evident in Kosovo and Bosnia is of a piece with the very public Nazi commemorations in the Baltic States, NATO allies all.
NATO expansion and mischief from the Baltics, to Yugoslavia, to Georgia, and on to Ukraine today are serial proxy fights with the Moscow. At this point, it might not be too farfetched to conclude that the real NATO regime change target in Europe is the Kremlin. Indeed, recently retired NATO Commanding General, Philip Breedlove, USAF, makes Strangelovean Curtis LeMay look like a girl scout.
Alas, the “great game’ of the 21st Century is existential, a kind of nuclear chicken. If NATO cannot win the 5th Column war on the Muslim front, hazarding a war with Russia seems to be a kind of autistic death wish indeed.
The Muslim collaborators that President Clinton and Secretary of State Albright defended in the ‘90s have come home to roost as Salafist vultures in Kosovo and Bosnia circa 2016.
Bosnia Herzegovina now provides more ISIS volunteers per capita than any other country in Europe. Bosnia Herzegovina is also host to a 5thcolumn support network of Salifists who build mosques and madrassas, provide imams, and finance the EU ideological jihad. Even the NY Timeshas come to recognize the toxic religious blowback in places like Kosovo.
The heirs of Muslim fascists that lost to Marshall Tito have now secured two terror sanctuaries in the heart of modern Europe with an American assist. Secular fascism has been replaced by religious fascism with politicians like the Clintons, KFOR, and NATO riding shotgun.
Europe and America consistently refuse to publically recognize the religious dimensions of the Kosovo/Bosnia snake pit. Now 21st Century Arab monies and Muslim crusaders have swallowed yet two more national victims.
What the EU, America, and Clintonistas fail to understand is that Sharia, Islamism, and political Islam itself is incompatible with most values that enlighten the evolved democracies in the West. Apologists for Islam also fail to appreciate that democracy is a target, not an aspiration, for too many observant Muslims. A true believer can rationalize the worst atrocity against infidels and apostates by citing the precedence of religious law, the Hadith, the Koran, or Mohammed himself.
Now comes candidate Hillary Clinton, bookend to her naïve husband, preaching the same “long war” temporizing that facilitated the explosion of Islamism in the Bush/Obama years. If the Muslim past is precedent, time does not favor American victory or the survival of tolerance, democracy, or civility.
Alas, Brussels and Washington’s cluelessness might just be another symptom of a wounded Western culture dying from a thousand cuts. Tip of the hat to the late Samuel P. Huntington, a prophet in fact and deed.
G. Murphy Donovan writes about the politics of national securi