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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Chain of Command Question

I have been thinking about the period of our life when we were living in Colorado Springs. Lynnda and I were lucky enough to have a home on a ridge in the 80906 zip code... an area just below Cheyene Mountain where NORAD is headquartered. Many of the folks living in this relatively expensive area were and are retired military leaders and executives. We often had the opportunity to socialize with them, and by the time we moved away we believed we were friends with many.

This was also the period following 9/11; the attempts to find, capture and/or kill the perpetrators had started in Afghanistan; and the congress had approved President George W. Bush's attack on Iraq... none of which was going well. By late 2004 the election campaign was well under way, and Bush had re-enlisted for another election against John Kerry.

I had several opportunities to interface with the retired military guys and sought their advice on how to look at the situation... it was clear that I did not think Afghanistan was going well, and I clearly believed that Iraq was a very bad decision. Many arguments ensued. Invariably these
retired leaders of men in the military sided with George Bush. While I was not moved by the positions taken, I always backed away carefully because these guys could be very challenging.

I was fairly certain that each was smart enough to know as I did, that the engagements overseas were not going well... and likely Iraq wasn't even warranted. So why were they so emphatic about re-electing Bush? It came down to "chain of command". These military guys seemed to be unable to separate their active duty from their retired duty... one is to be obedient to the wishes of the Commander in Chief... the other is to be a curious voter and to vote their conscience.

Any way... we all know that George Bush won, and what occurred in the three following years has been a debacle! Well, now we are in a situation where these same men, and many of their wives are making the same arguments in support of John McCain in the present 2008 election campaign... with one twist... this time they have turned nasty! They have tried to hurt anyone who supports Barack Obama. They have been adamant that he not be allowed to win the election... and they are using the same old arguments...

But this time, they are attacking friends and acting like little boys who have not only been wrong... badly wrong... about George Bush; they have been very wrong about Barack Obama. And for some unknown reason, they are being very negative to friends... of ours, and by association... us. So I have decided to turn it around... I am not going to back down this time... here's my question of you leaders of military men... If Barack Obama wins, will they follow the same chain of command that they have with "W"?


1 comment:

Roseisle Tech said...

There is a lot to be said about the military following the chain of command, but doing it blindly is dumb. As a military veteran I know the chain of command has it's place but that is no excuse for a lack of common sense. Are these retired military so brainwashed that they can't think for themselves? Or are they too stubborn to separate their active duty from their retired duty and to think that maybe someone else might know better than "W"?

The Russians fought Afghanistan a looked what happened to the there! This is obviously a war that cannot be won via conventional means but no one has been able to come up with an alternative!

I will be interesting to see what such insular minded individuals would do if Obama becomes president!

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Grad. Saint Mary's University, 1975, got into the medical device business initially in sales, then various management positions up to president, all in Medical Devices. I prefer therapy products over diagnostic, but they are all fun, and in a way have defined my life. I have now evolved, with help from my 35 year partner Lynnda with whom I now share every hour. I am into staying healthy, photography, kayaking, bicycling, gardening and two books a week. I wish I had gotten to this stage earlier!