A rock and a hard place.
I remember the first time I took the oath of enlistment. I was seventeen and very wet behind the ears. I knew about service because of my Dad and both grandfather’s experience in the World Wars. But as we repeated the words (inserting our own names at the appropriate place). I am not sure I understood the gravity of the oath.
“I, __________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”
I have previously talked about that day on the blog
From the original post: “I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.”
“The President is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. Whether you like them or not, you are taking a solemn oath to obey their orders. In a civilized society, this is an important rule in order for the military to be able to perform its sworn duty and follow the Constitution.”
But what if he is wrong?
Watching the nightmare in Afghanistan unfold, it seems as if the Commander in Chief may have been in over his head. From all of the reporting that is emerging now, it seems like decisions were being made more on a political basis than on sound military practices. The goal to remove all military forces from Afghanistan before the September 11 twenty year anniversary seems like it was impacting the sound judgement of military leaders.
The results were predictable.
Chaos. Confusion. Betrayal. Death of our warriors.
What is next? The coming deaths of those people who played a key role in all that we did in Afghanistan? The death of Christians? The subjugation of women and children under a brutal regime for decades to come? The surrender of our principles to make a point.
All of this could have been prevented.
But there is a fatal flaw in the process. We assumed that the Commander in Chief that was selected by the American people would always be worthy of the title. We assumed he or she would always be able to rise to the task. We assumed that the person would listen to the experts and have a plan that was well thought out and supported by those experts.
August 26th 2021 has put that notion to rest for all time.
When we take that oath, there is a presumption that the Commander in Chief that we are supporting will always have our countries best interests at heart.
Why would any sane person willingly pledge their loyalty and service to someone who would do anything but preserve and protect the country and her interests? Why indeed. That really puts all of us that took the oath between a rock and a hard place.
The only question left now is will the United States ever overcome the shame inflicted on it by the 46th President?
Maybe just as importantly, what kind of hell has he unleashed on us because our enemies no longer fear that we will have the courage to respond to future attacks? Every despot on the planet has seen this betrayal and is planning for their moment in the sun.
God bless our men and women in uniform. I grieve today for all that have been lost and for their families.
They deserved better.