Thursday, April 22, 2010

Good week for the US military

Three seperate things happened this week that bear positively on the US military and brought smiles to my face.

First, the US trained Iraqi Army stepped up and took down the two top leaders of AQI, Al Masri and Al Baghdadi, along with a third one who was a regional AQI leader.  Although the Iraqis no doubt relied on US military help in these operations (Al Masri and Al Baghdadi were killed by an airstrike, and we still own the skies in Iraq) it is significant that the Iraqi Army was in the lead for both operations.  While VP Biden may be trying to take credit for the situation in Iraq, it was President Bush who laid out this course nearly five years ago-"as the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down".  Taking out the leadership of AQI shows that the Iraqi Army is able to stand on its own, and validates the surge concept that has gotten us to this point.

Second, the first of three Navy SEALs has been found not guilty of covering up detainee abuse in Iraq.  Despite the fact that claiming abuse is part of the Al Qaeda playbook, too many people are far too willing to instantly believe a terrorist over some of our country's most elite warriors.  I think this stems from a general dislike for the military on the liberal side of the aisle, but in any case, the courts martial against the three SEALs revolves around the testimony of the (alleged) terrorist, so if the jury found one SEAL not guilty they are likely to find the same for the others.

Third, and most surprising of the three, is a liberal pundit admitting the folly of banning the US military from college campuses.  Peter Beinart, writing in the Daily Beast about possible Supreme Court pick Elena Kagen, is very critical of her support for banning the military.  Beinart writes-

The United States military is not Procter and Gamble. It is not just another employer. It is the institution whose members risk their lives to protect the country. You can disagree with the policies of the American military; you can even hate them, but you can’t alienate yourself from the institution without in a certain sense alienating yourself from the country. Barring the military from campus is a bit like barring the president or even the flag. It’s more than a statement of criticism; it’s a statement of national estrangement.

Whatever your view of DADT, the thought that college in America are barring recruiters from campus because they disagree with a policy that the military itself has no control over is not just poor logic, but rather un-American.  Congress and the President have the sole authority for setting military policy on gays in uniform, but the military is the group being persecuted and punished.  Kudos to Beinart for being able to seperate the policy he disagrees with from the military that has no control over it.