Martin Dempsey, Chairman JCOS, is Obama’s Boy to the Core

General Martin Dempsey is the poster boy for the fact that the flag ranks of the military are, by-and-large, populated by shameful political animals. In yesterday’s House Armed Services Committee meeting he ran headlong into John Kline (R-MN) and it wasn’t pretty.

Rep. Kline is no armchair warrior. He served 25 years in the Marine Corps before he retired at the rank of Colonel. He served as a helicopter pilot and was ultimately accorded the responsibility of flying Marine One. He also served as a personal military aide to Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.

We love his opening lines about the fact that we don’t have a strategy in Iraq. Note that neither Dempsey or Ashton Carter, Obama’s Secretary of Defense, even attempted to rebut that. Because their boss admitted it.

Then Kline got to the meat of the question, “Where are we in Iraq today? Are we winning? Are we losing? Is it a stalemate? Is it a quagmire? What is Iraq today?”

As Scott Johnson noted at Powerlineblog, Dempsey’s answer was the equivalent of the old joke about the Lone Ranger and Tonto being surrounded by hostile Indians. The Lone Ranger says, “What are we going to do, Tonto?” Tonto’s response, echoed by Dempsey, was, “What do you mean ‘we’ paleface?”

In answer to the question, Dempsey didn’t like the “personal pronoun ‘we’.” In the best Obama fashion Dempsey passed the buck saying that it was up to the Iraqis to prevail not the US.

Kline obviously disagreed, and there’s one of two options for Dempsey’s admission. Either he believes that the US has no part in the mess we made when Obama refused to negotiate a Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqis and pulled out our remaining troops that were the stabilizing effect in the country, in which case he’s a damn fool; or he’s simply lying to support his boss. Either way, he’s a disgrace to his uniform and to the honorable service of every member of the military who put their lives on the line to liberate Iraq.

Obama promised to “fundamentally change” the nation. He may have accomplished that with the US military, if General Dempsey is his model soldier.


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  • Commander_Chico

    Good job by Dempsey. He did two tours in Iraq, knows the Iraqis. Kline did not and does not.

    Dempsey owned that exchange, was a master of the material. As Dempsey said, it is not up to “we” it is up to the Iraqis.

    Kline looked like a buffoon, grandstanding. Big whoop, he got promoted one more time than I did. He did not make the general officer cut, despite having his nose up presidents’ butts. Must have messed up or been an known asshole.

    Who gives a shit about what the chickenhawks at Powerline think?

    • Retired military

      The stupid is strong with this one.

      • jim_m

        “I was there” medals give Chico a hard on because he was never there.

    • Mjolnir

      The opposite of chickenhawk is chickenshit.

      Being able to reasonably discuss whether going back to Iraq to stop the threat of ISIS has nothing to do with whether a person has served or served in a combat tour. Trying to silence debate with these irrelevant personal attacks does not make you any different than the delicate snowflakes at the universities calling out people for their microaggressions and triggers.
      The big picture is that if Iraq falls, there will be a new destabilizing and belligerent force that will likely lead to increase war, since no forces in Iraq would be able to resist a Iranian invasion, which I think is not unfathomable considering the power vacuum that will exist in Iraq. Weakness invites attack.
      This will lead to further destabilization of the region and further escalation of weaponry as the small but rich Arab states will need more powerful weapons to keep Iran in Iran.
      There’s a bigger picture, and you’re as inept as Obama is in seeing it.