We often hear people complain that President Obama doesn’t listen to his generals. Since those people don’t understand the Constitution, I’ll offer this simple explanation.
As commander-in-chief, the president receives the best possible input from the Joint Chiefs of Staff regarding military aspects of any problem. Then, as president (i.e., CEO of the executive branch), he receives other relevant inputs from other significant sources such as the State Department, intelligence agencies, or other cabinet departments. Only then does he choose a course of action.
Don’t you wish that George W. Bush had understood this? Toppling Saddam’s regime was easy in 2003, but what about the aftermath? Even Dick Cheney forecast the subsequent quagmire when, in 1994, he defended the elder Bush’s decision to cripple Saddam, not depose him, after Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait. Cheney’s flip-flop is just one of the horrible decisions that led to the deaths of 4,500 young Americans and about 150,000 Iraqis, destabilization of the region, and the ultimate formation of ISIS.
We shouldn’t forget any of this when we choose a new president in 2016. We need an intelligent, thoughtful person who thinks before he/she speaks or acts, not a bigoted, loud-mouthed, quick-triggered schoolyard bully.
Martin Bensky, Richland