Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Berkeley-San Francisco Axis of the Effete

For decades I have been rankled by the totally unwarranted presumption of the elite left that they are more intelligent than those who don’t see things their way! By the elite I mean those on the left who have a fairly high degree of formal education and/or hold positions of prestige in society. Folks like those in California who make up Berkeley’s City Council or San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors. These are, simply, not very bright people.

The latest proof of that is the attempt by the Berkeley City Council to rid their fair city of that scourge of decent Code Pinkers everywhere, the local Marine recruiting station.

From the NY Times:

“...a parking space directly in front of the recruiting station here for the Marine Corps was awarded on Tuesday night to [Code Pink] in the hope of running the Marines out of town...members of the City Council approved a resolution that encourages people to nonviolently ‘impede, passively or actively’, the work of the recruiters.

‘If you’re going to join the Marines, you’re going to join the Marines,’ said Zanna Joi, an activist with Code Pink...‘But you don’t have to join the Marines from our town.’

...the council also directed the city attorney to investigate legal means of ousting the recruiting station, calling the Marines ‘uninvited and unwelcome intruders’... the resolution also calls for the city attorney to look into possible violations of the Berkeley municipal code regarding sexual discrimination by the Marines, and asks the city manager to write the Marine commandant and tell him that Semper Fi fans are ‘not welcome in our city.’”

These folks do not seem to think Americans have any need or reason to have a military. Of course, if a 7.4 on the Richter hits the city, and the same folks are buried under rubble, the soldiers digging them out are going to be screamed at for not getting to their fair and peace loving city sooner.

Deebow at BLACKFIVE is not amused at the Berkeley City Council but is at Senator Jim DeMint’s proposal in reaction.

The Marquette Warrior makes a trenchant observation:

“Of course, we know what they would think of people who tried to ‘impede, passively or actively’ at an abortion clinic.”

This is the same old from the SanFran-Berkeley Axis of the Effete. Previously, as reported by The Examiner, SF supervisor Chris Daly said he was considering a call to halt the Blue Angel flyovers during Fleet Week because "they seem dangerous and unnecessary." Code Pink was reported to be assisting Daly with that resolution.

Volokh Conspiracy posted about the San Francisco Board of Supervisors rejecting efforts to bring the WWII era battleship Iowa to the waterfront as a museum on the grounds that the peace-loving city is no place for a warship.

There is just so much that can be said about the attitudes and thinking (or lack of same) of these folks, much of it all but necessitating foul language, that I have to narrow it down. As such I’ll simply address one somewhat involved issue. The Mercury News reported on the Berkeley story with:

“In addition, the council voted to explore enforcing its law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation against the Marines because of the military's don't ask, don't tell policy.”

Good place to start.

Members of the media and politicians who refer to “the military's don't ask, don't tell policy” or “the Pentagon's don't ask, don't tell policy”, please listen up, you clueless ignorant dolts who didn't pay attention in Middle School civics class.

‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ (DADT) is not the military’s or Pentagon’s or Army’s or Marine’s policy. It is Federal Law. That bill that established DADT was passed in 1993 when the Democrats controlled the Congress and was signed into law by President Clinton. 25 Congressional Democrats voted against the bill, while 235 Democrats voted in support, including Nancy Pelosi, who still represents San Francisco. I wrote about that in detail in November 2006 for American Thinker when the SF School Board voted to disallow ROTC in their high schools because of DADT.

Anybody think that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors will take any action against Speaker Pelosi for voting for a law that the military is required to obey, rather than take action against the military for obeying?

There’s the rub, or at least this rub. Under our country’s Constitution and laws, there is civilian control over the military. That civilian control is empowered by the ballot box and exercised by elected representatives. Members of the military serve the country. They serve by enduring hardship, separation, shedding of blood and even the giving of their lives. They also, however, serve by willingly and honorably acting as the servants of the civilian leaders chosen by the people.

The American military is a terribly powerful force with tremendous power. It is far more powerful in every and any sense than the SF Board of Supervisors or the Berkeley City Council. Yet, it doesn’t seek to use that force that it has on, say, those dolts in SF and Berkeley, the way those dolts seek to exercise their much lesser power over others.

We have never had the American military seek to seize power in this country. Other than in a book of fiction and Hollywood movie like “Seven Days in May’, Americans can barely imagine and never worry that one morning they may wake up and an armored division or a few had placed a cordon around the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court!

The closest we ever came to such, and even using the word “closest” implies that there was more there – there – than was actually there, was during the Civil War. Mackubin T. Owens tells the story. Lincoln had appointed General George B. MacClellan commander of the Federal armies. MacClellan had a somewhat grand view of himself as the savior of the Union, if only that dolt Lincoln would simply let him take charge.

At one point MacClellan had written to his wife that "I have commenced receiving letters from the North urging me to march on Washington & assume the Govt!!" and about the possibility of a "coup". Lincoln became aware of rumors that McClellan intended to put "his sword across the government’s policy." A subordinate of McClellan’s was concerned about "officers of rank" in the Army of the Potomac who spoke openly of “a march on Washington to 'clear out those fellows.’"

However, well before anything other than loose words were written and said, McClellan seemed to wake to the implications of the situation and issued a general order calling for the subordination of the military to civil authority, writing:

"The remedy for political errors, if any are committed, is to be found only in the action of the people at the polls."

MacClellan had the power, but Lincoln had the elected office, and Little Mac, whatever else may be said of him, was an American soldier.

I read an article about a year or so ago that I sadly cannot find again. In it, an American officer was telling of what it was like building up this new Iraqi Army from scratch. He spoke of something that struck me at the time. He said that the Iraqis had a very difficult time understanding this civilian control over the military. After all, it was the military that had the guns, and therefore the power, while the civilian government had – only words on paper! Saddam Hussein had the power not because he had the government but he had the government and the power because he had the guns.

Yet the Iraqis had been witnessing this American military, that they knew had awesome power, act in deference to elected civilians, and not just American ones! They were seeing the respect and deference this powerful force of warriors would even give to – the members of the Iraqi government, a newborn babe! What the Iraqis had been witnessing was the American military’s willing subjugation of itself and its power to the rule of the people through democracy. They were also starting to see what the American soldiers exercised in that deference – honor! They served with honor rather than rule by force.

There’s the thing these politicians are too thick to get! They are demanding that the military make its own rules, and ignore – the laws passed by the government elected by the people! They are insistent that if the military does not become a law unto itself, it and its members should be punished! Of course, what they are indeed asking for has a history, and has been tried many times, and it is still possible to see the results of such a policy in action today. Just Google the words ‘junta’ and ‘coup’! It is not so rare.

Imagine if these ignoramuses in SF and Berkely (and elsewhere) got what they have been demanding: a military that becomes a law unto itself! Do it once, why not do it again. If the military decided it need not subordinate its will to that of the civilian rulers, and would instead exercise its power as it saw fit, what would and could the civilian leaders do to compel them otherwise?

The military obeys the democratically elected civilian leadership not because they are forced into it, but because they honor that service, as honorable men and women.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors and the Berkeley City Council have no concept that such a thing as that kind of honor even exists.

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