Readability

Facing the Giant

by baldilocks

41And He with­drew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, 42 say­ing, “Father, if You are will­ing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”

–Luke 22:4142; Jesus in the gar­den of Gethsemane

Marine Gen­eral James Amos — Com­man­dant of the Marines– recently responded to the sack­ing of Iraq and Pres­i­dent Obama’s sub­se­quent inac­tion.

Speak­ing at the Brook­ings Insti­tute Tues­day, Amos said the Obama admin­is­tra­tion paved the way for the emer­gence of the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) by com­pletely with­draw­ing Amer­i­can troops in 2011.

I have a hard time believ­ing that had we been there, and worked with the gov­ern­ment, and worked with par­lia­ment, and worked with the min­is­ter of defense, the min­is­ter of inte­rior, I don’t think we’d be in the same shape we’re in today,” Amos said.

Many know that it is a vio­la­tion of the UCMJ for any active duty ser­vice mem­ber to crit­i­cize the Commander-​in-​Chief in pub­lic, but that’s exactly what Gen­eral Amos did and, I sus­pect, that the tim­ing of this was inten­tional, since he could have waited until his Octo­ber 2014 retire­ment to make such a statement.

But he did not…likely because crit­i­cism of the C-​in-​C from an active duty 4-​star gen­eral is more likely to get the atten­tion of the public.

In the wake of this, I got into an “argu­ment” with a well-​meaning man who hard time get­ting around the ille­gal nature of the general’s actions. He couldn’t quite grasp the con­cept that some­one might do some­thing like this on pur­pose; do it and pay the fine or stick one’s arms out to be cuffed…or go to one’s exe­cu­tion meekly…all for the sake of truth and honor.

When I pointed out that this is exactly what Jesus the Christ, many of the Old Tes­ta­ment prophets and almost all of the Apos­tles did, then my friend began to get it.

But it isn’t nec­es­sary to go back 2000 years to find per­sons who stood up for truth in the face of given legal authorities.mlkjail

Any Marine is unique for a num­ber of rea­sons, but one thing stands out, espe­cially in rela­tion to Gen­eral Amos’ actions: Marines are will­ing to risk every­thing for honor and for their fel­lows. Gen­eral Amos has charge over the entire Corps and, under his charge, many Marines have died or been per­ma­nently maimed. Marines all go into the Corps know­ing that they may die or be maimed, but they hope that our country’s civil­ian lead­er­ship will not make their deaths/​disfigurement mean­ing­less by fail­ing to lead — and that is exactly what Pres­i­dent Obama has done.

So, I sus­pect that mak­ing this deci­sion was easy for the gen­eral. I bet it was a piece of cake.

How­ever, I bet that there are a lot more men and women like the gen­eral, many who aren’t even ser­vice mem­bers. At least I hope there are. I pre­dict that this coun­try will need them soon.

Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was pub­lished in 2009; the sec­ond edi­tion in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

baldilocks

by baldilocks

41And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, 42 saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” 

–Luke 22:41-42; Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane

Marine General James Amos—Commandant of the Marines– recently responded to the sacking of Iraq and President Obama’s subsequent inaction.

Speaking at the Brookings Institute Tuesday, Amos said the Obama administration paved the way for the emergence of the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) by completely withdrawing American troops in 2011.

“I have a hard time believing that had we been there, and worked with the government, and worked with parliament, and worked with the minister of defense, the minister of interior, I don’t think we’d be in the same shape we’re in today,” Amos said.

Many know that it is a violation of the UCMJ for any active duty service member to criticize the Commander-in-Chief in public, but that’s exactly what General Amos did and, I suspect, that the timing of this was intentional, since he could have waited until his October 2014 retirement to make such a statement.

But he did not…likely because criticism of the C-in-C from an active duty 4-star general is more likely to get the attention of the public.

In the wake of this, I got into an “argument” with a well-meaning man who hard time getting around the illegal nature of the general’s actions. He couldn’t quite grasp the concept that someone might do something like this on purpose; do it and pay the fine or stick one’s arms out to be cuffed…or go to one’s execution meekly…all for the sake of truth and honor.

When I pointed out that this is exactly what Jesus the Christ, many of the Old Testament prophets and almost all of the Apostles did, then my friend began to get it.

But it isn’t necessary to go back 2000 years to find persons who stood up for truth in the face of given legal authorities.mlkjail

Any Marine is unique for a number of reasons, but one thing stands out, especially in relation to General Amos’ actions: Marines are willing to risk everything for honor and for their fellows. General Amos has charge over the entire Corps and, under his charge, many Marines have died or been permanently maimed. Marines all go into the Corps knowing that they may die or be maimed, but they hope that our country’s civilian leadership will not make their deaths/disfigurement meaningless by failing to lead—and that is exactly what President Obama has done.

So, I suspect that making this decision was easy for the general. I bet it was a piece of cake.

However, I bet that there are a lot more men and women like the general, many who aren’t even service members. At least I hope there are. I predict that this country will need them soon.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

baldilocks