Millions of people have been asking a single question: How could all those police in Uvalde simply stand around while children were being slaughtered? The answer is both simple and horrifying. It’s in the title of this piece. And it reflects something we all ought to be aware of for the rest of our lives…if not for the rest of time.
I’ve objected repeatedly to calling political officials “leaders.” They lead nothing. They occupy sinecures in cushy places, occasionally vote on a paper or sign one, and orate about whatever will keep them there. If this is “leadership,” I’m Amelia Earhart. (NB: For those in some doubt, I’m not Amelia Earhart.) The same applies to the many REMFs who send our young men into combat. The majority of them are careerists with no agenda other than attaining their next promotion. Moreover, they know it.
John Ringo did a nice turn on such “leaders” in his novel A Deeper Blue:
Colonel Freeman Olds had spent most of his career in staff positions. He was, in fact, very close to a perfect staff officer. He was meticulous in the extreme and could juggle multiple tasks quite effectively. He was also a workaholic, putting in eighteen to twenty hours a day pretty much consistently.
However, one of the reasons that Olds had had, in his opinion, far too few commands was hidden in his generally excellent reviews. It was not so much that negative terms were included as certain positive ones were missing. He had hardly noticed but phrases like “capable of critical decision making under pressure” were notably absent. That’s because what many of his reviewers had realized was that he, well, wasn’t. He could make recommendations and create multiple scenarios, but to get him to make a hard decision—one that could negatively affect his career if he was wrong—he had to be cornered like a rat in a trap.
He had been just as meticulous and risk avoidant in building his career. He had carefully gotten all the merit badges, worked the buddy system, gotten all the right positions at all the right times. His time as a battalion commander had, admittedly, been less than perfect but that was understandable. The battalion he took over had been terribly poorly managed and undisciplined in the extreme. It could hardly be his fault that it had failed the annual Army Readiness and Testing Evaluation Program. He had managed to argue that to various people who, despite the unit being decertified for combat operations after two previous trips to the sandbox, had kept him from being relieved and forcibly retired.
The upper echelons of our armed forces are riddled with such “leaders.” Moreover, this is not a brand new condition. It might be the single worst consequence of maintaining a “standing army.” Those “leaders’” indifference toward their proper responsibilities has been on display many times. It happened a lot during that strange, unwarlike War we called Vietnam.
Read this brief tale. Then – especially if you have adolescent children – reflect on what the agendas of the “leaders” who said “That is not our mission today” must have been. And think carefully about whether you would want your children to be “led” by such men. For such men are angling to “lead” us into another war, one that could result in the incineration of our nation. And if you find yourself asking “Good God, why?” please refer to the title of this piece.
: For those unfamiliar with the acronym, it stands for “Rear Echelon Mother Fuckers,” a collective designation for high-ranking officers who “lead” from offices far from the shooting.
Stanley Kubrick’s first major movie, Paths of Glory, established him as a star director. It exposed the corruption that accompanies such priorities. Seen in his bright lights, the film explains how, as a consequence of selfish goals, the French military became a ghost of its former self.
Kirk Douglas, Adophe Menjou and Ralph McReady (from whose features Rocky & Bullwinkle’s Fearless Leader was undoubtedly traced) all performed their roles excellently to drive home the point that illustrates your title.
Given the circumstances that cost General Joseph-Jacques-Césaire Joffre his command in 1916, it would appear McReady’s character was loosely drawn from him.
People are scared to make decisions because then they could be held responsible for the consequences of those decisions.
I’ve said the same thing about hiring decisions. People hem and haw and rely on key word searches in resume databases; every development that I see in the AI / HR interface is about removing the human responsibility from the system and turning it over to a computer.
I think there is another reason.
It was mentioned in another blog.
And the reason is George Floyd.
If the LEO kill a minority then you have BLM jumping up and down demanding punishment for the cop, regardless what happened.
I think this is the reason cops now dont do anything until the Swat team shows up. And by then the body count will be high enough that even BLM will be alot less loud.
Avoiding the “BLM response” was one of the on-site commander’s priorities. He didn’t have the courage required by one in his position: the courage to decide, act, and stand by his decision.
It’s not just the on-site commander. Someone hired him. Someone wrote the SOP he was supposedly adhering to. He was the one who made the call, but he didn’t just pop up out of nowhere. His actions are a sign that there are deep problems in the department, and his enablers/backers/sponsors need to go down with him.
Somehow, I doubt anything it going to happen. There will be hearings and investigations, he’ll probably be fired, and then they’ll quietly reinstate his retirement package and back pay, as *almost always happens* in similar situations. And nobody is ever, ever, going to look any higher in the command chain for problems.
FIred? Hah! He recently won election to the Uvalde city council. His installment was supposed to be yesterday, but it was postponed due to all the funerals.