The Pentagon is where military preparedness is fostered. In our system of government, the military is subordinated to civilian control, which is as it should be. They are not, as in so many countries, our bosses who maintain that position through fear. However, there are factions in this country that would like to see the military defanged, and, if possible, disbanded.
How convenient it would be for Anarchists, Islamists, and any nation states that would like to see us rendered defenseless. It would also please those pacifists who believe that if we are just nice, the rest of the world will be nice back. But most of us know better.
One function of the military establishment is training: training of young future officers who will have command duties down the line. In this training, the military provides another function that is in short supply in the rest of America's governing institutions: long-range planning.
We Americans are short-term planners. Elections are held with such a short turnaround time that representatives cannot plan beyond the next election. Presidents are elected for four years, with potential renewal for another four, but there it ends. Senators have six years at a time, which gives them a little more time for long-range planning, but still not enough. Even corporations do not try to look twenty years down the road, as do some corporations in Japan, and China, for example.
This is where the Pentagon is different. Managing the complex requirements of a viable military force-both in its personnel and ever-changing technology requires periodic forward planning, looking ten and twenty years down the road to ascertain military threats to our survival. Military planners need to know what sorts of requirements they will have, what sort of threats are there, and how best to meet them. They then inform the Senate, House, and White House so that the civilian leadership can act in the best interests of the nation.
In May, somebody was most displeased over an officers training course (Joint Forces Staff College) in which the instructor, Lt. Col. Matthew Dooley, noted what should be obvious: that Militant Islam declared war on us a decade ago. He said: “They hate everything you stand for and will never coexist with you, unless you submit.” He is correct, and is merely quoting what Islamists themselves have been saying for a long time now. In London, one can hear this rant every day from Islamist preachers that the British keep trying to deport. Dooley sees nothing but conflict down the road with Islamists who continue to commit mayhem throughout the world in the name of Islam, and he sees this potentially destructive of Islam itself.
It is true that all Muslims are not terrorists; but it is also true that almost all terrorists are Muslims. Critics have muzzled Pentagon trainers such as Dooley, as they did last year with an equally valid FBI training course. It isn't nice, they say, to criticize Islam.
The biggest criticism of the Norfolk course was that it was “counter to American appreciation for religious freedom and cultural awareness.” Is this what the Military should be teaching? Shall we “appreciate” the religious freedom that we see now everyday in Afghanistan, where Afghan police trainees ambush and shoot their trainers? Shall we appreciate religious freedom that can recruit at will young men in prisons and on the Internet who would happily die in pursuit of taking as many of our lives with them as possible? And should we respect the religious freedom that permits the most dangerous and evil prisoners on trial today in Guantanamo to make a circus out of their trials? And how about respecting the religious freedom of those criminals who kill their wives and daughters or anybody else for “offending” Islam?
This attack on the Pentagon training is just one more attempt of Islamists and their dupes to muzzle what they do not like while giving themselves complete freedom to recruit terrorists. What are we thinking?
Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman is a historian, lecturer, and author of How Do You Know That? You may contact her at Lfarhat102@aol.com or www.globalthink.net.