Monday, October 29, 2007
the political military
the united states military is a massive and disparate agglomeration of people, and there are many camps of thought within it competing for power and expression. when i first commented on the growing vocalization of military politics, it was to highlight a movement against a bush cabinet official, now-former secretary of defense donald rumsfeld. this view was also expressed by chalmers johnson. while such a group was very probably not one of partisan democrats working against republicans, it was very certainly a political group.
but it was also noted that the bush administration was repeatedly purging the high eschalons of the military in order to install the type of right-wing leadership core that would see eye to eye politically with proto-fascists in the vein of rumsfeld and dick cheney, if not of full blown neoconservative religionists like norm podhoretz or charles krauthammer. this is an essential element in the final consolidation of the imperial presidency -- just as adolph hitler had to co-opt hindenburg and the prussian officer corps to secure his political fortune in 1933, just as benito mussolini had to intimidate king victor emmanuel iii with blackshirt gangs of veterans and the implicit support of the italian armed forces, so must any party that aspires to rule the united states without the constitution in the longer term have deep support in the american military command structure.
whether or not this administration has that support is indeed highly questionable. but they have done all they can to force it by railroading the careers of officers who oppose or even merely disagree in principle. the elevation of general david petraeus and his press officer is the result -- as was seen earlier and is now being ever further evidenced, that is not in the interest of preserving what remains of either a government of divided powers or a foreign policy in the service of something other than a regional war over ever-rarer oil reserves.
UPDATE: more, crossreferenced with turkey turning against the united states.