DERELICTION OF DUTY
by Andy Weddington
Friday, 05 October 2012
"Before anything else, preparation is the key to success." Alexander Graham Bell
With a Marine and a Sailor in our family selflessly serving in Afghanistan - both in imminent danger, for today a more direct perspective, one not offered by media, on Wednesday evening's presidential debate.
Everywhere in Afghanistan, around the clock, Marines - young and older - prepare themselves and their Marines and Sailors to fight. Volunteers all.
Generals and colonels and captains, under unimaginable strain to most, receive orders, and they give orders.
Young corporals and sergeants and staff sergeants and gunnery sergeants and lieutenants, likewise under unimaginable strain to most, receive orders, and they give orders. They prepare fire teams and squads and platoons for patrols - combat patrols; day and night. And they lead those units into danger. As do some captains and majors and lieutenant colonels and more senior staff noncommissioned officers.
And let's not forget the added concern of Afghan "friendlies" - in training, armed, and intermingled - killing our Marines and Sailors (soldiers and airmen understood).
Patrol planning is complicated. Nothing is left to chance. From a detailed equipment list to immediate action drills to alternate routes to rally points to fire support, to medevac procedures, and to so much more I've forgotten, the leadership plans, rehearses, inspects, and inspects some more with the objective of accomplishing the mission without loss of life.
More often than not, despite meticulous planning and rehearsal, nothing goes according to plan the minute a patrol steps off. But Marines plans for that, too.
To not prepare, including for the possibility of failure and loss of life, is a failure of leadership.
To not prepare is dereliction of duty.
This past Wednesday evening, while two candidates for the presidency of the United States of America debated, Marines issued orders and other Marines planned, prepared for, and conducted combat patrols.
For that debate one participant, Mr. Romney - the challenger, showed up prepared. Clearly he had planned, rehearsed, had been inspected, and was ready. And he was ready for the unexpected. For as much as is possible, he'd planned for it.
Most disturbing was the other candidate, President Obama - the Commander-in-Chief of the United States armed forces and the man sworn to protect America, showed up unprepared. Clearly he had not planned, rehearsed, nor been inspected. He was not ready. And he was not ready for the unexpected - a well-prepared opponent.
The excuses for Mr. Obama's pathetic appearance and performance have ranged from the plausible (some weighty presidential duty) to the absurd (altitude sickness). But excuses for the President of the United States are not acceptable. Ever.
Mr. Obama merely had to prepare for a 90 minutes session facing another man who wants his job - that of leading America. His was a far simpler task than preparing for and carrying out a combat patrol - where lack of preparation can mean injury and death.
With four years as president and expected command of the issues, preparation should not have been difficult.
Yet again America, and the world, saw the presidency is too much for Mr. Obama.
Yet again America, and the world, saw that Mr. Obama is not a leader.
As the sitting Commander-in-Chief, Mr. Obama's performance Wednesday evening should not be casually dismissed. This 'he'll be ready next time' is nonsense. Tell that to a Marine preparing for a combat patrol. No, Mr. Obama's performance must be called exactly what it was - dereliction of duty.
Any Marine who showed up for duty so ill-prepared and who carried out their duties with such apparent indifference and incompetence would certainly be facing a formal charge of dereliction of duty - at a minimum.
America's President - Commander-in-Chief - showed up for duty unprepared? Are you kidding!
President Obama, though he will not be, should be formally charged with dereliction of duty.
It's been a day and half since the debate, where is the member(s) of Congress who, after reflection and self-inspection - an equipment check, have come to that logical conclusion and will initiate that charge?
With family forward-deployed, and genuine concern for all who volunteer to serve in uniform, it's personal. Mr. Obama does not deserve to be the President and Commander-in-Chief.
It's for the good of America that he will be summarily dismissed from office on Tuesday, 06 November - on the grounds of incompetence and dereliction of duty. That he should also face charges of violating his oath of office, conspiracy, and treason another conversation.
America deserves so much better than Mr. Obama.
Americans in uniform deserve a competent Commander-in-Chief.
And that's the damn truth.
Yesterday's comment: 'The Real Mr. Obama Showed Up' http://acoloneloftruth.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-real-mr-obama-showed-up.html