The Hollow Force, Version 2012 by PETER FARMER
In the post-Vietnam era of the late 1970s, a weakened and demoralized United States military was sometimes referred to as a “hollow force.” Already on the defensive because of the debacle in Vietnam and deep cuts in military spending in the face of Soviet aggression in Afghanistan, the humiliation of the Carter-era military was sealed at Desert One, when U.S. forces failed to free Americans being held hostage in Tehran by the regime of Ayatollah Khomeini. The presidency of Ronald Reagan ended the “hollow force” years, but unfortunately for the nation, not permanently.
Years of unrelenting pressure by the cultural left have utterly transformed the United States armed forces, changing them into something that Reagan would not recognize. As if contending with feminists and homosexual activists wasn’t challenge-enough for those trying to hold the line, beginning in the 1990s under the Clinton administration, a new threat emerged: Islamic infiltration of the military.
During the 1990s, the Clinton administration pressured the military into taking Muslim clerics into the chaplain corps, despite overwhelming evidence that many of the imams had ties to extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood.
The few die-hard critics who questioned the wisdom of allowing Muslim clerics into uniform at all were dismissed as xenophobes, Islamophobes, or as politically-incorrect relics of a by-gone age. Notwithstanding the eight years of George W. Bush in the White House and the 9-11 attacks, the steady diffusion of Muslims into the ranks of the military and government has continued unabated. The trend has only accelerated under the Obama regime, whose sympathies are unapologetically pro-Islamic.
Where do the members of the Republican Party stand on the issue? Apart from Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and a few other stalwarts, the members of the GOP Congressional caucus have either taken to cheering for the Islamists themselves, a la Senator John McCain (R-AZ), or have retreated into a cowed silence. What about the senior officers of the armed forces, those general/flag officers charged with defending the nation and the military personnel in their charge? Unfortunately, almost to a man – they have chosen the path of political expediency and cultural leftism. Almost none have had the courage to speak out against the creeping Islamization of the armed forces; indeed, some senior officers appear to have “gone native,” to use the British phrase – and seem to have little concern over the course of events. Consider the following…
In the aftermath of the Ft. Hood massacre by Army psychiatrist and professed “Soldier of Allah” Major Nidal Hasan, Army Chief of Staff General George Casey offered the following statement, nearly pitch-perfect in its political correctness,
“Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.” Note the choice of words; the good general calls this slaughter a “tragedy” and “horrific.” A tragedy is when an unexpected tornado or flash flood wipes out a town; when a religious fanatic kills thirteen people and wounds nearly thirty more in the name of his faith, it is an atrocity and an act of terrorism.
In 2009, a shipment of Bibles denoted by U.S. churches and sent to Afghanistan was burned by the U.S. military, out of fears that U.S. personnel might use them to prosthelytize in that Islamic nation. In September, 2010, then-General David H. Petraeus condemned a Florida pastor who planned to burn some copies of the Koran in retaliation, saying, “It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort. It is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems. Not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community.” Around the same time, the brass reiterated its strict guidelines for the handling of the “Holy Quran;” all U.S. military personnel were to use white gloves and both hands at all time when handling Islam’s holy book.
To show their appreciation for Petraeus’ dhimmitude, shahids (believers) throughout the Islamic world rioted anyway.
The restrictive rules of engagement (ROEs) and ridiculous counter-insurgency doctrine handed down by the Obama Department of Defense have resulted in the deaths of countless U.S. and coalition soldiers. So-called “Green on Blue” attacks, i.e., surprise attacks by our Afghan Muslim “allies” upon their American trainers, are now commonplace. Someone please page Daniel Pipes; “Sudden Jihad Syndrome” appears to be on the upswing.
In an October 24th story at World Net Daily (“Officer Sacked for Teaching Class on Radical Islam”), it was disclosed that Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Dooley, a heretofore well-regarded instructor at the National Defense University, Joint Forces Staff College, received an unfavorable officer efficiency report (OER) and was censured for teaching a course on Islam that did not conform to Department of Defense (DOD) standards. Dooley, a 1991 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and a much-decorated veteran of nearly twenty years of service, had taught the popular course since 2004, and its content had been approved by his superiors. In previous OERs, Dooley’s work was commended as “outstanding.” The abrupt reversal in his fortunes came about when a group of 57 Muslim organizations sent a protest letter to the DOD in October 2011 demanding that all staff college course content “offensive to Islam” be purged and that instructors of such courses be disciplined. Not only has General Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, not defended his subordinate; he has gone on record publicly as supporting the negative OER given to Dooley. In short, the Obama regime wants to throw Dooley to the wolves, and Dempsey is helping them do so. Lt. Col. Dooley, aided by Richard Thompson of the Thomas More Legal Center, is currently engaged in a legal battle to save his military career.
The foregoing examples illustrate the degree to which the rot of political correctness and dhimmitude has penetrated the armed forces of the United States. The removal of Obama and his Islamist allies from power is a necessary but insufficient step to solving the crisis. Over the last twenty years, the cultural left and its Muslim allies have succeeded in ‘hollowing out” the military to the extent that the basic character of the institution itself has been changed for the worse. In particular, the senior officer corps has been deeply compromised. In over forty years of studying military affairs and national defense, this analyst has never seen it in worse shape. Equally troublesome, much of the government itself – including the DOD, the State Department and the intelligence community – are riven with sympathizers of the Muslim Brotherhood. Many of them are unelected political appointees who will remain in office even if Obama leaves Washington; they will have to be actively removed – or they will remain in place to do their damage.
The very institutions charged with protecting the United States from its enemies are now no longer capable of speaking honestly and openly about the threats facing the nation. Indeed, these institutions are in denial about them and are actively-engaged in suppressing dissent. In other words, they are lying to themselves and lying to the people of this republic. What will it take to stop the madness? History suggests an answer: During the early days of the Cold War, when the extent of communist influence into the affairs of the U.S. government became known, Congress created the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) to root out the infiltrators. Although leftist history has since tried to blacken the name of that committee, it did its job effectively, as subsequently declassified Soviet documents have shown. We may need a 21st century equivalent to clean up the enormous damage we now face. Simple cosmetic changes will not be enough.
Copyright 2012 Peter Farmer
Peter Farmer is a historian and commentator on national security, geopolitics and public policy issues. He has done original research on wartime resistance movements in WWII Europe, and has delivered seminars on such subjects as political violence and terrorism, the evolution of conflict, combat medicine, and related subjects. Mr. Farmer is also a scientist and a medic.
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