Political correctness is always petty, often infuriating, and sometimes does no permanent harm. But occasionally it’s a threat to the nation’s security. When a paperclip general at the Pentagon surrenders to the enemy at the first sound of the popguns, the harm can be permanent.
Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stood up to the enemy in Iraq, where he made an enviable combat record. But at the Pentagon, he appears to have fallen, not on his sword, but on a paperclip, attached to a point of religious doctrine.When, 18 months ago, apologists for Islamic radicals complained that an instructor at the National Defense University, the military war college, was guilty of the sin of showing insufficient deference to radical Islam, the general first humiliated him, then cashiered him, to appease Muslim critics, some of them radical and no friends of the United States. Now the instructor has been rejected for battalion command and his promising Army career is effectively over.
Army Lt. Col. Matthew Dooley (a good Irish Catholic name), decorated for valor in Iraq, was an instruction leader at the Joint Forces Staff College in Washington, lecturing on the dangers of radical Islam, when he invited an authority on Islamic extremists to talk to his students about how the extremists operate. You might think that “knowing the enemy” is a good thing in senior Army officers. One passage in the materials used by a guest lecturer, former FBI agent John Guandolo, particularly enraged the critics:
“If Islam is so violent, why are there so many peaceful Muslims? This is similar to asking why there are so many Christians who are arrogant, angry and vindictive, if Christian doctrine requires humility, tolerance and forgiveness.” There were no protests from Christians, or Christian organizations. But one participant in the course complained to the Pentagon, and the witch hunt, led by the thoroughly frightened Gen. Dempsey, began.