Sunday Morning Think Piece:
"The Battling Baxters and their effect on America"
Sorry fellas... the big morale problem in the Army overseas has more to do with what's been going on over here than what's been going on over there... and what's been going wrong in the U. S. Army isn't too much different than what's been screwing up DEA. Both DEA and the Army have too many family members on the inside and too many control-freak wives trying to control their husband's careers.
I am surprised that no one in the media has reported why our president made such a grandstand pitch on May 2 to announce the end of combat in Iraq... wearing that silly flight suit was not done on an impulse or to patronize Bush's ego, it was done with the full intent to cause the very uproar that it did. Mission accomplished. The media and public got so distracted with Bush wearing a military flying suit they never caught on to the rapidly developing string of events going on in the U.S. Army that caused our losing the war in Iraq... we have lost the war because with more Americans dying daily now than during the first Gulf War it is apparent that we haven't won it.
Bush made his 'end of combat' speech on May 2nd because he and his crises staff learned that every deal reportedly offered to General Tommy Franks and his wife Cathy to remain in the Army had been rejected, and that Franks would soon announce he was quitting.
Why is this so enormously important? It is important because never in the history of an American war has a general in command of a war quit before the war was over. Never! Hence, to keep the American media, public and military from learning the truth about how screwed up the Army was George Bush had no alternative but to declare the war was over and thereby remove any hint that Franks' upcoming resignation three weeks later was not a signal that he had failed his mission (which he had) and was leaving in disgrace (which he was). Had Franks resigned BEFORE the end of combat was formally declared all Hell would have broken loose and the public would have learned the truth as to why the Army had so many, many difficulties getting to Baghdad, locating and apprehending Saddam Hussein, etc., etc.
The problem goes back several years to January 21st, 2001 when... as word on the street puts it... "the pushy boys and their pushy wives came to town (Washington DC)". Led by the Lynn Cheney, who is said to be the real power behind the throne and the most controlling of control-freak wives, the 'Wives Club' (as they are called by the victims) immediately began positioning their husbands for higher titles and more authority. (The announcement in late 2002 by Rummy to restrict the title "Commander in Chief" to the president did little to tame the rising stampede by military brass for near royal status.) It is said that one of the wives, Cathy Franks (wife of General Tommy Franks) reportedly began her campaign to push Army Chief of Staff General Eric Shinseki and his wife Patty off the map to make room for her husband to replace Shinseki.
Word on the street is Cathy Franks reportedly refused to attend some of the Army functions where Patty Shinseki appeared. At the same time, because of the Enron fallout Army Secretary Thomas White was under constant assault by unnamed individuals inside the Army who were upset because he refused to demand Shinseki's retirement so that Franks (or possibly another white general) would assume the Army Chief of Staff job. Word is Rumsfeld had reportedly thrown in his lot with the Franks' but was powerless to force an untimely and unjustified Shinseki departure... lest he offend the entire minority community in the Army (whose African-American population, alone, made up almost 30% of frontline combat troops). The Shinseki's, it is said, were determined to leave at a time of their own choosing, and no one else's. The Shinseki's and other racial minority couples in the Army had witnessed many command positions (with the exception of highly visible public relations posts) occupied by minorities under Clinton now replaced by white commanders under Bush.
Meanwhile, senior Army personnel who were not necessarily chummy with the Shinseki's but were outraged at the reported shenanigans by the Franks' coup d'tat reportedly blessed by Lynn Cheney, let it leak that Cathy Franks, the general's wife, was not only attending highly classified briefings (some with and some without her husband's attendance) but also attempting to "takeover" or "lead" meetings. Some who attended the meetings were outraged that Cathy Franks, who had no official standing, was permitted inside sensitive areas and reportedly issuing commands to senior officers using her husband's position as her personal authority. When news of these happenings hit the fan increased pressure from the 'Franks Coalition' in the Army was brought to bear on Thomas White and the Shinseki's who were accused of leaking the info on Cathy Franks to the media. Word on the street was that Cathy was so outraged at being told her access to the Pentagon, CentComm and other Army channels would be restricted to 'wives only' areas she declared war on the Army. However, some are saying that what angered the Franks more was that Patty Shinseki continued to be honored as the 'First Army Wife' due to Patty's husband's seniority over Cathy Franks' husband. Talk about heat!
The biggest and most intense prewar discussions at Camp David prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom are said not to involve logistics or preparation for invading Iraq, but were centered on maintaining control over rapidly developing hostilities inside the U.S. Army that was currently being uprooted and overran by 'The Wives Club'. With the Franks' reportedly angered and Army infighting at its highest and most vicious, Rumsfeld reportedly made Thomas White the scapegoat because White refused to agree to force Shinseki out and put Franks in. Thomas White was a casualty of the Wives War.
Now the talk gets even more interesting... word on the street is that when victory over White was declared and Shinseki made it clear he would be leaving soon after, supporters of the Franks would no longer be satisfied with their Great White Hope, General Franks, being appointed to mere Army Chief of Staff. Franks supporters decided that the only way to ensure their Grand Mistress, Cathy, could never again be outranked would be to give her husband Dick Myers' job as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs... as well as a fifth star! (Five Stars were previously denied to Schwarzkopf and Powell who commanded a REAL multi-multination coalition, and not the hyped-up but puny by comparison 'Coalition-Of-Two' that Franks commanded.)
There was even some talk that the Franks might even accept Tommy replacing Dick Cheney on the Bush ticket in 2004 as his new VP candidate. And here is where Lynn Cheney reportedly lost control of the operation and Bush had to step in... five days after Bush peremptorily struck the Franks' threat that Tommy would quit as commanding general of a war when the fighting had not ended, Bush suddenly (and inexplicably to many) announced that Dick Cheney would again be his running mate in 2004. This cooked the Franks goose... they now had only two choices: accept the Army Chief of Staff job or take a hike.
Word is... wave after wave of counter-negotiations and counter-offers short of being given Myers' job was offered to the Franks who reportedly refused to bite. Hence, 22 days after Bush announced the end of hostilities in Iraq Franks succumbed to bitter defeat.
The result of the current chaos throughout the U.S. Army at home and abroad is the result of control-freak wives and their wimpy husbands. The American public needs to stop thinking of their current leadership in terms of grand titles but as the petty, greedy and diabolically crafty individuals most Americans would not want as next-door neighbors.
In the space of only two and one-half years our Army has gone from peak efficiency to rock bottom inefficiency. And the 'February through May Massacre' that left so many Army bodies in the dust has accelerated the Army's decline. The disgraceful end of the Vietnam War was kinder to our Army than the recent inner squabbles caused by control-freak wives and an irresponsible Commander in Thief.
There are only two things keeping our country together at this moment: One is our two hundred year-old momentum and our surviving industries. The second lies in the blessing that the leadership of our rival and opponent countries are more screwed up than ours is.
It is the job of the president to provide leadership and instruction to all his appointees and keep them moving in a positive direction toward a goal profitable for our country. The business of America is business. And it is the job of the First Lady to provide leadership and instruction to all of the appointees' wives to keep their penis envy in control and themselves out of their husband's business. George Bush has failed to do his job, he has handed his job to Dick Cheney. Laura Bush has failed to do her job. she has abandoned her post to Lynn Cheney.
And this is why Americans are dying in Iraq, our economy is failing, America now owns the largest heroin producing operation (Afghanistan) on the planet, and morality in America is at an all time low.
Are any of us in DEA better off than we were three years ago?
Our country isn't being led by professional Wise Men (and women). Our country is being led by professional people-manipulators.
Other reports are Archived by The American War Library