Changing the Path from Failure

On January 31, 1945, shortly before the end of World War II in Europe Private Eddie Slovik was executed for dereliction of duty (desertion). Wikipedia describes the events leading up to his execution most succinctly:

“While en route to his assigned unit, Slovik and Private John Tankey, a friend he met during basic training, took cover during an artillery attack and became separated from their replacement detachment. This was the point at which Slovik later stated he found he “wasn’t cut out for combat.” The next morning, Slovik and Tankey found a Canadian military police unit and remained with them for the next six weeks. Tankey wrote to their regiment to explain their absence before he and Slovik reported to their unit for duty on October 7, 1944. The U.S. Army’s rapid advance through France in the early fall of 1944 had caused many replacement soldiers to have trouble finding their assigned units, and so no charges were filed against either soldier.

“The following day, October 8, Slovik informed his company commander, Captain Ralph Grotte, that he was “too scared” to serve in a front-line rifle company and asked to be reassigned to a unit in a rear area. He then told Grotte that he would run away if he were assigned to a rifle unit, and asked his captain if that would constitute desertion. Grotte confirmed that it would, refused Slovik’s request for reassignment, and sent him to a rifle platoon.

“The next day, October 9, Slovik deserted from his unit. John Tankey caught up with him and attempted to persuade him to stay, but Slovik’s only comment was that his “mind was made up”. Slovik walked several miles to the rear and approached an enlisted cook at a headquarters detachment, presenting him with a note which stated:

“’I, Pvt. Eddie D. Slovik, 36896415, confess to the desertion of the United States Army. At the time of my desertion we were in Albuff in France. I came to Albuff as a replacement. They were shelling the town and we were told to dig in for the night. The following morning they were shelling us again. I was so scared, nerves [sic / “nervous”] and trembling, that at the time the other replacements moved out, I couldn’t move. I stayed there in my fox hole till it was quiet and I was able to move. I then walked into town. Not seeing any of our troops, so I stayed over night at a French hospital. The next morning I turned myself over to the Canadian Provost Corp [sic / “corps”]. After being with them six weeks I was turned over to American M.P. They turned me loose. I told my commanding officer my story. I said that if I had to go out there again I’d run away. He said there was nothing he could do for me so I ran away again AND I’LL RUN AWAY AGAIN IF I HAVE TO GO OUT THERE.

‘— Signed Pvt. Eddie D. Slovik A.S.N. 36896415[4]’

“The cook took Slovik to an MP, then his company commander, who read the note and urged Slovik to destroy it before he was taken into custody. Slovik refused. He was brought before Lieutenant Colonel Ross Henbest, who again offered him the opportunity to tear up the note, return to his unit, and face no further charges; Slovik again refused. Henbest instructed Slovik to write another note on the back of the first one stating that he fully understood the legal consequences of deliberately incriminating himself, and that it would be used as evidence against him in a court-martial.”

No one died as a result of Mr. Slovik’s dereliction of duty (desertion) because it did not occur while he and his unit were under fire, while he was guarding a critical and strategic post, or while he was vetting enemy prisoners or supervising “safe passage” for foreign non-combatants.

President Joe Biden (D) set in motion a chaotic withdrawal of armed forces from Afghanistan which, as of August 28, 2021, has resulted in the deaths of thirteen members of our armed forces as a result of a suicide bomb while they were checking Afghani citizens seeking to leave in the face of guaranteed reprisals by the Taliban. Hundreds of Afghani citizens were killed or injured by the same bomb while hundreds, perhaps thousands, more have been executed or face certain torture and execution by the brutal savages who populate the Taliban. All of this occurred because Mr. Biden, confused by conflicting opinions and deteriorating cognition ordered his military commanders to “just do it” despite a lack of notice, planning or support for those most effected by the decisions – that being the military units in Afghanistan, the diplomats in Afghanistan, the intelligence operatives in Afghanistan, and those Afghanis who have provided material support to our military, diplomatic and intelligence missions for over twenty years.

More will die in the final days because the military has been ordered to withdraw before the end of the deadline for removal thus leaving any attempt to extract additional personnel without cover. More will die in the immediate aftermath of the final withdrawal as the Taliban continue decades of savagery in their execution of enemies (real and perceived), rape and subjugation of women and girls, execution of homosexuals, Jews and other religious minorities and support of terrorists both domestically and abroad.

By any stretch of the imagination, Mr. Biden has been derelict in his duty as Commander-in-Chief, as President of the United States, and as a compassionate human being. History will equate his actions to those of Benedict Arnold, Aldrich Ames, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Robert Hanssen, and John Walker, Jr.

So where do we go from here? It is important that we be realistic. It is also important to recognize that what should happen and what will happen are widely divergent. And that is because the politicians are in charge and they do not seek solutions, rather they seek political advantage.

But Mr. Biden will not be executed. He will not be prosecuted. He will not be impeached and convicted – Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will not permit an impeachment resolution to move forward if for no other reason than as Mr. Biden continues to fail, she has successfully taken control of the domestic agenda. While he may be impeached if the Republicans regain control of the House of Representative in 2022, he will not be convicted in the Senate because it requires concurrence by two-thirds of its members – thirty-six members who are Democrats or vote with the Democrats will be carry over senators in 2022 thus denying the necessary two-thirds majority.

Vice-President Kalamata Harris will not be impeached despite personal animosity towards her by any number of fellow Democrats and almost universal disdain by Republicans. All for the same reasons that Mr. Biden will not be impeached.

However, Secretary of State Antony Blinken is subject to impeachment and he may just be the “sacrifice” offered up by Mr. Biden, Ms. Pelosi and the Democrat hierarchy. Article II, Section 4 of the United States Constitution provides in pertinent part:

“Article II, Section 4: The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

It does not appear that that Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, is subject to impeachment under the Constitution but he is subject to court martial. More importantly he serves at the whim and caprice of the President. Mr. Biden is likely to demand Mr. Milley’s resignation despite his own complicity in the chaos created by the military withdrawal from Afghanistan. Were Mr. Milley an honorable man he would submit his resignation immediately after the expiration of the timeline established by Mr. Biden for the withdrawal.

All of that is appropriate but it is insufficient given the status quo created by Mr. Biden’s diminished cognition, his history of mistakes on all things foreign and domestic and his inability or unwillingness to explain his actions and provide access to the material that support those explanations. We are in a governmental crisis of our own making.

As bad as it appears, I remain a believer in the rule of law and the wisdom of the United States Constitution. So when you ask where we go from here, my response is necessarily confined to lawful means. So, here it is:

1. There is nothing you can do about the shortcomings of Mr. Biden. He is the President and he will continue as such short of impeachment or implementation of Twenty-fifth Amendment, neither of which will occur. That fact alone dictates the course of what you can do.
2. You do not want to impeach Mr. Biden or see him removed from office because the result – Ms. Harris – is worse than anything you can imagine under Mr. Biden.
3. Congressional elections are the nearest opportunity to affect change at a national level. Denying the Democrats (and therefore Mr. Biden) a majority in the House of Representatives and/or the Senate will prevent Mr. Biden from continuing on his march towards the socialist/welfare state with its accompanying destruction of the economy and out international influence.
4. All politics are local. In this instance, it is also nearest opportunity to affect change. Elections for local offices (city, county, school boards, etc.) will occur in many jurisdictions prior to the 2022 congressional and state government elections. It is a golden opportunity to rid the schools of Critical Race Theory and mask mandates and refocus the school systems on education rather than social change. Local elections can also insure that local officials refuse to implement unconstitutional state and federal mandates. There are already instances where sheriffs, police officers and other local officials are refusing to enforce suspect decrees and such efforts should be encouraged. (Edicts issued by governors under the guise of a health emergency without opportunity for review by the legislatures need to stop.)
5. Success breeds success. The Tea Party movement began at the local level. It increased its influence in state and then congressional elections. Unfortunately, the movement allowed the Republican Party to absorb and then compromise its fundamental principles of smaller more responsive government and the movement waned. Local movements as suggested above can similarly grow quickly to influence state and federal elections. And if they do, it is time to remember the mistakes of the past.
6. Peaceful civil disobedience. A local retailer has prominently posted in its entry way the following notice which I paraphrase:

We are not officers, employees or agents
of any local, state or federal government.
We do not possess the authority to arrest, prosecute
or punish violators of government mandates.
If this makes you uncomfortable you should leave.
You are welcome to wear a mask or not.

Peaceful civil disobedience can be exhilarating but it carries with it the possibility of arrest and fines. However Mahatma Gandhi when urging the people of India to resist the colonial rule of Great Britain is quoted as saying:

“Yes. In the end, you will walk out, because 100,000 Englishmen simply cannot control 350,000,000 Indians if those Indians refuse to cooperate. And that is what we intend to achieve: peaceful, nonviolent, non-cooperation — till you, yourselves, see the wisdom of leaving.”

The same is true in America. How is it that a handful activist could ruin one of the nation’s most beautiful cities – Portland. How is that a handful of activists with the assistance of the public employees unions could ruin one of the best education systems in America – Oregon. None of this is possible without the acquiescence of the voters – either active or passive.

But none of this will happen unless you actually believe that the American way of life is worth saving.