One of the reasons the US has been so politically stable for over two centuries is the mostly apolitical nature of our armed forces. We take that as the natural state of things, but in many places, armies are led not by professional soldiers, but by leaders with a vested interest in the stability of the existing regime.
Gen. Martin Dempsey called Terry Jones, who is known for inflammatory anti-Islamic rhetoric, to express his concerns about the film, saying it could inflame tensions and trigger violence.
U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the attack.
Dempsey spokesman Marine Col. Dave Lapan said Jones did not say whether he would limit or continue his backing of the movie, “Innocence of Muslims.” A video excerpt of the low-budget film, which portrays Islamic Prophet Muhammad as a feckless philanderer who approved of child sexual abuse, is available on YouTube.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Jones said, “He asked us not to promote or show the film … I told him that we would definitely consider that. I would first have to watch the film.”
No servicemember, let alone the senior servicemember, should tell a private citizen what they should or should not say.
URR has argued here several times before that the upper echelons of the military have shown a lamentable tendency to forget that the armed forces exist to serve the population, not the population serving the forces. I’m starting to suspect he’s on to something there.
And it isn’t as if this is GEN Dempsey’s first foray into areas outside his duties. DrewM has an excellent post showing more of the General’s failures to adhere to his oath.
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the principal military advisor to the President. He is not, however, supposed to be a cheerleader for him.