Very early in my education at the United States Naval Academy it was made clear to me that you can delegate authority, but that you always retain responsibility. Yesterday, I participated in my first ever peace rally in Washington, D.C. where I was the source of the instigation and not the target. I lived through the protests of the Vietnam War and retired as a Captain with 27 years of naval service to my country. Representative government fails when the electorate fails to educate themselves on the issues and candidates prior to voting, fails to vote, and fails to understand that the vote is part of the beginning and not the end of their responsibility. We must accept responsibility for the failure of our government to adequately secure planes and airports prior to 9/11 from the known threat of suicide terrorists employing jets as missiles – for the National Security Advisor and others in government to proclaim otherwise is disingenuous and the highest failure to accept responsibility.
We must also now accept responsibility for the failed policies of our government. Most of us failed prior to the Iraq War when we did not do everything we could to voice our concerns to our elected officials to whom we delegate authority. Congress abhorrently failed when it abdicated its authority to declare war. By abdicating its authority to declare war, Congress retains responsibility for not leading a national debate prior to the war to develop consensus. Congress failed to demand evidence of the imminent threat to our country, thorough planning and realistic estimates of the resources to win the peace, and that the administration engage the world in a similar debate to develop international consensus for war. To be honest, winning a military campaign against a third-rate military power brings little pride. However, it’s very painful to see our failures causing the unnecessary deaths of wonderful young military personnel, with whom I had the greatest honor and pleasure to serve, and innocent Iraqi civilians. We must now hold ourselves and those in government, to whom we have delegated authority, accountable!
John T. Nosek