Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ideology versus Pragmatism - Obama and Top Military Brass Meet

Obama met with top military brass, and they seem very pleased according to this morning's Washington Post Article.

This quote emphasizes the relief the military feels as they realize that Obama is not the ideologue that Bush was. Military folks are trained to be very practical and for good reason.

"Open and serious debate versus ideological certitude will be a great relief to the military leaders," said retired Maj. Gen. William L. Nash of the Council on Foreign Relations. Senior officers are aware that few in their ranks voiced misgivings over the Iraq war, but they counter that they were not encouraged to do so by the Bush White House or the Pentagon under Donald H. Rumsfeld.

"The joke was that when you leave a meeting, everybody is supposed to drink the Kool-Aid," Nash said. "In the Bush administration, you had to drink the Kool-Aid before you got to go to the meeting."

In all matters, it appears that the President-elect will be pragmatic. As I have noted many times over the years, ideology is the enemy of learning, and, more importantly, ideology is often the enemy of a rigorous, scientific problem solving methodology.

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