One of the things about a banana republic is that they are usually headed by an idiot who is controlled by and follows the orders of the military.
That possibility bothered our founders, and thus they separated the military from the government and made sure that civilians were in charge of the military; viola, the president (a civilian) is commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
But under Bush, we came alarmingly close to a banana republic.
That's likely one reason why the CENTCOM commander, General David Petraeus, who evidently disagrees with his commander-in-chief about an Iraqi withdrawal timetable, thought he could get by with leaking a false report indicating Obama may be moving away from his 16-month plan to get the troops out of Iraq.
As the Huffington Post writes: "The real story of the leak by Petraeus is that the most powerful figure in the U.S. military has tried to shape the media coverage of Obama and combat troop withdrawal from Iraq to advance his policy agenda - and, very likely, his personal political interests as well. ...
"It is also reported that Gen. Ray Odierno, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and retired Army general Jack Keane, a close ally of Petraeus, had both made public statements indicating a determination to get Obama to abandon the 16-month plan."
This is not the first time a general has attempted to manipulate the president/commander-in-chief. Gen. Douglas McArthur did the same to President Truman, with somewhat unhappy results for the general, who was removed from command.
Military people tend to think they know everything there is to know and often fall victim to the
delusion that they can run the country better than their civilian bosses.
The other thing to remember is that generals need wars to fight. That's what they are about. Evidently, Afghanistan is not enough for Petraeus.
That crap must stop. Especially if Petraeus is looking to run for president in 2012 on the Republican ticket.
In fact, this is public insubordination and cannot be allowed. Obama should fire Petraeus now.
The Huffington Post article is here (with links). An article on Obama not bowing to the brass, here. An article similar to HuffPo's here. More here.