West Point, NY (September 4, 2013) – In a surprise announcement made at the United States Military Academy at West Point, Secretary of State John Kerry announced today that he had personally relieved the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, for “insufficient duty performance.”
In front of an audience that seemed to consist mostly of West Point rugby players, students who were struggling in their introductory International Relations course, and others who were forced to be there for some real or imagined infraction of West Point’s byzantine rules, Kerry ripped Dempsey for not providing sufficient military top cover for the flailing strategy to deal with Syria.
“I thought it was fitting that General Dempsey’s career end at the same place it began,” Kerry stated in his opening comments about the popular and well-respected former Chairman, a West Point graduate. “So I thought I would make this announcement here at West Point, so Dempsey can hear he’s been fired when this speech gets televised on Fox News,” Kerry added, demonstrating his trademark class in dealing with the military.
Pausing to allow a collective gasp of surprise to rise from the audience, Kerry continued: “Now, I’m sure a lot of you are worried about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan being over before you have a chance to earn your combat patch. But don’t worry, we always have your best interests in mind, so we’re going to start a whole new set of wars that will easily carry over for the duration of your careers, and your children’s careers in the military.”
Kerry seemed perplexed that the auditorium did not immediately erupt into cheers with this announcement. He nonetheless continued with his pre-planned remarks: “I’m pleased to announce that with the addition of military powerhouse Lithuania, the anti-Syrian coalition has climbed into the double digits! Those Lithuanians will definitely be able to contain Russia, China, and Iran should this Syrian attack thingy spin out of control.”
Having delivered the party line on Syria, Kerry immediately shifted focus to the real reason for his trip to West Point, which was to fire the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.
“So, many of you probably saw the Chairman’s terrible performance during my testimony before Congress earlier this month. You might have seen that how, when I was pushed up against the ropes by persistent questioning, I said we weren’t going to war,” Kerry said, referring to the testy exchange between himself and Senator Rand Paul. “When I got asked, ‘if your goal is not to win, then you shouldn’t be involved,’ I tried to punt to Dempsey. But do you know what he said when I asked him if he wanted to respond to that?” Kerry asked rhetorically. “He said, ‘no, not really Mr. Secretary, thanks for asking.’ Can you imagine?” Kerry asked, incredulously, “Here I have the sword out, perfectly positioned for him to fall on, and he DECLINES? I mean, what kind of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs refuses to sacrifice himself on national television for a career politician who is embarrassing himself?”
“He’s just as bad as his predecessor, Muldoon,” Kerry continued, badly mangling the name of the former Chairman, Admiral Mike Mullen. “Muldoon was bleating on about how the military should be the last resort of the state, policy and strategy should engage with each other, blahblahblah. I mean can you believe the NERVE of these guys in uniform, thinking that anyone cares one iota about what they think, or about the hundreds of thousands of men and women that our national policy decisions put in harms way?” Kerry then laughed out loud in front of the stunned crowd.
“Now, back in my war days,” Kerry, who never misses the chance to remind everyone that he spent four months in Viet Nam, added, “those guys were the best puppets since Elmo. I mean, Jim Henson had nothing on these guys! We could always count on them to paint a rosy picture of the situation on the ground, and to take the blame for any policy decision that backfired on the Administration. But these officers today? I mean, if we knew that Dempsey was going to go rogue on us and continue thinking his own thoughts and giving the President genuine military advice that is at odds with what the extreme left of the Democratic party wants to do in the world, I never would have let the President renew Dempsey’s tenure as Chairman for another two years.”
“So let this be a lesson to all of you,” Kerry said, “It doesn’t matter how good you are at your job, it doesn’t matter what’s ‘true’ or what’s ‘in the best interests of the military,’ if you piss off the political elite in this country, your career is OVER. Just ask Stan McChyrstal or Marty Dempsey. Have a nice day.”
Kerry concluded his remarks with a cheerful and enthusiastic shout of, “Go Army! Beat Syria!” Asked later by one young officer-to-be (who apparently had been sleeping during the part of the lecture when Kerry explained that members of the military were supposed to be mute automatons that did not question the nation’s political elite) why Kerry thought he had the authority to relieve the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, when that power is solely reserved for the President, “I was almost President, once. Besides, everyone else in the world is pushing Obama around over this Syria thing, so I figured I might as well get in on that too.”
Kerry brushed off a question about the administration’s non-response to the Benghazi, Libya attacks, in which actual U.S. property was attacked and U.S. personnel, including our ambassador, were killed, responding, “Ain’t nobody got time fa dat! We have Syrians killing Syrians in Syria! The U.S. MUST ACT!!” Only a handful of cadets were willing to speak with reporters after Secretary Kerry completed his remarks. “I should have just walked the (punishment) hours,” one cadet with a fifty-inch chest and twenty-inch neck groused as he left the auditorium in disgust. “I actually feel dumber now and I didn’t think that was possible.”
Another cadet disagreed. “I got a bad grade on my midterm exam because I wrote the military is there to look pretty and carry out whatever hare-brained schemes politicians come up with to serve their own self interests. And of course, we’re supposed to be the fall guys when those weak policies fail. My mean teacher just wrote ‘Terrible, F!’ on my paper and handed it back. But guess who’s ‘terrible’ now, Captain Troy?” the cadet asked rhetorically, apparently referring to his instructor. “Secretary Kerry just validated everything I wrote, and he is exactly the type of officer I want to be when I grow up?” Our talk with this particular cadet was suddenly cut off because soon after speaking those words to us, he was summarily beaten to death by every cadet who overheard them.
The only other cadet willing to talk to us explained the look of disgust that many cadets seemed to be wearing as they filed out of the auditorium. “I’m probably the only cadet here that came to this thing voluntarily,” said the cadet, who asked not to be identified, so we’re only using his last name, Vistipaginarianz. “I was really hoping to hear an explanation of what vital U.S. national interests were at stake, how we’re going to pay for the war, and how we’re going to mitigate the unintended consequences,” Cadet Vistipaginarianz added. “Something that gives me a bit of hope that we’re not heading off into another wrongheaded, expensive, and protracted conflict against the wrong enemy, at the wrong place, and in the wrong time. But instead I got” he paused to gesture back towards the area where Secretary Kerry was boarding a Heinz Corporation helicopter, “that.”
This has been a Hit the Woodline SATIRE piece and should not be regarded as truthful. No reference of any individual, company, or military unit seeks to inflict malice or harm. All characters in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.