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Saturday, April 15, 2006

Rumsfeld vs. The Generals!

To me, honestly, it would not be question of how good or bad it is, it would be a question of perception. That is, if I were a political adviser, and I am not. In the past month or so, culminating this week, a total of six retired generals have called for the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. As anyone who keeps up to speed with the military and Iraq, you should know that Rumsfeld is basically the director of the Iraq war. Yes, President Bush is aware of what is happening (at least we think he is), but the real decision maker when it comes to major military policy is Rumsfeld. We all know how well the war in Iraq is going, no point fighting that. The fact that six ex-generals are criticizing his conduct of the war is not only unprecedented in the annals of U.S. history, it is highly indicative of how this administration handles dissent! There is an unwritten rule in the military where officers and soldiers do not publicly disagree with policy. It hurts troop moral. Ok. I'll buy that. But now a days, moral is not the only thing that is threatened! An officer's future is at stake if you express a different opinion.

Why have these generals expressed dissent after they retired, not before? Because the Bush Administration can't fire them anymore. General Shinseki voiced his disagreement, and though not technically fired, he was publicly humiliated by Rumsfeld when it was anounced who Shinseki's succesor would be, a full year before he retired!! If you don't know military politics, this is slap in face. Never before has this type of criticism been leveled at any serving secretary of defense. The White House will say that these folks are retired, so their opinion doesn't matter, Blah Blah Blah. Three of these officers served in Iraq! How does their opinon not matter? When did non-war experienced opinons become more important than those who have been to war? Folks who have bled in battle? When did cowards like George W. Bush (who fled to Alabama) and Dick Cheney (who got five deferments) get the right to criticize men who have staked their lives in defense, right or wrong, of this country? I don't resort to name calling or anything of the sort but I will this time! How can you possibly justify the actions taken so far?

I think the current status of the Iraq war speaks for how well the war effort has been handled. I don't pretend to know how the troops moral is or anything of the sort. It is not failure on their part. They have done everything asked of them. It is the civilian leadership, an incompetently powerful civilian leadership that should bear the blame for the mistakes, and have the blood of those who died in their hands. But do you really think they care? They are not sacrificing anything except their popularity. Men who wage war and have never been in one should not have the power to wage one!

At this point in time, I think the American public has removed the blindfold and started seeing things as they really are. The economy, the war, the corruption, the profeteering, the pandering, and the hypocrisy. The President only harms himself when he aggresively supports a Secretary of Defense that is a public failure, and, in all honesty, viewed as one of the most arrogant men to have served in a presidential cabinet! Then again, this is a President that rewards mediocrity and failure. CIA's George Tenet receiving a medal of honor to name one, promoting Neo-con Paul Wolfowitz to World Bank director when he was miserably wrong on everything in Iraq, to keeping Donald Rumsfeld as DOD Secretary?! Not a single person has been held accountable for mistakes and failures in this administration. Not even people who messed up in 9/11. How can you place trust in a government that will not even admit mistakes or make an effort to correct them?

In all fairness to Rumsfeld, it doesn't matter who would replace him, hypothetically, Iraq's outcome will not change a bit. Mistakes are so far gone that it is too late to try and ammend them.


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