Thursday, April 13, 2006

Three R's: Retire, Rebuke Rumsfeld

It is getting difficult keeping track of all the retired generals who are coming forth and publicly criticizing the management stylings of Bush's Secretary of Defense, the man otherwise known as the Donald. Former commander of the 1st Infantry in Iraq, Maj. Gen. John Batiste is only the latest in a long line of military retirees to stand up and call for "a fresh start." Of course, one can't have a fresh start without tossing out the trash, and that means tossing Rumsfeld. Previous to Batiste's opinion, we heard from Newbold, Zinni and Riggs, all top level generals of respected status. There will likely be many more as Maj. Gen. John Riggs says,
everyone pretty much thinks Rumsfeld and the bunch around him should be cleared out.
Those of us who have been watching the idiot bumblings of Rumsfeld have had this opinion for quite sometime now and it is nothing if not frustrating to hear from these generals, years later, not only confirm this conviction but to then learn that they failed to speak up at the time (no doubt, these public lashings of Rumsfeld will be good for any future book deals).

Of course, the biggest reason for this condition of silence is that the White House brooked no contention about how it would conduct the war and the first victim of this policy was then Army chief of staff, General Eric Shinseki, who was infamously forced into retirement after he openly disagreed with the administration -- specifically deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz -- about the required size of US force deployment in Iraq. Such public disputation and the fact that the flagrantly empty-headed opinionating of Wolfowitz, a man with no known military service, prevailed over expert military advice and created a climate that, in no uncertain terms, served to quell dissent from military leaders.

Naturally, the White House's favourite military man and resident Pentagon lapdog, chair of the Joint Chiefs, Peter Pace, claims that things were open for free and lively discussion:
We had then and have now every opportunity to speak our minds, and if we do not, shame on us. The articles that are out there about folks not speaking up are just flat wrong.
Is Pace really saying what I think he is saying? Because it sure looks like Pace is saying that the generals who have said that they didn't speak up are "flat wrong" and that they did speak up, even though they have all said that they didn't. Pace is not above such pinheaded mewlings and it is his well within his purview to defend the White House by saying that all those generals are wrong, even about what the generals are saying about themselves.

Adding some arsenic to the Pace lace, DoD counselor, Lawrence Di Rita, chocked up a backtick to chairman's nonsense when he claimed that,
The assertions about inadequate exposure to military judgment are just fundamentally incorrect.
Dear Lawrence, none of these generals has claimed that Rumsfeld had "inadequate exposure" to military advice. They have simply called him "incompetent strategically, operationally and tactically," and that he doesn't listen to military advice. There is a difference.


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