While the media seems content to allow Bush and the White House their usual bullhorn to label the Democrats as "defeatist" for the recently passed Iraq legislation, that all the Bush administration needs is "a chance" and everything will work out great, there are authoritative and less sanguine voices out there that the mainstream media seem determined to avoid hearing and, by implication, prevent the American public from hearing it. Though it doesn't make it any less infuriating, we're used to that by now.
After Bush took a beating from retired generals over his insistence that Rumsfeld remain Secretary of Defense, now at least two former commanding generals in Iraq are incensed that Bush vetoed the bill.
The President vetoed our troops and the American people. His stubborn commitment to a failed strategy in Iraq is incomprehensible. He committed our great military to a failed strategy in violation of basic principles of war. His failure to mobilize the nation to defeat world wide Islamic extremism is tragic. We deserve more from our commander-in-chief and his administration.But Bush has managed to purge the ranks of disgruntled generals who have watched the Bush administration ride roughshod over the troops and bring the US military to near the breaking point. As fewer and fewer people with minimal military qualifications are choosing to sign up for Iraq deployments ad infinitum -- this is a long war, don't cha know -- recruiting standards have been lowered, moral waivers are on the rise, the mercenary trade booms, and wounded vets -- those citizens who ought to receive the very best of care from the "wealthiest nation on earth" -- are slipped out the door and hustled on their debilitated way.--Maj. Gen. John Batiste, USA, Ret.
This administration and the previously Republican controlled legislature have been the most caustic agents against America's Armed Forces in memory. Less than a year ago, the Republicans imposed great hardship on the Army and Marine Corps by their failure to pass a necessary funding language. This time, the President of the United States is holding our Soldiers hostage to his ego. More than ever apparent, only the Army and the Marine Corps are at war - alone, without their President's support.--Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, USA, Ret.
Even the mob takes better care of their own than the pricks currently inhabiting the White House.
Update: More, many more generals have piped up:
With this veto, the president has doomed us to repeating a terrible history. President Bush's current position is hauntingly reminiscent of March 1968 in Vietnam. At that time, both the Secretary of Defense and the President had recognized that the war could not be won militarily - just as our military commanders in Iraq have acknowledged. But not wanting to be tainted with losing a war, President Johnson authorized a surge of 25,000 troops. At that point, there had been 24,000 U.S. troops killed in action. Five years later, when the withdrawal of U.S. troops was complete, we had suffered 34,000 additional combat deaths.--Lt. Gen. Robert Gard (USA Ret.)
Almost 5 years ago, Congress trusted the President enough to give him the power to transform Iraq. Bush violated that trust and deceived us with a misuse of force. Today, the President violated the trust of the American people, our troops, and their families by vetoing this bill and not choosing to do what is right. He has let us down.--Brigadier General John Johns (USA, Ret.)
The rhetoric of Congress not supporting our troops is pure "hogwash". The real non support of our troops is the Presidential Veto. Vetoing this Bill sends a message to our troops, that the President will fund them to fight but is not concerned about returning them to their families.--Maj. Gen. Mel Montano (USANG, Ret)
By vetoing this bill and failing to initiate an immediate and phased withdrawal, the President has effectively gone AWOL, deserting his duty post, leaving American forces with an impossible mission, suffering wholly unnecessary casualties."--Lt. Gen. William E. Odom (USA, Ret.)