Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 22
  1.    #1  
    after 3 years, uncounted thousands of deaths, and hundreds of thousands of wounded and dismembered soldiers and civilians, several very senior former Generals have begun to criticize Don Rumsfeld and the planning and conduct of the Iraq war.


    "My sincere view is that the commitment of our forces to this fight was done with a casualness and swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions — or bury the results." — Retired Marine Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold.

    "He has shown himself incompetent strategically, operationally and tactically, and is far more than anyone responsible for what has happened to our important mission in Iraq. ... Mr. Rumsfeld must step down." — Retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton.

    "They only need the military advice when it satisfies their agenda. I think that's a mistake, and that's why I think he should resign." — Retired Army Maj. Gen. John Riggs.


    The question I have regarding the Generals is: are they acting honorably now -- have they, in waiting until retirement and the outcome of the Iraq catastrophe nearly universally understood -- behaved properly in only now voicing their public dissent about the conduct of the Iraq war, and that of their civilian overseer, Don Rumsfeld.

    If they had believed before the war that civilian leaders lacked the strategic and tactical appreciation of the nightmare that they were about to unleash, should they have found a forum where they could have communicated this publicly ??.

    Should they have resigned dramatically rather than accept the commands of leaders determined to manufacture an unneccasary and corrosive war ??

    Why are these Generals only attacking Rumsfeld if the war was imagined and initiated by junior. If Rumsfeld is only a proxy for their real target -- are they right in holding back from attacking the POTUS ??


    Last edited by BARYE; 04/19/2006 at 04:41 AM.
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  2.    #2  
    This Newsweek article (excerpted below) describes in some depth the inherent contradiction between military obedience, and loyalty to the truth which can imperil ones career...

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12335719...week/from/RSS/

    Gen. Eric Shinseki, former chief of staff of the Army, says he is "at peace." But reached last week, he didn't sound all that peaceful. In the winter of 2003, alone among the top brass, Shinseki had warned Congress that occupying Iraq would require "several hundred thousand troops." Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, had rewarded Shinseki for his honesty by publicly castigating and shunning him.

    ...He pointedly said that the "person who should decide on the number of troops [to invade Iraq] is the combatant commander"—Gen. Tommy Franks, and not Rumsfeld.

    Some critics have argued that Shinseki should have banged on the table, pushed harder to stop Rumsfeld from going into Iraq with too few troops. How does Shinseki respond? "Probably that's fair. Not my style," said the old soldier, who nearly lost a foot in combat in Vietnam. There was, he added cryptically, "a lot of turmoil" at the Pentagon in the lead-up to the war. Was that Rumsfeld's fault? "Partly," said Shinseki. Did Rumsfeld bully General Franks, the overall invasion commander? "You'll have to ask Franks," said Shinseki, who indicated that he had talked long enough. "I walked away from all this two and a half years ago," he said.

    The former four-star general appeared to be torn between his strong sense of duty and an uneasy conscience. The moral dilemma is as old as the republic. When does a military officer stand up to—and push back against—his civilian masters? And when does he just salute and say, "Can do, sir"?

    ... In 1997, Army Gen. Hugh Shelton, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, assigned the top brass to read "Dereliction of Duty," a classic study accusing Vietnam-era generals of failing to stand up to their civilian bosses.

    Somehow, the lesson did not sink in. Before the Iraq invasion, the senior military did not force a discussion of what to do after the war was won. Rumsfeld was obsessed with the plan of attack, but not the aftermath. The consequences are by now a familiar litany: Rumsfeld demanded a swift, lean force that worked superbly to depose Saddam Hussein—but was woefully inadequate to take over the more onerous task of securing and rebuilding Iraq. Only now are the retired generals coming forth to complain of Rumsfeld's bullying and demanding his resignation.

    ...Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni wrote an op-ed calling the secretary of Defense "incompetent strategically, operationally, and tactically."... ..."Yes, Rumsfeld should go," says Macgregor. "But a lot of the generals should be fired, too. They share the blame for the mess we are in."

    Rumsfeld is the chief villain of a very influential new book, "Cobra II," by retired Marine Corps Gen. Bernard Trainor and New York Times reporter Michael Gordon. In their detailed, thorough accounting of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, Rumsfeld is shown badgering the reluctant but mostly quiescent generals into attacking with as few troops as possible... ... Rumsfeld disdains "nation-building" and blithely counts on the Iraqis to rebuild their own country. But right after the invasion he signed off on orders by the American proconsul, Paul Bremer, to disband the Iraqi Army and fire most of the top civil servants—leaving the country vulnerable to chaos and a growing insurgency.

    One of the most powerful indictments came from Marine Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold, who was chief of operations for the Joint Staff during the early planning of the Iraq invasion. Writing in Time magazine, Newbold declared, "I now regret that I did not more openly challenge those who were determined to invade a country whose actions were peripheral to the real threat—Al Qaeda." Actually, it was not the job of a uniformed officer, even a high-ranking one like Newbold, to challenge the president's decision to invade Iraq. That's a political judgment: it's up to the president and Congress to decide whom to fight. The military's job is to win the fight.

    Still, Newbold has a point when he writes that the decision "was done with a casualness and swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions—or bury the results." The real responsibility for Iraq, of course, lies with President Bush. Together with Vice President **** Cheney (draft-deferred in Vietnam) and Rumsfeld (Navy jet pilot who did not see combat), Bush (Texas National Guard pilot) seemed determined to brush past or roll over the cautious national-security bureaucracy. Bush made little or no effort to prod his national-security staff to ask tough questions, such as how the Sunnis and Shiites would bury centuries of resentment when Saddam was gone. (Bush has said he listens to the generals, but it does not appear he heard any words of caution.) The get-tough trio essentially cut out Gen. Colin Powell, the secretary of State and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who was regarded as too squishy...

    Powell has come in for some criticism for not trying harder to slow the Bush juggernaut into Iraq. And the various generals have taken talk-show grief for not speaking out until their pensions were safely vested in retirement... ... It is true enough that "political generals" get ahead by never rocking the boat. And it is fair to say that Rumsfeld's shabby treatment of Shinseki—the secretary did not bother to attend the retirement ceremony of the Army chief of staff, whose replacement was leaked 14 months before his term was up—had a chilling effect on other officers.

    ...Other officers, particularly those with less exposure, just find Rumsfeld to be an impatient meddler who jumps around, nosing into subjects he knows nothing about and should leave to the professionals...

    ...Rumsfeld worries that the whole concept of civilian control is "turned on its head" by the revolt of the generals. "Conceptually, institutionally, that a handful of disgruntled generals could determine who will lead the Department of Defense—that's not the way it's supposed to work," says DiRita...
    Last edited by BARYE; 04/19/2006 at 06:46 AM.
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  3. #3  
    I think the Generals are late in their dissent and complicit in that of which they accuse Rumsfeld. However, I can appreciate that they may have a greater sense of liberty as civilians that they may not have had while serving.

    The key to me is whether they simply disagreed with the strategy, or if they found the strategy unconscienable. If the former, their actions then and now are appropriate. If the latter, the appropriate action would have been resignation, rather than carrying out the plan, then complianing about it afterwards.
  4. cardio's Avatar
    Posts
    779 Posts
    Global Posts
    787 Global Posts
    #4  
    While every persons voice is valuable sometimes the media likes to make some voices more valuable than others. I think there are now 6 retired Generals and/or Admirals on board saying Rumsfeld should resign or something along those lines. There are over 7000 retired Generals and/or Admirals alive today. We have less than 1% of that demographic population making headlines. Agree or disagree with them as you see fit, it really does not matter to me, just wanted to put that perspective out there since we all know it will not be reported on 60 minutes tonight.
    "If It Weren't For The United States Military"
    "There Would Be NO United States of America"
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    There are over 7000 retired Generals and/or Admirals alive today. We have less than 1% of that demographic population making headlines. Agree or disagree with them as you see fit, it really does not matter to me, just wanted to put that perspective out there since we all know it will not be reported on 60 minutes tonight.
    How many of the 7000 have served under Rumsfeld? How many have commanded troops in Iraq like Newbold (Marines)? How many have retired since then and have the possibility to say what they think at all? Six is a hell of a lot given the circumstances...
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  6. cardio's Avatar
    Posts
    779 Posts
    Global Posts
    787 Global Posts
    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    How many of the 7000 have served under Rumsfeld? How many have commanded troops in Iraq like Newbold (Marines)? How many have retired since then and have the possibility to say what they think at all? Six is a hell of a lot given the circumstances...
    Not sure how many of the 7000 served under Rumsfeld, only 2 of the 6 speaking out have. All retired military members have the possibility to say what they think. 6994 is a hell of a lot of a bigger number given any circumstance.
    Like I said agree or disagree does not make any difference to me, but accept the fact that the media is giving these 6 a louder voice than the others. I am not a retired General, but it would not hurt my feelings if he decided to resign. I doubt that CNN will pick up my story though.
    "If It Weren't For The United States Military"
    "There Would Be NO United States of America"
  7. #7  
    But General Richard Myers, who up until last year was America's most senior military officer, joined President Bush in defending Mr Rumsfeld.

    General Myers said that during four years as joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, he had never heard such complaints about Mr Rumsfeld.
    From: http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems...4/s1617005.htm
  8. #8  
    i clicked on this thinking there would be some amazing story of a paralized person walking again... what a disappointment.
  9.    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    I think the Generals are late in their dissent and complicit in that of which they accuse Rumsfeld. However, I can appreciate that they may have a greater sense of liberty as civilians that they may not have had while serving.

    The key to me is whether they simply disagreed with the strategy, or if they found the strategy unconscienable. If the former, their actions then and now are appropriate. If the latter, the appropriate action would have been resignation, rather than carrying out the plan, then complianing about it afterwards.
    I agree shopharim -- they are late in their dissent, and perhaps it is proof that courage dissipates with age and experience.

    We have to remember though, that politicians who believed differently also let themselves by cowed into silent approval of the bush/rumsfeld madness --

    The post 9/11 years were a dark chapter where they were able to bully any opposition into silent acquiesence -- in the intelligence community, the congress, and in the military.
    Last edited by BARYE; 04/20/2006 at 12:16 AM.
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  10.    #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by Woof
    i clicked on this thinking there would be some amazing story of a paralized person walking again... what a disappointment.

    Woof, you know me better (and worse) than to be surprised by a thread of mine ...
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  11.    #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    How many of the 7000 have served under Rumsfeld? How many have commanded troops in Iraq like Newbold (Marines)? How many have retired since then and have the possibility to say what they think at all? Six is a hell of a lot given the circumstances...

    IT is unprecedented for such senior military officers -- players in both the highest strategic and operational fields -- to so forcefully and passionately vent their dissent from what is still an ongoing war.

    Why though are they halting at just attacking Rumsfeld -- is he not just a proxy for bush and the true target of their contempt ??
    Last edited by BARYE; 04/19/2006 at 02:34 PM.
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  12. cardio's Avatar
    Posts
    779 Posts
    Global Posts
    787 Global Posts
    #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE
    IT is unprecedented for such seniior military officers -- players in both the highest strategic and operational fields -- to so forcefully and passionately vent their dissent from what is still an ongoing war.

    Why though are they halting at just attacking Rumsfeld -- is he not just a proxy for bush and the their true target of their contempt ??
    Unprecedented? Are you sure?

    CNN analyst David Grange - a retired general who knows Eaton and Zinni - says it's unusual for three senior retired officers to speak out in a short time-span.

    "I think there is maybe some growing dissent within some of the officer corps," Grange said. "But again it's retired people. Of course, when they're retired then they'll speak publicly. When they're in the service they'll talk behind closed doors."

    Secretary Rumsfeld's press office would not comment on the criticism, but one top pentagon official points told CNN that many retired generals do support Rumsfeld. And General Grange says he doesn't think those three generals, prominent as they are, represent the majority in the officer corps.

    http://www.kare11.com/news/national/...storyid=122851

    I will agree that it is unusual, or at least the media attention is unusual, but I think your statement of unprecendented is a bit overboard.

    In 1991 an active duty Air Force General (commanding officer of the US Air Force in Europe) spoke out about the failure of Bush 1, when he stopped short of driving into downtown baghdad. He retired soon after that and there were several others who spoke out in his defense.

    And during the Somalia events there were plenty of Senior military members active and retired going public with their displeasure with the administrations tactics and activities.
    "If It Weren't For The United States Military"
    "There Would Be NO United States of America"
  13.    #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    Unprecedented? Are you sure?

    CNN analyst David Grange - a retired general who knows Eaton and Zinni - says it's unusual for three senior retired officers to speak out in a short time-span.

    "I think there is maybe some growing dissent within some of the officer corps," Grange said. "But again it's retired people. Of course, when they're retired then they'll speak publicly. When they're in the service they'll talk behind closed doors."

    Secretary Rumsfeld's press office would not comment on the criticism, but one top pentagon official points told CNN that many retired generals do support Rumsfeld. And General Grange says he doesn't think those three generals, prominent as they are, represent the majority in the officer corps.

    http://www.kare11.com/news/national/...storyid=122851

    I will agree that it is unusual, or at least the media attention is unusual, but I think your statement of unprecendented is a bit overboard.

    In 1991 an active duty Air Force General (commanding officer of the US Air Force in Europe) spoke out about the failure of Bush 1, when he stopped short of driving into downtown baghdad. He retired soon after that and there were several others who spoke out in his defense.

    And during the Somalia events there were plenty of Senior military members active and retired going public with their displeasure with the administrations tactics and activities.

    For it to happen while we are still enmeshed in a major shooting war is highly unusual -- if not perhaps as you say, unprecedented.

    I think the ENTIRE american death toll in Somalia was 18 –, in Bosnia, ZERO, – in Kosovo ZERO. The military people criticizing Clinton were not doing it at quite a time of war comparable to now – nor were their motivations primarily about the conduct of our style of combat. They had a hatred of Clinton that proceeded anything that he did as President.

    These 6 Generals are as a group unprecedented in their closeness to the conceptualization and implementation of this juntas war strategy. They were there both in the planning, and at the sharp end of the spear. Its a big deal for them to collectively speak now.

    MacArthur was a single voice advocating policies that were understood to be dangerously idiotic by almost everyone from General Marshall on down.

    The Air Force officer who spoke out against the decision to not go to Bagdad by daddy, was doing so after combat had ceased.

    To find the most comparable parallel, one would need to go back to the civil war and Gen George McClellan (the army’s highest ranking General) who criticized Lincoln amidst the civil war’s darkest stage.
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  14. #14  
    jun·ta (hʊn'tə, jŭn'-) pronunciation
    n.

    1. A group of military officers ruling a country after seizing power.
    2. A council or small legislative body in a government, especially in Central or South America.
    3. A junto.
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE
    These 6 Generals are as a group unprecedented in their closeness to the conceptualization and implementation of this juntas war strategy. They were there both in the planning, and at the sharp end of the spear. Its a big deal for them to collectively speak now.
    Not so. Only three served in Iraq under Rumsfeld.
  16. #16  
    I think it is inappropriate for the Generals to call for any civilian leader's resignation directly.

    However, active duty ones should resign if they disagree strongly. The retired (or resigned) ones should speak out about their disagreements.Their input is valuable because they speak as former insiders. The press will cover their opinion more than mine (or Cardio's) for that reason.

    I look at the role of these dissenters as "educating/informing the public". Ultimately, it's the public who decide on whether the civilians (the President and his cabinet) get to keep their jobs.
    --
    Aloke
    Cingular GSM
    Software:Treo650-1.17-CNG
    Firmware:01.51 Hardware:A
  17.    #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by hoovs
    jun·ta (hʊn'tə, jŭn'-) pronunciation
    n.

    1. A group of military officers ruling a country after seizing power.
    2. A council or small legislative body in a government, especially in Central or South America.
    3. A junto.
    "My sincere view is that the commitment of our forces to this fight was done with a casualness and swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions — or bury the results." — Retired Marine Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold.

    The inferential meaning that I seek in using that word is captured in the image of the great President Galtieri -- Argentina's illegitimate leader who pranced and swaggered about making bold extravagant plans and threats -- as Argentina's unprepared soldiers were sent to freeze and die in the Falklands ...
    Last edited by BARYE; 04/20/2006 at 05:45 AM.
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE
    "My sincere view is that the commitment of our forces to this fight was done with a casualness and swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions — or bury the results." — Retired Marine Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold.

    The inferential meaning that I seek in using that word is captured in the image of the great President Galtieri -- Argentina's illegitimate leader who pranced and swaggered about making bold extravagant plans and threats -- as Argentina's unprepared soldiers were sent to freeze and die in the Falklands ...
    But you've used it before. Can we at least agree that it is not the correct terminology?
  19.    #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by hoovs
    But you've used it before. Can we at least agree that it is not the correct terminology?
    ironic metaphorical usage -- and one with a hopeful silver lining.

    the swaggering President Galtieri -- Argentina's illegitimate leader -- pranced about no more after his disastrous contrived Falklands war.

    after many brave soldiers lost too many lives, Argentina finally rejected their junta, and regained some semblance of democracy...

    (did anyone know that more British Falkland veterans have died since the war through suicide, than from combat ??? )

    "264 [falkland] veterans have now taken their own lives (2002), a number that contrasts with the 255 who died on active service"

    (BTW-- I believe that the Britsh did the proper thing in the Falklands)
    Last edited by BARYE; 04/21/2006 at 04:00 PM.
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by Woof
    i clicked on this thinking there would be some amazing story of a paralized person walking again... what a disappointment.
    I was expecting some hot debate about stemcell research..
    <IMG WIDTH="200" HEIGHT="50" SRC=http://www.visorcentral.com/images/visorcentral.gif> (ex)VisorCentral Discussion Moderator
    Do files get embarrassed when they get unzipped?
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions