Monday, April 17, 2006

Generals vs. Rumsfeld

Belly at Left in the West has a posting about the confrontation between the generals who oppose Rumsfeld and those who support him. He argues that this is a good thing, that it is healthy to have debate and dissension in the military. Oh, the lack of military experience is so telling these days.
Kind of reminds me of February of 1993, when the FIRST thing that Clinton did in office was the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy. There was a lot of grumbling among the field grade officers that I knew until the Colonel came out and called a formation and informed us that President Clinton is the President, regardless of the fact that he had not garnered a majority of the popular vote. Our duty was to uphold the Constitution, and the fact was that he is our Commander in Chief. If we couldn't support him in his legally prescribed duties, we had a duty to offer our resignation. Pretty much shut us all up at that moment, because it reminded us that we are servants of the civilian leadership.
These generals that have retired and now, 3 years later are saying that Rumsfeld was "abusive" or didn't take their advice are playing a dangerous game. To think that generals are unable to deal with abusive behavior is like the pot calling the kettle, yada yada yada.
If they really did have a problem with Rumsfeld, they could have announced their retirement/resignation (there is a difference) and not participated. Instead, they seem to wait until after they are safely drawing their retirement pay to start carping. Very curious indeed.
But these are not moralists remedying a problem at the cost of their careers. These are like General Maxwell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs who stayed on with President Johnson, even though he knew that what was being done was wrong or criminal. Trying to claim the moral high ground by complaining about the civilian leadership while safely retired is more an example of cowardice than heroisim.
We in the military are tasked with enforcing the Constitution, but are not allowed to take advantage of it. For instance, if you are on active duty, you cannot place a partisan sign in your yard. An infringement on the basic right of free speech, not to mention that of your spouse. But it makes sense.
Elections change parties, and the military has to serve whoever the American public selects. To be able to pick and choose between who you want to serve is the first step in the destruction of the Constitution.

1 comment:

Joe Duran said...

"Psychology, as I understand it, means knowledge of the soul. Yet, how shall we speak about the souls of others, when we do not even know our own? Is there a single one of us who can say with certainty how he will react to a certain event? Nevertheless, as leaders we must have some knowledge of the souls of our soldiers; because the soldier, the living man, is the instrument with which we have to work in war...no commander lacking in this inner knowledge of his men can accomplish great things."

-Adolph Von Schell, "Battle Leadership" (1933) Standard Marine Corps Reading

After spending billions of our dollars and lives Mr. Bush is slowly finding out what he could have learned for the price of a used book or a youth better spent:

Experienced troops need experienced leadership.

Never has a gap in a life's history become so apparent, and so dangerous, than now. Had he the experience of a warrior, he would truly understand what the military man needs to win a war. Had he the soul of one, he would have learned the role that faith in leadership plays in the hearts of our troops. Now, as his leadership moment passes into history, a chance of a lifetime to atone for missing time when he was needed most gone, he has chosen to align himself with something other than the soul of a soldier.
And this soldier's soul will never forget.

I understdn your sentiment, but I don't trust the man. I think that freeing the world of tyrants is a worthy goal and one we should undertake, but we couldve won this war 3 years ago. I know, I know, this is only one Marine's opnion. But it is a gut feeling in me. War is good when it frees a people, but there are other motives that have drug this thing out, and I assure you it is not only one parties fault, but both. We can do do better than what we've done. I know we can. to say anything else is morally wrong. Respectfully Submitted.