Attacking the troops: Will there be outrage on these boards?

AF A-10's picture

Let's first put this conversation in historical context. In 2003, during the planning and build-up for war with Iraq, Armed Forces sub-committee hearings were conducted to narrow down costs of and forces required for the Iraq invasion. The following text is from a February 28, 2003 article covering these hearings, entitled, "Pentagon Contradicts General on Iraq Occupation Force's Size."

At a Pentagon news conference with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, Mr. Rumsfeld echoed his deputy's comments. Neither Mr. Rumsfeld nor Mr. Wolfowitz mentioned General Shinseki, the Army chief of staff, by name. But both men were clearly irritated at the general's suggestion that a postwar Iraq might require many more forces than the 100,000 American troops and the tens of thousands of allied forces that are also expected to join a reconstruction effort.

"The idea that it would take several hundred thousand U.S. forces I think is far off the mark," Mr. Rumsfeld said. General Shinseki gave his estimate in response to a question at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday: "I would say that what's been mobilized to this point — something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers — are probably, you know, a figure that would be required." He also said that the regional commander, Gen. Tommy R. Franks, would determine the precise figure.

A spokesman for General Shinseki, Col. Joe Curtin, said today that the general stood by his estimate. "He was asked a question and he responded with his best military judgment," Colonel Curtin said. General Shinseki is a former commander of the peacekeeping operation in Bosnia.

Those with sufficient means to find and read this post are surely aware that this was the END of General Eric K. Shinseki's career.

This taught military men who wanted to continue their military careers to act within the constraints that our President, Vice President, Sec. Def., and Assistant Secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, set for them.

Flash forward to the present. John McCain sits upon high and criticizes the nominee for Army Chief with these words:

"I have very serious concerns about General Casey's nomination," McCain said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"I'm concerned about failed leadership, the message that sends to the rest of the military," he added.

We have most certainly seen political ninjitsu here. Politicians set national policy. They ask the military to move mountains. Military leaders say "we'll need several hundred thousand men for that." Those military men are set out to pasture, and the administration offers the armed services a third that number to do the job. When the military can't move that mountain, you blame the military?

Will anyone call Mr. McCain on this? General Casey is to blame for our lack of progress in Iraq?

The initial invasion of Iraq was a political decision. The number of troops utilized was a political decision. Disbanding the Iraqi Army was a political decision. De Baathification was a political decision.

How does the blame for a laundry list of poor political decisions rest on the shoulders of General Casey? John McCain, of all people, should know better. If you asked these military men to run into a burning building with nothing but a glass of water, they would do it. Do you blame them when they are not able to extinguish the fire? Even if they asked you for a full team of firemen and several fire trucks?

It is my hope, that at some point in my lifetime, the politicians that ramrodded this political endeavor will accept full accountability for the failings of these decisions; without blaming the Generals; without blaming the media. But that will most likely happen when "victory" is realistically defined. I, for one, refuse to blame the men and women fighting this fight!



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Richard Hobbs's picture
Submitted by Richard Hobbs on Fri, 02/02/2007 - 9:51am.

What exactly is your point?

That the Bush Administration made some very strategic mistakes in estimating what would be necessary in post war Iraq to maintain the peace?

Okay, no problem, you win. Unlike like liberal Democrats who are brilliant military ombudsmen, Republicans apparently are the only ones who can not predict with certainty what the future might portend.

So what is your point?

Do you want an all out apology? Do you want Bush and Cheney to be publicly tar and feathered for not having the 20/20 hindsight that you have?

You say you support the troops but exactly how? Our men and women are in Iraq fighting and dying. 3000 have already given their lives and your answer to that would be to do what?

Second guessing how the war was fought and managed is one matter, but to the left, present company included, it is a political statement designed to destroy your real enemy, that being George Bush and the Republicans. To what ends will your public outcry against him go?

Again what is your point? You make several assertions that Bush screwed up, so what do you propose? What do Democrats propose? You say we needed more troops, but now that Bush is ready to send them in, the Democrats are saying hell no.

Instead of fixing the mistakes, the left uses these mistakes as a soap box to further their political careers rather than in helping our men and women survive.

Since I've not read what your ultimate decision is, I'll have to surmise that it is akin to those from the left that you admire. Jack Murtha, John Kerry, Jimmy Carter, Jane Fonda, Hillary, et. al. Which means your answer to this is to . . .

1.) Politicize the debate. Make our soldiers feel like pawns on some great big red/blue map wherein their lives are weighed against which state has the most electoral college votes in 2008.

2.) Pull the troops out as fast as you can, leaving Iraq to its own devices which means horrific carnage and death, then absolute control by the terrorists and Islamist fundamentalists.

Again, I could pick up the Al Jeezeria newspaper and see editorials that could have copied and pasted what you and the left are doing in our newspapers. Isn't it strange that the Terrorists goals in Iraq coincide with the Liberal Left's goals in Iraq?

The left has the Right to openly speak about the war and of the mistakes that have occurred. But they also have a choice in how they do it. They can choose to make their opinions known and still do so in a way that encourages our troops in Iraq and shows a strong American Resolve in finishing the job. The difference is, you liberals Choose to take the low road. That's the shameful thing that you don't see, which ultimately is the sad part. You really don't see how you are not part of the answer, you just make the problems much more difficult.

I do not await your reply which should include your juvenille attempts at humor in calling me by a name other than what I was given at birth. Because I already know how you and the left will reply. Bush is evil, he is Hitler, he should be shot along with Rove, Cheney etc.. So just ignore my comments, and then we can get onto a debate in which sheer ignorance and absolute hatred for everything with Bush's name on it isn't the basis of your opinions.

JeffC's picture
Submitted by JeffC on Sat, 02/03/2007 - 6:45pm.

Mr. Hobbs seemingly wants to garner sympathy for the administration’s bungling of Iraq by implying that no one could have possibly known what would happen in the future if Iraq was invaded. However, I have been tracking this quite closely and those of you who read these blogs may shudder when I say that I have numerous examples from many people predicting this inevitable outcome. It’s a long list but because we are all friends here, I will spare you all but one:

In February 2003, a month before the invasion of Iraq, military and Middle East experts at the Army War College Strategic Studies Institute issued a 60 page report entitled "Reconstructing Iraq: Insights, Challenges and Missions for Military Forces in a Post-Conflict Scenario" which said:

"Without an overwhelming effort to prepare for occupation, the United States may find itself in a radically different world over the next few years, a world in which the threat of Saddam Hussein seems like a pale shadow of new problems of America's own making,"

"The possibility of the United States winning the war and losing the peace in Iraq is real and serious. The effort also threatens to be a long and painful process, but merely 'toughing it out' is not a solution. The longer the occupation continues the greater the potential that it will disrupt society rather than rehabilitate it...However, a withdrawal from Iraq under the wrong circumstances could leave it an unstable failed state, serving as a haven for terrorism and a center of regional insecurity or danger to its neighbors. The premature departure of U.S. troops could also result in civil war."

Written a month before the invasion.

I have been out of the country and hesitate to intrude on the discussion late but let me give my answers to Mr. Hobbs questions. Do you want an apology? Yes. I think that the administration owes the American people an apology at the very least. Do you want Bush and Cheney publicly tarred and feathered? No. It would be undignified to tar and feather the President. Cheney will do.

I would also point out that the 3000 lives and almost 30,000 injured are the fault of people following Mr. Hobb’s philosophy. It takes some nerve to use the consequences of ones own failed policies to try to cow the opposition to those policies.

Richard Hobbs's picture
Submitted by Richard Hobbs on Mon, 02/05/2007 - 12:03am.

I can pull out naysayers from both sides who on occaision have made predictions that turned out correct, even though much of what they knew was predicated upon a faulty assumption. I won't even go into Global Wameriacs who have been saying for 5 years that we have only 10 years left.... thats of course another story.

But the same doom and gloom you predicted was so easy to see in the aftermath of Iraq was also said about Afganistan. Remember the Afgans fought the Russians for years and won the final battle even though the USSR was a neighbor. We won in Afganistan as well, even though many on the left predicted the worst. (Some like Michael Moore and perhaps your father even said we shouldn't go to war there. I can't recall your father's position today, but I suspect he was against it. Hell, he was against the first gulf war when we had a huge coalition of countries there to support and help us. But again, that is another story of your father's poor decision making.)

So, merely reciting some prognosticators who got it right as being a basis for why George is absolutely wrong, might sound like a great debate tool, it is however, not absolute.

Read what Kerry said about Hussien before we went in. Read what Hillary said, when she stated that she had thoroughly reviewed the intelligence, spoken to dozens of experts on Iraq, reviewed everything possible and believed it was the right decision.
Basically read what every politician said about Iraq BEFORE the American Public's opinion finally began to grow weary, and you will see that they have politicized this war for their own political future.

Our troops are not Nazi's per Durbin. They are not terrorists, per Kerry, neither are the ignorant. The fight is hard, no doubt, but cutting and running will do much more harm to our American Security and to the security of the middle east, than any single thing.

Maybe if we left Saddam in power and under a short leash things might have been different, but that didn't happen. We are there now, and we must fix the problems rather than doing things that will make it worse.

JeffC's picture
Submitted by JeffC on Mon, 02/05/2007 - 3:09pm.

I am not particularly enamored with political statements nor the politicians who make them. From my point of view, the Army War College Strategic Studies Institute report trumps Kerry, Clinton and most especially Michael Moore. As you know, I have been against the war from the beginning and opposed the invasion. It was clear to me that the action would be reminiscent of the breakup of Yugoslavia and would lead to a probable civil war. My feelings were that the proper next step (pre-invasion) was to put in an additional 3000 to 4000 more weapons inspectors. I believed an invasion strategy to be precipitous. At the time, and now, I did not believe that my thinking was particularly prescient but was rather just a simple conclusion based on the history of the twentieth century of the region which can basically be summed up as Arab countries trying to get Western powers to relinquish control of the region and to get Western powers to withdraw. It seemed to me preposterous that we would be welcomed in Iraq.

Soon I will write of what I see as the inevitable consequences of our current policy. I am marshalling my thoughts now but basically the surge will not work, it has been tried three times already; the administration will blame the Iraqi government for the failure as a pretext to withdraw; Iraq will become partitioned; a bloodbath will result like we have not yet seen; and a hard-line Shia dictatorship will take control. I look forward to debating with you as I assume there may be some disagreement between us.

I hope you saw Dr. Marvin Folkertsma’s opinion piece, ‘Peace in our time’ with the ISG in this paper. Since I was out of the country, I did not have time to respond but I am thinking about submitting a letter to the editor if there is any interest demonstrated by new letters in Wednesday’s paper. The article was trite and silly to the point of embarrassment for the poor man. His statement: “it is difficult to see any aspect of American relations with Syria and Iran that rest on common interests, especially those pertaining to a “comprehensive solution” to area conflicts” seemed to me to be especially stupid, as if relations with the US were either Iran’s or Syria’s over-riding consideration in the region. Oh well.

Oh… PC supported the Afghanistan thing as did I.

Have a good day Mr. Hobbs!

AF A-10's picture
Submitted by AF A-10 on Fri, 02/02/2007 - 2:41pm.

What is my point? Your title nails it: Rhetoric does nada; nothing. You will not have a proper grasp on the situation in Iraq if you continue to frame it right and left. This is not 2 deminsional. This is a sphere. Here is a very incomplete list of REUBLICANS against a troop surge:

Congressman Ric Keller (R-FL): "The American people have paid the ultimate price for this war, and now is not the time to escalate the tragedy even further";
Congressman Mark Kirk (R-IL): "I advised against the proposed troop surge. The best way forward for the United States in the Middle East is to assemble a diplomatic surge that far exceeds any troop surge";
Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-FL): "It's not about Democrats and Republicans -- it's about doing what's right";
Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL): "It's too little, too late";
Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-TX): "I am not interested in sending in more troops just to have more boots on the ground. I am not interested in doing more of what has not been working";
Congressman Charles Boustany (R-LA): "This proposal is a military solution to an internal, political problem";
Congressman Tim Johnson (R-IL): "It is not in the best interest of our country to contribute additional troops to this war ... The primary goal [should be] to bring our troops home as quickly and safely as possible";
Congressman Jim Ramstad (R-MN): The surge "would be counterproductive";
Congressmen Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD), Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), Howard Coble (R-NC), Walter Jones (R-NC) and Ron Paul (R-TX) co-signed a letter to President Bush urging him to "reject any ... short or long term increase in the number of U.S. troops";
Congresswoman Heather Wilson (R-NM): "It is not vital to America that Iraq be able to defend itself from outside powers";
Congressman Jimmy Duncan (R-TN): "I think that this is a desperate attempt to turn around what was an unfortunate policy in the first place. It really sounds just like a continuation of the failed policies of the past four years"; and
Congressman Jim Walsh (R-NY): "No increased amount of American military power can force the Iraqi people to work out their differences."

I will fillet any democrat, independent, or republican who, from the safety of an air conditioned office, blames military leaders "in the field" for bad POLITICAL decisions. Period! Dot!

Cheers to you, Richard

Kevin "Hack" King

Submitted by Eric Hanly on Sat, 02/03/2007 - 8:23am.

You left off the ones closest to home:
Congressman Jim Marshall (D-GA): "It is something that can be done and can help"; and
Congressman John Barrow (D-GA) isn't sure the surge is a good idea but will vote for funding for the additional troops, saying it would be "irresponsible and dangerous" to oppose it.

By the way, what IS your point? That some politicians are running for cover?

AF A-10's picture
Submitted by AF A-10 on Sat, 02/03/2007 - 11:46am.

Richard Hobbs asked what my point was a couple of days before you. I answered him well before your post. If you can not read that answer, I can't help you.
Eric, help me out here. There is a reason I left democrats FOR a troop surge OFF the list of REPUBLICANS AGAINST the troop surge. Mainly because:
1) They are not republicans and
2) They are not against a surge.

So thank you for helping make my point that the issue isn't left versus right or conservative versus liberal thinking. AS I SAID to Richard, this is a multi-dimensional conflict (Some might call a CIVIL WAR) with multiple opinions from all political walks. But again, to reiterate, and I repeat, reiterate:

I will skewer any POLITICIAN who from the safety of their capitol hill accommodations blames failures in Iraq on the military men and women trying to accomplish mission impossible. That is my point.

Kevin "Hack" King

Richard Hobbs's picture
Submitted by Richard Hobbs on Sat, 02/03/2007 - 2:04pm.

Hack's quoteI will skewer any POLITICIAN who from the safety of their capitol hill accommodations blames failures in Iraq on the military men and women trying to accomplish mission impossible. That is my point.

Lets see, Democrat Senator Durbin calls our troops in Gitmo, Nazi Storm troopers. Democrat Senator and former Presidential Nominee John Kerry calls our troops terrorists for raiding home in Iraq during the middle of the night and then says that they are too STOOPID TO KNOW HOW TO GET OUT OF IRAK! If only they married a rich broad and lived off her money, then they wouldn't be in Iraq.

The Liberal Left naturally and unashamedly hates and loathes our Military. From Al Gore trying to stop the counting of military ballots in 2000, to Bill Clinton writing to his draft board and telling them that he loates the military. Its part of who you are. Your people. You associate with them. Are there Democrats in the Military, sure. But there are many, many more Republicans serving in our Armed Forces than Democrats.

Hells bells, The liberal Left that runs San Francisco and Seattle even try to have our military ships from docking in thier ports.

So cry me a river Hack, about how you will skewer any politician who politicizes our troops and the war on terror. Thats nothing but bull hockey. You politicize it everytime you use this silly rhetoric. You think you sound unbiased and patriotic, but your ramblings are coming from the DNC playbook, plain and simple.

AF A-10's picture
Submitted by AF A-10 on Sat, 02/03/2007 - 3:07pm.

Richard Hobbs. Tell me one time that you have risked YOUR life for this country. Give me 1, just 1 war story where you thought you might not come home to the country you serve, and your father served, and all of your Uncles served. Give me 1 first hand account of how you stuffed money and pictures of your family in a plastic bag knowing that if you got shot down over a country like, say, Iraq, that might be the bargaining chip that spared your life that day. Give me just 1 account, Richard. 1. If you can't, then shut your freakin pie hole about how other men have not served or not been true to us; the troops! You are in a room arguing with yourself about why you were'nt man enough to step up. But that is YOUR argument! I can't tell you why you did not step up. Personally, I can't understand why such a gung ho patriot would not take the opportunity to become credible, by offering yourself and your service. But Richard, I am through with you. I can not respect you enough to even debate these issues. I feel too much contempt for you and your unproven, incredible opinion.

Kevin "Hack" King

Ohh what the heck... CHEERS!

Submitted by Eric Hanly on Sat, 02/03/2007 - 8:14pm.

Hack, when I saw Richard’s post somehow I knew you were going to launch in to another embarrassing tirade about how anyone who hasn’t been in the military should just shut up. But this time you outdid yourself. “If you don’t have a war story to tell…then shut your freakin’ pie hole”. I’m glad he ignores you every time you do it.

The Senate confirmed General Petraeus without a dissenting vote. If they don’t believe in the plan that he is implementing, then why would they do that? They don’t have the ‘nads to say he’s wrong? He has warned that the non-binding resolutions are a bad idea. They serve as an encouragement to our enemies. And he isn’t calling it “mission impossible” like you are, so you must have some info you need to get to the ignorant general right away. You do have a direct line, don’t you? Someone with as many great war stories as you have…

And your little list of republicans who are against the “surge” is meaningless. A lot of politicians govern by the latest poll numbers. What’s your point? I doubt anyone who reads the Citizen voted for any of those guys. On the other hand, the two dems that I added represent Georgians. And as I’ve said before, it’s not republican vs. democrat for me, it’s conservative vs. liberal.


Richard Hobbs's picture
Submitted by Richard Hobbs on Sun, 02/04/2007 - 11:25am.

I appreciate your "defense" of my post against "Hack's" anticipated drivel. The logical analysis that he uses amazes me. I love the part wherein only people that have put on a uniform have the right to form an opinion on Iraq.

I suppose we could take that to the next degree though.
Only those that have seen combat have the right to an opinion on Iraq.

No, only those that have seen combat up close and been in a physical fight, rather than sitting in a jet seat have a right to an opinion on Iraq.

No, only those in uniform that have actually killed an enemy combatant have the right to have an opinion on Iraq.

No, only those that have killed the enemy face to face, and been wounded have the right to an opinion on Iraq.

No, only those in uniform who have killed enemy combatants face to face and then paid the ultimate price have the right to an opinion on Iraq.

Its not that hard to understand a Liberal's argument. You just ignore it long enough and then when you become senile, it all starts to make sense.

I just hope Hack's last comments about me having no credibility because I wasn't as brave as he, holds true. "But Richard, I am through with you. I can not respect you enough to even debate these issues. I feel too much contempt for you and your unproven, incredible opinion."

Please Hack, keep your promise to me. Otherwise, your credibilty will crash and burn like most of your arguments. I hope you fly A-10's better than you argue, because if you do, then you better keep one hand on the ejector cord.

AF A-10's picture
Submitted by AF A-10 on Sat, 02/03/2007 - 8:41pm.

Three quick ones Eric, because my wife's giving me that "you're on the computer again" look.

1. You asked, yet AGAIN, what my point is. Please read my three posts above which address that.

2. If you use quotes, the items within quotations should be direct "quotes" of what I wrote. If you had continued your "quotes" for one more sentence, you will hear me say that Richard should shut his pie hole on criticizing other's service to and support of the troops if he has no credible support to show of his own; not a quote. I'm paraphrasing here.

3. Last and certainly not least, Eric. The will of the American people is becomming quite a swell; a swell that will effect election after election. The latest National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq is no joke. It is apolitical. It says worse than a civil war. Judging "victory" as a viable democracy in Iraq, I sadly weigh in that we are looking at mission impossible. I wish to the heavens that things were different. But this is and will continue to be reality there. Let's agree to meet back here in two years and see how much progress has been made. If you dig back to letter's to the editor written years ago by myself, Jeff Carter, Tim Parker, and a few others, you will see that our opinions have been very, very consistent.

Cheers to you, and thanks for your civility,

Kevin "Hack" King

Submitted by Eric Hanly on Sat, 02/03/2007 - 9:07pm.

If she thinks you spend a little too much time on here, I'm afraid your wife has a point. I believe I saw a post from you from 3 something in the morning, and several before and after that.

Anyway, if she lets you back on what do think of Petraeus' assessment? And don't you think we need to give him and all the hard-charging warriors all of our support?

Hasta la vista

AF A-10's picture
Submitted by AF A-10 on Sun, 02/04/2007 - 3:25pm.

I'm allready outgunned, man. I don't need you weighing in on "you know who's" side. I'm not even man enough to say her name!
Quick retort to allegations from an anonymous voyerpatriot that I don't respect civilian opinions.
Here is a quote form me from 30 January. This is from the 1/16/07 L.T.E "President's Surge Plan". You commented there. You read what was posted there. You KNOW that I respect all opinions on the issues, but no personally denegrating opinion about a military person from a non-military person with no credibility on the issue. Here is my 30 Jan snippit:

"I have no problem at all with the debate of ideas between combatants and civilians. We are all Americans. Our opinions all count. But when a "man" with your record of military service tries to tell a Colonel that "to a liberal war is never an option" you look like an absolute idiot!"

The "idiot" may be viewed as too critical, but it is my honest assessment of how one looks, not what one is.

As to your question on the Surge/Augmentation plan, no one is obliged to have a surge of 20K that actually means roughly 45K more effected troops ramrodded through without critical analysis. That logic got us here in the first place. Once bitten, twice shy my friend. We have all seen the accuracy of predictions and policies to this point, and it is high time for the oversight function of Congress to return. Our nation's treasure and human resources are not endless. We must stop proceeding as if they are.

Anyhow, it's big bowl time. Go Steelers!!! wait a minute.... well, there IS next year!

Kevin "Hack" King

ps. 1. Years of NVG use have made me nocturnal
ps. 2. There is no ejection cord. There are handgrips, and levers, and/or triggers.


Basmati's picture
Submitted by Basmati on Sat, 02/03/2007 - 2:20pm.

The Richard Hobbs of the world claim that the "Liberal Left naturally and unashamedly hates and loathes our military".

I bet to this day he scratches his unibrow in puzzlement on why he and his question-their-patriotism kind were thrown out of power in Washington in the past election.

Hint: It's the Swiftboatin', Stoopid!

Richard Hobbs's picture
Submitted by Richard Hobbs on Sat, 02/03/2007 - 2:07pm.

I can't see your icon very well Hack, but if that is Sideshow Bob then I must admit that I was wrong about you. We do have something in Common.
Oh, you did know he plays an evil Republican on the Simpsons don't you?

Submitted by bowser on Fri, 02/02/2007 - 8:07am.

Well said, Mr. Hack, in terms of the separation of military and political responsibility for the mess-o-potamia. I oppose this “war” (I think that’s a misnomer at this point, since we are more of an occupation/police force supporting the alleged local government). But I have total respect for the military and our troops on the ground. At some level, of course, the responsibility does mix – for every Shinseki there were probably 20 generals nodding in agreement at Rumsfeld’s every utterance. But at the end of the day we are taken into war – or not – by civilian leaders. And ever since we decided that Congress doesn’t really have to declare war anymore, that means the President and his closest advisers. And that’s why I voted for George Bush the first time but not the second.

But on your points, let’s say we had poured a half-million into Iraq after the invas…. ooops, liberation. Would things be more peacable now? Perhaps. Let’s say we hadn’t de-Baathified. Would the new government be more stable and effective? Maybe. We’ll never know. At best, we would have a more stable situation -- but only because of a massive occupation force stationed in the heart of the Middle East, enforcing a government that would always be perceived as a puppet by large factions of the region. How long would that hold together? At best it just buys time until the next upheaval. (See Iran, 1979.)

The best long-term strategy for the US in the middle east is strategic disengagement, followed by a goal of peaceful coexistence – enforced by credible threat of military response (and not the nice, nation-building kind, either). Laugh if you want, but the only thing that a century of well-intentioned screwing around in that region has gotten us is an unhealthy addiction to oil and a constant string of very expensive and tragic headaches culminating in 9/11 and W's misguided reengineering project.

ArmyMAJretired's picture
Submitted by ArmyMAJretired on Fri, 02/02/2007 - 7:24am.

It doesn't matter what party does it, it is wrong!

Congress has about a 30% approval rating, the military over 90%. What is wrong with the picture of "politicians" judging the military?

Yes, Senator McCain served honorably, but what has he done lately? Murtha was wrong, Kerry was wrong and now McCain.

Remember in any "War Plan", the enemy gets a vote! This one is plsying our media and the "loyal opposition" like a fine musical instrument.

Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Fri, 02/02/2007 - 6:41am.

First, I don't understand the word "cheers" that you insert at the end of your missive. It sure looked inappropriate on this one!
Well, if by now you don't know the difference in "the troops," and four star generals, assistant sec. of defense, sec. of defense, vice-president, and president, then you will never know.
The threat of dismissal for General Shinsecki should have nothing to do with other generals giving their opinion or resigning if they disagree with the list above. The disagreeing should be private with the president, the resignation should be public with the reason. To hell with a pension! War leaders we don't seem to have.

Gump's picture
Submitted by Gump on Sat, 02/03/2007 - 2:00pm.

It's real easy for you to say "to hell with a pension" when it's not YOUR job on the line. (not to mention your life on the line) You are anti-military, and that's your right, but as "Hack" and others have pointed out, don't blame the military for following orders, when it's their legal and moral duty to do so. The fact is that Gen. Shinseki is not the only general or officer to retire when they could not reconcile their orders with their own conscience. He is just the one that was reported on the most. Most of the others you never hear about. You need to broaden your horizons. Just because somebody disagrees with you does not mean they are lacking in morals or courage. I agree with Hack that we can disagree but still be civil about it. Give it a try!

Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Sat, 02/03/2007 - 6:33pm.

I actually did resign from one job in my life due to tactics of more senior people covering up their inadequances by cheating. As in the military, to have gone to the top to complain would only have made more severe my case. I gave up a 20 year pension to do so.
I reiteriate again: only field commanders and above have any chance of effecting such changes, but that does make them also responsible to do so--pension or no. Others in the military are court-martialed or jailed for speaking out, which may be necessary to avoid mutiny. Their only way out legally is when their enlistment is up. These problems ordinarily do not occur in a popular war.

Gump's picture
Submitted by Gump on Sat, 02/03/2007 - 8:15pm.

Gen. Van Riper was one of about eight top generals who spoke up against what was going on and against Rumsfeld in particular. If you have read the book "Blink", by Malcolm Gladwell, Gen. Van Riper's story was an entire chapter of that book. So my point is that there have been a number of senior officers who have spoken out, despite the effect on their careers. Others have elected to keep their opinions to themselves, or perhaps they agreed with the administration's policies. Either way, it's still a cheap shot to say that we don't have any "war leaders" or to imply that all the generals are corrupt and/or cowardly. You don't rise to that level in the military without having a lot of strengths and abilities, so don't be so quick to belittle the ones who chose not to fall on their swords over this debacle in Iraq.

By the way, good for you for resigning over a matter of principle. Just don't be so quick to judge others when you don't really know the whole story.

Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Sat, 02/03/2007 - 9:14pm.

I read a condensed version of Lt. General Riper. He primarily objected to fighting from a regimental level instead of a divisional level. By the Pentagon deciding that only a few soldiers were needed with our new weapons, we found divisions awkard to move in order to put out little fires.
Well, as soon as we almost got the transformation completed we started something somewhat more than a small fire. We forgot about the necessity to occupy a country if we wanted to destroy it. The senior officers who bought into this plan naturally had to go along with it until they retired, unless they wanted to admit they bought a pig in a poke.
That is what I meant by saying many Generals aren't war leaders. Many of them are PhDs nowadays--experts in politics and negotiation. We need to turn them loose to win and provide the goods to do it, or replace them as General Marshall in WWll did in many cases. Ike was a brevit Colonel just before the war started!

AF A-10's picture
Submitted by AF A-10 on Fri, 02/02/2007 - 2:31pm.

I've explained this before to ArmyMaj, but here's to you. Cheers means that as we bitterly disagree on issues, we still respect eachother enough as people to share a drink. Cheers mate. G'Day. See you tomorrow; same argument; same time. As for the next statement:

Well, if by now you don't know the difference in "the troops," and four star generals, assistant sec. of defense, sec. of defense, vice-president, and president, then you will never know.

Generals are SOLDIERS. Everyone else on your list is a POLITICIAN. BIG DIFFERENCE. Generals have died in combat; politicians? Not so much....

Kevin "Hack" King

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