Friday, April 14, 2006

A "General" Revolt

Top, important generals are dropping out of the military faster then outed gays.

The number now is six.

How many top generals are worth the career of one stubborn, insulated Secretary of Defense???

Only Bush knows I guess and that scares me as I don't think Bush knows much at all. Although if you believe John Dean and many other intelligent critics of this administration (and I am inclinded to do so), Cheney is really the one pulling the strings in the Oval Office. Having Cheney running a shadow gov't explains a lot. Whether it is the secretative nature of the administration, the leak of the name of a vital WMD, Iran CIA operative (and her entire cover business that other CIA operatives where using as well), blurring the lines between legal and illegal spying and on and on require the twisted genius of a man much more intellectual then el Busho.

Bush is simply a puppet who appeals (in general) mostly to the average, under-educated, rural "Joe Beer can" while Cheney pushes the buttons from behind his undisclosed, secure bunker. In other words, the figure head of Bush and his "every man" antics are so much smoke and mirrors to keep us all from paying attention to the man behind the curtain. Richard B. Cheney.

Anyway, moving on.

I echo the comments of columnist David Ignatius when he said in today's Washington Post that, "Rumself should go or we risk loosing the war." However, I think that it might be worse then that. I know, how can it get any worse then that you're asking? Well, we probably have already lost the war as we can not control the sectarian violence that is tearing up Iraq. We can not really step in without becoming a target from both sides. So, right now our hands are tied and we basically can only urge Iraqi "leaders" to come together and somehow control the violence.

However, it doesn't appear right now that the Iraqi "leaders" are listening to us anymore (and to some extent I don't blame them) as we've sent many of our leaders to talk to them and our "pep talks" and stern warnings seem to be falling on deaf ears. The war is pretty much out of our hands and in the hands of Iraqis now.

Anyway, Ignatius went on in his column to say the following:

Rumsfeld has lost the support of the uniformed military officers who work for him. Make no mistake: The retired generals who are speaking out against Rumsfeld in interviews and op-ed pieces express the views of hundreds of other officers on active duty. When I recently asked an Army officer with extensive Iraq combat experience how many of his colleagues wanted Rumsfeld out, he guessed 75 percent. Based on my own conversations with senior officers over the past three years, I suspect that figure may be low.

[...]

Much of the American public has simply stopped believing the administration's arguments about Iraq, and Rumsfeld is a symbol of that credibility gap. He is a spent force, reduced to squabbling with the secretary of state about whether "tactical errors" were made in the war's conduct.

The Bush administration has rightly been insisting that the Iraqis put unity first and that in forming a permanent government they remove ineffectual and divisive leaders and replace them with people who can pull the country together. The administration should heed its own advice. America needs leadership that can speak to the whole country, not just the people who already agree with the president.

Rumsfeld's replacement should be someone who can help restore a bipartisan consensus for a sensible Iraq policy. One obvious candidate would be the centrist Democrat Sen. Joe Lieberman. Another would be a centrist Republican with military experience, such as Sen. Chuck Hagel or Sen. John McCain. The administration would have to swallow its pride to take any of them on board, but that's the point: Without bold moves from the White House, support for the war will continue to slip away (GOI: I vote for Hagel).

[...]

Rumsfeld is a stubborn man, and I suspect the parade of retired generals calling for his head has only made him more determined to hold on. But by staying in his job, Rumsfeld is hurting the cause he presumably cares most about. The president, even more stubborn than his Pentagon chief, is said to have rejected his offer to resign. If that's so, it's time for Rumsfeld to take the matter out of Bush's hands.

--End of Transmission---

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why I support Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense

Donald Rumsfeld should absolutely stay as the Secretary of Defense. I know there is a generating debate on whether Rumsfeld should or should not resign. Part of this is politically motivated and some philosophically motivated and rightly so. It is true mistakes have been made in Iraq. It is true that Donald Rumsfeld is in charge and therefore some responsibility for the successes as well as mistakes fall in his lap. However, let me tell you why Rumsfeld should not be fired.

First, Secretary Rumsfeld is and is known by many national security intellectuals and senior military officials to be the brightest and most capable man ever to serve as Secretary of Defense. He truly is a remarkable man and a beautiful mind. Any so-called mistakes Rumsfeld has made would likely have been made by another Secretary of Defense with regard to the aftermath of the Iraq war.

Second, the debate as to whether there were enough troops forged by the two military thought camps (the Shinseki-Franks groups), the arguments are often misconstrued. Rumsfeld and the new defense intellectuals arguing for new and bold execution, that is, a more network-centric and information-age execution of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003, proved to be right in their assessment of the “number of troops” needed to defeat Saddam’s regime. This campaign was done with astonishing speed, agility, and complexity and historically speaking is one of the greatest victories in military history. It will prove to be a defining moment of warfare in the 21st century by all standards.

However, the second half of the war, that is, the rebuilding and reconstruction of the country proved to not be sufficiently nor correctly planned and prepared for. This second half could have benefited from either more troops (U.S. or coalition) or another force type the Pentagon (or other agency) has not invested sufficiently in (troops designed, trained and equipped to rapidly help stabilize and rebuild a country). This second half did not have sufficient numbers or capability because of some assumptions based on intelligence which proved to be incorrect, and the robust insurgency which emerged (arguably somewhat the result of decisions made to disband the Iraqi Army). This decision as well as the many other decisions may have allowed the insurgency to take hold easier than it otherwise would have. And these decisions rest squarely with officials in charge of the war, including Rumsfeld. However, the decision to not disband the Iraqi Army also would have had its consequences, and persons making these decisions had to look at differing views of intelligence to make their decision. Hindsight is 20/20. Rumsfeld should be graded on his prosecution of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, and Operation Iraqi Freedom (which includes the brilliantly successful initial campaign to topple Saddam, the aftermath of reconstruction, and the third “war” of fighting terrorists and a robust insurgency). In all accounts he has done wonders with one of the most different and complex Global wars ever to be waged.

Finally, as to running the Department and transforming the military to tackle new challenges and take advantage of new opportunities – he should be commended. While there is not yet a large camp among the general public who understand what is happening among the Department of Defense and national security apparatus at large, the changes that are taking place as a result of Rumsfeld vision and leadership will radically transform the way the Department of Defense plans and conducts war in the future. Without these bold and innovative changes the new challenges in transitioning from the industrial-age to the information-age would not be matched. The 21st century security environment is different and is changing at a rapid pace. Rumsfeld understands this and the new opportunities which must be harnessed to deal with these complex and adaptive challenges. He understands we will be fighting rapidly adaptive networks taking advantaged of globalization and the internet to do their harm. He understands the current organization and makeup of the Department of Defense and national security apparatus at large is insufficient to face these new and adaptive challenges.

There are still some defense intellectuals and Generals out there who do not yet understand these challenges and are resistant to change, but there days are numbered. Many of these Generals who demand Rumsfeld should resign are old-fashioned and still caught up in the industrial-age Cold War mentality. They do not understand the information-age and the new ways of operating. We should respect their opinions but also listen to the new breed of warriors being generated today who understand this well and are emboldened by Rumsfeld’s grand vision for change which will help secure generations to come. I highly support Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense. I welcome your thoughts and commentary.

Hellpig said...

Get your facts straight,most of the so called generals retired a few years ago,you talk as though they quit yeaterday.

Rummy will not bow to the Left ever.

NUKE MECCA and IRAN

james said...

Anon:

I respect your thoughful response and respect your differing opinion.

However, as you might imagine I disagree with you.

I respect Rumsfeld's committment but I would not characterize him as a "beautiful mind." A beautiful mind does not make the kind of mistakes that he and this administration have made. He placed us in a massive mess and I can not let that kind of mistake slide. Sorry.

No one is perfect but at some point one has to be held accountable. If I constantly make mistakes at my job my boss is going to fire me. In looking to fire someone a boss generally looks at an employee's record over time. Rumsfeld should not be treated any different.

I agree with General Zinni when he said:

"The point is, those that are in power now that have been part of this are finding that their time is spent defending the past. And if they have to defend the past, they’re unable to make the kinds of changes, adjustments, admit to mistakes and move on. And that’s where we are now, trying to rewrite history, defend the past. Ridiculous statements that well, wait 20 years and history will tell you how this turns out. Well, I don’t think anybody wants 20 years to continue like it is now."

It is simply just not possible to say whether or not another Sec. of Def would have made the same mistakes.

I do agree with you, however, that we needed more troops to win the peace (and we still do in my humble opinion). Sure hind sight is 20/20 but if we don't fix our mistakes that we made in the past then we are doomed to fail over and again in the present.

One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

One can't fix a leaking dam by just patching the old dam with bubble gum. Eventually one has to build a new damn. We need a new and less polarized Sec. of Defense.

As for Rummie being graded on Afghanistan I agree. He should be judged on that as well. He should be criticized for agreeing to take troops out of Afghanistan to invade Iraq.

He should be judged that we didn't establish a democracy there. They don't even had a freedom of religion in their Constitution. Remember that man who converted to Christianity who was going to be executed? How is that kind of "democracy" a "success?"

As for the insurgency in Iraq, I don't think one can say that our efforts (led by Rummie) have done much to defeat the insurgents. No one can fault the troops. They are just executing orders. And if these generals are revolting against the Sec. of Defense then who is wrong in this picture?

Another problem with Rumsfled? These retired generals have told us that Rummie is a stubborn micro-manager. How can we win a war when our Sec. of Def doesn't trust his generals??

Sure the insurgents have been cleared in some places but in not having enough troops we can not secure every town. We clear them out of a town and then move on and inevitably the insurgents return.

They aren't showing any signs of slowing down. Cheney was dead wrong when he said that the insurgency was in it's last throws. As was Rumsfeld in saying that these insurgences where just a bunch of "dead enders."

If they are just "dead enders" then why are they still fighting strong?

I do agree with you that Rummie has been beneficial in getting the military ready for a different kind of war.

I think that in the end we need some new blood to gain some much needed support from the international community, the American public and to calm the concerned generals and troops.

Hellpig:

It's irrelevant when the generals retired. Their message is what's important and that message is loud and clear. Shake up the civilian Pentagon. The old ways aren't working!!

Oh yeah and great idea nuking Mecca (rolls eyes).

Hitting the Islams holiest site (and in doing so zapping thousands of innocent Muslims) isn't going to help anything buddy. It will only create a bigger problem. Then you WILL see the militarization of average Muslims.

Think before you spew your hate and insanity.

Charlie said...

I think that there are compelling arguments for Rumsfeld's removal. We need to do something to signal a change of direction to the world.
I think that Hagel would make an excellent Sec. Def., but I don't think that neither he nor McCain would ever find themselves as a part of the Bush administration.

"James" said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
james said...

Charlie:

I think that you're right about Hagel not finding a place in the Bush Whitehous. However, I can see McCain perhaps since he sold his soul to Bush by kissing his ass now for awhile.

Tom said...

McCain is the favorite for president in 08, so he wouldn't scrub all that to be Bush's Defense Secretary. As president, he'd run the show, unimpeded.

Another candidate that is being floated is Sam Nunn, the former Democratic senator from Georgia. [An excellent pick -- but how old is he, now? Probably younger than Rummy, but still...] And another is former Indiana Senator Coats(R), who lost his seat long ago when then-Gov. Bayh ran and wholloped him. Coats is a conservative knucklehead.

There can be no movement or cooperation so long as Rumsfeld stays. Rumsfeld MUST go. It really doesn't matter anymore how good or bad a job he is doing. He has made too many enemies within the military and with other countries. Plus, a change in Sec. of Def. will signal a fresh start, leaving Abu Graib and all the errors behind us.

Anonymous said...

As I've seen so far, 7 generals have resigned. However, given that there are roughly 7,000 generals in the military, I don't think 7 is a very substantial number. Also, the military is all volunteer. It's their choice to join and their choice to stay in.

As much as I like the idea of Cheney running the country (i.e. props to Wyoming), I just don't think it's the case. I do think Bush relies a bit too heavily on his advisors and his own 'gut feeling,' but I see him as the one in charge.

james said...

Anon:

Sure it is only 7 but their views and opinions carry a looooottt of weight. Criticism from a top general is worth the criticism of dozens of Senators and Congress people.

As for the 7,000 other generals in the military we don't know their opinons. It is customary to not speak out to the public while on active duty.

I always find it interesting when I have such a hugely different view on politics then others. For instance you'd love Cheney being in charge and I can't stand the guy.

Isn't America a great country for being able to have such different views? :)