< HOME  Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Damn Is Bursting

In the past week, six commanders who served under Rumsfeld have said he botched the Iraq operation and ignored advice from his military commanders . . . [retired Maj. Gen. Paul D. Eaton, Marine Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold; Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni; Maj. Gen. John Batiste; and now retired Maj. Gen. Chuck Swannack].
The waves of discontent are lapping at every side of this Administration, and those who would throw our troops to their graves without blinking had better sit up and think twice.
The Pentagon yesterday faced a deepening rift between its civilian and military leadership over the war on Iraq after a fourth retired general called for the defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, to stand down.

* * *

The ferocity of the attacks and calls for serving officers to go public with their dissent was starting to cause concern among military analysts yesterday. "If this opens up so we have more and more officers speaking up and blaming Rumsfeld and blaming senior civilians, then it is possibly heading towards a fairly dangerous civilian-military crisis," said Andrew Bacevich, a military historian at Boston University.

Earlier this week Lieutenant General Gregory Newbold . . . [called] on those still in service to speak up. "I offer a challenge to those still in uniform: a leader's responsibility is to give voice to those who can't -or don't have the opportunity to - speak."

Last month Major General Paul Eaton . . . went public with his criticism . . . that: "Rumsfeld has put the Pentagon at the mercy of his ego, his Cold Warrior's view of the world and his unrealistic confidence in technology to replace manpower."

* * *

Swannack, commander of the 82nd Airborne during the invasion of Iraq, told CNN in a telephone interview Thursday that Rumsfeld needs to admit his mistakes, including those having to do with the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, to move forward.

“Specifically, I feel he has micromanaged the generals who are leading our forces there,” he said.

* * *

[The] professional military's resentment of Mr Rumsfeld dates to the run-up to the Iraq war when the army chief of staff, General Eric Shinseki, was sidelined.

"It's a bursting of the dam in some ways of the frustration and anger, not only with the policies but with the way that Mr Rumsfeld has interacted with people, the disrespect he has shown to the military," said Richard Kohn, a military historian at the University of North Carolina.

* * *

"You have a group now that is looking back and saying: 'Wow. I should have said something earlier.' I think as time goes on it is natural that more and more generals after agonising over what they have seen over the last three years might voice their concerns," said Robert Work, a retired Marine colonel . . .

"The senior civilian leadership is going to do everything it possibly can to avoid having responsibility for the war fixed on them, and the senior military leadership is equally determined to have them left holding the bag," Mr Bacevich said.
This reminds me of a comment someone left at my blog in response to a post on 9/11 . . .
". . . Many in the U.S. armed forces know EXACTLY whats up. When the time is right....." -- hunfirstairbrn
If it keeps on raining, this levee's is going to break.


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