What stinks about the whole “retired generals speak out” issue

Posted by: ST on April 18, 2006 at 9:50 pm

I’ll probably be accused by some of the hardcore lefties who read this blog of “questioning the patriotism” of the six retired generals who’ve called for Rummy’s ouster, but before I get started let me be clear: that is not what this post is about. It’s about questioning the wisdom of the generals in question as to the timing of their criticism of Rummy. I wrote this tonight at a message board I frequent, and am resposting it here:

[Regarding the issue of a possible court martial or removal for speaking out]: if these generals felt the level of DOD incompetence was bad enough to the point that we were risking lives unnecessarily, don’t you think instead of waiting 2- 3 years after the war started while the problems that started happening shortly after the fall of Baghdad that they have alleged only got worse as a result of that incompetence that they’d have risked removal or court martial in an attempt to stop anymore unnecessary bloodshed?

That is what stinks about all of this. Yes, these retired generals have the right (and obviously the experience) to speak out about where they believe the bulk of the blame should be placed, but what’s essentially happened here is that these generals, who now claim to have had serious reservations and misgivings – reservations and misgivings that they kept quiet about while they were serving – about how the post war plan was being carried out and the decisions Don Rumsfeld made chose to keep silent about it until they were safely retired. Instead of standing up and saying “something’s not right here – our troops are needlessly dying and they’re doing so because the Defense Sec. screwed things up” they chose to keep quiet about it. Now that they are retired, when they have nothing to lose, they speak out?

Whatever happened to standing on principle? Standing on the courage of your convictions? If you’re a military general and you think that the post war decisons made by the Sec. of Def. have been that bad while you’re still serving, and you think that our troops are dying unnecessarily because of the alleged gross incompetence of the Sec. of Defense, what do you do? Do you risk it all to try and prevent more bloodshed, or do you keep quiet about it and allow it to continue without speaking out until your career with the military is over (via retirement)?

Is that asking too much? I don’t think so. Because no matter who you are, whether you’re in the military or you work in the corporate world or a hospital or wherever, if you stand by and keep quiet while your gut feeling is telling you that what your superiors are doing is wrong simply because you’re afraid that either you’ll lose your job or be retaliated against, then you (general you) are part of the problem because you’ve chosen to put your career ahead of doing what your gut is telling you is right. If these generals had that big an issue with Rumsfeld, they should have said so while they were serving because it would have given them a lot more credibility because they’d be putting their careers on the line to try to right what they perceived to be wrongs. Some people would say “well that’s a pretty big risk you’re asking them to take” – and the response to that would be “the military is all about risk.” If you believe that the men and women under your command are dying unneceessarily due to an incompetent Sec. of Defense you say so *then* – you don’t let the bloodshed continue until after you’ve safely retired all the while the men and women you think are being forced to take unnecessary risks are still doing so, in part, because you refused to speak out about it.

This would like if I was a doctor in the hospital and believed that bad hospital policy was hurting patients and in some cases costing them their lives – and said nothing about it until I retired because I was afraid I’d lose my job and/or be retaliated against by the hospital management. What kind of doctor would that make me look like in the eyes of the community? One who sat around and turned a blind eye to what was happening, because I was too afraid to stand up and do what was right because I didn’t want to risk my job. And in the process, countless lives are harmed and in some cases lost unnecessarily.

You (general you) simply do not stand around and say nothing while you think those around you are losing their lives because in your opinion the Sec of Defense is an incompetent a**. You say something THEN because if you don’t, the problems still keep going on all the while you wait until you’re safely retired (and in some cases preparing to release a book about your experiences) in order to speak out about them.

When you look at things from that perspective, it doesn’t make them look like the ‘brave mavericks’ that people are making them out to be, does it?

Update: Just catching up on blogosphere opinion on this and I see the Godfather of the blogosphere made a similar point earlier:

If things were so bad before, they should have resigned in protest instead of complaining publicly once they were safely in retirement and, in some cases, had books to promote.


Expose the Left has video of Rummy commenting on the suggestion that he should retire.

Others talking about this issue: Hugh Hewitt, Tony Blankley, Junkyard Blog, John Hawkins, Dean Esmay, Flopping Aces, Outside the Beltway (good link roundup there), Judith Apter Klinghoffer, chez Diva, Don Surber, Jack Kelly, Kim Priestap at Wizbang

Update: Kevin Drum, someone I rarely agree with, makes some great points in this post. Snippets:

Two things. First, Newbold isn’t just complaining that Donald Rumsfeld ignored professional military advice. He’s saying he thought this was an ill-conceived war and the uniformed military should have spoken out about it. Second, he’s plainly claiming to speak for some active duty generals and he’s encouraging them to go public.

There’s really nothing to like about this. Whether the war was “unnecessary” or not, that’s a political decision, not a military one. And if active duty generals follow his advice and start to speak out whenever they think the president is going to war unwisely, we’re going to have a serious problem on our hands.

There’s no question that military leaders should forcefully offer their best advice in private and should testify honestly in public on operational matters. When General Eric Shinseki gave his opinion that the invasion of Iraq required “several hundred thousand” troops, he was acting properly. That was a professional military opinion, and the way he was treated for expressing it was shameful. But that’s quite a different thing from speaking out simply because you think a war is a bad idea on policy grounds.

He’s right on that last point regarding a general speaking out to oppose a/the war simply on policy grounds. That’s an aspect I hadn’t considered. It’s bad enough, while serving, for a general to stay silent when they’ve got issues with the way a war is being managed. It’s another thing altogether to be a general opposed to the war in and of itself.

Wed. AM Update: These two gentlemen are also saying their complaints should have been voiced while on active duty :

The retired general officers who have recently called for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld want to convince the public that civilian control has silenced military wisdom regarding the war in Iraq. They have chafed at Rumsfeld’s authoritarian style and they may even have legitimate differences of opinion with his decisions. But, while their advice and the weight of their experience should be taken into account, the important time for them to weigh in was while they were on active duty.

The two of us have experienced many of the circumstances confronting Rumsfeld. Our experience and connections at the Defense Department tell us that these generals probably had numerous opportunities to advise and object while on active duty. For them to now imply otherwise is disingenuous and quite possibly harmful for our prospects in Iraq. And it misrepresents the healthy give-and-take that we are confident is widespread between the civilian leadership at the Pentagon and the capable military hierarchy. A general officer is expected to follow orders, but he is also entitled to advise if he thinks those orders are flawed.

Who wrote that opinion piece?:

Melvin R. Laird was a Republican representative from Wisconsin before serving as secretary of defense from 1969 to 1973. Robert E. Pursley, a retired lieutenant general in the Air Force, was military assistant to three secretaries of defense.

Read the whole thing. (Hat tip: Betsy Newmark)

Wed. Update II: In my initial post about the war on Rummy, I linked up to this post written by McQ, who was an active duty officer in the Army who shared his story of being in the position of refusing a direct order that he thought unnecessarily risked the lives and safety of the troops in his company. It’s well worth mentioning again (hat tip: Jon Henke):

I left the Army because I refused a direct order that I thought unlawfully and unnecessarily risked the lives and safety of the troops in my company if it was followed. As it turns out, the investigation that followed my refusal agreed that my refusal was proper and exhonorated me. But because of the culture within the army, my career was finished (wave makers and boat shakers need not apply), and I ended up resigning (and entering the reserves). Unfortunately, that same culture survives to this day and the above is the result.

But you know what, had one of my troops been killed or injured because I didn’t take that stand at the time, I’d have had to live with my moral cowardice for the rest of my life. It was one of the hardest decisions I ever made in my life. It cost me my career in the army. But it was the right decision and one I’ve never regretted. I was an RA infantry officer who had a career in the army guaranteed had I just kept my mouth shut and gone along with the order.

Wed. Update III: CavalierX weighs in with his thoughts.

Related Toldjah So posts:

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  • 52 Responses to “What stinks about the whole “retired generals speak out” issue”


    1. And Zinni weanie retired before Rumsfeld even took over as SecDef in 2001.

      It’s becoming clear that much of this “revolt” has a political dimesion to it. Some of the criticism may be honest and God knows we have made mistakes in Iraq.

      But the errors we have made can be shared equally between our civilian and military leadership.

      Rumsfeld isn’t perfect. But he’s a heck of a lot more perfect than some of these generals.

      I didn’t vote for any of these generals. I did vote for President Bush… TWICE! And his election gives him the power to appoint whom he pleases to serve in his cabinet.

      I’ve been keenly interested in national security issues since the Viet Nam war (yes, I am that old). And Rumsfeld is one of the very best SecDefs we have had in my lifetime (Cap Weinberger who recently passed away would be a very close second).

      I sent a rather strong letter to my Senator Lindsey Graham regarding immigration (see letter here:http://mikesamerica.blogspot.com/#114486738429578969)

      To the hard copy I added a handwritten postscript: “I want Secretary Rumsfeld to STAY! I don’t care what Senator McCain says. I didn’t vote for him!”

    2. Conrad Chin says:

      Good grief.

      It is obvious you have never spent a day in uniform. Listen to the DOD talk. Does he sound like a man who takes creative critism well? Do any of the present admin members? Generals got to be generals in a lot of ways. Banging theirs heads against brick walls is NOT one of them.

    3. sanity says:

      Generals are used to giving orders, not taking them.

    4. Gaius Arbo says:

      This is exactly what I have been saying all along. This is incredibly dangerous, and the left should be terrified at the precedent being set here – with their encouragement.

      On top of that, these generals are willfully and knowingly endangering the troops, including my son. And I take that very, very personally.

      I’ve linked to this post.

    5. Baklava says:

      Conrad wrote, “Does he sound like a man who takes creative critism well?

      There is a variety of opinions out there. Do you recognize that?

      Some generals feeling as though he doesn’t take their criticism because they thought the war was not the right way to go is the essential leftist disagreement going on 3 years. You guys really need to:
      1) Recognize differences of opinion
      2) Fast forward to today. We are there. What do we do going forward? Firing people over a disagreement of 3 years ago is not the answer.

    6. Gideon S. says:

      This is too rich.

      Every time somone — regardless of their political affiliation — has spoken out against the war during the last three years, they’ve been told by the extreme right-wing to shut the hell up.

      Now the extreme right-wing is criticizing the generals for not speaking-up sooner. Unbelievable.

      Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al., have repeatedly made it perfectly clear that they don’t want to hear any dissenting opinions — or the truth — from anyone; look at how they treated Shinsecki and Andrew Natsios when those men gave their expert opinions about the prosecution and the cost of the war when it was impending.

      These generals who have spoken out now have probably spent the last three years waiting and praying that they were wrong and fearing that speaking prematurely might devastate troop morale, or that the administration might turn things around when things (inevitably) went to hell in handbasket. Finally, they couldn’t keep silent anymore,as the quagmire has thickened.

      Have those thoughts occured to anyone on the Right?

    7. Baklava says:

      Gideon. Who has been told to shut up? Your false allegations is funny tired rhetoric. And the point is you disagreed with a decision made 3 years ago. Fast forward to the president. Deal with the hear and now. We’ve done disposed of Saddam. Now what do we do moving forward? Cede control back to terrorrists?

      If you want to you can look back on a conversation less than 2 weeks ago with a liberal where she admitted that yes her beef was with going to war 3 years ago and she doesn’t know what to do moving forward. This was the first liberal in 2 years on this blog that I remember admitting that yes the disagreement was going to war like I keep saying.

      On your “finally they couldn’t kee silent anymore” comment. It be hard pressed to find unanimous agreement with 4700 generals. To have 7 or 10 or 20 saying the same things as generals is… well.. believable. Liberals have been saying these things for years. So to will generals who are liberal.

      Has those thoughts occured to anyone on the left? :-?

    8. Pug says:

      Has those thoughts occured to anyone on the left?

      No, they hasn’t.

      It’s funny to see retired generals now being called part of that ubiquitous bogeyman, The Left.

      and the left should be terrified at the precedent being set here

      Generals, retired or active, tend not to be part of The Left, my friend. I know it causes a lot of cognitive dissonance for you on the far-right when the criticism of your heroes comes from people that can’t just be dismissed as traitors and “Leftists”, but you can keep trying.

    9. Severian says:

      “Generals, retired or active, tend not to be part of The Left,”

      Bull. Weasley Clark, enough said…

    10. Baklava says:

      Pug, I served in the military. There are people who have leftists views and people who have views on the right. For you to make the claim that generals have unamimous opinion and do not hold leftist views is LAUGHABLE.

      You cannot get 4700 generals in a room to agree on any one thing.

      The issue once again seems to be with these guys that they disagreed with going to war. There are a few others who have a different disagreement but those disagreements boil down to just that… a disagreement.

      These are calculated moves made by people on the left including these generals and the “drive by legacy media”.

      Showing themselves and yourself (as leftists) to be more irrelevant everyday. Couldn’t put yourselves in the present day for nothin’. And why wouldn’t you want to contrinute on present day debates of ideas and solutions. Fast forward man!

    11. sanity says:

      Generals, retired or active, tend not to be part of The Left

      And your proof is…what?

      I find it hard to believe ALL generals are center to right.

      There have been dissenting views even before Rumsfeld came into office and I find it hard to believe that out off all those generals, both retired and active, that NONE are democrat or liberal generals.

      I believe that would be statistically improbable and you will find, if you make absurd statements like that, then you better have proof to back up your statements, otherwise you will find yourself called out on it very quickly here.

    12. Baklava says:

      ST wrote, “You (general you) simply do not stand around and say nothing while you think those around you are losing their lives because in your opinion the Sec of Defense is an incompetent a**.

      ST, it’s worse than that. The generals were said by Myers and Pace to have been consulted on MANY decisions and not only didn’t offer their contrary opinion but agreed with many of the decisions. This is NOT just an opinion of mine this is fact. And then to publicly act like they disagreed all this time and two of these generals have SAID they disagreed with the decision to go to war in Iraq. This is the craziest thing. That decision was 3 years ago you leftists. FAST FORWARD! Move on. Get over it. Contribute to today’s issues.

    13. CavalierX says:

      >The issue once again seems to be with these guys
      >that they disagreed with going to war.

      And that was because they’re of the “overwhelming force” faction; that is, they believe you should never fight a battle without an overwhelming superiority of numbers on your side. That’s the Cold War “symmetrical war” mindset talking, and the faster we rid ourselves of that old-fashioned doctrine the better. In an asymmetrical war, such as we are now fighting, overwhelming force is a blunt instrument, where a scalpel is often needed.

    14. Baklava says:

      I myself was a liberal in the military until I converted in 1991. Then I was a conservative who debated with other liberals in the military.

      BTW, I think pug has a point when he said, “being called part of that ubiquitous bogeyman, The Left.

      While Reading Comprehension has escaped him, it is funny that he wrote the left is the bogeyman… whatever that is.

      I do have some ideas though. Let’s generalize. The left is:
      1) Stuck on Stupid
      2) Stuck on a 3 year old disagreement
      3) Not able to debate solutions for moving forward from today
      4) Think disagreements point to incompetence

      eh. I’m bored with this. They make things to easy. It’s too bad they can’t see what the drive by legacy media is doing. It took me a lot of reading in 1991 when converting but I know other leftists can do it if they try. :o

    15. Uffda says:

      Gaius Arbo wrote;
      “On top of that, these generals are willfully and knowingly endangering the troops, including my son. And I take that very, very personally”

      This is nonsense–how does this “willfully and knowingly endanger” the troops? The generals are utterly disgusted with Pentagon leadership that won’t provide proper armor or equipment–yes, Marines and soldiers still don’t have the body armor and armored vehicles they should have – no matter what the Pentagon press flacks say. Rumsfeld personally made decisions regarding the mix of forces in Iraq and still does so today. He does have the right to make decisions–but when those decisions are abjectly wrong and are in the face of expereince learned through blood and sweat–there should be consequences.
      He has been wrong, wrong, and wrong on so many issues, that he must go. There is nothing to demonstrate that he can learn or now start demonstrating competence.

    16. Baklava says:

      Uffda made a false allegation by charging, “that won’t provide proper armor or equipment

      Sheltering yourself with people who agree with you would lead to those kinds of statements. The Department of Defense adapted and has worked to up armor vehicles and everthing else they could to better protect soldiers. Armor was budgeted for paid for then manufactured by the contractor and deliveted and installed on vehicles in a timeline. Your comments are patently false and part of the leftist pattern. You have a laundry list of accusations I’m sure just like every other liberal before you including myself when I was a liberal. The pattern should change. It isn’t adding to the debate. It’s simply muddying the water. It is a lie.

      Thanks for playing.

    17. It’s pretty clear from some of the left of center comments here that the left is looking to make political hay with the comments of these few generals, while they willfully ignore the contrary statements of so many more retired generals supporting Rumsfeld.

      And as Baklava so ably points out, all of the old bugaboos have come out of the swamps to trot their delusions and deceptions on the stage one more time.

    18. Baklava says:

      ably? :d I think I had too much caffeine today. ;)

    19. sanity says:

      Baklava states:

      I do have some ideas though. Let’s generalize. The left is:
      1) Stuck on Stupid
      2) Stuck on a 3 year old disagreement
      3) Not able to debate solutions for moving forward from today
      4) Think disagreements point to incompetence

      #3 The left do not have a solution to be able to move forward with, so are stuck on #1, and cannot move off of #2 because they have nothing to move to, so need to rehash and rehash #4, otherwise it will look like they are stuck on #3 but all it does is show that they cannot move past #3 and make them look like #1.

    20. Uffda says:

      Baklava alleges that I promulgated lies in my post and calls me a liberal.
      First, these are patently not lies. I had worked in DoD and am a retired Marine officer. I am very aware of the lack of full effort in the procurement of up-armored HMMVs. There could have been a lot more up-armored HMMVs before we went in and we could have gotten a lot more out to our soldiers and Marines sooner. When DoD flacks were saying that we were “doing all we could”- the corporations that were making these were complaining about lack of orders and were actually beginning to lay people off. In fact the Marines have admitted that they didn’t have enough armred HMMVs and that was not excusable. In some cases, Marines didn’t even have HMMVs, but used unprotected trucks–with tragic results. The same goes for body armor–even the “improved” armor that we are now giving troops has plates that shatter and are useless powder after taking a hit, either by bullet or hard fall. Ask people in the field who have to use this stuff. So please don’t sermonize on how well the troops were equipped. After three years, are our people properly equipped? The question provides the answer.
      Second, I am not a liberal or leftist, but a retired Marine that is furious at the lackadasical and arrogant attitude of senior DoD leadership. I dont’ like seeing Marines and soldiers die and become maimed because of incompetence and arrogance. Apparently the apologists for Rumsfeld and his crew can’t respond to the facts, but can merely scream “lies” and call people names. They can’t deal with people that call for competence.

    21. chez diva says:

      Uffda, please tell me how you feel about General Zinni and his flip-flopping about Iraq? Can you believe a man that has lied when it is politically expedient to do so?

      Do you honestly believe these generals who didn’t have the courage of their convictions while on active duty? If they really believed what they are saying now, then tell me why didn’t they seperate from the military and speak out? They are pathetic excuses for men and they may have put the lives of our soldiers at risk.

    22. Baklava says:


      Uffda probably hasn’t seen the completely contradictory statements from 3 years ago to today. Surronding theirselves with people who agree with them breeds this kind of mentality.

      I know on our end we expose ourselves ot all points of view. We can’t escape it. Leftists can.

    23. Severian says:

      Uffda is living proof, as is Murtha, that when a Marine goes bad, they go really screaming moonbat bad.

    24. chez diva says:


      The Left will do anything to bring Rumsfeld down. They don’t care if they have to get into bed with these cowards (and in the case of Gen. Zinni, a liar).

      The bottom line here is either the generals are lying now for whatever purpose or they are a group of cold-hearted cowards who’s silence on the alleged “mismanagement” of the Iraq War contributed to another Iraq War death or injury.

      My husband is assigned to CENTCOM and the prevailing feeling for these retired “revolting” generals is disgust. That feeling is shared by the liberals and conservatives he knows.

    25. – Uffda – I have ro admit that armor was the one, and only bitch I had concerning Iraq. I blogged several scathing posts on the matter, back when it was hotly contested. Problem is it wasn’t DoD’s or the militarys doing. The sources of armorments in many cases were foot dragging, because they were more interested in serving the civilian markets (read the background on how much the admin had to threaten the Humvee corp to get off their asses and ramp up production.). So I’m basically in agreement with you that at times the leadership drops the ball. Thats all fine and good.

      – But to try to conflate a few examples of shortfalls into the moronic, “we’re still fighying Vietnam, so don’t even ask us about Iraq” moonbat scrrech of the left is out where the busses don’t run.

      – Its just No.# 24 in the asshat “GetBuah” campaign, and everyone with a working brain cell knows that. Maybe thats why you’re catching flak that may not be deserved. As a few have noted here already, the left is dealing from an empty wagon, so “AnythingGates”, and smear tactics are all they have left.

      – BTW. Just to make the day for all you tinfoil beanie wearers out there, Rove is moving back into full time election operations chief. Bon appitite’

      – Bang

    26. Baklava says:

      Chez, You are questioning Zinni’s patriotism. Contradictory statements should not be pointed out by the likes of you. 8-|

      And no Chez, there are no liberals in CENTCOM. Didn’t you see Pug’s statements? :)

    27. Uffda says:

      Somebody please tell me where one of these six generals is lying. A lie is a knowing telling of something false and nobody in this line of posts has lucidly stated where one of these generals has LIED. One might challenge their judgment, but don’t impugn their integrity.

      Zinni hasn’t changed–he was saying the same thing in 2002- he was retired then and was an envoy for the President.
      The generals did speak up when they were on active duty- within the chain of command, as they were supposed to. At least MG Batiste did.
      He wasn’t listened to, to the detriment of his soldiers- and he retired rather than take a third star. None of them are happy about going public- look at the nonsense they have to put up with- but they feel that it is in the interests of the country and their respective services to do so. Look where these people were serving. They were in positions where know what they are talking about.

      You all are proving my point–nobody has–nor can they- refute the points I made about lack of body armor or armored HMMVs. All I hear is name calling- by the likes of “Severian”–who obviously was not a Marine.

    28. Severian says:

      Yeah, I don’t have to screw my hat on Uffda….

      Your comment whining about body armor breaking tells me all I need to know about your intelligence and understanding. The armor is supposed to break, that’s how it absorbs and dissipates energy.

      As Rumsfeld said, you have to go to war with the army you have. But I think you would have preferred we didn’t go to war at all, and are using the excuse that we didn’t armor our troops enough as a rationale for endlessly delaying what needed to be done. If you wait until everything is “perfect” you’ll never accomplish anything. Besides, what is perfect? No plan survives contact with the enemy, you have no idea what perfect would have been until after a war, in hindsight.

      I’m not even sure you are a soldier. I’ve lost count of the number of liberals and leftists who start off with “I’m a conservative/soldier/Republican and I think” and then parrot MoveOn and DU talking points like the good little trolls they are. Starting off a discussion with a lie just makes their points soooo believable.

      If you’d started out your rants admitting to your anti-war bias, you’d be a lot more credible.

    29. Baklava says:

      He wasn’t listened to

      OH. Don’t let that hurt your feelings now.

      nonsense they have to put up with

      For colluding with the legacy drive by media they get criticized about their books coming out and their timing and their contradictory statements of the past and their failure to utilize the opportunity to dissent when asked to. Hm. What nonsense. Maybe they would learn to give thier dissenting opinion when asked to next time. Due diligence is necessary as opposed to lack of it.

      I’m asked in my position for my opinion from time to time. As a calculation I think about time and how much the battle is worth. I do give a dissenting opinion sometimes but if I don’t, I’m not thinking I have much position to say I disagreed later. And disagreement is not a statement of someone elses incompetence. Only the incompetence of the leftist like yourself who is trying to say so without much reading comrpehension ability.

      Your point was NOT made about the up armored HumVee’s. Unless you think there is no timeline and things magically get done from Bill Clinton to Bush BOOM. It’s done. Doesn’t work that way my accusing acquantance. It is an illogial non common sensical argument you have. The up armored humvees have been delivered to the detriment of the Humvees even. If you look at the Popular Mechanics article on this stuff.

      Not sure why you insiste with the false allegations. What is your prrof that a) Humvees aren’t up armored b) They were fought against by Bush or Rumsfeld c) Anyone in any previous administration were successful in getting it done as the Bush administration did?

    30. Uffda says:

      I am not anti-war–I am anti- incompetent warplanning.
      And for the record, Severian, I was not a soldier, I was a Marine. You likely were never in any service, you certainly weren’t a Marine. I don’t give any credence to your ill-informed comments (likely based largely on blog reading).
      Responding to some of the posted non-responses is tiresome, and I won’t do any more. Obviously, Severian and his ilk are not well-read, nor are they really conservative–however they like to portray anyone who writes something they don’t like or understand as a leftist or liberal. I find it amusing to be called a liberal/lefist or whatever, when asking for accountability and competence. Apparently, one can’t do that without being called names.
      BTW, ask people who have been in the field about the body armor plates that pulverize. That isn’t supposed to happen to the degree that it does and it doesn’t help our people. I don’t like losing people when it can be prevented. But I guess that really caring for the welfare of our Marines and soldiers, as opposed to wearing a flag on one’s lapel, makes one a leftist.

    31. Well since you are a Marine, uffda, then I’m sure you read about this story on the opinions of some Marines on extra body armor.

    32. steve says:

      I’m antiwar, and bush’s war in Iraq was stupid,unnecessary,illegal, pre-emptive and based on lies and half-truths. It was brought to us by the Karl Rove marriage of the Christian conservatives also known as the armageddonists, the neo-cons and the Zionists. BIG oil funded the enterprise, that’s why gas costs $3.50 a gallon. It took awhile for the Generals to figure it out and now they are trying to show you folks the way. Peace

    33. Baklava says:

      I am anti- incompetent warplanning.

      The Pentagon is who plans for war. They have over 1,000 plans. Doesn’t matter who is in the administration. The Pentagon is working on plans for dozens of countries as we speak. This is what the pentagon does. I’m sorry you think they are incompetent.

      “I don’t give any credence to your ill-informed comments”

      You my attacking acquaintance are not a very well-mannered dissagreer. There is no place for your view of Sev’s comments just because he did or didn’t serve. People from all walks of life have opinions and it would be up to you to treat everyone well. Though I point out that you are making false allegations and not comprehending other people’s messages I don’t say that your opinion is worthless because you are or aren’t in the military.

      Deal with the substance of arguments not the person. Deal with the content of what is written.

      “when asking for accountability and competence. “

      Again, A difference of opinion with someone does not point to their incompetence. Nobody called Zinni incompetent for wanting to go city to city with a 300,000 troop force. It’s a different view. What decisions have been made have been made. All in all we have suffereed far less casualties than all other wars except those fought from 15,000 feet in the air.

      “I don’t like losing people when it can be prevented.”

      Who does? :-w

      “But I guess that really caring for the welfare of our Marines and soldiers, as opposed to wearing a flag on one’s lapel, makes one a leftist.”

      Oh yeah. I’ve seen this argument before from leftists. Pretty incompetent stuff to be saying stuff like this :-" I get tired of dealing with the tactics of the left, just like you get tired of us but guess what, I keep soldiering on. :o

      Stop making your disagreements with others turn you into someone with such hate.

    34. – You left the eeeevvvvil Zionists out of your rant steve(fn). Got to be eeevvvilll Zionists in there somewhere. You’re slipping….

      – Bang :o

    35. Baklava says:

      He had it in another thread today Bang.

    36. chez diva says:


      I guess Uffda is blaming all the guys at CENTCOM for the “incompetent” war planning. They are the guys who plan operations in the Middle East. So, it looks like Rummy dodged that bullet. He can’t be held responsible for incompetent war plans.

    37. PCD says:

      I doubt uffda is a Marine. Hummers were not designed as a armored vehicle. They were replacements for the vererable jeep which wasn’t armored.

      Marines fight with what they have, not what they see in video games. If I were President, first thing I’d do is give the Marine Air Corps all the A-10s and then upgrade them. You think the A-10s were effective before, try them in the hands of a Marine close support pilot.

    38. Baklava says:


      I think leftists think each president and secretary of defense plans wars. They come into office and draw up all the scenarios. Thousands of them.

      BTW, Why are they leftists? Because of their views and sources of information that help them form their views.

      It’s not a BAD thing. I was once one. But I saw the light. And when I did it was over a year’s worth of visiting the library 3 times a week (during my 6 year enlistment) in 1991.

      Uffda could do the same research I did.

    39. Severian says:

      A Marine and an Airman walk into the latrine and take a leak. The Marine washes and washes his hands, while the Airman just walks out.

      The Marine looks at the Airman and says “In the Marines, they taught us to wash our hands after going to the bathroom!”

      The Airman replies “In the Air Force they taught us not to pee on our hands.”

    40. Severian says:

      “give the Marine Air Corps all the A-10s and then upgrade them. ”

      Not a bad idea, unfortunately the AF is overly enamored of high tech toys and dislikes the A-10 because it’s not sexy enough, despite its effectiveness.

      Actually, the Army should have them, but there’s this little doctrinal issue about the Army not being allowed to fly fixed wing combat aircraft (dumb, but it’s a turf war between the AF and Army, exactly the kind of thing Rumsfeld has been attacking and PO’ing the military brass by doing). The Marines would be an OK substitute, but they have their own attack aircraft and infrastructure. And often the Army fights where the Marines don’t, and in larger formations/numbers, and is usually in need of more close air support.

      The A-10 should be upgraded with a decent FLIR pod and targeting system. It is, to this day, perhaps the finest ground attack aircraft ever made.

    41. Gaius Arbo says:

      Uffda, a very apt name since something just plain stinks about your claims.

      You say you’re a Marine officer. I have no way to tell, you could be. Or not. I will say this, you do not write or communicate in a way that sounds genuine. You write like someone with a liberal arts education and a very leftist viewpoint.

      You claim to have been an officer, yet you dispute that general officers running around saying the things they are endanger the troops. Any damn thing that can negatively effect morale or support for the troops can endanger the troops. An officer would know that.

      My son is a soldier, and he noted that not enough armored vehicles had been available at the start. But it’s also quite evident that military planners did not expect the need for it or that they failed to say they needed it. To blame it squarely on Rumsfeld is disingenuous at best, a flat lie at worst. An officer would know that.

      The Marines are resisting the “extra armor”. It makes them a nice bullet-proff target since they can’t move worth a damn in it. An officer would listen to his troops, not pontificate.

      So, uffda to you uffda.

    42. Baklava says:

      A retired Read Admiral speaks. I was in the Navy. Admirals were in my chain of command.

      In it is:

      Rumsfeld is arguably the most qualified and experienced secretary of defense in U.S. history. He exercises full command of the levers of Pentagon power. He understands the culture and controls the promotions of senior military leaders more closely than any of his predecessors.

      Rumsfeld might have considered resigning in the wake of the devastating Abu Ghraib revelations. By so doing, he could have taken responsibility and sent the strongest possible signal concerning the total unacceptability of such conduct. Perhaps he did offer his resignation and the president declined to accept it. Regardless, it was very disappointing that none of the responsible generals resigned.

      The decision to resign belongs exclusively to the individual. The retired generals had their chances to resign. It is reported that Maj. Gen. John Batiste may have done so. Others chose to follow orders. If they now want to offer an opinion on the conduct of the war, they are well-qualified to do so. They are also free to criticize the secretary’s leadership. I’ve offered critical opinions of my own. It is not their place, however, to call upon the president’s second-in-command to step down.

    43. sanity says:

      Believe it or not, there are sodliers, people who have served in the different branches of the Armed Forces, that are regulars and post here, including myself.

      US Army, 1st duty station Korea (Cmp Edwards, 9 miles from the DMZ), 2nd duty station Ft. Campbell, with a small stint in Panama for Jungle Training. After which I spent 6 years in the Army National Guard.

      I was not a soldier, I was a Marine.

      Symmantics. If you are a Marine, you were a soldier, whther you believe it or not. You would have served in one of the branches of the Armed Forces, and deployed where your commanders told you to.

      sol·dier (sljr)
      1. One who serves in an army.
      2. An enlisted person or a noncommissioned officer.
      3. An active, loyal, or militant follower of an organization.

      You are just using symmantics. Whether you want to believe it or not, you were a soldier as soon as you signed on the dotted line.

    44. “Believe it or not, there are sodliers, people who have served in the different branches of the Armed Forces, that are regulars and post here, including myself.”

      Yep, and I will back you up on that. In addition to the people who post here who’ve stated their military experience on the blog, there are any number who haven’t stated so in this blog but whose email addresses tell me they’re military.

    45. steve says:

      Ray-gun, is the President responsible for the mess in Iraq. Before Ray-gun, we did not start pre-emptive wars. He did that in Grenada. Pre-emptive war and retribution are a part of the Zionist philosophy and when that philosophy enters into the foreign poicy of America, as it has, “we the people” are in trouble. Peace

    46. Baklava says:

      Pre-emptive war and retribution are a part of the Zionist philosophy

      Got a link where that is stated? Till then….

    47. forest hunter says:

      Those of you who are computer savvy, might want to link the link at Michelle’s site. “Themarine” has a very well written and respectfuly submitted post worthy of reading, regarding General Zinni.

    48. Darrell says:

      Rumsfeld may be a demanding son of a bitch but at his level you have to be. Just like any private would look at the General as the demanding bastard that he must be.

      Someone shared a quote with me this morning that is appropriate here.

      “I am convinced that the best service a retired general can perform is to turn in his tongue along with his suit, and to mothball his opinions.” —General Omar Bradley