Remarks by retired generals calling for Rumsfeld's ouster - Page 4




 
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Boots
 
April 20th, 2006  
PJ24
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich
Now, some of the same people criticize the retired generals for not speaking out at the time. And because they didn't speak out - dismiss them entirely. Just a thought but is it not possible that these 'soldiers', out of a sense of duty and obligation to their troops, did not speak out publicly in the media?
I wasn't here when you were, so your comment isn't directed at me, but I'll reply anyway.

I think if you read through what I've said, I explain why they obviously weren't putting their men first. If they were, they would have resigned in protest and gotten the word out when it may have made a difference.

Quote:
My other question is, how many generals does it take before we believe them - or do we prefer to keep trusting the word of elected politicans?
Six Generals out of how many? You believe them why? Because they're generals? I know E-4s with more combat experience and knowledge of the AO than some GOs. These are all conventional GOs acting as subject matter experts on unconventional wars. That's not to say they're completely wrong, but they're not the most informed. Just because a guy has shiney stuff on his collar doesn't mean he's all knowing and infallible, nor does it mean he can't become victim to his own bias opinions.
April 20th, 2006  
mmarsh
 
 
PJ24

Of the 6, 3 of them worked directly under Rummy and 2 of those with Rummy while they were stationed in Iraq. I'll agree that not all of them are in the know about what goes on in the Pentagon, but some certainly were.

But as I said, the reason Rummy is staying is not because he's competant, I think many Conservative Republicans in congress (like McCain and Graham) have already concluded that Rummys a failure. The reason is firing Rummy would be an knowledgement of error, particularily in Iraq, and we have seen time and again that Bush has a problem accepting responbility.
April 20th, 2006  
PJ24
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarsh
PJ24

Of the 6, 3 of them worked directly under Rummy and 2 of those with Rummy while they were stationed in Iraq. I'll agree that not all of them are in the know about what goes on in the Pentagon, but some certainly were.

But as I said, the reason Rummy is staying is not because he's competant, I think many Conservative Republicans in congress (like McCain and Graham) have already concluded that Rummys a failure. The reason is firing Rummy would be an knowledgement of error, particularily in Iraq, and we have seen time and again that Bush has a problem accepting responbility.

Like I said, I'm looking from a purely apolitical military perspective. The fact that these GOs didn't resign in protest means they supported the SECDEFs decisions. No matter what they say now, they supported him.

I'm not going to comment on the politics of it, or even if I believe their opinions or right or wrong. It's not my intention to defend the SECDEF, or malign him.

I realize you're looking at it from a political angle, and that you truly do feel as though the SECDEF has made poor decisions. Again, I won't say if I agree or disagree, but my point is not about that. It's about men that were charged with leading and protecting their men NOT doing their jobs because they were too busy trying to keep their careers. And many of these men are guilty of the very same thing they accuse the SECDEF of, micromanaging and not listening to the boots on the ground, for example.

There are quite a few men that work and have worked directly with/for the SECDEF, most aren't speaking out. You can't measure the validity based on the number, because there's far more that haven't said anything negative, with careers that overshadow these guys.

I'm not arguing for folks not to listen to these guys, but I do think it's important to take into consideration what they didn't do when they should have, as well as what political and personal agenda some of them have. That should be done with ANYONE, from politicians to civilians to retired military GOs.

If what they say happens to support your own beliefs through your own personal research, opinions and logical conclusions/assumptions, then obviously you've done your homework well enough to have an informed (as best as possible) opinion. What these GOs are saying are simply supporting that. But if that isn't the case, don't just take these guys word for it. That's all.
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Boots
April 20th, 2006  
mmarsh
 
 
PJ24

I understand what your're saying, but are you not being too harsh? I mean I dont blame these guys for not saying anything before they retired. SECDEF change all the time (Rummy is one of the longest serving SECDEF), but in 3 years there will be a new one. Do you think its fair to expect these Generals to end their 30-40 year careers simply because their current (temp) boss stinks? That seems like an unfortunate waste of talented people.

In Civilian life I have worked for bosses that were incompetant, but I never denounced them to the CEO while I was still employed at the company. Perhaps I should have, but I particuly feel guilty about not doing so. (Something tells me I would have regretted it if I had). But I do know other people that have said something to the CEO their last day before quitting. It seems to me that all these Generals are doing...

Im not military, so perhaps I just dont get it...
April 20th, 2006  
PJ24
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarsh
I understand what your're saying, but are you not being too harsh? I mean I dont blame these guys for not saying anything before they retired. SECDEF change all the time (Rummy is one of the longest serving SECDEF), but in 3 years there will be a new one. Do you think its fair to expect these Generals to end their 30-40 year careers simply because their current (temp) boss stinks? That seems like an unfortunate waste of talented people.
When men's lives are at stake. I do, yes. I don't see that as harsh. In civilian life, most jobs won't kill thousands of guys if you silenty agree with what you feel is bad policy. If you have possibility, even the hint of it, to change things, then your career should take a backseat.

I don't see their careers as more important than the men's lives they were charged with looking out for.
April 20th, 2006  
Blackwatch
 
 
Question: were these generals large unit commanders?
April 20th, 2006  
mmarsh
 
 
PJ24

Of course if they do leave, they might be replaced with less experianced less capable Washington yes-men and that too could lead to a loss of life. I do understand what your saying, it seems to me there is no real 'good' solution damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Blackwatch

Yes, I dont remember all of them but two of the critics were the Division commanders of the 82nd Airborne and the other was the Division Commander of the 1st Armored (both stationed in Iraq).
April 23rd, 2006  
bulldogg
 
 

Topic: Oliver North nails it...


http://www.military.com/opinion/0,15202,94922,00.html

Anyone interested in this topic should read the whole article but I have pulled some highlights...

Quote:
Set aside for a moment that these are all men who helped plan various aspects of the war they now say was poorly planned. With the exception of Zinni, who served as CENTCOM commander during the Clinton Administration, they all accepted promotions to “serve” under Commander in Chief Bush and helped carry out a plan they now claim to be irreparably flawed. If the jawing Generals felt then as they say they do now -- why didn’t they just quit -- before their promotions and pay raises?

It's been done before. On 21 April 1980, Secretary of State Cyrus Vance tendered his resignation and privately confided to President Jimmy Carter, "I know how deeply you have pondered your decision on Iran. I wish I could support you in it. But for the reasons we have discussed I cannot." The Secretary of State was referring to the mission -- three days later -- to rescue American hostages -- an operation he had steadfastly opposed. Unlike the “six-pack” of generals now castigating the war they helped plan and execute -- Mr. Vance had the integrity to make his views known during planning for the Iran operation -- and the courage to quit when the commander in chief decided to proceed over his objections.

That archaic combination of honor and fortitude is apparently absent from the current crop of retired generals shouting “Dump Don!” into any available microphone. They should be grateful that the Bush-phobic mainstream media is either ignorant of the ethical tradition exemplified by Cyrus Vance -- or too lazy to research the inconsistencies in the generals’ past and present positions on the war.

Perhaps it’s unfair to expect equal measures of courage and character from senior officers in this age of political opportunism.
On target.
April 23rd, 2006  
Chief Bones
 
 

Oliver North is NOT one of my favorite people - I still consider him a traitor even though others don't ...
(just a personal belief).

HOWEVER - he makes one hell of a point with his comments ... Secretary of State Cyrus Vance demonstrated what it really means when you place others before your own sorry *ss politically motivated aspirations (promotions and increased earnings). He demonstrated courage and character even though it ended up costing him.

It's too bad these "parrot mouthed" generals didn't have the character or courage to back up their convictions during the planning and implementation phases leading up to the invasion and eventual post operations, instead of waiting to blab to the world when it was too late to impact the plans.

These "straw" warriors DO NOT reflect very well upon what it really means to place your junior people's welfare above your own. They really were sad excuses as an example of true leadership.
April 24th, 2006  
PJ24
 
 
Good article, Bulldogg

He said everything I said, only like, way better.