Dueling Generals

by James Glaser
April 19, 2005

It is so strange listening to generals voicing their opinions about what is going on with the war in Iraq. At first I thought they were trying to cover their rears, as they know and we know that we are losing Bush's War in Iraq. As with Vietnam, the blame game is going to go on for decades. For sure some of these guys are trying to push this loss off on Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, but there are other retired generals who were not involved in this war stating their concerns about what is happening to our country's defense, and it sounds to me that they are just speaking out for the good of the country.

Then there is the other side, and I listened as other generals defended the Secretary on talk shows today, and their points sounded good too. Some even claim we are still winning this war.

Active duty generals who back the war and the Secretary keep telling us that the generals complaining had their chance to voice their opinion while on active duty, but the fact is that every general got to be a general because he could follow orders without question. Officers who ask questions and voice their opinion never make it to the top. That is not what military officers do, and after thirty some years of keeping their mouths shut, it is hard for them to give for their honest opinion.

Those active duty and retired generals who are backing the administration have a vested interest. Either they are still in the service and looking for future promotions, or they are making money on the media circuit as "experts."

I think the same can be true to some extent for those speaking out against the administration. Some of them have books or are thinking of a book and some are saying, "I told you so." Those are the men who spoke out before this war started and they are now saying they were right.

Like I said, both sides have interesting points, and you could pick either side and be partly right, but the truth is that George Bush's War in Iraq has made a mess of our military. It is no longer a cohesive group working together toward one goal of getting the job done. George Bush has not only managed to divide our country, he has now divided our military.

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