Monday, June 25, 2007

American Military Poised to Revolt

A couple of weeks ago, this article appeared on a website I watch.

IRAQ -- ACTIVE DUTY GENERALS WILL "REVOLT" AGAINST BUSH IF HE MAINTAINS ESCALATION INTO 2008: Appearing on NBC's Chris Matthews Show yesterday, Atlanta Journal-Constitution editorial page editor Cynthia Tucker reveals that sources within the military are warning of "a revolt from active-duty generals if September rolls around and the president is sticking with the surge into '08.'" Noting that retired generals such as Gen. John Baptiste have already begun voicing their discontent with the President's strategy in Iraq, Tucker added that the generals "don't want to fall by the wayside like the generals in Vietnam did, kept pushing a war that they knew was lost." When President Bush vetoed the Iraq timeline legislation earlier this month, he claimed that "the measure would 'impose impossible conditions on our commanders in combat' by forcing them to 'take fighting directions from politicians 6,000 miles away in Washington, DC." But despite past claims that "the right force level" will be determined by "the sober judgment of our military leaders," the Bush administration has a proven track record of disregarding the advice of military leaders. As recently as last December, when the White House was first pushing its escalation plan, the administration explicitly ignored "the unanimous disagreement of the Joint Chiefs of Staff." If Tucker's sources are correct, it appears the commanders on the ground in Iraq are getting tired of "taking fighting directions" from the politician "6,000 miles away" in the White House. And they might not stay quiet for long.

I'm sure many Americans would find that story disturbing, but from my perspective it's about time. I can remember a Pentagon that was reluctant to send its soldiers to war. Part of my education at Iowa University was required ROTC where that reluctance was taught as doctrine.When a Pentagon staff becomes eager to respond to inappropriate Whitehouse leadership, the grunts take the brunt of it on front lines they should never have been asked to hold. It happened in Vietnam and now it's happening in Iraq. It's too bad that it has taken such huge abuses as extended and repeated tours of Iraq duty to bring the military brass to the realization that they are in the wrong place. They should have known it from the beginning. But at least they are arriving at the right conclusion. It is beyond high time for us to get our troops out of harm's way.Do we owe Iraq a debt for what we have done there? You bet, but we don't owe them the continued blood of our children. We should be ready to commit a great deal of our resources to bringing Iraqi refugees home, and to helping any Iraqi government to establish peace and rebuild, but we should not keep our soldiers at risk there one minute longer than it takes to pull them out.

If Mr. Bush - against all evidence - has any modicum of wisdom, he will pull them out before they rise up to slap him for what he has done to them.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -- M. K. Gandhi

Individually we have little voice. Collectively we cannot be ignored. But in silence we surrender our power. Yours in Peace -- BR

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