Thursday, April 13, 2006

General Dissatisfaction

I’m encouraged by the reports that career military officers are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the leadership of Donald Rumsfeld, in truth, I’m surprised it’s taken so long. If Bush is incompetent, then a whole new word must be devised to adequately describe the failure that is our current Secretary of Defense. I’m hard pressed to think of a single good decision the man has made, but in this administration, that’s certainly not unusual nor is it grounds for reprimand or gasp, dismissal. To get kicked out of this White House you have to speak truth to power or get indicted.

Abrupt departures from this White House are often followed by criminal charges. Sure, Lewis “Scooter” Libby got indicted before he resigned his post, but David Safavian abruptly left his post as the top procurement official at the White House Office of Budget and Management (OMB) a mere days before he was led away in handcuffs. And not long ago, Claude Allen up and left his job as Bush’s domestic policy advisor to “spend more time with his family” but it turns out that was code for, looks like I’ll be arrested next month on theft charges.

And truth speakers, like former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O’Neill, former counter-terrorism advisor Richard Clark, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Attorney General James Comey, all attempted to counter the echo chamber and were pushed out as a result. Kind of sounds like the mob doesn’t it? If you break ranks or challenge the boss, you will be punished, but if you get arrested, they’ll be there to help with your defense and make prison as nice as possible.

There have been rumors floating around that Cheney is thinking of retiring after the mid-term elections, but unless there are handcuffs in Dick’s immediate future, I wouldn’t bank on it. That slippery snake has too many heads, chopping off one of them won’t make a damn bit of difference. And as far as the rumors that Rumsfeld will leave his post, the surest indication that Bush won’t cut him loose is the fact that career military officers are begging for it. Much like they begged for more troops and proper armor for our soldiers.

Lt. General Gregory Newbold, retired director of operations at the Pentagon's military joint staff went public this week with his displeasure at how the Iraq war has been handled. He gives a critique of Rumsfeld’s handling of the war, but he also goes after those who made the decision in the first place. Newbold’s article, “Why Iraq Was A Mistake” published in Time, goes beyond mere criticism though, he also makes a plea to his former collegues to do what is right, come forward and tell the truth, no matter the consequences. He even expresses his regrets in not coming forward sooner.

So now we have five retired Generals demanding the resignation of Secretary Rumsfeld. I just wish I had more hope that they’d be listened to.


Anonymous Dale Hippert said...

I'm not remotely serious about my 'Seven Days in May' scenarios (That's right NSA, I'm just fucking around!), and
I don't believe a society as well armed as ours would take kindly to tanks in the
streets and generals on TV promising us free elections after the system is 'cleansed'.

But sometimes....I'd just like to see the members of this Neocon Coup rounded up and frog marched
to a plane to Gitmo or Leavenworth! And, maybe one or two of the remaining vehicles with
Bush/Cheney bumper stickers crushed by tanks, after the Wingnutistanians have been
asked to step out of their vehicle though a loudspeaker! I know, I know, this is just
as much a Lefty Wet Dream as the Wingnuts version of the Vince Foster suicide!

I read that the now 6 retired, disaffected generals represent what is conservatively pegged
at 75% disaffection among the active office corps. I have no frame of reference, even from the
Vietnam era, that would indicate that those numbers are not unprecedented.

I haven't seen the movie described below, and I'm just dimly aware that Turkey has
had a revolving door democracy/ military dictatorship. I do remember that the overwhelmingly
educated, technocratic US trained and secular Turkish army officers keep a wary eye
on their mullahs! Perhaps retired US Army and Marine Corps Generals calling
for the resignation of the SOD ,,,,IS an American Coup! And we should
all be grateful that the criticism isn't delivered from the muzzles of guns.

Islam in Turkey: Odd one out

It is as hard to imagine Turkey without Islam as to think of Istanbul without its famous skyline of mosques and minarets. Yet the country is polarized between, on the one hand, pious (and sometimes politically active) Muslims and, on the other, the secular urban elite, which includes the powerful military.

A documentary film about the 1960, 1971, 1980, and 1997 military interventions and coups d'etat in Turkey

Never-before-seen photos, documents, audio clips, and film footage from news services and personal archives form the backbone of the film. The film contains ceremonials with the Ottoman Pasha from the 1910's; Atatürk speeches from the 1930's; footage from the army trial resulting in the hanging of Prime Minister Menderes; speeches by 1960 coup leader Turkes; clips of the condemned student leader Deniz Gezmis; May Day street demonstrations from the 70's and extremist café bombings; the September 1980 coup announcement and the follow-up elections in 1983; the 1995 rise of the religious Refah party; the 1997 coup by memorandum and closing down of the Refah office; and military press briefings from 1998.

6:32 AM  
Anonymous geocrackr said...

I personally don't have too much of an opinion on the general dissatisfaction (very nice play on words, btw). Susie today has a couple of pointers on it. The first is to Billmon, who's take on it seems pretty reasonable to me and coincides w/ yours in a lot of ways. The only issue I would take with his points is that I still think it's worthwhile to fire away at Rummy. The second is to Steven Pizzo with whom I would contend that the officer corps, as individuals move up the promotion food-chain, outgrows the "permission to speak" indoctrination that is maintained in the enlisted arm. Generals in particular are much more political beasts than most people realize, and in that respect are just like the upper-management at any large organization. But all-in-all, both are good reads.

10:01 AM  
Blogger News from Mad Plato said...

Here are a couple of my letters where I have found the words to describe Rumsfeld, Bush and others:


George W. Bush

Rice and Cheney
Jekyll & Hyde

Hoochie-coochie & Rigamarole

Riffraff & Razzle-Dazzle
Karl Rove

Razzmatazz & Mamby-pamby
Donald Rumsfeld

Colin Powell
Window dressing on Smoke and Mirrors

Torture Jails and Fairy Tales
Mazes and Labyrinths

United States of America
United States of Amnesia

Land of the Afraid
Home of the Brazen

Bring 'em on
Smoke 'em out

Hide the secrets
Bury the lies

Bring 'em to Justice
Dead or Alive

Steal the oil
In the Global Struggle
Against Extremism!


Let Sir Bush
Make a Sign
Of the Cross
For his War that
Is a Double-cross!
Let that big smiling Dick
Inspect his oil-stick!
Get Rumsfeld to go to war
With his crooked arms swinging across
Bloody Radioactive Grass!
Make certain that
Miss Condi Rice
Knows a mushroom
Cloud from her ass!

"On Monday, former Secretary of State Colin Powell told me that he and his department's top experts never believed that Iraq posed an imminent nuclear threat, but that the President followed the misleading advice of Vice President Dick Cheney and the CIA in making the claim. Now he tells us."

"The harsh truth is that this President cherry-picked the intelligence data in making his case for invading Iraq and deliberately kept the public in the dark as to the countervailing analysis at the highest level of the intelligence community. While the President and his top Cabinet officials were fear-mongering with stark images of a "mushroom cloud" over American cities, the leading experts on nuclear weaponry at the Department of Energy (the agency in charge of the US nuclear-weapons program) and the State Department thought the claim of a near-term Iraqi nuclear threat was absurd." Robert Scheer, Now Powell Tells Us, The Nation, 4/11/06

10:31 AM  

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