Thursday :: Apr 13, 2006

Generally Calling Out For Rum(sfeld)

by pessimist

The number of retired generals publicly calling for THE Donald to resign is up to six:

* Retired Marine Corps Gen. Anthony Zinni: Rumsfeld should be held accountable for a series of blunders
* Retired Maj. Gen. Charles Swannack, who led the Army's 82nd Airborne Division in Iraq: too much baggage
* Retired Major Gen. John Riggs: "They only need the military advice when it satisfies their agenda."
* Retired Maj. Gen. John Batiste, who commanded the 1st Infantry Division in Iraq
* Retired Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold

*~ AND ~*

* Retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton

The unfortunate thing about this is that Rumsfeld isn't the real problem. It's my opinion that these generals should be going after Rummy's boss - and the pretzeldunce as well.

There is a report that one general actually tried to do so.

Four Star General Fired For Organizing Coup Against Neo-Cons?

The head of Fort Monroe's Training and Doctrine Command, four star general Kevin P. Byrnes, was fired Tuesday apparently for sexual misconduct according to official sources.

Other sources however have offered a different explanation for Byrnes' dismissal which ties in with the Bush administration's unpopular plan to attack Iran and the staged nuclear attack in the US which would provide the pretext to do so.

According to reporter Greg Szymanski, anonymous military sources said that Brynes was the leader of a faction that was preparing to instigate a coup against the neo-con hawks in an attempt to prevent further global conflict.

Indications are that, much like popular opinion amongst the general public, half the military oppose the neo-con's agenda and half support it.

This is apparently what the generals oppose:

Washington Post reported [8/7/5] that the Pentagon has developed its first ever war plans for operations within the continental United States, in which terrorist attacks would be used as the justification for imposing martial law on cities, regions or the entire country.

American Conservative Magazine reported that Dick Cheney had given orders to immediately invade Iran after the next terror attack in the US, even if there was no evidence Iran was involved.

That flag officers would take such drastic measures isn't so far fetched, as just such a military coup is projected in The Origins of the Coup of 2012 [PDF] by Lieutenant Colonel Charles J. Dunlap, Jr. of the United States Air Force back in 1992.

In his work [HTML], Dunlap posits that the military has been charged by an increasingly incompetent and ineffective civilian government with many tasks that had once belonged to the civilian sector, and the public got tired of waiting for the government to deal with the responsibilities entrusted to them. Civilians began to look to the military to provide these services, and became accustomed to the military being their caretaker and not just their defender. Thus, once the more ambitious of the military oficers sees an opportunity to take over, democracy has come to an end in America because the people no longer care to maintain it, and tyranny reigns.

What was the motivation in Dunlap's scenario for the military to stage a coup?

Loss of military identity:

People in the military no longer considered themselves warriors. Instead, they perceived themselves as policemen, relief workers, educators, builders, health care providers, politicians--everything but warfighters. Military analyst Harry Summers warned back in '91 that when militaries lose sight of their purpose, catastrophe results. [Harry Summers, "When Armies Lose Sight of Purpose," Washington Times, 26 December 1991, p. D3.]

Richard Gabriel aptly observed in his book To Serve with Honor that...

... when one discusses dissent, loyalty, and the limits of military obligations, the central problem is that the military represents a threat to civil order not because it will usurp authority, but because it does not speak out on critical policy decisions.

The soldier fails to live up to his oath to serve the country
if he does not speak out when
he sees his civilian or military superiors executing policies he feels to be wrong.

- [Richard A. Gabriel, To Serve with Honor (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1982), p. 178]
The catastrophe that occurred on our watch took place because we failed to speak out against policies we knew were wrong.

This lengthy excerpt of an even more lengthy essay points out how the more senior officers feel about their services - which has been reported in the past as being badly abused by Bu$hCo initiatives. One such article reported:

[T]he US officer corps has turned on the government
May 13, 2004

Six National Guard soldiers from a West Virginia unit who treated Abu Ghraib as a playpen of pornographic torture have been designated as scapegoats.
Will the show trials of these working-class antiheroes
put an end to any inquiries about the chain of command?

It's my interpretation that the generals didn't like being the ones expected to take the fall for Abu Ghraib. In the end, only Brig. Gen Janis Karpinsky paid the price, but even that little exercise in military misogyny clearly didn't sit well with some of the generals. Even in 2004, certain rumblings of 'mutinous' discontent were beginning to emerge:

In an extraordinary editorial, the Army Times, which had not previously ventured into such controversy, declared that
"the folks in the Pentagon are talking about the wrong morons ...
"This was not just a failure of leadership at the local command level. This was a failure that ran straight to the top. Accountabilty here is essential - even if that means relieving leaders from duty in a time of war."

Again, it's my interpretation that 'relieving leaders from duty' DOES NOT EXCLUDE civilian leaders, especially if the generals feel that continuing to obey civilian commands to pursue political objectives are destroying their tradition-bound services. They did take an oath to 'defend and protect the United States and the Constitution from ALL enemies - foreign AND DOMESTIC. Not to act, as Col. Dunlap points out back in 1992, would violate their oaths as officers in the United States Military: "...indeed, it is their duty to do so."

Such could have been the motivation for the reputed actions of General Kevin P. Byrnes - IF the story I linked above is accurate. I can find nothing to determine confirmation nor refutation.

Such an attitude of defense of the objects of sworn fealty must, though, be the motivation for Zinni, Swannack, Riggs, Batiste, Newbold, and Eaton to speak out - clearly and publicly - that they oppose any further degradation of their own and their services' capabilities (and self-images?) as soldiers charged with defending the nation through the agency of calling for Rumsfeld's mostly-symbolic resignation.

The brake on this juggernaut is the very tradition that these officers have to feel are being violated - our military is subordinated to civilian control by the very Constitution they swore to protect. Officers honest and loyal to their oaths cannot act against it.

But, the news is full of stories of how our soldiers can't keep up with the Iraqi 'insurgents' due to the very lack of manpower General Shinsecki insisted would be necessary. The psychological effects on the servicemen in Iraq have got to be keeping the morale officers in booze and tranquilizers. The generals might be feeling like they can restrain themselves no more.

But before I hear that "we should be supporting out troops by not revealing these 'military secrets' ", I have to insist that none of this would be going on right now if the civilians in power had listened to those whose profession is war.

Of all of Bu$hCo, only Colin Powell had any combat experience - and we have heard many reports of how little the Good Soldier was heeded while Secretary of State.

Maybe the attack on Iraq would have happened anyway, but with more than double the troops now there, the 'insurgency' couldn't have developed. For remaining silent while Rummy went to war 'with the Army he had' I blame the very generals who are only now speaking out, and all the others who have yet to do so. As Col. Dunlap put it:

"The catastrophe that occurred on our watch took place
because we failed to speak out against policies we knew were wrong

'Better late than never' isn't going to fly, generals. As of 4/14/6, there are 2369 dead American soldier reasons why it's too late.

In keeping with Bu$hCo policy, we'll pretend that the over 38,000 Iraqis who died since the beginning of the illegal and immoral invasion - an action founded on political and economic-based lies - don't exist.

That is the real catastrophe.

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pessimist :: 10:27 PM :: Comments (24) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!