Saturday, October 13, 2007

General mayhem

By Libby

The blogs are buzzing today about the latest Pentagon bigwig, General Sanchez of Abu Ghraib fame, who publicly berated the Bush administration's bungling in Iraq. Unsurprisingly, he had a boatload of bile for the media as well. If not for the press attention he wouldn't have been sacrificed for the cause of the cover-up of the Abu Ghraib scandal. Still, it's hard to to heap much praise on a guy who shows up after the party is busted to announce the cops are on the way. Besides, as I recall he got a Medal of Freedom or something out of it so his protestations sound more like whining than regret to me.

Via Ron Beasley, I see that the count on who have spoken out has reached 20 disgruntled former generals. Some, who resigned rather than having been forced out for political convenience, or were punished by demotions for speaking honestly carry more weight and respect with me but still, when people say I should trust that the fine men in charge of our military will save us if Bush truly goes completely beserk, I remain unconvinced that these people will be our safety net. Take for instance this quote from the linked article which I do recommend you read in full.

While on active duty, Eaton did not criticize his civilian bosses – almost to a man, the generals agree active-duty officers have no business doing that. But he was candid in media interviews. Building an Iraqi army, he warned, would take years, and the effort might never succeed.

In 2004, he was replaced by Gen. David Petraeus – now the military commander in Iraq – and reassigned stateside. [Ed.note: Seeing the writing on the wall, he resigned shortly thereafter.]

Eaton said he wrote the piece because he believed that three pillars of our democratic system had failed: The Bush administration ignored alarms raised by him and other commanders on the ground; the Republican-controlled Congress had failed to exercise oversight; and the media had abdicated its watchdog role.

“As we look back, it appears that without realizing it, we were reacting to a constitutional crisis,” Eaton said in a recent interview.

We've known all this for a long time but even with 20 generals speaking out, there's no general outcry of alarm among the public because their warnings are buried in plethora of competing viewpoints. As we've seen with Petraeus, it's the serving general that gets the creds and there's always someone who's willing to put personal ambition over country. I don't know if anything can save us if Bush finally cracks and declares martial law, but I'm reasonably sure it won't be the military that will stop it.

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Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

There are so many examples of military coups I don't know what to think either, but I believe that the odds are that our military isn't set up to be revolutionary and like most, would follow orders even though their duty is to the constitution, not to the president.

Perhaps the best one could expect is some General like Field Marshall Rommel who after a few years of going along with the game would hatch a plot.

11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I don't know what to think. Who wants a military coup really? It's so third world but considering how close we've become to a banana republic, it's telling that the idea doesn't immediately horrify and one is even almost willing to consider it as sign of hope that these things come up in discussion among the troops.

2:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

whats amazing is how FOX is covering the sanchez story. They don't mention ANY of his criticisms of BUsh, they zero in on some quote he said ,i don't even know if it was recently, about the media making things look worse in iraq than they are. It's amazing. their "sanchez" story is wholly other than the one every other news outlet is running with.

9:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my mistake I guess he did make such remarks. funny that no one covered both aspects of the speech

9:48:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

The bloggers did but the MSM is useless for context Lester.

11:46:00 AM  

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