Dissent In The Ranks

Cross Posted From Article of Faith:

While the press was falling all over itself yesterday covering Dumsfeld’s departure from the Pentagon, a more interesting and compelling story seems to be developing in the ranks of our military concerning Donny’s failed leadership and this lame-brained idea of sending more troops into the catastrophe known as Iraq.

But first, Rummy’s valedictory: “A conclusion by our enemies that the United States lacks the will or the resolve to carry out missions that demand sacrifice and demand patience is every bit as dangerous as an imbalance of conventional military power,” Mr. Rumsfeld said in a buoyant but sometimes emotional speech.

Yeah, weep for those 2900 dead Americans, you doddering old fool.

Maureen Dowd: “Far from being run out of town, the defense czar who rivals Robert McNamara for deadly incompetence has been on a victory lap in Baghdad, Mosul and Washington. Yesterday’s tribute had full military honors, a color guard, a 19-gun salute, an Old Guard performance with marching musicians – including piccolo players – in Revolutionary War costumes, John Philip Sousa music and the chuckleheaded neocons and ex-Rummy deputies who helped screw up the occupation, Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, cheering in the audience.

“It was surreal: the septuagenarian who arrogantly dismissed initial advice to send more troops to secure Iraq, being praised as “the finest secretary of defense this nation has ever had” by his pal, the vice president, even as a desperate White House drafted ways to reinvade Iraq by sending more troops in a grasping-at-straws effort to reverse the chaos caused by Rummy’s mistakes.”

LOL. Best Secretary of Defense Ever!

Meanwhile, the ranks…Marc Cooper has a barn burner of a scoop: “For the first time since Vietnam, an organized, robust movement of active-duty US military personnel has publicly surfaced to oppose a war in which they are serving.” Not since 1969, when some 1,300 active-duty military personnel signed an open letter in the New York Times opposing the war in Vietnam, has there been such a dramatic barometer of rising military dissent.”

Cooper goes on to note that this is even more interesting in the sense that this dissent is coming from an all-volunteer army, making the criticism in some ways even more prescient and damning.

It’s one thing for the anti-war left and those of us who have opposed this misguided adventure since the beginning to decry and bleat about sending more troops over there. But when the ranks of the military are openly opposing their invitation to continue dying for this savant in the Oval Office, we got real problems.

Farewell, Rummy. Like Ebeneezer, may you be haunted by the ghosts of the dead, who have died on your order and watch, for the rest of your miserable days.

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2 Responses to Dissent In The Ranks

  1. Ken Larson says:

    There are good points in your article. I would like to supplement them with some information:

    I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.

    If you are interested in a view of the inside of the Pentagon procurement process from Vietnam to Iraq please check the posting at my blog entitled, “Odyssey of Armaments”


    The Pentagon is a giant, incredibly complex establishment, budgeted in excess of $500B per year. The Rumsfelds, the Administrations and the Congressmen come and go but the real machinery of policy and procurement keeps grinding away, presenting the politicos who arrive with detail and alternatives slanted to perpetuate itself.

    How can any newcomer, be he a President, a Congressman or even the Sec. Def. to be – Mr. Gates- understand such complexity, particularly if heretofore he has not had the clearance to get the full details?

    Answer- he can’t. Therefore he accepts the alternatives provided by the career establishment that never goes away and he hopes he makes the right choices. Or he is influenced by a lobbyist or two representing companies in his district or special interest groups.

    From a practical standpoint, policy and war decisions are made far below the levels of the talking heads who take the heat or the credit for the results.

    This situation is unfortunate but it is absolute fact. Take it from one who has been to war and worked in the establishment.

    This giant policy making and war machine will eventually come apart and have to be put back together to operate smaller, leaner and on less fuel. But that won’t happen until it hits a brick wall at high speed.

    We will then have to run a Volkswagen instead of a Caddy and get along somehow. We better start practicing now and get off our high horse. Our golden aura in the world is beginning to dull from arrogance.

  2. Ginny Cotts says:


    Thanks again for the reference and your comments here. Nice to feel like I really am not wearing a tin foil hat on the subject- even if it will take a while for the ideas to become more acceptable.

    Ok, back to insanity, aka: The world we have, not the one we want…