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They're All Clinton Generals
Vs. the SecDef…

[Larry Stirling] 4/26/06

The press coverage of the recent censure of Donald Rumsfeld by six retired general officers has been bereft of one fact and that is that each of yapping officers is a product of the Clinton Pentagon and owes his stars to Democratic office-holder approval.

Let's put to rest the first issue raised by these generals speaking out. They are retired from active duty and unless they signed an agreement to keep quiet about military secrets, they are free to state their views and should do so.

On the other hand, they will have to defend those positions in the rough and tumble of the political world in which they have belatedly entered.

So, what is going on here? Are these few men demonstrating "profiles in courage" trying to save the nation from a crucible of bad management and its architect Donald Rumsfeld?


Larry Stirling
Larry Stirling is a former California State Senator and Retired Superior Court Judge [go to Stirling index]

Nope. Most likely what is happening is that these "has beens" have been sniffing around various liberal think tanks importuning paid sinecures to keep them in the life style they got used to as flag officers and can no longer afford.

Each of those think tanks reminded them of what they owed the Clinton administration and advised them that they would have to audition for stardom in a future Democratic administration by doing their part now to bring the Republicans down.

In doing so, they have not only come off as hypocrites but more importantly, they have given aid and comfort to the Muslim enemies of the United States, the very people who dived our planes into the Twin Towers and killed and continue to kill thousands of Americans and even more innocent Muslims.

Some generals!

I don't know how these generals live with themselves, sacrificing the security of the nation and the morale and well being of American troops in the field just for a chance to feather their own financial nests and foster their post-military careers.

I have known many generals both while I served on active duty and in retired life. Every general officer with whom I have had contact has been a quality person deserving of the respect endemic to their rank.

But these six don't deserve it.

During the time that they had influence, our national interests were repeatedly bombed and attacked. Our service members slaughtered unmercifully around the world. Our ships were bombed and commercial and military aircraft where destroyed or forced down ... yet nary a word from these brassy lightweights.

It is not only the right but also the obligation of an active-duty military officer at any rank to provide his or her honest appraisal of the situation to fellow officers and to the command.

There is even a line on the military staff-study format for "statement of nonconcurrence" that formalizes this obligation.

American history has been replete with great general officers that stood up for our country and did what was right even at the peril of their careers.

Billy Mitchell knew the value of air power and fought for it; ditto Hyman Rickover, who successfully brought about our nuclear Navy; George Patton, the tank corps; and Adm. Grace Hopper, who brought computers into the military.

Not so any of these guys. They waited until they were in the safety of retirement before mouthing any opinion.

They should have heeded the old saw that says: "Better to remain quiet and let people think you don't know what is going on instead of talking and confirming it."

The problem with militaries is that they become, in part, conduits of money expropriated from the American public in the name of national defense and then funneled into useless pork-barrel projects as nothing more than huge public subsidies to some senior congressman's constituency.

The "battleship admirals" that objected to Billy Mitchell's airplanes were fronting for the battleship contractors and all their employees back at the shipyards.

The modern-day version of this is Donald Rumsfeld, himself a combat veteran, confronting an entrenched military establishment of which nearly four-fifths of the active team is non-combatant.

One of his first actions was to cancel the development the huge Crusader artillery system that was no longer relevant to the asymmetrical warfare America is facing. Of course, that ticked off all the guys on the Crusader gravy train.

Civilians must control the military or we will find ourselves flirting with a military "party" of which these generals are the seed corn.

Military power is reflected power. That means civilians have to provide the beans, guns and gas for the Army.

The broad array of subjective decisions by civilian authorities to bring about that support is too complicated for a military man to master at the same time he is mastering the art of war.

Presidents are not supposed to salute. Military men are.ONE

copyright 2006 Larry Stirling


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