April 16, 2006
"Retired Generals," Democrats Join Forces Against Bush
In a move that shocked exactly no one, Democrats have run with the ball that the "retired generals" handed off to them, accusing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and President Bush of incompetence and mismanagement of the war -- and citing the generals, of course, as representing the entire active-duty military:
"My view is that the secretary should step aside," New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a potential Democratic presidential candidate, told CBS's "Face the Nation" program. "Besides the fact that the Iraq war has been mismanaged... we should listen to what these generals are saying...."
Sen. Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, said the critical comments from the retired generals could be considered a reflection of current senior officers not permitted to criticize Rumsfeld or Bush.
"We need a new direction in Iraq," he said. "We're looking at some incompetency in addition to the arrogance issues that have been raised. ... (Secretary of State) Condoleezza Rice talked about a thousand tactical mistakes the other day in Iraq the other day. That's not exactly a ringing endorsement."
Once again, we're offered a proxy measurement for morale -- rather than simply asking soldiers about their morale. This is very similar to what the Zogby poll did in February (and which Big Lizards discussed here and here). Dodd assumes that the retired generals who criticize Rumsfeld are representative of "current senior officers" -- but those retired generals who praise Rumsfeld speak only for themselves.
If anybody were in any doubt about the crassly political aspect to those "retired generals," we need only wait a few days to see if any of them now speaks out against having his deeply held, a-political convictions hijacked by the Democratic Party. Since we know they're not shy about voicing their opinions, if they say nothing about Democrats seizing upon their carping to urge people to vote against the Republicans, I think we will have our answer.
Anybody making book on whether a single one of these six retired generals will say, "hey, wait a minute -- I didn't mean everyone should vote Democratic; I just want us to send another 300,000 men to Iraq, even if we have to draft them!"
A man (or woman) who makes general is not stupid... and he is not a political naif. He knows how his words and deeds will be interpreted, because if he didn't, he would have been weeded out long before.
When a bunch of generals, led by persistent Bush critic Anthony Zinni, come forward and all demand that Donald Rumsfeld be fired, they are well aware that the Democrats and the press will seize the golden opportunity. When Gov. Bill Richardson and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) then do exactly what everyone expected them to do, it's difficult not to conclude that the griping generals have gotten just what they wanted.
But Richardson may have pushed his attack a little too far for credulity:
"What you're seeing is deep frustration in the military," he said, "deep frustration within our troops who are not getting enough armor. ... It is obvious that Secretary Rumsfeld did not listen to them. ... That's why we're in this morass."
Yes, Governor, that's it; the Iraqis have been unable to form a unity government so far because our troops have to muddle along with last month's body armor.
Look for more of these stunts as the election looms, each one dutifully reported by the media as yet another example of the military rising up in righteous rebellion against the hated tyrant.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, April 16, 2006, at the time of 11:53 PM
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The newest wrinkle in the "Seven Days In April" (Tony Blankley's term) conspiracy of generals to unseat Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (and hurt Republicans in the November elections) brings the essentially political nature of the rebellion into ... [Read More]
Tracked on April 18, 2006 9:08 PM
The following hissed in response by: Terrye
I heard that Myers came out in support of Rumsfeld. I have had a lot of family in the military over the years and only someone who is unfamiliar with military life would assume politics are not involved.
The above hissed in response by: Terrye at April 17, 2006 3:59 AM
The following hissed in response by: tincan sailor
If the General that ran the Invasion backs him,
"General Tommy Franks"what kind of light does
that shine on the perfumed princes that are
blovating about Rumsfeld,Victor Davis Hanson
has 2 post that say it better than I ever could.
The following hissed in response by: Big D
First off, who is Governor Richardson to comment on this stuff? Majored in French and Political Science....worked at the state department... Democratic congressman....Clinton ambassador to the UN... Clinton secretary of energy...governor of New Mexico. Says he'll be running for President in 2008. No possible way he has a political agenda, eh? Can't help but notice there is not much military experience there. Which is fine, but why is the Governor of New Mexico on Face the Nation discussing military matters? Why not have the generals on, the ones who agree with Bush, and the ones who disagree? Couldn't we get to the bottom of this pretty damn quick? How about a congressman from both sides who participated in the pre-war debate?
Unless the point is not to get to the bottom of anything. Unless the point is to Bash Bush incessantly, repeatedly, always. Then it pays to get someone like Richardson on - face time for the next Democratic presidential candidate, and no real information or answers, just endless accusations.
The reality is that the Democrats and big media have decided to get Bush at all costs. So there is one manufactured scandal after another. It is no coincidence that this comes on the heels of Lewis Libby saying Bush had no responsibility for outing Valarie Plame. With that option gone something else must be manufactured to fill the gap.
I always come back to the old time travel scenario. If you could travel back in time and kill Hitler as a child, knowing what you know now, would you do it? To many Democrats Bush = Hitler, the Republicans = Nazis. Therefore the ends justify any amount of lying, cheating, smears, and distortion. They are only desperately trying to save the world, doncha know.
For those of us on the outside of the insanity bubble the Democrats and media behavior is incomprehensible. We are like someone in 1920s Germany wondering why young Adolf was murdered.
The following hissed in response by: MTF
Watching the Democrats redefine the anti-Bush case every week or three entertains but fails to gain any traction with the public at large. That's my belief and I'm looking forward to the November elections to find out if I'm right. If only those elections were now!
Outside of the MSM in all of its really insipid forms, have you heard any talk of this controversy from friends, lefty or otherwise? I've heard none at all, zero, nada. Early adopters of anti-war arguments used the "we don't have enough troops to succeed" pitch and the "if only we had some really good artillery" whine so often in the early weeks of the war that hearing these criticisms today merely sounds like recycled venom from the wayback machine. This, despite the new twist of having military types doing the talking. The Generals speaking out today are managing to sound like Congressional opponents of the war from 2004.
With every passing day, I'm more and more convinced (poll numbers notwithstanding) that the very creative Democrats have yet again figured out how to lose even an off-year election running against an ostensibly unpopular president. Going negative in the face of increasingly understood success in Iraq is going to tick the voters off.
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