Saturday, April 22, 2006

Generals don't make the call for war in this country.

http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=politicsNews&storyid=2006-04-21T231924Z_01_N21290903_RTRUKOC_0_US-IRAQ-USA-RUMSFELD.xml

Right now, I lean slightly towards Hillary's proposal to have congress perform some sort of an investigation, even if it's a minority investigation only.
I still do not think it was right for these people to air their grievances publically, as they certainly could garner the ear of anti-Bush democrats in congress to go through the proper procedure.
If congress calls these retired generals to testify (and even active generals, perhaps), then it is clearly a case of the civilian government asking questions and making decisions, and not former members of the military pressuring for a change in civilian leadership.

There's a reason our former military members have historically interacted with politics only through official civilian mechanisms (running for office, garnering an appointment, or whatever), and to ditch that precedent really should require extraordinary circumstances. But their indictment carries no smoking gun, it encompasses a lot of things which are both pretty partisan and full of hindsight.
For example, most civilian military analysts were pretty well split on whether to break up the Iraqi Republican Guard, yet that decision was used as part of their rational for seeking the ouster of Rumsfeld. On a partisan example, I would cite the criticism that we did not go to war with sufficient allies.
I think it's true that our job would be a lot easier if France, Germany and Russia were on board, as any disunity in the west is perceived as weakness among the jihadists, but these factors are completely outside their experience. They're not there to decide whether or not to go to war, but rather to give their estimates on what the best strategy would be for winning.

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