Monday, April 17, 2006

General Richard B. Myers defends Donald Rumsfeld

General Richard B. Myers, who retired six months ago as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, who was appointed to that position with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's approval in 2001, has emerged as one of Rumsfeld’s chief defenders. He repeated his comments from last week on a Sunday TV program that retired generals speaking out against the defense secretary are inappropriately breaching military etiquette, which dictates that officers discuss complaints with the civilian leadership privately.

Inappropriately breaching military etiquette? I am assuming that these generals had discussed their misgivings about Iraq with Rumsfeld before they retired. And Rumsfeld evidently didn’t listen to them. So what are these generals supposed to do while American servicemen and women are continually exposed to dangers unanticipated by Rumsfeld? Bury their heads in the Iraqi sand?

LBJ’s Secretary of Defense, Robert S. McNamara, is on record as knowing we could not win the Vietnam War, but kept on sending our men and women anyway. Now over 58,000 of them are named on The Vietnam War Wall Memorial in Washington.

Standing on etiquette, and watching silently while our men and women are being killed as things go from bad to worse, seems insane to me.—Walter Haan, www.war-books.com

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