Thursday, April 13, 2006
A General Indictment
Some military quotes of note about Rummy the Absolute Dummy's running of the Iraq War:
"They only need the military advice when it satisfies their agenda. I think that's a mistake, and that's why I think he should resign."
- Retired Army Maj. Gen. John Riggs.
“The Pentagon needs a fresh start, We need a leader who understands teamwork, a leader who knows how to build teams, a leader that does it without intimidation. We need leadership up there that respects the military as they expect the military to respect them."
- Retired Army Maj. Gen. John Batiste who led the 1st Infantry Division in Iraq until he retired last year.
"We went to war with a flawed plan that didn't account for the hard work to build the peace after we took down the regime. We also served under a secretary of defense who didn't understand leadership, who was abusive, who was arrogant, who didn't build a strong team." - - - Army Maj. Gen. John Batiste.
“Rumsfeld made a series of disastrous mistakes. We grow up in a culture where accountability, learning to accept responsibility, admitting mistakes and learning from them was critical to us. When we don't see that happening it worries us. Poor military judgment has been used throughout this mission."
- Retired Marine Corps Gen. Anthony Zinni, former commander of US forces in the Middle East
“Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld is guilty of ignoring the advice of seasoned officers and denying subordinates any chance for input.... I have seen a climate of groupthink become dominant and a growing reluctance by experienced military men and civilians to challenge the notions of the senior leadership."
- Retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton who was in charge of training Iraqi forces from 2003 to 2004.
"He has shown himself incompetent strategically, operationally and tactically, and is far more than anyone responsible for what has happened to our important mission in Iraq. ... Mr. Rumsfeld must step down."
- Retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton
“US military policy in Iraq has been marked by successive policy failures." Among these: "distortion of intelligence ... micromanagement that kept our forces from having enough resources ... failure to retain and reconstitute the Iraqi military."
- Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Greg Newbold, former operations director for the Joint Chiefs of Staff
"We need to continue to fight the global war on terror and keep it off our shores, but I do not believe Secretary Rumsfeld is the right person to fight that war based on his absolute failures in managing the war against Saddam in Iraq."
- Retired Army Maj. Gen. Charles H. Swannack, Jr.
"I really believe that we need a new secretary of defense because Secretary Rumsfeld carries way too much baggage with him. ... I think we need senior military leaders who understand the principles of war and apply them ruthlessly, and when the time comes, they need to call it like it is."
- Retired Army Maj. Gen. Charles Swannack, Jr.
"My sincere view is that the commitment of our forces to this fight was done with a casualness and swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions - or bury the results."
- Retired Marine Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold.
"Serious mistakes [were made] in the immediate aftermath of the fall of Baghdad. We didn't have enough troops on the ground. We didn't impose our will. As a result an insurgency got started, and it got out of control."
-Colin Powell, former secretary of state and Joint Chiefs chairman,
In this, Powell echoed former Army chief of staff Gen. Eric Shinseki, who told Congress just weeks before the 2003 invasion that several hundred thousand US troops would be necessary to secure Iraq after the invasion. For this he was publicly contradicted by then Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. Rumsfeld named General Shinseki's replacement a year before he was to retire and broke custom by not attending his retirement ceremony.
"What's remarkable to me is how long it took military resentment of Rumsfeld to surface in public. Rumsfeld apparently has convinced the president that military criticism of his performance is traceable mainly to resistance to change. That interpretation of the criticism isn't totally wrong. But much of the officer corps thinks he simply doesn't understand technology or operations in sufficient depth to grasp the consequences of his policies, and yet he routinely uses his position to quash dissent."
-Military analyst Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute in Arlington, Va.
Gen. Merrill McPeak, retired Air Force chief of staff, says if anything the number of US troops there needs to be doubled - to around the figure Shinseki predicted would be needed three years ago - if Iraq is to become truly secure and democratic
General McPeak lost friends when he started speaking out against the war several years ago. Now, he says, "everybody is sending me e-mails and cards and letters saying 'I wish I had seen it the way you saw it from the beginning,' and I've gotten some of those friends back."