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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Generals and Rummy

--posted by Tony Garcia on 4/19/2006

I have been thinking for a while about all of these generals coming out and complaining about Donald Rumsfeld. I have a few observations and conclusions that I would like to throw out there.

If I heard correctly the number of generals whining are 11 or so. This would be out of thousands of generals. This represents less than 1% of the generals.

I started thinking about the nature of a general...especially one in command positions. They are by nature very ego-centric, strong-willed personalities.

Think about that for a moment. They did not get where they are by living in the moment. They had plans and those plans were long term.

Now consider a few other items that are not being mentioned. (Maybe they are...I don't listen to talk radio except for Glenn Beck and he has not talked about this yet.) In the first gulf conflict there were generals that became celebrities. Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf and General Colin Powell. They became celebrities. Norman became a best-selling author with his auto-biography and Colin became the Secretary of State.

Now because of the inability of the American public to (1) remember that the timetable for this current conflict was much longer than has already elapsed and (2) realize the politicization of the Iraq conflict by both parties for pure partisan advantage the current batch of generals have little chance of becoming celebrities simply by being a general. Egos: deflated. Starry-eyed desires: unfulfilled.

Add on top of that the fact that Rumsfeld may very well be micromanaging (or at least making decisions). This also would be a major kick in the nads of a general's ego.

Finally, upon recognizing the realities of the rancor in Washington, the partisanship that ranks disgustingly supreme throughout politics and the shot egos of these generals it is no surprise that the generals have come out swinging away at Rumsfeld, Bush and anyone else that can be an easy target of the press.

Suddenly they get their celebrity spotlight.

Does it matter in the grand scheme of things. Actually, yes, because they are further damaging the War on Terror. By undermining the moral and support for Iraq the country becomes more tentative to deal with Iran. We should have already bombed the Iranian facilities into oblivion but America has become gunshy with its own safety. These generals, their celebrity driven motives, go out and undermine the very organizations they used to claim they fought for.

Forgive me, but I think these generals, regardless of their position on Iraq and Rumsfeld, are being given too much credence. In fact, any attention they get is more than they should be getting. This includes the number of generals that will be coming out over then next few months supporting Rumsfeld.

One last thing that is probably compelling these generals to do what they are doing. The most prevalent mantra in the military is CYA. These generals may have supported everything that was going on. Maybe they didn't. But whatever record of their feelings is classified and will not see the light of day. Upon getting out of the military they do not want history to blame them should Iraq eventually tailspin toward disaster.

So, what do I think about the generals in the news lately? They are egomaniacs whose egos took a beating. They are not celebrities for being in command like Powel and Schwarzkopf and they want to be (they are egomaniacs). So in a move that performs attaining the spotlight AND lets them Cover Their Ass they come out against their boss.

My advice to them. Shut up.


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