Monday, October 15, 2007

Seems Like ALL The Generals BETRAY-US!

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What is the role of a military general in today's armed forces? I thoroughly understand the manner in which the chain of command operates. The leader of all U.S. armed forces is the president. This happens to be the case even when the commander-in-chief is a cowardly war time deserter, as George W. Bush indisputably was during this country's participation in the Vietnam War in the 1960's and 70's. General David Petraeus is the top military commander in Iraq. All other generals in Iraq report to higher ranking generals who report to Petraeus, who in turn reports directly to the president. This war is now rapidly approaching five years in duration, and as many of you recall, Petraeus is not the first top military commander in Iraq.

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Three months after the United States' ill fated invasion of Iraq took place in March of 2003, General Ricardo S. Sanchez was named the top military commander for allied forces in Iraq. Sanchez was the man in charge for one year until June of 2004. Six months into his tenure, Saddam Hussein was captured in that infamous "spider hole." Some officials thought the anti-U.S. attacks would fade away after Saddam was taken into custody, but instead the insurgency only got worse, with fierce battles taking place shortly thereafter in the cities of Najaf and Fallujah. A number of analysts have argued that Sanchez had little feel for strategy and permitted commanders to use tactics that were counterproductive and were directly instrumental in intensifying the opposition to the U.S. presence in the country.

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Sanchez will always be best remembered for being the top U.S. general in Iraq during the time when the abuse of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison occurred and was later revealed. The infamous photographs of Iraqi detainees being humiliated shocked people worldwide and was a catalyst in forever undermining the U.S. presence in Iraq. After those disclosures, some enlisted troops and army reserve officers were charged, but neither Sanchez or any top military commanders were found responsible for what took place in the prison. Sanchez would soon discretely resign from the army, to be replaced by General George W. Casey. Casey would remain in charge until February of this year when he was replaced by General Petraeus. General Casey was forced out of his position because he thought it a major mistake to participate in what has become known as the "Troop Surge." Casey was privately rebuked by the Bush Administration for his rejection of adding an additional 30,000 US troops. Casey actually believed troop levels should be reduced by 30,000 early next year so the Iraqi security forces would be ready to take on a greater role. Apparently Bush only takes the advice of the generals when it's what he wants to hear. General Casey would soon be quietly leaving Iraq.

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Fortunately, this country's military is in a subservient position to civilian command. However, when a war is a few short months away from reaching its fifth anniversary, the administration must do more than publicly pledge their faith in the military, they must act on it as well. The generals, for their part, must do more than blindly follow the orders of dangerous, incompetent idealogues who clearly have no idea what they're doing. While they remain mute, the very troops they're commanding are dying and suffering catastrophic injuries that will last for their lifetime. Some of these generals only seem to find their courage and sense of morality as their multi-million dollar book deals are being simultaneously announced.

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Last week, General Sanchez accused the Bush administration of going to war with a "catastrophically flawed" plan and said the United States is "living a nightmare with no end in sight." Sanchez also bluntly criticized the current troop increase in Iraq, describing it as "a desperate attempt by the administration that has not accepted the political and economic realities of this war." Sanchez added, "the administration, Congress and the entire inter-agency, especially the State Department must shoulder the responsibility for this catastrophic failure, and the American people must hold them accountable," Sanchez told military reporters and editors. "There has been a glaring unfortunate display of incompetent strategic leadership within our national leaders." Sanchez allegedly has a pending book deal and some could argue his announcement is an attempt to line up publishers for his memoirs.

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I THOUGHT COURAGE INVOLVED DESERTION AND CYSTS

Whatever one may think of General Sanchez, General Casey and any other number of experienced military minds involved in this war, we are obligated to hear them out. How many speeches have the American people heard from people like Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and other assorted administration hand puppets? Their only knowledge of the military, and of war specifically, was how to avoid any actual participation in it. The people who knew better all remained deafeningly silent far in the background. Former Secretary of State and Military General, Colin Powell, knew this war was a tragic mistake, but only spoke out against it after it was too late to possibly stop it. Mr. Powell has made untold millions of dollars in speaking engagements, articles he's written and books he has had published describing how he warned Bush about invading Iraq. The American people would only learn of this, as they learned about General Sanchez and General Casey's views, well after it was too late to make a difference.

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Now it's General Petraeus' turn. I'm sure he pledged his allegiance to Bush and promised to tow the company line. We all thought the generals in the past supported his war only to find out when it was too late that they didn't. Will we have to wait for another book tour in the future to learn Petraeus found this war to be a monumental mistake as well? Why do these generals even bother to swear an oath of loyalty to this country, when that very oath seems to begin and end at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C? When the only way to express loyalty to your commander-in-chief comes in the form of betraying your country, you should recall what a former commander-in-chief named Abraham Lincoln once said. "Stand with anybody that stands right, stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong." If you believe that General Petraeus, the time is NOW to express your loyalty to the American people you serve, not to a president whose loyalty serves only himself......





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