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Surprise: US Army Agrees With Me.

The US Army gets it:

FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — Here at the intellectual center of the United States Army, two elite officers were deep in debate at lunch on a recent day over who bore more responsibility for mistakes in Iraq — the former defense secretary, Donald H. Rumsfeld, or the generals who acquiesced to him.

“The secretary of defense is an easy target,” argued one of the officers, Maj. Kareem P. Montague, 34, a Harvard graduate and a commander in the Third Infantry Division, which was the first to reach Baghdad in the 2003 invasion. “It’s easy to pick on the political appointee.”

“But he’s the one that’s responsible,” retorted Maj. Michael J. Zinno, 40, a military planner who worked at the headquarters of the Coalition Provisional Authority, the former American civilian administration in Iraq.

No, Major Montague shot back, it was more complicated: the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the top commanders were part of the decision to send in a small invasion force and not enough troops for the occupation. Only Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, the Army chief of staff who was sidelined after he told Congress that it would take several hundred thousand troops in Iraq, spoke up in public.

...

Officers were split over whether Mr. Rumsfeld, the military leaders or both deserved blame for what they said were the major errors in the war: sending in a small invasion force and failing to plan properly for the occupation.

What? No debate on who was more right, Rumsfeld or Cheney? No debate over who was more helpful to the cause, the uncritical echo chamber at Fox News, the uncritical echo chamber in the Republican Congress (excepting Senators McCain and Hagel,) or the uncritical echo chamber in the right-o-sphere?

Why do I keep harping on this topic? Is it just to drive home the point that back when every right-wing comment-writer and blogger was calling me "impatient," "ignorant," "ill-informed," "naive" and "panicky," and accusing me of being afflicted by "Bush Derangement Syndrome," and of being a dupe of the mainstream media, and everything else just short of "treason," that I had in fact gotten it right?

Yes. Yes, that's a big part of it. It's an unattractive aspect of my personality that I resent it when people call me a fool when I'm right. Mea culpa: mea no like it. Mea get bitchy when mea called a pussy by people stupid enough to swallow Rumsfeld's bullshit.

But there's a more noble purpose as well. I'll make this point again and again and again until it gets through: uncritical support is not patriotism. Blindly stupid loyalty to blindly stupid leadership is not patriotism. Love of country is not demonstrated by one's ability to swallow whole a bunch of transparent lies.

If you love your country, and you want your country to prosper, and you want your military to prevail, it is your patriotic duty to pay attention to what's going on, do a bit of due diligence, and when you see that the leadership is lost in a delusion, you open your mouth and fucking say so. Loudly. Persistently.

Lessons of the Iraq war?

1) Less is not more. More is more. The next time someone tells you less is more, grab a baseball bat and beat them till they cry for mommy.

2) Nothing is ever easy. Does it involve life and death and guys with guns? Yes? Then it won't be easy.

3) Go to war or don't go to war, but don't go halfway to war. If it's not worth mobilizing the full power of the American people, stay the fuck home.

Am I repeating myself from previous posts? Yes. I am. Because although the US Army, forced as it is to deal with harsh reality, is eminently capable of learning from past mistakes, the uncritical, enabling, armchair supporters of this war are all-but unteachable.

Donald Rumsfeld was criminally incompetent. Period. Proven. No longer arguable. Too many of his generals were gutless careerists. Period. Proven. No longer arguable. I said it four years ago. The US Army says it today. When will Fox News and the WSJ and the Republican Congress and Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the right-wing echo chamber man up and admit that they were wrong?

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“Surprise: US Army Agrees With Me.”

  1. Blogger Internet Ronin Says:

    When will Fox News and the WSJ and the Republican Congress and Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the right-wing echo chamber man up and admit that they were wrong?

    About 5 minutes after a Democrat takes over the White House but in no event one minute before then.

  2. Anonymous wj Says:

    Are you repeating yourself? Of course you are. So what? The truth cannot be repeated too often.

  3. Anonymous Kevin Says:

    "When will Fox News and the WSJ and the Republican Congress and Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the right-wing echo chamber man up and admit that they were wrong?"

    Never, They'll go right along insisting it's the left's fault and enough people (say 28% or so) will believe them that they'll get away with it.

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