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Friday, April 21, 2006

Un-Profiles In Courage

Carping against President Bush and Donald Rumsfeld by the MSM and Democrats carry limited sway with the public but the opencriticism of the Iraq War planning and execution by retired generals has some sense of credibility notwithstanding their small number. But these generals were deeply involved in the planning and execution and said nothing negative until they were retired to their generous pensions.

Oliver North tells us today of a similar situation in 1980 when Secretary of State Cyrus Vance tendered his resignation, not after the failed Iran rescue attempt, but before it. Writes North:

Vance tendered his resignation and privately confided to President Jimmy Carter, "I know how deeply you have pondered your decision on Iran. I wish I could support you in it. But for the reasons we have discussed I cannot." The secretary of state was referring to the mission -- three days later -- to rescue American hostages -- an operation he had steadfastly opposed. Unlike the "six-pack" of generals now castigating the war they helped plan and execute -- Vance had the integrity to make his views known during planning for the Iran operation -- and the courage to quit when the commander in chief decided to proceed over his objections.

These generals had their chances and now should do what good soldiers have done for centuries. Sit on it.

As Charles Krauthammer advises:

The civilian leadership of the Pentagon is decided on Election Day, not by the secret whispering of generals.

We've always had discontented officers in every war and in every period of our history. But they rarely coalesce into factions. That happens in places such as Saddam's Iraq, Pinochet's Chile or your run-of-the-mill banana republic. And when it does, outsiders (including United States) do their best to exploit it, seeking out the dissident factions to either stage a coup or force the government to change policy.

That kind of dissident party within the military is alien to America.

Krauthammer fears the damage done to the country by these "Un-Profiles in Courage" (my term).

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