My take: it's easy to snipe from the safety of their pensions -- where were they when it might have done some good (with the exception of Zinni, the only one I know of that spoke out while still in uniform)? Buncha careerist chickenshits as far as I'm concerned. Plus, while it's hypocritical of the Kool-Aid Krowd to say they shouldn't be going public now when it was just fine for the brass to attack Clinton, it's also a bit hypocritical for Clintonites who said the brass were speaking out of turn then to support it now (albeit defending our troops from gays was certainly less of a national security issue than defending our troops from getting blown apart in a mismanaged shooting war).
--- Greg Palast
Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2006 15:19:29 -0400 (EDT)
From: Greg Palast
Desert Rats Leave The Sinking Ship
Why Rumsfeld Should Not Resign
The Guardian - Comment
Friday, April 14, 2006
By Greg Palast
Well, here they come: the wannabe Rommels, the
gaggle of generals, safely retired, to lay siege to
Donald Rumsfeld. This week, six of them have called
for the Secretary of Defense's resignation.
Well, according to my watch, they're about four
years too late -- and they still don't get it.
I know that most of my readers will be tickled pink
that the bemedalled boys in crew cuts are finally
ready to kick Rummy in the rump, in public. But to
me, it just shows me that these boys still can't
It wasn't Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld who stood up
in front of the UN and identified two mobile
latrines as biological weapons labs, was it, General
It wasn't Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld who told us
our next warning from Saddam could be a mushroom
cloud, was it Condoleezza?
It wasn't Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld who declared
that Al Qaeda and Saddam were going steady, was it,
Yes, Rumsfeld is a swaggering bag of mendacious
arrogance, a duplicitous chicken-hawk,
yellow-bellied bully-boy and Tinker-Toy Napoleon --
but he didn't appoint himself Secretary of Defense.
Let me tell you a story about the Secretary of
Defense you didn't read in the New York Times,
related to me by General Jay Garner, the man our
president placed in Baghdad as the US' first
Garner arrived in Kuwait City in March 2003 working
under the mistaken notion that when George Bush
called for democracy in Iraq, the President meant
the Iraqis could choose their own government. Misunderstanding the
President's true mission, General Garner called for Iraqis to hold
elections within 90 days and for the U.S. to quickly pull
troops out of the cities to a desert base. "It's
their country," the General told me of the Iraqis.
"And," he added, most ominously, "their oil."
Let's not forget: it's all about the oil. I showed
Garner a 101-page plan for Iraq's economy drafted
secretly by neo-cons at the State Department,
Treasury and the Pentagon, calling for
"privatization" (i.e. the sale) of "all state assets
... especially in the oil and oil-supporting
industries." The General knew of the plans and he
intended to shove it where the Iraqi sun don't
shine. Garner planned what he called a "Big Tent"
meeting of Iraqi tribal leaders to plan elections.
By helping Iraqis establish their own multi-ethnic
government -- and this was back when Sunnis, Shias
and Kurds were on talking terms -- knew he could get
the nation on its feet peacefully before a welcomed "liberation"
turned into a hated "occupation."
But, Garner knew, a freely chosen coalition
government would mean the death-knell for the
neo-con oil-and-assets privatization grab.
On April 21, 2003, three years ago this month, the
very night General Garner arrived in Baghdad, he got
a call from Washington. It was Rumsfeld on the line.
He told Garner, in so many words, "Don't unpack,
Jack, you're fired."
Rummy replaced Garner, a man with years of
on-the-ground experience in Iraq, with green-boots
Paul Bremer, the Managing Director of Kissinger
Associates. Bremer cancelled the Big Tent meeting of
Iraqis and postponed elections for a year; then he
issued 100 orders, like some tin-pot pasha, selling
off Iraq's economy to U.S. and foreign operators,
just as Rumsfeld's neo-con clique had desired.
Reading this, it sounds like I should applaud the
six generals' call for Rumfeld's ouster. Forget it.
For a bunch of military hotshots, they sure can't
shoot straight. They're wasting all their bullets on
the decoy. They've gunned down the puppet instead of
There's no way that Rumsfeld could have yanked
General Garner from Baghdad without the word from
The Bunker. Nothing moves or breathes or spits in
the Bush Administration without Darth Cheney's growl
of approval. And ultimately, it's the
Commander-in-Chief who's chiefly in command.
Even the generals' complaint -- that Rumsfeld didn't
give them enough troops -- was ultimately a decision
of the cowboy from Crawford. (And by the way, the
problem was not that we lacked troops -- the problem
was that we lacked moral authority to occupy this
nation. A million troops would not be enough -- the insurgents would
just have more targets.)
President Bush is one lucky fella. I can imagine him
today on the intercom with Cheney: "Well, pardner,
looks like the game's up." And Cheney replies, "Hey,
just hang the Rumsfeld dummy out the window until
he's taken all their ammo."
When Bush and Cheney read about the call for
Rumsfeld's resignation today, I can just hear George
saying to Dick, "Mission Accomplished."
Generals, let me give you a bit of advice about
choosing a target: It's the President, stupid.