Saturday, April 15, 2006

Playing at War

The latest in the never-ending series of scandals to "rock" the Bush White House (I put "rock" in quotes because the Republican majority in Congress is still busy running interference for the Cheney-Bush-Rumsfeld cabal) is the recent, forceful demand from six - count 'em - six retired generals for Rumsfeld to be fired. Even the right-wing ranters like Limbaugh, Hannity, and O'Reilly can't claim that this is just another bunch of "leftist whack jobs" attacking the president and his cabinet. No, these are career military men, people who know what's it like to lead men and women into battle, and to watch some of them die. All the greatest military leaders in American history - from William Tecumseh Sherman to Dwight David Eisenhower - also preached against going to war unless absolutely necessary...and the reason is simple: they had witnessed the horrors of war first-hand.

And that, dear friends, is the difference between decorated generals and the craven cowards who unfortunately "lead" our nation right now: they spent much of their early lives avoiding military service. Cheney got no fewer than five deferments during Vietnam, because, as he shamelessly explained, "I had other priorities." Of course, we've all heard about Dubya's year of being AWOL after he landed a plum stateside assignment with the Texas Air National Guard. In fact, none of the war-eager neocons - not Wolfowitz, or Richard Perle, or the execrable Rumsfeld - ever spent a single day in combat.

What our so-called "leaders" really are, are little boys playing at war with their GI Joe dolls, making explosion noises with their mouths as toy jeeps are upended by make-believe bombs, and plastic bodies are dismembered by imaginary grenades. Except that the war in Iraq - the private little war that Bush and the neocons desperately wanted, no matter how many times that sniveling little dimwit from Crawford openly lies to Helen Thomas - is real, and the men and women being maimed and killed every day for the sake of vanity and megalomania are flesh and blood.

Rumsfeld's defense against being called "incompetent" and "arrogant" (which also describes the entire Bush administration) by six career generals is that there are "hundreds" of high-ranking active duty officers who support him. Considering that anyone in command who dared question Rummie was quickly demoted and reassigned, it's not surprising that there is no one left on active duty who would still dare challenge him. Even Colin Powell - a man whom I once respected - sold out and presented what he knew to be a pack of lies to the United Nations to protect his career (which he ultimately lost, nevertheless). In an administration that values blind loyalty over competence, Rumsfeld will continue to stumble and fumble with Bush's "full support"...and young Americans will continue to suffer and die for nothing.


Post a Comment

<< Home