La guerre! C’est une chose trop grave pour la confier à des militaires.
I beg to differ. I think it's far more likely that if our Iraq adventure had been planned by military men instead of the neocon know-it-alls, the mission would indeed have been accomplished, or very nearly so, quite some time ago, or perhaps we wouldn't have begun. Those Generals who will speak out today seem to mirror the opinions of the most severe and early critics of George's "war on the cheap." Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, seems very frustrated by the inability to send more troops into Afghanistan, where corruption and violence are escalating and the Taliban is regaining lost territory. Too bad George didn't listen to the Generals right from the beginning instead of firing any who questioned his genius.
In the early days of this blog, I was resoundingly excoriated by a young sergeant about to be deployed to Iraq. I was absolutely wrong in my suggestion that the US military would be stretched too thin to be able to deal with the country that aided the people who attacked us. I was wrong to suggest that the justification for the war was based on false information, because we civilians didn't share in all the secret information the government had. There weren't gong to be enough casualties to worry about, he said condescendingly and most of all, there was no sign whatever of impending economic worries as I had suggested in my "elitist left" way. I hope he has survived to reconsider his confidence.
But yes, we need to elect a president who will listen to the military, or at least to those who have been through wars and have learned that it's not at all like High School sports. Our next commander in chief needs to listen to the Generals rather than weeding out those who question his tactical genius. Back when Dick Cheney was selected as Bush's running mate, the media made much of his assertions that civilian control of the military was essential. We didn't realize that this extended to making strategic and tactical and logistical decisions based on personal profit and political expediency. Cheney was billed as the man who would reverse the profligate military spending of Clinton, who would dress down the generals and downsize the Pentagon. Cheney has survived, but I doubt he ever reconsiders anything. Indeed, with oil at $147 for a barrel, his mission has been accomplished.
John McCain in his new role of victim is making much of his qualifications as a military man, but judging from what I've heard he seems to be listening more to The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth people (and spending their money) than to guys like Mullen. Why dropping bombs and spending years in a jail cell qualify him for expertise in world affairs, military planning, strategy and anything else I don't know, but it's plain to me that we do have to leave quite a bit more to the generals then we have been doing and we have to have a president who listens, who asks questions first and then decides whether to pull the trigger.