The growing criticism by retired generals of the Bush Administration's war in Iraq is driving many neocons into furies of rationalization as to why lèse-majesté is a threat to the Republic. A reader writes:
Do you think that the neocons realize that some of their criticism of the retired generals comes dangerously close to the Nazi's Fuhrer principle? One of the most important steps in the road to disaster for Germany was the requirement that the officer corps swear an oath of allegiance to Hitler instead of to the republic or the nation.
Increasingly, i see the same mistake being made by vocal hawks. Although, in truth, i see the explicit argument made more on warblogs than in newspaper columns. Essentially, they say, retired officers may not voice an opinion that disagrees with the civilian leadership. It is fine, however, for retired officers to support the SecDef, or President. They may even campaign for him.
i do not see why any jerk with a modem is allowed to have an opinion on Iraq or Iran and can even advocate war and more war. But the men who have most knowledge about war, strategy and logistics must be silent. Frankly, I want to hear more from them and less from JPod or Ledeen.
Max Boot spoke at the Philadelphia Society a few weeks ago, and his presence has provoked something of a revolt among some of that conservative talk shop's longtime members. His speech--in which he implied that anyone using the word "neocon" was an anti-Semite--was a jeremiad against anyone criticizing the Iraq war. In so doing, he explained his own philosophy of "conservative interventionism" and "armed Wilsonianism," both of which seemed divorced from both historical and present reality. (Besides, his speech was filled with howlers, like "The American people repudiated Nixon's realism." When did that happen, in 1972?) No surprise that Boot is attacking guys like General Zinni, who was CinC Centcom and actually might know a little something about the Middle East.
I remember in 1996 Clinton was petrified of Colin Powell running. It was detailed in Dick Morris' book. They cooked up a plan to deal with him, and it was exactly what you described; That any general who opposes the president represents some sort of military coup. funny.
Another thing I thought was funny.... According to Morris, Clinton seethed at the prospect of the press annointing Powell and treating him with kid gloves because he was black. That would have been delicious. To see THE elite get the same treatment thousands of middle-management white males get every day.