April 23, 2006

Since when were RETIRED generals banned from criticizing the Administration?

The neocons are divided over the recent criticisms by a half-dozen retired generals of elderly Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Some, like Bill Kristol, want Rumsfeld to be the Designated Fall Guy for the failure of their Iraq War. But others see criticism of Rumsfeld as criticism of their war, and they don't like that. Max Boot, for instance, declaims in "A General Disgrace:"

The retired generals, who claim to speak for their active-duty brethren, premise their uprising on two complaints. First, many (though not all) say we should not have gone into Iraq in the first place. Former Lt. Gen. Greg Newbold calls it "the unnecessary war," and former Gen. Anthony Zinni claims that "containment worked remarkably well." That is a highly questionable judgment, and one that is not for generals to make.

The most hilarious argument is that retired generals shouldn't be allowed to criticize the government [presumably because the next step is a military coup]. So, retired General Dwight Eisenhower was wrong to attack the Truman Administration when he ran for President in 1952? Retired General Ulysses S. Grant wasn't allowed to say what he thought of the Andrew Johnson Administration when running for President in 1868?

The History News Network writes:

Twelve presidents were generals: George Washington, Andrew Jackson, William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Franklin Pierce, Andrew Johnson [he was a military governor of Tennessee during the Civil War -- I don't know if that came with the rank of "General"], Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield, Chester Arthur, Benjamin Harrison, and Dwight Eisenhower.

The list of generals who have run for president, won their party's nomination and then lost include: Lewis Cass, Winfield Scott, George McClellan, Winfield S. Hancock [and John C. Fremont].

Admiral Dewey, Douglas MacArthur and Al Haig [and in 2004, Wesley Clark] wanted to be president but failed to win their party's nomination.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

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