I am approaching the point of having had it up to here (I am holding my hand next to my forehead) with retired generals who now get critical of the war effort.
Especially from a guy who was actually running the show in Iraq.
This is fresh off the AP; apparently, General Ricardo Sanchez (retired) who commanded US Forces in Iraq in 2003, feels it necessary now that he is enjoying his retirement, has decided to express himself and sound off about what he thinks of the war effort in Iraq.
Among the gems he offered:
He called current strategies — including the deployment of 30,000 additional forces earlier this year — a "desperate attempt" to make up for years of misguided policies in Iraq.
And this little nugget of wisdom:
"There is no question that America is living a nightmare with no end in sight"
And my favorite:
Sanchez went on to offer a pessimistic view on the current U.S. strategy against extremists will make lasting gains
For all the naysayers out there, let me say that I do believe he gets to express his opinion, because that certainly is his right, but he was in charge of what the direction was in Iraq. He was the one that got to set the tone for the battle. He was the one to decide the direction all soldiers in Iraq would pursue.
I understand that at the higher levels of command, things begin to get very political. Turf wars ensue, people's feelings get hurt, coalitions get formed and sides get chosen. If the generals above him and the civilians and political appointees at high levels were ignoring his calls, for example, for more troops to put on the Syrian border, or to put the former Iraqi army to work on security or to move more troops into theater (like a Surge) when he was there in 2003, then they violated the tradition of not questioning the man leading the battle on the ground at the point of the spear. In my mind, I would have done either (a) do what needed to be done, or at least what could be done by my command to win the battle and answer for my decisions later (if I was relieved or replaced) or (b) request to be immediately replaced by someone who would go along with the party line at the Pentagon.
I have been relieved before, but that is the price you pay when you speak out and say your piece. I would rather say my piece and and have it out there than hold back in fear of being replaced. Didn't make a habit of losing my job, but sometimes, you gotta stand for what you believe.
It just leaves me exasperated that he would say some of these things. I think it demeans the work that soldiers have perspired and bled for all this time. This is like last year's coach saying that you can't win the game.
Well Coach, you were the one leading us and calling the plays, so whose fault is it that we are where we are?
On the plus side (I guess) is that he said we have no choice but to stay the course. Oh, and his retirement will be spent as a consultant who will be training other generals. Will there be a course on tact?
Just... really... tired....