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Our democracy, in all of its nearly 230 year history, has survived many different military challenges, but none are more important than the challenges to the founding principle of civilian control over the military we are currently faced with.
Allot is being made out of the fact that (at the time of this post) up to 12 retired generals and "Flag" officers have a different opinion and approach to the management of the military than the present Secretary Of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. This, in light of the additional fact that there are over 7,000 retired generals and Flag officers as well as 1.4 million men and women currently serving in the military, who understand, respect, and appreciate the established American tradition of the military being subordinate to civilian direction and control.
There will be disagreements but the principle remains more important than the opinion of a few, albeit well trained and informed retirees.
Excerpts from the New York Post -
RUMSFELD'S JOB SECURITY
FIRING HIM LOSES IRAQ
By John Podhorez
April 18, 2006 -- WHAT'S the dumbest thing George W. Bush could possibly do right at this moment - the action that would, more than any other, suggest his presidency was and is all but finished?
The answer: Fire Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Either a forced resignation or a dismissal would effectively bring the Bush presidency to an end.
This is something that Bush's out-and-out foes and opponents of the war in Iraq surely understand, otherwise they wouldn't be salivating over the prospect and doing everything they can to put pressure on the president to make it happen.
But some supporters of the president's efforts in Iraq also seem anxious to see Rummy replaced. These thoughtful people have had problems with the war plan from the start and have been insisting for several years that only with another Defense Secretary can the war plan's mistakes be corrected and the conflict brought to a positive conclusion.
Yet such a move would be an unmitigated disaster for the effort in Iraq.
At the end of this destructive process, the new Secretary of Defense would take the oath of office in the midst of a general meltdown. The American people, hearing no confidence coming from the war's own leaders about the coming victory, would be throwing up their hands in even greater numbers.
And the 150,000 brave men and women of our armed forces who are in Iraq attempting to do something great, could not but realize that their countrymen and their leaders were really and truly washing their hands of the effort. At which point they would rightly lose heart, and they too would begin to lobby for a getaway.
If you are among those who now basically think we might as well declare defeat even before we go home, then by all means, shout "Fire Rummy" at the top of your lungs.
But if you are among those who believe the war in Iraq must be won and that we can win it, it is madness to join the "Fire Rummy" crew. Even if you think Rumsfeld doesn't deserve to keep the job, he must. There's no other way.