Monday, April 10, 2006

A retired Marine general makes his argument that going into Iraq was a mistake and attacks those "zealots" who pushed it...

Professor Bainbridge predicts those in favor of the war will be going after the good General's scalp. I won't do so, but I don't find his arguments persuasive either...

Let's start with the silly: contrary to what the good General says, Pete Townsend himself has said that 'Won't Get Fooled Again" is not an anti-war song. If you're going to refer to a Who song, get it right, will you?

And just how do the "truly counterculture" become "career members of the military"? Had things gotten so topsy-turvy in those days that joining the military was the way kids 'stuck it to the man'?

Now to the more serious: the good General seems to suffer from the affliction (usually found in Democrats) that makes one think that all those who disagree with you are doing so out of cowardice, greed or stupidity. Perhaps all of those who didn't support him while he was in uniform did so because they believed going into Iraq was the right thing to do.

And it's nice that he quit rather than stick around and continue to argue his case, huh? A great example he set for officers who swore an oath to defend Constitution, right? And although he claims to have been opposed to the invasion months before it took place, he hasn't bothered to say anything up to now. He says (now) that he is "driven to action now by the missteps and misjudgments of the White House and the Pentagon". The White House and the Pentagon have made misteps and misjudgments for going on three years now... so why had he been holding his fire until now?

As for his claims that Iraq was "peripheral" to the real threat, would the good General have opposed Eisenhower invading Italy during WWII? After all, Italy wasn't the real threat. And wasn't American military doctrine built around the premise that we could find ourselves fighting more than one conflict at a time?

In any event, whether or not Iraq was "peripheral" to our fighting Al Qaeda is not the question that should have been asked. The relevant question is whether Iraq posed a threat to the United States. Bush felt it did so he invaded. The good General disagrees, but he wasn't elected President.