It can't be easy being the Secretary of Defense when generals and other militarily-minded folks start lining up to demand your resignation. I mean, how do you keep track of everyone who'll need to feel your retribution? As a public service to Rummy, we'll keep track for him.
But we may need to hire more staff to keep track if this pace keeps up.
Marine Lt. Gen. Greg Newbold
Newest to the club is Marine Lt. Gen. Greg Newbold who just this weekend ran an editorial in Time and namechecks the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again." Gotta love when Boomers are remember the messages of their counter culture anthems.
He goes on to say, "From 2000 until October 2002, I was a Marine Corps lieutenant general and director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. After 9/11, I was a witness and therefore a party to the actions that led us to the invasion of Iraq--an unnecessary war." That's right, in no uncertain terms Newbold calls Iraqi Freedom a sham.
Newbold then puts the hurt on Condi Rice who last week said that the mistakes made in Iraq have not been of policy, but of tactics, a viewpoint he says, "reflects an effort to obscure gross errors in strategy by shifting the blame for failure to those who have been resolute in fighting."
So now who isn't supporting the troops?
But he doesn't reserve his criticism for just the civilian leadership. He also puts the blame on those in the Pentagon who should have known better.
"When they knew the plan was flawed, saw intelligence distorted to justify a rationale for war, or witnessed arrogant micromanagement that at times crippled the military's effectiveness, many leaders who wore the uniform chose inaction."
Finally, he calls for Rumsfeld's resignation, though a bit timidly given the force of his essay's premise. Just the same, welcome to the club.
General Anthony C. Zinni
Zinni comes straight from Central Casting. He looks like a general. He lives the part. He used to lead the United States Central Command and retired from the Marines in 2000. He's the real deal. Zinni is now also the darling of those who are looking to draft him for a presidential run, a la Eisenhower.
Zinni's been particularly critical of Bush's adherence to loyalty above all else. In a recent Meet the Press appearance he said, "You have to make tough choices. Integrity and getting on with the mission and doing it right are more important than loyalty. Both are great traits, but integrity, honesty and performance and competence have to outweigh, in this business, loyalty." How sad is it that sucha simple concept even needs to be explained?
Retired Army Major General Paul D. Eaton
In a recent New York Times OpEd pice, Eaton said, ""President Bush should accept the offer to resign that Mr. Rumsfeld says he has tendered more than once."
Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott
That's right, Trent Lott, The Exterminator, has called for Rummy to step on. In particularly blunt terms, Lott told a crowd in Mississippi, "I am not a fan of Secretary Rumsfeld. I don't think he listens to his uniformed officers."
The Army Times
Even the Army's "unofficial" newspaper has weighed in. In the wake of the Abu Ghraib scandal, the Army Times put the situation in clear, uncompromising perspective: "This was a failure that ran straight to the top. Accountability here is essential — even if that means relieving top leaders from duty in a time of war."
We have a sneaking suspicion that this is just the start. We'll be sure to update the roll call as needed or until, God willing, Rummy slides peacefully into retirement.
General Peter Pace
Hold the phone! A general speaks out in Rummy's defense! General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has come to the rescue of the beleaguered Secretary of Defense. Determined not to let ex-General bullies kicks sand in his boss' eye, Pace puts up a noble defense.
"People can question my judgment or his judgment," said Pace, which is good because that's exactly what people are questioning. "But they should never question the dedication, the patriotism and the work ethic of Secretary Rumsfeld."
Huh? No, questioning the patriotism of Americans who have served the country is the domain of Republicans. Oh, Peter Pace...
General John Batiste
Commander of the 1st Infantry Division in Iraq says Rummy doesn't play well with others, especially the military: "We need leadership up there that respects the military as they expect the military to respect them. And that leadership needs to understand teamwork." Via the Washington Post
And don't think this is just some disgruntled retiree who was drummed out of the service. "It is widely known [in the Army] that he was offered a promotion to three-star rank to return to Iraq and be the No. 2 U.S. military officer there but he declined because he no longer wished to serve under Rumsfeld."
Maj. General Charles Swannack
The leader of the 82nd Airborne Division during its mission in Iraq, Swannak not only busts on Rummy's baggage, but slams his system for promoting. "If you understand what Secretary Rumsfeld has done in his time in the Pentagon, he personally is the one who selects the three-star generals to go forward to the president for the Senate to confirm." I guess we know why nobody spoke up before, eh?
David Ignatius, Hawkish Washington Post Columnist
Despite Bush and Rummy's recent attempt to diminish the meaning of these calls for resignation, Ignatius gets to the heart of the matter: "Rumsfeld has lost the support of the uniformed military officers who work for him. Make no mistake: The retired generals who are speaking out against Rumsfeld in interviews and op-ed pieces express the views of hundreds of other officers on active duty."
While saying he doesn't believe there's any way America can be defeated militarily in Iraq (a viewpoint I also share), he acknowledges there's more to war than fighting and Team Bush looks less and less able to accomplish those other tasks. We just don't believe they have a plan, "Much of the American public has simply stopped believing the administration's arguments about Iraq, and Rumsfeld is a symbol of that credibility gap."
But he also points out (too little, too late) what the problem with the Iraq strategy has always been, "America now has a better military strategy for Iraq, one that puts more responsibility on Iraqi forces and emphasizes counterinsurgency tactics. And it has a political strategy that is at last reaching out to all the different Iraqi communities -- Sunni, Shiite and Kurd -- rather than to a handful of former exile leaders." Not bad, three years later...