As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, June 15, 2007

Peter Pace Was Shitcanned

Proof in his first remarks since stepping down.

In his first public comments on the Bush administration's surprise decision to replace him as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Peter Pace disclosed that he had turned down an offer to voluntarily retire rather than be forced out.

To quit in wartime, he said, would be letting down the troops.

"One thing that was discussed was whether or not I should just voluntarily retire and take the issue off the table," Pace said, according to a transcript released Friday by his office at the Pentagon.

"I said I could not do that for one very fundamental reason," which is that no soldier or Marine in Iraq should "think — ever — that his chairman, whoever that person is, could have stayed in the battle and voluntarily walked off the battlefield.

"That is unacceptable as a leadership thing, in my mind," he added.

But God forbid Harry Reid calls him incompetent.

By the way, a President has every right to replace the military leadership. But this deification of the military, to the extent that you can't dare even criticize them, leads to these kinds of hypocrisies.

We've really got twisted the whole role of the military vis-a-vis the civilian leadership in this country. We should not be waiting for the military to set international policy. Their job is to carry out a mission given to them by the government. And if they do a poor job in implementation, they ought to be criticized and let go. If they do an exemplary job but are given an impossible mission, that ought to be where the blame lies. My sense is that's what's happened in Iraq. It's going just horribly because we have no sense of mission. So General Petraeus gives happy talks and extolls the virtues of soccer fields and amusement parks, while people continue to die and violence rages ever more (and no, that's not a sign of success). But who's really to blame? And who should be tasked with finding a way forward? It seems that the more the occupation of Iraq goes badly, the more Bush finds sonebody else to blame (like a war czar, or a new General on the ground, or a new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs).

Let's cut the crap. Military leaders are not above reproach, but they also shouldn't carry the whole load in a time of war. The buck ought to stop at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. A fish rots from the head down.

Labels: , , ,