The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Monday, April 17, 2006

Right-wing fires back at generals

From the White House to the littlest of right-wing bloggers, the attempt to discredit military critics of Rumsfeld is well underway. Trying to do that to seven generals isn't easy, and the arguments reflect it. From what I've seen there are three approaches:

1. They're trying to sell books. What books? No one can say. Next.

2. This is a small number of retirees. Old and out of the loop. What do they know? Well, anyone watching the news can see that these are not doddering old men. They're pretty young, actually, and in several cases newly-retired. Weak.

3. It's Clinton's fault. You knew that classic had to be part of it, and the magic words are "Clinton general." But the public isn't going to just accept the argument that top military officials are partisan operatives. In fact, Bush has been spending the last three years drawing that very distinction ("I don't listen to politicians, I listen to the commanders in the field"). Besides, as Think Progress points out, while the Secretary of Defense has "the prerogative to nominate four-star generals and admirals," the only one of the seven that ranks that high is Zinni.

General Peter Pace, on the other hand, is one of those four-star types promoted by an administration-- the Bush administration. Does that make him a "Bush general"? Not in right-wing world.