Apr 17, 2006

Cowardly generals

If they disagreed with Rumsfield's policies so much, why didn't they resign in protest?
Retired military and civil servants are receiving ongoing retirement pay from American taxpayers. If they want to give the public the benefit of their experience in consideration of current policies, we are fortunate to get it. But policy differences are one matter and calls for a specific resignation are quite something else. As a book publishing executive for many years, I have always welcomed the opportunity to make a buck by publishing ''now it can be told revelations'' from those formerly in power. And timing those ''revelations'' to promote a forthcoming book is one of the oldest tricks in the trade.

But if Generals Gregory Newbold, John Batiste, Zinni and others have believed Rumsfeld's policies have been so dire that they are calling for his resignation, their opinions would have carried far more weight if they had stated them at some personal cost to themselves while on active service by resigning in protest. That action might have also carried some evidence of the courage Americans expect of the highest ranking officers of its uniformed services.

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