April 18, 2006

The Post Editorial on the General's Revolt

Do you ever wonder if Big Alcohol has secretly taken over the editorial section of The Washington Post? I've been wondering that for some time - there's nothing else I read that so often makes me think I need a drink.

Today's latest idiocy concerns their concerns over "The Revolt of the Generals". They say Rummy should have gone years ago and it's a big problem that Bush hasn't gotten rid of him (b/c while they are too often stupid and misleading they are nonetheless ... you know, concious). But they also stress that 1) he shouldn't go just because six retired generals want him to go (as that would threaten civilian control of the military), and 2) anyone who was mad about generals huffing and puffing against "gays in the military" in 1993 shouldn't be supporting the calls of these six generals because it's the same thing.

My head. My poor, poor head.

OK Post editors, I'll be quick: 1) NO ONE is saying Rummy should go ONLY because six general are advocating his resignation. What matters are the REASONS they are advocating his resignation. These reasons have been stated by others for a long time. But since the Post and other media outlets seem to often treat anyone who criticizes present policy as someone who's simply being partisan, well, apparently the idea that people serving in the military might also agree with those comments (but can't comment on them) didn't occur to a lot of the country's opinion makers before. That retired generals share these views is, apparently, news. But the problems they are discussing are not - as the Post itself says. 2) How slippery you are with your modifiers. The key word in this case is "retired". The word you use in trying to connect this to the Clinton case is "uniformed". The difference between the two words makes it clear that this event is not like the "don't ask, don't tell" contrversy. In that case you could clearly argue that the generals were being insubordinate because they were on active duty. That's NOT the case here. These are people with considerable expertise talking, but they are NOT active duty officers.

If you want to read something that's actually thoughtful that deals with this issue - go read Professor Bainbridge.

Posted by armand at April 18, 2006 09:14 AM | TrackBack | Posted to Media


And might I point out, that since these Generals are retired, that means they are actually civilians.

Posted by: binky at April 18, 2006 09:53 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks for making that explicit since I failed to. Perhaps is was still lost in the fog that wrapped my head as I read an editorial in a major US newspaper essentially stating that as a matter of policy a well-informed, well-meaning CIVILIAN segment of the country shouldn't apparently shouldn't have freedom of speech of the ability to lobby their government.

Posted by: Armand at April 18, 2006 01:16 PM | PERMALINK
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