Category Archives: A soldiers story
Cribbed from my daily email from Slate.com, it says it all for moi:
In April 2006, six retired generals called for then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation. In May of this year, Lt. Col. Paul Yingling, an active-duty officer, wrote an article lambasting the Army’s general officer corps as lacking “professional character” and “moral courage.” Now, just last Sunday, seven infantrymen and noncommissioned officers–all finishing their 15-month tours in Iraq with the 82nd Airborne Division–took to the New York Times op-ed page to dismiss prospects of victory as “far-fetched” and recent appraisals of progress as “flawed” and “surreal.”
This last insiders’ protest is the most jaw-dropping and may ultimately be the most potent. It is unusual enough to see officers–active or retired–publicly denouncing military superiors or civilian leaders for mistakes or deficiencies in wartime. But for NCOs–none higher in rank than sergeant–to air their contrary views on the war (and, implicitly, their sour views of high-ranking policy-makers) is, as far as I can tell, unprecedented: an act of, depending on your politics, great courage or outright insubordination–or, perhaps, both.