As critics of this administration, we also share common ground having been dismissed by Donald Rumsfeld as, "Nazi era appeasers." Every man and women that has put on a uniform in service of this country, has served, fought, bled and died for the right of dissent, the right to criticize, to exercise the God given responsibility to demand accountability from our elected leaders.
We do not exist to serve Mr. Rumsfeld. It is he, who serves us. Rumsfeld serves the people of America poorly and with disgrace, when he tells us we do not have enough patience, enough will enough strength. The people of America do not lack patience, will or strength. It is the confidence in the basic competence of this administration we lack. We will not stand silent while America is blamed for the failures of this administration nor should we stand dispassionately by while Mr. Rumsfeld "Dixie Chicks," every American that has the temerity to challenge his hubris, his arrogance, his failures.
President Theodore Roosevelt said to remain silent when our government is wrong is not only morally reprehensible but treasonous. This country is founded on dissent. Had it not been for the criticism of the "madness of King George," we would all be eating blood sausage and bangers for breakfast, have a picture of the Queen Mum on our walls, and would be singing "God Save the Queen," instead of "The Star Spangled Banner," at Friday night soccer games. Thank God for dissent!
We stand united in the company of those best suited to judge the stunning failure of this administration's occupation plan of Iraq. Here are their words:
General Ret. Eric Shinseki, is famously remembered for saying the occupation of Iraq would require a minimum of 250,000 troops and then for being taken to the woodshed and relieved of command by Rumsfeld.
Lt. General Ret. William Odom, former Director of the National Security Agency and Yale professor has called the Iraq War, "the worst strategic mistake in U.S. history."
Four star retired Marine General Anthony Zinni, shot three times in Vietnam, describes the Bush White House's behavior as ranging from, "true dereliction, negligence and irresponsibility" and as, "lying, incompetence and corruption."
Retired Lt. Generals Greg Newbold and Bernard Trainor respectively describe the Iraq War as unnecessary and a willfully self-deluding planning process.
Declining a promotion and another star, Maj. Gen. John Batiste retired rather than work for Rumsfeld and called for Rumsfeld's resignation.
Colin Powell's Chief of Staff at the State Department, Colonel Larry Wilkerson, stated in a speech that America's foreign policy had been hi-jacked by "a Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal," that has destroyed the credibility of the United States in the eyes of our allies. Wilkerson dismissed the Bush administration's attempts to regain credibility with the retort, "You can't sell [manure]." A plain talking Marine veteran of 31 years and former Director of the Marine War College, Wilkerson described Dick Cheney as, "...a moron, an idiot, or a nefarious bastard." Wilkerson wrote, "Today we have a president whose approval rating is 38% and a vice president who speaks only to Rush Limbaugh and assembled military forces. We have a Secretary of Defense presiding over the death-by-a-thousand-cuts of our overstretched armed forces (no surprise to ignored dissenters such as former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki or former Army Secretary Thomas White)."
Bruce Bartlett who served as George H.W. Bush's Senior Policy Advisor, wrote a book called "Imposter: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Destroyed the Reagan Legacy," a publication that caused him to be fired from the National Center for Policy Analysis, a conservative Texas think tank.
Former Air Force General and respected national security advisor to the first President Bush, Brent Scowcroft, excoriated the current President and the policy in Iraq in a blistering critique published in the "New Yorker," magazine.
In October of 2005, Melvin Laird, Richard Nixon's Defense Secretary wrote in an article for "Foreign Affairs," magazine that the Bush administration needs to come up with a clearly defined exit strategy, and fast.
On the Iraq Experiment, conservative commentator William F. Buckley considered to be the father of the modern conservative movement, wrote in "The National Review," a piece entitled, "It Did Not Work." In the article Buckley wrote, "One can't doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed." Buckley has also called his longtime friend Donald Rumsfeld "a failed executor," of the war.
Ray McGovern, a 27 year veteran of the CIA, who gave President George H.W. Bush his morning briefings confronted Rumsfeld during a Q&A session after a speech and to his face called him a liar when Rumsfeld insisted that Saddam was linked to Al Qaeda. McGovern has been recently validated by the U.S. Senate's finding that there were no links between the two, an admission that was blurted out by an exasperated President Bush to a news reporter in recent weeks.