In 1971, the rock group The Who released the antiwar anthem Won't Get Fooled Again. To most in my generation, the song conveyed a sense of betrayal by the nation's leaders, who had led our country into a costly and unnecessary war in Vietnam. To those of us who were truly counterculture--who became career members of the military during those rough times--the song conveyed a very different message. To us, its lyrics evoked a feeling that we must never again stand by quietly while those ignorant of and casual about war lead us into another one and then mismanage the conduct of it. Never again, we thought, would our military's senior leaders remain silent as American troops were marched off to an ill-considered engagement. It's 35 years later, and the judgment is in: the Who had it wrong. We have been fooled again.
From 2000 until October 2002, I was a Marine Corps lieutenant general and director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. After 9/11, I was a witness and therefore a party to the actions that led us to the invasion of Iraq--an unnecessary war. Inside the military family, I made no secret of my view that the zealots' rationale for war made no sense. And I think I was outspoken enough to make those senior to me uncomfortable. But I now regret that I did not more openly challenge those who were determined to invade a country whose actions were peripheral to the real threat--al-Qaeda. I retired from the military four months before the invasion, in part because of my opposition to those who had used 9/11's tragedy to hijack our security policy. Until now, I have resisted speaking out in public. I've been silent long enough.
I am driven to action now by the missteps and misjudgments of the White House and the Pentagon, and by my many painful visits to our military hospitals.
Lieut. General Greg Newbold (Ret.)
General, some of us didnt get fooled again. I was an Army Ranger in the Nam, and an E-5. If you and your fellow general officers were so concerned about this idiot and company in the white house, why didnt you resign your commission in 2000?
All of you mutts had a chance to do and or say something and DIDNT. Your words are hollow now; youve accomplished nothing except see to the orders of a moron and his crew of odious flotsam. You ARE Bush and company.
You lost your right to say a damned word when you didnt resign in 2000. Youve participated in crime after crime as have all of these Bush pawns. You have no excuse general except being a coward.
There are still General Meyers types around too, such as Pete Pace. Another ass kisser. Support your troops? How? What theyre doing is the epitome of crime. A crime in which youre part is bigger than any enlisted persons.
You generals the bastards giving the orders are the real criminals. You well knew none of these neocons knew the first thing about warfare including Rumsfeld. His short tour as an aviation instructor was from the mid fifties. If you had any soldier in you at all youd shut the hell up and get hell out of the spotlight.
This Military today is the most unprepared, horribly overrated bunch perhaps in US history. They're not protecting their country from anything. They're nothing more than cannon fodder.
An Army of One, my aching ass! Friendly fire incidents of 24%, from 2% in Vietnam. Pilots firing up anything that moves while high on drugs, suicides up by a huge number from Vietnam.
Single mothers in combat zones, pathetic, all of it pathetic. If the pentagon says 40% are reserves and NGs, then fifty or sixty really are. If you listen to people like you, most American's KIA are because of Humvee rollovers!
In the Nam, an enlisted man served a year, and that was that. You officers a bunch of REMFs waddled around behind the action.
I never saw an officer walk point once. Always in the back during a fire fight with a PRC-25 radio acting like theyre doing something worthwhile.
No, Greg, YOU DIDNT LEARN A DAMNED THING! The WHO didn't connect with YOU. You and your gaggle of rear echelon mike foxtrots are responsible.
You all could have refused and obvious unlawful order if for no other reason than it was given by a common citizen, not the President of the United States.