Defending the Constitution
September 26, 2007 1:31 PM   Subscribe

Never in History Have Generals Revolted Against a War Like They are About IRAQ. "I (insert name), having been appointed a (insert rank) in the U.S. Army under the conditions indicated in this document, do accept such appointment and do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter, so help me God." Unlike the enlisted folks, officers only swear an allegiance to the Constitution.
posted by augustweed (50 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Why is IRAQ capitalized? Do you think it's an acronym?

just curious, reading the link now.
posted by davejay at 1:37 PM on September 26, 2007


“The ethos is: Give your advice to those in a position to make changes, not the media,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, now retired. “But this administration is immune to good advice.”

This quote really summarizes and crystallizes the whole situation perfectly.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 1:38 PM on September 26, 2007 [10 favorites]


IRAQ is an acronym for the groups they're fighting: Insurgents, Rebels, & Al Qaeda
posted by fandango_matt at 1:40 PM on September 26, 2007 [4 favorites]


It's Really A Quagmire.
posted by Divine_Wino at 1:47 PM on September 26, 2007 [12 favorites]


Incinerating Ragheads, Amazing Quantities.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 1:49 PM on September 26, 2007 [3 favorites]


Is there something about Marines?
In the 1930s, retired Gen. Smedley Butler – who had spent 33 years in the Marine Corps – wrote a book calling war “a racket” and toured the country labeling civilian leaders who prosecute wars “capitalistic gangsters.”

....

In May 1966, retired Gen. David Shoup, former commandant of the Marine Corps, said this about the escalating war in Vietnam: “I believe if we had, and would, keep our dirty, bloody, dollar-crooked fingers out of the business of these nations so full of depressed, exploited people, they will arrive at a solution of their own ... not one crammed down their throats by the Americans.”
posted by lodurr at 2:03 PM on September 26, 2007 [5 favorites]


Bush's motto: I'm Religious And Quarrelsome.
posted by nevercalm at 2:04 PM on September 26, 2007


Ignore Repeated Asking of Questions
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 2:04 PM on September 26, 2007


Too Late.
posted by srboisvert at 2:09 PM on September 26, 2007


I'm Really About to Quit
posted by pardonyou? at 2:11 PM on September 26, 2007


Infinite Resources Are sQuandered.
posted by googly at 2:15 PM on September 26, 2007


But Powell's notoriously inaccurate speech to the United Nations in February 2003 “sealed the deal,” Johns said, and he knew the war was unstoppable. “I was very disappointed he did that. Powell was used.”

God, I hate when people say that Powell was used. He made a choice to be the good soldier, which is something he'll have to live with the rest of his life. His standing with the media and the public before the war was such that if any one resignation could have stopped this war, it would have been his.

I really wish that some of these guys would have spoken up earlier. I know that it would have meant instant career death, but I can't help but think they failed to live up to the responsibility that came with the rank they held, both to the public they defended, and, more importantly, to the men and women under their command.

Easy for me to say, I know. But god, so many lives wasted.
posted by longdaysjourney at 2:15 PM on September 26, 2007 [8 favorites]


Inane Random Acronyms, Quit.
posted by brownpau at 2:20 PM on September 26, 2007


I'd Rather Assfuck Queen Elizabeth
posted by pardonyou? at 2:24 PM on September 26, 2007


Inscrutable Ringleader Alienates Quakers

. . . Freebird!!! . . . .
posted by nola at 2:27 PM on September 26, 2007


Iraq may be the least of our worries, as the Senate Republicans and the proving-to-be-absofuckinlutely-worthless Democrats just passed the Kyl-Lieberman Iran Bill.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 2:29 PM on September 26, 2007


Inane Random Acronyms, Quit.

I Really Appreciate the Quips.
posted by brain_drain at 2:33 PM on September 26, 2007


pardonyou: Get in line, pal.
posted by Tim McDonough at 2:35 PM on September 26, 2007


Irritate Republicans: Ask Questions
posted by kuujjuarapik at 2:35 PM on September 26, 2007 [4 favorites]


Wow, it wasn't funny the first time.
posted by ninjew at 2:37 PM on September 26, 2007


I know that it would have meant instant career death

Because, ultimately, it's all about being able to save your own ass. They can kill and order others to kill and send them off to kill or die or just wish they had died, but they couldn't say no. Well done, oh guardians of liberty!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:54 PM on September 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Benny Andajetz, that is sick making news. It's happening again right before our eyes.
posted by madamjujujive at 3:03 PM on September 26, 2007


Benny Andajetz, that is sick making news. It's happening again right before our eyes.

Yes it is. Very sad and surreal. Everyone should keep in mind that Hillary voted for the bill and Obama abstained. These are the kind of leaders we get to pick from? Stupid and spineless. Makes me wonder what the "D" in front of their names stand for.

These people need to be publicly shamed at every opporunity - if that's even possible.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 3:19 PM on September 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


I Raped A Quadruped.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:22 PM on September 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Have to disagree with ninjew. It's rather amusing, quibbler.
posted by emelenjr at 3:27 PM on September 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


"I Reprimanded a Quibbler."

Powell was used.

"I'm not reading this. This is bullshit."
(You can actually pinpoint the second when his integrity rips in half.)
posted by kirkaracha at 3:29 PM on September 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm Remembering Another Quagmire
posted by telstar at 3:30 PM on September 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


From Benny Andajetz's link (on military action in Iran)

I think that the administration believes at this point that continuing to try and deal with the Iranian threat, the Iranian challenge, through diplomatic and economic means is by the preferable approach.

They said the exact same thing about Iraq. They start with promises of economic sanctioning, and diplomatic maneuvering, but the first chance they get, they will take issue at some minor offense, whip up a national fury over it, and the next thing you know, we have boots on the ground and we are in yet another discussion about how even discussing the correctness of this action, "Fails to support the troops".

How 'bout this, this time, let's not. Because this time, we won't just lose more world wide favor and respect, this time we will probably actually lose the fight itself.
posted by quin at 3:41 PM on September 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Mutually Assured Destruction ain't lookin' so bad anymore.
posted by davelog at 3:47 PM on September 26, 2007


Letter to Barack Obama:

"Abstention from voting on what is, effectively, a blank check for the President to start bombing Iran. Yeah, that's leadership.

Grow some fucking balls, man."
posted by notsnot at 4:04 PM on September 26, 2007


And meanwhile, Idiocy Repeated Ad Nauseam
posted by Riki tiki at 4:12 PM on September 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


Once you’re retired, I see no reason not to speak your conscience.

However:
“When we are at war, voices that may give aid and comfort to the enemy can cost American blood,” Richardson said. “I would not want what I said to in any way affect our troops' morale and effectiveness”

- while that quote seems trite, particulary given nearly everything that sounds in earnest is viewed through the lens of irony - there is a humility there that recognizes ‘say, maybe I don’t know every damned thing that’s going on.’

This is an incredibly valuable trait to have in a general (as well as a field grade officer) primarially because of the tremendous power they have. Having mastered giving orders through company grade, they have to (re?)learn how to listen otherwise they fall err to the same kind of arrogance and dependance on brute power the administration is engaging in. And they typically like to have the tools to know exactly what’s happening and make highly commited decisions.

Many generals have overwhelmingly strong personalities and are very high achieving and driven individuals, once that gets started, it can be very hard to stop. A good general is aware of that. You’re not just one man, you have lives invested in you.

And it’s hard to shake the idea that you are now a citizen and one of those hallowed individuals that can make the policies you used to shut up and execute.

Also one can engage in any amount of hyperbole and sound off about how lousy the war is or whatnot, but a general wields a great deal of influence and loyalty even in retirement. Anything they say has to be judiciously considered before they say it. There are many field grade officers who would have, and still might, die for their generals. And there are company grade officers under them who would loyally follow them. And enlisted men under them who would loyally follow their lieutenant or captain.
It’s hard not to feel personal affection and attachment for a man with whom you’ve been through hell and back especially when you see the sacrifices they make for you and the men. After that, anything they say, can have an affect on you.
What someone writes on a blog, not so much.

All that said, I wish more retired generals felt they had the ability to navigate those very treacherous shoals of political manuvering as well as restraint within themselves and subtlety and would come forward to speak against the war.

But often returning troops are asked to make even greater sacrifices in leadership in peace. Some are just not up to the task. Some are just old warhorses. I consider the generals who do speak out as doing an even greater service to the country. That is such a hard line to walk, I don’t know if I could do it and not at some point say “fuck these Bushco bastards, I’m taking over.”
Happened a lot under the Romans.

Bit different for enlisted men. Although I understand there was a corporal who raised a lot of hell in Germany a bit back.

(Lieberman-Kyl passed? Whathemotherfuck?)
posted by Smedleyman at 4:22 PM on September 26, 2007 [3 favorites]


Everyone should keep in mind that Hillary voted for the bill and Obama abstained.

This is exactly the problem I have with the Democratic candidates - the Republican ones obviously being beyond saving. AFAIK only Dennis Kucinich has said word one about restoring the rights ShrubCo have trampled. This time I am not going to vote for the lesser evil - so help me, if only the Kicks Kittens party run a candidate who advocates even a little bit of demolition of the last six years' malfeasance, that's who gets my vote.
posted by jet_silver at 4:30 PM on September 26, 2007


And meanwhile, Idiocy Repeated Ad Nauseam

.

Voting for the war, abstaining from the vote, and in the case of Powell, soldiering on out of a sense of loyalty are difficult to forgive. It's not a question of forgiveness. We're becoming a nation of followers, not leaders. Our politicians follow polls, spew crap they know is wrong, mendacious and even treasonous.

I seriously don't know if I can vote for any of the candidates. Oddly, the voting records of Guiliani and Romney trouble me the least, but they are aping the very worst elements of our society.

Here I go, spoiling a perfectly enteraining thread. Sorry.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 4:49 PM on September 26, 2007


Lieberman-Kyl passed, but without the authorization of force. All it does is identify the Islamic Revotionary Guard Corps as a terrorist group; they deleted the section on the 'use of all instruments of United States National power in Iraq.'

Read the marked up bill here.
posted by anotherpanacea at 4:58 PM on September 26, 2007


If they'd just out and admit that these wars are pre-emptive land grabs to facilitate control of oil reserves, I'd have a lot more respect for them - even though I think such wars are foolish in the extreme.

If you're gonna play Empire, you might as well just be Empire. Don't hide behind craven lies, just declare your divine right of rule, already.

Hilary and Obama, they're part of it, inextricably.
posted by zoogleplex at 5:01 PM on September 26, 2007


I Remember Acrophobia Quitefondly.

divine_wino gmv
posted by ulotrichous at 5:10 PM on September 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Lieberman-Kyl passed, but without the authorization of force. All it does is identify the Islamic Revotionary Guard Corps as a terrorist group; they deleted the section on the 'use of all instruments of United States National power in Iraq.

If there's one thing the neocons understand it's incrementalism. This is clearly one step closer, and probably all they need when the time comes.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:30 PM on September 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Lieberman-Kyl is a "Sense of the Senate." It's like declaring a "Iran is bad day." They also passed a resolution saying "New York Times is bad" the other day. Equally meaningless. Obama abstained from both, I presume because they are both stupid wastes of time.
posted by probablysteve at 6:14 PM on September 26, 2007


IMO the only important thing in the next US election is to vote for someone who will bring honor back to the USA.

Without bringing back honor, the USA is going to have to continue basically going it alone. And as we've seen, that ain't successful.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:33 PM on September 26, 2007


Insert Random Arabic Quote.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 6:35 PM on September 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


me too, ulotrichous, but that last compound word would have turned everyone away from voting for you.

Couch rules!

fandango gmv
posted by Espoo2 at 6:41 PM on September 26, 2007


...I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic...

The Bush regime is the biggest domestic enemy this country has ever seen. Why can't more military personnel (and the "rah rah, yay Bush!" private citizens) recognize that?
posted by amyms at 6:57 PM on September 26, 2007


Lieberman-Kyl is a "Sense of the Senate." It's like declaring a "Iran is bad day." They also passed a resolution saying "New York Times is bad" the other day. Equally meaningless.

"Sense of the Senate" is, more and more, an oxymoron.

And, no, these are not equally meaningless. This administration has gone this route many times. They'll take this "legal" step, push it, and then take an extralegal step using the "sense of the Senate" as a justification. And then dare anybody to call them on it.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:23 PM on September 26, 2007


Oh, I know it, espoo2, but I'm out of practice. I knew there had to be another couchie in this thread. The nostalgia is so strong I'm expecting to be interrupted with a commercial for 'bread runnah'. good luck in fo!
posted by ulotrichous at 7:32 PM on September 26, 2007


Lieberman-Kyl passed, but without the authorization of force. All it does is identify the Islamic Revotionary Guard Corps as a terrorist group...

Lieberman-Kyl is a "Sense of the Senate." It's like declaring a "Iran is bad day."

I hope you guys are right that this is no big deal but
a) since when do we go around deciding that foreign armies are terrorist organizations? This is a really shitty precedent to be setting. And
b) by Bush logic, if Iran = terrorists, then maybe there's a link to Al Qaeda, and if Al Qaeda's involved, then clearly the Authorization for Use of Military Force allows Bush to do whatever the hell he wants.

I didn't say it made sense. He's gotten away with equally absurd things.
posted by naoko at 7:35 PM on September 26, 2007


Smedleyman your insight is right on the mark and very well put
I am starting to appreciate Sen. Jim Webb D. VA he seems to understand the Senate dog & pony show and has the guts to stand and fight this crazy Iran vote. Drafting him as president nominee is looking mighty fine. He is ex USMC from a red state and wickeed smARt!
posted by Rancid Badger at 7:56 PM on September 26, 2007


gesamtkunstwerk writes "Oddly, the voting records of Guiliani"

Wait ... what voting record? I don't believe Giuliani has voted on anything.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:03 PM on September 26, 2007


I hope you guys are right that this is no big deal but
a) since when do we go around deciding that foreign armies are terrorist organizations? This is a really shitty precedent to be setting. And
b) by Bush logic, if Iran = terrorists, then maybe there's a link to Al Qaeda, and if Al Qaeda's involved, then clearly the Authorization for Use of Military Force allows Bush to do whatever the hell he wants.


Yeah, see, Bush has already gone on record saying that he believes he's been given a broad mandate to fight the Global War on Terror however he sees fit--and the GWOT, per his own public statements, is an open-ended engagement that doesn't require specific congressional approvals. The Iraq War is one thing, a formally declared war. But the GWOT, in his mind, is another, a new kind of war with new rules.

Now that it's been formally established that Iran is a state-sponsor of terrorism, then as far as he's concerned he doesn't need congressional approval for military action in Iran. His existing blanket authority to wage the GWOT is sufficient. So this little trivial seeming amendment is a pretty serious plank in the administration's preposterous legal case for carrying out the small-scale black ops and other special operations that will be used to force Iranian responses, which in-turn will be used to justify further escalation in hostilities, all in the name of the Global War on Terror.

In other words, this is the first part of the hawks' plan to do an end-run around congress, and as usual, congress is either asleep at the wheel or secretly on-board.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:05 AM on September 27, 2007


Well, I was going to post the words to Irving Berlin's "What Can You Do With a General" but then ya'll got all serious.

Now I'm just scared. (Lieberman-Kyl, 76-22, I believe. Jeezus)
posted by nax at 1:29 PM on September 27, 2007


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