Appearing on NBC’s Chris Matthews Show this morning, Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Cynthia Tucker revealed that sources within the military are warning of “a revolt from active-duty generals if September rolls around and the president is sticking with the surge into ’08.” Watch it:
Noting that retired generals such as Gen. John Batiste have already begun voicing their discontent with the president’s strategy in Iraq, Tucker added that the generals “don’t want to fall by the wayside like the generals in Vietnam did, kept pushing a war that they knew was lost.”
When President Bush vetoed the Iraq timeline legislation earlier this month, he claimed that “the measure would ‘impose impossible conditions on our commanders in combat’ by forcing them to ‘take fighting directions from politicians 6,000 miles away in Washington, DC.’”
But despite past claims that “the right force level” will be determined by “the sober judgement of our military leaders,” the Bush administration has a proven track record of disregarding the advice of military leaders. As recently as last December, when the White House was first pushing its escalation plan, the administration explicitly ignored “the unanimous disagreement of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.”
It appears the commanders on the ground in Iraq are getting tired of “taking fighting directions” from a politician “6,000 miles away” in the White House. And they might not stay quiet for long.
TUCKER: Look for a revolt from active-duty generals if September rolls around and the president is sticking with the surge into ’08. We’ve already heard from retired generals. But my Atlanta Journal-Constitution colleague Jay Bookman has lots of sources among currently serving military officers who don’t want to fall by the wayside like the generals in Vietnam did, kept pushing a war that they knew was lost.