Military Officers Need To Limit Comments
Iraq remains the contentious issue of U.S. foreign policy. Those who cheer loudest for the failed war have often been retired military officers.
Only now are a few willing to speak out against the folly of a preemptive war waged without major allied support and predicated upon false intelligence.
Disturbing were partisan comments from General Kernan (The Pilot, Nov. 10) that an earlier Rumsfeld resignation might have helped the Republican Party. He said, "(The election) might have had a different perspective for the voters as a signal from the president that change was forthcoming."
Neither did partisan Coast Guard Admiral Siemens, who called Democrats "cut and run," contribute much toward national unity.
The distinguished general of the army, George C. Marshall, when he led our troops and even after he retired as Secretary of State and Defense, did "not register and did not vote." He believed high military officers owed allegiance to the flag and no political party -- that they should always remain aloof from politics.
Recently, senior retired military and naval officers have publicly endorsed candidates of both parties, breaking that noble tradition, with most of the support going to the GOP.
It's bad practice and polarizes an already divisive war effort. The last presidential election was significantly influenced by former Swift Boat officers (none of whom actually served on the ship commanded by Lt. John Kerry in Vietnam during an action they criticized).
The fact that they'd worn the same uniform as Kerry gave them a unique standing with a gullible American public. America is best served by nonpartisan former officers who support a bipartisan foreign policy.
Hopefully, the next White House occupant will create such a policy worthy of everyone's enthusiastic support.
Paul R. Dunn
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