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Republicans Who Swiftboat the Generals


(guest blog by Taylor Marsh)

This is the guy running the Republican strategery on Iran? A vice president who needs a nap before talking about nukes? It’s frightening that we’ve got an early bird special vice president running the show. One wonders if this five deferment draft dodger is also running the swiftboating of the generals campaign. Republicans want the generals and the military, silent, serving and sycophantic. They use soldiers come election time, but when generals come out because a president is too weak to do what’s needed, fire Donald Rumsfeld for abject incompetence, let the swiftboating begin.

But we’re not going to let the likes of Victor David Hanson and this bozo swiftboat our generals.  Kilmer from RedState said he won’t "disparage these men personally," but then goes right ahead and does just that by not only linking to a swiftboating post on General Newbold, because he’s too cowardly to stand up himself, but even draws out sections of the blogger’s swiftboating post. Here’s an excerpt from just one of the cowardly, weak Republicans who are taking out after the generals.

You appear to have abandoned your position when it came time for you to follow civilian orders you didn’t like. Nothing wrong in that. You did it honorably. But as you appear to want to play in the political arena, pardon me for pointing out that when you mention those resolute in fighting, that subset doesn’t include you. And you seem to have an issue with civilian leadership, more than anything else.

Apparently you had nothing to offer them, so you quit. But you seem to have nothing new to offer now, Mr. Newbold, except for your tossing off the same old political rhetoric dressed with the weight of a uniform you long ago chose not to wear. What is it, exactly, that is so noble in that? Thinking perhaps good old Wes Clark could use a challenge as a possible VP?

Congratulations for capitalizing on the uniform you once wore to contribute to Time and assist the press in their incessant beat down of the war. How in God’s name, if all you say is true, could you do that at a time when braver men than you are as it stands today still fight and die? You must really make the Marines proud. – RiehlWorldView


I need your help with an idea that was hatched during a conversation with a friend. It’s time to compile a list of quotes, including links, of everything said by all the right-wing radio hacks, the political pinheads the Republicans send out on cable, the screed merchants in the blogosphere, every chickenhawk Bushie, all of them, who have dared to smear the generals.

The Defense Department waves away the protesting generals as just a handful out of more than 8,000 now serving or retired. That seems to me too dismissive. These generals are no doubt correct in asserting that they have spoken to and speak on behalf of some retired and, even more important, some active-duty members of the military.

But that makes the generals’ revolt all the more egregious. The civilian leadership of the Pentagon is decided on Election Day, not by the secret whispering of generals.

We’ve always had discontented officers in every war and in every period of our history. But they rarely coalesce into factions. That happens in places such as Hussein’s Iraq, Pinochet’s Chile or your run-of-the-mill banana republic. And when it does, outsiders (including the United States) do their best to exploit it, seeking out the dissident factions to either stage a coup or force the government to change policy.

The Generals’ Dangerous Whispers

Since when do generals "whisper"?  This is just an attempt by cowardly Krauthammer to label U.S. generals who speak out against Rumsfeld a bunch of girlie men who are dangerous to this country.  What’s another word for that charge?  We get it, Charles.

The swiftboating of the military by Republicans under George W. Bush has reached critical mass. We know what happened to General Shinseki, John McCain (even if he has conveniently forgotten); what Ralph Reed did to three-limb amputee Max Cleland, not to mention what Bush sanctioned against John Kerry. Bush allowed the Swiftboat Vets to carry out an attack on a decorated war veteran so he could win an election.  The tactic is now a verb.

So, get busy. List the quotes, links and any other specific you find on Republicans swiftboating the generals in the comment section. I’ll compile what you come up with as it grows and put it all together in a post over the weekend. I’ll keep checking back for more, so keep the thread alive as long as you need to.

FDL readers, start your search engines!

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Taylor Marsh

Taylor Marsh

Taylor is a political commentator and radio personality who has been interviewed by C-SPAN's Washington Journal and all across TV and right-wing radio. She's been on the web for 10 years, going to blogging in late 2005. Taylor is affiliated with The Patriot Project, writes for Huffington Post, as well as Alternet. Her radio show debuted in 2002, which she now brings to her blog Mon-Thur, 6:00 p.m. Eastern or 3:00 p.m. Pacific. One of her passions is painting and creating political art. The graphic at the top of her blog is taken from the expressionist flag art that hangs in her home. She was born in Missouri, and has lived in New York City, Los Angeles and Las Vegas and some points in between.