Former General Batiste Talks Iraq Policy Failures
He says the strategy is broken. Sounds like a few other generals we’ve heard from. Will anybody lisen?
ROCHESTER, May 10 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬? John Batiste has traveled a long way in the last four years, from commanding the First Infantry Division in Iraq to quitting the Army after three decades in uniform and, now, from his new life overseeing a steel factory here, to openly challenging President Bush on his management of the war.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œMr. President, you did not listen,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? General Batiste says in new television advertisements being broadcast in Republican Congressional districts as part of a $500,000 campaign financed by VoteVets.org. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œYou continue to pursue a failed strategy that is breaking our great Army and Marine Corps. I left the Army in protest in order to speak out. Mr. President, you have placed our nation in peril. Our only hope is that Congress will act now to protect our fighting men and women.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚?
Those are powerful, inflammatory words from General Batiste, a retired major general who spent 31 years in the Army, a profession sworn to unflinching loyalty to civilian control of the military. Many senior officers say privately that talk like this makes them uncomfortable; when you pin that first star on your shoulder, they say, your first name becomes ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œGeneralÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? for the rest of your life.
It’s late and I’m too tired right now to really dig too far into this story. But how many of these stories can we read and not get ridiculously jaded? These are career military guys, not partisan hacks. How many of these guys are going to come out and say this before Bush gives in and changes direction? Seriously. This is getting old.