An article in today’s New York Times by Elisabeth Bumiller talks about the soul-searching over the War in
Discussions between a New York Times reporter and dozens of young majors in five
classrooms over two days — all unusual for their frankness in an Army that has traditionally presented a facade of solidarity to the outside world — showed a divide in opinion. Officers were split over whether Mr. Rumsfeld, the military leaders or both deserved blame for what they said were the major errors in the war: sending in a small invasion force and failing to plan properly for the occupation. Leavenworth
Much of the debate at Leavenworth has centered on a scathing article, “A Failure in Generalship,” written last May for Armed Forces Journal by Lt. Col. Paul Yingling, an Iraq veteran and deputy commander of the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment who holds a master’s degree in political science from the University of Chicago. “If the general remains silent while the statesman commits a nation to war with insufficient means, he shares culpability for the results,” Colonel Yingling wrote.
It seems strange to me that this discussion is going on in the military while no similar discussion is occurring among journalists. Journalists had a much greater obligation and duty to question the civilian leadership of the country before and during the start of the war than did the generals.
CBS news anchor Katie Couric said recently:
“Everyone in this room would agree that people in this country were misled in terms of the rationale of this war,” said Couric, adding that it is “pretty much accepted” that the war in Iraq was a mistake.
“I’ve never understood why [invading Iraq] was so high on the administration’s agenda when terrorism was going on in Afghanistan and Pakistan and that [Iraq] had no true connection with al Qaeda.”
Where is the soul-searching there? Why is she not asking herself why she did not speak up when it could have made a difference, as some in the military are now doing?