Tuesday, May 18

Listening To The Troops, Part II

From Col. David Hackworth:

A Fish Stinks from the Head First

Had Army leadership been following Ike's example, our nation would not be shamed, and our critical military mission in Iraq wouldn’t be jeopardized.

Instead, the chain of command was egregiously AWOL. Army sergeants, lieutenants, captains, majors, lieutenant colonels, colonels and at least one brigadier general, one major general and one lieutenant general shrugged off their duty. And the buck stops far higher.

Even members of the United States Congress - from Hillary Clinton to Roscoe Bartlett - neglected their sworn duty. Their congressional offices received written pleas from concerned soldiers or their families almost from the first atrocity through this past March, when retired Master Sgt. William Lawson blasted off 20 letters to a governor, senators and representatives (see sftt.org for the complete list). But these urgent pleas for help must have received either the routine rubber-stamp Beltway shuffle or were relegated into the old circular filing basket, because not one official took appropriate action. To a one, our elected leaders seem to have forgotten that their primary mission is to represent the American people, not to make the sound-bite circuit or to hustle money for the next election.

Had proper leadership been applied, Gen. Myers wouldn't have had to duck and weave when he appeared before Congress with the limp excuse that the investigation report was "working its way" to him. Myers is, of course, the same swift four-star who commented after his visit to Iraq last year that maybe the brass had prevented him from talking to any soldiers with serious complaints.

For sure this toady is no Eisenhower.