‘To accept the bill proposed by the Democratic leadership would be to accept a policy that directly contradicts the judgment of our military commanders.’ --President George W. Bush As a nation, we have been down this road before. The road I am referring to is when a war becomes a colossal failure and is known to be based on lies and fabrications, therefore a president, along with his supporters, trots out the argument that Americans must ‘listen to its military commanders.’ President Bush and leading Republicans are now warning that those who are against the continued U.S. war and occupation of Iraq are making an all-to-familiar mistake by not listening to seasoned commanders and that catastrophe always follows when civilians turn a deaf ear to their military officers. Surprisingly, they also claim that now is not a good time for Congress to try and manage the conduct of the war. This argument is not only problematic but very disturbing. First, it is evident that during the last several years Bush has ‘packed’ the military echelons with his own obedient and unquestioning commanders. A number of former generals and officers have either resigned or retired early because they were forced out of the Armed Services for disagreeing with their Commander in Chief. There is strong evidence that General John Abizaid, who was the commander of U.S. troops in Iraq and recently replaced by General Patraeus who is now trying to persuade Congress to fund the war despite ‘mixed’ results, was forced to resign because he wanted no part of the troop surge and the continued sacrifice of U.S. soldiers. Major General John Batiste and retired Major General Paul Eaton, just to mention two commanders, criticized the war in 2005 and went as far as calling on the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld. They also publicly said in 2006 that the best thing that could happen was for the Democrats to regain the House and Senate. Many of these military commanders have now openly criticize the events leading up to the war in Iraq, the invasion itself, and the immediate aftermath and long-term occupation that has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths. Bush and his supporters expects Americans to ‘listen to the military’ when initially they did not. Second, the military elite is often biased in their views and reports about the progress of a war in which they command. Military generals and personnel can and have been proven to be mistaken and wrong. Sometimes they would rather promote war for the Corporate Military Industrial Complex, which they are a part of, and pursue their militant ideologies instead of preserving peace for the world and protecting the American People. The military often believes peace can only be achieved through militaristic means instead of social, economic and political means. After all, they have been trained and engrained in the art (sic) of war and combat. When this is mixed with a Doctrine of Pre-emption, the results can be devastating. What if the U.S. would have listened to General Douglas MacArthur who wanted to bomb and invade China during the Korean War? General Westmoreland, who commanded U.S. troops during the Vietnam Conflict, wrongly claimed that the war was winnable if he only had more troop surges, which he got and resulted in more U.S. deaths and a lengthy war. What if Congress would have listened to military personnel who wanted to send aid and troops back into Vietnam in 1973? What if Reagan would have listened to military commanders who wanted to invade and occupy Lebanon after 271 Marines were killed in the 1983 Beirut bombing? Third, the U.S. Constitution specifically states that the U.S. Armed Forces are under the direction of the Legislative which is ultimately elected by and under civilian control. Article I says that only the Legislative Branch has the power to ‘Raise and Support Armies…to provide for the organizing, arming, and disciplining…to declare war…and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water.’ It further states that only Congress can ‘Appropriate Money and Regulate the land and naval Forces.’ Bush and his supporters must realize that the U.S. Armed Forces receives their continued existence only by U.S. citizen’s and their tax dollars. The Armed Forces are ultimately answerable and accountable to the American People. Instead of ‘listening to the military,’ it is the Commander In Chief and the military that is supposed to ‘listen to the American People.’ That is why the U.S. Constitution begins with the words ‘We The People,’ it is called Democracy. Fourth, when Bush tells the Americans that they should listen to the military and its commanders, he is establishing a dangerous precedence that discounts healthy debate and divides the public into two camps-those who are a part of the military establishment and support the war in Iraq and those who do not believe in the war nor participate in the Army. The former is elite, right and their voices are the only ones that are given credence while the latter is discounted and even treated as second-class citizens. This can possibly lead to tragic massacres like Kent State and Jackson State. Students were protesting the Vietnam Conflict and viewed as a threat and were fired upon and massacred by National Guard troops. Fifth, which military personnel should Americans listen too? The National Guard soldier who recently emailed me saying that he did not believe the U.S. should be in Iraq? Or the soldier who wrote his mother asking her to do all that she could to bring the troops home? Or the young Marine who called the other night and was sobbing and wanted to come home because he had just lost four of his friends? Or the soldier who did not want to go back to Iraq because he no longer believed in the mission and his wound was not fully healed, an yet was afraid to tell his commander because of retaliatory actions? Why not listen to Jessica Lynch who testified saying that she was inaccurately portrayed as a ‘little girl Rambo’ firing her weapon down to the last bullet before being captured by the Iraqis in 2003 and ‘it was not true and is still confused why the military chose to lie and make me a legend?’ Why not listen to Pat Tillman’s family who courageously investigated and learned that he was killed by his own over-zealous troops even though the military lied and falsified the autopsy report and told them he was shot by the enemy during a fierce firefight in order to avoid a public relations fiasco? Militaries and commanders have to lie or they would be out of business, for very few wars in history are ever justified or fought on the noble principles of liberty and peace. On August 4, 1964 the U.S. listened to the military in the Gulf of Tonkin. Previously the USS Maddox, unprovoked, had destroyed two North Vietnamese PT Boats. The USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy, along with the Pentagon, were now on high alert expecting a retaliatory attack. After eighteen hours without sleep and in the middle of the night, the sonar of the two destroyers supposedly detected torpedoes and unidentified craft. The next two hours the crew fired wildly into the darkness and scrambled jets. Secretary of State Robert McNamara and President Lyndon B. Johnson were immediately notified that U.S. Naval Forces were under attack. The next day there was no damage to the USS Maddox or the USS Turner Joy. Neither was there any debris. The enemy had never been spotted. An After Action Report stated that there was a high probability that no attack occurred. Johnson either rejected this report or did not receive it and instead ordered a massive bombing campaign against the North Vietnamese and announced to the American People that the U.S. had been attacked. By listening to the military almost 60,000 U.S. troops and 2 million Vietnamese died in a horrible conflict. The war expanded into Laos and Cambodia that killed millions of innocent people and Johnson’s Great Society Programs, that could have aided millions of Americans, ended........ http://cgi.wn.com/?action=display&article=55415490&template=worldnews/paidnews.txt&index=recent This information brought to you by : the horrible left wing liberal media. Who is listening? Who is not?