Likelihood of Success

Ron Coleman’s pretty good blog

Weighing war words

Posted by Ron Coleman on October 14, 2007

General Sanchez speaks:

Sanchez said he felt he could not resign and go public with his reservations while he was in Iraq, because he feared that move could further jeopardize troops serving there.

“I think once you are retired, you have a responsibility to the nation, to your oath, to the country, to state your opinion,” he said.

Is that right? It’s an interesting proposition, actually. On the one hand, his formulation sounds intuitively correct. How could you be silent if you knew, perhaps better than anyone, “they” were blowing it, costing lives, still doing it all wrong?

On the other hand, how could you speak when your comments give aid and comfort to the enemy?

Given that both of these things may be present — as they seem to be, and it seems frequently will be — how do you weigh the opposing interests?

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One Response to “Weighing war words”

  1. craig mclaughlin said

    Lieutenant General Sanchez could have voiced his concerns to his superiors and if he still felt strongly that the task he was given was undoable or misguided he could have resigned– and kept his mouth shut. He would have been under no obligation to hold a press conference after. And it does not logically follow that a statement made while on active duty puts soldiers at risk while the same statement made from retirement doesn’t. Navy Captain Lex has a post over at neptunuslex that I largely agree with.

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