From Volume 5, Issue Number 16 of EIR Online, Published Apr. 18, 2006

This Week You Need To Know

Behind the Generals' Revolt

by Jeffrey Steinberg

On April 15, Lyndon LaRouche hailed the actions by a group of retired flag officers, demanding the immediate firing of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, as both "unprecedented" and "appropriate, given that the nation is being betrayed."

In the week preceding LaRouche's comment, some of America's outstanding retired military commanders, including Gen. Anthony Zinni (USMC-ret.), Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton (USA-ret.), Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold (USMC-ret.), Lt. Gen. Paul Van Riper (USMC-ret.), Maj. Gen. Charles Swannack, Jr. (USA-ret.), Maj. Gen. John Riggs (USA-ret.), and Maj. Gen. John Batiste (USA-ret.), all surfaced with public calls for Rumsfeld's immediate ouster, on the grounds that he had ignored the advice and warnings of his military commanders and had, as the result, drawn the United States into a disastrous fiasco in Iraq, which is now on the verge of erupting into a full-scale, uncontrollable civil war.

While the criticisms of Rumsfeld by the ex-officers ostensibly focussed on Iraq, sources close to the Pentagon have confirmed that the outpouring of calls for Rumsfeld's immediate ouster have more to do with Bush Administration plans for a preemptive military strike against Iran, possibly as early as late April through the middle of May.

Ex-military and intelligence sources report that a group of active duty generals and admirals have written to Gen. Peter Pace (USMC), Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, threatening to resign, if the White House orders military strikes against Iran. The generals and admirals, according to the sources, are particularly outraged that the White House has refused, ostentatiously, to rule out the use of tactical nuclear weapons against hardened targets inside Iran.

Furthermore, while the generals' ire has been directed at Rumsfeld, they are collectively aware of the fact that the true architect of the Bush Administration's perpetual war policy, including the plan to launch preemptive nuclear strikes against Iran, is Vice President Dick Cheney. Unlike Rumsfeld, who can be fired by President George W. Bush at any moment, the Vice President was elected to office, and his ouster is politically more complicated. The constitutional complications are vastly compounded by President Bush's severe psychological dependency on the Vice President, and Mr. Bush's deteriorating state of mind, as he tries to avoid the unavoidable reality that his Presidency is in a free fall, and that he has been personally written off by a vast majority of Americans, including a majority of Republicans, all the way up to the U.S. Congress....

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