My Open Letter To The
Six Pentagon Chiefs Of Staff
An Enlisted Man Defends That 'Other' Cartoon

By Douglas Herman
Exclusive to
Office Of The Chairman,
The Joint Chiefs of Staff,
Washington, DC 20318-9999
  Dear Generals,
As an enlisted man with an honorable discharge, who served in the same USAF (1968-72) as your present Commander-In-Chief, I found your letter of protest to the Washington Post concerning a Tom Toles cartoon rather curious and disappointing.
Not the spirit of your letter, which I wholly agree with, in defense of the sacrifice of enlisted soldiers, sailors and airmen. I wholly applaud your remarks"brave men and women with a sense of purpose" but I find your timing rather timid and late-coming.
Where were you guys, before the war, when General Shinseki opposed your boss Rumsfeld and rightly declared that for any invasion of Iraq to succeed the US would need twice the manpower? The subsequent bloody occupation has proven Shinseki correct, but he got fired for his frankness.
Where were you guys when the lone voice of restraint and common sense, General Zinni, said invading the Middle East was foolhardy? General Zinni served in the Middle East and so he knew from experience. Did anybody at the Pentagon write a letter to the Secretary of Defense suggesting Zinni might be correct?
The leadership of my great nation distresses me. Likewise the leadership there at the Pentagon disappoints me. I realize it may frustrate the hell out of fine career officers like yourself, that you must submit obediently to men who not only never served in the military but dodged every opportunity to don a uniform.
Critics call many of them Chickenhawks, and many of these civilians now devise military policy as if they possessed MORE experience than the six of you fine generals put together!
Sirs, your collective frustration is understandable. Frustration at civilian leaders who make war without understanding the complexity or ramifications. Frustration at sunshine patriots who support invasions from the comfort of their armchairs. Frustration with the jingoistic media, who alternately praise and criticize you.
Instead, out of frustration, you write a joint letter to the Washington Post protesting a cartoon that depicted a wounded serviceman, an amputee. You wrote: "While you or some of your readers may not agree with the war or its conduct, we believe you owe the men and women and their families who so selflessly serve our country the decency not to make light of their tremendous physical sacrifices."
So true.
And yet, with reports of another war coming, a rumored attack on Iran, what letters of protest do you intend to send to the Post? Or to the civilian war planners who issue your orders? Do you intend to protest that such an attack, on a nation that has not attacked the US, is unconstitutional? Let me remind you, sirs, you are sworn to uphold the Constitution against enemies foreign and domestic, not unquestioningly conduct new wars where our servicemen who "so selflessly serve our country," are put into harms way.
You wrote in protest about a cartoon, calling it "a callous depiction of those who have volunteered to defend this nation, and as a result, have suffered traumatic and life-altering wounds." A cartoon, mind you, not the actual war that resulted in 18-20,000 "traumatic and life-altering wounds."
Many of us veterans who have watched the events of the last three years-an illegal war-- find the lack of leadership, from both military and civilian leaders, highly disappointing. 
We suggest, rather than protest cartoons, you quietly and strongly protest foreign policy that aversely affects the future of our great nation.
Thank you,  
Douglas Herman, Ssgt, USAF
Alfred Lehmberg
As a highly decorated and retired career Army Officer (1969-1992), I stand in agreement with Mr. Hermann. These generals all swore solemn oaths to honor, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. It would be more than appropriate if they started doing same. Flag officers should know better... be setting an example... pre-eminent Americans.
AVG Blog --




This Site Served by TheHostPros