Saturday, April 22, 2006
I hate to sound like an old fogy, but the criticisms of Donald Rumsfeld by retired generals are another example of the violation of traditional norms that have served our country. Such criticisms both undermine civilian control of the military and can be exploited by our enemies. Norms of this sort are important and valuable but are increasingly ignored. Retired Presidents used to avoid strongly criticizing the current President, especially when the criticisms would be made on foreign soil and would be about foreign relations. But Presidents Clinton and Carter are happy to do it.
I suppose that the country will continue to exist, even though these norms are violated. But the nation will change for the worse. It will be harder to stay unified and to deal with one another in a civil way. And that, in the long run, is a big concern.
Take a look at Charles Krauthammer's thoughts on the subject.