Cal Thomas's authorities on military discipline: Moussaoui and Iranian generals

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In his nationally syndicated column, Cal Thomas contrasted the growing number of retired U.S. generals who have recently called for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld with Zacarias Moussaoui and Iran's generals, suggesting that because Moussaoui and Iranian generals will not question their authority figures, neither should U.S. generals, who "are encouraging the enemy to fight on, believing we will ultimately surrender."

In his April 18 nationally syndicated column, Fox News host Cal Thomas contrasted the growing number of retired U.S. generals who have recently called for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld with Al Qaeda terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui and Iran's generals. Thomas suggested that because Moussaoui and Iranian generals will not question their authority figures, neither should the U.S. military. Thomas asserted that the U.S. generals' comments "will further embolden America's enemies who are betting that the United States is weak, morally corrupt and lacks the stomach for protracted conflict." "By going public with their criticisms in the midst of the war," Thomas wrote, "those generals are making victory more difficult. They are encouraging the enemy to fight on, believing we will ultimately surrender." By contrast, Thomas noted, Zacarias Moussaoui -- the purported "20th hijacker" arrested before the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks -- "isn't retreating or calling for the resignation of Osama bin Laden or any other leader in the terrorist war on America and the West." Similarly, Thomas noted: "Neither is Iran retreating or in doubt about its nuclear weapon program. ... One can be sure no Iranian general -- active or retired -- will be questioning [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad's politics or theology, if he wants to be around for the 'last battle.' "

In his column, Thomas referred to "the six" generals who have advocated Rumsfeld's resignation, but as Media Matters for America has noted, seven generals have publicly called for him to resign.

From Thomas's April 18 column:

What is one to make of the six retired generals who, in recent days, have called not only for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, but have questioned whether U.S. troops should remain in Iraq much longer? Only that it will further embolden America's enemies who are betting that the United States is weak, morally corrupt and lacks the stomach for protracted conflict.

[...]

Anyone doubting Rumsfeld should consider the testimony of Zacarias Moussaoui. During the death penalty phase of his trial for involvement in the 9/11 attacks, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Spencer asked Moussaoui if he thought the United States is destined to fall. He coldly replied, "I know it. I know it."

"You wake up every day to destroy the United States, don't you?" asked Spencer.

"To the best of my ability," Moussaoui responded.

Moussaoui said it was "my pleasure" to accept a suicide mission from Osama bin Laden. He mocked relatives of those who died on 9/11, saying he wishes more had been killed. He called those relatives who shed tears during their testimony "weak."

Moussaoui isn't retreating or calling for the resignation of Osama bin Laden or any other leader in the terrorist war on America and the West.

Neither is Iran retreating or in doubt about its nuclear weapons program. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad openly defies and ridicules the West and the United Nations, as they ponder meaningless resolutions and call for equally meaningless diplomacy against a religious nut case who thinks he has been commissioned by his false god to usher in Armageddon. One can be sure no Iranian general -- active or retired -- will be questioning Ahmadinejad's politics or theology, if he wants to be around for the "last battle."

[...]

This isn't about one secretary of defense or six generals who don't like his policies. This is about winning the most dangerous and important war America has ever fought. By going public with their criticisms in the midst of the war, those generals are making victory more difficult. They are encouraging the enemy to fight on, believing we will ultimately surrender. There can be no good that will come from the comments of the former leaders of our volunteer soldiers, at least no good for what they once called "our side."

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