Here's a tip from a friend of mine, whose father is a JAG (Judge Advocate General) at the Pentagon:Makes sense, actually; anybody who gets up on stage with the civilian leadership is associating him/herself with both that civilian and whatever policy they happen to be pushing. Choosing wrong could be a career hit, and you don't get that far up without caring about your career.
Watch Rummy's presscons, and see how many high brass are standing behind him at the podium.
Here's why: The higher the brass factor, the greater the amount of support for whatever Rumsfeld is pushing at the time.
Ever since the Bushistas started pushing their PNAC-driven invasion obssession, Rummy's been lucky to get one highly embarrassed-looking general or admiral to stand beside him. When you consider that the Pentagon lives by the idea of "You don't salute the man, you salute the uniform," this is so shocking as to border on mutiny.I really, really worry whether this invasion is going to go off as well as planned. A short, quick takeover would (most likely) lead to the least casualties on all sides, and I have little appetite for the thought of American soldiers (or Iraqi civilians, for that matter) dying for this quixotic enterprise. This is doing nothing to ease my concern.
Still, it sounds like a useful defense department rule-of-thumb. For that, at least, I'm once again glad that Atrios has the guts to put comments on his site.