Spencer Ackerman, who knows a thing or two about today's military, says:
"To say this is an inspired choice underscores its magnitude. Shinseki's personal courage and virtue are close to unparalleled in the current generation of general officers. He knows the sacrifices of war personally, as he left part of his right foot in Vietnam. The new generation of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans -- already underserved by the country that sent them to war -- can know that he has their backs. After all, before the war began, he all but ended his career (Rumsfeld had announced his successor months before after they feuded over the Crusader artillery system) by telling Congress that the indefinite occupation of Iraq would require hundreds of thousands of troops to keep the peace, far beyond the antiseptic and now-discredited estimates of the Bush administration. At his retirement ceremony, Shinseki gave a prescient and impassioned speech imploring the Pentagon to "beware a 12-division strategy for a 10-division Army."Many on the left are whining about Obama's appointments. I am not. I am happy with every appointment he has made. Shinseki, if you remember, was the guy who told Bush that Iraq would require hundreds of thousands of troops; Rumsfeld and Bush disagreed with him, and made Shinseki out to be an imbecile. And now the guy will run Veteran's Affairs. Got hope? I say yes!
Last year, an exemplary soldier named Paul Yingling wrote a scathing essay indicting the generals who acquiesced to the Bush administration's inadequate plans for the occupation. It was titled "A Failure in Generalship." Yingling accused the current generation of generals of cowardice, egotism, careerism and dereliction of duty, putting self-interested deference to the administration before integrity, intellectual honesty and service to both the frontline soldier, sailor, airman and marine and the country itself. Ric Shinseki was the man who stood against this unfortunate trend, and he paid for his integrity with his career. To see him vindicated is to witness a proud moment in American history."
Update: Here is Obama taling about Shinseki on MTP: