General Pace is an honorable man and his forced departure highlights the the moral collapse of this Congress and administration.
My ellipsis and sequencing:
The decision to sideline Gen. Pace came as a surprise, since Mr. Gates had previously indicated privately that he intended to recommend that the president renominate him.
When he announced the decision (to fire General Pace), (SecDef) Mr. Gates said that after consulting with members of the Senate he concluded that sticking with Gen. Pace would risk a Senate confirmation struggle focusing on the Iraq war.
Marine Gen. Pace said that he had turned down an offer to voluntarily retire rather than be forced out as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“…some 40 years ago I left some guys on the battlefield in Vietnam who lost their lives following Second Lieutenant Pace,” he said. “And I promised myself then that I will serve this country until I was no longer needed – that it’s not my decision. I need to be told that I’m done.
“I’ve been told I’m done.”
In years to come, thousands of the men who fought alongside General Pace will remember him, while Gates and Reid will be dead or forgotten.