Saturday, October 13, 2007

Sanchez's Full Statement

General Sanchez's statement is contained verbatim below Read More! and as I noted in my previous post, his criticisms include, but are hardly confined to the Administration. First of all he practically calls the Press names. Here are some of his milder remarks:

In some cases I have never even met you, yet you feel qualified to make character judgments that are communicated to the world…. This is the worst display of journalism imaginable by those of us that are bound by a strict value system of selfless service, honor and integrity. almost invariably, my perception is that the sensationalistic value of these assessments is what provided the edge that you seek for self agrandizement or to advance your individual quest for getting on the front page with your stories! … It seems that as long as you get a front page story there is little or no regard for the "collateral damage" you will cause. personal reputations have no value and you report with total impunity and are rarely held accountable for unethical conduct. ...

Next, Sanchez says that whole establishment has put the military out on a limb and sawed it off.

There has been a glaring, unfortunate, display of incompetent strategic leadership within our national leaders. As a Japanese proverb says, “action without vision is a nightmare” there is no question that America is living A nightmare with no end in sight.

Since 2003, the politics of war have been characterized by partisanship as the republican and democratic parties struggled for power in washington. National efforts to date have been corrupted by partisan politics that have prevented us from devising effective, executable, supportable solutions. At times, these partisan struggles have led to political decisions that endangered the lives of our sons and daughters on the battlefield. The unmistakable message was that political power had greater priority than our national security objectives. Overcoming this strategic failure is the first step toward achieving victory in Iraq - without bipartisan cooperation we are doomed to fail. There is nothing going on today in Washington that would give us hope.

If we succeed in crafting a bipartisan strategy for victory, then America must hold all national agencies accountable for developing and executing the political and economic initiatives that will bring about stability, security, political and economic hope for all Iraqis. That has not been successful to date.

A lot of Sanchez's criticism focuses on a subject that is hardly ever talked about in public policy debate. He asks, why aren't we telling the Iraqis what to do? His criticism is at a basic strategic level.

Congress must shoulder a significant responsibility for this failure since there Has been no focused oversight of the nations political and economic initiatives In this war. Exhortations, encouragements, investigations, studies and discussions will not produce success -this appears to be the nation's only alternative since the transfer of sovereignty. Our continued neglect will only Extend the conflict. America's dilemma is that we no longer control the ability To directly influence the Iraqi institutions. The sovereign Iraqi government must be cooperative in these long term efforts. That is not likely at the levels necessary in the near term.

Sanchez argues that America's military is far too small to do a job it has been left alone to do all by itself, even without the catcalls from the peanut gallery

What America must accept as a reality at this point in the war is that our army and Marine corps are struggling with the deployment schedules. What is clear is that the deployment cycles of our formations has been totally disrupted, the resourcing and training challenges are significant and america's ability to sustain a force level of 150,000(+) is nonexistent without drastic measures that have been politically unacceptable to date. The drawdown of the surge to presurge levels was never a question. America must understand that it will take the army at least a decade to fix the damage that has been done to its full spectrum readiness. The President's recent statement to America that he will Listen to military commanders is a matter of political expediency.

This may be spun as "Bush lied, people died", but if you read the remarks in full, it reads more like F.U. Washington and you reporters, too. And while one may or may not agree with all of Sanchez's points, his central question remains a valid one: has the political leadership in Washington articulated a strategy or is it -- even now -- spinning yet some more.



SOME OF YOU MAY NOT BELIEVE THIS BUT I AM GLAD TO BE HERE. WHEN SIG ASKED ME IF I WOULD CONSIDER ADDRESSING YOU THERE WAS NO DOUBT THAT I SHOULD COME INTO THE LION'S DEN. THIS WAS IMPORTANT BECAUSE I HAVE FIRMLY BELIEVED SINCE DESERT SHIELD THAT IT IS NECESSARY FOR THE STRENGTH OF OUR DEMOCRACY THAT THE MILITARY AND THE PRESS CORPS MAINTAIN A STRONG, MUTUALLY RESPECTFUL AND ENABLING RELATIONSHIP. THIS CONTINUES TO BE PROBLEMATIC FOR OUR COUNTRY, ESPECIALLY DURING TIMES OF WAR. ONE OF THE GREATEST MILITARY CORRESPONDENTS OF OUR TIME, JOE GALLOWAY, MADE ME A BELIEVER WHEN HE JOINED THE 24TH INFANTRY DIVISION DURING DESERT STORM.

TODAY, I WILL ATTEMPT TO DO TWO THINGS - FIRST I WILL GIVE YOU MY ASSESSMENT OF THE MILITARY AND PRESS RELATIONSHIP AND THEN I WILL PROVIDE YOU SOME THOUGHTS ON THE CURRENT STATE OF OUR WAR EFFORT. AS ALL OF YOU KNOW I HAVE A WIDE RANGE OF RELATIONSHIPS AND EXPERIENCES WITH OUR NATIONS MILITARY WRITERS AND EDITORS. THERE ARE SOME IN YOUR RANKS WHO I CONSIDER TO BE THE EPITOME OF JOURNALISTIC PROFESSIONALISM - JOE GALLOWAY, THOM SHANKER, SIG CHRISTENSEN, AND JOHN BURNS IMMEDIATELY COME TO MIND. THEY EXEMPLIFY WHAT AMERICA SHOULD DEMAND OF OUR JOURNALISTS - TOUGH REPORTING THAT RELIES UPON INTEGRITY, OBJECTIVITY AND FAIRNESS TO GIVE ACCURATE AND THOROUGH ACCOUNTS THAT STRENGTHEN OUR FREEDOM OF THE PRESS AND IN TURN OUR DEMOCRACY. ON THE OTHER HAND, UNFORTUNATELY, I HAVE ISSUED ULTIMATUMS TO SOME OF YOU FOR UNSCRUPULOUS REPORTING THAT WAS SOLELY FOCUSED ON SUPPORTING YOUR AGENDA AND PRECONCIEVED NOTIONS OF WHAT OUR MILITARY HAD DONE. I ALSO REFUSED TO TALK TO THE EUROPEAN STARS AND STRIPES FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS OF MY COMMAND IN GERMANY FOR THEIR EXTREME BIAS AND SINGLE MINDED FOCUS ON ABU GHARAIB.

LET ME REVIEW SOME OF THE DESCRIPTIVE PHRASES THAT HAVE BEEN USED BY SOME OF YOU THAT HAVE MADE MY PERSONAL INTERFACES WITH THE PRESS CORPS DIFFICULT:

"DICTATORIAL AND SOMEWHAT DENSE",

"NOT A STRATEGIC THOUGHT",

LIAR,

"DOES NOT GET IT" AND

THE MOST INEXPERIENCED LTG.

IN SOME CASES I HAVE NEVER EVEN MET YOU, YET YOU FEEL QUALIFIED TO MAKE CHARACTER JUDGMENTS THAT ARE COMMUNICATED TO THE WORLD. MY EXPERIENCE IS NOT UNIQUE AND WE CAN FIND OTHER EXAMPLES SUCH AS THE TREATMENT OF SECRETARY BROWN DURING KATRINA. THIS IS THE WORST DISPLAY OF JOURNALISM IMAGINABLE BY THOSE OF US THAT ARE BOUND BY A STRICT VALUE SYSTEM OF SELFLESS SERVICE, HONOR AND INTEGRITY. ALMOST INVARIABLY, MY PERCEPTION IS THAT THE SENSATIONALISTIC VALUE OF THESE ASSESSMENTS IS WHAT PROVIDED THE EDGE THAT YOU SEEK FOR SELF AGRANDIZEMENT OR TO ADVANCE YOUR INDIVIDUAL QUEST FOR GETTING ON THE FRONT PAGE WITH YOUR STORIES! AS I UNDERSTAND IT, YOUR MEASURE OF WORTH IS HOW MANY FRONT PAGE STORIES YOU HAVE WRITTEN AND UNFORTUNATELY SOME OF YOU WILL COMPROMISE YOUR INTEGRITY AND DISPLAY QUESTIONABLE ETHICS AS YOU SEEK TO KEEP AMERICA INFORMED. THIS IS MUCH LIKE THE INTELLIGENCE ANALYSTS WHOSE EFFECTIVENESS WAS MEASURED BY THE NUMBER OF INTELLIGENCE REPORTS HE PRODUCED. FOR SOME, IT SEEMS THAT AS LONG AS YOU GET A FRONT PAGE STORY THERE IS LITTLE OR NO REGARD FOR THE "COLLATERAL DAMAGE" YOU WILL CAUSE. PERSONAL REPUTATIONS HAVE NO VALUE AND YOU REPORT WITH TOTAL IMPUNITY AND ARE RARELY HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR UNETHICAL CONDUCT.

GIVEN THE NEAR INSTANTANEOUS ABILITY TO REPORT ACTIONS ON THE GROUND, THE RESPONSIBILITY TO ACCURATELY AND TRUTHFULLY REPORT TAKES ON AN UNPRECEDENTED IMPORTANCE. THE SPECULATIVE AND OFTEN UNINFORMED INITIAL REPORTING THAT CHARACTERIZES OUR MEDIA APPEARS TO BE RAPIDLY BECOMING THE STANDARD OF THE INDUSTRY. AN ARAB PROVERB STATES - "Four things come not back: the spoken word, the spent arrow, the past, the neglected opportunity." ONCE REPORTED, YOUR ASSESSMENTS BECOME CONVENTIONAL WISDOM AND NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO CHANGE. OTHER MAJOR CHALLENGES ARE YOUR WILLINGNESS TO BE MANIPULATED BY "HIGH LEVEL OFFICIALS" WHO LEAK STORIES AND BY LAWYERS WHO USE HYPERBOLE TO STRENGHTEN THEIR ARGUMENTS. YOUR UNWILLINGNESS TO ACCURATELY AND PROMINENTLY CORRECT YOUR MISTAKES AND YOUR AGENDA DRIVEN BIASES CONTRIBUTE TO THIS CORROSIVE ENVIRONMENT. ALL OF THESE CHALLENGES COMBINED CREATE A MEDIA ENVIRONMENT THAT DOES A TREMENDOUS DISSERVICE TO AMERICA. OVER THE COURSE OF THIS WAR TACTICALLY INSIGNIFICANT EVENTS HAVE BECOME STRATEGIC DEFEATS FOR AMERICA BECAUSE OF THE TREMENDOUS POWER AND IMPACT OF THE MEDIA AND BY EXTENSION YOU THE JOURNALIST. IN MANY CASES THE MEDIA HAS UNJUSTLY DESTROYED THE INDIVIDUAL REPUTATIONS AND CAREERS OF THOSE INVOLVED. WE REALIZE THAT BECAUSE OF THE NEAR REAL TIME REPORTING ENVIRONMENT THAT YOU FACE IT IS DIFFICULT TO REPORT ACCURATELY. IN MY BUSINESS ONE OF OUR FUNDAMENTAL TRUTHS IS THAT "THE FIRST REPORT IS ALWAYS WRONG." UNFORTUNATELY, IN YOUR BUSINESS "THE FIRST REPORT" GIVES AMERICANS WHO RELY ON THE SNIPPETS OF CNN, IF YOU WILL, THEIR "TRUTHS" AND PERSPECTIVES ON AN ISSUE. AS A COROLLARY TO THIS DEADLINE DRIVEN NEED TO PUBLISH "INITIAL IMPRESSIONS OR OBSERVATIONS" VERSUS OBJECTIVE FACTS THERE IS AN ADDITIONAL CHALLENGE FOR US WHO ARE THE SUBJECT OF YOUR REPORTING. WHEN YOU ASSUME THAT YOU ARE CORRECT AND ON THE MORAL HIGH GROUND ON A STORY BECAUSE WE HAVE NOT RESPOND TO QUESTIONS YOU PROVIDED IS THE ULTIMATE ARROGANCE AND DISTORTION OF ETHICS. ONE OF YOUR HIGHLY REPECTED FELLOW JOURNALISTS ONCE TOLD ME THAT THERE ARE SOME AMONGST YOU WHO "FEED FROM A PIG'S TROUGH." IF THAT IS WHO I AM DEALING WITH THEN I WILL NEVER RESPOND OTHERWISE WE WILL BOTH GET DIRTY AND THE PIG WILL LOVE IT. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOUR STORY IS ACCURATE.

I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THIS IS WHAT OUR FOREFATHERS INTENDED. THE CODE OF ETHICS FOR THE SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS STATES:
...PUBLIC ENLIGHTENMENT IS THE FORERUNNER OF JUSTICE AND THE FOUNDATION OF DEMOCRACY. THE DUTY OF THE JOURNALIST IS TO FURTHER THOSE ENDS BY SEEKING TRUTH AND PROVIDING A FAIR AND COMPREHENSIVE ACCOUNT OF EVENTS AND ISSUES. CONSCIENTIOUS JOURNALISTS FROM ALL MEDIA AND SPECIALTIES STRIVE TO SERVE THE PUBLIC WITH THOROUGHNESS AND HONESTY. PROFESSIONAL INTEGRITY IS THE CORNERSTONE OF A JOURNALIST'S CREDIBILITY

THE BASIC ETHICS OF A JOURNALIST THAT CALLS FOR:

1. SEEKING TRUTH,

2. PROVIDING FAIR AND COMPREHENSIVE ACCOUNT OF EVENTS AND ISSUES

3. THOROUGHNESS AND HONESTY

ALL ARE VICTIMS OF THE MASSIVE AGENDA DRIVEN COMPETITION FOR ECONOMIC OR POLITICAL SUPREMACY. THE DEATH KNELL OF YOUR ETHICS HAS BEEN ENABLED BY YOUR PARENT ORGANIZATIONS WHO HAVE CHOSEN TO ALIGN THEMSELVES WITH POLITICAL AGENDAS. WHAT IS CLEAR TO ME IS THAT YOU ARE PERPETUATING THE CORROSIVE PARTISAN POLITICS THAT IS DESTROYING OUR COUNTRY AND KILLING OUR SERVICEMEMBERS WHO ARE AT WAR.

MY ASSESSMENT IS THAT YOUR PROFESSION, TO SOME EXTENT, HAS STRAYED FROM THESE ETHICAL STANDARDS AND ALLOWED EXTERNAL AGENDAS TO MANIPULATE WHAT THE AMERICAN PUBLIC SEES ON TV, WHAT THEY READ IN OUR NEWSPAPERS AND WHAT THEY SEE ON THE WEB. FOR SOME OF YOU, JUST LIKE SOME OF OUR POLITICIANS, THE TRUTH IS OF LITTLE TO NO VALUE IF IT DOES NOT FIT YOUR OWN PRECONCIEVED NOTIONS, BIASES AND AGENDAS.

IT IS ASTOUNDING TO ME WHEN I HEAR THE VEHEMENT DISAGREEMENT WITH THE MILITARY'S FORAYS INTO INFORMATION OPERATIONS THAT SEEK TO DISSEMINATE THE TRUTH AND INFORM THE IRAQI PEOPLE IN ORDER TO COUNTER OUR ENEMY'S BLATANT PROPAGANDA. AS I ASSESS VARIOUS MEDIA ENTITIES, SOME ARE UNQUESTIONABLY ENGAGED IN POLITICAL PROPAGANDA THAT IS UNCONTROLLED. THERE IS NO QUESTION IN MY MIND THAT THE STRENGTH OUR DEMOCRACY AND OUR FREEDOMS REMAIN LINKED TO YOUR ABILITY TO EXERCISE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS - I ADAMANTLY SUPPORT THIS BASIC FOUNDATION OF OUR DEMOCRACY AND COMPLETELY SUPPORTED THE EMBEDDING OF MEDIA INTO OUR FORMATIONS UP UNTIL MY LAST DAY IN UNIFORM. THE ISSUE IS ONE OF MAINTAINING PROFESSIONAL ETHICS AND STANDARDS FROM WITHIN YOUR INSTITUTION. MILITARY LEADERS MUST ACCEPT THAT THESE INJUSTICES WILL HAPPEN AND WHETHER THEY LIKE WHAT YOU PRINT OR NOT THEY MUST DEAL WITH YOU AND ENABLE YOU, IF YOU ARE AN ETHICAL JOURNALIST.

FINALLY, I WILL LEAVE THIS SUBJECT WITH A QUESTION THAT WE MUST ASK OURSELVES--WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR MAINTAINING THE ETHICAL STANDARDS OF THE PROFESSION IN ORDER TO ENSURE THAT OUR DEMOCRACY DOES NOT CONTINUE TO BE THREATENED BY THIS DANGEROUS SHIFT AWAY FROM YOUR SACRED DUTY OF PUBLIC ENLIGHTENMENT?

LET ME NOW TRANSITION TO OUR CURRENT NATIONAL SECURITY CONDITION.

AS WE ALL KNOW WAR IS AN EXTENSION OF POLITICS AND WHEN A NATION GOES TO WAR IT MUST BRING TO BEAR ALL ELEMENTS OF POWER IN ORDER TO WIN. WARFIGHTING IS NOT SOLELY THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE MILITARY COMMANDER UNLESS HE HAS BEEN GIVEN THE RESPONSIBILITY AND RESOURCES TO SYNCHRONIZE THE POLITICAL, ECONOMIC AND INFORMATIONAL POWER OF THE NATION. SO WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR DEVELOPING THE GRAND STRATEGY THAT WILL ALLOW AMERICA TO EMERGE VICTORIOUS FROM THIS GENERATIONAL STRUGGLE AGAINST EXTREMISM?

AFTER MORE THAN FOUR YEARS OF FIGHTING, AMERICA CONTINUES ITS DESPERATE STRUGGLE IN IRAQ WITHOUT ANY CONCERTED EFFORT TO DEVISE A STRATEGY THAT WILL ACHIEVE "VICTORY" IN THAT WAR TORN COUNTRY OR IN THE GREATER CONFLICT AGAINST EXTREMISM. FROM A CATASTROPHICALLY FLAWED, UNREALISTICALLY OPTIMISTIC WAR PLAN TO THE ADMINISTRATION'S LATEST "SURGE" STRATEGY, THIS ADMINISTRATION HAS FAILED TO EMPLOY AND SYNCHRONIZE ITS POLITICAL, ECONOMIC AND MILITARY POWER. THE LATEST "REVISED STRATEGY" IS A DESPERATE ATTEMPT BY AN ADMINISTRATION THAT HAS NOT ACCEPTED THE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC REALITIES OF THIS WAR AND THEY HAVE DEFINITELY NOT COMMUNICATED THAT REALITY TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. AN EVEN WORSE AND MORE DISTURBING ASSESSMENT IS THAT AMERICA CAN NOT ACHIEVE THE POLITICAL CONSENSUS NECESSARY TO DEVISE A GRAND STRATEGY THAT WILL SYNCHRONIZE AND COMMIT OUR NATIONAL POWER TO ACHIEVE VICTORY IN IRAQ. SOME OF YOU HAVE HEARD ME TALK ABOUT OUR NATIONS CRISIS IN LEADERSHIP. LET ME ELABORATE.

WHILE THE POLITICIANS ESPOUSE THEIR RHETORIC DESIGNED TO PRESERVE THEIR REPUTATIONS AND THEIR POLITICAL POWER -OUR SOLDIERS DIE! OUR NATIONAL LEADERSHIP IGNORED THE LESSONS OF WWII AS WE ENTERED INTO THIS WAR AND TO THIS DAY CONTINUE TO BELIEVE THAT VICTORY CAN BE ACHIEVED THROUGH THE APPLICATION OF MILITARY POWER ALONE. OUR FOREFATHERS UNDERSTOOD THAT TREMENDOUS ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL CAPACITY HAD TO BE MOBILIZED, SYNCHRONIZED AND APPLIED IF WE WERE TO ACHIEVE VICTORY IN A GLOBAL WAR. THAT HAS BEEN AND CONTINUES TO BE THE KEY TO VICTORY IN IRAQ. CONTINUED MANIPULATIONS AND ADJUSTMENTS TO OUR MILITARY STRATEGY WILL NOT ACHIEVE VICTORY. THE BEST WE CAN DO WITH THIS FLAWED APPROACH IS STAVE OFF DEFEAT. THE ADMINISTRATION, CONGRESS AND THE ENTIRE INTERAGENCY, ESPECIALLY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE, MUST SHOULDER THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THIS CATASTROPHIC FAILURE AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE MUST HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE.

THERE HAS BEEN A GLARING, UNFORTUNATE, DISPLAY OF INCOMPETENT STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP WITHIN OUR NATIONAL LEADERS. AS A JAPANESE PROVERB SAYS, "ACTION WITHOUT VISION IS A NIGHTMARE." THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT AMERICA IS LIVING A NIGHTMARE WITH NO END IN SIGHT.

SINCE 2003, THE POLITICS OF WAR HAVE BEEN CHARACTERIZED BY PARTISANSHIP AS THE REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC PARTIES STRUGGLED FOR POWER IN WASHINGTON. NATIONAL EFFORTS TO DATE HAVE BEEN CORRUPTED BY PARTISAN POLITICS THAT HAVE PREVENTED US FROM DEVISING EFFECTIVE, EXECUTABLE, SUPPORTABLE SOLUTIONS. AT TIMES, THESE PARTISAN STRUGGLES HAVE LED TO POLITICAL DECISIONS THAT ENDANGERED THE LIVES OF OUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS ON THE BATTLEFIELD. THE UNMISTAKABLE MESSAGE WAS THAT POLITICAL POWER HAD GREATER PRIORITY THAN OUR NATIONAL SECURITY OBJECTIVES. OVERCOMING THIS STRATEGIC FAILURE IS THE FIRST STEP TOWARD ACHIEVING VICTORY IN IRAQ - WITHOUT BIPARTISAN COOPERATION WE ARE DOOMED TO FAIL. THERE IS NOTHING GOING ON TODAY IN WASHINGTON THAT WOULD GIVE US HOPE.

IF WE SUCCEED IN CRAFTING A BIPARTISAN STRATEGY FOR VICTORY, THEN AMERICA MUST HOLD ALL NATIONAL AGENCIES ACCOUNTABLE FOR DEVELOPING AND EXECUTING THE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC INITIATIVES THAT WILL BRING ABOUT STABILITY, SECURITY, POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC HOPE FOR ALL IRAQIS. THAT HAS NOT BEEN SUCCESSFUL TO DATE.

CONGRESS MUST SHOULDER A SIGNIFICANT RESPONSIBILITY FOR THIS FAILURE SINCE THERE HAS BEEN NO FOCUSED OVERSIGHT OF THE NATIONS POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC INITIATIVES IN THIS WAR. EXHORTATIONS, ENCOURAGEMENTS, INVESTIGATIONS, STUDIES AND DISCUSSIONS WILL NOT PRODUCE SUCCESS -THIS APPEARS TO BE THE NATION'S ONLY ALTERNATIVE SINCE THE TRANSFER OF SOVERIEGNTY. OUR CONTINUED NEGLECT WILL ONLY EXTEND THE CONFLICT. AMERICA'S DILEMMA IS THAT WE NO LONGER CONTROL THE ABILITY TO DIRECTLY INFLUENCE THE IRAQI INSTITUTIONS. THE SOVEREIGN IRAQI GOVERNMENT MUST BE COOPERATIVE IN THESE LONG TERM EFFORTS. THAT IS NOT LIKELY AT THE LEVELS NECESSARY IN THE NEAR TERM.

OUR COMMANDERS ON THE GROUND WILL CONTINUE TO MAKE PROGRESS AND PROVIDE TIME FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A GRAND STRATEGY. THAT WILL BE WASTED EFFORT AS WE HAVE SEEN REPEATEDLY SINCE 2003. IN THE MEAN TIME OUR SOLDIERS, SAILORS, AIRMEN AND MARINES WILL CONTINUE TO DIE.

SINCE THE START OF THIS WAR, AMERICA'S LEADERSHIP HAS KNOWN THAT OUR MILITARY ALONE COULD NOT ACHIEVE VICTORY IN IRAQ. STARTING IN JULY 2003, THE MESSAGE REPEATEDLY COMMUNICATED TO WASHINGTON BY MILITARY COMMANDERS ON THE GROUND WAS THAT THE MILITARY ALONE COULD NEVER ACHIEVE "VICTORY" IN IRAQ. OUR SOLDIERS, SAILORS, AIRMEN AND MARINES WERE DESTINED TO ENDURE DECADES OF FIGHTING AND KILLING PEOPLE WITHOUT THE FOCUSED, SYNCHRONIZED APPLICATION OF ALL ELEMENTS OF NATIONAL POWER. THIS WAS A NECESSARY CONDITION TO STABILIZE IRAQ. ANY SEQUENTIAL SOLUTIONS WOULD LEAD TO A PROLONGED CONFLICT AND INCREASED RESISTANCE.

BY NEGLECT AND INCOMPETENCE AT THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL LEVEL, THAT IS THE PATH OUR POLITICAL LEADERS CHOSE AND NOW AMERICA, MORE PRECISELY THE AMERICAN MILITARY, FINDS ITSELF IN AN INTRACTABLE SITUATION. CLEARLY, MISTAKES HAVE BEEN MADE BY THE AMERICAN MILITARY IN ITS APPLICATION OF POWER BUT EVEN ITS GREATEST FAILURES IN THIS WAR CAN BE LINKED TO AMERICA'S LACK OF COMMITMENT, PRIORITY AND MORAL COURAGE IN THIS WAR EFFORT. WITHOUT THE SACRIFICES OF OUR MAGNIFICENT YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM, IRAQ WOULD BE CHAOTIC WELL BEYOND ANYTHING EXPERIENCED TO DATE.

WHAT AMERICA MUST ACCEPT AS A REALITY AT THIS POINT IN THE WAR IS THAT OUR ARMY AND MARINE CORPS ARE STRUGGLING WITH THE DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULES. WHAT IS CLEAR IS THAT THE DEPLOYMENT CYCLES OF OUR FORMATIONS HAS BEEN TOTALLY DISRUPTED, THE RESOURCING AND TRAINING CHALLENGES ARE SIGNIFICANT AND AMERICA'S ABILITY TO SUSTAIN A FORCE LEVEL OF 150,000(+) IS NONEXISTENT WITHOUT DRASTIC MEASURES THAT HAVE BEEN POLITICALLY UNACCEPTABLE TO DATE. THE DRAWDOWN OF THE SURGE TO PRESURGE LEVELS WAS NEVER A QUESTION. AMERICA MUST UNDERSTAND THAT IT WILL TAKE THE ARMY AT LEAST A DECADE TO FIX THE DAMAGE THAT HAS BEEN DONE TO ITS FULL SPECTRUM READINESS. THE PRESIDENT'S RECENT STATEMENT TO AMERICA THAT HE WILL LISTEN TO MILITARY COMMANDERS IS A MATTER OF POLITICAL EXPEDIENCY.

OUR ARMY AND MARINE CORPS WILL EXECUTE AS DIRECTED, PERFORM MAGNIFICENTLY AND NEVER COMPLAIN-THAT IS THE ETHIC OF OUR WARRIORS AND THAT IS WHAT AMERICA EXPECTS OF THEM. THEY WILL NOT DISAPPOINT US. BUT AMERICA MUST KNOW THE PRESSURES THAT ARE BEING PLACED ON OUR MILITARY INSTITUTIONS AS WE FIGHT THIS WAR. ALL AMERICANS MUST DEMAND THAT THESE DEPLOYING FORMATIONS ARE PROPERLY RESOURCED, PROPERLY TRAINED AND WE MUST NEVER ALLOW AMERICA'S SUPPORT FOR THE SOLDIER TO FALTER. A CRITICAL, OBJECTIVE ASSESSMENT OF OUR NATION'S ABILITY TO EXECUTE OUR NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY MUST BE CONDUCTED. IF WE ARE OBJECTIVE AND HONEST, THE RESULTS WILL BE SURPRISING TO ALL AMERICANS. THERE IS UNACCEPTABLE STRATEGIC RISK.

AMERICA HAS NO CHOICE BUT TO CONTINUE OUR EFFORTS IN IRAQ. A PRECIPITOUS WITHDRAWAL WILL UNQUESTIONABLY LEAD TO CHAOS THAT WOULD ENDANGER THE STABILITY OF THE GREATER MIDDLE EAST. IF THIS OCCURS IT WOULD HAVE SIGNIFICANT ADVERSE EFFECTS ON THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY. COALITION AND AMERICAN FORCE PRESENCE WILL BE REQUIRED AT SOME LEVEL FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE. GIVEN THE LACK OF A GRAND STRATEGY WE MUST MOVE RAPIDLY TO MINIMIZE THAT FORCE PRESENCE AND ALLOW THE IRAQIS MAXIMUM ABILITY TO EXERCISE THEIR SOVERIEGNTY IN ACHIEVING A SOLUTION.

AT NO TIME IN AMERICA'S HISTORY HAS THERE BEEN A GREATER NEED FOR BIPARTISAN COOPERATION. THE THREAT OF EXTREMISM IS REAL AND DEMANDS UNIFIED ACTION AT THE SAME LEVELS DEMONSTRATED BY OUR FOREFATHERS DURING WORLD WAR I AND WORLD WAR II. AMERICA HAS FAILED TO DATE.

THIS ENDEAVOR HAS FURTHER BEEN HAMPERED BY A COALITION EFFORT THAT CAN BE CHARACTERIZED AS HASTY, UN-RESOURCED AND OFTEN UNCOORDINATED AND UNMANAGED. DESPERATELY NEEDED, BUT ESSENTIALLY IGNORED, WERE THE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC COALITIONS THAT WERE THE KEY TO VICTORY AND STABILITY IN THE IMMEDIATE AFTERMATH OF THE CONVENTIONAL WAR. THE MILITARY COALITION WHICH WAS HASTILY PUT TOGETHER IN THE SUMMER OF 2003 WAS PROBLEMATIC GIVEN THE MULTITUDE OF NATIONAL CAVEATS, INADEQUATE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT AND OTHER RESTRICTIONS ON THE FORCES DEPLOYED. EVEN SO, THE MILITARY COALITION WAS THE MOST EXTENSIVE, PRODUCTIVE AND EFFECTIVE DEPLOYMENT OF FORCES IN DECADES. TODAY, WE CONTINUE OUR INEPT COALITION MANAGEMENT EFFORTS AND, IN FACT, WE ARE FACING EVER DECREASING TROOP COMMITMENTS BY OUR MILITARY COALITION PARTNERS. AMERICA'S "REVISED" STRATEGY DOES NOT ADDRESS COALITION INITIATIVES AND CHALLENGES. WE CANNOT AFFORD TO CONTINUE THIS STRUGGLE WITHOUT THE SUPPORT OF OUR COALITION PARTNERS ACROSS ALL ELEMENTS OF NATIONAL POWER. WITHOUT THE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC ELEMENTS OF POWER COMPLEMENTING THE TREMENDOUS EFFORTS OF OUR MILITARY, AMERICA IS ASSURED OF FAILURE. WE CONTINUE ON THAT PATH. AMERICA'S POLITICAL LEADERSHIP MUST COME TOGETHER AND DEVELOP A BIPARTISAN GRAND STRATEGY TO ACHIEVE VICTORY IN THIS CONFLICT. THE SIMULTANEOUS APPLICATION OF OUR POLITICAL, ECONOMIC, INFORMATION AND MILITARY ELEMENTS OF POWER IS THE ONLY COURSE OF ACTION THAT WILL PROVIDE A CHANCE OF SUCCESS.

ACHIEVING UNITY OF EFFORT IN IRAQ HAS BEEN ELUSIVE TO DATE PRIMARILY BECAUSE THERE IS NO ENTITY THAT HAS THE AUTHORITY TO DIRECT ACTION BY OUR INTERAGENCY. OUR NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL HAS BEEN A CATASTROPHIC FAILURE. FURTHERMORE, AMERICA'S ABILITY TO HOLD THE INTERAGENCY ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR FAILURES IN THIS WAR IS NON-EXISTENT. THIS MUST CHANGE. AS A NATION WE MUST RECOGNIZE THAT THE ENEMY WE FACE IS COMMITTED TO DESTROYING OUR WAY OF LIFE. THIS ENEMY IS ARGUABLY MORE DANGEROUS THAN ANY THREAT WE FACED IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. OUR POLITICAL LEADERS MUST PLACE NATIONAL SECURITY OBJECTIVES ABOVE PARTISAN POLITICS, DEMAND INTERAGENCY UNITY OF EFFORT, AND NEVER AGAIN COMMIT AMERICA TO WAR WITHOUT A GRAND STRATEGY THAT EMBRACES THE BASIC TENETS OF THE POWELL DOCTRINE.

IT SEEMS THAT CONGRESS RECOGNIZES THAT THE MILITARY CANNOT ACHIEVE VICTORY ALONE IN THIS WAR. YET THEY CONTINUE TO DEMAND VICTORY FROM OUR MILITARY. WHO WILL DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THE FAILURE OF OUR NATIONAL POLITICAL LEADERS INVOLVED IN THE MANAGEMENT THIS WAR? THEY HAVE UNQUESTIONABLY BEEN DERELICT IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR DUTY. IN MY PROFESSION, THESE TYPE OF LEADERS WOULD IMMEDIATELY BE RELIEVED OR COURTMARTIALED.

AMERICA HAS SENT OUR SOLDIERS OFF TO WAR AND THEY MUST BE SUPPORTED AT ALL COSTS UNTIL WE ACHIEVE VICTORY OR UNTIL OUR POLITICAL LEADERS DECIDE TO BRING THEM HOME. OUR POLITICAL AND MILITARY LEADERS OWE THE SOLDIER ON THE BATTLEFIELD THE STRATEGY, THE POLICIES AND THE RESOURCES TO WIN ONCE COMMITTED TO WAR. AMERICA HAS NOT BEEN FULLY COMMITTED TO WIN THIS WAR. AS THE MILITARY COMMANDERS ON THE GROUND HAVE STATED SINCE THE SUMMER OF 2003, THE U.S. MILITARY ALONE CANNOT WIN THIS WAR. AMERICA MUST MOBILIZE THE INTERAGENCY AND THE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC ELEMENTS OF POWER, WHICH HAVE BEEN ABJECT FAILURES TO DATE, IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE VICTORY. OUR NATION HAS NOT FOCUSED ON THE GREATEST CHALLENGE OF OUR LIFETIME. THE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC ELEMENTS OF POWER MUST GET BEYOND THE POLITICS TO ENSURE THE SURVIVAL OF AMERICA. PARTISAN POLITICS HAVE HINDERED THIS WAR EFFORT AND AMERICA SHOULD NOT ACCEPT THIS. AMERICA MUST DEMAND A UNIFIED NATIONAL STRATEGY THAT GOES WELL BEYOND PARTISAN POLITICS AND PLACES THE COMMON GOOD ABOVE ALL ELSE. TOO OFTEN OUR POLITICIANS HAVE CHOSEN LOYALTY TO THEIR POLITICAL PARTY ABOVE LOYALTY TO THE CONSTITUTION BECAUSE OF THEIR LUST FOR POWER. OUR POLITICIANS MUST REMEMBER THEIR OATH OF OFFICE AND RECOMMIT THEMSELVES TO SERVING OUR NATION AND NOT THEIR OWN SELF-INTERESTS OR POLITICAL PARTY. THE SECURITY OF AMERICA IS AT STAKE AND WE CAN ACCEPT NOTHING LESS. ANYTHING SHORT OF THIS IS UNQUESTIONABLY DERELICTION OF DUTY.

THESE ARE FAIRLY HARSH ASSESSMENTS OF THE MILITARY AND PRESS RELATIONSHIP AND THE STATUS OF OUR WAR EFFORT. I REMAIN OPTIMISTIC AND COMMITTED TO THE ENABLING OF MEDIA OPERATIONS UNDER THE TOUGHEST OF CONDITIONS IN ORDER TO KEEP THE WORLD AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE INFORMED. OUR MILITARY MUST EMBRACE YOU FOR THE SAKE OUR DEMOCRACY BUT YOU OWE THEM ETHICAL JOURNALISM.

THANK YOU FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND MAY GOD BLESS AMERICA.

PRAISE BE TO THE LORD MY ROCK WHO TRAINS MY FINGERS FOR BATTLE AND MY HANDS FOR WAR.

THANK YOU.

65 Comments:

Blogger Doug said...

That's more interesting the previous excerpts!
---
" He asks, why aren't we telling the Iraqis what to do?
His criticism is at a basic strategic level.
"
---
While everything he says about DC Politics is true, GWB's "new tone" "leadership" is to blame for much that has gone wrong, both domestically and in the War, DC or no DC.
From letting Ted Kennedy write the education bill, to no vetos (and most specifically not Vetoing McCain-Feingold, OPENLY shirking his responsibility and hoping the Supremes would make up the difference) to all of Dept of Justice Snafus, topped by the Sandy Bergler Outrage.
GWB was reduced to declaring one thing after another "unacceptable" followed by the entire World observing as it happened anyway, without punishment.
In Iraq, less than two months after the start of OIF, civilian meddling of the kind he said he would not do was largely responsible for the insurgency gradually taking control.
His refusal to secure the border or enforce workplace enforcement laws has left us unacceptably vulnerable, and has resulted in Millions of new illegals, many criminals and felons on his watch.
On the streets, tens of thousands have paid for this outlaw behavior with their lives.
The mere fact that he refuses to carry out his oath simply because his personal views differ from the law speaks loudly.
Not exactly leadership by example.

10/13/2007 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

I think Gen. Sanchez is displaying good strategic thinking here: Blame Bush and all is forgiven!

I think the fog of war has gone to his brain. Bipartisanship, at its best, is like an ice cream pizza. In our current state it would be more like cow pie a la mode.

I do hope that a few years from now he will be very embarrassed by this speech. I presume he isn't now.

10/13/2007 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

From the BBC:

"A former US military chief in Iraq has condemned the current strategy in the conflict, which he warned was "a nightmare with no end in sight".

Retired Lt Gen Ricardo Sanchez also labeled US political leaders as "incompetent" and "corrupted".

He said they would have faced courts martial for dereliction of duty had they been in the military.

The best the US could manage under the current approach in Iraq was to "stave off defeat", Gen Sanchez warned.


Surely the good General knew what use his words would be put to--seeing how he spoke of the vile nature of much of the media in his speech, such as:--

OVER THE COURSE OF THIS WAR TACTICALLY INSIGNIFICANT EVENTS HAVE BECOME STRATEGIC DEFEATS FOR AMERICA BECAUSE OF THE TREMENDOUS POWER AND IMPACT OF THE MEDIA AND BY EXTENSION YOU THE JOURNALIST.

Oh, sorry, those were defeats! Only, not until he left!

And this:

LET ME REVIEW SOME OF THE DESCRIPTIVE PHRASES THAT HAVE BEEN USED BY SOME OF YOU THAT HAVE MADE MY PERSONAL INTERFACES WITH THE PRESS CORPS DIFFICULT:

"DICTATORIAL AND SOMEWHAT DENSE",

"NOT A STRATEGIC THOUGHT",

LIAR,

"DOES NOT GET IT" AND

THE MOST INEXPERIENCED LTG.

Well, at least they didn't call him incompetent and corrupt!

10/13/2007 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

He used reasoned, non-inflamatory speech, hd, so as not to give the press something to use as a WMD level headline:
My personal favorite:

""A Nightmare with No End in Sight"."

10/13/2007 02:56:00 PM  
Blogger Manny C said...

Scathing.

10/13/2007 03:15:00 PM  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

That is one of the most devastating indictments of the two-party system: that it has so polarized the Nation that it can no longer act coherently.

This Administration does get blame for many things on the coordination side.

It has been helped in no way, shape or form by Congress, which authorized the use of force.

Has the INTEL system been streamlined? No, it has had extra layers added onto it with no additional accountability and the oversight has actually decreased.

Have military procurements been facilitated for a long-term force structure change? Again, no. We are not implementing the lessons learned from the three conflicts in which the US has utilized its skills and military power: against the Taliban in Aghanistan, against Saddam and the insurgency in Iraq and against the Islamic Courts in Somalia. Each of these three points to a different force structure need that is no longer *static*, but highlly flexible.

In the first instance the victory was primarily won with native forces (Northern Alliance) with a few hundred Special Forces and INTEL operatives. The follow-on forces were to secure the country and allow a democratic system to start up and stand up a brand new fighting force for itself. That is a 15 year operation at *best* given the remoteness and high mountain warfare involved. Congress has failed to address this with sufficient mountain forces or sustainment of such forces, nor utilized the ability of the US to flex agricultural power in Afghanistan for crop replacement of the poppies with subsidized crops in Afghanistan and infrastructure build-up to de-subsidize them as they become more profitable for farmers. By not doing those things across-the-board nor to put in flexibility to the civilian side, no matter what the President *does* or *asks for* this cannot be done. This points to a major, structural problem with the government and civil service in this type of conflict.

In Iraq where a front-line fighting force needed to transitiion to a counter-insurgency force (even if Shinsekian sized forces could be had, which they could not given the size of the Armed Forces and current commitments), that required a higher degree of flexsibility than possible with the Armed Forces as structured by Congress. The Reserve system was meant to *hamper* deployments and has done so. By not recognizing this and the need for more counter-insurgency operations on a global basis (Philippines, Columbia, and other friendly Nations asking for our help), nor by adequately scoping and sizing the type of forces necessary for COIN work, Congress has failed on its oversight, procurement and force structuring roles that it HAS via the Constitution. If Congress sees problems in the force structure it is not to WAIT for the Administration (any Administration) to ASK. It is to start the resizing and backing of that with US industrial power. That has not happened across-the-board.

There are problems in Iraq with long-term force fatigue that can be addressed by the Administration: shifting forces out of EUCOM and PACOM to CENTCOM in a rotational cycle so as to spread the load more evenly over more forces and get the entire set of Armed Forces used to this new type of warfare. It has not done so. Congress has not recognized its role in such inattentiveness which is *not* investigations, but procurement, force restructuring and force sizing. That is the other axis of force readiness and fully a Congressional role if it believes the Administration has not done a good job at setting a realistic rotation schedule: not to bring the boys home but to adequately restructure the force so it carries out Congressionally authorized duties and assignments, of which the CAUF for Iraq was near omnibus. By not backing that large CAUF Congress fails in its role for the Armed Forces and the Nation.

Third up is Somalia where the US has flexed INTEL, airpower, naval power and minimal ground forces for advice allowed Ethiopia to overwhelm the Islamic Courts forces in short order. The follow-up on the Administration and Congressional side has been awful from diplomacy to foreign aid. Instead of shifting foreign aid in the budget what, exactly, has Congress done? The Administration can only do so much with diplomacy if the rest of the civil service is unwilling or unable to do *any* deployment to help stabilize a geographically strategic Nation that has just gotten rid of al Qaeda backed forces. Letting it go to hell again to warlords will mean that the US will have difficulty in Darfur and the Sudan, which has been riven by islamic strife for the past decade. That is a bi-partisan Presidential failure from Clinton to Bush and a long-term failure for Congress. If you want to address Darfur you must get Sudan quiet. If you want to get Sudan quiet you must get the Islamic Courts and al Qaeda out of there. The best way to do that is in the key geographic region of Somalia.

Gen. Sanchez is *not* blaming the Bush Administration ALONE: he is hitting hard and fast across the political spectrum, two Presidential Adminstrations and at least 7 Congresses. The 'peace dividend' was squandered, and the forces over taxed by Clintonian 'peace keeping'. That left the 10MD unable to deploy in Afghanistan which is its NATURAL TERRAIN FOR DEPLOYMENT. That was because it was devastated by Clinton in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo until it was at the lowest status seen by any unit since Vietnam. Further, while much of the need for heavy frontline forces have been obviated by the lack of a Soviet Union, the need for heavy forces is not gone and there is a more and increased need to disperse them and then suddenly bring such forces together on a moment's notice, literally within an hour as seen in Iraq and Afghanistan. The entire Congressional analysis for force type, support, sustainment, maintenance, and size is FUBAR and stuck in politics. That has been the case since the mid-1990's and NO Congress has been willing to address the needs of COIN anywhere prior to 2001: Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Philippines have *all* pointed up the need for this prior to 2001 and the previous Administration and multiple Congresses were so overjoyed to spend money on bridges to nowhere that the defenses of the US have been badly and horribly compromised.

Where were the various parts of the civil service on purely 'peacekeeping' efforts? No where to be seen during the 1990's.

Where are they in Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia? No where to be seen.

Who is to blame? Two Administrations and each and every Congress since 1991. Because we did not back our word with the Shia uprising in Iraq, we are now stuck with many bad decisions and even worse outcomes. This is not ameliorated by finger pointing and investigations. It must be addressed.

The media role in this is critical as it has not stood up to its job of factually reporting news on a timely basis. Not *analysis* or 'What do you think in East Hotdogistan, Brett?'. We don't care what Brett *thinks* just report the facts! Save the 'human interest and insight' for the Weekend programs you idiots and get it out of the 'news'. And how about some reporters that don't rely on 'stringers' but that actually, you know, 'report'? And when an organization like, say Hezbollah, restricts your reporting, how about reporting on THAT so we know that an organization is trying to push propaganda out as 'news'?

This are things I have been pointing out ad-nauseum for awhile, and Gen. Sanchez has said them. Yet folks want to make it partisan, political and say 'he blasted Bush!!!!!!'

Yes and he dropped a number of cluster bombs on Congress and the MSM. Nearly an Arclight compared to the few 500 lb bombs dropped on the Adminstration if you bother to read it and understand what he is saying about the political system and how it is iimpacting the duties of Congress to back its word and carry out its role as given to it in the Constitution. The moment he brings that up he shifts the entire spectrum from the 'personal' to how the 'personal' is damaging our ability as a Nation to respond and counter threats.

If you spin that, then you are part of the problem.

If you care more about ideology and politics than the Nation, then you are part of the problem.

Defending the Nation is not a partisan thing to do. Keeping its Armed Forces properly sized with the proper equipment and backed by the industrial might of the Nation is not 'bipartisan' it is non-partisan. These are duties assigned by the Constitution and when you don't do them you fail in your job. If you want to know *why* the Armed Forces are more trusted than anything else in government, it is because they are doing the duties assigned to them.

The rest of the government is NOT doing that.

Perhaps an Arclight is a bit small for this condemnation by Gen. Sanchez. Perhaps a MIRV of 10 or so 10 MT thermonuclear devices is more appropriate, as he as also put the entire MSM reporting of actual, factual information on the line and the outright deceit it has presented over the last decade. When you hear the GC ballyhooed for Guantanamo and then you do not apply it to the sniper videos presented by CNN and NYT at its website, you are selectively choosing when to apply the GC. The GC is a non-partisan treaty and if you like it, then you had better damned well apply it full-spectrum and across the board as the safety of what we know as warfare rests on that. And as the GC sits on the Law of Nations, you had better be damned well prepared to account for variances in your views with that body of work and the US Constitution. But the MSM doesn't even bring those things up and so fails not only on the surficial by violation of the GC, but in the deeper sense of trying to put this conflict into historical perspective and lawful perspective. We get *partisan lawyers* interested in their own views and NO views of the overall implication for the entire system of laws that is under those surficial views so the citizenry can sort things out. When you present just one side of the story or so horribly slant it that no one can tell the difference in such things, then you are undermining the system of laws that keeps us safe. The MSM holds Congress to account for NOTHING in this realm and allows the entirety of Congress to walk away from its duties without question. By not reporting in context of history and the background of the Nation, by not reporting in context of the Congressional duties via the Constitution and by, most likely, understanding neither of those things, the entire MSM fails utterly and completely in its role to inform the public. That is a debasement of journalism and is a direct threat to an informed citizenry.

Yes its difficult to explain. So lets go on and on about Anna Nicole! Or Lindsay Lohan! Or the missing young woman dujour! Anything but actually talk about the things people need to understand the threat that predatory warfare is to mankind and civilization from across the entire spectrum.

Spinning his message *is* aid and comfort to the enemy. As he retires he does one final duty, which is to report on the problems of the Nation as he has seen them across-the-board. If you don't like that: tough. Suck it up and start doing your duty as a citizen to understand that Iraq and Afghanistan and Somalia are symptoms of a metastasizing cancer on a global basis. Sorry its not simple, quick, nice, easy or in a 15 second soundbite.

That was the 20th century.

It caused these problems that are systemic and widespread and deep.

Welcome to the 21st century.

These are your problems now as a citizen.

Better learn to deal with them.

Your life depends on it.

10/13/2007 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

I have said since Day One that this war was all about Pres Bush advancing a strategic viewpoint and the Democrats refusing to acknowledge the very concept of a worldwide strategy against and enemy. As to the charge that the President has not “named the enemy “ – shut the EF up, General, what the hell do you think the statement “You are either with us or against us” did?

A criticism is that Pres Bush said of the newly freed Iraqis,“Where is that country’s George Washington, or Thomas Jefferson, or Ben Franklin?” But that same type of question should apply to the U.S. as well. Where is our retired General Marshall, a SecState with vision and skill? Where is our Senator Vandenberg, an opposition party leader who recognizes the need to change his isolationist views 180 degrees - and brings his party with him? And where, for that matter, is our Sen. Joe McCarthy, there to call out the traitors in our midst?

On the battlefield we seem to be amply supplied with Alvin Yorks, Audie Murphies and Dick Bongs, even with the equivalent of Torpedo Squadron 8, the 100th Bomb Group and Taffy 3’s – but on the top end all we seem to have are Ramsey Clarks, Wesley Clarks, Jimmy Carters, Sandy Burglers, and various Kennedesque types calling for impeachment over pointless absurdities such as Abu Grabe. And, oh yes, General Sanchezes, bitching about everyone else.

10/13/2007 03:43:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Nice post RWE.

At least half of Americans seem to believe that we are invulnerable. For them, 9/11 was pretty annoying, but not really any big deal for them.

Wretchard used to write about us fighting with all but one pinky tied behind our backs ... but even that would have been better than with one whole half of us fighting ACTIVELY AGAINST US.

This latest vote to condemn Turkey, why now, why didn't the Dems do this during their 40-year control of Congress prior to '94?

I don't mean to question their patriotism, but IF they were overtly trying to subvert our war efforts, HOW would their recent actions be different?

Whether they are trying to hurt US or not, it's obvious they are hurting US.

That's why we're losing. Half of America wants to lose, on purpose.

I'm just amazed at so many former Generals, Admirals and Presidents and VP's openly condemning America's elected government during war time.

Doesn't seem like the right thing to do.

10/13/2007 03:59:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

On the battlefield we seem to be amply supplied with Alvin Yorks, Audie Murphies and Dick Bongs ... but on the top end all we seem to have are Ramsey Clarks, Wesley Clarks, Jimmy Carters, Sandy Burglers, and various Kennedesque types

Because they're not at risk. Because psychologically we civilians not at perceived risk there is no imperative to strategic thought. Nothing concentrates a man's mind as much as the prospect of being hanged on the morrow. Well tomorrow nobody is going to be hanged. There'll be barbecues, beach parties, press conferences, talk shows, etc. For the troops in Iraq there'll be combat. Such a shame.

So intelligent people can say "we have no enemies", or urge a withdrawal so rapid we abandon equipment, as Krauthammer drily noted, or say "let's give up all our nuclear weapons" and give up displaying the flag because they can say that in a bubble of perfect safety. You see they just said it and the sun's still shining. It's proof that even the most extreme behavior is really a harmless form of patriotism.

And it's not just the politicians in Washington. There are dangers in the world that would make the bureaucrats in Brussels soil their pants; perils that would cut off the world's energy resources, etc. And do they care? No. Although they live within five hundred miles of people who would behead them, without any real armies of their own to defend themselves, every day passes without incident. So instead they are interested Global Warming, multiculturalism, Nobel Peace Prizes, oblivious to the cost that someone else picks up.

As for strategy -- it doesn't vote -- yet. It's disconnected from everything. There's a "bipartisan consensus" on immigration that's 180 degrees opposed to rational strategy, but no one notices the contradiction. We can propose universal health care without stopping to wonder for a moment whether extending coverage to the relatively well to do might be a less desirable strategic goal than expanding the ground forces by say, 20 brigades. We don't even ask ourselves the cost-benefit question. We say "I support the troops" but bar the ROTC from recruiting on campus. The fact that we don't think strategically doesn't seem to matter.

Somewhere in our subconscious we may realize that the safety is only apparent. That there's a machinery that keeps us safe. It's not guaranteed, like the Law of Gravity. But we dismiss it from our minds. Because we know that despite our fecklessness, someone will pick up the tab. Somebody with a name like Joe, Pedro or Tyrell will make sure that no one comes to behead us in the night. And they accomplish this in places no one would like to visit unless their purpose is to do an investigative piece on Joe, Pedro or Tyrell to see if they are dotting their i's and crossing their t's. And even when we throw a few of them in jail the rest keep plugging right along. "The Long Gray Line has never failed us." Didn't MacArthur say that? It's like electric power, the daily newspaper, water in our faucets. We flicked a switch and the Taliban was gone, Saddam was gone. But that wasn't a strategy. What does that word mean again?

10/13/2007 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

The default condition of a representative democracy with an advanced market economy is peace. That's a feature, not a bug. By the third and fourth years of World War 2, weariness was beginning to be a real factor among the Western allies. Nazi Germany and Japan were counting on it to compel a negotiated settlement. Had the war dragged on 2 or 3 more years, a conditional surrender would have been a real possibility.

Maybe the West can only stay at mental war for 5 years at most. After which it drifts back to its default condition; back to earning a living, entertainment, holidays -- absent the impetus of a pressing threat. But if the West is ranged against an enemy which fights on a longer time scale, in which war is the not the exceptional condition but the default state, where perpetual warfare against "the infidel" is built into the warp and woof of the psychology, then a strange matchup occurs.

On the one hand you have a civilization which can respond vigorously, but only intermittently, on the other hand you have a civilization which can advance but slowly yet consistently. The answer to the dilemma is to empower people who operate on the same long timescale to consistently oppose their most extremist elements. Then you have sustained resistance against sustained attack assisted by powerful but intermittent resources.

But to succeed the West must above all nurture the spark of knowledge of how to organize in the Third World, how to mobilize discontents in the enemy's fabric during the fallow years. It must be able to retain the institutional memory of how to band sheiks together, etc during the time when memory burns low and the West restarts the music and dances on, oblivious to the danger outside the circle of light.

10/13/2007 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

I want to make just one small point about Sanchez's comments, because I hear it a lot. I.e., that Iraq is breaking our forces.
Not only do I not believe that, but I think that actual operational experience in Iraq is causing our Armed Forces to outdistance any other force in the world. And I refer to both conventional and unconventional operations.
The advantages of war experience show up in at least three areas:
1. Officer and enlisted experience, including filtering out those officers who are good people but not fit for combat command.
2. Learning and updating operational doctrine suitable for new conditions and weapons. Think of the US Army learning close air support in WWII North Africa.
3. Development of new weapons and combat systems. Think of UAV's in Iraq.
Cast your eye back over military history, and look what usually happens when veteran troops encounter a non-veteran enemy. The result varies from poor to disastrous to the non-veteran side.
I can only assume Sanchez is thinking about checking boxes: How many battalions completed winter warfare, jungle ops, etc. training cycles. This doesn't mean sh_t compared to the benefit of having been under fire.
Equipment wearing out? We can buy more, but the Iranian army can't learn to deal with experienced armed forces in the time they would have available.
Maybe I'm wrong. I'm just a former E5 who has read some history. Someone please enlighten me why I'm wrong.

10/13/2007 05:17:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Well, maybe this all IS a strategy….

Scene: A cave in Afghanistan. A bedraggled shot-up jihad fighter drags himself in before a bearded man in robes. “Beg pardon, emir, but they beat us again. It was worse this time. We must have lost 100 to their one, maybe more. We will be counting remnants of assholes and dividing by two for weeks just to figure out how many we lost this time and how many of us just ran away. They came up with something new, again. Did you ever see that film The Terminator, emir? Well, you’re not gonna believe this, but….”

The robed man cuts off the other with an abrupt gesture and points to the TV set, which is displaying a picture of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reed. “Those guys beat you again? Those effing idiots? Those so-called leaders that could not organize an effing raid on an effing watermellon patch? Even if they owned the effing patch? No way! You are going to have to come up with a better one than that to explain your repeated failures, Abdul!”

“Beg pardon again, most respected emir, but we are not fighting those effing idiots. Now, about that movie I told you about. We need to get some dogs… Yes! I know they are supposed to be unclean! But we need them, and quick! You said you had friends in PETA? ”

10/13/2007 06:06:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Pelosi's Armenian Suicide

Today's Funnies : Robert D. Novak: Turkey's Lobbyist Former Majority Leader Dick Gephardt, a registered lobbyist for Turkey, failed several months ago to get his successor as top House Democrat, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to withdraw her support from a long-pending resolution condemning alleged Turkish genocide of Armenians in 1915.

10/13/2007 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

You're absolutely "Spot on," Mark. This is driving the Russian Generals Bonkers.

10/13/2007 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

And, then, they have to read about the Israeli Air Force flying through the vaunted Russian Air Defense System like it wasn't there.

No wonder Putin's coming unhinged.

10/13/2007 06:38:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Be careful what you say, Rufus!
He's got them Bears orbiting again!

10/13/2007 06:49:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Manas Air Base
The falcon has landed

10/13/2007 06:51:00 PM  
Blogger Robert Mayer said...

I think it's fair to say that it was the political leadership and its interventions in how the military conducted its operations that screwed it up a lot. They were too sensitive in situations where the military knew it was unnecessary. Anyone remember how they weren't allowed to raid mosques for the longest time, even though terrorists with weapons caches hiding behind women and children were inside? All because it could cause a religious backlash!

When my father was deputy commander of air operations for Iraq and Afghanistan back in 2004, he related to me that one of the biggest problems he had with the leadership is that they would never let them do what needed to be done. They had al-Sadr running with his tails between his leg one day, for example, and when the time came to push the fire button they were told not to. And now look at all the trouble that this one man caused, simply because of fears that his death would provoke longterm instability. Well, they got him alive with instability and all!

I think things are going better in Iraq now that the military has been given freer reign to make the decisions that it knows are correct. However, we must know that America is an amazing country in the fact that we have not suffered a military coup. Confidence in our political leadership among the military's higher ranking officer corp is so low that in any other country it would have happened by now.

One last thing I will say: I think it's hilarious how out of all those comments, the press only reported -- out of context -- the one about America's "nightmare." Funnier still, when they sensationalize it in such a way, they are making the general look like an absolute raving lunatic. I say it's funny because though his words were smart and measured, it is usually those on the left that can't help but speak in exaggerated one liners! They are transposing themselves onto him!

10/13/2007 07:30:00 PM  
Blogger Steve J. said...

Wretchard writes: "So intelligent people can say "we have no enemies",

Please give examples.

10/13/2007 09:08:00 PM  
Blogger fwallace said...

Steve J --

I am not Wretchard, but I can give you many examples. Paleocons not just Pat Buchanon and the unreconstructed anti-Semites but people who can and should know better, such as Zbigniew Brezinski, or "realists" such as Colin Powell (who wanted shortly after 9/11 to refer the matter to the International Criminal Court!) to Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton on the left. None are what you would or should call stupid.

Nor are the people who Stanley Kurz at National Review (Democratic National Security Strategists) exactly stupid. And THEY believe in legalism and no real enemies.

BTW, **EXCELLENT** Post A Jacksonian. For those who have not seen his site, I urge you to do so. Excellent analysis of Iran/Iraq's infrastructure, and also the "Realist" crowd.

Part of the problem is that the Cold War left each side, left and right, intellectually paralyzed. The Left felt that ANY application of US power was "evil" because it would only serve to provoke nuclear holocaust by escalating tensions. If you want to understand the Left (non-Marxist) that is the framework to approach them (Biden, Dodd, Obama, Clinton all fall into that trap). The Right by it's turn fell into the trap that the only threat was as A.Jacksonian points out, a nation-state with a mighty navy, army, and ballistic missile force loaded with nukes, ready to go. And the way to deal with that threat was a massive build-up followed by "detente" to freeze in Amber the status quo.

Well, Osama and company think they have kicked over the status-quo, and it is not coming back. Nuclear technology is at the level where even North Korea, Pakistan, Iran, and Syria can have or shortly have nuclear weapons. Nations that cannot even pick trash off the streets or prevent raw sewage from running down the middle of the road in most cities and towns. Ballistic Missile technology is also easily available to a nation that really wants it. All of the afore-mentioned nations have them. And that's not even counting the "deniable" proxies of terrorism.

What the poison of the Cold War, and it's Leftist offspring of PC-Multiculturalism (designed to prevent the West from starting Armageddon) and the Rightist offspring of "realism" in pursuit of non-existent stability has done is left America mostly unable to comprehend the threat.

Dashiell Hammett wrote of the phenomena in the Maltese Falcon. A man named Flitcraft disappeared and Spade was hired to find him. A safe being hoisted into a window that fell had nearly killed him outside his office, and life ceased having any meaning. He left immediately and drifted around the country. Soon settling into a routine much like his old one, with a new wife not too different from the old, a new job not too different from his old one, etc. As Spade pointed out, Flitcraft had adjusted to safes falling, and then not falling again.

We don't have enough safes falling (thankfully) to adjust to the real threat that a really big one could fall at any moment, at which point it would be too late.

The fantasy that the Left and Ron Paulnuts right have is that we can "dump Israel," "be nice" to Muslims, retreat into some neo-isolationism, and suffer no more terrorism because Muslims have no grievances or reasons to attack us beyond "American Imperialism" and only large militaristic nation-states can threaten us.

10/13/2007 10:16:00 PM  
Blogger Wadeusaf said...

I suppose that the brunt of General Sanchez comments are aimed at the Press, for failure to report in a factual and informative manner.

That reporting is not just about the war but about nearly every aspect of government and how the decisions of government affect us, so that the failure of Congress to conduct real oversight of the war effort much less the war making departments, is compounded by us citizens inability to perform oversight of the congress, because of the failure of the press to report in a factual, unbiased and candid fashion what is going on. It is a very strong indictment of the market/research driven press vs a free and unfettered press.

So Congress in its unfailing obedience to itself pulls out the fairness doctrine, and I am sure it will schedule an investigative session to help us all suspend our disbelief, a la Senator Clinton.

10/13/2007 10:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

And the future consumers of Pop News are properly prepared by the Federally Regulated, Union Run, Monopoly Local Re-education and Indoctrination Centers, to be followed by a Perfectly PC College "Experience."

Goodnight,
- Chet...

10/13/2007 10:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Any of you "George is never wrong" folks want to defend Traitor in Chief Globalist George and his Pinko Justice Dept on THIS One?
---
OUTRAGE BUILDING OVER BUSH STANCE ON MEXICAN MURDERER:
Illegal immigrant rapist-murderer Jose Medellin is getting some high-profile help at the Supreme Court today. The Bush Administration is siding with the "World Court's" view that his death sentence should be tossed because poor Jose wasn't told he could confab with the Mexican consulate after his arrest. This is a total insult to states' rights, victims' rights, and American sovereignty.

The Texas court said the judicial branch, not the White House, should decide how to resolve the Mexican cases. It also said Medellin wasn't entitled to a new hearing because he failed to complain at his original trial about any violation of his consular rights and had therefore waived them.

Remember, this is just the camel's nose inside the tent. This is not the end," he warned.

Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz, who is arguing on behalf of the state court system and its death penalty, said it is unusual to be litigating against the U.S. along with Medellin.

Then Medellin appealed again to the U.S. Supreme Court, which announced last May it would hear his case. His lawyer, Donald Donovan of New York, will argue this week that Bush was correct when he took action to comply with the World Court's decision.
---
Luckily, there is hope, as even Justice Kennedy doesn't seem to like these bastards getting in his face and telling him he can be over-ruled by the World Court.
Let's hope and pray!

10/13/2007 11:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

On a happier note,
Senator Clinton and Bubba are pleased that Al is getting recognition for his tireless work on the Church of Global Warming.
(and hoping this will keep him down on the Estate, and up in the Gulfstreams)

10/13/2007 11:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

MORE ON THE MEDELLIN NIGHTMARE: Check out the Supreme Court Oral Arguments in this heartbreaking and outrageous case.
---
Almost sounds like even Ginsburg is offended by the World Court OR THE PRESIDENT barging in on their turf.

10/14/2007 01:42:00 AM  
Blogger davod said...

On the topic of Medelin - While the case is a terrible one you must ask yourself - What is the first thing the "Angry American" does if detained in a foreign land.

I want to speak to the representative of the USA.

This is no different.

10/14/2007 03:38:00 AM  
Blogger davod said...

PS. I should have said - Is there any difference?

10/14/2007 03:40:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

He didn't ask:
But that is not what this is about, it is about whether a President, or a World Court can Usurp Constitutionally delegated powers from the State Courts and the Supreme Court.
Comprendo?

10/14/2007 03:59:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Mexico has dual Citizenship, do we?
Does Mexico have Miranda rights gauranteed?
Can of Worms, best left unopened.
Esp since that's what the Constitution says, as I hope the Supremes will find.

10/14/2007 04:08:00 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

Taken in its totality Sanchez hits the mark on a lot of points. The Administration has failed to present a clear and continuous vision of why preventing an Islamist victory in Iraq is a strategic necessity, and the opposition has amply demonstrated its willingness to throw the Military and US strategic interests under the bus for political gain.

What galls me, however, is that Sanchez was the captain of the ship during the time that it ran aground. His self-portrayal as the hapless victim doesn't fit the military ethos or cloak him with leadership qualities.

10/14/2007 06:06:00 AM  
Blogger Bill Baar said...

I watched his Q and A and he got too coy in response to specifics on names of who failed.

Talking tough without specifics. He's right on much here but if he's getting into this battle, he needs to say more.

10/14/2007 06:21:00 AM  
Blogger Alderman Williams said...

Doug,

I'm afraid you have to understand computer upgrades to understand President & Commander-in-Chief Bush's plans to implement new upgraded laws in America's outdated nativist lawbooks.

Global laws, like Windows Vista, may have a few bugs, but we have had many development cycles to work through with Bush and will have many more when President and Commander-in-Chief Clinton leads America.

I don't know why one need be so hopeless about trying to police the notoriously jingoistic and racist Supreme Court, who might not understand the subtleties of World Law, having had their nativist noses in national books their whole lives. Americans have a saying about cracking eggs to make omelettes; in a few decades time, Americans will have their omelletes and we can all honor the cracked eggs for sacrificing their lives to the Globally popular practices of rape, murder and pillage.

10/14/2007 06:27:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Satan is a rebel. A rebel that rebels against the unjust regime of a cosmic tyrant. Satan searches for ways to discredit the tyrant. He searches in places like the Bible for contradictions and faults, but God does not exist. What does exist is the edifice of collectivism, created by subhumans for rest of us superhumans.

10/14/2007 08:14:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Wretchard,

Don't be so negative!!!

Unfinished wars have a way of reinvigorating the fighting spirit!!!

Yuk, yuk…

What do you think will happen if some Islamists luck into a major strike in, say, Germany… They will over time… Me thinks France already is acting…

The Islamists themselves will ensure their own destruction. We cannot fight a Total War because we really don’t want to sow the land of a billion plus people with salt. But, when whacked we do have the resources to take a country or two. And, even Germany can reassess it’s peaceful nature. And pushed, we can commit Total War. They can’t.

Can someone do a comprehensive survey of changes in military readiness within the Western powers since 9/11? I mean, the Japanese have just launched a ‘purely defensive’ small helicopter carrier – one that can be retrofitted with a jump.

If the west will not fight a Total War at this time it must find a strategy of incremental progress – that is, closing the Gap (in the sense of ‘The Pentagons New Map’). Thus, the West will push the Islamists Thugs into the lands that spawned them. Then the West will contain them and allow the parents of the monstrosity to live in a soiled bed.

As an example, where are the Sunni and Shiite extremist going to prance to once evicted from Iraq.

Yup, Iran and Syria. Their home away from home.

Iran and Syria may find it fun to support terror from afar – but, what happens when the terror turds are crapping in your palace!!!

Like the Sunnis in al-Anbar and the Shiites in Basra the general population and local leadership of the regions where squatters crap will not care for their new neighbors.

Love and Kisses.

10/14/2007 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Earlier, Doug provide a link to "Pelosi's Armenian Suicide". Pelosi's politics can be both ugly and subtle. Essentially, Pelosi is deliberately infuriating the Turks and weakening America's position in the Middle East to advance opposition to the Iraq War. Ralph Peter's makes this clear in the linked article.

The situation in Turkey is getting very delicate. Arguably, the only terrorist organization on Earth worse than the PKK is al Qaeda. The PKK has been using the Kurdish northern provinces in Iraq as safe havens for launching terrorist attacks into Turkey. The Turks would love to stomp the PKK good and proper. The only thing holding the Turks back has been their desire to maintain civil relations with the U.S. In the meantime, the islamist political parties have been having some success gaining political power in Turkey. Having a nice diplomatic scuffle with the U.S. over the Armenian thing would further the interests of the Turkish islamists. Using anti-Americanism to advance various political agendas is standard operating procedure in Turkey. The Turks are a very proud people and quite capable of shooting themselves in the foot over an issue of national pride. Pursing the Armenian thing now, advances the interests of America's enemies. Of course, Pelosi knows all of this. She has made a very cyncial political calculation to further her stature with the Democratic party's hard left.

10/14/2007 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

It's a brilliant ploy - the Dems get to stab our troops in the back, but lay the blame off on the Turks. They pretend they're responding to their Armenian-American constituents - while actually moving to placate MoveOn.org.

Just the mere fact that Pelosi et al would be called "brilliant" in the national media, even while condemning the action, instead of traitorous says everything we need to know about the state of American politics.

It seems there is nothing the Democrats will not or cannot do to subvert national security or aid the Islamist enemy. A sad story indeed.

10/14/2007 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger MG said...

One of the problems with LTG Sanchez' speech is that it includes terms from military doctrine.

"America must understand that it will take the army at least a decade to fix the damage that has been done to its FULL SPECTRUM READINESS [all caps for emphasis]. "

What that means is that it will take a decade before the Army can regain its full competence at "defend against the Soviet threat in West Germany" level of violence.

My analysis follows:

LTG Sanchez's statement begs the question of:

-- whether that high-end competence will be needed in the next ten years.

-- whether that high-end competence is a better investment than sustaining the competencies we have developed in the past four years.

-- whether the nature of warfare in the 21st century makes high-intensity competency counterproductive.

--------

For example, a college classmate of mine works in the Treasury Department. Guess which agency influences the availability of capital to the mullahs of the Persian Empire?

Perhaps capital flows are more important than the flow of industrial-era massed formations across the battlefield.

--------

In short, LTG Sanchez's comment may be accurate, but also irrelevant to the future conduct of warfare.

PS: Wretchard, I have long read and loved your writing, and the intelligence of your commentors. I am glad to join y'all.

10/14/2007 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Teresita said...

eggplant: Pursing the Armenian thing now, advances the interests of America's enemies.

How come it's only treasonous if a Democrat does it?

When Bush was running for president in 2000, he wrote a letter to the Armenian National Committee affirming that the Armenians were "subjected to a genocidal campaign." He promised that if "elected president," he would make sure that the United States "properly recognizes" the tragedy. From his letter:

"The twentieth century was marred by wars of unimaginable brutality, mass murder and genocide. History records that the Armenians were the first people of the last century to have endured these cruelties. The Armenians were subjected to a genocidal campaign that defies comprehension and commands all decent people to remember and acknowledge the facts and lessons of an awful crime in a century of bloody crimes against humanity. If elected President, I would ensure that our nation properly recognizes the tragic suffering of the Armenian people."

10/14/2007 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger Marzouq the Redneck Muslim said...

Doug and a Jacksonian,

Thanks for the fine jobs done in this thread venting frustrations I identify with.

Congress, MSM looking out for their own best interests instead of the Nation's IS killing our troops! I am so disgusted.

Wretchard,

Your comments on America's state of affairs were good. Those who refuse to see the threat are those who will allow it to let things get worse.

The scary thing is it may not get better after it gets worse.
On the last thread, Waziristan Again, someone mentioned a spark igniting a bar fight similar to the Sarajevo Spark igniting WWI. Only this time it could involve nukes?

Damn scary.

Salaam eleikum.

10/14/2007 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Teresita said:

"Pursing the Armenian thing now, advances the interests of America's enemies. How come it's only treasonous if a Democrat does it?"

I didn't call it "treasonous" but the timing certainly advances the interests of America's enemies.

The Ottoman Turk's crimes against the Armenians are common knowledge. The Ottomans also inflicted horrific crimes against most of the Middle East's population including the Turkish people themselves. The legacy of the Ottoman theocracy is the main reason why the Middle East is such a mess today. I can sympathize with modern secular Turkish opinion that they are not responsible for the crimes of the Ottomans. Under the Turkish Republic, they spent the better part of a century trying to undue the injustices of the old regime. I should emphasize that one of the reasons why al Qaeda is so evil is it wants to bring back the Caliphate. The Ottoman Empire was the Caliphate, i.e. the Ottoman Sultan was the last Caliph. In essence, al Qaeda wants to recreate the Ottomans and bring back all the old horrors.

10/14/2007 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger Teresita said...

marzouk: On the last thread, Waziristan Again, someone mentioned a spark igniting a bar fight similar to the Sarajevo Spark igniting WWI. Only this time it could involve nukes?

If there's gonna be a nuclear tussle, it's good to have thousands of our own nukes plus a missile defense system.

10/14/2007 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

SAD,
Singularly Assured Destruction.

10/14/2007 03:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

What if it gets better again, and then it gets worse again and then...?
(Steve Martin, The Jerk)

10/14/2007 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Ted Turner said he fears America's nukes more than Iran's and wants to unilaterally disarm. Get rid of all our nukes. He also praises North Korea because the people there are skinny (due to starvation from food shortages).

This represents the mainstream view of the Democratic Party. They are not stupid. They simply are on the side of fellow elites around the world against the American People.

Why today Paul Campos wrote a lengthy Op-Ed on how America and the American Nation and people are evil. And how nationalism is always bad, "morally superior" elites who have "risen above" nationalism are better.

10/14/2007 05:05:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"But God does not exist.
What does exist is the edifice of collectivism, created by subhumans for rest of us superhumans.
"

Mətušélaḥ, 08:14

10/14/2007 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Pelosi the Moron, don't miss her drivel in the third paragraph below.
---
Head-on confrontation looms over bill
Washington stepped up efforts over the weekend to soothe Ankara's anger over the US House's adoption of a resolution labeling the mass killings of Anatolian Armenians during World War I as genocide, but there do not seem to be even any minor signs of backing down in the Turkish capital, which asserts that the resolution is a fatal blow to the future of bilateral relations between the two NATO allies.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Turkey would not be deterred by the possible consequences, if it decides to stage a cross-border offensive into Iraq.
The US administration's efforts to contain possible damage are also facing a daunting challenge from the rival Democrats, who remain determined to press ahead with the resolution despite Ankara's fury and calls from the Republican administration against the motion.

"I said if it passed the committee that we would bring it to the floor," Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi said on ABC television,
claiming that possible reprisals affecting Turkey's cooperation with the US military were "hypothetical" and would not derail the resolution."Some of the things that are harmful to our troops relate to values -- Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, torture. All of those issues [are] about who we are as a country. And I think that our troops are well served when we declare who we are as a country and increase the respect that people have for us as a nation."

10/14/2007 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Doug said:

"Pelosi the Moron, don't miss her drivel in the third paragraph below...."

I once thought that Pelosi was simply a moonbat, only capable of spewing drivel. I am now convinced it's a cynical act for the benefit of her moonbat political base. Genuine moonbats have been shocked to discover that Pelosi was not entirely truthful with them. They are incapable of understanding that politics is a subtle game, often requiring compromise and intricate strategy. The pathetic idiots are actually picketing her home like they once did the President's home. Pelosi has made an unwise bargain using these people to advance her political power.

10/14/2007 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Mətušélaḥ said...

Satan is a rebel. A rebel that rebels against the unjust regime of a cosmic tyrant. Satan searches for ways to discredit the tyrant. He searches in places like the Bible for contradictions and faults, but God does not exist. What does exist is the edifice of collectivism, created by subhumans for rest of us superhumans
//////////////////////////////
Paul wrote Romans in 57 AD from Corinth just before he visited Jerusalem. The letter was addressed to the (christian) church in Rome which he had never visited. That church was a mixture of jews and gentiles.

That letter came four years before the rebellion and destruction by the Romans of the English armies under Queen Boudica in 61 AD and 13 years before the rebellion of the Jews & destruction of temple in 70 AD by the Romans.

There is another thing that the Law does not do for the Jews. It doesn’t prevent the destruction of the temple: twice. (The lawless Brits didn’t do so well either.)

Paul is not prophetic but there is immense tension in his words.

On the other hand Jesus does from time to time put on the prophet’s hat. He spoke to a strictly Jewish audience +-26 years before Paul wrote Romans. At one point his disciples remarked on the beauty of the temple. Jesus said as recorded in (Luke 21:5-6)

5And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he (Jesus) said,

6As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

“Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?” (Luke 21:7)

20And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. (Luke 21:20)

From what we know of the Dead Sea Scrolls its clear that Jesus had read the same accounts of the destruction of the first temple—just as we read them today.

The other thing to remember is that the law --any law--doesn't save on either the personal or local or the national or the international level

10/14/2007 08:20:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Two good Sanchez quotes:

America must understand that it will take the army at least a decade to fix the damage that has been done to its full spectrum readiness.


AND

OVER THE COURSE OF THIS WAR TACTICALLY INSIGNIFICANT EVENTS HAVE BECOME STRATEGIC DEFEATS FOR AMERICA BECAUSE OF THE TREMENDOUS POWER AND IMPACT OF THE MEDIA AND BY EXTENSION YOU THE JOURNALIST.

Both are important points for any future American leadership contemplating intervention in Iran.
Bush has caused tremendous destruction in US military equipment inventory and wrecked the Reserve and Guard availability.

The powerful elites owning the media were all for making the world safe for America, democracy, and Israel initially...but it didn't take long for them to return to their anti-West, anti-American ways and work to sabotage our efforts.

Wretchard - We can propose universal health care without stopping to wonder for a moment whether extending coverage to the relatively well to do might be a less desirable strategic goal than expanding the ground forces by say, 20 brigades.

The tradeoff for ending the disgrace of not having health care coverage for 1/6th of our citizens or dental care coverage for 1/3rd
our citizens while granting it to convicts and illegal aliens does not entail "taking from the military" per se. It should come from paring down entitlement spending and free riders on the system - or by ending the massive wealth transfer Bush and to a lesser extent Clinton got going for the richest 1%.

We can have health care AND a good military. In fact we need both and an end to the trend of all the wealth and productivity gains going into the hands of a few percent of Americans. They ensure their sons and daughters aren't demeaned or put at risk with military service...so why should lesser Americans continue to fight to secure the Ruling Elite's wealth and power?

Mg- LTG Sanchez's statement begs the question of:

-- whether that high-end competence will be needed in the next ten years.

-- whether that high-end competence is a better investment than sustaining the competencies we have developed in the past four years.

-- whether the nature of warfare in the 21st century makes high-intensity competency counterproductive.


A fine idea if you agree that revanchist Russia and Rising China with it's massive increase in a modern high tech order of battle military is nothing we should bother defending against and we should only focus on "evildoers in caves" and military threats to our Special Friend, Israel..

10/14/2007 09:00:00 PM  
Blogger Elijah said...

Mark wrote...

2. Learning and updating operational doctrine suitable for new conditions and weapons. Think of the US Army learning close air support in WWII North Africa.
3. Development of new weapons and combat systems. Think of UAV's in Iraq.

Network-centric warfare takes flight


Reaper Aids Commanders On Battlefield

Gravity Dropped
Munitions for UAVs


Cedarford wrote...
"A fine idea if you agree that revanchist Russia and Rising China with it's massive increase in a modern high tech order of battle military is nothing we should bother defending against...and military threats to our Special Friend, Israel.."

Russia -
Today NATO includes former Warsaw Pact or Soviet Union states Poland, Latvia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia. Candidates to join include the Republic of Georgia, Croatia, Albania and Macedonia.

How about the network of new US military bases? For example, Camp Bondsteel, at the border between Kosovo and Macedonia. Bondsteel put US air power within easy striking distance of the oil-rich Middle East and Caspian Sea, as well as Russia. Are there U.S. bases in Hungary, Bosnia, Albania and Macedonia? How about Bezmer in Bulgaria?

China -

How We Would Fight China

Malabar 2007: India, United States, Japan, Australia, Singapore Begin Massive 5-Day Naval Exercises

Kaplan's book Imperial Grunts is also insightful with regards to the relationship b/w GWOT, Russia, and China

Israel -

IAF holds drill with American pilots as 'part of multi-year working plan… for the purpose of mutual learning'

U.S., Israel hone missile defenses

Barak heads to United States to promote Israeli rocket defense

10/14/2007 10:18:00 PM  
Blogger RattlerGator said...

A Jacksonian:

As he [Sanchez] retires he does *one final duty,* which is to report on the problems of the Nation as he has seen them across-the-board.

And gets played like a fool.

One final duty, did you say?

Jacksonian, I loved most of your comment. But Good God Almighty, a devastating indictment of the two-party system -- and you think that's a good thing?

The two-party system has been indicted for most of the nations history. BFD! Part of the genius of this republic has been finding a way for a government designed to incentivize compromise and provide significant checks on the exercise of governmental power to actually work.

I don't think a retiring flag officer CRAPPING on that is a good thing. Our system of government is designed to frustrate. Fine, he's frustrated. Fine, circumstances screwed him (welcome to the club!). But General Sanchez has unwittingly provided clear evidence why his tenure in Iraq was short and unsuccessful.

Jacksonian, you write (in conclusion):

Spinning his message *is* aid and comfort to the enemy.

If this is the case, just what the hell was *delivering* the message in the first place??? Knowing the environment in which it would be reported???

A man of that position, status and experience (if he was going to make the decision to speak out at all -- which is open for serious debate in my mind) surely could have and should have delivered his message in a far different forum and with a far better appreciation for our political system than was evident in his speech.

Hell, just look at lovely Teresita; apparently incapable of distinguishing between a political outreach effort to a domestic audience by someone seeking office, in peacetime, with an outrageous act by the Speaker of the House purposely antagonizing ethnic and religious tensions during wartime!

Politics ain't easy. Not easy at all.

10/15/2007 07:03:00 AM  
Blogger Marzouq the Redneck Muslim said...

Sanchez was replaced by Petreaus. It looks like that was one hell of an improvement.

It would be interesting to read Petraus's retirement statement when that time comes. Hopefully that time is a long way off.

At this time Kilcullen appears to be doing Petraus's talking and Fabius Maximus on D-N-I is critiquing. Good stuff, I like it.

If only the MSM would pick up in THAT!

Salaam eleikum Y'all!

10/15/2007 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger David M said...

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 10/15/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

10/15/2007 08:24:00 AM  
Blogger dla said...

Sanchez is a dense-bob. Too bad they didn't replace him about 3 years earlier. His moaning about the American political landscape is totally out of place. And his laying the blame on the President is silly.

Bush has done the heavy-lifting. Congress, empowered by an MSM-deceived public who elected liberal-loons, has done absolutely nothing of substance. The public says they dislike the war, but they can't articulate why. Congressional loons like Reid make noise only when they believe it will help Democrats capture the Whitehouse.

If there is any waste of the blood of American servicemen, the blame should be layed on the Main Stream Media and Congress.

Fortunately, the heavy-lifting of Bush will benefit America for many years to come. Whether it be the crippling of Al-Qaeda, or the fundamental changes in Iraq and Afganistan, Americans are much better off.

We can live off the gains of GWB for a democratic administration or two.

10/15/2007 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Marzouq the Redneck Muslim said...

@51elijah,

Thanks for link to Kaplan's article on war with China. Very good "big picture" presentation.

I would like to recommend an article on the sheiks of Anbar in National Review which gives insight on the Awakening. it also gives a good example of USMC and local cooperation demonstrating the strategy of Petreaus. Of couse, it also demonstrates how lucky we are that alQ is using stupid intimidation tactics which gave US a lucky break.

Allah works in mysterious ways and the result in this case is Muslim/sheikdoms and Christian/USMC cooperation and goodwill. Lets hope it is a model.

Salaam eleikum.

10/15/2007 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Of couse, it also demonstrates how lucky we are that alQ is using stupid intimidation tactics which gave US a lucky break.
//////////////////
From I've heard is that the the deciding factor that turned the Anbar shieks against AQ was the AQ policy of marrying their men to the locals. They have done this successfully in Waziristan.

In Anbar it didn't work. It totally peed off the people. The AQ men were from other countries/tribes/races/nationalities.The anbar people are cousin tribes to the saudis. They do the same thing as the saudis. They prefer to inbreed. They like to marry Cousins & nieces. The women go to someone in the family. No to outsiders. They found AQ efforts to marry outsiders in to be insufferable.

It might not have been a bad idea for them to accept a little outside blood as like saudi arabia their main diseases are hereditary. Too much inbreeding.

I've heard they do this from time to time. But its the men who take in outside women. They do this by way of jihad. No jihad no new blood.

I'm sure I'm overstating the case. I've read more cosmapolitan saudis are getting clued in to the problem of hereditary diseases. The downtown cats are avoiding their cousins.

10/15/2007 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Great discussion, guys and gals!
---
Eggplant:
"The pathetic idiots are actually picketing her home like they once did the President's home. Pelosi has made an unwise bargain using these people to advance her political power."
---
That provided us with what I think was a unique way to look at things:
Madam Pelosi herself, not the MSM, brings it to our attention.
It helps when the opposition is not only devious, but dumb as well!

I think that is the case here, they don't have to be mutually exclusive!

10/15/2007 01:56:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

There are some interesting facts about the PKK, Kurds, and Turks here at the EB

10/15/2007 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Pelosi brings the spotlight to SF just as some market research group finds that modern san franciscans are growing tired of the homeless:

"People have found that you can still hate Bush and not like someone Crapping on your doorstep."

CLASSIC FACTS FROM LIBERAL AMERIKA!

10/15/2007 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger rich said...

The transcript uses the word "interagency" five times. But this word does not make sense in the context of the sentences it appears in.

It looks like the transcript is in error and the word should be the phrase "Intel Agencies."

If so, the speech is a strong attack on our Intelligence Agencies, and it was not reported as such because of a transcript error.

10/15/2007 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Have to get some audio to check.

10/15/2007 03:40:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Luke 21/5-20--I don't think Jesus said any of that stuff.

10/15/2007 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger Teresita said...

I've heard they do this from time to time. But its the men who take in outside women. They do this by way of jihad. No jihad no new blood.

So maybe 14 of the 19 hijackers on 911 didn't know it was a suicide mission. Maybe Osama told them they were going to go do jihad in New York to get some American split-tail.

10/15/2007 06:43:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

I've heard they do this from time to time. But its the men who take in outside women. They do this by way of jihad. No jihad no new blood.

So maybe 14 of the 19 hijackers on 911 didn't know it was a suicide mission. Maybe Osama told them they were going to go do jihad in New York to get some American split-tail.
///////////////////
You've given a reason for why even in arab bedoin moslem terms what happend on 9/11 and subsequently wasn't jihad but rather just a bunch of crazies offing themselves.

10/16/2007 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

bobalharb said...

Luke 21/5-20--I don't think Jesus said any of that stuff.

10/15/2007 05:56:00 PM
////////////////////////////
BibleGateWay
Luke 21 (New International Version)

5Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, 6"As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down."

7"Teacher," they asked, "when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?"

20"When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near.

10/16/2007 02:32:00 PM  

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