Gayle in MD
08-24-2007, 12:08 PM
All due respect, Steve, I think you have engaged in a bit of cherry picking.
Let me direct you to yesterdays statements of John Warner. He is calling for reducing our troops levels, and saying that the President should anounce the reduction himself, removing a large number by this Christmas.
Now, let us recall, that he is a Republican, with top military knowledge. The overwhelming conclusion is that the political process is not happening. The bottom up progress, that Bush refers to, which actually began before the surge, BTW, according to many military generals, will eventually lead to a negative result. We are arming these tribal leaders, who do not have any loyalty to the central government, and many believe, doing so, in the long run, will block the process of nation building, and worse, in the end, when they have run off the terrorist in their tribal areas, those same arms will be turned against our own troops, who will then become the main targets.
The scuttlebutt is that Pace is likely to recommend cutting the troop levels in half, because more than 100,000, through 2008, will preduce an enormous strain on the military. Pace did not stand up to Rumsfeld soon enough, imo, and there is no sign that the Maliki government will be able to govern in the next 6 to 12 months. Even if things were great, which they certainly are not, Pace would recommend cutting troops in half. These same tribal leaders, remember, were killing our troops, 6 months ago.
Also, there is a back chanel effort, behind the scenes, and from a Republican Lobbying firm, originally launched by Haley Barbour, (sp)the former governor of, Mississippi, I think, but now filled with folks like Ed Rodgers, Robert Blackwell, former top aid to Rice, Phillip Zelco, formerly with the State, all Republicans, all urging Maliki be replaced by Alouwi, the former Prime Minister. This back channel effort is rumored to be supported by Bush.
Bush's references to Vietnam, illogical as they were, have not helped his desire to continue with this losing situation in Iraq. over and over we have trained and armed people, who later turn against us and kill our own.
If you recall, the genocide which her so ignorantly referred to, actually started two years before we left Vietnam. North Vietnam took over South Vietnam, three years after we left. It was, IMO extremely illogical for Bush to compare, at the VFW, this war, with either WWII, or Vietnam. In WWII, our policy was unconditional surrender! We're going to bomb you and bomb you until you give up! finally, they did.
I heard that Bush's speech writer is dating Nicole Richie! If he wrote the speech Bush made, I think he must be using the same stuff!
Look, I don't want to see us fail, anymore than you do. But, the situation is what it is. We've been working on training these people for four years! What good does it do? We do not have enough troops, to clear, and hold, the whole country. We can't even control our own borders!
IMO, the day the Maliki government said that they were going on a three month vacation, we should have packed our people up and brought them home! The fact that they cut it down some, didn't change their lack of committment. They are NOT going to all agree to turn over any amount of their oilm for thirty years, to us, which is actually what is in the benchmarks. The Sunnis, nor the Shiia, are going to stop fighting one another for power, and control, of that country. In some areas, Shiia against Shiia!
I maintain my original opinion. This was the worst policy decision in our history. No amount of dead and injured young Americans is going to change anything. And, I believe the exact same thing, about Vietnam. No matter how long we stayed, those people would have fought until the last man dropped. It was a Civil War, and so is this!
What changed Dick Cheney's mind after he said that we should not occupy Iraq, for it would become a quagmire, back during the Bush Sr. administration? Years later, his opinion changed over to..."You've got to go where the oil is."
The situation in Iraq, is the same as it has been all along. This is not militarily winnable. We do not have enough troops to hold peace throughout the country. I believe that Maliki, is in cahoots with that nut in Iran, and has been all along.
How many time are we going to have to learn that occupations, in the midst of civil wars, can't be successful? And, how many times are we going to have to learn that arming Arabs, in the Middle East, always comes back to bite us you know where? We're supposed to be a country that is for non proliferation, and I swear, it seems to me that every time we get a Republican in the White House, we're right back to spreading all sorte so jukes and ammo around to questionable so-called allies.
If Iraq is unwinnable militarily, and after all this there is still no sight of reconciliation between the warring factions, and our military cannot withstand to be further weakened, and both Iran, and alQaeda, is said to be strengthening, spreading and franchising all around the world, why are we wasting our resources in Iraq? Meantime, we don't have enough people here to protect our own country.
This is pure insanity~! Add to that, that seventy-five percent of our debt, is borrowed, and accumulating interest, and many say we have a recession on the way, and our fight in the Middle East is costing us over 12 billion dollars a month! For heaven's sake, what are we to do, run our own country down into the ground to save a bunch of Iraqis, sixty to seventy percent of which, want to kill us?
I Hope the damn government does fail. I think it has already been taken over by Iran.
The surge, has failed.
Gayle in Md.
Gayle in MD
08-25-2007, 10:40 AM
What I think is that one doesn't cherry pick one area, out of a country the size of Iraq, and use it to justify leaving our troops to die fighting in a civil war, as occupiers, when history taught us long ago, that wars, where the enemy is not clearly recognizable, and where we are seen as occupiers, are militarily unwinnable.
Militarily unwinnable, is the key, which all the experts seem to agree on.
Any commanders, Generals, or Combat experts, who do not subscribe to George Bush's insanity, and denial, are immediately axed, therefore, I am suspect of your example of one man's opinions, especially since every one of those who were axed, to a man, was against this surge, and said it was too late.
The book, "Derelection Of Duty" but one of many, tells the story of how Bush, Rumsfeld, and Cheney operate, without concern for our troops.
The divorce rate, suicide rate, desertion rate, all rising incredibly quickly, and we are losing our best and brightes, from West Point, because they do not want to serve their country with George Bush at the lead, and lose their lives on the battlefied, fighting in a militarily unwinnable Iraqi civil war.
John Murtha told us years ago, that we should get out, and that the Iraqis would get rid of alQaeda, themselves. This NIE proves that he knew what he was talking about. The Sunni uprising against the terrorists began before the surge ever started.
We are breaking our army to the point that we are now at great risk, here at home, and also globally, as regards our ability to defend ourselves.
John Warner, unlike any of the rest of us, has read the entire NIE, knows much more about wars, than either of us, or George Bush, has been a staunch support of this operation, and has now called for the beginning of a withdrawel. The right wing press is coloring his statements with a scummy low down comeback, as usualm recalling the he was married once to Elizabeth Taylor! Unbelievable, that they would use that, to wipe away the opinion of the top Republican military expert on the Hill, but typical.
Iraqis, over 70% want us out.
There has been no political progress, in a war that cannot be won militarily, and in fact, has steadily declined.
There has also been so sign of appreciation for the great sacrifices we have made, and statements such as Maliki's, "Iraq has other friends..." lead me to think, which I have thought all along, that Maliki is loyal to the maniac in Iran, more so than to us.
We do not have enough troops to create safety and security throughout large parts of the country, and have been playing whack-a-mole over there for too long, and seen many times, improvment in this area, or that, only to see more and more terrorist flowing in to replace those we kill, for years. Sunni's are killing Sunni'e, Shiite, killing Shiite, religious factions, insurgents, Saudi's, Iranians, you name it, all nearby, to join the fight, which they will fight against until the last man drops, and Iraqis will never stop killing each other, IMO, until we are gone, and they fight it out, just as in Vietnam.
For every positive point you can bring to this, I can surely provide ten articles, by people who supported this operation, and are in fact Republicans, with either military, or War College backgrounds, who say that this operation, is lost.
I think, also, that people who maintain that we can continue on this path, to eventual success, such as you have done throughout, have yet to explain, how the hell you can win a war in that desert, with deteriorated equipment, worn out troops, massive debt, and a broken army, and further, why we should be there in the first place.
We've been told, over and over, by our own NSE's, mopre than once, which is created from 16 security and Intelligence agencies, from State, to Defense, and units, all experts, that this war has increased the numbers of terrorists, emboldened their cause, and put us even more at risk than before we occupied Iraq.
George Bush, gets up there and says he's not going to listen to the politicians in Washington, but to the commanders on the ground, and uses the term, "Politicians in Washington" when he is the POLITICIAN in Washington, who is completely devoid of good judgement, dishonest, with himself, and the rest of us, and has already proven himself to be incompetent, and to be the kind of man who gets rid of every single general and advisor who refuses to deny reality, for his benefit. There is so much documentation on this, it is truly unprecedented. You saw for yourself what happen to General Schinshekki, General Abasaid, and many others, why do you stil, after everything you've seen with your own eyes, think that you can trust his words, or judgement.... /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif
Check this out, I could find you many more like this one, than you could find, like yours, believe me.
Hoekstra says Iraq democracy strategy is doomed to fail
August 24, 2007
By CHRIS CHRISTOFF
FREE PRESS LANSING BUREAU
EAST LANSING – The U.S. effort to install a democracy in Iraq within three to five years was a flawed strategy with little chance of succeeding, U.S. Rep. Peter Hoekstra said Friday.
The Holland Republican said the Iraq government needs new leadership, but said it’s up to Iraqis to change it.
Hoekstra, the ranking Republican on the House Select Committee on Intelligence, said as the Iraqi government flounders, he’s changed his original support for the Bush administration’s stated goal of molding a democratic Iraq as a means to stabilize the Middle East.
Speaking during a taping of Michigan Public Television’s “Off the Record,” Hoekstra said in a Muslim country dominated by rival tribal factions, western-style democracy is not workable.
“You’ve got a culture where democracy is not part of, ‘Let’s go there,’ ” Hoekstra said. ”It was a stretch.”
He said he met with Sunni tribal chiefs who hold politically sway in Iraq, and concluded, ‘They are not looking for a county commission to tell them what to do.”
But Hoekstra said he opposes setting a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops. He said Congress and President George W. Bush must decide on a unified course of action that will stabilize Iraq, based on new intelligence reports and a much-anticipated September status report by the U.S. top commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus.
To reach that consensus, Hoekstra said Bush should drop the notion of a democratic Iraq.
A new National Intelligence Estimate report indicates that the U.S. troop buildup in Iraq has had some success in quelling terrorist violence, but that the Iraqi government is unstable and Iraqi security forces are unable to function adequately without U.S. guidance.
The report says while Sunni Arab resistance to al Qaeda grows, al Qaeda continues to mount deadly attacks. <font color="red">(More Iraqis have died in the last two months, than any other period) </font color>
Hoekstra said it was disappointing that other Middle Eastern nations such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria haven’t done more to help Iraq rebuild or to help stem the violence. <font color="red">They are actually supporting it. </font color>
Radical Islam remains a real threat to the United States, he said, and that Islamic jihadists are using U.S. presence in Iraq for recruiting propaganda. <font color="red">How many times, and how many people are going to have to say this before it sinks in. WE are Hurting our mission, not helping it. </font color>
But, he added, “If it wasn’t Iraq, they’d use something else.” <font color="red">I seriously doubt anything short of a different occupation in a different Arab state, would serve bin Laden as well. </font color>
<font color="red">After over four years, a broken army, 3700 dead, humongous debt, disillusioned American Public by a vast majority, destroyed equipment, billions missing, no political progress, no security advantage, growing threats from other countries, which we are too strung out to deal with, and have no army to face, a President who has politicized, and divided the entire issue, divided the country, ignored the state of our troops, abandoned his oath, and lied to us over and over, why in the world would anyone in their right mind believe anything he said about anything. His statements, comparing Japan, and Germany, to Vietnam, should prvoe to you that he is nothing but a propagandist, willing to allow even more young troops to die for his legacy, and completely out of touch. One yes- man General, in the field, doesn't change the vast number of Generals who were pushed out, and retired early, and then told us that this man does not accept reality, nor does he listen to experts. For years, he got up there and said that this war couldn't be compared to other wars, particularly Vietnam, now he is re-writing history, (according to the very historian who wrote the article Bush quoted, and many many others) in order to put together more fear and propaganda to justify this stupid mistake, which he lied us into in the first place. I truly do not know how you can defend him... </font color>
[ QUOTE ]
Historians Question Bush’s Reading of Lessons of Vietnam War for Iraq
By THOM SHANKER
Published: August 23, 2007
WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 — The American withdrawal from Vietnam is widely remembered as an ignominious end to a misguided war — but one with few negative repercussions for the United States and its allies.
Hubert Van Es/United Press International/Corbis Bettmann
By the time these Americans were lifted off a roof in Saigon in 1975 , few American combat forces were left in Vietnam.
Now, in urging Americans to stay the course in Iraq, President Bush is challenging that historical memory.
In reminding Americans that the pullout in 1975 was followed by years of bloody upheaval in Southeast Asia, Mr. Bush argued in a speech on Wednesday that Vietnam’s lessons provide a reason for persevering in Iraq, rather than for leaving any time soon. Mr. Bush in essence accused his war critics of amnesia over the exodus of Vietnamese “boat people” refugees and the mass killings in Cambodia that upended the lives of millions of people.
President Bush is right on the factual record, according to historians. But many of them also quarreled with his drawing analogies from the causes of that turmoil to predict what might happen in Iraq should the United States withdraw.
“It is undoubtedly true that America’s failure in Vietnam led to catastrophic consequences in the region, especially in Cambodia,” said David C. Hendrickson, a specialist on the history of American foreign policy at Colorado College in Colorado Springs.
“But there are a couple of further points that need weighing,” he added. “One is that the Khmer Rouge would never have come to power in the absence of the war in Vietnam — this dark force arose out of the circumstances of the war, was in a deep sense created by the war. The same thing has happened in the Middle East today. Foreign occupation of Iraq has created far more terrorists than it has deterred.”
The record of death and dislocation after the American withdrawal from Vietnam ranks high among the tragedies of the last century, with an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians, about one-fifth of the population, dying under the rule of Pol Pot, and an estimated 1.5 million Vietnamese and other Indochinese becoming refugees. Estimates of the number of Vietnamese who were sent to prison camps after the war have ranged widely, from 50,000 to more than 400,000, and some accounts have said that tens of thousands perished, a figure that Mr. Bush cited in his speech, to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Mr. Bush did not offer a judgment on what, if anything, might have brought victory in Vietnam or whether the war itself was a mistake. Instead, he sought to underscore the dangers of a hasty withdrawal from Iraq.
But the American drawdown from Vietnam was hardly abrupt, and it lasted much longer than many people remember. The withdrawal actually began in 1969, after the Tet offensive, which was a military defeat for the Communist guerrillas and their North Vietnamese sponsors. But it also illustrated the vulnerability of the United States and its South Vietnamese allies.
Although American commanders asked for several hundred thousand reinforcements after Tet, President Johnson turned them down. President Nixon began a process of “Vietnamization” in which responsibility for security was gradually handed to local military and police forces — similar to Mr. Bush’s long-term strategy for Iraq today.
American air power was used to help sustain South Vietnam’s struggling government, but by the time of the famous photograph of Americans being lifted off a roof in Saigon in 1975, few American combat forces were left in Vietnam. “It was not a precipitous withdrawal, it was a very deliberate disengagement,” said Andrew J. Bacevich, a platoon leader in Vietnam who is now a professor of international relations at Boston University.
Vietnam today is a unified and stable nation whose Communist government poses little threat to its neighbors and is developing healthy ties with the United States. Mr. Bush visited Vietnam last November; a return visit to the White House this summer by Nguyen Minh Triet was the first visit by a Vietnamese head of state since the war.
“The Vietnam comparison should invite us to think harder about how to minimize the consequences of our military failure,” Mr. Bacevich added. “If one is really concerned about the Iraqi people, and the fate that may be awaiting them as this war winds down, then we ought to get serious about opening our doors, and to welcoming to the United States those Iraqis who have supported us and have put themselves and their families in danger.”
To that end, some members of Congress and human rights groups have urged the Bush administration to drop the limits on Iraqi refugees admitted to the United States.
Mr. Bush also sought to inspire renewed support for his Iraq strategy by recalling the years of national sacrifice during World War II, and the commitment required to rebuild two of history’s most aggressive and lawless adversaries, Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, into reliable and responsible allies.
But historians note that Germany and Japan were homogenous nation-states with clear national identities and no internal feuding among factions or sects, in stark contrast to Iraq today.
The comparison of Iraq to Germany and Japan “is fanciful,” said Steven Simon, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He noted that the American and allied militaries had eliminated the governments of Japan and Germany, and any lingering opposition, and assembled occupation forces that were, proportionally, more than three times as large as the current American presence of more than 160,000 troops in Iraq.
“That’s the kind of troop level you need to control the situation,” Mr. Simon said. “The occupation of Germany and Japan lasted for years — and not a single American solider was killed by insurgents.”
Senior American military officers speaking privately also say that the essential elements that brought victory in World War II — a total commitment by the American people and the government, and a staggering economic commitment to rebuild defeated adversaries — do not exist for the Iraq war. The wars in Korea and Vietnam also involved considerable national sacrifice, including tax increases and conscription.
Correction: August 25, 2007
A news analysis article on Thursday about President Bush's speech comparing the mission in Iraq to other wars described imprecisely the timing of the American withdrawal from Vietnam. While President Johnson in 1968 refused requests from commanders to increase the military commitment in Vietnam by hundreds of thousands of troops, the reduction in forces began in 1969, not 1968.
A picture caption with the article also misstated the year by which almost all American combat forces had left Vietnam. It was 1973, not 1975.
</font color> Even the man who wrote the article Bush quoted from stated that his words had been completely misrepresented....Bush Cherry picked those, just like he cherry picks everything else...
You've fought in a war, I haven't. Maybe the committment involved, for a former soldier, challenges his ability to accept defeat, to the point, where one's former patriotic committment, blinds him of the actual possibilities. I talk with many old timers at the legion, I should say, listen, and reading between the lines, I can often see, that their honor, as soldiers, is greatly involved in how they see any kind of withdrawel, above and far beyond any present circumstances. To leave, with the percieved job unfinished, is just not the thinking of a man who has served in a war. But, people should realize, that these Generals, who speak out for the sake of our troops, have that same committment, not only to being able to have the opportunity to leave as conqueror, but to the men and women who are making the sacrifice. Never in our history, have so many Generals, with a lifetime of service, spoken out against our foreign policy, or a military operation.
To me, having only had the ability to give to my country through my association with the USO, over the course of my life, there is nothing short of a nuke in the air, that could convince me that this mess in Iraq, isn't a complete waste, which we should rescue our people from. It does not serve America, to become even weaker militarily as a nation, and in so many other ways, and increase our threats, in that unforgiving desert. I know we will never agree. I was opposed to Vietnam, also. This time we have fewer caskets, but believe me, many more lives being ruined, and many more arms, legs, eyes and brains, gone, forever. We need to bring our people home. The completed their stated mission, when they brought down Saddam. Bush has changed their mission, over and over, and has abused their committment. There IS a reason, why so many write, and say, that he is out of touch with reality. Why should our young people have to pay for his bull headed refusal to see the handwriting on the wall? After his false statements this week about Vietnam, it is clear, he will say or do anything, short of admitting his responsibility for how this mess has happened. Even Cheney, refuses to admit the truth, about anything.
Gayle in Md.
Gayle in MD
08-25-2007, 12:23 PM
He knows much more than either of us.
Here are some excerpts from the report.
"It appears to me ... there is some progress being made."
- President Bush, August 21, 2007
Today, the National Intelligence Council released an unclassified
summary of the most recent National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq. The
report paints a grim picture of the political and security situation in
Iraqand is at odds with the President's assessment.
-- "[T]he level of overall violence, including attacks on and
casualties among civilians, remains high; Iraq's sectarian groups remain
unreconciled; AQI [al Qaeda in Iraq] retains the ability to conduct
high-profile attacks; and to date, Iraqi political leaders remain unable to
govern effectively." (pg. 1)
-- "Broadly accepted political compromises required for sustained
security, long-term political progress, and economic development are
unlikely to emerge unless there is a fundamental shift in the factors
driving Iraqi political and security developments." (pg. 1)
-- "Intra-Shia conflict involving factions competing for power and
resources probably will intensify as Iraqis assume control of provincial
security... The Sunni Arab community remains politically fragmented, and we
see no prospective leaders that might engage in meaningful dialogue and
deliver on national agreements... Kurdish leaders remain focused on
protecting the autonomy of the Kurdish region and reluctant to compromise
on key issues." (pg. 2)
-- "[W]e judge that the ISF [Iraqi Security Forces] have not improved
enough to conduct major operations independent of the Coalition on a
sustained basis in multiple locations and that the ISF remain reliant on
the Coalition for important aspects of logistics and combat support." (pg.
-- "The IC [Intelligence Community] assesses that the Iraqi Government
will become more precarious over the next six to 12 months because of
criticism by other members of the major Shia coalition (the Unified Iraqi
Alliance, UIA), Grand Ayatollah Sistani, and other Sunni and Kurdish
parties." (pg. 3)
-- "Population displacement resulting from sectarian violence
continues, imposing burdens on provincial governments and some neighboring
states and increasing the danger of destabilizing influences spreading
across Iraq's borders over the next six to 12 months." (pg. 3)
<font color="red">If this isn't a commentary to more whack-a-mole, I don't know what is. How can we expect these troops, who now serve for atleast fifteen months straight, to continue? Are you ready to re-institute the draft? There is no doubt, that that is what will be required, in order to stay long enough, and with enough boots on the ground, and all so that Iran, Saudi Arabia, alQaeda, and others, can send more into the battle. This is nuts!
Don't forget, I live in the area where I'm most likely to be within target range of a strike. If I thought for one minute, that this quagmire was going to keep my family and I safe, I'd be all for staying the course. It is putting us at greater risk. What is the point of staying? Bin Laden touts us, do you really think he wants us to leave? I surely don't. Nor does Iran. You think we've scared Iran off? Do his statements sound like it? We're the enemy, not only there in Iraq, but in the whole middle east. How can we ask more of our people, than they've already given? Think about our troops! And remember, we are growing more terrorist as we go. What is the point? Our NIE's have been telling us for over a year, that we have emboldened terrorism, and increased thier numbers. How does anything we are doing in Iraq, prevent another 19 terrorists from taking advantage of our open borders, and ports? The greatest threats to this country, are not in Iraq alone. Bush calls it a global war on terror, jbut he never recognizes or discusses all the other countries where there are terrorist cells.
Gayle in Md. </font color>
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