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General Petraeus goes to Washington


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Saw an interesting article on Petraeus and the Iraq Report today:

 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20657191/site/newsweek/

 

Among other interesting tidbits, it talks about the U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual (FM 4-23) authored by Petraeus, used as the basis for the surge, was largely obsolete by the time we actually got there. Its original focus was on boosting loyalty to the central government, a strategy which proved unteneable. According to one of the coauthors of the manual, Sarah Sewall, director of Harvard's Carr Center for Human Rights:

 

A devout believer in winning hearts and minds, she worked closely with Petraeus on producing FM 4-23. "I would argue that Petraeus has done as good a job as humanly possible," she says. "But by the time he got to Iraq, I think the war was no longer fightable according to the counterinsurgency doctrine we drafted."

 

Hence the focus on progress in the Anbar province:

 

Rather than solidifying loyalty to the central government, the new strategy concentrates on creating pockets of stability in the hopes that such loyalty will follow. Petraeus will admit that political progress in Baghdad is painfully slow. But his argument is that the Anbar strategy shows enough promise to justify delaying anything but token troop withdrawals until next spring.

 

And that's the sad state of affairs in Iraq. We're just trying to keep the place from falling apart. Now the strategy is to wait and see if "pockets of stability" can actually foster government loyalty.

 

This report, and Petraeus's call for a partial withdrawal by July 2008, at least give me confidence that he's focusing on the reality of the situation and not looking through it with the White House's rose colored glasses.

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At any rate, it seems his position is a far cry from moveon.org's name calling "General Betray-us" in the NY times ad. I like the fact that he didn't even bother responding to the almost libel. It shows character, IMO.

 

That's okay, at the behest of Rush Limbaugh there's a contrary meme spreading to label Chuck Hagel as "Senator Betrayus"

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Was that before or after Hagel did something to deserve it? That was the thing that irked me about Moveon, that they took that position before the man even testified. Sure he might be a Bush operative, but what does that say about Moveon? It says to me that they never had any intention of listening to what he had to say. They don't care about Iraq or our soldiers. They want whatever Bush doesn't want. Period.

 

Also I'm getting tired of Moveon being dismissed as extremist and non-representative. It is the base. Every bit as much as Rush Limbaugh is. Congressional Democrats need to take ownership of their responsiveness to that base and their hypocrisy in condemning Moveon's ad.

 

BTW with regard to General Petraeus's focus on Anbar, I saw a Republican response somewhere that said that it still may be reasonable to discuss Anbar because that's where most of the American casualties occurred. I don't know if that generalization is accurate or not, but assuming it is, I'm not sure I agreed with that Republican response because I don't know that specific examples deny the overall assessment that we're failing to accomplish our goals.

 

Put another way, he (and Bush) wins some points with me about progress in certain areas and I understand the desire to see the thing through. But I simply don't think in the end that this is going to be one of those cases, and even if it is I don't think it's worth the investment we're putting into it.

 

(And please FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY will somebody shoot the next politician who calls it "blood and treasure"! What an overused cliche!!)

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Also I'm getting tired of Moveon being dismissed as extremist and non-representative. It is the base. Every bit as much as Rush Limbaugh is. Congressional Democrats need to take ownership of their responsiveness to that base and their hypocrisy in condemning Moveon's ad.

 

Maybe it is the base, or at least an important part of the base. But I don't understand the hypocrisy you're talking about. Are you saying they vote the way the moveon crowd wants them to? I'm not necessarily disputing, I just don't understand what you mean.

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Also I'm getting tired of Moveon being dismissed as extremist and non-representative. It is the base.

 

I'm entirely willing to concede that if you're willing to concede that Michael Savage and Ann Coulter fans are the conservative base.

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I'm entirely willing to concede that if you're willing to concede that Michael Savage and Ann Coulter fans are the conservative base.

 

Absolutely. Along with Michelle Malkin, Bill O'Reilly, etc. They have their differences, but these are the ideological partisans that represent the early money.

 

Are you saying they vote the way the moveon crowd wants them to?

 

I'm saying they're more responsive to it than they want people to see. Some of them out of fear, others out of belief, still others out of lust for power. But it's all the same thing in the end.

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http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article2419340.ece

 

Interesting... apparently the CENTCOM chief Admiral Fallon wants a significant withdrawal of US troops from the region for redeployment in other areas that need them (like Afghanistan) and disagrees with Petraeus's assessment. This has apparently been something of a prolonged clash between the two.

 

Does Petraeus not see the big picture?

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The US is heading toward the next presidential election. The Democratic candidates are trying to show off for the camera, while also attempting to do damage control, since they worked so hard go against all Iraq policy. The bottom line is they are required to be contrary. They are not allowed to be objective to anything positive but have to criticize all. It is part of the political game since anything positive makes them look bad.

 

I understand the rules of political games, but it was pitiful seeing laymen, simply due to their positions of authority, pretending to be more of an expert than one of the most decorated experts in miltary affairs. It would be like Einstein's boss, telling him how to do physics. He would have to sit there and take this idiot's advice, because this is his boss and defending yourself could mean problems.

 

If the general had turned it around and demonstrated their ignorance, to save face, they would now have find a tactic to disgrace him. By disgracing him ,that would deflect what he said and neutralize the impact. The general was smart enough to know that he could win the battle but he would lose the war. Polititians are experts at illuison and spin. Once they start to distort reality, it is hard for someone to fight back before mortal damage has been done.

 

For example, the politians could simply leak, the general wears women's underwear. The media would run with this scandal under the guise it was a credible source but they can't reveal the source due to press rights. Once the humiliation occurs, even if the truth corrects the record, it will be too late, because the joke with be part of pop culture. He did the right thing, which is let them win the battle so he could fight war. He could have ambushed the pack of idiots with rational tactics, but the pack will then ambush him with propaganda tactics more in line with terrorists.

 

It bring up a basic human observation. It is easier to pretent to be an expert by being critical, than to look like an expert by being honest. Honest objectivity also implies knowing one's limitations, which can make you appear a little soft. But the critic only has to put on a mask of conviction, using negativity to create the illusion of expertice. There is an old saying, still waters run deep, i.e., general. While shallow waters shows turbulence and the appearance of activity, but only on the surface.

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There's a lot of truth and some excellent points to Pioneer's post. When I read about Harry Reid saying something about how General Petraeus's troop withdrawals weren't enough - weren't acceptable to the american people. The first thing I thought about was how republican's are roasted for ignoring science in favor of god (and rightfully so) and how democrats are NOT roasted for ignoring reality, in favor of rhetoric and the anti-Bush power struggle.

 

Gee, I'm sorry Patraeus didn't say what Bush nor the Democrats really wanted to hear...and that doesn't make a single shiny shoe politician any authority on the matter. Another example of politics apparently more important than people's lives - kids basically, that we've sent to risk death before they've even had a chance to live on their own. I don't want to hear from these opportunist pansies - I want to hear from someone who's an expert in this field and actually cares about our soldiers, our youth over there, not their power status.

 

This ties in with the thread we're discussiong on the constitution, in that neither party is anything short of self serving liars. These people don't give a rat's ass about anything other than regaining their power.

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The thing you have to bear in mind is that being in Iraq is bad for Republicans too. NEITHER side wants Iraq to be the central issue of the next election. Hence Bush's cut-back announcement last night.

 

Put another way, General Petraeus said we need to stay the course, and Bush immediately announced a withdrawl. That's hypocrisy. It's also hypocrisy for Democrats to criticize this decision, because the number of troops coming home THIS YEAR is going to be GREATER than the number of troops THEY voted AGAINST withdrawing in APRIL.

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The thing you have to bear in mind is that being in Iraq is bad for Republicans too. NEITHER side wants Iraq to be the central issue of the next election. Hence Bush's cut-back announcement last night.

 

Put another way, General Petraeus said we need to stay the course, and Bush immediately announced a withdrawl. That's hypocrisy. It's also hypocrisy for Democrats to criticize this decision, because the number of troops coming home THIS YEAR is going to be GREATER than the number of troops THEY voted AGAINST withdrawing in APRIL.

 

Wrong as usual.

 

The Demos definitely want the 2008 election to be about Iraq. Clinton et al are rubbing there hands with glee today. American troops are going to me in the Iraq toilet floating along with hunks of shit in Novermber 2008. The Demos will be declaring 'bring them home' and Republicans will be spouting the same 'progress' garbage. Demos and independents will give Clinton about a 56% Presidential victory and Demos will win another 5 senate seats (that's an estimate from Pat Buchanan, arch 'real' conservative and not a Bush lapdog)

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When I read about Harry Reid saying something about how General Petraeus's troop withdrawals weren't enough - weren't acceptable to the american people. The first thing I thought about was how republican's are roasted for ignoring science in favor of god (and rightfully so) and how democrats are NOT roasted for ignoring reality, in favor of rhetoric and the anti-Bush power struggle.

 

I wonder why Admiral Fallon's position isn't receiving any attention from American media. IPS had an excellent article on him:

 

http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=39235

 

It's also curious why Petraeus is linking success in Anbar to the Baghdad surge... are the two related at all?

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Wrong as usual.

 

The Demos definitely want the 2008 election to be about Iraq. Clinton et al are rubbing there hands with glee today. American troops are going to me in the Iraq toilet floating along with hunks of shit in Novermber 2008. The Demos will be declaring 'bring them home' and Republicans will be spouting the same 'progress' garbage. Demos and independents will give Clinton about a 56% Presidential victory and Demos will win another 5 senate seats (that's an estimate from Pat Buchanan, arch 'real' conservative and not a Bush lapdog)

 

Oh I readily agree that that may be in fact what happens. But as much as I respect your observations on these issues, I don't agree that that's what Democrats really want. They would much prefer for Iraq to be off the table by election time, because that issue carries a HUGE amount of baggage for them.

 

You have to remember that for Moveon it's about WINNING, but for Democrats it's about HOLDING. There is a very subtle difference there. What happens when Hillary enters office with 100,000 troops still in Iraq (which we agree is going to be the case)? Moveon declares victory, but Democrats groan in trepidation. Why? Because no matter what you say about why we are there, at that moment in time it becomes Hillary's problem, and how she deals with it will have EVERYTHING to do with whether she gets re-elected in 2012. Republicans will make sure of that -- they'd be stupid not to.

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General Petraeus said we need to stay the course, and Bush immediately announced a withdrawl. That's hypocrisy.

 

Actually Bush would appear to be following Petraeus's recommendations regarding a partial withdrawal.

 

I suppose there are the 5,700 troops he's withdrawing before Christmas.

 

Beyond that, the 15-month tours of duty of the five combat brigades that comprise the surge will begin to expire next April. With no combat units ready to replace them, service chiefs refusing to extend the tours any further, and the President refusing to mobilize the reserves any further, withdrawal is the only option.

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With no combat units ready to replace them, service chiefs refusing to extend the tours any further, and the President refusing to mobilize the reserves any further, withdrawal is the only option.

 

Withdrawl will not occur. Not after Vietnam.

Oh, they will be replaced. You can bet on it. The legacy demands it. Can you say draft?

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Oh I readily agree that that may be in fact what happens. But as much as I respect your observations on these issues, I don't agree that that's what Democrats really want. They would much prefer for Iraq to be off the table by election time, because that issue carries a HUGE amount of baggage for them.

 

You have to remember that for Moveon it's about WINNING, but for Democrats it's about HOLDING. There is a very subtle difference there. What happens when Hillary enters office with 100,000 troops still in Iraq (which we agree is going to be the case)? Moveon declares victory, but Democrats groan in trepidation. Why? Because no matter what you say about why we are there, at that moment in time it becomes Hillary's problem, and how she deals with it will have EVERYTHING to do with whether she gets re-elected in 2012. Republicans will make sure of that -- they'd be stupid not to.

 

Not at all. All any Demo or Rep candidate care about is winning in 2008....the 2012 election might as well be on Mars in their mindset. 'Iraq' for most Americans has little to do with 'Iraq'. It's all to do with American public opinion and internal domestic politics. Republicans are on the wrong side of the public opinion on Iraq. The republican President has been a master at out manouevering the anti-war majority but it will be to the detriment of Republicans in November 2008. Clinton and Dems running for Congress are salivating that the issue will be the doublspeak of the Iraq fiasco.

 

Withdrawl will not occur. Not after Vietnam.

Oh, they will be replaced. You can bet on it. The legacy demands it. Can you say draft?

 

The odds of a draft is zero. There won't be a draft a draft when the USA is 'sort of' at war. The day after the President Pinnochio's speech, the lead story on CNN is OJ Simpson.

 

Double the troops, triple them or 'whatever' and Iraq slips into the hands of the Islamic fundies whenever the Americans leave....next year or five years from now....the fundies have played Americans like a fish on the line. 'Stability' is a fundi Iraqi state that is 'best friends' with Tehran and instability is a fundi Shiite majority in league with Tehran.

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I suppose there are the 5,700 troops he's withdrawing before Christmas.

 

Actually the draw-down looks to be more like 39,000, and that number is to happen before April. (source)

 

 

Withdrawl will not occur. Not after Vietnam.

Oh' date=' they will be replaced. You can bet on it. The legacy demands it. Can you say draft?

[/quote']

 

And aliens may land tomorrow. I'm anticipating both events equally.

 

 

Not at all. All any Demo or Rep candidate care about is winning in 2008....the 2012 election might as well be on Mars in their mindset.

 

I'm sure you're right about many elected officials, but really what we're discussing is the overall strategy of the Democratic party, which is very much interested in their long-term ability to hold positions of power. This is clearly in disparity with the immediate goals of elected officials, I agree, and for that reason I readily admit that things could well go the way you predict. Democrat and Republican leaders are finding it increasingly difficult to keep their charges in line these days.

 

But there's no question in my mind that Democratic leadership is extremely mindful and wary of taking ownership of Iraq. They have the Vietnam Democratic legacy backing this up, too.

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The odds of a draft is zero. There won't be a draft a draft when the USA is 'sort of' at war.

 

On contraire dear neighbor. "Sort of at war" has been around for a while, a quite useful (but perhaps illegal tool) and it hasn't stopped the use of the draft so far.

Facts:

1. Korea was not a declared war (by the US), but a was considered a "police action" from Truman. Result: 1.7 million drafted.

 

2. The sort of war in Vietnam was never officially declared either. Our spineless Congress ceded its war-making powers to President Johnson in 1964 giving him unchecked authority to "wage war". Result: 9,000,000 military personnel on active duty from 1964 to 1975. Approximately 1/3 of which were drafted.

 

3. Current situation: The Supreme Court determined that the commander-in-chief has authority to recognize a "state of war" (not to declare war but to wage sort of wars) initiated against the United States and may in these circumstances unilaterally send U.S. troops into battle. Bush has stated that his powers as commander-in-chief allow him to act independently in defense of the nation.

 

But that doesn't make it right. Some of us believe that a declaration of war is a constitutional requirement and the constitution has been violated since Korea. Of course the congress deserves almost as much blame.

 

The bottom line is, the draft has been used in sort of wars and will continue to be used in sort of wars (by both parties). Of course a minor detail like a presidential election must be dealt with before it:mad: is initiated.......

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On contraire dear neighbor. "Sort of at war" has been around for a while, a quite useful (but perhaps illegal tool) and it hasn't stopped the use of the draft so far.

Facts:

1. Korea was not a declared war (by the US), but a was considered a "police action" from Truman. Result: 1.7 million drafted.

 

2. The sort of war in Vietnam was never officially declared either. Our spineless Congress ceded its war-making powers to President Johnson in 1964 giving him unchecked authority to "wage war". Result: 9,000,000 military personnel on active duty from 1964 to 1975. Approximately 1/3 of which were drafted.

 

3. Current situation: The Supreme Court determined that the commander-in-chief has authority to recognize a "state of war" (not to declare war but to wage sort of wars) initiated against the United States and may in these circumstances unilaterally send U.S. troops into battle. Bush has stated that his powers as commander-in-chief allow him to act independently in defense of the nation.

 

But that doesn't make it right. Some of us believe that a declaration of war is a constitutional requirement and the constitution has been violated since Korea. Of course the congress deserves almost as much blame.

 

The bottom line is, the draft has been used in sort of wars and will continue to be used in sort of wars (by both parties). Of course a minor detail like a presidential election must be dealt with before it:mad: is initiated.......

 

I said 'sort of war'. I couldn't care less of the internal legalities of the USA. That's irrelevent. Call it a legal war or any other term and it doesn't change the reality. Americans have been mired Iraqinam for years and the day after a major speech by President Pinnochio , the 'war' can't even push OJ off the top of the headlines. Discussion of the war around America is no more animated than who is going to win American Idol....gets less air time than college football. Americans aren't going to accept a draft and send their 18-year-old princesses to be killed for a cause that gets less press than Brittany Spear's flabby belly.

 

It's September, 2007. After all this time stop the average American on the street and ask who the 'enemy' is in Iraq. 'Who' exactly are American soldiers fighting? According to President Pinnochio it's al-Quaida....General Lapdog this week answered the same question by saying Sunni insurgents and Shiite militia....the American in the street would say what? Muslims? terrorists? Iraqis? Iran? or maybe an answer like 'those Sunni guys, no wait, the other ones....what are they called again? Cards and Sheets or something like that. The Muslim ones' :rolleyes:

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Come on.

Everybody knows that we are fighting freedom.

A global war for terror is being waged. We are creating terrorists and an axis of evil in Iraq, so we can hunt people down and fight them here too. By doing this, we can focus our internal resources on our good citizens such as providing support for illegal domestic wire tapping services and the spreading of fear and paranoia. Good, strong American companies like KBR-Haliburton are providing much needed services, like polluted water, to our brave troops in Iraq.

Get it now?

 

BTW: Did you see Brittany's belly? It was huge!

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