Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Taking on the Myth

I know people hate it when I just cut and paste, but this is really worth reading.

Taking On the Myth
By PAUL KRUGMAN

On Sunday, a celebrating crowd gathered around a burning U.S. armored vehicle. Then a helicopter opened fire; a child and a journalist for an Arabic TV news channel were among those killed. Later, the channel repeatedly showed the journalist doubling over and screaming, "I'm dying; I'm dying."
Such scenes, which enlarge the ranks of our enemies by making America look both weak and brutal, are inevitable in the guerrilla war President Bush got us into. Osama bin Laden must be smiling.

U.S. news organizations are under constant pressure to report good news from Iraq. In fact, as a Newsweek headline puts it, "It's worse than you think." Attacks on coalition forces are intensifying and getting more effective; no-go zones, which the military prefers to call "insurgent enclaves," are spreading - even in Baghdad. We're losing ground.

And the losses aren't only in Iraq. Al Qaeda has regrouped. The invasion of Iraq, intended to demonstrate American power, has done just the opposite: nasty regimes around the world feel empowered now that our forces are bogged down. When a Times reporter asked Mr. Bush about North Korea's ongoing nuclear program, "he opened his palms and shrugged."

Yet many voters still believe that Mr. Bush is doing a good job protecting America.

If Senator John Kerry really has advisers telling him not to attack Mr. Bush on national security, he should dump them. When Dick Cheney is saying vote Bush or die, responding with speeches about jobs and health care doesn't cut it.

Mr. Kerry should counterattack by saying that Mr. Bush is endangering the nation by subordinating national security to politics.

In early 2002 the Bush administration, already focused on Iraq, ignored pleas to commit more forces to Afghanistan. As a result, the Taliban is resurgent, and Osama is still out there.

In the buildup to the Iraq war, commanders wanted a bigger invasion force to help secure the country. But civilian officials, eager to prove that wars can be fought on the cheap, refused. And that's one main reason our soldiers are still dying in Iraq.

This past April, U.S. forces, surely acting on White House orders after American television showed gruesome images of dead contractors, attacked Falluja. Lt. Gen. James Conway, the Marine commander on the scene, opposed "attacking out of revenge" but was overruled - and he was overruled again with an equally disastrous decision to call off the attack after it had begun. "Once you commit," General Conway said, "you got to stay committed." But Mr. Bush, faced with the prospect of a casualty toll that would have hurt his approval rating, didn't.

Can Mr. Kerry, who voted to authorize the Iraq war, criticize it? Yes, by pointing out that he voted only to give Mr. Bush a big stick. Once that stick had forced Saddam to let W.M.D. inspectors back in, there was no need to invade. And Mr. Kerry should keep pounding Mr. Cheney, who is trying to cover for the absence of W.M.D. by lying, yet again, about Saddam's ties to Al Qaeda.

Some pundits are demanding that Mr. Kerry produce a specific plan for Iraq - a demand they never make of Mr. Bush. Mr. Kerry should turn the tables, and demand to know what - aside from pretending that things are going fine - Mr. Bush intends to do about the spiraling disaster. And Mr. Kerry can ask why anyone should trust a leader who refuses to replace the people who created that disaster because he thinks it's bad politics to admit a mistake.

Mr. Kerry can argue that he wouldn't have overruled the commanders who had wanted to keep the pressure on Al Qaeda, or dismissed warnings from former Gen. Eric Shinseki, then the Army's chief of staff, that peacekeeping would require a large force. He wouldn't have ignored General Conway's warnings about the dangers of storming into Falluja, or overruled his protests about calling off that assault halfway through.

On the other hand, he can argue that he would have fired Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy defense secretary who ridiculed General Shinseki. And he would definitely have fired Donald Rumsfeld for the failure to go in with enough troops, the atrocities at Abu Ghraib and more.

The truth is that Mr. Bush, by politicizing the "war on terror," is putting America at risk. And Mr. Kerry has to say that.

25 comments:

vrangel said...

Paul Krugman ? I've seen his garbage writings, I've seen him talking garbage on TV. In my opinion this man is dishonest and below contempt. Not to mention that he is basically a communist if I ever seen one.
This particular cut and paste is complete garbage as well.
What next, Dan Rather's fake memos ?

this we'll defend said...

Ahh, yes, discredit the man instead of addressing the message.

How's this? Treat it as if I wrote it (for this is what I've been saying all along). Am I a commie, dishonest, beneath contempt?

Regardless of your view of the writer, what was written was truth. Clarke may be a pedophile communist cross-dressing martian with a speech impediment - who gives a rats ass? What is important is whether or not he spoke truth, and the sources seeking to discredit what he said are not, strangely enough, focusing on what he said but on him. Except for the "five-fold" increase of course, which I addressed on the previous post. That this is the only "fact" that the Bush administration can come up with to discredit Clarke, but that they are surely trying to discredit him with innuendo and slime tactics seems to make his claims of incompetence in the Bush administration more credible, not less.

So let's assume Krugman is Saddam's brother and an Al Queada operative. I don't care - was he speaking the truth? Yes, he was. And so if it makes it easier for you to think about what he wrote pretend I wrote it.

For I am no "commie." And our nation is under fire while our leaders play politics with our lives.

Is that the best you can do, simply say "the guy is a commie" and dismiss his claims at that? If he said Kerry was a heroin addict you would repeat it all over blogland, but if he had undeniable photographic evidence of W shooting up you would attack his credibility.

This isn't 60 minutes, and I'm not Dan Rather. I don't care what the frequency is, Kenneth. I care about the United States and our Constitution, and about the truth.

So, is that the best you can do?

vrangel said...

In this particular case I cannot separate a message from a messenger.
It's like Stalin said this and Hitler said that. I don't care . Paul Krugman destroyed his credibility long time ago.

vrangel said...

By the way reporter who was killed in this incident worked for Al-Arabiya (he was a Palestinian by the way), vehemently anti-american outlet aligned with the enemy.
They along with Al-Jazeera and others incite arabs to kill Americans.
They are propaganda division of the enemy and should be hunted down in my opinion. In this war they do the work of Dr Goebbels.

More on a concept of global battlefield read this:
(second article from the top)

http://belmontclub.blogspot.com/2004_05_01_belmontclub_archive.html

Quotes:

"The US military is laboring under the crippling disadvantage of having no dedicated method of dealing with charred teddy bears."

" ... modern operations will cease to become purely military in character, instead becoming complex politico-military-media problems."

By the way if you care to read Wretchard from belmontclub you will notice that he is infinitely smarter than Paul Krugman.

vrangel said...

Good article about what CB's unit was doing lately:

http://www.macon.com/mld/macon/news/world/9663251.htm

Alvaro Frota said...

To save the village, we had to destroy it.

this we'll defend said...

Alvaro, who says I care about the village? I care about my nation's national security and would destroy villages, counties, towns, cities, nations, and YOU to protect it.

The military isn't a way to win hearts and minds. It is a way to break hearts and I don't mind. It is a tool of force and violence. That is why I think our President was wrong to expect successful nation-building by the US alone, but I don't for a second blame helicopter pilots for shooting at crowds swarming around a burning Bradley, or pilots who drop bombs, or infantrymen who shoot rifles. It is inevitable in war and were I on the ground I would be glad for that helicopter.

In a combat zone (and those swarming in the street next to a burning US military vehicle surely knew combat was taking place) there will be shooting, and if you aren't dressed in the same clothes as me then my job is to KILL you. And I will, and journalists or you, my commie friend, can spin it however you want. I'm not opposed to the use of military force, I just don't think it is the right answer - most of the time it is wrong. But if you think the US will leave Iraq unstable you are wrong wrong wrong. It might not be a democracy, we might (I believe we were) have been wrong to invade in the first place, but America understands that we will be worse off if we don't succeed in bringing stability to Iraq, and if that means machine-gunning crowds and installing a brutal dictatorship that is friendly to us in place of the one we overthrew, so be it. We don't want to have to do that, but before you doubt our will ask yourself which nation dropped the atomic bomb, or spent 58,000 of it's soldiers' lives in a war in Vietnam that surely didn't matter that much to national security - out of sheer stubborness. Most people interpret Vietnam as a sign of how America can be defeated, but dig a little deeper and see how many nations would have stuck there that long. Unlike Vietnam, which didn't affect our national security, our success or failure in Iraq does. And so we will succeed - or we will destroy the village to save it.

vrangel said...

"I care about my nation's national security and would destroy villages, counties, towns, cities, nations, and YOU to protect it."

Let's do it ! :)

JarheadDad said...

Hmmmm! You say don't kill the messenger but pay attention to the message yet that would mean that you agree with Krugman's closer: "The truth is that Mr. Bush, by politicizing the "war on terror," is putting America at risk. And Mr. Kerry has to say that."

Now just who the hell politicized what exactly? I believe the pullout in Fallujah directly correlated to the namby-pamby BS spewed by the Left over the Abu Ghraib "atrocities". Finishing the fight in Fallujah was put into that same political morass by the same damn people that created the firestorm in the 60s/70s. Same people same results! Sorry, I don't buy that crap and if you think I'm a wee bit annoyed about it you're correct. I had something personally at stake in that fight and those boys wanted to finish the job! You are pointing the finger in the wrong direction!

The memory must truly be short if you don't remember the firestorm that was erupting at that particular point in time. Believe me, the Mud Marines haven't forgotten and they damn sure don't hold their CiC to blame. How can that possibly be? I mean Krugman is only telling the truth, right? Uh-Huh!

Look, I agree with you that we screwed the pooch on the size of our footprint after initial ops were finished. I do not believe there was anywhere near the proper planning made for the occupation but if you believe John f Kerry is the solution we've got a major problem. I'm from the 70s and watched that damn Winter Soldier speech live. You can also read my uncle's book, "Queen's Rook - A Soldier's Story" by Croft Barker, in answer to Kerry's little interview with Imus this morning when he called all the guys like my uncle "assassins" that worked in Phoenix in Nam. And you agree with Krugman on Kerry? Man! Yeah, he'd be one hell of a CiC!

The problem is we have no choices in this election. When it takes tens of millions of dollars to even run for office what does that say about the state of politics in our country? What we need is for GW to quit listening to the very same Krugman's of the world and finish the drill! Period! Kerry is not an option in any way, shape, or form!

It's time to drop the hammer in the Triangle.

Alvaro Frota said...

Thanks for your comment to my post. It's very elucidative about the US military thinking: fuck-off Genebra Convention, international law, UN, human rights, liberty, democracy, free speach and all other hypocritical things. Lets kill' em all. Period.

The only wrong in killing these kids is that one take some photos and the news goes on. But there are a blockade of information and American people isn't allowed to see the photos. Then, nothing wrong at all.

I'm not being sarcastic, only realistic.

I think you know in the time that the copter fired a missile in the crowd, and returned to strafe these people, there wasn't neither American soldiers nor Iraqi resistance in the terrain. Thus, this kind of action only push Iraqi people into Iraqi Resistance. In fact, maybe the very aim of that ambush (that starts hours early, by mortaring some place) is to led an American copter to commit a war crime in public. It depends on who organize the ambush: if was a foreign cell, it is highly probable. If was a Iraqi cell, probably not. But, who knows?

Summing up, I must conclude you desagree with Paul Krugman and agree with Wrangel. Am I correct?

Regards.

AF

vrangel said...

Photos of this incident are freely available here:

http://editorial.gettyimages.com/source/cfw/FrameSet.aspx?s=ImagesSearchState|0|30|0|1|||0|0|0|0|7|ghaith+abdul-ahad|0|0&p=7

And american public is being fed this stuff every day .

Perhaps you should be more concerned about dismantling of democracy and free media in Russia. Unless of course you root for restoration of communism there.

vrangel said...

Those photos were moved to the bottom of second page.

First page has latest photos of car bombing by terrorists.

Alvaro Frota said...

Thanks for your information that "american public is being fed this stuff every day". I really didn't know this.

About the issue, who cares about democracy (and Genebra Convention, international law, UN, human rights, liberty, free speach and all other hypocritical things in Russia or whatever)? Lets kill' em all in the sake of USA. Period.

It's your speach. You don't need double stand me.

Regards

AF

vrangel said...

If you looked up the photos you might be interested to read account of the incident by a photographer, who was wounded himself.

It's quite gripping, like CB posts.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,1303807,00.html

He photographed wounded Al-Arabiya guys shortly before he died. Find Image #51293564 on fotopages above.

this we'll defend said...

jarheaddad: the pullout in Fallujah was not the fault of the "namby-pamby" left. THere is a left, and there is a "namby-pamby" left. There is a right, and there is a "nazi" right. I don't buy into your proposition that the left is full of weaklings. I am left of center and as you can tell from my writing, far from "namby-pamby." Such labels prevent a real dialogue on the real and disastrous mistakes being made by the incompetent Bush administration. You want all of your political opponents to be Alvaro the communist. I am no communist, and I am far from "namby-pamby."

As for the pullout in Fallujah, perhaps you didn't notice that the Republicans control the house, senate, white house, and supreme court. which decision, exactly, did the left get to make? The pullout in Fallujah was yet another example of the Bush administration ignoring the professional military in favor of "hope" as a method. Of blind ideology triumphing over reality. It was anything but a product of the left. It was a product of incompetence.

The people that created the "firestorm" in the 60s and 70s? Read the Pentagon Papers - the actual documents that were used to guide our efforts in Vietnam - and you might see that our government makes mistakes and can be incredibly cynical - and this costs the lives of our brave men and women in uniform. I don't trust politicians like you apparently do. I trust the People more. We should not have gone into Vietnam in the first place, but once we did we should have had the will and the committment to win. It was the politicians who were worried about elections that refused to commit the resources needed to win, and instead preferred to just "not lose" in vietnam - at least not in a way that could be blamed on them. As a result we didn't have the national buy-in and will to win that is required to win a war, and we lost. I don't see the "namby-pamby" left as the problem here, I see an administration that ignores military and political realities, that refused to deploy the forces needed to occupy Iraq, that refused to allow even a plan for occupation, that ridiculed Gen. Shinseki over his estimate of hundreds of thousands of troops and a minimum of five years needed on the ground before we could think of leaving Iraq (before we invaded). I see the cynical calculations and electoral politics that cost us 58,000 lives and cost us victory in Vietnam being played out all over again.

As for your "mud marines" - isn't Gen. Zinni a marine? The friends I have in DA have been saying for some time that the senior Army leadership is appalled at the disastrous mistakes and missteps of this administration. Gen. Shinseki's successor refused the position of Chief of Staff in protest and retired instead, and several other generals did too, and for the first time in American history a general was recalled from retirement to take the job. And Gen. Schoomaker, as right-wing as they come, is reportedly growing pissed as hell at the ideological idiots like Wolfowitz that consistently make bad decisions and ignore educated, professional military officers trying to focus on reality and not on ideology and the election. Our Mud Marines and soldiers deserve better.

Phoenix was an assasination program - described as such by many members of it. Assasin is a real job, and the word is no insult, just as the word "spy" is no insult and many spies are sacrificing their lives for our nation. The Phoenix program wasn't going around delivering hugs and flowers my friend. Are you growing namby-pamby?

We do have a choice in this election. You think Kerry is an unpatriotic communistic weakling because that is what you have been told by the right-wing. Wow, it sure must be terrifying for you that half of your fellow countrymen are subversive commies, huh? Or, maybe, just maybe, the terrifying picture you have painted is far from reality and based on ideology? Just like the flower-strewn streets of Iraq that would welcome us with open arms, reality is completely different.

I think Bush is a patriotic, intelligent, ideological and incompetent man. He wants the best for our nation but his decisions are wrong and he should be relieved. His history of bad decision-making has cost us dearly in the war on terror. To assume we need to merely "let the hammer down" on the triangle is a recipe for disaster, but those are the only recipes in Bush's cookbook.

Look at how far you have come from reality in following this man - you want to "let the hammer down?" Exactly what force would you apply that hasn't been applied already? And applying force and then backing off (as in Fallujah) is Bush's technique, not mine. I think it is stupid as hell. But that is what you get when you want to fight a war on the cheap and avoid having the public realize what it will take to win.

Just as with the tax cuts paid for by billing our children and grandchildren, we are ignoring reality for a rose-colored present, and the bill will come due in full soon.

It is time to throw Bush out on his incompetent ass. Vote Kerry and continue the American Revolution.

Peter V said...

The NYT is second to CBS in it anti-Bush bias. Paul Krugman is the single biggest anti-Bush cheerleader.

TWD you said you would vote for a block of wood before you would vote for Bush. Micheal Moore, Moveon.org, Paul Krugman et al would be proud of you for your rational approach to governing the most important democracy on the face of the earth.

But the logic of that is one I can realte to and I believe I see you have a bit of a liberterian strike in you.

I on the other hand would vote for a bucket of shit before I'd vote for John Forbes Kerry. With that intelligent exchange here is a brief of the rant from Paulie Krugman.

“Such scenes, which enlarge the ranks of our enemies by making America look both weak and brutal, are inevitable in the guerrilla war President Bush got us into. Osama bin Laden must be smiling” Krugman editorializing no basis in fact; no facts to backup the statement.

”U.S. news organizations are under constant pressure to report good news from Iraq.” Krugman editorializing no basis in fact; no facts to backup the statement.

”In fact, as a Newsweek headline puts it, "It's worse than you think." Attacks on coalition forces are intensifying and getting more effective; no-go zones, which the military prefers to call "insurgent enclaves," are spreading - even in Baghdad. We're losing ground.” Please see the post, http://belmontclub.blogspot.com/2004/09/iraq-part-1-number-nature-and.html, from the BelmontClub to refute this diingenuine claim.

”The invasion of Iraq, intended to demonstrate American power” No where am I able to substanciate that statement.

“nasty regimes around the world feel empowered” Which regimes are these?

“forces are bogged down” Mr Krugman like myself is old enough to rememer the phrases the press used to describe the military's condition in Vietnam and wnating to fit in as a op-ed writer for the liberal NYT he uses the appropriate code words.

“When a Times reporter asked Mr. Bush about North Korea's ongoing nuclear program, "he opened his palms and shrugged." NYT reporting, fomer home of Jayson Blair; nothing more need be said.

“When Dick Cheney is saying vote Bush or die” I am unable to find that quote uttered by D. Cheney.

“Mr. Kerry should counterattack by saying that Mr. Bush is endangering the nation by subordinating national security to politics." partisian rant

"In early 2002 the Bush administration, already focused on Iraq, ignored pleas to commit more forces to Afghanistan. As a result, the Taliban is resurgent, and Osama is still out there.

"In the buildup to the Iraq war, commanders wanted a bigger invasion force to help secure the country. But civilian officials, eager to prove that wars can be fought on the cheap, refused. And that's one main reason our soldiers are still dying in Iraq.

"This past April, U.S. forces, surely acting on White House orders after American television showed gruesome images of dead contractors, attacked Falluja" Is Mr Krugman's ear inside the Whitehouse?

"Can Mr. Kerry, who voted to authorize the Iraq war, criticize it? Remember he voted to go to war and voted against funding it.

"The truth is that Mr. Bush, by politicizing the "war on terror," is putting America at risk" Who's truth none other than Mr Krugman.

vrangel said...

TWD, instapaundit ranks Bush "B-" and Kerry "C".
Clearly Bush is a better choice. :)

vrangel said...

Quote from instapundit :

"I think he [Bush] is okay, and he at least takes seriously the notion that we're at war, and he seems steady, and not flighty. But overall, really, I give him a B. Maybe a B-. Trouble for the Democrats is that they've nominated a guy who gets -- at the very most charitable -- a weak gentleman's C."

this we'll defend said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
this we'll defend said...

PeterV:

“Such scenes, which enlarge the ranks of our enemies by making America look both weak and brutal, are inevitable in the guerrilla war President Bush got us into. Osama bin Laden must be smiling” Krugman editorializing no basis in fact; no facts to backup the statement.
MY RESPONSE: See The Atlantic Monthly | October 2004: Bush's Lost Year

An excerpt:

"Let me tell you my gut feeling," a senior figure at one of America's military-sponsored think tanks told me recently, after we had talked for twenty minutes about details of the campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq. "If I can be blunt, the Administration is full of shit. In my view we are much, much worse off now than when we went into Iraq. That is not a partisan position. I voted for these guys. But I think they are incompetent, and I have had a very close perspective on what is happening. Certainly in the long run we have harmed ourselves. We are playing to the enemy's political advantage. Whatever tactical victories we may gain along the way, this will prove to be a strategic blunder."

This man will not let me use his name, because he is still involved in military policy. He cited the experiences of Joseph Wilson, Richard Clarke, and Generals Eric Shinseki and Anthony Zinni to illustrate the personal risks of openly expressing his dissenting view.
END OF MY RESPONSE

”U.S. news organizations are under constant pressure to report good news from Iraq.” Krugman editorializing no basis in fact; no facts to backup the statement.
MY RESPONSE: the next line which quotes Newsweek. END OF MY RESPONSE.

”In fact, as a Newsweek headline puts it, "It's worse than you think." Attacks on coalition forces are intensifying and getting more effective; no-go zones, which the military prefers to call "insurgent enclaves," are spreading - even in Baghdad. We're losing ground.” Please see the post, http://belmontclub.blogspot.com/2004/09/iraq-part-1-number-nature-and.html, from the BelmontClub to refute this diingenuine claim.
MY RESPONSE: http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~stephan/USfatalities.html. Also the National Intelligence Council's National Intelligence Estimate. It "would be fair" to call the document "pessimistic," according to a US Official. But "the contents shouldn't come as a particular surprise to anyone who is following developments in Iraq. It encapsulates trends that are clearly apparent." - article found at http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=3&u=/ap/20040916/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_iraq. The administration's response? "It states the obvious," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said.
END OF MY RESPONSE


”The invasion of Iraq, intended to demonstrate American power” No where am I able to substanciate that statement.
MY RESPONSE Please read the US Governments "National Security Strategy 2003." END OF MY RESPONSE

“nasty regimes around the world feel empowered” Which regimes are these?
MY RESPONSE:
North Korea, Iran, and the Sudan for starters. END OF MY RESPONSE

“forces are bogged down” Mr Krugman like myself is old enough to rememer the phrases the press used to describe the military's condition in Vietnam and wnating to fit in as a op-ed writer for the liberal NYT he uses the appropriate code words.
MY RESPONSE:
According to the administration's estimates we should already be home. Remember how Gen. Shinseki was lambasted by Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz for predicting it would take hundreds of thousands of troops and a minimum of five years? But don't take my word for it.
Disclosure of the new National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq came the same day that Senate REPUBLICANS and Democrats denounced the Bush administration's slow progress in rebuilding Iraq, saying the risks of failure are great if it doesn't act with greater urgency. "It's beyond pitiful, it's beyond embarrassing, it's now in the zone of dangerous," said Sen. Chuck Hagel, REPUBLICAN, Neb., referring to figures showing only about 6 percent of the reconstruction money approved by Congress last year has been spent. Instead, the administration is asking to shift funding from reconstruction to security. But no things are great and we are not confronting a growing insurgency. It's all partisan spin in the dems part, right?
END OF MY RESPONSE

“When a Times reporter asked Mr. Bush about North Korea's ongoing nuclear program, "he opened his palms and shrugged." NYT reporting, fomer home of Jayson Blair; nothing more need be said.
MY RESPONSE: Are you saying that didn't happen? And what is the plan for North Korea (or Iran) anyway? Read "Iran's Nuclear Threat" found at http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,430649,00.html.
END OF MY RESPONSE

“When Dick Cheney is saying vote Bush or die” I am unable to find that quote uttered by D. Cheney.
MY REPLY: "Cheney told Republican supporters at a town hall meeting in Des Moines that they needed to make "the right choice" in the November 2 election.
"If we make the wrong choice, then the danger is that we'll get hit again -- that we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States," Cheney said." Source: hundreds, but here is one: http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/09/07/cheney.terror/
END OF MY REPLY

“Mr. Kerry should counterattack by saying that Mr. Bush is endangering the nation by subordinating national security to politics." partisian rant
MY REPLY:
Bounding the Global War on Terrorism found at http://www.carlisle.army.mil/ssi/pubs/pubresult.cfm?pubid=207. Not exactly a partisan rant. Then there is the aforementioned Atlantic Monthly article that states in part: As a political matter, whether the United States is now safer or more vulnerable is of course ferociously controversial. That the war was necessary—and beneficial—is the Bush Administration's central claim. That it was not is the central claim of its critics. But among national-security professionals there is surprisingly little controversy. Except for those in government and in the opinion industries whose job it is to defend the Administration's record, they tend to see America's response to 9/11 as a catastrophe. I have sat through arguments among soldiers and scholars about whether the invasion of Iraq should be considered the worst strategic error in American history—or only the worst since Vietnam. Some of these people argue that the United States had no choice but to fight, given a pre-war consensus among its intelligence agencies that Iraq actually had WMD supplies. Many say that things in Iraq will eventually look much better than they do now. But about the conduct and effect of the war in Iraq one view prevails: it has increased the threats America faces, and has reduced the military, financial, and diplomatic tools with which we can respond.

As a former national security professional with many friends in uniform at DA and in Iraq at fairly senior levels I can vouch for this, but you won't take my word for it anymore than you take all of the ambassadors, senior military officers and CIA men who have come out against Bush. Because it isn't what you want to believe. Well, I don't want to believe it either, but the truth is Bush is incompetent and we are making huge mistakes because of his poor decisions.
In fact, the administration is despised so much that for the first time in history a retired general had to be recalled to be Army chief of staff because nobody on active-duty would accept the position. But don't take my word on it: from fox news: "Rumsfeld tried to persuade Gen. Bud Keane to take over the chief of staff slot when Gen. Eric Shinseki retired last June, but Keane declined, officials said. Rumsfeld then picked Schoomaker, who is awaiting Senate confirmation.
END OF MY REPLY

"In early 2002 the Bush administration, already focused on Iraq, ignored pleas to commit more forces to Afghanistan. As a result, the Taliban is resurgent, and Osama is still out there.

"In the buildup to the Iraq war, commanders wanted a bigger invasion force to help secure the country. But civilian officials, eager to prove that wars can be fought on the cheap, refused. And that's one main reason our soldiers are still dying in Iraq.

"This past April, U.S. forces, surely acting on White House orders after American television showed gruesome images of dead contractors, attacked Falluja" Is Mr Krugman's ear inside the Whitehouse?
MY REPLY: no, it is public knowledge. Or did you forget the controversy over Gen. Wallace's remarks, the controversy over numbers needed for Iraq (and Rumsfeld proudly proclaimed he was right in May 2003. Except he wasn't.) But don't take my word for it:
From http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/03/30/1048962644828.html in March 2003:
Current and former United States military officers have blamed the Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, and his aides for the inadequate troop strength on the ground in Iraq. They allege the civilian leaders "micromanaged" the deployment plan out of mistrust of the generals. More than a dozen officers, including a senior officer in Iraq, said Mr Rumsfeld took significant risks by leaving key units in the US and Germany at the start of the war, resulting in a invasion force that is too small, strung out, underprotected, undersupplied and awaiting tens of thousands of reinforcements who will not get there for weeks. "The civilians in [Mr Rumsfeld's office] vetoed the priority and sequencing of joint forces into the region ... and manipulated it to support their priorities," said an officer who asked to remain anonymous. General Barry McCaffrey, who commanded a division during the 1991 Gulf War, said he told a senior member of Mr Rumsfeld's staff that the secretary's office had to stop meddling in the deployment and let army commanders have the units they believed they needed to fight. "The bottom line is a lack of trust that these army generals knew what they were doing."

But perhaps a more conservative view, from National Review Online in March 2003 (that liberal rag that it is): http://www.nationalreview.com/kurtz/kurtz033103.asp

"much of the Pentagon brass argued, well before the start of the war, for a larger invading force. Precisely because unexpected contingencies do arise, it makes sense to have substantial force available from the start to protect exposed supply lines. But now, the troops who were originally meant to cycle in as relief and reinforcement will be called on to add the fighting power that ought to have been present from the very first moments of the war."

As for Afghanistan, there are numerous sources there as well, including the Army War College study I already cited. Start doing your own homework.
END OF MY REPLY

"Can Mr. Kerry, who voted to authorize the Iraq war, criticize it? Remember he voted to go to war and voted against funding it.

"The truth is that Mr. Bush, by politicizing the "war on terror," is putting America at risk" Who's truth none other than Mr Krugman.

MY REPLY:
Yes, just Krugman. And Gen. Shinseki. And Gen. Keane. And Gen. Wallace. And Gen. Zinni. And Gen. McCaffrey. And the Army War College. And me. A bunch of pansy-ass liberals all of us.

Oh, and there is this from http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A30099-2004Aug24?language=printer:

A blue-ribbon panel appointed by Sec. Rumsfeld to review the military establishment's role in creating and handling detainee abuse problems at Abu Ghraib prison said that the Iraq war plan he played a key role in shaping helped create the conditions that led to the scandal.

In addition, the four-member panel, which was led by one former defense secretary, James R. Schlesinger, and included another, Harold Brown, found that Rumsfeld's slow response when the Iraqi insurgency flared last summer worsened the situation.

The panel's findings provide new support for two central criticisms of the Rumsfeld team's approach in Iraq last year: that the invasion plan called for too few troops, half as many as were used in the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and that the Pentagon failed to plan smartly for occupying the country after the United States defeated the Iraqi military.

Before the war, the Army chief of staff, Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, said publicly that he thought the invasion plan lacked sufficient manpower, and he was slapped down by the Pentagon's civilian leadership for saying so. After Baghdad fell, Rumsfeld dismissed reports of widespread looting and chaos as "untidy" signs of newfound freedom that were exaggerated by the media. And some State Department officials complained that their attempts to plan for postwar Iraq were largely disregarded by the Pentagon.

The concerns about troop strength expressed by retired generals during the war provoked angry denunciations by Rumsfeld and Gen. Richard B. Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Now a version of that criticism has been made by a panel appointed by Rumsfeld himself. One of the major factors leading to the detainee abuse, Brown said yesterday, was "the expectation by the Defense Department leadership, along with most of the rest of the administration, that following the collapse of the Iraqi regime through coalition military operations, there would be a stable successor regime that would soon emerge in Iraq."

As Schlesinger, the panel's chairman, tartly put it, the leaders of the military establishment "did look at history books. Unfortunately, it was the wrong history." He said they tended to focus on the refugee problems that followed the 1991 war, rather, he implied, than on other conflicts in which internal turmoil has followed an invasion.

Strikingly, given that Rumsfeld has made agility, adaptability and speed his bywords in pushing the military to transform itself, the panel also faulted the Pentagon's leadership for a flat-footed response to the outbreak of the anti-U.S. insurgency in Iraq last summer.

"Any defense establishment should adapt quickly to new conditions as they arise," Schlesinger said. "And in this case, we were slow, at least in the judgment of the members of this panel, to adapt accordingly after the insurgency started in the summer of 2003."

The pervasive lack of troops, especially those with specialized skills, had a cascading effect that helped lead to the abuse, the report said. As the insurgency took off, frontline Army units, lacking interpreters, took to rounding up "any and all suspicious-looking persons -- all too often including women and children," it said. This indiscriminate approach resulted in a "flood" of detainees at Abu Ghraib that inundated demoralized and fatigued interrogators, it continued.

But that is from the NYT so it must be biased.

So how about this:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nationi/documents/fay_report_8-25-04.pdf
- no it isn't a post article, it is a link to the Army's Fay report.

But, since you support Bush, you probably haven't read this far anyway. If you read a lot you wouldn't be a Bush supporter.

this we'll defend said...

Hagel, Committee Chairman Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and other committee members have long argued — even before the war — that administration plans for rebuilding Iraq were inadequate and based on overly optimistic assumptions that Americans would be greeted as liberators.

But the criticism from the panel's top Republicans had an extra sting coming less than seven weeks before the U.S. presidential election in which Bush's handling of the war is a top issue.

"Our committee heard blindly optimistic people from the administration prior to the war and people outside the administration — what I call the 'dancing in the street crowd' — that we just simply will be greeted with open arms," Lugar said. "The nonsense of all of that is apparent. The lack of planning is apparent."

From http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=3&u=/ap/20040916/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_iraq

vrangel said...

Both you guys are wasting ammo.

What's going on in Iraq is low level civil war.
It basically follows a pattern of Russian revolution in 1917 and following civil war there.
Only in case of Iraq we are helping pro-democracy faction while building up its capabilities to control the country.

Our war ended on April 9, 2003. It's iraqi civil war now and we are making sure that "good guys" will win.

vrangel said...

By the way notice what happened in cities which are no longer in the news.
In spring we battled in Karbala, Kut, Najaf and Falouja.
Then control was given to Iraqis. In Karbala and Kut Iraqi government forces successfully maintained control and in summer both cities were quiet. In Najaf we had to do it again. Now the city is secure in government hands.
Falouja is next.

Some cities had fallen to bad guys since then, like Tal Afar. CB and his buddies recently cleaned the city and returned control to government forces.

Civil war is messy of course, but it will burn itself out. Personally I think we are past it's peak.

Yes, before the war administration didn't have a clue that regime's defeat will be followed by popular revolution and civil war. But we adjusted to reality and are doing pretty well . Just don't expect it to be a perfect process.

ALa said...

I don't want to say I told you so, but...

"Navy Contradicts Kerry on Release of Military Records"
http://www.cnsnews.com//ViewSpecialReports.asp?Page=\SpecialReports\archive\200409\SPE20040916a.html

vrangel said...

And I really hope they will send infantry to Falouja this time. Marines are too willing to work with locals.
Good approach for Afghanistan, bad for Falouja.

Infantry plays real hardball. In Karbala in spring they pummeled bad guys for couple of weeks, then sent armor with loudspeakers blaring the message " we are coming tomorrow to kill you all".
Next day they took the city with no resistance, hehe. :)