Ex-Commander Says Iraq Effort Is ‘a Nightmare’

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Rumpelstiltskin, Oct 13, 2007.

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  1. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/13/washington/13general.html?_r=2&hp&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

    Sour grapes, defence of a tattered reputation, or self-evident truth?
     
  2. Whatever his motivation, he's promised more of the same.

    It will be interesting to see how the right counter-attack. Sanchez was in charge during Abu Ghraib, but was cleared on any wrong-doing, so it's hard to attack him that way.

    My impression is that the US is a good six months behind Britain, possibly longer, in terms what can and can't be said in public regarding Iraq. The British press, from the Daily Mail leftwards, is now openly critical of the Iraq adventure. That is currently unthinkable in the US: any newspaper or TV editor who did it would face being tarred and feathered for alleged unpatriotic thought-crime.
     
  3. Not sure I'm with you there, Annakeny. Apart from the zealots at Fox Nexs, it's pretty easy to say that there's a shared understanding that the whole thing a festering turd in the middle of the dance floor. Where it all goes quiet is when people ask about what can be done to make the situation at least managable. Nobody in ther right mind on either side of the aisle is seriously talking about victory any more- at least not in the terms originally envisioned, but at the same time in the run up to an election year, nobody wants to be the grown-up who talks about defeat. Instead what you see here are gradual attempts to lower the bar when it comes to standards and expectations.

    The fact is that since the UK commitment only represents about 3% of the total manpower involved, the UK is in a position whereby it can withdraw without everything crashing to the ground. The Americans don't have that luxury. As far as I can tell, the house of cards has to fall at some point, the current Administration are just playing for time so it doesn't happen on their watch. That way, when the next election cycle comes around they can do the same as the Hawks did in Vietnam and just thump their chest at weak-willed doves who cut off funds for the war as the source of defeat and draw attention from the fact that the strategy and management of the war led to only one inevitable conclusion. The sad thing is though that it'll probably work- a key part of American political culture is that they really don't handle the idea of losing very well at all.
     
  4. Not having a clue what you are talking about never slows you down does it Annakey. Most of the US media has been fiercely critical of the US involvement in Iraq. Much of it is in fact heavily biased the other way as demonstrated by the thread on here recently about how desperate they are for bad news stories.

    Most of the US Military personnel I have met who have served in Iraq won't watch any of the main news channels due to their biased reporting, including Fox for being too far the other way.
     
  5. Frankly the US media is lead by nose by the Pentagon briefings and Congress position papers and only occasionally shamed into doing their jobs when their gullibility is revealed. If the lazy bastards diligently read think tank reports let alone could read Arabic they'd paint a march darker picture. The British press are even worse.

    You'll get very diverse opinions from serving and retired soldiers on Iraq. They are shaped by where they served and how things went. LTG Sanchez had a very unhappy time in Iraq. Presiding over the military end of the truly disastrous CPA period. He'll forever be connected with the shameful episode of Abu Ghraib in the public imagination. He did after all allow it to happen on his watch. He never got his forth star. His next command, V Corps, deployed from Germany to Iraq and left him their holding the flag. I'd be a very bitter man in his shoes.

    He's also right of course. It's increasingly clear there is no light at the end of the tunnel. A large part of the US Army will be pinned down in an increasingly chaotic region until well after the second President Clinton has left office.
     
  6. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world...ast/ 7042805.stm

    New York Times, and the BBC, no friend of the US military, delightedly reports a speech by General Sanchez former Commander Iraq Multi National Force in 2003 where he has some nasty things to say about the political leadership and military problems in Iraq as is his democratic right - a right denied to millions in Iraq until the coalition invaded.

    BUT he then went on to lambaste the media for deliberately witholding good news, for trying to push the 'Iraq in crisis' line all the time and refusing to provide balanced and impartial reports on Iraq. He also said very strongly that we should remain in Iraq until the surge has finished and Al Q are defeated which is closer ever day.

    Isn't it funny how THAT part of his speech was missed by those clever highly paid people at the BBC and New York Times?

    Even the Washington Post reported the first half on their front page and the second part made one small paragraph near the back!

    And also:

    "The other bad thing about this is that, in every news article I read on this, in none of them did they include his scathing criticism of the mass media.

    I had to go to Power Line for that, where Mr. Hinderaker actually provided a link to the full transcript of GEN Sanchez's remarks. So, once again, proving GEN Sanchez's point on the unethical media, the media selectively reports what fits their agenda.

    Here is the link to the Power Line post:

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/arc...7/10/ 018743.php

    Also unmentioned is his repeated savaging of Congress (including Democrats) and how their idiotic partisanship has caused most of the problems he cites here at home.

    Another half story designed to push an agenda..... :D
     
  7. crab:
    Crab the America you live in must be entirely different one the rest of us inhabit even if we don't live there.
    Fox News with Bill O' Reilly, Sean Hannity and the ass clown William Kristol are always on about how its going good over there but for liberals whining.
     
  8. Shame he counldn't have said it was a fcukup at the time
     
  9. Which is why Crabtastc and I both said Fox News were the exception :roll:
     
  10. http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/014731.php

    "It seems that half of the message retired General Richard Sanchez intended to deliver missed the cut at most newsrooms, and with most bloggers. . . . Why? Well, it turns out that Sanchez considered his first target the media itself, which he blames for a large part of the problems he sees in Iraq . . . . Given that, it seems highly ironic that the journalists covering the story attempted to cover up the acidic, biting, and mostly accurate criticisms of their own performance in this war while giving front-page treatment to Sanchez' criticisms of the political structure at the same time. If Sanchez has such credibility and standing to bring this kind of criticism to bear on Washington, why didn't the Post and other news agencies give the same level of exposure to his media criticisms as well? He basically accuses them of cynically selling out the soldiers to defeat American efforts to win the war, and made sure that those accusations came first before his assessment of the political failures, but you'd never know that from the Post."
     
  11. But they are not the exception. The NYT, The Washington Post and the wretched Weekly Standard and many others keep puffing the war up. Don't you remember just a couple of months ago how they were all saying the surge was going well?
     
  12. Your best bet is to read the whole speech for yourself. He is scathing about the US administration and the planning and preparation for the war but as Cabarfeidh points out far more of the speech is aimed at the partisan and inaccurate reporting in the main stream media.

    Even the Democrats get it

    and he is certainly not admitting defeat yet as some US media outlets would have had us believe

    The full speech is here

    http://www.militaryreporters.org/sanchez_101207.html
     
  13. The New York Times? Really? You must be fcuking kidding me Kurtz.

    I'll accept your stance on Faux News and on the Weekly Standard, but if your honestly going to tell me that the NYT is a conservative mouthpiece... I'm at a loss for words