Democrats & Liberals Archives

Bush Blames The Troops For Iraq

Ex-Secretary of State Colin Powell says he told Gen. Franks, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, and President Bush that he didn’t think the Iraq invasion plan included enough troops. “I made the case to General Franks and Secretary Rumsfeld before the president that I was not sure we had enough troops,” Powell said in an interview on Britain’s ITV television. I remember Bob Woodward wrote about that meeting in his book, “Plan of Attack”, as well.

Then I saw Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Wolf Blitzer's show last night saying she didn't remember any such warning, but "The president listened to the advice of his advisers and ultimately, he listened to the advice of his commanders, the people who actually had to execute the war plan," she said.

In other words, this whole Iraq mess is the military's fault.

Rice didn't make any mention of how it was the administration that insisted American troops would be met in Iraq with sweets and flowers, and so several hundred thousand troops are unnecessary -- and we'll do to you what we did to Gen. Shinseki if you Generals persist in asking for that many troops.

I mean, let's get real here. The Bush administration had some incredibly wacky ideas about how the war would play out based on the tall tales of single-source Iraqi dissidents like Ahmed Chalabi who wanted the US to invade Iraq at any cost and put them in power. The Bush administration forced the military to plan the invasion and occupation of Iraq based on those incredibly unrealistic scenarios and undermined anyone who urged the use of overwhelming force, clear objectives, and a solid exit strategy.

But President Bush would rather you forget his administration's incompetence and unrealistic assessment of the situation in Iraq and focus on blaming the military, who were told to throw out their plans for deploying several hundred thousand troops and come back with a plan for war on the cheap based on the administration's wishful thinking.

Man, I'd hate to be serving as a military leader under the Bush administration. You get shafted for coming up with realistic plans, and then you take the blame for not having a realistic plan.

Posted by American Pundit at May 1, 2006 8:15 AM
Comments
Comment #144478

There is enough legitimate reasons to critique the war in Irag and the war on terror as a whole without twisting what people say into a headline.

No-one is blaming the troops. Maybe the commanders, maybe the defense secretary, maybe the president and maybe the CIA. But NOT the troops. You’re assertion is completely disingenuous.

Try appealing to peoples intellect rather than looking for knee jerk reactions.

Posted by: jwl at May 1, 2006 8:42 AM
Comment #144482
You’re assertion is completely disingenuous.

How so, jwl? Which part of the article is factually incorrect?

Rice says the generals said they had enough troops for the mission but she neglected to mention that the administration defined the mission, leading us to believe that the mess in Iraq is the fault of poor planning by the military.

That’s what’s disingenuous.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 1, 2006 9:21 AM
Comment #144483

And don’t forget that everyone from Powell to Shinseki to Bremmer — and even Franks, initially — were asking for 300,000-500,000 troops, and President Bush still swears up and down that nobody asked for more troops.

That’s what’s disingenuous.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 1, 2006 9:23 AM
Comment #144487

What is factually incorrect is your use of the word “troops”. You and I both know when using that word, the vast majority would think you are referring to the soldiers in field. That is disingenuous. If you mean military leaders, generals, member of the joint chiefs, or the defense secretary then say so.

Your headline of “Bush Blames the Troops” is not an accurate reflection of what was said. Powell’s statements referenced Rumsfeld and General Franks specifically. Rice’s statements used the word “commanders”. I think it is a huge stretch to lump “The Troops” in with those individuals.

Posted by: jwl at May 1, 2006 9:41 AM
Comment #144489

What is factually incorrect is your use of the word troops. You and I both know the vast majority would think you are referring to the soldier in the field. If you mean military leaders, the joint chiefs or the defense secretary, then say so.

Your headline of Bush Blames The Troops is not an accurate reflection of what was said. Powells staements reference Rumsfelds and General Franls statements specifically. Rices statement referenced commanders. I think it is a huge stretch to lump the troops in with these individuals.

Re-posted. Apparently, I cant cut and paste from word.

Posted by: jwl at May 1, 2006 9:48 AM
Comment #144491

AP

The president relied primarily on Tommy Franks and Defense Secretary Rumsfield before making decisions.

Powell wanted that 500,000 but Rummy thought a lighter more mobile force could do the trick…and he was correct.

Where we failed miserably,however was post-occupation.We didn’t understand the enemy then (frankly I still don’t think we do..there’s Saddamist and Salafists thrown into one pot called ‘insurgents’,,which shows how much we know)nor do we now.

Bremmer made a crucial mistake too disbanding the military and creating a void there.

However,in spite of all the screw ups,and in spite of what Biden says on partitioning Iraq(I wrote on that back in January),we are getting on top of things finally.

The news we see and hear,the spin..is usually about 10 days behind the events in Itaq..especially public sentiment.

I think the new PM is going to do fine and by year’s end…as predicted…we will beging re-deploying troops.

Good to have you back by the way.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 1, 2006 10:07 AM
Comment #144500

SE,

“Powell wanted that 500,000 but Rummy thought a lighter more mobile force could do the trickand he was correct.

Where we failed miserably,however was post-occupation.We didnt understand the enemy then (frankly I still dont think we do..theres Saddamist and Salafists thrown into one pot called insurgents,,which shows how much we know)nor do we now.”

There is a vast difference between winning a battle and winning the war.

Sure the drive to Bahgdad was impressive, but had we secured the country as we went we’d be done already.
Hearts and minds follow when the eyes see that you are serious about what you are doing.

Fast and light worked in Afghanistan because we had the “insurgency” on our side going in.

Posted by: Rocky at May 1, 2006 10:40 AM
Comment #144514
Powell wanted that 500,000 but Rummy thought a lighter more mobile force could do the trick…and he was correct. … Where we failed miserably,however was post-occupation.

I don’t recall anyone saying that the U.S. military would have a difficult time defeating Saddam’s Armed Forces. No bigger liberal than the NYT’s Paul Krugman agreed with that.

The need for ‘more troops’ was discussed in the context of occupying and pacifying Iraq until U.S. troops could be withdrawn.

Perhaps someone can post some more detailed evidence.

Posted by: Steve k at May 1, 2006 11:40 AM
Comment #144516

“troops” vs. military leaders.
JWL,
I understand your comment, but for the Dems to get ahead, we need the “framing” phrases used by American Pundit. Repubs use “knee-jerk” framing all the time: 9-11, terrorists, abortions, Christian administration (might I say in words, not actions). Dems criticize each other, while Repubs use marketing-framing techniques to sway the American public. We need to use more marketing-framing, rather than exact terminology. We need to win the political word battles in order to win the 2006 election war. American voters believed the Swift-boaters, not Kerry’s true record. Know the customer, and the American Public want the truth, but first you have to get their attention.

Posted by: wheredemballs at May 1, 2006 11:47 AM
Comment #144517
What is factually incorrect is your use of the word troops.

I see, jwl. You’re quibble is purely with the semantics about whether our Generals are troops. Fine. Pretend the title of this article is “Bush Blames the Military for Iraq”.

The point is, President Bush is laying the blame for the mess in Iraq on the military, despite the fact that he repeatedly ignored the military’s requests for the resources they told him they needed.

The president relied primarily on Tommy Franks and Defense Secretary Rumsfield before making decisions.

SE, Gen. Frank’s initial request was for 300,000 to 500,000 troops, but Bush and Rumsfeld told him that was unacceptable and sent him back to the drawing board — and then sidelined Gen. Shinseki to make sure the message was loud and clear.

As one serving officer put it, “We’re willing to sacrifice our lives for our country, but not our careers.”

Bremmer made a crucial mistake too disbanding the military and creating a void there.

Which he wanted to fill with US troops until the Iraqi Army could be rebuilt. Bremmer asked President Bush for 500,000 troops total, and was told no — which left him with no Iraqi Army and too few US troops to provide security for the reconstruction which subsequently failed and created more pissed off Iraqis.

It’s a vicious cycle that could have been reversed by deploying enough troops to secure the country, but President Bush refused and now he’s trying to pin the blame on the military.

Good to have you back by the way.

Thanks, SE. I’m moving back to the States next month and things are a little busy. I’ll try to be around a little more to set you guys straight. ;)

Posted by: American Pundit at May 1, 2006 12:02 PM
Comment #144518

SicilanEagle,
How’s life? Good I hope.

“Hearts and minds follow when the eyes see that you are serious about what you are doing.”

They did. They saw “shock and awe” random bombing with blatant disregard for civilian casualties.
Torture and humiliation of POW’s. Hypocritical foreign policy. Failure to rebuild infrastructure even though the American tax-payers have forked over the money.
We can’t win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people or the middle East.
Maybe we can take the advice of Rob Courdry from The Daily Show. “Let’s just reduce the number of hearts and minds.”

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at May 1, 2006 12:04 PM
Comment #144519

SicilanEagle,
How’s life? Good I hope.

“Hearts and minds follow when the eyes see that you are serious about what you are doing.”

They did. They saw “shock and awe” random bombing with blatant disregard for civilian casualties.
Torture and humiliation of POW’s. Hypocritical foreign policy. Failure to rebuild infrastructure even though the American tax-payers have forked over the money.
We can’t win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people or the middle East.
Maybe we can take the advice of Rob Courdry from The Daily Show. “Let’s just reduce the number of hearts and minds.”

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at May 1, 2006 12:06 PM
Comment #144520

wheredemballs,

So its OK to mis-quote as long as it serves your political adgenda. To hell with the truth and to hell with honesty.

I think you will have a hard time getting anyone to subcribe to your adgenda if you openly support these type of mis-representations and expect them to believe anything else you say.

Personally I dont care if anyone else does it or not. Thats not the point. I can see the spin on TV all day long. Hopefully these blogs can encourage intelligent debate on real issues rather than the same old crap we get everyday from the media.

Posted by: jwl at May 1, 2006 12:06 PM
Comment #144524

Andre
Life isn’t bad although Berlisconi’s loss in Italy is going to be tough.
Funny,but both the left,center and right there take corruption to a new level.
Right now the euro is pummelling the dollar…3% in the last four days….and in my case (importing),well.the American consumer will have to pay,unfortunatly.

On Iraq:Things are much better than they were in January despite what we all think.
First off,Iraqis are fighting for a change,not running.Plus they are getting their infrastructure(militarily) in order..supplies,equipment,replacement parts…they actually are looking like something.

Yes,one division got downgraded but that was because of a change in command.

Let’s see what happens once the PM names a government.I think that dimes will drop at a fast pace now,and more “insurgents” get pulverized.

However,they gotta catch one big fish…one soon.

One thing I know is that Bided is a joke…a complete joke.Him saying publicily about partitioning Iraq sinks whatever little credibility he had left.He is a blowhard.

Posted by: siucilianeagle at May 1, 2006 12:18 PM
Comment #144525

American Pundit.

It is you that is pretending. I have no desire to do so. If you think it is genuine to mis-quote, you are doing more harm than good when trying to win people to your argument. If you treat people like they are fools, only the fools will follow you.

Posted by: jwl at May 1, 2006 12:20 PM
Comment #144531

SE,

I don’t doubt the present, but the journey to get here was harrowing at best.

saying,

Please do us a favor and grow up.

Posted by: Rocky at May 1, 2006 12:28 PM
Comment #144532
If you think it is genuine to mis-quote

Where did I misquote, jwl? All the quotes I’ve provided are straight from the horses mouths.

Really, all you’ve done is read the article (I hope) and reply with, Nuh uh. You haven’t provided a single counter argument, just a summary dismissal. If you want intelligent discourse, you’re going to have to hold up your end of it.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 1, 2006 12:31 PM
Comment #144536

JWL,
The fools did follow Bush, and that is why there is war based on lies, Katrina victims continue to be lied to, global warming enhancement, voter fraud, Supreme court unprofessionalism, illegal redistricting, blatant quid pro quo, etc. There is no mis-quote, just framing. We have learned from Gore and Kerry the human race still reacts emotionally, not with intellect. You have your opinion, we have ours.

Posted by: wheredemballs at May 1, 2006 12:37 PM
Comment #144539

Did anyone else hear this morning about the 1,000 Iraqui troops, after completion of traning and under review by American trainers, tore off their shirts in displaying their anger at being sent to another area to serve???? Go figure…… So, we get a unit trained and ready to take over more duties, but we gotta deal with temper tantrums?
BTW…this was on MSNBC this morning, just a short blurb.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at May 1, 2006 12:48 PM
Comment #144546

se…..articles like this one a printed all the time. Should we believe it less just because it goes against your beliefs??
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12538278/

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at May 1, 2006 1:02 PM
Comment #144549

Was there ever a war where the Generals did not wish for more troops? I am surprised at Powell’s bitchslap towards the administration. Do I smell Presidential ambitions? It seems that the only way to exit from Iraq is to turn over the policing duties to Iraq soldiers. Anyone remember Vietnamization? That worked out so well we renamed Saigon HoChiMin city.

Posted by: jblym at May 1, 2006 1:09 PM
Comment #144551

American Pundit,

C’mon. Where and when did Bush say…

“I Blame The Troops”

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm?????

wheredemballs

I see. Framing is another word for….

half truths, political spin, mis-representation

And the people are stupid and emotional so we cant appeal to their intellect.

You guys are beating a path right into oblivion.

You are insulting the very people you want on your side.

Posted by: jwl at May 1, 2006 1:11 PM
Comment #144555

Sorry JWL,
Troll thoughts don’t count. My last comment to you now that you’ve shown your true red color.

Posted by: wheredemballs at May 1, 2006 1:19 PM
Comment #144557
C’mon. Where and when did Bush say…

“I Blame The Troops”

LOL! C’mon, jwl. Where and when did I quote him as saying that? It’d be political suicide for im to just to come out and say it.

But it’s clear that President Bush is laying the blame on the military by saying he gave them everything they wanted. He absolutely did not.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 1, 2006 1:35 PM
Comment #144563

AP:

“I Blame The Troops” Where and when did I quote as saying that?

Sorry to intrude on the discussion between you and jwl, but one needs only look at the headline of the thread you started to see where you said precisely that. You seem to be justifying your comments on the thread that you did not “quote” Bush as saying that. But you clearly say that he said it, and that is the salient point.

Bush Blames The Troops For Iraq

Posted by: joebagodonuts at May 1, 2006 2:03 PM
Comment #144564

“The point is, President Bush is laying the blame for the mess in Iraq on the military, despite the fact that he repeatedly ignored the military’s requests for the resources they told him they needed.”

My question is: how can he blame the military leaders for this… and then praise Rumsfield so heavily? How can Rumsfielf be doing such a swell job, if the # of troops sent created a failure? (Or is more of a division between who still supports Bush and those who don’t?)

Posted by: tony at May 1, 2006 2:03 PM
Comment #144565

Sandra

There is no question that spys are in the Iraq military….that’s a given.

There is no question that American deaths have occurred because of this..again,unfortunately,that too is a given.

However,the vetting process stunk at the inception,and is much better now.

Recall that an army has been put together from scratch during a war…kinda like building a plane while it’s flying,no?

The point is that 200,000 warm bodies,not American,are getting shot at.

Two years ago,that wassn’t the case.

Plus:and this is the most important thing:any army needs a mid-level officer corps…here there was zero.

Slowly,the officer corp..and along with that discipline…will come.

Time is now on OUR side,not the other way around.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 1, 2006 2:04 PM
Comment #144567

” But you clearly say that he said it, and that is the salient point.”

Say what? I can see an issue with troops vs military leaders (although it seems more like a diversion than discussion) but Bush didn’t write this post - no where is Bush credited for this statement “Bush Blames The Troops”… it’s a proposed concept/argument. How do you get that AP somehow mis-quoted Bush?

Posted by: tony at May 1, 2006 2:07 PM
Comment #144568

tony:

Bush has been consistent all along in his comments, I think. He has always said that he listened to the military people and then made the decisions. He has not shyed away from the responsibility of having made the decisions, but has always said that the decisions were made in full consultation.

Some are going to try to bash Bush for it no matter what he did. If he didn’t include the military, then he is a political animal who didn’t utilize the experience of his personnel. If he did include them, then he is blaming them now. Its sad to see people using such faulty logic—its an easy way to maintain a stance, as long as the stance is a dishonest attempt to bash Bush.

There are many things one can bash Bush for…but at least do it honestly and consistently. AP’s argument is the same as asking if you’ve stopped slapping your momma. There’s no right answer—just an opportunity to bash.

Posted by: jeobagodonuts at May 1, 2006 2:08 PM
Comment #144574

JBD -

But let’s get past the headline of this post, and try to discuss what Bush is getting at. More and more people at the top, when the decision to invade Iraq was made, have been saying that they had many concerns/disagreements with Bush and Rumfield… and that what they said was blatantly ignored.

Now Bush is suggesting that the fault for not sending in enough troops is somehow the fault of the military leaders… the same ones who pushed to have more.

I can grasp why Bush wants to shirk this responsibility, but not sure why we should let him.

Posted by: tony at May 1, 2006 2:27 PM
Comment #144575

Thank You joebagodonuts

AP YOU SAID IT!!!

The title of your so called article is in itself a falsehood, a lie, a mis-representatiion and a mis-quote.

Total Crap.

wheredemballs thinks we should frame your crap and hang it on our walls.

BTW…There are lots of reasons why things are not going well in Iraq, least of which in troop count. Do you really expect us to think that if we listened to Powell, or anyone else that claims troop levels were too low, and sent 1 million troops to Iraq there would not be an insurgency? Are you proposing we should send more troops? Should we post a soldier in every Iraqi household? Do you offer a solution or just Monday morning quarterbacking?

You want a debate, you got one. But I reject your premise that Bush Blames the Troops. Its cheap and bogus and it shows that you are willing to dismiss the truth if it promotes your viewpoint.

Personally, I would rather debate someone who sees some value in facts and the truth.

Posted by: jwl at May 1, 2006 2:31 PM
Comment #144576

wheredemballs wrote:

Sorry JWL,
Troll thoughts don’t count. My last comment to you now that you’ve shown your true red color.


Just what is it that I said that convinces you of my political orientation?

Posted by: jwl at May 1, 2006 2:41 PM
Comment #144588

I’m going off topic here, because I have seen nothing on any of the blogs regarding Bush’s intention of using nukes against Iran even before they have their own and before they have attacked the U.S.
Once again, this administration seems determined to form Bush’s legacy as the president who attacked without provocation.
This needs to be stopped! Our troops (130,000) are in the direct line of fire if Iran starts firing back.
And, this doesn’t take into account the thousands of innocent Iranians who would be in serious danger if we tried to nuke Iranian nuclear sites.
Write to your congress person and demand this tragedy be stopped before it begins.

Posted by: jack p at May 1, 2006 3:25 PM
Comment #144601

I think we had better learn how to deal with the Middle East in a positive, adult manner… or we will face a very ugly future. Can anyone image just the economic impact of a nuclear or full-scale military engagement with Iran? And in case people haven’t looked at our deficit - we’re getting really (REALLY) close to our spending limit, and the monthly minimum payments alone are going to bankrupt us soon.

Also, what do you think North Korea would do if we did anything militarily to Iran? They would know without a doubt that they would be the next in line - last of the axis of evil to be attacked, and using Bush’s pre-emptive attack logic, they would have a solid reason to attack us.

Posted by: tony at May 1, 2006 4:16 PM
Comment #144639

Here is a source for the comment I had posted earlier…………and eagle, I still don’t see or hear anything that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy about this “war” winding down for us.

Imus speaks with NBC correspondent Tom Aspell on the latest developments out of Iraq:

Imus: “What’s going on there? What are you reporting this morning?”

Tom Aspell: “Well, three years to the day since President Bush declared an end to major combat operations here. We were just totaling up the casualties here. You know there were almost 2,300 Americans that have been killed since he said that. That’s 70 in the month of April alone and that is the highest total in four months and the attacks have been continuing over the weekend. Three foreign contractors, I think they were British security contractors, were killed just South of Baghdad. But we have had some interesting tape in here this morning. There was a passing out, graduation parade for new Iraqi soldiers up in Fallujah yesterday, a thousand of them assembled on the parade ground there and then right after they presented the flag and at that moment the soldiers apparently found out they wouldn’t be posted close to their homes. They were going to be posted to other towns and threatened to quit on the spot. They took off their shirts and protested right in front of all the American advisors and the Iraqi generals who were watching the parade. We have the commanders shouting at them telling them that if they want to quit, leave the door open wide enough to fit a camel through, he said. Apparently they had some sort of negotiation afterwards and the cameraman was told to buzz off so we haven’t actually heard the end of this story but it’s a bit of an embarrassment for the Iraqi army and for the American advisors who were quite proudly displaying these thousand new soldiers. And there also have been a few peace talks between Iraqi officials sometimes attended by some U.S. officials with some of the less extreme insurgent groups but there is no sign of talks of a truce there or anything like that. This morning Al Jazeera had a couple of insurgents on saying that there will be no peace talks with the new Iraqi government set to continue here.”

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at May 1, 2006 6:56 PM
Comment #144650

And did not Bremmer also critically delay the formaton of a government while he and Bushes right wingnuts tried to action off formerly state run industries,to privatize them. Like Iraq had to embrace Reaganomics to be secure. That is the nice way to look at it. The other way is to see it as rewarding cronies. We had the time before the insurgency grew to stabilize and get out but idealogs got in the way.

Posted by: billS at May 1, 2006 8:30 PM
Comment #144673
AP YOU SAID IT!!!

Of course. That’s why I don’t understand why you think I attributed that quote to President Bush. It makes you look like you’re just trying to change the subject.

The title of your so called article is in itself a falsehood, a lie, a mis-representatiion and a mis-quote.

How so? Again, you’re just issuing a denial without giving any reason or counter argument.

The military asked for more troops, and Bush turned them down — all the while claiming that they never asked for more troops. What do you call that?

Posted by: American Pundit at May 1, 2006 9:38 PM
Comment #144732

Hey there Sicilian Eagle,

You just said, “One thing I know is that Bided is a joke…a complete joke.Him saying publicily about partitioning Iraq sinks whatever little credibility he had left.He is a blowhard.”

I’m sure you “typo’ed” and meant Biden. I also swear that several weeks you said “we should partition or divide Iraq”. I was against partition then and I still am. I supported Biden and he’s steadily lost my support.

Hell’s bells you’re the one that made me pull out the history books! How is a US backed partition of Arab land going to be any different than any previous partition. The partition is just GD air! Look at our “partition” with Mexico.

Please tell me I misunderstood your position. I know you’re an intelligent republican.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at May 2, 2006 2:22 AM
Comment #144734

Fellow liberals
Don’t engage neo con in a battle of semantics.
Semantics are a subjective art the spin for which they have mastered. Tell the truth.
Bush has no respect for the military… he never has and he never will.
This TRUTH is borne out by his military record.
This TRUTH is borne out by his disregard for the lives of our service men and women.
This TRUTH is borne out by the FACT that it is HIS stand that it is the Military’s fault, not his, that we are bogged down in a war WE CANNOT WIN!!!

Posted by: Thom Houts at May 2, 2006 2:32 AM
Comment #144735

SE and Kansas Dem, Biden doesn’t want to create separate countries for the three main factions in Iraq. He wants to see a stronger republican system for Iraq where the Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds have strong state governments held together by a weaker central government.

Hmm… Sounds like America — until Hamilton and his proto-Republicans consolidated all power in the hands of the federal government. Republicans haven’t stopped trampling state’s rights since.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 2, 2006 3:02 AM
Comment #144751

tony:

You’ll note that I specifically referred to what AP said, and I even went so far as to say that it wasn’t a direct quote. You ignored that part of my comment to focus on how AP didn’t actually quote Bush on that…which was exactly what I had just gotten done saying. Not a good way to have a discussion, my friend, when you disagree by making the exact same point that you disagree with.

As I said, some people simply want to place blame. If that’s the case, they should be honest about it.

It’s easy in the aftermath to say how many troops we should have had for the battles, to win the peace etc. Its easy to say what should have happened at Tora Bora, etc. Consider this: when we went in and protected the oil fields rather than the museums, the US was vilified by the anti-war folks for not stopping the looting. Yet this was in direct response to the actions of Saddam in 91 when he torched the Kuwaiti oil fields. Perhaps you remember then that the US was vilified for not having protected the oil fields.

Often when you are in a decision making position, you will be pilloried REGARDLESS OF THE DECISION YOU MAKE. It is never so true as in politics. Its just a much more honest discussion/argument when people take a stand BEFORE the conclusion or outcome, rather than after.

I’m okay with people blaming Bush for the troop levels. I’m okay with him consistently having said that he based his decisions on his advistor’s opinions (that means he agreed with some and disagreed with others). He’s never wavered from that statement—he made it when we made a lightning run to Baghdad and ever since.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at May 2, 2006 7:12 AM
Comment #144753

Kansas Dem and AP

Kassas

You are correct.Several weeks ago I wrote that the Romans solved the problem with insurrection in Parthia (Iran) by not only partitioning it along tribal lines but also forbidding both travel and trade.

And it worked beautifully for 40 years.

I suggested this as a potential remedy ONLY IF the Iraq government was incapable of coming to an agreement and civil war broke out.

Recall at the time that no one here (or on any blog for that matter was suggesting that).

Now,the politicial climate has changed there dramiticially.A new PM is in place and all three groups seem to be in agreement with his selection.

Thus to suggest partition now,when the log jam has been broken is not only a dumb thing to but politicially expedient on Biden’s part.

While partition remains an emercency solution,now is the time to let them continue on the road to unity.

Had Biden (or anyone else except me for that matter)suggested partition three months age when we wwere in the shit there(worse than we are now that is) perhaps it would have had legs.At worse it may have prompted the Iraqis to move quicker,with them thinking that perhaps we have had it with their bullshit.

Also:Don’t underestimate the first-rate job that Candy Rice has done there these last 90 days.

Plus,Sunnis are beginning to drop dimes on insurrgents left and right AND we are finally learning NOT to lump all insurgents in the same pot.

The Saddamists we (or the Iraq government) can cut a deal with.The Salafists we cannot and will not.

Thus we are finally learning (by we I mean bloggers in general)the composition of “the insurgency”.

The Roman “divide and conquer” strategy now can work…but not in a partition context.It can work if the insurgents themselves are splintered and a deal can be cut to reduce the kind of enemy we are fighting.

At this stage,we have positioned ourselves,after 10,000 mistakes,billions in corruption,and sheer incompetence,to now win the peace.

I think we all have to root for the new government,and put our politics aside.

My two cents,anyway.

AP

Biden’s comments were late and cannot be used at this time.As a member of the Senante Armed Services,he knows that things are getting better BY THE DAY there since the new PM took over.His call for partition,(any way at all) was an ill-concieved and untimely trick.

Now,I gotta go and find some lettuce…my market is out for some reason…..

Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 2, 2006 7:52 AM
Comment #144755

>>It’s easy in the aftermath to say how many troops we should have had for the battles, to win the peace etc. Its easy to say what should have happened at Tora Bora, etc. Consider this: when we went in and protected the oil fields rather than the museums, the US was vilified by the anti-war folks for not stopping the looting. Yet this was in direct response to the actions of Saddam in 91 when he torched the Kuwaiti oil fields. Perhaps you remember then that the US was vilified for not having protected the oil fields.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at May 2, 2006 07:12 AM

jbod,

Perhaps that’s why the military wanted more troops on the ground to begin with? I thought that’s what war planning was all about…please don’t defend Cheney/Bush on their war record, or their grasp of what’s needed to succeed. They only know what they know, and no more…they are cowardly chickenhawks, with military records to prove it.

Posted by: Marysdude at May 2, 2006 8:00 AM
Comment #144761

“You’ll note that I specifically referred to what AP said, and I even went so far as to say that it wasn’t a direct quote. You ignored that part of my comment to focus on how AP didn’t actually quote Bush on that…which was exactly what I had just gotten done saying. Not a good way to have a discussion, my friend, when you disagree by making the exact same point that you disagree with.”

So, how exactly did I get what you wrote wrong?

” But you clearly say that he said it, and that is the salient point.”

You make some odd comment on how I ignored part of your argument - which I did not, then go on to say that my point is therefore undone, which it is not. You - and others - are all twisted up by AP including military leaders in as part of the “troops.”

That is not refuting toe core of the message, it’s arguing over simple symantics.

Also, you say that Bush has been consistent from the beginning, and you state that as some sort of positive thing. His main advisors have stated that BUSH, Rumsfield & Rice ignored their advice. Consistently wrong is not a good thing.

Also, it’s an easier issue to dismiss the US failing to stop the looting of museums in favor of protecting the oil fields - but what about failing to protect the huge stockpiles of weapons that were looted and have been used against our troops for the past 3+ years? What did protecting the oil fields gain us? This was suppose to have been a military supported by the Iraqi Oil profits, and the America public would pay $1.7 billion total. Obviously, there is no way for this effort to have been paid for by Iraqi oil, even had things gone easily for us over there.

yea - I know being a leader is “hard work” - but that does not excuse the massive failings by this Administration and it is only worsened by the fact that those who knew far more about these types of operations were ignored by those with absolutely no experience.

The chickenhawks ignored the hawks and American soldiers have paid for that arrogance with their lives and bodies. Please explain how consistency validates this.

Posted by: tony at May 2, 2006 9:08 AM
Comment #144762

Marysdude:

I’m not sure if there was a purpose to your post, other than an opportunity to complain and bash. You’ll note that I’ve said that there’s plenty to blame Bush for. You’ll also note that my comments focused on Bush’s consistency in stating that he relied on his advisors for advice. You misstate that into saying that I “defend Cheney/Bush on their war record”, which is something I haven’t been discussing. It’s easier to discuss if you make YOUR statements and allow me to make MINE, rather than you making mine up.

In any war, there will be miscalculations. We know that one of history’s greatest military successes—D-Day— was fraught with miscalculations. Thousands of young men died as a result of those mistakes, but yet we consider it a success. Success cannot be gained without some mistakes. What is important is to understand how the mistakes came about so as to prevent them in the future rather than simply to look for someone to blame.

None of the options in global conflict come without problems—its more a matter of which problems you will face. You can have your opinion as to Bush’s decision making, and you can state your opinion at the voting booth. Many did just that and re-elected him. Now the decision is more about GOP vs Dems in the voting booth, and not at all about Bush himself.

Posted by: jeobagodonuts at May 2, 2006 9:14 AM
Comment #144767

Marysdude:

Retired Major General Robert Scales makes my point much more eloquently than I can. He talks about the books condemning the Iraq war strategies and wonders what might have happened had books been written 3 years into WWII. Here are some of his comments:

“Such a book would have hit the bookstores at Christmas time in 1944. Messrs. Gordon and Trainer would most certainly have written about the unconstitutional arrogance of an administration that violated international neutrality laws by taking sides with Great Britain against Germany. They would have recognized that Pearl Harbor was the greatest intelligence failure in American history. We would have read the whole horrific story of the humiliating surrender at Corregidor that signaled the shameful loss of the entire American Army in the Philippines.
The condemnatory tenor of the book would continue with depictions of the useless slaughter at “Bloody Buna” in New Guinea, the humiliating loss to the German Army at Kasserine Pass in North Africa, the failure of Dwight Eisenhower to trap the retreating Germans in Sicily, the horrifically wasteful daylight bombing campaign against Germany in 1943. Messrs. Gordon and Trainer would have reserved their worst for the conduct of George C. Marshall and Dwight Eisenhower in their abortive “Crusade in Europe.”
We would have read about an Army unprepared to meet the Germans in the hedgerows of Normandy. Operation Market Garden would be depicted as a foolish “bridge too far” that left our bravest soldiers to die for a few square miles of Dutch territory. The useless slaughter in the dank wilderness of the Huertgen Forest would have shocked us. And of course the book would have appeared just at the time the folks back home got word of Hitler’s greatest defeat of the Americans at the Battle of the Bulge, evidence of another grand failure of intelligence and a testament to the genius of German arms.
Of course there was no such book written at the time.”

http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20060501-100012-6202r.htm

Posted by: joebagodonuts at May 2, 2006 9:26 AM
Comment #144773
You’ll also note that my comments focused on Bush’s consistency in stating that he relied on his advisors for advice.

And then Bush promptly ignored their advice — and consistently denied that he ignored it, leaving Americans with the false impression that the military never asked for more troops and that he gave them everything they asked for. He did not.

His call for partition,(any way at all) was an ill-concieved and untimely trick.

SE, I’m not a big Biden fan and I’m also puzzled as to why he’d write an op-ed advocating a federal system that the Iraqis have already enshrined in their constitution. The only contribution I think he makes is that the Shiites should ensure the Sunnis get their fair share of the oil revenue.

And BTW, our failure to privatize the Iraqi oil industry — Iraq’s only industry, really — ensures that Iraq will never be more than a backwater petro-state just like Nigeria or Saudi Arabia — except less stable.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 2, 2006 9:58 AM
Comment #144776

Ok AP

Lets demonstrate the absurdity of your argument with some fiction about your hero.

CLINTON BLAMES INTERN PROGRAM FOR LEWINSKI SCANDAL

According to Madaline Albright - former Sec of State, and Janet Reno former Attorney General, Bill Clinton ignored their advice to not allow interns to enter the oval office area of the WH.

When interviewed on FTN, Treasury Sec Benson said that Clinton considered the advice.

In other words, its the intern programs fault.

Nowhere in the above fiction, does any govt official blame the intern program. Only the writer makes this leap by re-defining what was said.

I have re-read your post and nowhere therein do you quote Bush, Colin Powell, Gen Franks, Rumsfeld or Rice as blaming the troops, yet YOU indirectly attribute this statement to Bush in your headline.

In your response you say the military asked for more troops and Bush didnt provide them. Your post indicates Colin Powell asked for more troops. Is Colin Powell the military? I believe at the time he was Sec of State. Is his opinion the only one that matters, or is it the one the suits your viewpoint.

You also said that I have offered no debate on the issue, yet you have failed to answer my questions. Do you support more troops in Iraq?
Do you think there would have been no insurgency if we sent 1 million troops there?

Personally, I dont like being in Iraq any more than you do. Yes, Bush and Rumsfeld have made many mistakes executing the post invasion. No, I dont think we should cut and run. No, you havent offered any solutions either.

Posted by: jwl at May 2, 2006 10:09 AM
Comment #144778

JBOD

Terrific post.Point taken.You win.Nice job.

AP
Off topic but how about a piece about wind farms and their potential use to America and juxtapose it to Kennedy’s NIMBY view up here in Massachusetts.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 2, 2006 10:16 AM
Comment #144786

The Bush Administration did, in fact, blame the troops already. Condoleeza Rice stated that there were “thousands of tactical errors” made in Iraq…which she subsequently retracted.

By saying that the errors were tactical, Rice lays the blame on the US Military…not politicians, not the intelligence community, but with the boots on the ground. They, after all, are the only ones who behave in a tactical manner!

Rice’s convenient loss of memory belies the fact that Powell generally says things that have substance (UN presentation aside).

Posted by: PJMoran at May 2, 2006 10:48 AM
Comment #144796

jwl, I’m not sure how your little piece of fiction has anything to do with anything. As for the military, their initial Iraq plan called for 300,000 to 500,000 troops. Bush and Rumsfeld sent them back to the drawing board. If you haven’t read Woodward’s “Plan of Attack”, you should. It’s an excellent account of the war planning based on interviews with Franks, Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rumsfeld, etc. Your daily newspaper is also an excellent resource.

For President Bush to insist that the military — Franks, Shinseki, the entire Pentagon planning staff — didn’t ask for more troops is just completely disengenuous, and it misleads people into thinking that the military is at fault for not requesting enough troops to secure Iraq.

Do you support more troops in Iraq?

I did. There was a window between the time President Bush finally acknowleged there even was an insurgency and the last round of Iraqi elections when a couple hundred thousand more troops would have made a huge difference. The window is now closed. The Iraqis have their own government now and they will no longer accept more US troops.

Do you think there would have been no insurgency if we sent 1 million troops there?

The insurgency would have been completely ineffective. The insurgency is the main reason the reconstruction failed. Had it been suppressed, Iraq could have been the shining example for the rest of the region that President Bush said it would be. But Bush was unwilling to deploy the resources necessary to accomplish the mission.

And by claiming the military didn’t ask for the troop levels they felt were necessary, President Bush is implicitly blaming the military for the failure.

In fact, one of President Bush’s undersecretaries of defense came right out and said “that if [Gen.] Newbold now regrets not arguing more forcefully [for more troops], he was part of the problem.”

Which is a particularly shameful thing to say after President Bush bitch slapped Shenseki for arguing more forcefully for more troops.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 2, 2006 11:51 AM
Comment #144803

jwl,

“In your response you say the military asked for more troops and Bush didnt provide them. Your post indicates Colin Powell asked for more troops. Is Colin Powell the military? I believe at the time he was Sec of State. Is his opinion the only one that matters, or is it the one the suits your viewpoint.”

Gee, do ya think that because Powell had actually been in the military (unlike the lifetime political hacks, Rumsfeld and Cheney), had been in battle and had the experience of the first Gulf War, he might have had a bit more insight into what it might take to deal with the situation.
American Pundit had called for more troops since the begining of this fiasco.
Had you read some of his posts in the archives here, you would have known that fact

JBOD,

Every war is different.

http://www.britannica.com/dday/article-236178

“Within hours an armada of 3,000 landing craft, 2,500 other ships, and 500 naval vessels—escorts and bombardment ships—began to leave English ports. That night 822 aircraft, carrying parachutists or towing gliders, roared overhead to the Normandy landing zones. They were a fraction of the air armada of 13,000 aircraft that would support D-Day.”

If you want to use D-Day as an example, Eisenhower used overwhelming force to invade France. Besides the force mentioned above, 47 divisions and 140,000 French troops participated in the invasion.

The use of overwhelming force in battle is as old as war itself, and it assures victory 9.99 times out of 10.

The run to Bahgdad was indeed impressive.
The lack of troops to secure and hold what had been won was appalling.


Posted by: Rocky at May 2, 2006 12:15 PM
Comment #144821

I give up.

You guys are so blinded by your anger that you will say anything or twist the truth to conform with your agenda.

I dont care how you twist it.

BUSH DID NOT BLAME THE TROOPS !!!

Troops being soldiers on the ground, not the brass at the pentagon.

It is irrelivant if Powell alone or fifty high ranking military officers told bush they wanted more troops. I am certain there were just as many saying they did not need more troops. Bush made his decision. All the Monday morning quarterbacking in the world will not change what HAS happened. Iraq is a mess. I agree. You dont have to make up bogus headlines to sell that.

So who among you has ordained Colin Powell to the high almighty of all things military. Wasnt it all the liberals calling him an uncle tom not so many years ago. You didnt put so much credence in what he said when he went before the UN. In fact, was it not the liberals saying what a liar he was by selling faulty intelligence about WMD. Now all of a sudden we should hang on every word he says. You just cant have it both ways.


Posted by: jwl at May 2, 2006 1:56 PM
Comment #144829

jwl,

“So who among you has ordained Colin Powell to the high almighty of all things military. Wasnt it all the liberals calling him an uncle tom not so many years ago. You didnt put so much credence in what he said when he went before the UN. In fact, was it not the liberals saying what a liar he was by selling faulty intelligence about WMD. Now all of a sudden we should hang on every word he says. You just cant have it both ways.”

If, I was a liberal I suppose I would be insulted, but I’m not.

Do you presume to say that Powell authored that presentation at the UN himself?

Would you at least admit that as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he did a damn fine job with the Gulf War?
Would you also admit that because of that experience that he might have some insight to the needs of a fighting force going into the same area yet again?

I have never criticized anything of Powell’s tenures in our government. I belive that he has served this country with honor.
You are entitled to your opinion, but your opinion will never diminish Powell’s service.

Posted by: Rocky at May 2, 2006 2:22 PM
Comment #144843

Troop: a. A group of soldiers.
b. troops Military units; soldiers.
c. A unit of cavalry, armored vehicles, or artillery in a
European army, corresponding to a platoon in the
U.S. Army.

So, while we’re nit picking over symantics - wouldn’t the fact that all military people are soldiers (by definition) - TROOPS actually refer to the military vs non-military difference? I know most people use the term to refer to the average soldier, but it seems like “soldier” is the defining characteristic.

Posted by: tony at May 2, 2006 3:14 PM
Comment #144867

Rocky,

I didn’t presume Powell authored anything. He did present this material before the UN security council. If he knew that material to be false and still made his presentation…. well draw your own conclusion. I dont know what he knew or when he knew it, but he was in a position to know.

I will gladly admit that Powell did a fine job during the gulf war along with Schwartzkoff and would have had an excellent knowledge concerning the invasion and occupation of Iraq. I have not been critical of Powell at all. All I have done is point out how the blind hatred of Bush will make those who condemed Powell earlier now wrap themselves in his words. And BTW… there really is nothing anyone can say that will diminish his service.

Tony,

Words mean something.

You admit that most people would associate the word Troops with the average soldier.

So I guess we should interpret AP’s headline as:

BUSH BLAMES GRUNTS AND GENERALS FOR IRAQ.

Or maybe you would prefer:

BUSH BLAMES EVERYONE IN MILITARY UNIFORM FOR IRAQ.

The headline is bogus. It is designed to get a knee jerk reaction from members of the military and their families at their expense. I think that is unfair. The troops have done their jobs with honor and do not deserve this type of BS thrown on their doorstep. As I said at the beginning of all this, there are plenty of legitimate complaints about Iraq and the management of the war without resorting to cheap shots based on falsehoods.

If AP and you guys really want to convince american voters to vote democratic in the next election, dont assume we are all so stupid as to swallow all the crap without question.

Posted by: jwl at May 2, 2006 4:21 PM
Comment #144886

“Words mean something.”

Yes, they do. So, why not also focus on the other 300 words in the post? You have said your peice about the first 6. I agree that they can be construded several different ways, but after reading the initial few reactions, the first 6 were adequately discussed and I think the meaning overall is pretty clear.

My point about nit picking is that it has become just that… failure to discuss points from a simply lack of being able to get past a headline.

The point: Bush is again blaming everyone else but himself… yet, he was the one who failed to take to heart the experience and strong suggestions of people with vastly more experience and skill in military matters.

HE failed to adequately plan, but he’s not the one taking the blame, and he has nothing politically to loose… this comes across as plain cowardice.

Posted by: tony at May 2, 2006 4:57 PM
Comment #144990

Good post, tony. And I’ll just add that — after ignoring the military’s and even Bremmer’s advice to send more troops — it’s shameful and deceitful for President Bush to imply that the mess in Iraq is the military’s fault because he dutifully followed his military advisors’ advice. He did not.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 3, 2006 1:43 AM
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