Petraeus Takes....

Saturday, April 28, 2007
a break?

a nap?

a walk?

After reading the complete transcript of his presser, the word that wouldn't fit is 'charge'. If this is the best he can do, then the President has replaced McClellan with McClellan or Westmoreland with Westmoreland. When a military commander talks about how 'complex' the situation is, the next step is generally a request for more resources.

I can draw the correct conclusion from his remarks concerning the democracy project - the elected government is a corrupt shambles, unable to to do a damn thing without American (or NGO) minders holding their hands and very intent upon stealing any money that passes within reach. That's unsurprising. I was a bit dismayed to read about the apparently recent discovery that the tribal links and methods of operations were actually of some import. It really shouldn't have taken four years to figure out how sheiks accrete and maintain influence. In fact, Machiavelli provided a precis on muslim power structures about five hundred years ago. Montesquieu amplified Machiavelli's efforts some 250 years later and both men's analyses hold true today.

Petraeus is no fool and I really can't fault him for his focus on the inconsequential because I don't believe that he has been given any mandate whatsoever to do more than exchange pawns at an advantageous rate. The problem is that even at a 1,000/1 ratio, the sheiks, mullahs, ayatollahs and oily princes still retain a tremendous advantage. An individual muslim is a liability in every single islamic country - the more killed, the better for the leaders. Every American killed is a loss to the US.

The game won't change until we start putting the sheiks, mullahs, ayatollahs and oily princes in the ground on a wholesale basis. Petraeus knows it. Maybe some day he will say it.

UPDATE: The White House does a good job of "tightening" Petraeus' remarks. I wonder where shelling Baghdad fits into his plan.

67 comments:

Buddy Larsen said...

The enemy has those several faces--the west tries to fight those trying to evict us from influence in the oil business, and runs head on into the religious jihad. Then the west tries to cope with the religious jihad, and runs head on into the oil conflict.

To really deflate the jihad, we'd have to follow the Dems, right? Leave the mideast, so that the jihad would have no interlopers to attack?

Well, maybe we ought to just do that! Just give it to Reid & Pelosi, and haul ass out of the mideast.

Within a year or two, oil will be priced at just pennies less than whatever price would bring us back in, D-Day style.

Dems say, baloney, the new post-OIF OPEC needs the cash, so the markets will still derive prices.

But--the problem with that is, the enemy plays the long game, and it's a huge strategic truth that the oil will run out sooner or later.

It will run out LATER using punitive prices that will transfer power from west to east.

It will run out SOONER as is, at prices that permit growth in the consuming economies.

Given that AQ will have a vote--no doubt THE vote--within OPEC as soon as we throw in the OIF towel, what will happen but the resulting economic depression will rid USA of its idiot left-wing--forever?

Think of all the fun we can have! Poor, but free of the hugely demoralizing Marxist/Gaia stupidities--forever! We'll be Uncle Remus, singin' zippedy-doo-dah to the bluebirds in the springtime!

Buddy Larsen said...

With any luck, we'll work our way, in time, back to a nice 35 yr life-expectancy--thus solving Social Security!!!

Yay, I'm a Democrat now--I just figured it all out. Too many people, too much freedom, and too much sinful wealth.

Skookumchuk said...

...free of the hugely demoralizing Marxist/Gaia stupidities--forever!

For a while now I get the sense that events are bringing this closer. It will be very interesting.

Rick Ballard said...

"To really deflate the jihad, we'd have to follow the Dems, right?"

We might give Sharon's strategy via Hamas a whirl first. Blowing Sheik Yassin's head off (along with a few - but just a few others) seems to have settled the Palis down for a bit. Taking a bishop or two off the board seems to slow the islamist game down considerably.

Alternatively, we could follow the advice of Mullah Reid and Pelosi Bey and give the islamists enough hope that they would do something stupider than 9/11. At that point we would have given the democracy foolishness a good run so we could proceed directly to removing Mecca and Medina from existance. 'Cause in the end, that's what it will take.

Skookumchuk said...

If they hit Abqaiq or its pipelines and knock any of these things out even for a few months, then all bets are off. This is the third time AQ has tried.

Skookumchuk said...

Rick:

After something like that, things will get really interesting really fast.

Buddy Larsen said...

Right. The Dems say the enemy is not at the gates, so, no worries. This is the "new direction" --jump right off the nearest cliff.

Buddy Larsen said...

If the country wants to maintain an utterly clueless voting majority, then Mother Nature will be only too happy to fix our problems for us soon enough.

terrye said...

I don't have enough of a background in military matters, especially counter insurgency measures to second guess Petraeus...especially when the likes of Pelosi seem so willing to do it for me.

I do think that how someone conducts himself in a presser is not really the issue. We will find out soon enough if he can help the situation improve.

Considering the reaction of the press to the news that an AlQaida operative al-Iraqi was held in a secret prison {poor baby} I doubt that Rick's methods would be allowed to stand. Not that I disagree with the general idea.

Buddy Larsen said...

re KSA & the 172 AQ plot to decapitate the gov't, take a look at the Black Swan.

Skookumchuk said...

The real War for Oil could well start in a Democratic administration. That would require a true virtuoso performance from the MSM.

Skookumchuk said...

Buddy, Abqaiq and Ras Tanura and all those places must be tough nuts to crack. Tougher then flying planes in to American buildings in 2001. Otherwise one thinks they would have hit Saudi first.

Skookumchuk said...

Thanks, Buddy. It is now bookmarked on Amazon. It will be another of my many contributions toward an even larger yacht for Jeff Bezos.

Reliapundit said...

DUBYA STANDS FOR WIMP.

WE DON;T NEED A MCCLELLAN; WE NEED A LINCOLN!

Skookumchuk said...

Buddy, according to Reuters, several of the 172 were studying aviation. How novel.

Skookumchuk said...

Rick:

After stuff like that - and only then - will we take the steps we need to take.

terrye said...

reliapundit:

That is so ridiculous. Right now the Demcorats are treating Republicans like war mongering, fear mongering, mass murdering torturers who have no respect for human rights and the law. And your response? To call Bush a wimp. Well what do you want him to do? Fire bomb Sadr City? Do you think this is 1945 or 1865?

There were people who thought Lincoln was weak, ineffectual, incompetent, and no statesman at all. It was only after he was shot by a man calling him a tyrant that he became a beloved leader.

I know that some people think that if Bush started nuking people it would make all the girls swoon, but that is not what is needed now. Sorry, but it would only feed the hysteria. It is in fact insane.

So is thinking that we can just start putting people in the ground, wholesale slaughter of tribal leaders and princes, etc...I understand the inclination given the culture, but the American people are not going to stand for that. Not now anyway.

When I read about the early days of the U. S. in a book about John Adams he made the point that corruption almost destroyed America before it began. Men like him were risking their lives and fortunes while others made money off the Revolution. The first government was a corrupt joke.

He also made note of the fact that the American people were in the best of times divided in three groups, true blue, torie and timid.

So now we have the left treating Bush like Hitler and the right complaining that he is a wimp. It seems to me that the left and right are having their own problems with perception, maybe that is there is no simple answer to all this. People see different things in the same situation. The truth is there is such a thing as political viability and while we might like to ignore it, there is no way to do that and get anything accomplished. Ever. The people will just not tolerate it.

terrye said...

skook:

Yes, if they flew some planes into some refineries and bases and the price of oil shot up and there were significant interruptions in supply then maybe people would take the threat more seriously. The question would be, what would they do about it? Blame it on the Iraq war and call for sucking up to the likes of Assad or going after AlQaida with enough ruthlessness to destroy its bases?

I am not sure what the response would be.

Buddy Larsen said...

Terrye is right. It's easy to say that a better leader would be better able to really fight a proper war--but that's not really much of a help at this point. Half the country plus the Congress is dead set against the war--that's the reality of the moment.

Rick Ballard said...

Skook,

For all I know, Petraeus may have already started a ME Operation Phoenix that will surpass what Sharon did with Hamas. The whole Israeli plan last summer revolved around nailing Nasrullah and he seems to realize that keeping quiet - for the moment- is the best policy.

If we're going to interfere in a Persian-Arab conflict without declaring which side we're taking and without going beyond the exchange of pawns then I don't see how the hell we're (the polis) ever going to know whether we're even ahead at the moment - let alone whether we've won or lost.

I was just extraordinarily disappointed to read Petraeus' remarks concerning tribes and sheiks. Especially the comment about sheiks owning construction companies. What did he think the bin Laden family did for a living? Not a confidence builder.

Right now, the game is just too friggin' cheap for the muslims. Pocket change buys as many suiciders as necessary. Nothing in what Petraeus said will change that simplest of facts.

Skookumchuk said...

Terrye:

I am not sure what the response would be.

I don't know either.

Rick:

Yes, the game is too cheap.

Buddy Larsen said...

Petraeus should challenge Achmadinejad to a duel, a la Hector & Achilles, or Brad Spitt, whatever his name was.

terrye said...

Bin Laden is not dangerous because his family runs a construction company, he is dangerous because he is a freaking fanatic.

It seems that any culture, whether it be European or Chinese or Arab has a societal structure in which a certain group or class of people own and control things, in the Arab culture it is the tribal leaders. Like it or not.

I am not all that concerned about who owns the construction companies, I just want these people to stop blowing things up. And so do most people.

I am afraid that it will take time to bring about significant changes in the culture as whole and I am not sure we have that kind of time. But right now people just want to ignore them if possible. Just look the other way and hope that this too passes.

terrye said...

Rick:

I don;t know if I would say it was all that cheap for the Muslims, they are the ones who are doing most of the dying and they are the ones who are occupied. For the time being anyway.

Rick Ballard said...

"I am afraid that it will take time to bring about significant changes in the culture as whole and I am not sure we have that kind of time."

It probably won't take more than 1500-2000 years.

A start might be the realization that the sheiks control who works and what they work on - you don't care who runs construction but those people you're so hopeful about damn sure do.

That's just the way feudalsim works. And that's why the sheiks will control the vote better than any Tammany Hall ward heeler could ever hope to.

Reliapundit said...

COPPERHEADS CALLED LINCOLN A CHIMP.

THEY WERE WRONG.

DEMS CALL BUSH A WARMONGER.

THEY ARE WRONG TOO.

THE LAST THREE YEARS WE HAVE BEEN WAY TOO RESTRAINED - IN IRAQ AND
ELSEWHERE.

OUR RESTRAINT SENT A MESSAGE - AS DO THE DEMS NOW; IT SAYS -TO OUR ENEMIES - WE AIN'T GOT WHAT IT TAKES. OR WE GOT IT, BUT AIN'T GOT WHAT IT TAKES TO SUE IT.

IT'S REAL SIMPLE:

WE'RE IN A WAR.

ONE SIDE WILL DO ANYTHING TO WIN - INCLUDING SUICIDE-BOMBING GENOCIDAL ATTACKS, BLOWING UP "SACRED" MOSQUES", BEHEADING KIDNAP VICTIMS; CHEM WEAPONS. ETC.

THE OTHER SIDE WON'T EVEN USE LAND-MINE TO PROTECT A BORDER, ALLOWS ARMED MILITIAS TO RUN IN ELECTIONS AND WIN SEATS, AND HOLDS HEARINGS ABOUT LYNCH/TILLMAN/NIGER YELLOWCAKE, WHILE ITS NEWSPAPERS RUN STORIES EXPOSING STATE SECRETS -THUS COMPROMISING NATIONAL SECURITY (AND NO ONE GETS CHARGED --- EXCEPT LIBBY, FOR A LEAK HE DIDN'T COMMIT!).

SO...

WHICH

SIDE

WINS??

I FEAR WHAT IT WILL TAKE TO MAKE US FIGHT THIS WAR THE WAY LINCOLN, FDR, AND TRUMAN FOUGHT THEIR WARS: WITH NO HOLDS BARRED.

THAT'S HOW YOU WIN WARS.

Reliapundit said...

McCain:

"America should never undertake a war unless we are prepared to do everything necessary to succeed..."

EVERYTHING.

That has not been the case, so far.

We let Sadr go in 2003.

We have virtually let Assad off the hook.

Iran has all the nuke infrastructure it needs to build a nuke.

They could buy one from Noko.

Hamas - should not have been allowed on the ballot; (instead Bush twisted Sharon's arm and got them on the ballot).

We've been too soft on the House of Saud, and Musharraf.

We should have dropped the biggest bombs we got on Torabora; (we might not have had to invade Iraq, if we had).

We should have firebombed fallujah after the contractors bodies were recovered from that bridge.

ETC.

Half-assery never won a war.
It's only half better than appeasing - which is also a one-way ticket to defeat.

Unless and until I see stepped up kinetic force - and results, I have to conclude that Bush has been a liberal WImp:

soft on spending (education and drugs for seniors); soft on immigration; soft on jihadism - (sh*t, he still says ROP?!?!?); soft of the law (miers and gonzales are NOT conservatives); soft on global warming - (he virtually caved in on this HOAX!).

ETC.

A liberal wimp. Hillary with real testicles.

We need a REAL hawk.

Rudy or McCain.

richard mcenroe said...

"The real War for Oil could well start in a Democratic administration."

Yeah, and watch those reenlistment rates just SKYROCKET if a Democrat gets into the White House...

terrye said...

rick:

I did not say I did not care and I am not debating whether or not there is feudalism in that culture. I think there is feudalism in Mexico as far as that is concerned.

I am just saying that my primary concern right now is to clamp down on the violence because as long as civilians die in the thousands it won't matter who runs the constuction companies. There will be no reconstruction that can last.

As far as I am concerned they can give all the business to Halliburton.

terrye said...

reliapunidt:

SINCE YOU SEEM TO THINK THE REST OF US ARE DEAF AND SO IT IS NECESSARY TO SCREAM I WILL REPEAT SAYING THINGS LIKE UGH KILL GRUNT WILL NOT HELP WIN THIS THING. SCREAMING AT BUSH FROM YOUR KEYBOARD WILL NOT HELP WIN THIS THING. ASSUMING THAT IF WE JUST KILL MORE PEOPLE THE ENEMY WILL FAINT AND BLUSH AT OUR MANLY STRENGTH WILL NOT WIN THIS THING EITHER. THEY LIKE KILLING. IT IS THEIR BEST THING.

terrye said...

This is the part of the presser I think rick is referring to when he talks about Patraeus and the infamous construction companies. He is talking primarily about Anbar Province. So what was the alternative?:

GEN. PETRAEUS: Well, look, I think first of all that the tribal elements of Iraq are a fact of life, and that what Iraq eventually will have is some form of government that at least listens to and incorporates the views of tribes and sheikhs, particularly in an area like Anbar province. Now, it varies when you're in cities; the tribal influence is less.

But I think that, candidly, a mistake that we may have made in early days was not to pay enough attention to these very important elements of Iraqi society, which still play a very, very key role and are really, you know, a lot more than I think sort of the stereotypical view of tribes. I mean, each tribe generally has a construction company, an import-export business, and a trucking company as well. I mean these are entrepreneurs as well as tribes, and they provide a variety of services to the members of their tribes.

So I think, again, that what results in Anbar province will actually have the features of democratic governance representing the citizens of Anbar province and being responsive to them.

But among those elements to whom they are responsive will be certainly the sheikhs and the leaders of the major tribes in that area, because of the allegiance that the people give to them.

Anbar province made the progress that it did because of the courageous action of some sheikhs who said, enough, to the killing by al Qaeda of their brothers, sons, sheikhs and so forth. It started with Sheikh Sattar near Ramadi, working with Colonel Sean MacFarland. He came to Colonel MacFarland and said, I'd like to join the coalition in fighting against al Qaeda, and they made a pretty courageous choice. He volunteered some of his young men to be part of the Iraqi police structure, and it literally just started to ripple on out from there, with each sort of contiguous tribe joining in the same fashion. And what you have now is a very, very significant movement.

By the way, that tribal movement is now turning into a political movement. And Sheikh Sattar had a meeting with a number of the tribal leaders just, I think it was, last week, where they came together to discuss when provincial elections are held, as the process moves forward in Anbar province, should this effort that has been focused largely on helping the security forces be moved forward also as somewhat of a political movement? And in fact, Prime Minister Maliki went out there, as I think you know, to Ramadi and met with not just the governor or the provincial council but also with the sheikhs and with the leaders of the Iraqi security forces.

Again, none of this would have been possible without these sheikhs, particularly the early ones, taking a very courageous stand at a time that was actually very, very dangerous, and has now enabled the Iraqi and coalition forces in partnership to largely clear Ramadi, which only two months or two-and-a-half months ago was largely al Qaeda central. And just to get to the governance center, you literally had to fight your way downtown.

Buddy Larsen said...

Reliapundit, don't forget, we have some very powerful allies in Araby/Islam (I'm not saying they love us, but that they on-balance support our policies).

Common interests create the support, but Bush's restrained, measured war-fighting allows it to exist--and gives it a chance to solidify.

Am i wrong on this?

Also check into the occupation theory X, as tried by Germany in occupied Europe/USSR. Search partisan war, or somesuch. And those partisans by and large were not religious suiciders.

Theory Y (Bush's), AKA 'hearts & minds', for all of its weaknesses, at least has not solidified a large bloc of nations into a national-policy war alliance against USA. Iran and Syria are still up against Egypt, KSA, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, the Gulf states, the 'Stans, Libya, Pakistan, Algeria, Morroco, Indonesia, et cetera, all Islamic countries that are neutral to positive, issue-by-issue, within the allied anti-jihad camp, insofasr as diplomacy and formal government policy is concerned. the globe is functioning, markets in order, wealth and hope by and large on the build.

Yes, I know there are a thousand OIF-tactical/strategic rebuttals to aspects of the above, but none will be to say that having these nations sever relations with, or even attack, formally or not, USA over Bush's war-fighting would not be a huge escalation, that the USA left would not go hyper-Nam (million man occupations of DC), and that your firbombing attacks on only-partly terrorist (if fully terrorized) Iraqi cities would not cost us much of our first-world support (including possibly the Anglosphere's).

So, if we were to go Roman on these people, we'd better be ready to rule, Raj-style, much of the planet. And the Raj worked (awhile) partly because there was no mass media to counter GB's official account of what it took to suppress the natives.

C'mon, reliapundit. Your Bush critique from the right has plenty of passion but needs a whole lot more argument, IMHO.

Buddy Larsen said...

Try for some perspective--list the nations that have recently elected parties that ran on pro-USA platforms. Britain as usual, but also Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, other east europeans, all but one of the ex-USSRs (and the one was a Rus black op), France (soon), Oz, Japan, the Asian Tigers, Brazil, Mexico, several other Latin Americans, and Canada.

Sure--things are rough, but things could be a whole lot more rough.

lurker98765 said...

Rick Moran says that time is not on our side. The Democrats' efforts on the defense pork bill is going to set things back. Murtha's words, too.

We have to got to at least try and achieve real victory in this war in spite of time.

And is this reliapundit the same person that hosts reliapundit blog site?

BTW, every time I post here of later, I keep having to create new accounts. Google is not accepting my password.

lurker98765 said...

Rick Moran says that time is not on our side. The Democrats' efforts on the defense pork bill is going to set things back. Murtha's words, too.

We have to got to at least try and achieve real victory in this war in spite of time.

And is this reliapundit the same person that hosts reliapundit blog site?

Skookumchuk said...

richard:

Yeah, and watch those reenlistment rates just SKYROCKET if a Democrat gets into the White House...

I think you have hit on something very important here - and I think that some Democrats are well aware of this handicap. I think I see a manifestation of it in the often expressed Democratic wish to have our future battles fought entirely by special forces that would be double or triple the size of existing units.

Leave aside for the moment whether it is even possible to radically expand special forces without diluting their quality. What explains the strong attraction for the Democrats? The attraction is that you don't have to mobilize popular support for a war, which for some of them is psychologically impossible to do. And second, you can ignore the participants. They are like the garbage truck that comes around at 5:30 AM - out of sight, out of mind. But ultimately such an approach is incomplete and unrealistic. And I think they know it.

ex-democrat said...

terrye - as one who, like you, has supported GW throughout, i have a problem with your view that "I do think that how someone conducts himself in a presser is not really the issue. We will find out soon enough if he can help the situation improve."
It is thta kind of naievety that frustrates me - especially as it appears to mirror that of the White House. Part of taking responsibility is facing the facts. And the fact is the war is going on as much here as it is there. And even if one makes a strategic decision to keep shtum about it, betraying a dopey ignorance that a huge block of the polity is represented by useful idiots is disappointing to say the least.
By the way, there is an interesting analysis here that doesn't bode well for your 'truth will out' strategy: http://hnn.us/blogs/entries/38092.html.

ex-democrat said...

skook - it is exactly that. many of those i know are pefectly happy for more and worse killing and savagery to be done - they just don't want to be seen to be responsible for it.

Buddy Larsen said...

there's also the Occam's Razor that the Dems are using support for OEF to fight the 'passivist' charge that complicates their weaponizing of OIF against the Pubs.

OEF is far more a Special Forces operation, ergo the "don't question our whatever" position viz more SF.

Buddy Larsen said...

Lurker, try opening a gmail account, then opening a blogger account using your gmail username & password.

terrye said...

exdemocrat:

So Patraeous was supposed to come out there and say the only good Muslim is a dead Muslim? He as supposed to say that if things did not shape up soon we were going to meet AlQaida's chlorine and raise it with some VX?

Would that accomplish anything?

After WW2 we did not kill every damn Nazi, we did not kill every exJapanese soldier, hell we did not even hang the Emporer.

As for Truman, he did not go all out. That is why we have troops in South Korea to this day. And was that because Truman was a wimp? Or because he did not kill enough Koreans? No, it was because the American public was only willing to tolerate so much carnage.

terrye said...

And btw, I find the idea that every Arab owns a construction company is a bad guy to be a tad self defeating. If we really believe that, then what the hell is the point to any of it?

terrye said...

I am also disappointed in both the right and the left doing nothing but bitching all the time, second guessing the people on the ground who actually have to try and deal with all this and not giving this new policy more than a few weeks to work without whining about the new guy.

Churchill was right about a lot of things, but he was wrong about India. He said it would not change, could not change...the people were not capable of establishing an independent democracy. Not with their backward culture and caste system and internal conflicts. But now India is one of our best allies..But it took a very long time for India to get where it is. But we expect so much from Iraq in a couple of years.

terrye said...

reliapundit:

Oh yeah, Hillary with testicles. Like McCain will make it a law to shoot a wetback every day. And Rudy will cut off all those old ladies living high on the hog on medicare. And either one of them will go to Congress and demand they shut the eff up and give them the money so that can go wipe out a couple of million Iraqis and settle down the ragheads. Yep, that is what we need. A REAL MAN. S

lurker98765 said...

Barry, doing more tests with my account after activating my google account.

ex-democrat, I'd rather see US being unpopular but winning the war on terror. :)

ex-democrat said...

terrye - your disappointment is understandable and another part of the problem. to prevail, our leaders must (a) know what they are doing (hence rick's point about understanding basic facts of the situation); and (b) project that know-how to the county DESPITE a partisan hostile media and, frankly, traitorous Democratic leadership.
displaying ignorance doesn't help. nor does signalling that success relies in any degree on the media - because the bad guys know they already have that battlefield won.

terrye said...

lurker:

If we become too unpopular that will only make it more difficult to win that war.

I did not like Bush when he was elected. I preferred McCain, but Bush has not changed. His attitudes toward tax cuts, prolife issues, immigration, education etc are the same as they always were. His efforts to fight the war have always been hampered by a disloyal right who eats its own and a vicious left who cares about nothing but winning. In this atmosphere just not being hated is a feat.

ex-democrat said...

also, regarding your
"So Patraeous was supposed to come out there and say the only good Muslim is a dead Muslim? He as supposed to say that if things did not shape up soon we were going to meet AlQaida's chlorine and raise it with some VX?

Would that accomplish anything?"

How about if he came out and said the only good terrorist is a dead terrorist, and then followed up by saying "How do you defeat al quaida? The Chicago Way! That's how."

Would that accomplish anything? Yes, i think it might. Not least with the large block of people out there who are opposed to our campaign in Iraq because they don't think we should fight with one hand tied behind our own back.

terrye said...

What I was trying to say is that I am not sure I am willing to assume that Petraeus does not know what he is talking about because Rick says so. I mean the man is a general, an expert in counter insurgency tactic, he has a PhD and has spent his whole life in the military and years in this region of the world. My guess is he knows who these sheiks are.

And we have gotten into this hypercritical constant complaining and bitching mode which virtually guarantees failure if we do not ease up.

terrye said...

exdemocrat:

Oh come on. Are you saying that Patreus does not want to defeat the terrorists? I mean really there is no reason to believe that.

I give up. We might as well surrender if we are going to bitch and moan about a general not sounding like a politician at a press conference.

bitch bitch bitch.

terrye said...

and what exactly does it mean when you say we are fighting with one hand tied behind our backs? It seems to me that there has been a change in the ROE and it also seems to me that we are killing and capturing the enemy. Unless of course the enemy is actually anyone who owns a construction company.

So are we to start fire bombing cities?

terrye said...

Speaking of the Chicag Way, Al Capone got away with the Saint Valentines Day Massacre.

Rick Ballard said...

Westmoreland was a four star with a decent list of accomplishments. McClellan had achieved the rank of general. The Germans had the very best - by a wide margin - general staff and general officer corps in WWI and WWII.

So what.

When a commanding general returns home for his first report and starts talking about 'the long ardurous road ahead' it's a sign.

Whether you can read it or not is really immaterial.

The decision to rent most of the Anbar sheiks without killing the others is going to prove a serious mistake. Allowing them control of security forces within their areas is a cession of unearned autonomy. There is no doubt that they can run AQ off - and once they do they can turn their sights on Baghdad.

Buddy Larsen said...

Unless, unless, they decide that what with the oil trust and an actual representative government that is gaining legitimacy rather than losing it, they decide that the better future is the one without constant war.

terrye said...

rick:

Maybe he thought he was being honest. Maybe the fact that it is a long road is exactly why presidents have been trying to avoid prolonged military conflict in the region for so many years. Reagan was no more interested in going to Syria to kick ass after our Marines were killed than Carter was after the embassy was taken. No, Reagan dropped a bomb on Kaddafi's house and that was about it.

terrye said...

And comparing the man to McClellan is stupid.

terrye said...

So you are saying we should execute all the sheiks in Anbar Province? Would it be a sign of weakness if we gave them a choice or should we just round em up and kill em?

Do you have any idea how insane that sounds?

terrye said...

And if that is not what you saying when you accuse the military of "renting" sheiks with construction companies {which means of course they are like Bin Laden}, then what are you saying? It is their country. Like it or not.

terrye said...

So, the left thinks the man is full of it because we have lost the war and we are only picking on those poor people.

The right thinks the man is full of it because he has not shown sufficient hate and distrust of the population and he thinks the road ahead is long.

Why should we ever bother trying to do anything? Really? It seems to me that we have doomed ourselves from the outset.

Buddy Larsen said...

Wonder how Ike, MacArthur, or Nimitz would've sounded at the end of 1944.

Germans were on the offense in NW Europe (Bulge), and holding the Red Army in the Baltics far from Germany. The Japanese were still contesting Luzon, with the invasions of Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and Japan itself yet to come.

And neither of the political parties was trying to quit, they were both dedicated to enforcing FDR's 'unconditional surrender' policy.

The three commanders knew there was enormous pain yet to come; in fact the 'killing year' had already begun. Yet the war would be over in Europe in five months, and in the Pacific in eight.

Rick Ballard said...

"So you are saying we should execute all the sheiks in Anbar Province?"

No, I said that renting some sheiks without killing the ones who refuse to be rented is a mistake. Every sheik is a businessman - the title is indicative of a level of economic success, it's not necessarily hereditary. A policy of "rent some, ignore the rest" means that they all share the rental benefit and the ones bringing in the AQ foreigners to bomb Baghdad get to keep their profit from that activity.

You're setting up too many strawmen and it isn't working.

Buddy,

If enough of the money trickles down to the populace they might fight to keep it - or vote to keep it. That would involve having a government in place that wasn't dedicated to stealing with both hands and hired help. This one ain't it.

BTW - Nimitz's reply to any questions concerning "How's it going" would involve "my job is to kill Japs, it's tough, and our boys are doing their best".

MacArthur would probably have sounded closer to Petraeus - but not after Japan surrendered. MacArthur had a clear and correct vision of what was required after surrender and he didn't screw around in imposing it.

Buddy Larsen said...

I think today Japan & Germany have the second and third largest world economies (China may've passed Germany, but with fuzzier accounting), powerful and successful liberal democracies, and solid allies (esp Japan) of USA. Both nations were occupied with a deliberately humane (that is, stern but fair) policy toward the populace.

Russia's occupations were not humane, and they are to this day, and will be far into the future, disliked, distrusted, and even hated by everyone ever under its control.

So, tho our OIF policy may be wrong, history says it's the way to bet. Human nature being huimman nature and all. The problem is the God-forsaken Democratic Party. The policy requires time (westill have troops in Germany & Japan), and the idiotic left refuses to accept the truth. Without a thought to consequences. Makes me almost believe they have some sort of fantasy of never again relinquishing power if ever they regain both WH & congress together, as to do so after an OIF defeat's consequences set in, would be the end of them.

I know--nuts. But--really, this shit they are doing is weird.

Rick Ballard said...

Buddy,

Isn't it a monopoly of force issue? The Democrats may be recognizing that the failure to establish that monopoly coupled with the rush to provide a facade of democracy through quick elections just won't pan out before the next election.

What's humane about leaving violent means in the hands of a Sunni sheik whose desired end is continued absolute life and death control of his fiefdom - and the country if he can grab it? "Humane" tratment of wolves isn't going to be greeted with shouts of joy by the lambs.

ex-democrat said...

buddy - our OIF policy must factor in history AND the current Democrat Party

MeaninglessHotAir said...

Buddy,

I don't think what the Democrats are doing today is all that weird. It fits in well with our entire history. There was substantial opposition to the Mexican War (much of it in Massachusetts), to the Civil War, to the Spanish-American War, and much of it was along the lines we see today.

Several things have changed into today's world. First, our internal debates are immediately broadcast all over the world to all of our enemies. That wasn't true even in WWII. Second, we cannot hide behind our oceans, because modern technology allows our enemies to kill us within 15 minutes from anywhere in the globe. Third, that segment of our population which has never had any contact with manufacturing, mineral extraction, farming, or hardship or hard work in any shape manner or form—let alone violence—has grown quite large. For such people war simply doesn't make any sense.

Buddy Larsen said...

Good points, all. Rick, I can only say that "humane" is a driving narrative--the natives will be amswering their own questions, and a big one is, are the Americans a just and decent people, or are they as AQ says, evil murderers and thieves. "Time' works for us in that way, if we can drive that narrative.
Ex-dem, right, political success requires 'absorbing' adversarial politics into the critical war-and-peace issues. but that dictum assumes a certain good-faith on the part of the (loyal?) opposition.

MHA, yes, opposition has been constant--it's a matter of degree, not kind. I suppose Lincoln had it worse, oppossed for re-election by a popular ex-commander of the army running a defeatist platform. Lucky he had a Grant to turn loose a Sherman.

But remember, these matters are as well known to the Democrats as they are to us. They too can see how wrong the Royalists, Tories, Copperheads, etcetera, were. They CAN think better, they just won't.

Syl said...

Rick

No, I said that renting some sheiks without killing the ones who refuse to be rented is a mistake.

As if this is all happening in an instant? This is a process, rick. The sheiks who will not be rented are now, ahem, the enemy of those who will. The rented sheiks will do the killing so we don't have to.

It's called delegation, Rick.