...so you don't have to. There's a link to the 4 1/2 hour CSPAN video, and another to the transcript, but he already watched it.
More troops? "We do need more troops - and the troops we need are Iraqis."
Less troops? "Under the current circumstances I would not recommend troop withdrawals."
Both comments delivered to the Senate this week by CENTCOM commander General John Abizaid.
Want a glimpse of the future? Watch the video of General Abizaid's appearance (via CSPAN) before the Senate Armed Services Committee this week. The media has made much of Gen Abizaid's comments at this meeting - and they are of obvious importance. But what really matters here are what the Senators asked, and how they responded to his answers.
You probably don't have 4 1/2 hours to watch the whole thing. Some highlights:
Skip forward to 1:15:45. Democrat Bill Nelson of Florida starts with this statement, "I trust you... You have been - to me - the most forthcoming witness as you have appeared before this committee."
During the exchange, the General makes the quote at the top of this post, and also describes the details of what a "withdraw" from Iraq would entail.
Then watch Senator McCain's section immediately after. Excerpt:
Sen McCain: Would it make sense to say it might be well to get both Baghdad and al Anbar province under control...?
Gen Abizaid: ...You can't have a "main effort" everywhere... the preponderance of military activity needs to go into the Baghdad area.
Sen McCain: I don't understand that tactic, General.
Later, the Senator attempts to conclude: ...I regret deeply that you seem to think the status quo and the rate of progress we're making is acceptable, I think most Americans do not.
But the General robbed him of his sound bite: "Well Senator, I agree with you. The status quo is not acceptable. And I don't believe what I'm saying here today is the status quo. I am saying we must significantly increase our ability to help the Iraqi army by putting more American troops with Iraqi units in military transition teams - to speed the amount of training that is done, to speed the amount of heavy weapons that get there, and to speed the ability of Iraqi troops to deploy. It's a very difficult thing to do. Senator I believe in my heart of hearts that the Iraqis must win this battle - with our help."
McCain - arguing for an increase in US combat troops in Iraq, refused to yield the last word: "You and I have significant disagreement." (In support of his "more troops is better" campaign the Senator also invokes comments from some other generals we've discussed here recently - they may not be gone after all.)
The first two exchanges I've highlighted above may well shape the serious "Iraq debate" in the coming months. Don't believe what you read in the papers - watch for yourself.
Update: Thanks to Soldier's Dad for the link to the transcript, early in which Senator Warner announces a schedule:
...we as Congress, and particularly the Senate, through our Committee on Armed Services, have to consider at least five developments between today and late in December.
First, this very important hearing today. This is a most appropriate and timely way to perform the committee's first step in our thorough review of this situation.
Secondly, our committee, as the White House forwards the nomination of Robert Gates to the Senate, will provide Dr. Gates with an opportunity to share his views on the future strategies in Iraq.
Thirdly the Baker-Hamilton Study Group will submit their report. Depending on the timing of their report, Senator Levin and I will renew our invitation to members of that group to come before our committee and to give us a briefing.
Fourth, General Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has undertaken an independent study among his own military analysts. Likewise, I've spoken to him desiring that he and such colleagues as he wish come before the committee and provide us with the advice that he'll be giving to the president.
Finally, the committee will benefit from the overall dialogue between the government of Iraq, our coalition partners, other nations, as the Security Council resolution progresses. That is the revised one.
Looks like most of the details of the next year in Iraq might be ironed out before January. That should give the new congress time to deal with other issues before turning back to this one. I think the elected Democrats will be okay with that - some of their supporters may be disappointed. (Sound bites and occassional Kos/HuffPo rants will be provided for their benefit.)
By Joshua Muravchik
Diplomacy is doing nothing to stop the Iranian nuclear threat; a show of force is the only answer.
WE MUST bomb Iran.
It has been four years since that country's secret nuclear program was brought to light, and the path of diplomacy and sanctions has led nowhere.
First, we agreed to our allies' requests that we offer Tehran a string of concessions, which it spurned. Then, Britain, France and Germany wanted to impose a batch of extremely weak sanctions. For instance, Iranians known to be involved in nuclear activities would have been barred from foreign travel except for humanitarian or religious reasons and outside countries would have been required to refrain from aiding some, but not all, Iranian nuclear projects.
But even this was too much for the U.N. Security Council. Russia promptly announced that these sanctions were much too strong. "We cannot support measures aimed at isolating Iran," declared Foreign Minister Sergei V. Lavrov.
I agree with Muravchik's historical parallels. The current threat goes beyond anything civilization has faced in the past 4000 years. But I don't believe the political will is there anymore.
There are no Aznar and Blair to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with GWB. There is no Rumsfeld, pushed under the defeatist bus. There is no majority in Congress that understands the Islamofascist threat and that consequently would want to destroy its source.
There is no will to kill the enemy in large numbers and endorse the moral rightfulness of self-defense -- which includes doing such things as firebombing Dresden and nuking Hiroshima.
After 9/11 we've had Afghanistan 2001, Iraq 2003, and Lebanon 2006. It's as if by 1944 instead of landing in France we had watched the UK fight a limited war over V2 launch areas in continental Europe, overwhelming the enemy only to quickly stop fighting and then leave the entire area in the hands of the Germans -- proudly chanting Hitler's name and accumulating more V2s, developing V3s, and announcing that they will soon destroy Great Britain then do the same to the US.
I should've noted that it was significant that it was published in the LAT....
looks like the Donks are laying groundwork for rationalizing their support for a W attack on Iran (before they criticize him for the way it was done, of course. It's a quagmire before it actually happens..)
Posted by: Frank G ||
11/19/2006 14:47 Comments ||
While in and of itself a significant issue, Iran is just the iceberg's tip. This same model applies to the entire MME (Muslim Middle East) and will need to be dealt with in a similar, if not far more drastic, manner.
I'll-tell-my-mom Darrel... I see... replaced the untenable ethnic cleansing card with a genocide card.
The fact is, Darrell, you don't know what Zenster advocates. He may want to put panties on heads of may gazillion islamists, and torture them thus to no end. I am sure that would instill a paralysing terror in their hearts.
The keyword, Darell, here is--whatever may work. If we can somehow succesfully commit islamocide (kill of the ideology), then there would be no need to dirsturb hair on the islamist head (unless that is the part of islamocide's procedure) let alone resort to genocide.
But, if we are not willing to consider all the options, including wholesale killing, then we may as well be instrumental in the genocide from the opposite direction, because if we lose, that is one thing that is guaranteed.
The LA Times new editorial policy? The new Editor making changes in the long standing "hate the US first the US of A is always wrong" policy? What is up with this? Never in 100 years would the LA Times have printed this in the past, look for the rebuttals over the next few days. I quit reading the LA Times because it had become the voice of treason and moonbatery so I will not be aware of any rebuttals.
DIALECTICISM > whats to keep a LIMITED ATTACK/WAR to DESTABILIZE America only. but not to destroy her, from quickly becoming a full-scale, TOTAL ATTACK/WAR OF ANNIHILATION-DESTRUCTION, once element(s) within the anti-Amer agendas becomes TOO SUCCESSFUL??? As presently illustrated by post-2006 elex demands for alleged warmongering imperialist America to WITHDRAW TO CONUS FROM ASIA-PACIFIC IN ENTIRETY, NOT MERELY FROM IRAQ ANDOR ME??? ONLY IRAQ = now ONLY ME = now ONLY GLOBAL MUSLIM REGIONS = now ONLY FROM KOREAS = now ONLY FROM ASIA = now ONLY ASIA + PACIFIC. We know how FIDEL = CHAVEZ feel.
President Bush believes that indulgent democratic participation will take the steam out of jihadism. In fact, it has proven to legitimate and accelerate it. GWB has to stop looking at the enemy as potential negotiation partners, save a few would be hijackers of Islam. I am hoping that he will turn the corner on Iran.
Mullah Krekar, phony Iraq refugee to Norway:
"We're the ones who will change you," Krekar told Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet in his first
interview since an uproar broke out over cartoons deemed offensive to Muslims.
"Just look at the development within Europe, where the number of Muslims is expanding like
mosquitoes," Krekar said. "Every western woman in the EU is producing an average of 1.4
children. Every Muslim woman in the same countries are producing 3.5 children.
"By 2050, 30 percent of the population in Europe will be Muslim."
"By 2050, 30 percent of the population in Europe will be Muslim."
Considering that by current trends the old intellectual centers of learning will be nothing more than sink holes of neo-Marxism, matched by bankrupt old Marxist/Socilist economies, with inefficient state subsidized business and industry, managed by petty bureaucrats deaf to anything but save their own little games of office empire building, who cares? How would it appear any different from, say, Pakistan? Sic transit Europa.
"By picking up the tab for Europe's defense, it hoped to prevent those countries lapsing into traditional power rivalries. Nice idea. But it also absolved them of the traditional responsibilities of manhood nationhood, turning the alliance into a dysfunctional sitcom family, with one grown-up presiding over a brood of whiny teenagers."
When Europe becomes muslim, it must also become a shithole like every other muslim land in the world. Even Saudi Arabia with it's trillions of $ of oil wealth is a shithole if you are not in the royal family. The Muzzies won't inherit a shinning palace of technology and modern business wealth, they will inherit a greasy shithole that all the working people have long since abandoned.
Time to re-read Star Ship Troopers' description of only those who served winning the franchise. Too many uneducated voters turns the American political discussion into a tug of war over the ADHD population.
I recall during my college days, the political science professor used to love to talk about the founding fathers as "rich, white male proerty owners" and how the rules were set up so that their take on elections and the administration of the society were top priority.
Looking at that now at 40+, seeing the benefits of the feminist movement, the multicutural movement, the one man, one vote theme - I see the wisdom the founders possessed. Why not give the largest voice to those with the largest stake. The founders knew that Democracies last only until the population realises that they can vote puplic funds to themselves, and we've been there since the mid 1960's.
As to what the muzzies will "inherit", if they try the shit here they will inherit the death, the heartbreak, and the ignominious defeat of everything they desire.
The war may leave this country a fourth world sinkhole barely capable of fending off a horde of mosquitoes, with cities devastated by battle, famine, and evacuation, with croplands destroyed and burned over, and with communities and cultures virtually destroyed, but I guaran-damn-tee that neither the muzzis nor the commies nor the socialists nor the friggin' machines will ever win so long as there is a loyal, decent, gun-totin' American alive to resist them (and there's a shitload of us out there and we know how to use our guns so muzzies beware - we won't take this shit for long).
Some of us are prepared to go down fighting and there's way more many of us than these yahoos will ever be able to deal with - and our breeding population thus far is just fine, thank you...
Dr. Mitchell Zais. US Brigadier General, retired, on Iraq errors: Zais' opinions are well thought out. Unfortunately, he omits one big defect in military planning on Iraq: preparation to counter the "Dar Islam" concept of defensive jihad and Ulama (clerical) authority. Nation builidng is obstructed in Iraq because common sense escapes most Muslims, who are bound by primitive dictate of Mohammad's frauds (Koran). I believe that Iraq sectarian problems will be solved when Iran's Ayatollahs are deposed.
...In summary, our flawed strategy in Iraq has produced the situation we now face. This strategy is a product of the Pentagon, not the White House. And remember, the Pentagon is run by civilian appointees in suits, not military men and women in uniform. From the very beginning Defense Department officials failed to appreciate what it would take to win this war.
The U.S. military has tried to support this strategy because they are trained and instructed to be subordinate to and obedient to civilian leadership. And the American people want it that way. The last thing you want is a uniformed military accustomed to debating in public the orders of their appointed civilian masters. But retired generals and admirals are starting to speak out, to criticize the strategy that has produced our current situation in Iraq.
But, if we continue to fight the war on the cheap, if we continue to avoid involving the American people by asking them to make any sacrifice at all, if we continue to spend our dollars on technology while neglecting the soldiers and Marines on the ground, and if we fail to involve the full scope of the American government in rebuilding Iraq, then we might as well quit, and come home. But, what we have now is not a real strategy; it's business as usual.From the very beginning, Defense Department officials failed to appreciate what it would take to win this war. No wonder it's not going well.
From a military standpoint one would tend to agree with the general, but war isn't just military. The relatively small force on the ground was not (just) about 'cheap': politically a lot of people felt, and still feel, that too big a 'footprint' wound be counterproductive. In 'limited warfare' of this type I suspect they are right - the hard part is identifying the optimum footprint size at any given time.
Home front politics count for a lot too: Rumsfeld wasn't wrong when he said you go to war with the military you have, not the one you wish you had. I'm sure we all wish we had several divisions worth of Special Forces type soldiers, but we don't. And we aren't going to. Most wish we had several hundred thousand more trained and equiped regular Army and Marines, but we don't. With a strong (or strong-ish) economy you aren't going to attract a lot of highest quality new personnel, and with a war concept that at most gathers 50% support of the people, you aren't going to get funding to pay for them at the current price, and certainly not at the price it would take to attract an expanded force.
Regarding Air Force and Navy systems - field commanders are focussed on THEIR mission, but at the top level that's a luxury that is not allowed; the initial B-17 bomber funding began around 1934, at a time when the world was not at war, and long before the US entered WW II, but long-range planners were anticipating potential future needs. They could staff an army in 6 months and build its capability in the field (at great cost) but they could not do that with aircraft. IED-armed jihadists are not the only threat we need to prepare for.
So, if you're going to fight at all, you're going to fight 'on the cheap'. The only strategic point I yield to the General is that we avoided requiring any personal sacrifice from the average American - but then all that would have done is cause us to quit and go home already. The American people do not believe we are at war and are not going to until they are personally hit upside the head with a two by four. At that point victory will be immensely more costly, if possible at all (see WW II, for example.)
" I'm sure we all wish we had several divisions worth of Special Forces type soldiers, but we don't."
Could anyone connected with the military tell us if this is being rectified? or if not, why! As in this day and age, light troops rather than ICBM subs seem to be the way to go. Not that I'm disparaging the bubble heads or suchlike I'm just curious as to whether there are methods of reform in the US military or if change is only being forcibly driven on the battlefield(at the cost i might add of american lives!)
We can't change a culture in 4yrs. What we can do is setup the 20% of Muslims who want to join the world in places of authority assist them in setting up a government and Army, Police capable of keeping things in thier nation from getting out of hand and controlling containing the 20% radicals. In short we can set up a Constitution, Democratic, Capitolist, Free government that will be strong enough to take over everyday stability from our troops (the street patrol everyday security stuff).
Once that is done we can step back into the bases as a rienforcement/raider force and of course WE MUST leave a substantial force in country to be the trip wire for two things
1) to prevent foreign neighbors from getting any ideas
2) to keep the radical groups inside Iraq from attempting a coup by force. The Radicals don't have the political clout to do it by vote but by guns is another story. We must stay in some force so those elements understand we wont let that happen.
I wish we had a leader that could rally the people this is so freekin easy. A near history example of Iraq culture would be Japan militarist culture. It took generations to break the militarist japanese grip on thier culture. If we had pulled out fully after 4yrs in Japan what do you think would have happened? Do you think Russia/China would have invaded first or do you think the old school Jap Militarist would have recovered power first?
The Iraqi government will soon be able to take our place as keeping the violence from getting out of hand. By that I don't mean the will stop the bombings that is impossible how the hell do you stop some yahoo from going to the local market street corner whatever and kill some women and children bystanders? What I do mean is keeping the radicals from taking territory.
This war is plagued by our opponents being allowed to set the bar, which of course they set were they know damm well are impossible to achieve. When will LA stop the daily killings in the ghetto? answer NEVER The daily bombings in Iraq will stop when the Iraqi people realize the terrorist can bomb from now to kingdom come and it wont change a dam thing exept the length of thier death list.
If we hold steady and don't humiliate our nation AGAIN 40yrs from now Iraq will be at best like Japan standing at our side at worst like Turkey a solid ally exept in certian cases.
The only real mistake I think we made was not to be more brutal. When AQ took Falluja 1 we should have immediatley made exaple of that place with UTTMOST brutality smashed that city to let it be known our enemy could not mass, and Sadr should have been killed and his Mehdi wiped from Iraq into Iran.
"The only real mistake I think we made was not to be more brutal."
This really is at the heart of the matter.
Homeys expect a perfectly "clean" war, no collaterals - with gun-camera proof upon demand, prosecution-quality evidence before any action, completed within the attention span of the Mayfly, and everyone lives happily everafter. Lotsa hearts and minds stuff with exultant crowds singing our praises, yadda... followed by the duet: "Why, oh why don't they love us? We never shoulda gone in." and "Why didn't you anticipate everything - we coulda done it better!".
The Iraqis expect the brutality that is their norm. Anything less is wimp-city - strong horse or stay out of the race. A serious difference in the definition of "respect".
The "world" just wants to whack the big kid. The usual EconomicMilitaryFreedomDickSize envy.
They could staff an army in 6 months and build its capability in the field (at great cost) but they could not do that with aircraft. IED-armed jihadists are not the only threat we need to prepare for.
Yep, it's counter-intuitive, but people are the easiest and fastest thing to procure in an all out war. Planes, tanks and ships take time. Exception to that of course is senior NCOs and field grade officers.
Yep, it's counter-intuitive, but people are the easiest and fastest thing to procure in an all out war. Planes, tanks and ships take time. Exception to that of course is senior NCOs and field grade officers
Respectfully begging to differ but people take the most time and expense, and that is why boots on the ground are a far more expensive thing than hardware.
You can replace a tank or a rifle by having another one built, but you can't really replace a soldier from combat.
Depending on the nation it can take anywhere from 16 to 30 years to "build" a human being available for the military and it is why just a single death in combat has such a devastating impact.
Stalin's treatment of his very people before and during WWII, how millions were expended in war and in pursing a communist agenda now impacts Russia 60 plus years later, demonstrates just how expensive a single combat loss really is.
Post war nation building and anti-totalitarian thinking worked with Germans, Japanese, Italians, Koreans, etc. It has never worked with a Muslim populace. Why? Whenever they are placed under another authority, their Mullahs fatwa on threats to Islam and the jihadism ideology flourishes. Secularism is dying in both the Middle East and in the immigrant Muslim communities in the West. We are not effectively countering the Final-Jihad mentality, and jihad terrorists and their backers, are taking license from that indulgence. The Koran dictum - "jihad is prescribed to you," - is being embraced universally by Muslims. And Western Civilization has to adjust to that, even if it is - as Mark Steyn says - by America Alone.
I detect good faith in Mitchell Zais' motivation, but pundits like him must treat Islam with impartiality and objectivity. Zais, like most politically and academically engaged persons, have learned little or nothing about the enemy, since 9-11. All that can be learned from the garbage put out by John Esposito, Karen Armstrong, and other Dhimmi academics, is: the deranging power of multiculturalist zealotry.
I have a tendency to err on Sneaze's side in this one, but I go a bit farther, I think...
Culturally, monetarily, and systematically wall off muzzie fundamentalist countries. Explain to them in no uncertain terms that if they step across the wall militarily or ideologically, we will nuke a city of theirs chosen at random. Explain to them that if they develop nuclear weapons, we will nuke a city of theirs chosen at random.
Attacks in our areas on our side of "the wall" by anyone shown to have connections to a muzzie country will result in 2 repurcussions - 1) the nuking of a muzzie city chosen at random, and 2) the complete elimination of the muzzie country or ummah found and/or determined to be responsible for the attack no matter how small the casualties on our side were.
Blowback would, naturally, be huge, and neither we nor anyone else in the world has the stomach for such things, but sooner or later it is going to come down to either "us" or "them".
Remember the 3 Laws of Contact:
1) Any intelligent alien species is going to have evolved to be the "top dog" of their homeworld in any conventional sense,
2) The survival of their species (and civilization) is going to be more important to them than the survival of our species and civilization is.
3) They will assume that Laws 1 & 2 apply to us as well.
Applying these three simple principles to our current struggle clarifies a whole lot of issues.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.