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It was one year ago today that General George Casey, the commander of Multinational Forces in  Iraq said:

...President Bush has accepted his recommendation that the number of American forces in Iraq drop over the coming months.

Casey said he might recommend further reductions in the spring.

The reduction is a result of the progress in Iraq, he said. In the past year there have been three elections, and in each case participation climbed while violence dropped, Casey said.

Nine months ago, and a little more than a week after the bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra, Casey said:

I did want to give you a perspective, my perspective, on really the last 10 days of what's gone on here in the aftermath of the Samarra mosque bombing. [...]

So, has there been violence and terrorism here in Iraq in the wake of the Samarra bombings?  Clearly.  Is that violence out of control?  Clearly not.  

Now, it appears that the crisis has passed...

Of course, the crisis that had passed was cited last month by George Bush as the bombing that:

...started off this new phase of violence.

Two months ago, Casey reported that:

...progress exists in Iraq alongside the attention-grabbing violence. Much of the country is relatively peaceful, Casey said, and U.S. goals for the development of Iraqi security forces are on track.

He said the current approach of bringing the level of the insurgency down as Iraqi forces stand up is still "a valid framework for what we're doing in Iraq," and he was dismissive of a wholesale strategic change, as some members of Congress have recently suggested.

And now, as we await the announcement of George Bush's "new way forward," code name, Operation I Want A Legacy, it is being reported that Casey and other military commanders:

...have decided to recommend a "surge" of fresh American combat forces.

Maybe someone will ask Casey why last year he felt that:

...in Iraq, less coalition at this point in time, is better. Less is better because it doesn't feed the notion of occupation, it doesn't work the culture of dependency, it doesn't lengthen the time for Iraqi forces to be self-reliant, and it doesn't expose coalition forces to risk when there are Iraqi forces who are capable of standing up and doing it.

Or more to the point, perhaps someone could ask Gen. Casey if he's ever been right about the situation in Iraq.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 06:11 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  We need to have someone.... (9+ / 0-)

    check what they are teaching at West Point.  Seriously, don't they have any history lessons?  Military strategy?  When people's holiest shrines are blown up, that is a bad sign, not likely to have a good outcome.

    I wish the attention grabbing violence would cease- and I suggest that we listen to Casey's first suggestions, not his later ones.

    You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

    by murrayewv on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 06:17:37 AM PST

    •  Let Me State The Obvious (6+ / 0-)

      thing that we ALL know.

      You can't trust a thing the Administration says...

      And you can't trust a thing the Appointees in the Pentagon say...

      And you can't trust a thing the Generals say - for even if they wanted to tell the truth they constantly have an ax hanging over their heads.

      Note: Last night on Washington Week the panelists all agreed - even though NOT ONE general in Iraq has been calling for additional troops the panelists fully expected for some to 'miraculously' come forward next week with ' a change of heart'.

      At least the media is finally starting to get it in some circles.

      "You Have The Power!" - Howard Dean

      by talex on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 07:50:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  let me ask the non-obvious (0+ / 0-)

        who bombed the Samarra mosque?
        Sunni?
        al-Qaeda?
        forces in whose interest it is to foment sectarian strife in Iraq so as to split it into more amenable sectarian mini-states?
        just asking

        we're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression

        by Lepanto on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 08:09:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  they should just tell the truth and ask for the (0+ / 0-)

          1/2 million to 1 million troops that are needed just to "stabilize" the country

          How do you know a Republican is lying? Ask one: If the Republicans can lower gas prices for 60 days before an election, why won't they do it all the time?

          by ca democrat on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 11:46:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Generals on the ground... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jfdunphy

      ...respond to the intent of their senior commanders, in this case the civilian leadership. If the civilian leadership state that they feel one method is the road to success, they're job is to support them in that. If they say another road is better, they support that assessment. The instant the subordinates of a specific commander, be it a squad leader to his platoon leader or a region commander to POTUS, the entire chain of command starts to fall apart. Privately, I think you'll find that what's being said in closed channels between the Green Zone and Washington are probably much different than what you hear publicly. To say otherwise publicly would be insubordination. Remember how much strife General MacArthur caused during the Korean War publicly challenging the civilian leadership?

      If you have issue with the conduct of the war, don't blame General Casey. Talk to the folks in the civilian leadership.

  •  In that corner (8+ / 0-)

    we have the interests of George W. Bush in not looking like a pathetic, idiotic loser for the Iraq misadventure.  As if.

    In this corner, we have the long-term foreign policy interests of the United States.  Not lookin' too good right now.

    Bush over there.  Everyone else, including the military, 80% of the country, and the terrified Republicans who don't want to get annihilated in 2008, over here.

    Does anyone honestly have any serious question as to which way Bush is going to go?

    For the first time in this Administration, I am beyond disgusted, I am way beyond amused, I am afraid.  This guy is not dealing in reality.

    "We have too many high-sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them." -- Abigail Adams

    by jsmdlawyer on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 06:18:22 AM PST

    •  When Mike Barnicle Refers To the President (11+ / 0-)

      on network TV as "delusional" you know you're in trouble.

      We are definitely in trouble.  And we're going to be in even more trouble if the Dems don't heed the message from the election.

      •  But Most of That Message is Quaint and Antiquated (0+ / 0-)

        since we have a different system of government than the one the electoral system was built to supply.

        As far as I can tell, the Unitary has to somehow be removed, and even then I don't know if the galaxy of precedent He has set would be discredited into the future.

        I'm not sure we know to what extent foreign affairs remain the business of the legistative and judicial branches.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 08:31:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hope Barbara Boxer will ask him a question like: (11+ / 0-)

    Gen. Casey, Sir, have you ever been right about the situation in Iraq. If yes, please cite those instances to the United States Senate.

    She knows how to frame this type of question because she has been right about Iraq from day one.

  •  Who's going... (6+ / 0-)

    to be the last man to die for a mistake?

    •  Could be a woman.... (7+ / 0-)

      Two women majors were killed this month.  One 49, one 35.

      You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

      by murrayewv on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 06:40:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  To die the Victory Death (4+ / 0-)

      Who's going . . . to be the last man to die for a mistake?

      Don't call it die.  The right term, according to this Onion exclusive article, is Victory Death.

      America marks three and a half years of winning in Iraq, and nearly 3,000 victory deaths
      December 18, 2006

      Statistics released by the Department Of Defense estimated that 2,937 U.S. troops and over 100,000 Iraqi civilians have died in the ongoing American military victory in Iraq.

      "Victory deaths are at a higher level than we had anticipated, yes," Gen. George Casey, Jr. said at a press conference shortly after the figures were released. "But one of the crucial lessons of our Vietnam experience is that a victory, in order to remain victorious, can't be abandoned halfway through, or in the case of Iraq, one-eighth of the way through."

      "And significantly more troops may be required if we are to continue to enjoy that victory, especially if this turns into an all-out civil war," Casey added, stressing that it was still too early to deem the victory a "quagmire."

      •  Onion had it right from day one... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fred in Vermont, BarbinMD

        http://www.theonion.com/...

        My vote for the all-time Pulitzer Prize:

        ---

        Bush: 'Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over'

        January 17, 2001 | Issue 37•01

        WASHINGTON, DC–Mere days from assuming the presidency and closing the door on eight years of Bill Clinton, president-elect George W. Bush assured the nation in a televised address Tuesday that "our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is finally over."

        11/7 Changed Everything

        by Volvo Liberal on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 10:46:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  His or her name will be released in the (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Athena, roots, Nowhere Man

      year ______.  The only thing we know for sure is it won't be one of the five who were killed yesterday or any of those preparing to be killed today.

      I have not been one calling for impeachment because I felt there was not enough time before the 08 election and that extensive hearings  to expose all the skulldugery of this evil administration would suffice.  I have changed my mind.

      IMPEACHMENT NOW!  

      "He that sees but does not bear witness, be accursed" Book of Jubilees

      by Lying eyes on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 07:12:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  But What Consolation Is It For the Middle Wo/man (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BarbinMD, vcmvo2

      who died?

      If it's a mistake, they're all needless tragedies.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 08:34:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This cabal corrupts everything it touches (6+ / 0-)

    That will be the Bush "legacy".

    That they have corrupted the military brass in addition to breaking the armed services is unforgivable.

    I'm actually starting to hope that hell really does exist because there would be the chance that they will have a very special place reserved just for their sorry asses.

    "Whoever lives for the sake of combating an enemy has an interest in the enemy's staying alive." Friedrich Nietzsche

    by witchamakallit on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 06:28:42 AM PST

  •  Anybody remember "The Credibility Gap?" (n/t) (6+ / 0-)
    •  Yes & It Was Ironic Rhyme On, Sadly, JFK's (0+ / 0-)

      much earlier campaign 'Missile Gap' claim which I think wasn't actually true either.

      Today the credibility gap has grown to a multidimensional Reality Gap, but since the venue for reality is an essentially unified Republican corporate mass media, there is no mainstream place for discussion about it that's not strongly interested in its maintenance.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 08:40:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great post (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BarbinMD, Dauphin, creeper, kurious

    Damn, this is very well laid out and persuasive.  Gotta spread this...

    I'd recommend it... if I could.   :)

  •  Casey (7+ / 0-)

    Casey was put in there by Rumsfeld after they figured they had to get rid of Ricardo Sanchez (Abu Ghraib). The man has been in the army for 36 years but is clear that he is still looking for the next promotion. His credibility is as good as Cheney's. The whole escalation idea is to see if they can engage Iran a little more and then attack it. This is getting to be a really dangerous trap and evidently Casey is serving his masters well.

  •  This is so easy to understand (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BarbinMD, cassidy3, TomP

    Bush has bought off military opinion with the promise of more forces, and failing in Iraq, even after the "Battle of the Surge" will still be seen as a failure of the civilian command.

    We all knew Bush was going to get his surge. We all knew the Dems in Congress were going to opt out of challenging the Chimp in Chief. We all knew the military would not effectively resist the "strategy."

    Just like we all know it's not going to work, which, ultimately, is the way that the generals get their troops out of the meat grinder. By the time any "surge" is implemented, and by the time anyone can logically interpret the results, we are deep into 2007 and Bush twists in the wind for his final year--assuming he can last that long.

    "With great power comes great responsibility." -- Stan Lee

    by N0MAN1968 on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 06:31:06 AM PST

  •  Why bother.... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    murrayewv, vcmvo2, Superpole, Dauphin

    this AssClown Majorus, trained at West Point at the cost of millions of taxpayer dollars, clearly does not know his ass from a hole in the ground.

    It's disgusting that decades after Vietnam we have a military 'leadership' so incompetent and unable to apply the lessons of the past to the present.

    I recommend courts-martial for the whole cabal of 'Generals' who've been only too willing to support Dumbya the First's idiotic war.

    "Such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing."

    by Nestor Makhnow on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 06:33:48 AM PST

    •  Perhaps they're not so much incopetent as (0+ / 0-)

      ideological.

      The Vietnam War was a huge frustration for the armed forces, was it not? And the generals would do anything - anything - to ''win'' this round of guerilla warfare. Including torture, killing civilians, lying to the public and finally moving to a bubbly fantasy land. I firmly believe that this administration and the generals would love to see nothing more than a draft and a ''gloves off'' approach to ''them damned Eye-raqis.'' Now, they could ''win''... if they could massacre civilians at will. Which is clearly abhorrent to any right thinking person.

      But it would be political suicide. So they lie, change strategies, and do whatever they believe could achieve what is fortunately unachievanble. Beware of festering sores called Old Frustrations. It seems a military reform is needed.

      Omne malum nascens facile opprimitur, inveteratum fit plerumque robustius. - Cicero

      by Dauphin on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 06:49:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry man, (0+ / 0-)

      You can't fault the generals for taking and obeying orders regarding a specific military situation. That's what we have trained them to do. They are not paid to worry about the BIG PICTURE results. That's the job of commander in chief and the rest of the government.

      •  But Shouldn't They At Least Observe (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hoplite9

        the fact that they're executing no mission??.

        What are they doing over there except sort-of peacekeeping over top of a civil war, and repetitively cleaning out hot spots?

        The pacification has been going backwards for 3 years so clearly somebody with military training has noticed this??

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 08:50:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You are, in fact, correct... (0+ / 0-)

        the civilian leadership are responsible. Most blameworthy are the citizens of America who just a few short years ago chose to 'stay the course' with The Idiot.

        Abizaid did the right thing, at least, by resigning.

        Chiefly I'm upset that these Generals are now supporting a policy that will not work and which will result in more deaths both Iraqi and American.

        At the least they could shut the fuck up.

        And if Bush won't let them do that then they should resign.

        Now that they are 'supporting' this insane scheme they are even more guilty of being war criminals than they were previously.

        "Such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing."

        by Nestor Makhnow on Sun Dec 24, 2006 at 07:58:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Duh. (14+ / 0-)

    Much of the country is relatively peaceful, Casey said, and U.S. goals for the development of Iraqi security forces are on track.

    Well, yeah.

    Iraq is mostly desert and empty space.
    Of course the rate of violence in those places is nil.

    That's like saying most of Nevada is free of gambling.

  •  fresh American combat forces. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BarbinMD, LithiumCola, Zwoof

    ??

    which forces might those be?

    again, this so IS Vietnam all over again. in the Vietnam quagmire, General Westmoreland put on his rose colored aviator glasses and:

    Under Westmoreland's leadership, the United States "won every battle until it lost the war." The turning point of the war was the 1968 Tet Offensive, in which Communist forces, having baited Westmoreland into committing nearly 40% of his strength to Khe Sahn, attacked cities and towns throughout South Vietnam. US and South Vietnamese troops successfully fought off the attacks, and the Communist forces took heavy losses, but the ferocity of the assault shook public confidence in Westmoreland's previous assurances about the state of the war. Political debate and public opinion led the Johnson administration to limit further increases in US troops in Vietnam.

    sound familiar?

    in the Iraq quagmire, the U.S. ruling class is facing the same dilemma-- whether to committ even more troops to a clearly lost cause.

    the problem is there has been nowhere near enough protest of this stupid war by we the people.

    like it or not, yes, the dirty pinko hippies, John and Yoko Lennon, etc., DID help put a stop to the idiotic Vietnam "war" (police action).

    "Peace is not the absence of war; it is a virtue; a state of mind; a disposition for benevolence; confidence; and justice." Spinoza

    by Superpole on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 06:35:00 AM PST

    •  Heh. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BarbinMD, Superpole

      the U.S. ruling class is facing the same dilemma-- whether to committ even more troops to a clearly lost cause.

      I think I know thich part of the US population should be committed... the Rush Limbaughs and O'Reillys of the world.

      Omne malum nascens facile opprimitur, inveteratum fit plerumque robustius. - Cicero

      by Dauphin on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 06:54:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dauphin, madgranny

        but Dauphin-- remember, limpbrain and o'lie'lly and the rest of the hacks are merely frontmen for the ruling class.

        they of all people know the Iraq effort is major bullshit, so of course THEY would not sign up to fight, nor would they allow their "privileged" offspring to be involved in such nonsense.

        "Peace is not the absence of war; it is a virtue; a state of mind; a disposition for benevolence; confidence; and justice." Spinoza

        by Superpole on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 07:00:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sometimes I wonder. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Superpole

          If you lie all day, every day, do you eventually start to buy into your own deceit?

          Omne malum nascens facile opprimitur, inveteratum fit plerumque robustius. - Cicero

          by Dauphin on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 07:03:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dauphin, madgranny

            "Space. It seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you." -- Fry, Futurama

            by LithiumCola on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 07:43:26 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  It's More About (0+ / 0-)

            the hacks getting a nice paycheck for doing more or less nothing. of course we know people will lie to make money; there's nothing new about that.

            that's why when blogging got started, hacks like Cokie and Steve Roberts got all bent out of shape- they can see the handwriting on the wall, errrr, web. they know we no longer need them to "tell us" what's going on in the world.

            "Peace is not the absence of war; it is a virtue; a state of mind; a disposition for benevolence; confidence; and justice." Spinoza

            by Superpole on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 07:58:56 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Link (0+ / 0-)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      sorry, didn't get it in the main comment.

      "Peace is not the absence of war; it is a virtue; a state of mind; a disposition for benevolence; confidence; and justice." Spinoza

      by Superpole on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 07:01:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Criteria for alleged expertise (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BarbinMD, murrayewv

    What are the criteria for deeming a military general an "expert" on matters of troop deployment? I ask here because I'm not optimistic you'll see the question discussed in the SCLM. "He's a general"; that's supposed to be enough. And so Casey will provide the alleged "expert" justification for Bush's most recent expression of denial.

    Response-frame: "All generals are not equal. So why is the president seeking advice from those with a track record of failure?"

    "You can't talk to the ignorant about lies, since they have no criteria." --Ezra Pound

    by machopicasso on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 06:35:12 AM PST

  •  Making Sense Of It All (15+ / 0-)

    Like many Americans, I find myself often wondering what the hell is actually going on in Iraq.  When I look to our leaders, both military and civilian, for clarification, well, it is clear that the situation on the ground has been so politicized as to render any accounts suspect if not downright fabrications.

    Iraq defies conventional wisdom and logic in a military sense because it is not a classic war.  In real terms, our troops are pretty much in the middle of ethnic war.  We are fighting the equal of the carnival 'pop the gopher' game.

    Casey is the modern day Gen Westmoreland when it comes to carrying the torch.  His office was loaded down with Bush Operatives who either wrote or cleared everything coming out of it.  Casey, if he could, would report things straight up.  Probably.

    Our military is not a 'finese' organization.  It is a very big hammer designed to whack any enemy in the field.  It is not prepared or properly trained to handle what is now a police action.  Tactics in Iraq center around active patrols, quick insertion to follow up dubious intelligence tips and base strongholds.  Closely related to Westmorelands 'hammer and anvil' patrolling tactics in Vietnam, where US troops acted as human bait to weed out enemy cells, today's tactics offer nothing related to classic tactics of attacking and holding ground.

    Whenever troops are subject to such tactics you have passed the point where combat exists and enter the area of policing ops.  Small footprint.  This reduces the number of troops exposed to violence, but also renders any chances of holding ground moot.  This type of engagement can carry on for as long as we are willing to support it.  And a steady trickle of KIA/WIA will continue.

    I agree with Rep Murtha's assessment of the situation in Iraq.  Bush has created a mess much worse than Vietnam, where we could pull out with little overall diaster.  Bush has basically enabled the ethnic factions in country to carry on a civil war forever due to lack of overall control or security (which we are supposed to provide).  The will to provide that security will require us to increase our involvement and escalate.

    As our leaders continue to provide us with confusing info on Iraq, we have to remember the bottom line; is this mess worth our continued involvement?  I don't think so.  When you fight a war for oil, its very hard to sell to the American people.

    •  Framing the bottom line: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Athena, witchamakallit

      "is this mess worth our continued involvement?"  The frame is this:
      If we don't try to do something to bring security to Iraq, if we just begin withdrawing our troops, other ME countries will enter the fray, picking sides on the basis of religious or ethnic priorities.  This will lead to a regional war, which conflagration will be exponentially worse than the current fighting in Iraq.

      I believe they're probably right about this.  What I don't agree with is their contention that a surge offensive of any kind will bring security to the Iraqi people.

      And I'm extremely resentful that the Saudis have threatened us by saying if we don't stay in Iraq, they will invade on behalf of the Sunnis.  As far as I'm concerned, this surge plan is just a way to keep our forces there and placate the Saudis.

      (-5.25, -7.95) "Self-respect is a question of recognizing that anything worth having has a price." - Joan Didion

      by SueDe on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 07:00:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Saudis (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jfdunphy, Nowhere Man

        Take with a grain of salt what's been said about Saudi Arabia. They really mind the Iranians influencing the Saudi Shiite population, but going all the way to support the Iraqi Sunnis is not so clear. The Sunnis in Iraq are not all friendly to Saudi Arabia nor are of a single political bent. The same as the Sunnis in Saudi Arabia, by the way. For example, OBL is a Sunni, but he wants to dethrone the royals in KSA. Because of oil the USA is committed to keep the royals in KSA in power. The royals know that and so they really don't have to invest much in the Iraqi Sunni plight to get what they want.

    •  When generals do PR (10+ / 0-)

      for constantly changing policies, and bend to whichever way the talking point is blowing on any given day, this country is in a lot of danger.  Everything Casey is quoted as saying is a mirror of what the administration was saying at the time.  Casey is no more in charge of this farce than I am.  

      When the military is parroting the executive branch during a war, police action, or whatever the hell we want to call this, then the people in 'charge' are actually the communications people.  Facts don't matter to these fucks, and they never will.  

      •  That's The Whole Problem (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        txlosthorn

        You can think back to MacArthur and Korea, when he decided not to play ball with Truman and was sent packing.  According to Bush, generals thinking is not for public consumption.

        I still believe most all of our Generals would not have followed the current course or even entered Iraq.

    •  Totally agree, but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      madgranny

      for one point:

      When you fight a war for oil, its very hard to sell to the American people.

      is it? OK-- to clarify, it would be a much harder sell if the oil were under real estate owned by WASP's.

      hate to play the race/religion/culture card, but there's no point ignoring it.

      there are plenty of Americans who have no problem at all with U.S transnational oil corporations and the federal government more or less stealing oil and natural gas from other nations-- nations which are "different" or "inferior".

      in fact, as a couple of other folks here have pointed out, I'm fairly convinced a major part of bush's January speech will finally reveal one of the real reasons we are in the middle east FOREVER-- our economy at this point cannot survive without "cheap" fossil fuels. one of the other reasons is Israel, but he won't go there.

      however, a glance at the simple economics proves that subsidizing oil consumption this way is hardly "cheap"-- it's incredibly expensive.

      "Peace is not the absence of war; it is a virtue; a state of mind; a disposition for benevolence; confidence; and justice." Spinoza

      by Superpole on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 08:20:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  We Have a Maginot Military (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sharman

      The bulk of it is still holding back the Soviet Union.

      We are no longer capable of arming against modern threats because there are no industries remotely as profitable as the anti-Soviet defense industries. The complex outgrew practical governance by the Constitutional system decades ago.

      I insist that Ike's "military-industrial complex" warning was--whatever he may have personally believed--a statement of fact, not a warning.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 08:54:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Familiar-sounding spins (6+ / 0-)

    Sad to think that there are so many Baghdad Bob wannabes out there trying to hide the fact that the war in Iraq is no war at all but an occupation of the country.

    "This is not a political problem, it's a social problem." -Deacon

    by jcrit on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 06:39:41 AM PST

  •  Gen. Casey Says Only What Bush Wants To Hear (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emal, BarbinMD, madgranny

    Whether he actually believes what he says--I doubt it.  What is so disturbing about "Yes" men like Casey is that they are sacrificing US troops just to retain their jobs and feed Bush's enormous ego.

  •  This fool is a general? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    littlesky, BarbinMD, Easterling

    Hmm... someone hasn't been reading Catch-22. Methinks the Army has become a bit too politicised for its own good... nah, it can't be... can it?

    Seriously, though, this seems to be a standard business tactic: ''I'll just shove and shuffle around until something lucky happens. If it does, I'll get the credit, if it doesn't, I'll call it a transition period.''

    What are the qualifications for becoming a general these days, anyway? Aside for being red politically?

    Omne malum nascens facile opprimitur, inveteratum fit plerumque robustius. - Cicero

    by Dauphin on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 06:43:02 AM PST

  •  Gen. Casey (7+ / 0-)

    is Bush's McClellan, both in capability and foresight.

    "One way or another, this darkness got to give"

    by wozzle on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 06:43:29 AM PST

    •  Apt Comparison (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wozzle, BarbinMD, Easterling

      Senator Zacharia Chandler to McClellan in 1862:
      "General McClellan, if I understand you correctly, before you strike at the rebels you want to be sure of plenty of room so that you can run in case they strike back."

      Senator Benjamin Wade added "Or in case you get scared". After McClellan left the room, Wade and Chandler came to the conclusion that McClellan was guilty of "infernal, unmitigated cowardice".

      Sadly, there wasn't much Congress could do about McClellan, either.  

      And just to balance the scale, there's this quote from McClellan:  "Every poor fellow that is killed or wounded almost haunts me!"

      It's never cut and dried, black and white, crystal clear.  I think the difference here is in the purpose. Lincoln was asking men to die for the Union.  Bush want's them to die for Exxon.

      Come to think of it, maybe it is black and white.

  •  He does not have to be right (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sharman

    about anything. The troops have gone tribal. And they're not coming home anytime soon.
    Watched PBS program about love lastnight. It discussed militaristic tribal love. Our politicians take it for granted.

    I'm chomping at the bit to start exposing the fake demcorats. Ready for 2007. Lets get started!!!

    Warrantless Domestic Spying, Total Information Awareness, and data mining are the tools of communists.

    by LandSurveyor on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 06:48:21 AM PST

  •  Let's face it! Nobody knows what ...... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BarbinMD, cassidy3, MKinTN

    to do with Iraq- a result that could be seen when we started this war.  Nobody had ever been able to stabilize the situation there.  Not the British, not the French, not even Saddam (he had a ruinous war with Iran and uprisings by the Kurds and Shiites.)  What the hell made us think we could do this?

    If stability is to be achieved it must be the Iraqi people who achieve it.  It cannot ultimately be imposed at the point of a bayonet.  Even Napoleon failed to deal with the Middle East in the end and he was totally ruthless.

    The Generals in command will agree to whatever Bush wants- until they retire.  Then they’ll publish an exposé on the incompetence of the Bush Administration and it will be a big surprise.  Wait a minute- that period has passed.  Right now even the press has seen that the emperor has no clothes, but we are still required to jump off the cliff with him because, hey, this is America and he’s the decider!  Yes, he’s an idiot, but he’s our idiot you damn foreigners!  Take that! Oops, accidentally shot myself!

  •  This is just stupid (8+ / 0-)

    From the linked LA Times story

    Those skeptical about the efficacy of an increase argue that any new troops must be given clear instructions. However, defense officials say the U.S. commanders in Iraq have not settled on what that mission should be, although they are expected to decide before calling up new units.

    They want more troops but haven't decided why.

  •  General Casey, spokesperson (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drsmith131, BarbinMD, creeper, madgranny

    I've noticed that many of our 'generals' seem to be little more that spokespeople for the administration, and that they've never met a talking point that they wouldn't gladly pass on as fact.

    It's disgusting.  

  •  too funny (7+ / 0-)

    O peration
    I Want A
    L egacy

  •  Can't Congress (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BarbinMD

    legislate against the "troop surge," either directly or indirectly by refusing to fund it?

    "Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance." Samuel Johnson

    by Rona on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 07:20:28 AM PST

    •  Generally Yes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BarbinMD, madgranny

      Apart from Kucinich, none of the Dems seem to want to play the funding card.

    •  Congress Will Not Refuse To Fund (0+ / 0-)

      the troops in Iraq because it would have consequences in 08 elections.

    •  A terrible idea (0+ / 0-)

      All cutting funding would do is kill more soldiers, which I know is the exact opposite intent of stopping the surge. Most of the troops intended for the surge are already in country. By cutting funding for the surge you would have to cut it out of the regular Iraq budget, which provides the funding the soldiers need to fight on the ground. Pulling them out is one thing. Cutting their funding while they're still taking hostile fire would just deprive them of the things they need to survive in a very, VERY hostile part of the world.

  •  Early on, I thought Iraq might end up (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BarbinMD, Easterling, MO Blue

    like Vietnam.  At first, it didn't seem like it was exactly the same, but the longer we stay, the more the parallels get closer.

    Perhaps if Bush and Cheney had fought in Vietnam things would be different.  The one thing that is the same-  the moral cowardice of too many military leaders to tell the American people the truth.  They are more concerned about their retirement benefits than they are about the welfare of the country.

    Shame on them.  Honor?

    In an insane society, the sane man would appear insane

    by TampaCPA on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 07:32:19 AM PST

    •  Except That Vietnam Was a Longstanding (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jfdunphy, cassidy3

      historic nation and people, not a geographical coincidental fabrication of western powers.

      So the internal politics are entirely different.

      But yes, since in both cases these are homelands we've invaded, applying our anti-USSR weaponry hammer to an array of problems that are not Soviet nails, we're bleeding out our lives and treasure yet again.

      But hey them smart bombs and humvees sure sell like hotcakes don't they?

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 09:00:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Or, like Colin Powell, (0+ / 0-)

      they mistake "falling on their sword" for their president, not the country, as the patriotic deed.

  •  Would a nice rich progressive please (0+ / 0-)

    Get the families of the Joint Chiefs of Staff some bodyguards?

    At least until the Bush crime family is out of the White house.

  •  I would like to see Pravda and our press side by (0+ / 0-)

    side reporting on their respective wars.

    In re the old USSR and afganistan comes to mind.  It lasted 10 years and did not end until babuskas marched on the government ( as I recalll I might be wrong about the quid pro quo but i am close)

    Then put the reporting of our current war in Iraq and let's see how the propaganda is similar.

    these guys need to be arrested.  

    •  I've Long Called it Pravda West (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      madgranny

      And the WH/Pentagon complex are increasingly looking like Kremlin West.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 09:02:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's just not fair, BarbinMD (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BarbinMD

    You're having too much fun with these quotes. It's just truly sad that the loss of life in Iraq correlates with the stupidity (or is it the craven indifference?) of these "leaders."

  •  What constitutes Victory? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BarbinMD

        American troops are just a minor distraction to the factions fighting each other in Iraq. Our troops kicking down doors and poking loaded weapons in the faces of cowering women and children make it appear as if the War on Drugs is being exported to Iraq? What is America's mission? As far as I can tell our mission is to provide profits to the same Texas Corporations that profited handsomely from Viet Nam 30 years ago. Our mission is to supply the military with another generation of yes men who will turn their back on their own troops in order to get another star pinned on their shoulder boards. West Point is the training ground for the Wall Street Muscle Police. Record profit taking this year. Merry Christmas. Same as it ever was!  

  •  Since they themselves never fought (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BarbinMD, vcmvo2

    The College Republicans who control this society conceive of war as a PR exercise and hope to win the war by resurrecting Nixon's "Silent Majority".

    It isn't working.

    This is the 21st century and there is a New Silent Majority who will cease to be silent if Bush defies us upon return from hoilday.

    It's too bad his Christianity isn't real.

    The time has come for us to take to the streets to oppose this runaway government.

    by Paul Goodman on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 07:55:32 AM PST

  •  How to stop General Casey and others (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    madgranny

    Leading Democrats, including Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid, have expressed support for this notion of sending more troops to Iraq.

    They obviously haven't been listening to the will of the people, whose opposition to the war gave them control of the Congress. Only 12% support sending more troops to Iraq -- the overwhelming majority want the troops to come home now.

    Here are three things we can do about it:

    1. Tell Senator Harry Reid you expect the Democrats to follow the clear wishes of the electorate and bring the troops home from Iraq. Call Reid at 202-224-2158 or 202-224-7003 or email his chief of staff at Susan_McCue@reid.senate.gov
    1. Plan to mark the 3000th U.S. death with a vigil or other event in your community. Under the slogan, "Not One More Death, Not One More Dollar," the American Friends Service Committee is coordinating events all around the country. http://www.afsc.org/...
    1. Join United for Peace and Justice in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, January 27 for a massive peace march, calling on Congress to use their power to bring the troops home now! http://www.unitedforpeace.org
    •  'Was going to post a comment about (0+ / 0-)

      the death vigil when (not if, unfortunately) the 3000th American is sacrificed to Bush's ego. Thank you. For the folks who don't know, the site srcnyc links to lets you find a vigil in your area. The vigils will take place the evening (usually 5-7 P.M.) of the day after we lose that 3000th hero.

  •  when warriors become time-servers (0+ / 0-)

    you know you're in the poop

    we're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression

    by Lepanto on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 08:13:06 AM PST

  •  Paging William Westmoreland. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BarbinMD

    General Casey is heading your way.

  •  A STUDY IN SPIN (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BarbinMD, jfdunphy

    Isnt it fascinating to watch comments evolve over time in response to changing political conditions.  

    And the rethugs called Kerry a flip flopper

    Freedom only for the members of the government, only for the members of the Party - though they are quite numerous "- is no freedom at all." -Rosa Luxemburg

    by un figlio della sinistra on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 08:16:48 AM PST

  •  Fire The Losers (0+ / 0-)

    I'd like to see every journalist with a pen asking every one of these murderous fools "how should Americans pick decisionmakers for Iraq: on performance, or whether Bush likes them?"

    These retards fooled 50M Republicans (and a smattering of Democrats) with lies about "results based politics". They have resulted only in death, destruction, debt and denial. The spell broke in Katrina's wake. It's over a year of more death since then. Journalists who don't publicly humilate these kleptocrat liars are propping them up. That means you, Tim Russert, and the rest of your fatcat millionaires hogging the TV screens and editorial pages.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 08:34:58 AM PST

  •  Casey (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sharman, white is black, madgranny

    has such a history of buckling under and adopting the talking points of his civilian leaders, you'd think the White House has nasty photos of him with Ann Coulter, and he doesn't want to get thrown out of the military. (Don't ask, don't tell, remember?)

    But the most bizarre thing in that LA Times article, which put me off my breakfast this morning, is this symbol of what we think of democracy in Iraq:

    Iraqi politics would be a key factor in deciding how to use extra U.S. military force. American diplomats are trying to engineer an ouster of Sadr's political faction from the government and are trying to help set up a moderate coalition of Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites that would be more willing to confront Sadr's militias.

    "There's a lot of people in the world who don't believe that people whose skin color may not be the same as ours can be free and self-govern. I reject that. I reject that strongly. I believe that people who practice the Muslim faith can self-govern. I believe that people whose skins aren't necessarily -- are a different color than white can self-govern." -George W. Bush.

    Unless they self-govern the "wrong" way, one assumes.

    D-Day, the newest blog on the internet (at the moment of its launch)

    by dday on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 09:15:10 AM PST

    •  The reference to your erroneous opinion... (0+ / 0-)

      ...about Coulter's gender is not appreciated.

      Teacher's Lounge opens each Saturday, sometime between 10am and 12 noon EST

      by rserven on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 10:57:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  joke ('jOk) (0+ / 0-)

        n. 1 a : something said or done to provoke laughter; especially : a brief oral narrative with a climactic humorous twist b (1) : the humorous or ridiculous element in something (2) : an instance of jesting : KIDDING <can't take a joke> c : PRACTICAL JOKE d : LAUGHINGSTOCK
        2 : something not to be taken seriously : a trifling matter <consider his skiing a joke -- Harold Callender> -- often used in negative constructions <it is no joke to be lost in the desert>

        D-Day, the newest blog on the internet (at the moment of its launch)

        by dday on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 11:01:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Yes men (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BarbinMD, white is black

    The problem, obviously, is that Bushie demands agreement from those that know they are lying.  Thus, you can be sure Rummy and Casey will write books explaining how they said one thing privately and the opposite publicly.  If they did have the balls to speak up in an op-ed, it would be redacted. I always thought you needed guts to be in the military, and your oath was to the constitution, I am less naive today.

    All the protections written in the constitution are being abused, and the brilliance of Jefferson and company becomes more obvious daily.

  •  Stop the insanity now (0+ / 0-)

    What do you expect these generals and commanders to say? They have to say what ever their boss the Commander in Chief, Bush, tells them to tell the public, or their other boss, the Secretary of Defense. They can say what they want at the risk of losing their job, like MacArther and Patton did. Casey went over to Iraq to get his subs in line and on the same page.

     This insanity has to stop, now. One thing Bush co. doesn't understand is the human spirit. And they didn't understand it during Vietnam. That people do not like and won't be occupied and told what to do and think by other people, and they will fight to the end to rid themselves of their occupiers. I know that I would and I would be considered a patriot by my fellow countrymen and a terrorist by the occupiers. Everybody thru out history has. Even the Iraeli's did during Christ's time...

     But maybe they do understand the human spirit and just don't give a shit because they are, Bush co., the bullies on the playground. This is their place under the sun, not ours. And it is their oil, not ours. For you Christians out there remember what Christ said, " Love thy enemy as thyself." They are human beings also and are your enemy for a karmic reason. We and others have been screwing around with them, their governments, oil rights and ownership for just about a century or more now. They've had enough and I don't blame them.

     I can see a draft coming. Maybe this is what it is going to take to light the fire under the American people.  

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