Bush to admit he should have sent more troops at start of war; Update: 21,500

posted at 12:30 pm on January 10, 2007 by Allahpundit

Quid pro quo. In return for funding the surge, the left gets a taste of what it really wants — Bush publicly abasing himself with the promise of much more to come if, as expected, this last push fails to bring peace.

Barnett:

A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO, I wrote about a dinner party Mrs. Soxblog and I held at stately Soxblog manor. One of the guests was a dignified man, about 60 years old, who despite possessing a gentle and gentlemanly manner practically frothed at the mouth with Bush hatred whenever the president’s name was mentioned.

Soon the conversation turned to the increasingly difficult struggle in Iraq. His delight over American setbacks was so palpable that I asked him if he wanted us to win in Iraq. He demurred. I repeated the question. After a long pause, he hissed, “I want this country to learn a lesson.”…

[I]t comes as quite an irony that the same people who have spent the past three years belittling “staying the course” now reflexively reject anything that resembles a course correction. They only want surrender, which will serve as an acknowledgement that America has “learned a lesson.”

And what about Democrats who aren’t ready to surrender? The fightin’ nutroots will deal with them.

“Conventional wisdom says that presidential candidates who want to be responsible on this are going to hurt themselves with the angry, impassioned activist left,” said Will Marshall, president of the Progressive Policy Institute, a centrist Democratic think tank. “But the activist left is out of sync with the American public. Americans don’t want to concede this is a total debacle.”…

Tom Andrews, a former Democratic congressman from Maine who heads the coalition [Win Without War], said that how the Democratic presidential contenders respond will be key to how liberals assess the field.

“We want true leaders to take the president on head on,” said Andrews. “How political figures respond to this challenge is going to be a key barometer.”

MoveOn.org, meanwhile, is planning a series of radio and television ads attacking lawmakers who support the Iraq war and its expansion.

Matzzie said the first ads will target Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) — the GOP presidential front-runner in many polls who has long called for a troop increase — and will air in states that hold early presidential primaries and caucuses.

Later ads also will criticize Democrats, such as Boyda, who stray from antiwar orthodoxy.

There will, alas, be no attempt to put ‘em on the glass: with a hint of bitterness, the Times reports that the Democrats busying themselves with heavy-handed Lakoffian branding efforts and “symbolic” non-binding resolutions against the surge. Nothing wrong with that, but not the sort of thing you’d want to see from a new majority looking to assert itself if you’re among its constituents.

Bush will throw a bone to the right tonight, too, by admitting that the rules of engagement were “flawed,” in Fox’s words. Will that placate the base? Nope, not once they find out that the surge troops will be serving in a support role only. It sounds like a rehash of his border compromise: deploy the military but limit its role in hopes of appeasing both sides. Didn’t work before, won’t work now.

We’ll have video tonight, of course, although probably only a brief clip. It’ll go exactly how you think it will: acknowledging mistakes, emphasizing that the mission is too important to fail and that withdrawal would “embolden” our enemies, asserting that Maliki is committed to peace and the Iraqi army is much improved but both still need the help of U.S. troops temporarily to secure Baghdad, describing some of the benchmarks they’ll have to meet, and finally the perfunctory appeal to national unity that he knows won’t happen. The only surprise will be if he mentions Saddam.

Anyway. He’s all by his lonesome now. I leave you with two pieces: one from today’s AmSpec comparing his resolve to Lincoln’s and another from the Asia Times comparing it to Hitler’s. I dare say the truth lies somewhere in between.

Update: I’d like to meet that 1%.

gallup-worse.png

Update: An ominous report from Alsharq Alawsat: the Mahdi army has infiltrated the Green Zone.

Update: We have a number.


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The war isnt just overseas. The main battle is here in the US.

Bush continues to make himself the target. He has to make the democrats the target.

William Amos on January 10, 2007 at 12:36 PM

Bush looks just plain silly given that only a Democratic takeover in Congress could convince him to admit that post-Saddam plan was flawed. Now, in public perception, many will be grateful Democrats are there to reel Bush in. What a shame.

BillLalor on January 10, 2007 at 12:38 PM

Interesting to note from that Gallup Poll – at only two points since August 2003 have the majority of the American populace believed that Bush had a handle on Iraq, and then by only the slimmest of margins.

This is just further evidence that El Presidente doesn’t have a clue.

GregH on January 10, 2007 at 12:39 PM

Bush needs to come out swinging at this cut and run cowards. He need to make the battle lines clear.

Unfortunately, he can’t even pronounce erudite, much less come off sounding that way.

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on January 10, 2007 at 12:42 PM

Taking responsibility? Will democrats even understand the concept?

I don’t necessarily think humbling himself in front of the nation is a bad idea…but im not positive it’s a good idea.

Verbal Abuse on January 10, 2007 at 12:42 PM

Pehaps we should take a queue from the Ethiopians play book?

Kini on January 10, 2007 at 12:47 PM

GregH, out of your hole, eh? An opinion poll proves nothing in regards whether someone has a clue. He might very well be clueless about the right way to deal with something, but other’s opinions are surely not proof.

It’ll go exactly how you think it will:

AP, just to stir the pot a bit, and not carrying water for the President, but were you he, how would your speech tonight go differently than the formula you posted?

Yes, mistakes were made, and acknowledging them is a good decision. Yes, the mission is too important to fail, and withdrawal will embolden our enemies. Yes, the Iraqi army is much improved, but not quite ready to support themselves.

To answer my own question, the thing I would say different is to define the scene as NOT WAR. We haven’t been AT WAR in Iraq in several years. We are supporting Iraq against an internal/external insurgency, and trying to squash the threat of civil war. We, as the invaders/occupiers, are responsible for exactly that until they can manage without us.

Freelancer on January 10, 2007 at 12:50 PM

Can we just get some more dead jihadis, please?

Editor on January 10, 2007 at 12:51 PM

Bush will throw a bone to the right tonight, too, by admitting that the rules of engagement were “flawed,” in Fox’s words. Will that placate the base? Nope, not once they find out that the surge troops will be serving in a support role only. It sounds like a rehash of his border compromise: deploy the military but limit its role in hopes of appeasing both sides. Didn’t work before, won’t work now.

He has learned nothing at all. Nothing.

His handling of this is proof of Murphy’s Pardox, which says “The hard way is always easier.” By trying to avoid the hard questions that would accompany a less restrictive and more effective rules of engagement, this war has been allowed to drag on much longer than it ever should have in the first place had he allowed our military to use all necessary force. And as such he has a much bigger set of problems to deal with now.

thirteen28 on January 10, 2007 at 12:52 PM

See you have to understand the democrats we only failed in Iraq because Bush was president.

If we leave that is a “SUCCESS” because it proves them right.

And that is the only thing democrats care about. Keeping power.

William Amos on January 10, 2007 at 12:53 PM

Admitting mistakes has worked in the past for presidents–Kennedy with Bay of Pigs, Reagan with Iran Contra. That is all sizzle though, comes down to the steak.

Ignoring his generals’ advice. Well, if it works, good for him. If it doesn’t, God help him.

honora on January 10, 2007 at 1:00 PM

I hope it’s a good speech for a good plan. We’re still losing the information war in which a good portion of the American press is fighting for the other side. Americans need to hear that we are killing the enemy and that they lose a vast number more fighters than we do on a regular basis. By not releasing numbers of enemy killed because of “sensitivities”, the administration has left the focus only on our casualties and left the impression that our soldiers are the only ones dying and that we’re not gaining any ground. That needs to change. We also need to quit fighting a PC war and just win. Brute, overwhelming force is the only way wars are won.

CP on January 10, 2007 at 1:07 PM

I think the plan is to hit Sadr and the militias and to weaken them enough for the Iraqi army to win then withdraw.

If we leave now there is no hope of the Iraqi army standing up to the insurgency.

We have to hit them hard enough before we leave to give Iraq a chance.

William Amos on January 10, 2007 at 1:09 PM

I wish I had a dollar for everytime some talking head has said, “sure, The President has made mistakes in strategy, blah blah blah”, but I have never heard a rational,(non-bds) explanation of what they are. In hindsite what would have nutralized the insurgency either militarily or politically? Why was the insurgency worse in Iraq than Afganistan, the “graveyard of empire“? In learning to fight this new kind of war, I accept the existence of a”learning curve” within reason. The left needs to realize our brave men & women die to protect lives in both countries. (Iraq & US.) If the gloves have to come off, innocents are really going to die in ME countries. We Will Not submit. Period. I look at Bush and Clinton the way Lincoln looked at Grant and McClellan. (ref Grant) “I can’t spare this man…he fights.”

Buck Turgidson on January 10, 2007 at 1:20 PM

I fear that AllahPundit’s analysis is pretty much in the ballpark.I expect pretty much the same bumbling, simplistic, third grade reader level speech that the president has been making on the subject for several years now.

But this is what you get when the people in charge are worried more about their little political games than they are about doing the right things for the right reasons.

tomk59 on January 10, 2007 at 1:32 PM

I look at Bush and Clinton the way Lincoln looked at Grant and McClellan. (ref Grant) “I can’t spare this man…he fights.”

Buck Turgidson on January 10, 2007 at 1:20 PM

Don’t you mean Kerry and Bush?

Oh I get it, not actually fight. Send other people to fight.

Sorry, that was low. But this bizarre need of some on the RW to glorify Bush. Well good luck with that.

honora on January 10, 2007 at 1:32 PM

Ditto what thirteen28 said. The way to win back the Capital City is to kill people and break things. Bringing in more targets to shoot at doesn’t change anything.

Had we employed the Powell Doctrine at the start of the thing, we wouldn’t be in this mess right now. But since we can’t, the best we can hope for is for some knowledgable flag officers to take charge, assess the real situation, and then be given the authority to execute a battle plan that accomplishes the true agenda – make permanent an environment that allows Iraqi Defense Forces capable of defending their own country without coalition assistance.

Anything less than that would spell FAILURE, no matter how hard anyone else tries to dress it up.

itzWicks on January 10, 2007 at 1:36 PM

Don’t you mean Kerry and Bush?

Oh I get it, not actually fight. Send other people to fight.

Sorry, that was low. But this bizarre need of some on the RW to glorify Bush. Well good luck with that.

He means actually taking the fight to the enemy rather than just launching a cruse missile only when you get caught having sex in thw white house and you need to divert attention.

In otherwords being a leader rather than just a holliwood president.

William Amos on January 10, 2007 at 1:42 PM

Bush is the worst leader since… well never mind. It’s been a pretty low standard since I’ve been alive.

Mark V. on January 10, 2007 at 1:45 PM

I’d like to meet that 1%.

Oh yeah, Allah was one who thought we could win this war without any casualities.

Capitalist Infidel on January 10, 2007 at 1:51 PM

This is where I feel so torn.

On the one hand, Bush allowed SO MANY stupid decisions to occur. (Lack of 4th ID during the invasion, poor postwar planning, heck he (Bush’s Rumsfield) tried to have the center for peacekeeping studies at the US Army War College closed before he realised that having officers knowledgeable in effective peace-keeping may be useful during an occupation.)

But then we have the Dhimmi-crats who hallucinate and see totalarian dictator ships when they look at constitutional democracies, and see democracies when they look at dictatorships.

It’s like no matter where I go, I can’t win.

Bush is barely effective, and the Democrats are just nuts.

So here I stand between “Barely competent” (Republicans) and “Damn fools” (Dhimni-Crats)

They’re all pissing me off, and if they keep this up, I’ll become “El Presidente” and fix all their wagons.

So Heed my warning. IF the Republicans don’t shape up, and if the Democrats don’t get a clue, My anger may overcome my lazyness, and I shall rule over all.

Jones Zemkophill on January 10, 2007 at 1:51 PM

Interesting that the author of the “Hitler” article is editor of Traveling Soldier. One of the links from that site goes to Socialist Worker. Surprise!

lan astaslem on January 10, 2007 at 1:56 PM

If we continue blurring the difference between US Marines and social workers the results are going to be very bad. I really don’t care whether or not the Iraqi people, the UN and the NYTimes like us. Please Mr. President allow them to do the job they were trained to do. Considering the fact that we have had boots on the ground for years now I bet we know darn well where the most jihadi populated coordinates are. Do we have any more of those AC-130 gunships available?

Zetterson on January 10, 2007 at 2:04 PM

Could you imagine the American Civil War being fought today with Lincoln as President? (chew on that one for a while)

Good God, people. Has anyone seen the BS in the NYT about how we were “losing the peace” after WW2? Anyone see a pattern?

Lets see…. 25mil people are free. A murderous despot was tried and hanged by his own people. Far fewer of our own soldiers died in this war than in any other relative to its size and scope. Established a functioning democratic government in less than 3 years, less time than in any other effort in American history. Another murderous dictator gave up his terrorist and nuclear ambitions.

Yep, Bush did a terrible job. Far worse than any other wartime President before him. (rolleyes)

Some of you folks need to get a sense of history.

.

GT on January 10, 2007 at 2:10 PM

Could you imagine the American Civil War being fought today with Lincoln as President? (chew on that one for a while)

Keith Olberman would lament the suspension of Habeas Corpus…. then Lincoln would have him tossed into a stockade for disseminating enemy propaganda.

Jones Zemkophill on January 10, 2007 at 2:14 PM

The President has made mistakes in strategy, blah blah blah”, but I have never heard a rational,(non-bds) explanation of what they are. In hindsite what would have nutralized the insurgency either militarily or politically?
Buck Turgidson on January 10, 2007 at 1:20 PM

I think this has been articulated pretty clearly by a number of people much more qualified than me. I’d recommend Thomas Ricks’ Fiasco for a good explanation of the mistakes that were made. I’m sure some of you will immediately dismiss it as liberal propaganda, but it really is very apolitical and focuses almost exclusively on the communication between the Generals in the field, the Pentagon, and the administration.

In a nutshell it basically concludes that Wolfowitz and the other neo-con academics arrogantly and naively dismissed the concerns of the military and decided no post-war plan was necessary. They were so convinced we would be greeted as liberators, we could accomplish the task with only a handful of troops, and that Iraq’s oil money would pay for the war, that they refused to even consider developing a contingency plan. Then, when these assumptions turned out to be wrong, things kept snowballing because there was no Plan B and we ended up where we are now.

JaHerer22 on January 10, 2007 at 2:35 PM

I think this has been articulated pretty clearly by a number of people much more qualified than me. I’d recommend Thomas Ricks’ Fiasco for a good explanation of the mistakes that were made. I’m sure some of you will immediately dismiss it as liberal propaganda, but it really is very apolitical and focuses almost exclusively on the communication between the Generals in the field, the Pentagon, and the administration.

In a nutshell it basically concludes that Wolfowitz and the other neo-con academics arrogantly and naively dismissed the concerns of the military and decided no post-war plan was necessary. They were so convinced we would be greeted as liberators, we could accomplish the task with only a handful of troops, and that Iraq’s oil money would pay for the war, that they refused to even consider developing a contingency plan. Then, when these assumptions turned out to be wrong, things kept snowballing because there was no Plan B and we ended up where we are now.

JaHerer22 on January 10, 2007 at 2:35 PM

Fiasco was great. In the middle of Imperial Life in the Emerald City which is quite unbelieveable (people sent to Iraq to re-build were asked if they had voted Bush, where they stood on Roe v Wade–all about being a devout Bushie, no experience or anything like that. Results: the person who was charged with re-opening the Baghdad exchange was 26 years old. With no financial markets experience. It rather defies belief as I said)

The problem is that a lot of RW cannot admit the folly of the strategy. They would rather see the whole thing go down in flames. They appear to be getting their wish.

Good post

honora on January 10, 2007 at 2:43 PM

Established a functioning democratic government in less than 3 years

You have a really, really, really, really, low bar for “functioning”

honora on January 10, 2007 at 2:47 PM

This is just further evidence that El Presidente doesn’t have a clue.

GregH on January 10, 2007 at 12:39 PM

Hey, GregH! Good to read your (odd) thoughts again. Clue about what?

Could you imagine the American Civil War being fought today with Lincoln as President?

Let’s see … 25 million people are free. A murderous despot was tried and hanged by his own people. Far fewer of our own soldiers died in this war than in any other relative to its size and scope.

Some of you folks need to get a sense of history.

GT on January 10, 2007 at 2:10 PM

As many have noted, we are not currently capable of conducting military operations off our own soil due to the political mindset of the left opposition and the media. We have no perspective on what’s at stake, or maybe we just don’t believe that anything’s ever at stake, like we’re invulnerable.

Tony Blair lamented recently to the Europeans who despise America: be careful what you wish for, because if the U.S. decides to stay home you won’t like the world that follows.

Maybe he was late in making that call.

Jaibones on January 10, 2007 at 2:53 PM

I heard that news about U.S. forces playing a support role in the (so called) surge this morning and you knew right then and there that this was just more half-a**ed token bulls**t that was’nt going to solve anything.

I won’t be watching his speech and i don’t care what he has to say. He’s obviously not going to let our forces fight so we need to leave Iraq now.

Scot on January 10, 2007 at 3:08 PM

Established a functioning democratic government in less than 3 years

You have a really, really, really, really, low bar for “functioning”

honora on January 10, 2007 at 2:47 PM

You have a really, really, really, really poor understanding of history.

.

GT on January 10, 2007 at 3:16 PM

@Honora

I just got Imperial Life in the Emerald City for Christmas from my Dad. I haven’t had the chance to read it yet but he said he couldn’t help himself and stayed up late and read it Christmas Eve. This is what he wrote title page:

Don’t speak Arabic?
Never been to the Middle East?
Know nothing about Muslim history or culture?
Can’t tell the difference between a Sunni and a Shia?
Want to overturn Roe v Wade?

Great! You’ve got everything it takes to manage the reconstruction of Iraq!

Actually I think I might get started on it tonight.

JaHerer22 on January 10, 2007 at 3:26 PM

Ignoring his generals’ advice. Well, if it works, good for him. If it doesn’t, God help him.

honora on January 10, 2007 at 1:00 PM

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. I have been waiting for a chance to say this…
For years the Left (yes you) have been saying that Bush isn’t listening to his “Generals” That he needs to send in more troops the, the “Generals” want them… Now that Bush has shifted some of his “Generals” the Left (yes you) are saying that Bush is getting rid of the “Generals” who oppose his troop surge, because he refuses to listen to them. Now why is it that the Left (yes you) can have it both ways in that the MSN refuses to note the glaring discrepancy in the argument of so many lefty pundits?

Gwillie on January 10, 2007 at 3:32 PM

Keith Olberman would lament the suspension of Habeas Corpus…. then Lincoln would have him tossed into a stockade for disseminating enemy propaganda.

Jones Zemkophill

Olby would never have had the balls (sorry if I’m stealing MM’s thunder there) to speak that way about a President back when he could have actually been punished for it.

Benaiah on January 10, 2007 at 3:36 PM

It was not a rhetorical Question.

Buck Turgidson on January 10, 2007 at 3:38 PM

Imperial Life in the Emerald City which is quite unbelieveable (people sent to Iraq to re-build were asked if they had voted Bush, where they stood on Roe v Wade–all about being a devout Bushie, no experience or anything like that. Results: the person who was charged with re-opening the Baghdad exchange was 26 years old. With no financial markets experience. It rather defies belief as I said)

Hello Randy Roades

Gwillie on January 10, 2007 at 3:55 PM

We succeeded in Iraq. We just didnt know all of Islam would declare war on us and the US media and the left would join them in that war.

William Amos on January 10, 2007 at 3:55 PM

What gets me is that the Left thinks 20/20 hindsight makes them intelligent.

.

GT on January 10, 2007 at 4:04 PM

DUHDUHDUHDUHDUHDUHDUHDUHDUHDUHDUHDUH…………

AND PERMISSION TO ACTUALLY USE THOSE BULLETS>>>>>>>>>>>

seejanemom on January 10, 2007 at 4:10 PM

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. I have been waiting for a chance to say this…
For years the Left (yes you) have been saying that Bush isn’t listening to his “Generals” That he needs to send in more troops the, the “Generals” want them… Now that Bush has shifted some of his “Generals” the Left (yes you) are saying that Bush is getting rid of the “Generals” who oppose his troop surge, because he refuses to listen to them. Now why is it that the Left (yes you) can have it both ways in that the MSN refuses to note the glaring discrepancy in the argument of so many lefty pundits?

Gwillie on January 10, 2007 at 3:32 PM

How is there a discrepancy? The Generals wanted more troops from the beginning; they said based on our experience in Bosnia the counter-insurgency operation would take a force of around 300,000. The Bush administration disagreed and we went in with less than half that many troops and we all see how well that worked.

Now many Generals are saying that more troops won’t due any good; that the time for more troops was 3 years ago and that 20,000 troops now is too little too late. Bush decided once again not to listen to these Generals and instead to replace them and send in more troops anyway. Where is the discrepancy? The only discrepancy I see is that the Generals were right the first time and instead of learning from his mistakes Bush has chosen to ignore them again.

JaHerer22 on January 10, 2007 at 4:10 PM

OH>>>>>MORE TROOPS…….

F E W E R embedded journalists A$$HOLES.

seejanemom on January 10, 2007 at 4:11 PM

test

Opinionnation on January 10, 2007 at 4:32 PM

more troops in the beginning… yeah, no shit. And he should have fired Rumsfeld last year. Not to mention the “hearts and minds” strategy is probably the dumbest concept ever implemented in war.

Opinionnation on January 10, 2007 at 4:34 PM

Now many Generals are saying that more troops won’t due any good; that the time for more troops was 3 years ago and that 20,000 troops now is too little too late. Bush decided once again not to listen to these Generals and instead to replace them and send in more troops anyway. Where is the discrepancy? The only discrepancy I see is that the Generals were right the first time and instead of learning from his mistakes Bush has chosen to ignore them again.

JaHerer22 on January 10, 2007 at 4:10 PM

I’m sorry…exactly WHICH TS/SCI+ briefing were you in????

Nobody I know saw you there, Hon.

seejanemom on January 10, 2007 at 4:34 PM

The Generals wanted more troops from the beginning;…

JaHerer22 on January 10, 2007 at 4:10 PM

The Generals = Zinni

Now the same group of people who chide Bush for not listening to Zinni and a handful of retired generals are blasting Bush for listening to the active generals under his command such as Schoomaker

Would you guys make up your mind?!

.

GT on January 10, 2007 at 4:34 PM

Dems then: Staying the course isn’t a plan, we need leadership and a new direction.

Dems now: This new plan sucks, who does Bush think he is anyway, the POTUS or something?

Dems plan, then and now: ….. still …… waiting

Wait, this just in …. they support our troops, but are against the war.

What? . That’s old copy? . Any new stuff?

Oh, I see, they’ll get back to us after the president speaks tonight.

With a plan?

Oh, with a list of people about to be subpoenaed.

Well, that is a plan …. and a new direction.

Excellent work Donks.

Cindy says what?

fogw on January 10, 2007 at 4:44 PM

Regardless of stupid opinion polls, our enemies are in very serious need of knowing whether or not the war will be fought – ruthlessly and unapologetically – to win, or whether W is going to (continue to?) fight “nicely” to better “get along” with the Islamists’ eager enablers the Dems, forfeiting any real chance of victory. Unless there’s really cool secret plan underway (and the firing of Rumsfeld told me there isn’t) this speech will be sending major signals one way or the other. But it’s getting harder to hope anymore, isn’t it? This administration won’t even lift a finger to prosecute brazen treason, and the remaining Evil Axis members are either nuclear or about to be, and Hezbollah and Hamas and Fatah and all the others are building their arsenals, and the Saudis are still funding jihad all over the globe… at least al-Qaeda seems weakened. 2007 feels like a pivotal year in the war.

Halley on January 10, 2007 at 4:56 PM

What gets me is that the Left thinks 20/20 hindsight makes them intelligent.

.

GT on January 10, 2007 at 4:04 PM

The Generals = Zinni

Now the same group of people who chide Bush for not listening to Zinni and a handful of retired generals are blasting Bush for listening to the active generals under his command such as Schoomaker

Would you guys make up your mind?!

.

GT on January 10, 2007 at 4:34 PM

Chief of Staff of the Army General Eric Shinseki testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee of February 25, 2003, a month before the start of the war:

SEN. LEVIN: General Shinseki, could you give us some idea as to the magnitude of the Army’s force requirement for an occupation of Iraq following a successful completion of the war?

GEN. SHINSEKI: In specific numbers, I would have to rely on combatant commanders’ exact requirements. But I think –

SEN. LEVIN: How about a range?

GEN. SHINSEKI: I would say that what’s been mobilized to this point — something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers are probably, you know, a figure that would be required. We’re talking about post-hostilities control over a piece of geography that’s fairly significant, with the kinds of ethnic tensions that could lead to other problems. And so it takes a significant ground- force presence to maintain a safe and secure environment, to ensure that people are fed, that water is distributed, all the normal responsibilities that go along with administering a situation like this.

This did not come from Zinni or a retired General but the active head of the United States Army, and it certianly wasn’t hindsight as it was said a month before the invasion. It seems Gen. Shinseki had pretty good understanding of the climate of Iraq; it’s a shame he was ridiculed by Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld.

JaHerer22 on January 10, 2007 at 5:25 PM

I would say that what’s been mobilized to this point — something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers are probably, you know, a figure that would be required.

“Several” meaning more than “three”lease define “several hundred thousand”.

You conveniently ignore what both General George Abizaid and General George Casey have said.

The commander of US forces in the Middle East said Monday he sees no need to ask President George W. Bush to send more troops to quell the violence in Iraq. General George Abizaid left open the possibility of asking for more troops but said he and General George Casey, the US commander in Iraq, have concluded they have enough reserve forces in the theater.

“We don’t see a need to commit them to the fight yet and until those forces are committed, we don’t see a need to ask for more under the present circumstances,” Abizaid said in an interview with CNN.

“But on the other hand, this notion that troop levels are static is not true, never has been true and it won’t be true. We’ll ask for what we need when we need them,” he said.

Abizaid also rejected a suggestion that he and his commanders are under political pressure not to ask for more troops.

Link

Now, which are they — Liars or Fools? You pick.

.

GT on January 10, 2007 at 5:39 PM

Now, which are they — Liars or Fools? You pick.

.

GT on January 10, 2007 at 5:39 PM

BOOM!!

Game, set and match goes to GT … well done!!!

thirteen28 on January 10, 2007 at 5:43 PM

Now, which are they — Liars or Fools? You pick.

.

GT on January 10, 2007 at 5:39 PM

They said this in September 2006; Shinseki said we needed more troops wayyy back in Feb. 2003 before the war started. You are effectively proving my point for me: before the war the Generals said we needed more troops and Bush ignored them; now the Generals say a troop increase would do little good and it looks like Bush is going to ignore them. Do you see a pattern emerging here?

JaHerer22 on January 10, 2007 at 5:59 PM

I would like to hear President Bush’s speech before commenting on it, but I think GT expressed my thoughts about more troops.

But to the deeper point, the pending symbolic vote by the Dems to defund the war…. what do you think the consequences will be to our enemies? Do you think they will feel a sense of defeat, or a sense of victory?

Take your time, Dems, I know you can not see past your fifteen second sound bite, but your actions actually do have consequences. What do you think it will be?

PinkyBigglesworth on January 10, 2007 at 6:29 PM

Which generals are we talking about? The Clinton crew who stood up for the troops in crafting the nuanced Mogadishu police action? Bending the military into a situation for which it was not designed? Arresting the warlords? Standing up for the on the ground pleas for better support? So, who couldn’t take a basic street fight, who cut and ran – emboldening an enemy that would take that knowledge to hurt us, and hurt us bad as often as they could? Who do we compare Bush to? Clinton? Never saw a war he couldn’t talk his way out of – kicking the can down the road for the next guy … oh that would be George Bush.
There are generals on both sides of this and it’s despicable how many chucked professionalism and ran out to publicly undermine the President during a time of war. HOw many earnestly informed President Bush of this or that information, only to have used it to hurt him politically? Don’t think it happened? How about George Tenant who put his party about his national duty? When was the last time we’ve had any reassurance that the CIA is doing the job it was intended to do? Get the President the best intelligence available on the planet? No, we get in-house political attack. How about the FBI? Who ham-strung them? Hey, the elitist generals did that to Lincoln, too and he was made out to be a western hick who had no business in Washington – should have left those matters to his betters. How many of those generals do we remember? The ones who lost every battle? The arrogant McClellan who let the elites flatter him into loserhood? It wasn’t until the no-nonsense Western generals, the likes of Buford, Sherman and Grant did the Union Army begin to perform as it could have from the beginning. The southern generals knew what they had to do, and fought cleverly, but the soft Washington types were outclassed and irrelevent, apart from the fact that a lot of men wastefully died under their “enlightened” leadership.
Well, history has treated Lincoln very well – after that curtain of deceipt and political cacophony was pushed aside.
Those posters who sit an make snide comments about how worthless President Bush is have no idea what has been on his head since day one, with how much weighed against him, from the day he was elected – he had to fight for that. We all have friends who stay with us, others not when the going gets tough, but when the country is in peril and the people you counted on falter, because they think that they can’t take the pressure, how does that feel? You people out there, you would quail and quiver to have such a repsonsibility on you, but George Bush has stood and taken it. Give constructive criticism, not the easy chair, “I told you so.”

naliaka on January 10, 2007 at 6:52 PM

Put a fork in Bush. He is no longer the leader he was after 9-11. He has let the wingnuts beat him without fighting back for our country. The enemy within has won. Time to look for a new Conservative leader. Someone who will fight for our troops to conduct war, make English the official language, kick the illegal aliens out of this country and return the rule of law. Bush is not capable of any of this.

Wade on January 10, 2007 at 6:59 PM

Bush was never a “conservative leader”. He has never tried to lead the conservative movement. He has always been a Republican with some conservative ideals. Not even Reagan was always a “Republican Conservative” if you look at him through lens of 9/11.

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GT on January 10, 2007 at 7:08 PM

JaHerer22 sez:

They said this in September 2006; Shinseki said we needed more troops wayyy back in Feb. 2003 before the war started.

Very good. Looks like Shinseki was wrong, too.

You are effectively proving my point for me: before the war the Generals said we needed more troops and Bush ignored them.

No, the only thing proved is that you don’t pay attention very well.

MCCAIN: Did you note that General Zinny who opposed of the invasion now thinks that we should have more troops? Did you notice that General Batise, who was opposed to the conduct of this conflict also says that we may need tens and thousands of additional troops. I don’t understand General. When you have a part of Iraq that is not under our control and yet we still — as Al Anbar province is — I don’t know how many American lives have been sacrificed in Al Anbar province — but we still have enough and we will rely on the ability to train the Iraqi military when the Iraqi army hasn’t send the requested number of battalions into Baghdad.

ABIZAID: Senator McCain, I met with every divisional commander, General Casey, the core commander, General Dempsey, we all talked together. And I said, in your professional opinion, if we were to bring in more American Troops now, does it add considerably to our ability to achieve success in Iraq? And they all said no. And the reason is because we want the Iraqis to do more. It is easy for the Iraqis to rely upon to us do this work. I believe that more American forces prevent the Iraqis from doing more, from taking more responsibility for their own future.

The reality is that 15 of the 18 provinces are under control. Only 3 provinces are problematic. More troops as defined by Zinni and Shinseki is that they ignore the principles of counterinsurgency warfare. The US and others have attempted overwhelming force on insurgencies. It has never worked. We attempted to fight by trying to replay WW2 and Korea in Vietnam and failed. Even the South Vietnamese generals knew we were screwed up. I suggest you and Ted Kennedy read The Army in Vietnam by Andrew F. Krepinevich.

…now the Generals say a troop increase would do little good and it looks like Bush is going to ignore them. Do you see a pattern emerging here?

All I see is a pattern of selective reading and comprehension on your part. You and Kennedy are putting the cart before the horse by reading into what passes for reporting these days…..

At an end-of-the-year news conference, Bush said he agrees with generals “that there’s got to be a specific mission that can be accomplished” before he decides to dispatch an additional 15,000 to 30,000 troops to the war zone.

*snip*

The tension between the White House and the Joint Chiefs of Staff over the proposed troop increase has come to dominate the administration’s post-election search for a new strategy in Iraq. The uniformed leadership has opposed sending additional forces without a clear mission, seeing the idea as ill-formed and driven by a desire in the White House to do something different even without a defined purpose.

You say that the Generals are against it. But, that isn’t what they said. They said they were against it if the troops were increased without a specific purpose.

The problem is when you and Kennedy glom onto the next sentence put in by the writer….

But he declined to repeat his usual formulation that he will heed his commanders on the ground when it comes to troop levels.

Then further down the same article…..

By yesterday, however, Bush indicated that he will not necessarily let military leaders decide, ducking a question about whether he would overrule them. “The opinion of my commanders is very important,” he said. “They are bright, capable, smart people whose opinion matters to me a lot.” He added: “I agree with them that there’s got to be a specific mission that can be accomplished with the addition of more troops before I agree on that strategy.”

The writer has done his work and you fall for it. You ignore what Bush said and instead accept the writer’s assertions as Gospel Truth.

Meanwhile………

On his first tour of Iraq yesterday, Gates said “we’re just beginning that process” of figuring out how much to expand ground forces overall. But he cautioned that the long-term project was not related to the immediate question of what to do in Iraq. “An increase in the size of the Army today really won’t show up for some period of time,” Gates said.

Link

You’re convinced that Bush is going to send more troops without a clear reason. Bush had said he won’t without one. But that’s not good enough for you. It has to be a reason you can agree to based on what the MSM and Ted Kennedy tell you.

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GT on January 10, 2007 at 7:09 PM

The problem is that a lot of RW cannot admit the folly of the strategy. They would rather see the whole thing go down in flames. They appear to be getting their wish.

Good post

honora on January 10, 2007 at 2:43 PM

The strategy was just fine. The problem is that the tactics used thus far have not enabled us to achieve the strategic objective.

The only ones who want to see it go down in flames (besides the islamofascists) are lefties like you so that you can say “I told you so”. The fact that you attack the strategy in the first place is proof positive of that.

thirteen28 on January 10, 2007 at 7:20 PM

Well, for some reason my response to JaHerer22 won’t go through. Lets see if this will work….

They said this in September 2006; Shinseki said we needed more troops wayyy back in Feb. 2003 before the war started.

Very good. Looks like Shinseki was wrong, too.

You are effectively proving my point for me: before the war the Generals said we needed more troops and Bush ignored them.

No, the only thing proved is that you don’t pay attention very well.

Look back at what McCain and Abizaid had to say to each other……

MCCAIN: Did you note that General Zinny who opposed of the invasion now thinks that we should have more troops? Did you notice that General Batise, who was opposed to the conduct of this conflict also says that we may need tens and thousands of additional troops. I don’t understand General. When you have a part of Iraq that is not under our control and yet we still — as Al Anbar province is — I don’t know how many American lives have been sacrificed in Al Anbar province — but we still have enough and we will rely on the ability to train the Iraqi military when the Iraqi army hasn’t send the requested number of battalions into Baghdad.

ABIZAID: Senator McCain, I met with every divisional commander, General Casey, the core commander, General Dempsey, we all talked together. And I said, in your professional opinion, if we were to bring in more American Troops now, does it add considerably to our ability to achieve success in Iraq? And they all said no. And the reason is because we want the Iraqis to do more. It is easy for the Iraqis to rely upon to us do this work. I believe that more American forces prevent the Iraqis from doing more, from taking more responsibility for their own future.

Well, that is precisely what Bush as been doing. Yet you want to claim that Bush didn’t listen to his generals. Here Bush is doing the very thing you said he wasn’t doing, meanwhile we have Ted Kennedy and Company telling us that we’re losing in Iraq and need to bring the troops home now.

Now we have Bush deciding to send in more troops and the Left goes nuts and intentionally mischaracterizes Bush’s decision.

Are the Generals opposed to sending in more troops? No.

Are the Generals opposed to sending in more troops without a clear purpose? Yes.

Do you see the difference? Do you?

And what has Bush said? He said he agrees with the Generals.

So what’s the problem?

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GT on January 10, 2007 at 7:20 PM

The only surprise will be if he mentions Saddam.

and/or Somalia of the last few weeks…

fogw, you have a 2nd family :)

Entelechy on January 10, 2007 at 7:23 PM

They said this in September 2006; Shinseki said we needed more troops wayyy back in Feb. 2003 before the war started.

Yes, Shinseki offered his opinion in 2003. In 2006, Casey and Abizaid proved his opinion to be wrong.

You are effectively proving my point for me: before the war the Generals said we needed more troops and Bush ignored them.

No. He ignored the generals you were listening to.

The U.S. military leadership has been divided on what to do. Some senior generals argue that a surge of American troops would provide the best chance to suppress the violence in Iraq. Others say that additional U.S. forces would discourage Iraqis from taking responsibility for the country’s security.

Link

I would dare say that Bush has a better idea of what the Generals are saying than the MSM, Kennedy, you or I do.

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GT on January 10, 2007 at 7:34 PM

Why is the leadership of the democrat party so cowardly? Could it be they are natural born losers?

Zorro on January 10, 2007 at 7:47 PM

It’s not President Bush who’s hamstrung the war effort, one of the culprits lies in another profession: it’s the lawyers.
Wonder what General Sherman would said about them had they been insuating themselves into venues where they don’t belong. We know what he thought about the leak-like-a-sieve press. Lawyers heavily influenced front-line decisions about who should be killed and who shouldn’t, and who was behind the viciously absurd “catch and release” of enemy combatants. Who has offices set up at Gitmo? GITMO! How many Cuban journalists and lawyers and teachers are rotting away, for the crime of speaking out for freedom, in Cuban prisons just a few miles away – in WALKING distance!?!
What a debasement of a profession.

naliaka on January 10, 2007 at 8:03 PM

How many posters here have actually been to Iraq or talked to a soldier who has been there? We need to boot all the media out of any war zones, they are getting our soldiers killed. Let our military do the job they were trained for. Being politically correct and being at war is an oxi-moron. What my son replies to questions from moonbat liberal about the war in Iraq is “some information is on a need to know basis and you do not need to know that”

ChrisIansNana on January 10, 2007 at 8:56 PM

“On Drudge Now with Lights”

EMBARGOED UNTIL DELIVERY: ADDRESS OF THE PRESIDENT TO THE NATION…
Bush Warning to Iran: ‘I recently ordered deployment of additional carrier strike group’…
‘We will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria’…

Had to turn to tube off. Diky Turbin is pissing and moaning. So What’s New Huh ! !

Texyank on January 10, 2007 at 9:27 PM

How many posters here have actually been to Iraq or talked to a soldier who has been there? We need to boot all the media out of any war zones, they are getting our soldiers killed. Let our military do the job they were trained for. Being politically correct and being at war is an oxi-moron. What my son replies to questions from moonbat liberal about the war in Iraq is “some information is on a need to know basis and you do not need to know that”
ChrisIansNana on January 10, 2007 at 8:56 PM

Just watching the press reporting on Pentagon briefings is bad enough. They are so lazy, they don’t even bother to learn the lexicon of the military. Forget about boning up on some basic military history so that their reporting has some depth. The journalism these days is no better than high school newspapers. Sorry, have seen better writing, research and analysis out of high school papers. J-schools just seem to serve the purpose of indoctrinating, “process” over content and sucking up vast quanitites of tuition money to make nice buildings for the faculty to huddle in. The distain they show for creative, hard-working, self-improving and brave soldiers is unbelievable.

naliaka on January 10, 2007 at 9:44 PM

Anyway. He’s all by his lonesome now.

No he’s not. I’m still standing right by his side and I’ll stand there until this is over or I am dead.

Texas Gal on January 11, 2007 at 12:21 AM

How is there a discrepancy? The Generals wanted more troops from the beginning; they said based on our experience in Bosnia the counter-insurgency operation would take a force of around 300,000. The Bush administration disagreed and we went in with less than half that many troops and we all see how well that worked.

Please don’t just take parts of what was said… Shinseki also said it would take 6 months and cost 10,000 lives to reach bagdad. His remarks were used by the left not to say we need more troops but to say we cann’t win… He was wrong on 2 out of 3 of his predictions, so perhaps Bush did listen to the right Generals… Now as to your claim

Now many (not all, maybe not even a majority) Generals are saying that more troops won’t due any good; that the time for more troops was 3 years ago and that 20,000 troops now is too little too late. Bush decided once again not to listen to these Generals and instead to replace them and send in more troops anyway. Where is the discrepancy? The only discrepancy I see is that the Generals were right the first time and instead of learning from his mistakes Bush has chosen to ignore them again.

Wait, so he replaced the one he replaced because they say the same thing as the ones he replaced?

JaHerer22 on January 10, 2007 at 4:10 PM

More troops without a clear mission… The discrepancy comes when you look back to what was said prior to the election from the left… they were not talking about Bush not listening to his Generals 3 years ago as you seem to imply. He wasn’t listening then up to the time when it became clear that Bush was going to increase the troop level. Are you going to deny it?

Gwillie on January 11, 2007 at 3:53 AM

Yes, Shinseki offered his opinion in 2003. In 2006, Casey and Abizaid proved his opinion to be wrong.

GT on January 10, 2007 at 7:34 PM

How was Shinseki wrong? We will never know if he was right or wrong because Bush decided not to listen to him. It seems like Bush is trying to implement Shinseki’s ideas now, problem is it’s about 100,000 troops to little and 3 years too late.

JaHerer22 on January 11, 2007 at 9:30 AM

I noticed that the “Peoples Media” (Washington Post and ABC) ran right out this morning and conjured up a poll that rebukes the president and his new course. The leftist media in this country don’t even attempt to shade their political and ideological agendas in their Bush bashing campaigns. What a sorry bunch.

rplat on January 11, 2007 at 10:26 AM

JaHerer22 on January 11, 2007 at 9:30 AM

And if more troops had been sent you would have agreed with that? No matter what direction the president takes, you, and others like, you sit on the sidelines, and whine and complain. Your opinion is worthless.

right2bright on January 11, 2007 at 11:22 AM

How was Shinseki wrong? We will never know if he was right or wrong because Bush decided not to listen to him. It seems like Bush is trying to implement Shinseki’s ideas now, problem is it’s about 100,000 troops to little and 3 years too late.

JaHerer22 on January 11, 2007 at 9:30 AM

Looks like Gwillie has already answered.

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GT on January 11, 2007 at 11:50 AM

And if more troops had been sent you would have agreed with that? No matter what direction the president takes, you, and others like, you sit on the sidelines, and whine and complain. Your opinion is worthless.

right2bright on January 11, 2007 at 11:22 AM

I would have preferred we sent no troops; however, if Bush was determined to invade I wish he would have went all the way and sent enough troops to get the job done as quickly and painlessly as possible.

JaHerer22 on January 11, 2007 at 5:17 PM

Its fun being and armchair general, isn’t it.

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GT on January 11, 2007 at 6:17 PM