Sanchez’s speech

posted at 12:37 pm on October 13, 2007 by Allahpundit

Drudge has had it red-fonted at the top of the page for the past 15 hours. Here’s the transcript, all-capped to make it that much more painful to read. Other righty bloggers like Powerline have already noted how accounts of the speech are emphasizing his withering attack on the conduct of the war over his equally withering attack on the media’s coverage of it. I don’t mind that — war policy matters more to people than press bias, and his line about court-martialing certain unnamed political leaders for dereliction of duty if they had been servicemen is irresistible — but read the AP account that Drudge links to. It’s not that they focus more on his criticism of the war than on his criticism of the media; it’s that the criticism of the media is omitted entirely. The whole first half of the speech is wished away into the cornfield. No wonder. Sample quote:

THE DEATH KNELL OF YOUR ETHICS HAS BEEN ENABLED BY YOUR PARENT ORGANIZATIONS WHO HAVE CHOSEN TO ALIGN THEMSELVES WITH POLITICAL AGENDAS. WHAT IS CLEAR TO ME IS THAT YOU ARE PERPETUATING THE CORROSIVE PARTISAN POLITICS THAT IS DESTROYING OUR COUNTRY AND KILLING OUR SERVICEMEMBERS WHO ARE AT WAR.

But enough of that. The amazing thing about the second half of the speech, where he takes on the war, is how vague, redundant, and unrealistic it is as a prescription for what to do now. A few choice passages:

AMERICA HAS NO CHOICE BUT TO CONTINUE OUR EFFORTS IN IRAQ… GIVEN THE LACK OF A GRAND STRATEGY WE MUST MOVE RAPIDLY TO MINIMIZE THAT FORCE PRESENCE AND ALLOW THE IRAQIS MAXIMUM ABILITY TO EXERCISE THEIR SOVERIEGNTY IN ACHIEVING A SOLUTION…

TODAY, WE CONTINUE OUR INEPT COALITION MANAGEMENT EFFORTS AND, IN FACT, WE ARE FACING EVER DECREASING TROOP COMMITMENTS BY OUR MILITARY COALITION PARTNERS. AMERICA’S “REVISED” STRATEGY DOES NOT ADDRESS COALITION INITIATIVES AND CHALLENGES. WE CANNOT AFFORD TO CONTINUE THIS STRUGGLE WITHOUT THE SUPPORT OF OUR COALITION PARTNERS ACROSS ALL ELEMENTS OF NATIONAL POWER. WITHOUT THE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC ELEMENTS OF POWER COMPLEMENTING THE TREMENDOUS EFFORTS OF OUR MILITARY, AMERICA IS ASSURED OF FAILURE…

OUR POLITICAL AND MILITARY LEADERS OWE THE SOLDIER ON THE BATTLEFIELD THE STRATEGY, THE POLICIES AND THE RESOURCES TO WIN ONCE COMMITTED TO WAR… AMERICA MUST MOBILIZE THE INTERAGENCY AND THE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC ELEMENTS OF POWER, WHICH HAVE BEEN ABJECT FAILURES TO DATE, IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE VICTORY. OUR NATION HAS NOT FOCUSED ON THE GREATEST CHALLENGE OF OUR LIFETIME… PARTISAN POLITICS HAVE HINDERED THIS WAR EFFORT AND AMERICA SHOULD NOT ACCEPT THIS. AMERICA MUST DEMAND A UNIFIED NATIONAL STRATEGY THAT GOES WELL BEYOND PARTISAN POLITICS AND PLACES THE COMMON GOOD ABOVE ALL ELSE.

Got that? We can’t win without our allies, who are deserting us, but we must continue on to achieve victory, which is impossible because we lack a grand strategy, so we should probably start reducing troop levels and let the Iraqis take over, except that this is “the greatest challenge of our lifetime” and we owe it to our soldiers to win, which is why our leaders must come up with a plan that rises above partisanship, which is never, ever going to happen with the public trending Democratic and 60-65% already demanding withdrawal and an election a year away. It’s like saying, “Victory is within reach — if only the American people were completely different.” Thanks for the helpful advice, General. Like Eric Egland says (and Col. Paul Yingling before him), where were you when this Rx might have been even minimally useful?

Update: Here’s a no-caps version of the speech for easier reading.

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Comments

entagor on October 15, 2007 at 11:49 AM

The “phony soldiers” description was orginally related to people who tried to get benefits for which they weren’t entitled.

Now you and Rush are trying to expand it to mean “disagreement with those not on the “right” side of the political fence”

Criticize his views all day long and that is fine. but bringing up the “phony” garbage or innuendos is wrong.

Bradky on October 15, 2007 at 12:06 PM

He spent thirty years obeying the orders and directions of his civilian and military bosses. He did it professionally without consideration of his personal opinions. Now that he is out he is not allowed to speak unless it is a “Rah Rah Ciscoom Bah everything is happy happy joy joy” speech??

You have a strange concept of ‘not allowed.’ He’s allowed to say anything he wishes. Just as we are allowed to ponder about his motivation for saying it. What he’s ‘not allowed’ to do is say questionable things without questions being raised by his former comrades-in-arms, and others. Decorum is supposed to be enough to keep you from being a buddy-f’er. It used to be that way, anyway.

He is exercising his freedom of speech which he willingly didn’t fully enjoy while in uniform. And you want him to be penalized for that???

Where did I say I wanted him to be penalized? I just noted that he did it when he couldn’t be penalized for doing it…to make the distinction that it’s still mystifying, but not as mystifying as if he’d done it while on active duty. You give parentheticals (which are meant to provide explanation without changing the main sentence structure) way too much import.

James on October 15, 2007 at 12:38 PM

Sanchez is exercising his freedom of speech, but his speech is not free from criticism or rebuke.

I didn’t read anyone saying he ought to be, “penalized,” for voicing his opinion. They did say he ought to consider the impact of what he has said, even if he BELIEVES it.

I would further state that it ought to be made clear that this is indeed his OPINION, and, as he is no longer, “in theater,” his remarks ought to be treated as such.

The way the media has treated this is disgusting. They completely misrepresented what he actually said. This is not new, but it’s disgusting nonetheless.

JannyMae on October 15, 2007 at 2:53 PM

I AM LIVING A NIGHTMARE WITH NO END IN SIGHT….trying to find the non-all-cap version. I keep clicking the Milblog link but just don’t see it. What am I missing??

dont taze me bro on October 15, 2007 at 5:38 PM

He is exercising his freedom of speech which he willingly didn’t fully enjoy while in uniform. And you want him to be penalized for that???

Bradky on October 15, 2007 at 11:34 AM
Yes, because if he didn’t agree with what he was doing, maybe he should not have been doing it.

Criticize his views all day long and that is fine. but bringing up the “phony” garbage or innuendos is wrong.

Bradky on October 15, 2007 at 12:06 PM

Who the hell said you get to write all the rules?

leanright on October 15, 2007 at 5:41 PM

James on October 15, 2007 at 12:38 PM

Some examples…a phony general, trying to surrender, angling for a joint chiefs position, etc. you get the picture.

Absolutely not! A Phony General, Yes!

How many generals did Lincoln go through till he found a real one.

Kini on October 13, 2007 at 7:52 PM

Gen. Sanchez is postureing for a position in a democrap administration, possibly a joint chief seat.

2theright on October 14, 2007 at 10:27 AM

Anybody else catch a strong whiff of Wesley Clark’s perfume in the air?

paragon27x on October 13, 2007 at 5:27 PM

Perhaps this is a last ditch effort in the Dhemocrat grand strategy of surrender at any and all costs. Our current strategy is working so we MUST abandon it immediately.

Thank you for your service.

Mojave Mark on October 13, 2007 at 1:03 PM

Bradky on October 15, 2007 at 6:26 PM

The general spent nearly half his time bashing the media. Has the NYT printed about that yet? Or the rest of the pack?

Entelechy on October 15, 2007 at 10:27 PM

Many of you will not believe this, and so be it, but General Sanchez is just the tip of the iceberg.

MB4 on October 16, 2007 at 12:45 AM

The general spent nearly half his time bashing the media. Has the NYT printed about that yet? Or the rest of the pack?

Entelechy on October 15, 2007 at 10:27 PM

Good question, but the “flip side” would also be a good question.

Ninety percent of the commenters here spent all their time bashing and some even slandering General Sanchez for not sis-boom-bah’ing Bush’s policies. How many praised him for bashing the hated MSM?

MB4 on October 16, 2007 at 12:55 AM

MB4,
LTG Sanchez’s attacks on the media are just the tip of the iceberg.

The past four years has been a constant stream of dishonest reporting. As victory in Iraq becomes more obvious, the American public and the military will become more outspoken in questioning the media’s motives and behavior. Just as the far-left was strengthened by their success in causing America to lose Vietnam, the military will be emboldened by our success in Iraq.

Prior to the war the military officially viewed the media as impartial, apolitical. But during the war most journalists dropped any pretense of fairness. They gambled their reputation for impartiality and honesty on the war in Iraq failing. If Iraq did fail, they could maintain they were right and had been reporting the truth all along. But they lost, because Iraq is becoming a democracy and Al-Qaeda is on the run.

Now they have a lot of questions to answer and it will increasingly be the military asking those questions. Why did they lie about the war? Why did they say we were losing? Why did they say Iraq was unrelated to the war against Al-Qaeda? Why did they oppose freedom for Iraqis? Why did they act as a mouthpiece for our enemies? Why did they risk soldiers’ lives in order to support their political party, instead of reporting the truth?

Many more questions to follow, for many more years.
Regards,
LT Nichols

Jason on October 16, 2007 at 3:25 AM

Bradky on October 15, 2007 at 6:26 PM

What point about my post were you trying to make with those ‘examples?’ That people here were indeed questioning why he would say something like that and not calling for any punishment? OK…thanks for making my point, I guess.

James on October 16, 2007 at 7:27 AM

James on October 16, 2007 at 7:27 AM

You are being childish now. You originally questioned why I said what i did, which I explained. If you want to imagine I said you said those things have at it.

Bradky on October 16, 2007 at 8:13 AM

Bradky on October 16, 2007 at 8:13 AM

Look, if you quote the time tag from my latest post, any thinking person is going to assume you’re responding to what I said in that post, not the one three posts ago and a day earlier. And no, I originally questioned why Sanchez would say what he said. Which is kind of why I said ‘Sanchez’ and not ‘Bradky’ in that post. Or perhaps you’ve got a new definition of ‘original post’ that defaults to someone’s second post in a thread, where I did address your comments.

(Since you don’t seem to get the quoting conventions around here, this was in response to your post of October 16, 2007 at 8:13 AM…just like I quoted.)

James on October 16, 2007 at 10:01 AM