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Ian McColgin
03-28-2003, 01:07 PM
I've been opposed to this war but hoped that at least it would be relativly short. Two stories:

Outspoken Army General Upsets White House

By LAURIE KELLMAN
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) -- For the rough-spoken commander of the ground war in Iraq, humbled by the responsibility for hundreds of thousands of U.S. soldiers, the hardest part of Operation Iraqi Freedom has been waiting for a massive battle in Baghdad.

But the war in Iraq is about to get even tougher for Lt. Gen. William S. Wallace. He ignited the ire of the White House by observing publicly that Pentagon war strategists had misunderstood the combativeness of Iraqi fighters. The miscalculation, he said, had stalled the coalition's drive toward Baghdad.

"The enemy we're fighting against is different from the one we'd war-gamed against," Wallace, commander of V Corps, told The New York Times and The Washington Post on Thursday.

Wallace's comments fueled the Bush administration's frustration with media coverage that focuses on why the conflict isn't over. The war, the White House says daily, is going well and on-time.

White House press secretary Ari Fleischer on Friday would not say whether he agrees with Wallace.

"The statements the White House has always made about this is that people should be prepared for the fact that it would go longer," Fleischer said. "That's exactly how the White House explained what we expect.

"When the White House says to you that it can be long, lengthy and dangerous, we're anticipating that any number of scenarios can develop."

Promoted to commanding general of V Corps in June 2001, Wallace planned the ground war and chafed at the wait for action to begin. During a missile warning that required the troops to don gas masks earlier this month, Wallace growled to a reporter that he was sick of waiting for "lawn darts" without striking back. Saddam Hussein, he said in less polite terms, was ticking him off.

Despite the tough talk, Wallace also said he found the responsibility humbling.

He had awaited it all his career. Wallace graduated from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the Naval War College before earning postgraduate degrees in operations analysis and international relations.

A decorated Vietnam veteran, Wallace quickly progressed from soldier to student to trainer and commander. By June 1999, he was serving as commander of the Joint Warfighting Center and director of joint training at the U.S. Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Va.

*************************************************
Published on Friday, March 28, 2003 by the Cornell Daily Sun
Ritter Speaks on War in Iraq
by Jennifer Chen

Last night, Scott Ritter, former United Nations (U.N.) chief weapons inspector, spoke about the current war with Iraq to a packed audience in the Statler Auditorium.

INSPECTOR RITTER
Scott Ritter, former United Nations chief weapons inspector, speaks last night on the war.

Ritter began his lecture by saying that "this is a tough time for us all. A nation at war should never be taken lightly, regardless of the justifications or lack thereof."

Although he is opposed to the current war with Iraq, Ritter wanted to make clear that he is not an antiwar activist. He believes that "war is sometimes required if that which you believe is threatened." He felt that if the United States as a nation, along with its constitutional ideology, was legitimately under attack, then a war would be appropriate and justified.

Ritter placed specific emphasis on the need for a proper evaluation of how the United States progressed to its state of current international crisis and how to best proceed from there on. He stressed that no matter what the U.S. does, it will not win this war.

Having served twelve years as a U.N. marine intelligence officer and having fought in the Gulf War, Ritter is well-versed in U.S. military strategies. He used his past experience to assess the credibility of the objectives put forth by the Bush Administration regarding the liberation of the Iraqi people.

"I know intimately the Iraqi terrain and the government. The policies that were advocated by the Bush Administration define victory as the liberation of Iraq, the creation of a democratic government in Iraq and the transformation of the structure of Middle Eastern government. ... But this strategy will not work," Ritter said.

Ritter described the Bush Administration's current war plan as the "effects-based strategy" that operates under four main assumptions: the support of the Iraqi people for the U.S. liberation of their country, the lack of defense from the Iraqi military, the fragility and the lack of resistance capabilities of the Iraqi government and the support of the international community.

However, according to Ritter, "none of it worked. ... The CIA was suckered."

As U.S. troops are now finding out, the Iraqi people do not want to be liberated, he said. Ritter stressed that, in addition to the backfiring of previous assumptions, the strategy of a "shock and awe" approach that attempted to create the illusion of a great U.S. military force has not proved effective.

"The Iraqi soldiers are not surrendering and are fighting back. Our supply lines have suddenly been cut off. And now, we're not so invincible as we seemed before. The effects-based strategy no longer works, and now the war won't be short and fast like it was promised to be when the President signed in approval of it," he said.

Ritter believes that implications of this potentially drawn-out war include a shift toward a more negative attitude in how other countries will view the U.S. and its people in the years after the war. He says that already, the Iraqi people will never rally behind U.S. intentions because "they view us as invaders."

Although he foreshadowed tactical victories, Ritter ardently stressed that diplomatic, economic, political and military triumphs will not result due to the U.S.'s violation of international law. He also said that the United States has carried out its objectives void of legitimacy and support from the U.N. Security Council.

It has not only violated the U.N. Charter but also the U.S. Constitution, he continued.

"We are therefore asking our men and women to fight for something not supported by the very Constitution that they have sworn to uphold," he said.

Ritter did not fail to address the fact that the U.S. has managed to gain support from other countries. However, he called the U.S.-labeled "Coalition of Willing" as a "Coalition of Billing" in reference to the bribery involved. Ritter believed that both Great Britain and Spain pooled their support because they desired to maintain a special relationship with the U.S. that will elevate their status and power relative to their European counterparts.

Additionally, the coalition is comprised of many Eastern European nations, which according to Ritter joined because the U.S. threatened to veto their application to NATO.

Moreover, Ritter drew from his past experience and weapons inspection knowledge to firmly declare that he believes Iraq does not possess viable nuclear weapons.

"In my experience in Iraq, we have never found any evidence. Given the poor quality of the weapons and their viability span of about five years, even if they were made in 1998, they would not be functional now," Ritter said.

Furthermore, he described how in order for biological warfare agents such as anthrax to be effective, they must be in powdered form. Iraq, however, only produced a liquid form of the chemical and did not perfect a method to transform and stabilize it in another state, he said. In addition, the V-X nerve agents and the artillery shells required for the proper assemblage of militarily viable chemical weapons need production facilities, which were not found by U.N. inspectors. He thus concluded that "Iraq does not have chemical weapons" due to the nation's inability to perfect stabilization techniques for their potential biological warfare agents.

The lecture ended with a standing ovation from the audience, and a question-and-answer session followed. These questions included one that sought advice from Ritter on how to strategically make individual antiwar sentiments acknowledged by the government. Ritter replied with an emphasis on the need for a strategic objective that does not protest against but for a certain cause, namely peace. He also encouraged active citizenship and exercising the individual right to vote.

"It is too late for stopping the war, but we can change the government that got us into this war," Ritter said. "It is a dereliction of duty for us to not oppose this with all of our strength if this war is not justified."

Many felt that with American troops currently fighting overseas, Ritter's speech and discussion of war-related issues was very relevant.

"I thought he was amazing. He came at such an appropriate time. He really addressed the ignorance of the American people and the bias in the media portrayal of Iraq well," said Elizabeth Paddock '03.

"He was really able to articulate the things that we felt but couldn't express. His military background and experience make his arguments much more convincing," added Rachel McMichael '03.
# # #

Gresham CA
03-28-2003, 01:22 PM
The first story is what I had expected and I am truely sorry I wasted my time reading the second one.

John of Phoenix
03-28-2003, 01:32 PM
Food for thought, to be sure. Thank you Ian.

High C
03-28-2003, 01:37 PM
Scott Ridder has been discredited. He recently accepted a 6 figure sum from Iraq to make a propaganda film.

He also has done a complete 180 since his inspections team was ousted from Iraq in 1998. At that time he said(along with President Clinton), loudly and often, that Iraq has many WMDs, and is well along in its nuke program. After making the Iraqi film he reversed himself and has become an obvious "bought and paid for" Iraqi propaganda mouthpiece. And no, don't ask me for sources. Do your own homework. It's there if you try.

ishmael
03-28-2003, 01:48 PM
Ritter is also currently under investigation for child pornography, and reckless endangerment. Seems he has a penchant for young girls, has been busted several times for soliciting, over the internet and in person.

He thinks he's being persecuted for his proclivities. Where's Roman Polanski when we need him? OH, he just won an Oscar!

Disgusting bunch.

Wake up leftist America. You are being led down a strange garden path.

Ian McColgin
03-28-2003, 02:50 PM
I did not know about Ritter's legal issues. So I googled and according to the new stories from actual print media - the sort that could be sued for lible if they simply lie about facts - Mr. Ritter's charges appear to have been dismissed. Dismissal means that the prosecutor did not even have enough to wander off to a grand jury.

So, question if you will. I question pretty much everyone, but I'd rather see Mr. Ritter questioned with facts that have something to do with Iraq.

I note that such aspersions have yet to arise regarding General Wallace.

Jim H
03-28-2003, 02:59 PM
Ian, what was the General's full remark. One line can easily be taken out of context. I'll provide example if you like.

Ian McColgin
03-28-2003, 03:04 PM
Jim,

I only have the news account so far. What ever it was, it sure ticked off the SecDef !
But you're right, something may be a tad out of context and the next story may have Gen Wallace and Sec. Rumsfeld kissing to make up, for all I know. . . .

It's actually about impossible to know what is happening as it happens since there is such a great impulse for all reporters, civil and military, us and them, to slant.

The reasons for or against the war remain above and a priori to the events, but the pain of the events is still something to investigate.

ishmael
03-28-2003, 03:07 PM
Ian,

Mr. Ritter's legal difficulties don't obviate his observations re Iraq. But we must ask if they color them.

Jack

km gresham
03-28-2003, 03:12 PM
As I stated in another post - Ritter is on Saddam's payroll. I don't know if that happened after the spys discovered his "appetites" or before, but I suspect it was after and he was offered payment for reconsidering his reports on Iraq or being outted to the US.

Ian McColgin
03-28-2003, 03:20 PM
Karen,

I did not find any mainline press leads to Mr. Ritter being paid by Iraq for anything. Have you any leads? Is this something in the past, now ended, like Mr Cheney's business dealings, or is it something current and sinister?

Regardless of other allegations, which of Mr. Ritter's claims are demonstrably false and which (perhaps the presnece or absence of biological weapons that either have an over 5 year shelf life or that are recently made ??) are atleast somewhat rebutted by some evidence?

How is it that Ritter roams freely if he is on the payroll of a hostile power?

Thanks for any leads.

km gresham
03-28-2003, 03:31 PM
I'll look it up, Ian but what I remember off the top of my head he was paid I think $500,000 by Iraq for a book he was writing.

Oyvind Snibsoer
03-28-2003, 03:33 PM
From what I read here, mr. Ritter is only saying the same thing as several other weapons inspectors.

The CW among the media commentators in these parts is that although there is no way the US can loose the war, there is also no way the US can win the peace.

I've heard that Dick Cheney's old company, Haliburton, has been given the contract for putting out the oil well fires in southern Iraq, sans competition. I may be off my mark, but to me it reeks of what we'd call corruption over here.

C.Carini
03-28-2003, 03:35 PM
the $ is a bit low but it was a film documentary which no one has seen.

High C
03-28-2003, 03:38 PM
Originally posted by Ian McColgin:
Karen,

I did not find any mainline press leads to Mr. Ritter being paid by Iraq for anything. Have you any leads? Is this something in the past, now ended, like Mr Cheney's business dealings, or is it something current and sinister?

Regardless of other allegations, which of Mr. Ritter's claims are demonstrably false and which (perhaps the presnece or absence of biological weapons that either have an over 5 year shelf life or that are recently made ??) are atleast somewhat rebutted by some evidence?

How is it that Ritter roams freely if he is on the payroll of a hostile power?

Thanks for any leads.You won't find much hard news if you look only to the US "mainline press". They serve up a pretty narrow diet of bubble gum and soundbite fluff. Fox is only slightly better.

There are many online news sources from all over the world that offer fascinating details and insights. Look to the link pages like www.drudgereport.com (http://www.drudgereport.com) Many despise Drudge, which amazes me. His site is simply a collection of hundreds of links to newspapers and editorialists throughout the world. Some of it is right wing slanted, some of it left wing slanted. All of it informative.

The worst news sources I've come accross are CBS, NBC, ABC, and NPR. Pure fluff.

As for the question about Ritter's false statements. As I posted earlier in this thread, Ritter has contradicted HIMSELF on Iraq and WMDs. When his inspections team was ousted in 1998 he was outraged and alarmed, banging the same war drums that then President Clinton, and now President Bush are banging. All 3 men, Bush, Clinton, and Ritter have used almost identical language about the threat of Hussein and the need to remove him from power. Clinton did nothing. Ritter now contradicts himself, and Bush is taking action. Where were all the complaints in 1998?

[ 03-28-2003, 03:50 PM: Message edited by: High C ]

Don Olney
03-28-2003, 03:59 PM
See there's the link. Everyone in the publishing world knows that Simon and Schuster is really owned by Qusay and Uday.

Ian McColgin
03-28-2003, 04:02 PM
I don't have a TV so I can't directly comment on the TV coverage, but in my time doing public advocacy, I personally found TV folk to be the lease insighful.

I also happen not to listen to commercial radio so what do I know.

I do listen to NPR and find them a bit to the right for my taste but they share with print one important feature that most of the purely internet sites lack - they are corrigible.

When they make a factual error, they report that, just as a creditable newpaper reports its own errors. Not in banner head, but it's there.

I learned to ignore "scientists" who cannot even hypothesis the refutation of their theories, and I avoid 'news' sourses that have no method for correction.

Speaking of errors, I made one of memory - the AP report does not have the SecDef growling about General Wallace. That may have been a bit of my own fevered imagination . . .

It's an upside down world where, as has been much noted, the best rapper is white, the best golfer is black, France thinks the US is arrogant, and the Germans want peace.

Break out the Cole Porter and sing Anything Goes . . .

High C
03-28-2003, 04:07 PM
"It's an upside down world where, as has been much noted, the best rapper is white, the best golfer is black, France thinks the US is arrogant, and the Germans want peace."

And NPR is too far to the right!!! :D :D

ishmael
03-28-2003, 04:16 PM
Ian,

Fellow traveler. You've been reading too much Marx lately. NPR too far to the right? :eek:

Scott Rosen
03-28-2003, 05:19 PM
Originally posted by Ian McColgin:
Break out the Cole Porter and sing Anything Goes . . .Add the beverage of your choice, and that's the best idea I've heard around here since this war started.

Jim H
03-28-2003, 06:56 PM
Originally posted by Ian McColgin:
Jim,
I only have the news account so far. What ever it was, it sure ticked off the SecDef !
But you're right, something may be a tad out of context and the next story may have Gen Wallace and Sec. Rumsfeld kissing to make up, for all I know. . . .I bet that was one phone call the General di not want to take! The news has been so inaccurate that is really no more than "scuttlebut". The truth behind whats going on now won't come out for a couple of years, till then much of the news is rummor and innuendo.

Rocky
03-28-2003, 07:47 PM
Sounds almost as if the Iraqis feel their country is being invaded. Also looks like we're gonna need a lot more troops over there before this is over. The Nazis found their troops were only good for about two days of urban fighting before they needed r&r.

[ 03-28-2003, 08:16 PM: Message edited by: Rocky ]

gunnar I am
03-28-2003, 10:02 PM
Read this thread, and you get a real sense of who, beside Stan, considers Rush Limbaugh a news source. :eek: