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Osborne Russell
09-11-2007, 09:14 AM
. . . he's a dedicated professional public servant. To suggest otherwise is a cheap slander of the individual and his profession.

"Professional" means his profession has standards, both technical and ethical, which are beyond the legitimate reach of politics. "Dedicated" means he is resolved to uphold them. This commands respect even from the President.

You know . . . like a U.S. Attorney.

JimD
09-11-2007, 09:21 AM
And soon he can add (Ret) to his name, have somebody ghost write a book on himself, go on the lecture circuit, and consider a run at a Republican seat somewhere. But of course he's beyond the reach of legitimate politics.

Wild Wassa
09-11-2007, 09:54 AM
ABC's Media Watch has just shown how Petraeus has portrayed the US's invasion of Iraq in a more favourable light than reality, starting from when he was a two star general. He has been talking up the US's progress in Iraq for more than his own benefit. Petraeus has gained his stars, to being a 4 star general purely on his spinning of the war in Iraq. No doubt Portraeus' 5th star is now in the mail.

The guy is just another shill.

Media Watch also compared Portraeus' statistics to three Iraqi governmental departments' statistics since January this year ... Portraeus is living in a fantasy land.

"General's lie and babies die," ... that was shouted out by the protestors on Capital Hill yesterday.

Warren.

Ian McColgin
09-11-2007, 10:12 AM
People get to be generals at least in some measure through politics, through standing for some higher power's fashion, and often to being good at it. In some limited context, Petraeus showed that he was a can-do guy who really did-do. Shall I resist the urge to go on to pointing out that in the theater context and in his report, he's moved on to do-do?

These guys have been promicing resolution on a 12 to 18 month horizon for six years. Even if we were meeting the "goals", what we are doing in Iraq is wrong. We can't correct a mugging by beating the victem further. But we're not even committing our crimes with competance.

LeeG
09-11-2007, 10:19 AM
he is not the Chimps mouthpiece. He is not the Walrus. He is not a double cheeseburger or Nissan 350Z.



Ok,,he is tasked with implementing the presidents goals in the 'surge' which is 180 from what the Baker-Hamilton group recommended.

If this dedicated and professional soldier doesn't achieve the goals of the surge as defined by GW back in January does he keep his job or does he get replaced?

Ian McColgin
09-11-2007, 10:28 AM
I’d not realized that Petraeus is not under oath. So much for this charade.

Published on Tuesday, September 11, 2007 by CommonDreams.org
Swear Him In!

by Ray McGovern

That’s all I said in the unusual silence on Monday afternoon as first aid was being administered to Gen. David Petraeus’ microphone before he spoke before the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees.

It had dawned on me that when House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Missouri) invited Gen. Petraeus to make his presentation, Skelton forgot to ask him to take the customary oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I had no idea that my suggestion would be enough to get me thrown out of he hearing.

I had experienced a flashback to a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in early 2006, when Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) reminded chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) that Specter had forgotten to swear in the witness, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales; and how Specter insisted that that would not be necessary.

Now that may, or may not, be an invidious comparison. But Petraeus and Gonzales work for the same boss, who has a rather unusual relationship with the truth. How many of his senior staff could readily be convicted, as was the hapless-and-now-commuted Scooter Libby, of perjury?

So I didn’t think twice about it. I really thought that Skelton perhaps forgot, and that the ten-minute interlude of silence while they fixed the microphone was a good chance to raise this seemingly innocent question.

The more so since the ranking Republican representatives had been protesting too much. Practicing the obverse of “killing the messenger,” they had been canonizing the messenger with protective fire. Ranking Armed Services Committee member Duncan Hunter (R-CA) began what amounted to a SWAT-team attack on the credibility of those who dared question the truthfulness of the sainted Petraeus, and issued a special press release decrying a full-page ad in today’s New York Times equating Petraeus with “Betray-us.”

Hunter served notice on any potential doubters, insisting that Petraeus’ “capability, integrity, intelligence…are without question.” And Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida), ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, rang changes on the same theme, unwittingly choosing another infelicitous almost-homonym for the charges against Petraeus-”outrageous.”

Indeed, Hunter’s prepared statement, which he circulated before the hearing, amounted to little more than a full-scale “duty-honor-country” panegyric for the general. On the chance we did not hear him the first time, Hunter kept repeating how “independent” Petraeus is, how candid and full of integrity, and compared him to famous generals who testified to Congress in the past-Eisenhower, Macarthur, and Schwarzkopf. Hunter was smart enough to avoid any mention of Gen. William Westmoreland, commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam, who fell tragically short on those traits. (See “Is Petraeus Today’s Westmoreland?” http://www.consortiumnews.com/2007/090707b.html )

If memory serves, the aforementioned generals and Westmoreland were required to testify under oath. And this was one of the more embarrassing sticking points when CBS aired a program showing that Westmoreland had deliberately dissembled on the strength of Communist forces and U.S. “progress” in the war. When Westmoreland sued CBS for libel, several of his subordinates came clean, and Westmoreland quickly dropped the suit. The analogy with Westmoreland-justifying a White House death wish to persist in an unwinnable war-is the apt one here.

If Petraeus is so honest and full of integrity, what possible objection could he have to being sworn in? I had not the slightest hesitation being sworn in when testifying before the committee assembled by John Conyers (D-Michigan) on June 16, 2005. Should generals be immune? Or did Petraeus’ masters wish to give him a little more assurance that he could play fast and loose with the truth without the consequences encountered by Scooter Libby.

With the microphone finally fixed, much became quickly clear. Petraeus tried to square a circle in his very first two paragraphs. In the first, he thanks the committees for the opportunity to “discuss the recommendations I recently provided to my chain of command for the way forward.” Then he stretches credulity well beyond the breaking point-at least for me:

“At the outset, I would like to note that this is my testimony. Although I have briefed my assessment and recommendations to my chain of command, I wrote this testimony myself. It has not been cleared by, nor shared with, anyone in the Pentagon, the White House, or Congress.”

Is not the commander in chief in Petraeus’ chain of command?

As Harry Truman (D-Missouri) would have said, “Does he think we were born yesterday?”

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC. During his career as a CIA analyst, he prepared and briefed the President’s Daily Brief and chaired National Intelligence Estimates. He is a member of the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

John of Phoenix
09-11-2007, 11:07 AM
According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released Thursday, 53 percent of people polled said they suspect that the military assessment of the situation will try to make it sound better than it actually is. Forty-three percent said they do trust the report.
In the last quagmire, this was famously known as the "credibility gap".

I wonder if Patreaus realizes that he's being set up as the decider's fall guy.

ccmanuals
09-11-2007, 11:14 AM
2 simple points.

1) GW is the General's commander. In the military world this means something.

2) What in the world is a General or for that matter any soldier doing testifying before Congress regarding this war???? The military services are the warriors and take their direction from the civilians who are the policy makers.

Osborne Russell
09-11-2007, 11:30 AM
Excellent points, Ian and CCManuals.

There's melancholy in contemplating the legislature using the threat of force (jail for contempt and/or perjury) against a General. But the truth is important enough, that if that's what it takes . . .

That it should come even close to this is proof of the Administration's failure of leadership. That we must share the responsibility is not only melancholy, it's a pisser.

LeeG
09-11-2007, 02:05 PM
In the last quagmire, this was famously known as the "credibility gap".

I wonder if Patreaus realizes that he's being set up as the decider's fall guy.

worked on Powell, Patreus is younger and will bounce back.

Bob Cleek
09-11-2007, 02:23 PM
Probably nowhere else is so much authority, responsibility, and control over so much money conferred upon those with so correspondingly little intelligence and ability than in the military. Ask yerself... if he's so smart, why's he wearing a uniform? Why isn't he running some corporation with even half the cash flow for a multi-million dollar salary?

I know, I know... it isn't politically correct to dis "our heroes in uniform," but the facts are the facts. The military has always been the last refuge of scroundrels and incompetents and too often they are, in their incompetence, cannonized as "great men." (e.g. George Armstrong Custer) We should never forget the wisdom of the Founding Fathers... never trust the military! (They made Washington president because they never intended the office to be anything more than an executive figurehead!)

I find it interesting that they bounce from one commander to another, like a game of musical chairs (or Russian roulette?). Whoever's got the job when the war ends is either the hero/winner or the demon/loser. Not a job any intelligent individual would be interested in taking, I'd say.

J. Dillon
09-11-2007, 03:34 PM
I know, I know... it isn't politically correct to dis "our heroes in uniform," but the facts are the facts. The military has always been the last refuge of scroundrels and incompetents and too often they are, in their incompetence, cannonized as "great men." (e.g. George Armstrong Custer) We should never forget the wisdom of the Founding Fathers... never trust the military! (They made Washington president because they never intended the office to be anything more than an executive figurehead!)You know Bob, It's not all about money. Some are dedicated to their profession and earning a lot of dough is not for them. Serving in the military is to their liking and that's where their skills lay. Thank God we have such people. I like to think he is his own man and until proven otherwise I'll respect the man.

JD

John of Phoenix
09-11-2007, 04:13 PM
What I find troubling about the good general is that while his signature is on the new counter insurgency manual, the tactics employed in Iraq, and the surge especially, are 180 degrees out from the manual. And the Iraq Study Group's recommendations.
If that's not talking out of both sides of your mouth, what is?

All we get is more "Stay the Course".

Wild Wassa
09-11-2007, 04:43 PM
The US is arming Sunni tribesmen. The Sunnis are carrying out sectarian cleansing of neighbourhoods, of all Shi'ite families in some areas. Now gangs of armed Sunni children (just like child soldiers in central Africa) are walking around streets making sure the last of the Shi'ite families are driven out and pointing their guns at cameramen and laughing. This is creating thousands of more refugees each day. The Syrians are saying they can't cope and are considering closing their borders to Iraqi rerfugees unless they can get more help from the international community.

The Sunnis have stopped firing on US forces in parts of Iraq and Petraeus reckons the surge is working ... it was a good move to arm the Sunnis so that they would stop firing on US soldiers and now today, the Sunnis are complaining that they are trapped between the Mufti's Medi Army and US forces and the Medi Army is attacking them again ... and it isn't safe to be on the streets.

... and the surge is working?

I like euffamistic words like 'surge'. Surge! Surge is a not so clever a word for, the US still needs to continue invading or be even further humiliated.

The comments I have read here today like, "The US will be in Iraq for decades." Well all the US will be doing, is lying in the bed that they have made and will rest in peices.
What happened to that little children's rhyme about, "... it could take six days, six weeks or six months." Some children believed it then but it now it is approaching, 6 years and what then, six decades would be next?

Let's not talk about 'Stop the Surge!' Holy wars take an eternity. Let us wait for the 'Son of Surge' and then the 'Mother of all Surges' before having to "cut and run."

There will be others to blame by then and what happened to the missing 10's of thousands of weapons, I think I saw a few on Al Jazeera English this morning ... I suppose the US will find out soon enough when the 'Shooting Season' starts again.

Warren.

few3
09-11-2007, 04:51 PM
Ya just gotta laugh, if you can't cry.

Petraeus was asked a straightforward question: "Are our actions in Iraq making the US safer?"

He tried to dodge the question by talking about his mission..... but the senator wouldn't let him get away.

"Are our actions in Iraq make the US safer?"

His answer: he doesn't know.

Could he say our actions in Iraq make us less safe????

Subjective Opinions don't mean s#$t.

Mr. Bernstein,


Does Hillary Clinton's return of criminal campaign contributions guarantee her presidency???????

Laugh or cry, but answer the question

few3
09-11-2007, 05:44 PM
He was't asked for a subjective opinion... he was asked for a professional one. Fer chrissakes, he's the freakin' leader of the military in Iraq... if HE doesn't know if what he's doing is making America safer, or less safe... the who does? Bush?

How do you conclude either answer?

The reason for the Billary question only pointed to the unknown outcome and the impossible nature of a definitive answer.

again,

How could anyone say with definitive proof that either answer could be true.

Is it not unanswerable,? if he said we were safer and we were attacked on our soil would it make him a liar?

He should have said,



That depends on what your definition of safer is.....is

LeeG
09-11-2007, 06:06 PM
The US is arming Sunni tribesmen. The Sunnis are carrying out sectarian cleansing of neighbourhoods, of all Shi'ite families in some areas. Warren.

not sure if I've posted this program here. Inviting a crocodile into your home is how it was described by an Iraqi.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naJQc6vFlFY

I got it from this fellows blog

http://abuaardvark.typepad.com/

JimD
09-11-2007, 06:21 PM
...His answer: he doesn't know.

From there its only a short step to "I don't recall".

LeeG
09-11-2007, 06:23 PM
I know I"m going to catch hell for this,,he wasn't sworn in was he?

Cuyahoga Chuck
09-11-2007, 06:25 PM
It ain't often that a four-star general has that deer-in-the-headlights look.
Many thanks to Sen. John Warner (R-Virginia).

few3
09-11-2007, 06:28 PM
We'll see how the troops react, when they find out that their own military leader can't say whether they are, or are not, fighting and dying for America's national security. If Petraeus doesn't believe that what we're doing there is making Amrica safer, then what is he, other than a shill for Bush?

Saying something you believe????? Scooter Liby may have some advice to give on that idea



That's a total non-sequiteur. Hillary's fund raising has nothing to do with Petraeus and the War in Iraq.... it's just a typical dodge to try to divert attention from the subject of the thread.

I just used that as an example, and you know it. It's a current and demonstrative question



He was asked his professional opinion. He is the ONLY military person supremely qualified to answer. He failed to answer. He wasn't asked for definitive proof, he was asked for his professional opinion... the questions was preferenced with 'do you believe....'.

Interesting point, but is his job to give opinions or is it to give results?



This is downright silly. Do you think it woulsd be reasonable for him to say that he didn't believe that we were sacrificing lives of American soldiers for the sake of national security?

Here's a dodge, we are not sacrificing a single soldiers life, They are giving their lives to their country for what they believe in, for what we believe in. If I told a soldier I was going to sacrifice his life for me, I would expect a demonstration of his free-will in the form of a 4-knuckle tooth alignment.

John of Phoenix
09-11-2007, 06:59 PM
Here's a dodge, we are not sacrificing a single soldiers life, They are giving their lives to their country for what they believe in, for what we believe in.
What branch of the service were you in?

Osborne Russell
09-11-2007, 07:10 PM
Interesting point, but is his job to give opinions or is it to give results?

Both, of course. Why would anyone believe otherwise?

Milo Christensen
09-11-2007, 07:12 PM
What's got me is that they surged in 30,000 troops at a time when the people clearly wanted troop reductions -- as reflected in the Congressional elections -- and now they're trumpeting the conditional withdrawal of 30,000 as a troop reduction. And Congress is buying it? Is anybody still talking about getting the other 130,000 troops out of there?

I don't quite know what kind of analogy to use here. I keep thinking of 535 king cobras in a basket and the flute player has them all mesmerized and focused on the end of flute. Somebody has some amazing ability to get folks looking at the wrong things. How can there be such a person in or affiliated with the Bush administration? Who is this mesmerizer that now has Congress applauding the conditional withdrawal of the 30,000 surged troops as a troop reduction? Absolutely fookin bloody bobby dazzler brilliant.

Osborne Russell
09-11-2007, 07:21 PM
Quite right, Milo. Again, it's hard to trust the Democrats to get a grip on the world when they can't get a grip on the Republicans.

few3
09-11-2007, 07:34 PM
What branch of the service were you in?

None.

John of Phoenix
09-11-2007, 07:49 PM
(4F, yeah I knew, but I had to set you up for this.)

Here's a dodge, we are not sacrificing a single soldiers life, They are giving their lives to their country for what they believe in, for what we believe in.
You were born too late. The Japanese Kamikaze Corps would have been your cup of tea.

THAT'S handing someone their ass. :D

ccmanuals
09-11-2007, 07:55 PM
What branch of the service were you in?

I would like to know that as well. oh, 4f. well congrats. you are in good company with the vp and the former secdef.

LeeG
09-11-2007, 08:14 PM
Who is this mesmerizer that now has Congress applauding the conditional withdrawal of the 30,000 surged troops as a troop reduction? Absolutely fookin bloody bobby dazzler brilliant.


hey,,are you saying someone is soft on defense? It's not the Dems, it's not the Repubs. GW is getting/giving at the same time. We get to stay the course AND a reduction.

we got Koolaid in the municipal water system. Maybe it's mass hypnosis. Or it's that meta-narrative magic again.

Methinks that feeling of incredulity is popping off all over the country, like fermentation.

Lew Barrett
09-11-2007, 08:20 PM
Few 3, your lack of logic and knowledge is astounding.

"Here's a dodge, we are not sacrificing a single soldiers life, They are giving their lives to their country for what they believe in, for what we believe in."

John, you should really be the guy to tell Few 3 how it works, but I'm so annoyed, I'm going to jump in myself.
Soldiers....and if you actually ever had any experience deeper than your imaginations with them, you'd know this....refuse to die for ideas and beliefs; especially somebody else's. Nothing is more stupid than dying for somebody else's beliefs, and soldiers, who must deal with this silliness, become quickly aware that there are very few good reasons to die; maybe none.
Who are you to speak for their ideas and beliefs anyway, or assume a soldier's beliefs are the same as yours? You must believe they're all just like you've imagined in your rather shallow thinking on the subject; prepared to give their lives for lower capital gains taxes and the right to pray in school.
Soldiers are prepared to sacrifice (and if getting maimed or killed in combat isn't a sacrifice, then pray tell what is) for their comrades and their units. Soldiers are hardly fighting to protect your....uh....ass (although as your ass is presumably tangible, they'd fight for that before they'd fight for your ideology) and definitly not your beliefs, because they could care less about that. They fight to protect their brother in arms, and their own asses. The ultimate in "taking one for the team." And in this soldiers are universally to be admired. You know....we few...we BAND OF BROTHERS.

Thing is; you're not on the team, so don't speak for someone else's willingness to sacrifice under the circumstances. Tell us again how you got rejected three times.
Jeesh.

few3
09-11-2007, 08:34 PM
(4F, yeah I knew, but I had to set you up for this.)

You were born too late. The Japanese Kamikaze Corps would have been your cup of tea.

THAT'S handing someone their ass. :D


A two-bit whore in a one bit bar shouldn't even try to serve me, But good try John.

pipefitter
09-11-2007, 08:38 PM
The report was to what effect the troop surge was having in Iraq. Why would General Petraeus be asked questions of if it was making America safer? By all accounts,he could have just said that being there has been no attacks on American soil since 9/11, that the Iraq war has made America safer and it could be as true as it is false. Do you really want to sidetrack the intent of the report into a bunch of maybe questions that dont really give a clear answer or to just add to another trip up political side show that is apparent on both sides of the political coin for a shot at some cheap credibility points? I am sure that the General was focused on what he was reporting and I am sure he had enough to think about considering the evidence that was directly related to the report. Otherwise,top officials for homeland security would also be needed for such a question. I think he did well by not getting taken by an irrelevant question that was out of his field. They don't allow engineers to practice outside of their designated field and I would expect that they wouldn't ask advice of an active military general questions that should be directed at the proper experts.

few3
09-11-2007, 08:38 PM
Tell us again how you got rejected three times.
Jeesh.

Three meetings, not rejections

John of Phoenix
09-11-2007, 08:41 PM
"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country.
He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country." - Patton

"Soldiers don't fight for duty or honor or country, they fight for their buddies." - JT

"This country is in danger from no one but dubya." - ibid

few3
09-11-2007, 08:47 PM
I made the following statement




Here's a dodge, we are not sacrificing a single soldiers life, They are giving their lives to their country for what they believe in, for what we believe in.


Does this make more sense ?

Here's a dodge, we are not sacrificing a single soldiers life, They are giving their lives to their country for what they believe in.............. for what we believe in ( further specified to what Americans believe in )

They = Regarding the "Soldiers"

We = Regarding to Americans / myself and others.

John of Phoenix
09-11-2007, 08:52 PM
It was stupid the first time.

Making it larger just makes it more stupid.

few3
09-11-2007, 08:53 PM
Few 3, your lack of logic and knowledge is astounding.

"Here's a dodge, we are not sacrificing a single soldiers life, They are giving their lives to their country for what they believe in, for what we believe in."

John, you should really be the guy to tell Few 3 how it works, but I'm so annoyed, I'm going to jump in myself.
Soldiers....and if you actually ever had any experience deeper than your imaginations with them, you'd know this....refuse to die for ideas and beliefs; especially somebody else's. Nothing is more stupid than dying for somebody else's beliefs, and soldiers, who must deal with this silliness, become quickly aware that there are very few good reasons to die; maybe none.
Who are you to speak for their ideas and beliefs anyway, or assume a soldier's beliefs are the same as yours? You must believe they're all just like you've imagined in your rather shallow thinking on the subject; prepared to give their lives for lower capital gains taxes and the right to pray in school.
Soldiers are prepared to sacrifice (and if getting maimed or killed in combat isn't a sacrifice, then pray tell what is) for their comrades and their units. Soldiers are hardly fighting to protect your....uh....ass (although as your ass is presumably tangible, they'd fight for that before they'd fight for your ideology) and definitly not your beliefs, because they could care less about that. They fight to protect their brother in arms, and their own asses. The ultimate in "taking one for the team." And in this soldiers are universally to be admired. You know....we few...we BAND OF BROTHERS.

Thing is; you're not on the team, so don't speak for someone else's willingness to sacrifice under the circumstances. Tell us again how you got rejected three times.
Jeesh.

Mr. Barrett, You'll have to forgive me. I did not mean to insult or presume more than you or John or any of the vets here know. I am not on the team, but I am in the stands and will throttle the first motherf$%^er who spits on "my" favorite players.

Lew Barrett
09-11-2007, 08:53 PM
No thery are not. They fight for the unit. They are brothers. They don't fight for what we believe in, because nobody can specify that.
They are the Band of Brothers. Read your history. Start with Ernie Pyle.

Lew Barrett
09-11-2007, 08:54 PM
Mr. Barrett, You'll have to forgive me. I did not mean to insult or presume more than you or John or any of the vets here know. I am not on the team, but I am in the stands and will throttle the first motherf$%^er who spits on "my" favorite players.

Just take the time to understand what you are asking of them.

John of Phoenix
09-11-2007, 09:00 PM
Try this. Start a poll thread. Rephrase to suit yourself, but here’s the premise -

"If you're a vet do you agree with this statement? 'We are not sacrificing a single soldier's life in Iraq. They are giving their lives to their country for what they believe in and for what we as a country believe in.'

If you're not a vet, do you agree?"

few3
09-11-2007, 09:00 PM
Just take the time to understand what you are asking of them.

Yes sir and point taken.

LeeG
09-11-2007, 09:02 PM
Gotta have a program

http://www.latimes.com/media/acrobat/2007-09/32455446.pdf

Question to you military experts. On page seven is a graph of IED explosions, discovered IEDs and hoax IEDs.

Why is a non-IED included in the data for IEDs? I'm assuming a hoax IED is just that, a fake IED. Doesn't that kind of distort/hide the actual number of things that kill people? Could a wide variation in faux IED hide an increase in actual IEDs?

If you correlated the number of deaths by IEDs it jumps up the other direction but that graph wasn't included in the presentation.
Compared to previous Jan-Aug periods for deaths by IEDs it jumps nearly 50% this year.


http://icasualties.org/oif/IED.aspx

2005-Jan-Aug= 245
2006-Jan-Aug= 260
2007-Jan-Aug= 435

few3
09-11-2007, 09:03 PM
Try this. Start a poll thread. Rephrase to suit yourself, but here’s the premise -

"If you're a vet do you agree with the statement, 'We are not sacrificing a single soldier's life in Iraq. They are giving their lives to their country for what they believe in and for what we as a country believe in.'

If you're not a vet, do you agree?"

John, point taken, should I start deleting?

few3
09-11-2007, 09:07 PM
We already know how we can end this war in 24 hours, but are we willing to do it.

It may be worth it just to not see the look on Hillarys face.

John of Phoenix
09-11-2007, 09:07 PM
It's already part of the universe grasshopper, you can't delete it.


We already know how we can end this war in 24 hours, but are we willing to do it.

Is dubya willing to call the boys back home? Never.

L.W. Baxter
09-11-2007, 09:13 PM
They don't fight for what we believe in, because nobody can specify that.

True words.

Conversations with my younger brother, a Captain in the U.S. Army Infantry, have impressed me deeply both with the soldier's profound ambivalence towards the "big ideas", and the equally profound commitment to his fellows.

Lion
09-11-2007, 09:14 PM
We only got a bit of this on our TV but I was struck with the Good General's body language. He was not at all comfortable with what he was saying and the spotlight. He's taking one for the Gipper!

As to not being sworn and testifying under oath, I am amazed. Is this normal - surely not? I defer to our US Forumites for advice.

Milo's point about the 'future reduction' in US troop numbers being nothing more than a reversion to 'pre-surge' level is entirely valid. From this distance it looks like the Dem's have lost the plot and the mometum for controlling the debate has shifted back to the Bushies. Hey, they might be bastards, but they sure know how to spin.

And look, I'm sorry. More US service folk are going to die in this mis-begotten tragedy but you voted for the guy who created it (and we also voted for the fellow-traveller!), but what about the hundreds of thousands of dead and dying Iraqis? Notably absent from the debate.

Few; you are very silly. I'm not altogether sure what you are on about other than to make some obscure and confused connections between your own personal dillemma, the General, Hillary and dying for a cause. Sorry, the dots are way too far apart.


Lion

LeeG
09-11-2007, 09:21 PM
but what about the hundreds of thousands of dead and dying Iraqis? Notably absent from the debate.



Lion

I've been hearing snippets on the radio with clips from the internet. I would think the refugee situation would be a huge humanitarian as well as security issue. I wonder if that was covered in the q&a.

few3
09-11-2007, 09:46 PM
Few; you are very silly. I'm not altogether sure what you are on about other than to make some obscure and confused connections Sorry, the dots are way too far apart.


Lion

Just call me Hawking....... Stephen that is

few3
09-11-2007, 09:54 PM
It's already part of the universe grasshopper, you can't delete it.


Is dubya willing to call the boys back home? Never.

Convert to Islam buddy!. Leaving Iraq will not end this war, only converting to Islam. The big "durka durka" towelhead said it himself.

Liberals would be the first stoned and executed
Then the women who refused to relenquish all of their freedoms
Then Homosexuals
Then............

We could end this world tommorow, but I hate to say it John, you wouldn't be around to write about it Thursday.

John of Phoenix
09-11-2007, 11:11 PM
It's already part of the universe grasshopper, you can't delete it.And you just won't stop digging that hole.

Very well, it's your karma.

johnw
09-12-2007, 12:48 AM
Few, I'm not sure I understand. You met with a recruiter. You were not rejected. You would not be a hinderance to your fellow soldiers. You could go to another recruiter and get in. Do I have that right, or am I misreading you?

I'd say go for it.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
09-12-2007, 01:38 AM
I love this Filth3 guy. He ain't a quitter. :D

few3
09-12-2007, 08:15 AM
I love this Filth3 guy. He ain't a quitter. :D

Rehab is for quitters,

I do have a tendency to set myself up here, but knowingly at that. I come here to take a dump, not just because it is the only purpose of The Bilge, but because I always find it humorous that the turds will try to get a rise out of me by saying they can see my a$$, only to realise I flush when I'm done. All that is left is streaks of what was.

Osborne Russell
09-12-2007, 11:08 AM
The triumph's over but he still dances and beats the tambourine.

johnw
09-12-2007, 01:05 PM
So it remains a mystery why Few isn't in the military.

By the way, does anyone know what our current war aims are? We went in to keep Saddam from getting nukes. We now know he didn't have a chance at that. It was implied he had something to do with 9/11, but he didn't. We were going to introduce democracy and transform the middle east. I guess we're transforming it, but not the way we were told we would. So what's our aim now?

LeeG
09-12-2007, 01:17 PM
get broom and dust pans.

LeeG
09-12-2007, 01:18 PM
make plans for GWs presidential library

Bob Smalser
09-12-2007, 01:32 PM
Probably nowhere else is so much authority, responsibility, and control over so much money conferred upon those with so correspondingly little intelligence and ability than in the military.

Ask yerself... if he's so smart, why's he wearing a uniform? Why isn't he running some corporation with even half the cash flow for a multi-million dollar salary?

The military has always been the last refuge of scoundrels and incompetents...



Thanks, Bob.

I lay awake at night wishing you had been there to share point and show this unintelligent, incompetent scoundrel how it should be done.

PS....I don't know the General, but Betty and I served three years in Kuwait with Ryan and Christine Crocker when he was US Ambassador there, including several flareups with Iraq. Can't think of a straighter shooter than Ryan, and a cooler head under fire. A Gonzaga graduate from Spokane, BTW.

pcford
09-12-2007, 01:53 PM
Thanks, Bob.

I lay awake at night wishing you had been there to share point and show this unintelligent, incompetent scoundrel how it should be done.


Uh, the sound of someone's ox being gored?

Oh, and that's "lie awake."

johnw
09-12-2007, 01:55 PM
Good point, Bob. My dad was an Air Force officer, and you won't meet many smarter people. And most of the officers I met growing up weren't just smart, they were good people. They regarded military service as just that, service. My dad's brother was a minister, his brother in law was a missionary, and it fit just fine with the family ethic that he served society in the military. And made a lot less money than he could have. One of the things I hate about this war is that the reputation of the men and women fighting it is harmed by the stupid way their efforts and their idealism are used. It was a tough thing to deal with, when my dad came back from Viet Nam to find so many people hated the service because of the war they were sent to fight. Let's not let that happen this time.

Bob Smalser
09-12-2007, 02:16 PM
Uh, the sound of someone's ox being gored?


Is it really true that you've never built a boat from scratch?

Chris Coose
09-12-2007, 03:09 PM
Damned near impossible for me to be objective enough to empathize with the guys on the ground in Iraq but it must be some GD difficult to arise each day and figure to give your life for this mission.

The Commander in chief is a madman on an insane mission and everybody working for the SOB should walk away.

Osborne Russell
09-12-2007, 03:12 PM
I think the people who are trashing Petraeus are dead wrong. There isn't the slightest reason to think he's anything other than an exceptionally capable, bright, dedicated military officer.

On the other side, anyone expecting to get a policy statement out of General Petraeus is crazy. field commanders don't make policy; they execute the policy given them. Within a set of narrow borders in which he's forced to work, I'm sure he's doing the best job he can.

Of course. If anything, it's to his credit that he refuses to be the Chimp's mouthpiece. I think the Democrats are so lazy and cowardly that they believed they shift the focus off themselves -- the people want success or withdrawal, no more excuses -- and onto General Petraeus. They failed, and continue to flounder. The Chimp and Rove set it up that way, and it worked.

Bob Smalser, don't take it personally. The military like all organizations -- the larger they are, the more this is so -- is both a refuge for the incompetent and a home for the dedicated, without which it couldn't even pretend to function. The difference with the military is that it is not just any organization but really a welfare state within a state, which yields more quality and quantity of incompetence, and also more quality and quanity of competence and dedication. It's an exemplar of the principle.

I don't see where anyone implied you were the bad kind of military.

pcford
09-12-2007, 03:13 PM
Is it really true that you've never built a boat from scratch?

No, Bob, it isn't. Have more questions? Glad to answer any which you might have. There are relatively few people that build traditional boats professionally these days. You may have noticed.

I do restoration, Bob. Have done it for over thirty years. Since '80 I have specialized in mahogany speedboats. Get up in the morning and that's what I do....for the last few years I have done some video: corporate, event and documentary. Hope to do more as I sink further into my dotage.

In my strange boat sub specialty I'd would think it would be said that I am fairly knowledgeable. In any case, I have clients (significant people in the community) that pay me money to restore their boats.

I was one of the cofounders of the group which became the Center for Wooden Boats...likewise the local chapter of the ACBS. Have served on the board of directors and as an officer of both.

Have you built a boat lately? Restored a boat? I do in fact enjoy your notes on techniques...but I understand this does not imply the practice of this kind of work.

Any more questions? I will be more than happy to answer.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
09-12-2007, 03:39 PM
No no no.... it's ME that's never built a boat from scratch. A house maybe, but not a boat:D

boy can you ever tell that the sailing season is over... Bring on the cabin fever!!!:rolleyes::D

Rick Starr
09-12-2007, 03:58 PM
Few 3, your lack of logic and knowledge is astounding.

"Here's a dodge, we are not sacrificing a single soldiers life, They are giving their lives to their country for what they believe in, for what we believe in."

John, you should really be the guy to tell Few 3 how it works, but I'm so annoyed, I'm going to jump in myself.
Soldiers....and if you actually ever had any experience deeper than your imaginations with them, you'd know this....refuse to die for ideas and beliefs; especially somebody else's. Nothing is more stupid than dying for somebody else's beliefs, and soldiers, who must deal with this silliness, become quickly aware that there are very few good reasons to die; maybe none.
Who are you to speak for their ideas and beliefs anyway, or assume a soldier's beliefs are the same as yours? You must believe they're all just like you've imagined in your rather shallow thinking on the subject; prepared to give their lives for lower capital gains taxes and the right to pray in school.
Soldiers are prepared to sacrifice (and if getting maimed or killed in combat isn't a sacrifice, then pray tell what is) for their comrades and their units. Soldiers are hardly fighting to protect your....uh....ass (although as your ass is presumably tangible, they'd fight for that before they'd fight for your ideology) and definitly not your beliefs, because they could care less about that. They fight to protect their brother in arms, and their own asses. The ultimate in "taking one for the team." And in this soldiers are universally to be admired. You know....we few...we BAND OF BROTHERS.

Thing is; you're not on the team, so don't speak for someone else's willingness to sacrifice under the circumstances. Tell us again how you got rejected three times.
Jeesh.

Lew, you've done some great things for the forum but this is definitely not your finest hour. Whatever we think of few3, your teetselesque indignation and your claim to speak for others when others cannot is, well, unhelpful.

John of Phoenix
09-12-2007, 04:23 PM
"teetselesque indignation"

:D LMAO :D

Rick Starr
09-12-2007, 04:27 PM
Have you built a boat lately? Restored a boat? I do in fact enjoy your notes on techniques...but I understand this does not imply the practice of this kind of work.

Wow. And with those credentials one might have expected something more than the bitter politically naive drivel which appears to be your singular contribution to the WBF.

I must say that the comment above is the nastiest thing I have ever read here. It transcends the usual name-calling and ideology-bashing we've come to expect. There is no better person in the world than the one who will take time to share his knowledge and offer his help without condition, to anyone despite where they may agree or disagree. Correspondingly, there is no worse person than he who pretends to be that which he is not in order to degrade the efforts of an honest few.

pcford, you are emblematic of what the WBF has become: a toxic concoction in which the chefs of ignorance attempt to cut the sharp taste of experience with the morbidly saccharine self-loathing and hyperbole. In the end you, too, wind up in the septic tank, and good riddence.

John of Phoenix
09-12-2007, 04:33 PM
a toxic concoction in which the chefs of ignorance attempt to cut the sharp taste of experience with the morbidly saccharine self-loathing and hyperbole.
Are you taking a creative writing course by any chance?

Ian McColgin
09-12-2007, 05:01 PM
Field-Marshal Douglas Haig, General Erich Ludendorff, and General Philippe Pétain were men of great honor, courage and intelligence who had the sang froid to preside over the bloodiest slaughter of their soldiers any generals have ever managed.

If Petraeus is up to their standards in moral and intellectual dimensions, then the falsehoods and omissions in his testimony demonstrate that he, like his President and like Haig, Ludendorff and Pétain is capable of profound self-delusional wrong.

Bob Smalser
09-12-2007, 07:12 PM
No, Bob, it isn't. Have more questions?

...Have you built a boat lately? Restored a boat?

Never, actually. Boats that is. All those pictures I publish are really from the boat shop at Keyport. Including the skiffs and wherries from the early 1960's.

I knew you had to have built at least a couple dozen boats from scratch to trash Fonville like you do. You musta just been baiting him when you told him you hadn't. Or I misunderstood. Sure do miss Mike's build pics. Building a Core Sound boat with draketail stern by eye alone must be easy for a professional boatwright. Surely a videographer-boatwright has plenty to make up for the loss?

ccmanuals
09-12-2007, 07:22 PM
"teetselesque indignation"

:D LMAO :D

say it 3 times real fast. :D

Peter Malcolm Jardine
09-12-2007, 08:45 PM
How about Teetselisms? John, I bet you never knew you would be responsible for a whole language based on your writings... cool. You rock dude.. :D

Lew Barrett
09-12-2007, 11:01 PM
pcford, you are emblematic of what the WBF has become: a toxic concoction in which the chefs of ignorance attempt to cut the sharp taste of experience with the morbidly saccharine self-loathing and hyperbole. In the end you, too, wind up in the septic tank, and good riddence.

This is not an accurate characterisation of what the WBF is.

johnw
09-13-2007, 12:54 PM
Apparently Patreaus, in his PhD dissertation, said that fighting an insurgency requires support of the public. So we really can't blame him for trying to do some good pr for his strategy, if that's what he believes. We can blame him if he lies, of course, or if his version of progress is as flawed as Westmoreland's body counts. Anyway, that's my effort at getting us back on topic...

Bob Cleek
09-13-2007, 03:17 PM
I don't doubt there are as many likeable lawyers as there are intelligent people in the military. In fact, I once trained some of them and found most of them passably smart, at least. However, when speaking in general, generalities must be applied. First and foremost, the "chain of command" does not encourage innovative independent thinking, to say the least. Secondly, promotions are essentially political, not merit based, no matter what the party line may say. This does not ensure that the best will rise to the top. (I'd say that as a class, top sergeants and CPO's who refuse to move into the officer ranks are the smartest class of military folks of all!)

The corporate culture of the military does not reward intelligence. It rewards CONFORMITY. What passes for wisdom in military culture is really nothing but a collection of truisms that drift farther from the truth the more shopworn they become. ("Stay the course," "Bring them to justice," "They hate us 'cause we're free,") Meanwhile, where the rubber meets the road, the enlisted combat soldier is interested in nothing but staying alive, loose boots, tight pussy and a warm place to ****.

Hermann Goering said it best:

"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."

But, then, he said that at Nuremburg while on trial for his life.

The troops are pumped full of BS about "serving their country" and all that crap. There isn't a single American soul in Iraq right now that is "serving" me in any way whatsoever, nor, I doubt, any other American who doesn't own oil stocks. I have known combat and I have the utmost respect for anyone who has because it says a lot about what they can endure and overcome. That has nothing to do with "showing my appreciation for their service." We have an all volunteer military now. They volunteered for it and they were paid for their service. They will continue to enjoy the benefits afforded those who serve. They don't need my thanks. They've been paid in full. As for those who "gave their lives for their country" in Iraq, I'm sorry for their families' losses, but the fact remains that their lives were not "given," they were taken, and the risk of that was freely undertaken. They didn't die for their country, they died for Halliburton and the rest of the "Military-Industrial Complex."

Eisenhower was right. I'm just echoing his warning. As Commander in Chief and as Commander AEF, he saw the reality from both sides of the telescope. His concern that America was becoming an military industrial complex was well founded, as history has borne out.

I have no interest in running down the hard work that many in the service have performed. Just spare me the pseudo-patriotic crap. Leave that to the recruiters who pressure high school dropouts. I'm just too old to be impressed.

Me, I say, "BRING OUR HEROS HOME!"

John of Phoenix
09-13-2007, 03:28 PM
I don't doubt there are as many likeable lawyers as there are intelligent people in the military.
:D :D ROTFLMAO :D :D

johnw
09-13-2007, 04:04 PM
Of course, promotion in civilian organizations is never political...

We've had some intelligent generals. Eisenhower and Marshall come to mind immediately. Both of those men were able political operators as well. Like any large organization, we've had some generals who were real losers, whose real talent was getting power, not using it wisely. You think Ford and GM have been managed by geniuses? Often, people in critical positions do have high IQs, but act foolishly. Cheney and Rumsfeld are not dummies, they just used their talents to do really stupid things. They were probably as good at fooling themselves as they were at fooling others. Whether Patraeus falls in that category remains to be seen.

Osborne Russell
09-13-2007, 05:30 PM
Field-Marshal Douglas Haig, General Erich Ludendorff, and General Philippe Pétain were men of great honor, courage and intelligence who had the sang froid to preside over the bloodiest slaughter of their soldiers any generals have ever managed.

If Petraeus is up to their standards in moral and intellectual dimensions, then the falsehoods and omissions in his testimony demonstrate that he, like his President and like Haig, Ludendorff and Pétain is capable of profound self-delusional wrong.

True. Bummer. Were these other characters deferred to by civilian policy makers on grounds of their "expertise"?

Tom Montgomery
09-13-2007, 07:28 PM
General Petraeus's immediate superior, Admiral William Fallon, chief of Central Command (CENTCOM), considers him to be a sycophant. Admiral Fallon told Petraeus in their first meeting that he considered the General to be "an ass-kissing little chicken****."


That extraordinarily contentious start of Fallon's mission to Baghdad led to more meetings marked by acute tension between the two commanders. Fallon went on develop his own alternative to Petraeus's recommendation for continued high levels of U.S. troops in Iraq during the summer.

The enmity between the two commanders became public knowledge when the Washington Post reported Sep. 9 on intense conflict within the administration over Iraq. The story quoted a senior official as saying that referring to "bad relations" between them is "the understatement of the century".

Fallon's derision toward Petraeus reflected both the CENTCOM commander's personal distaste for Petraeus's style of operating and their fundamental policy differences over Iraq, according to the sources....

Fallon was strongly opposed to Petraeus's role as pitch man for the surge policy in Iraq adopted by Bush in December as putting his own interests ahead of a sound military posture in the Middle East and Southwest Asia -- the area for which Fallon's CENTCOM is responsible.

The CENTCOM commander believed the United States should be withdrawing troops from Iraq urgently, largely because he saw greater dangers elsewhere in the region. "He is very focused on Pakistan," said a source familiar with Fallon's thinking, "and trying to maintain a difficult status quo with Iran."

By the time Fallon took command of CENTCOM in March, Pakistan had become the main safe haven for Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda to plan and carry out its worldwide operations, as well as being an extremely unstable state with both nuclear weapons and the world's largest population of Islamic extremists.

Plans for continued high troop levels in Iraq would leave no troops available for other contingencies in the region.

Fallon was reported by the New York Times to have been determined to achieve results "as soon as possible". The notion of a long war, in contrast, seemed to connote an extended conflict in which Iraq was but a chapter.

Fallon also expressed great scepticism about the basic assumption underlying the surge strategy, which was that it could pave the way for political reconciliation in Iraq. In the lead story Sep. 9, The Washington Post quoted a "senior administration official" as saying that Fallon had been "saying from Day One, 'This isn't working.' "

Read the whole story here: http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=39235

TMny
09-14-2007, 01:16 AM
Due to my incompetence regarding TV programming , and frustration with a failing project of my own , i had occasion to view several interviews with David Petraeus last night.

In Congress he was asked by Sen Warner if the surge program was making America safer. He balked , said he really didn't know. Next he said, "I'm really just trying to think about Iraq". Given the shafting that the uniformed military got from its' civilian 'leadership' concerning the Iraqi liberation/occupation/cultural-revolution {not to mention the misdirection from the intelligence community} , and the fact that General Petraeus has a Phd , a lot of activity to manage currently , and neither adequate resources nor time to deliver, thinking just about Iraq is not inappropriate, particularly during a couple 10-hour hearing days , with lots of other scheduled interviews [Ambassador Ryan Crocked said he looked forward to returning to Bagdhad! ].

In discussion with ABC World News' Charles Gibson he was pointedly asked if the potential progress in Iraq justified the continued U.S. military casualties ... and the General responded that if he didn't believe the mission was warranted , that he wouldn't lead the command. Very similar questions were posed to both Ambassador Crocker and General Petraeus by PBS' Newshour's Jim Lehrer . Lehrer asked both about the prospects for success , and the liklihood that the costs (in terms of blood & treasure) of continuation would be justified ; both Mssrs Crocker and Petraeus replied in affirmative.

If my memory is correct , CNN's (?) Anderson Cooper asked General Petraeus broader questions regarding the fesibility and value of the Iraq mission , and he responded that the U.S. has very major interests in Iraq....

TMny
09-14-2007, 01:32 AM
Thanks for the bit on Admiral William J. Fallon, Tom Montgomery.

Earlier this week (or last week?) i saw a couple interviews with General James Jones (Ret, USMC Commandant) . General Jones said that he, like Admiral Fallon , thought that the U.S.'s interests would profit by/from a 'smaller footprint' in Iraq. He indicated that all the Coalition troops in the midst of the society (such as it is!) were a target. Moreover , he said that he had become very concerned by the incursions over Iraq's borders in the vicinities if both Syria , and Iran ... both more suitable threats for the US military to meet.
I think Michael Gordon had an analysis in NYTs concerning same (?)....

T m

Bob Smalser
09-14-2007, 07:10 AM
However, when speaking in general, generalities must be applied. First and foremost, the "chain of command" does not encourage innovative independent thinking, to say the least.

Secondly, promotions are essentially political, not merit based, no matter what the party line may say. This does not ensure that the best will rise to the top. (I'd say that as a class, top sergeants and CPO's who refuse to move into the officer ranks are the smartest class of military folks of all!)

The corporate culture of the military does not reward intelligence. It rewards CONFORMITY. What passes for wisdom in military culture is really nothing but a collection of truisms that drift farther from the truth the more shopworn they become. ("Stay the course," "Bring them to justice," "They hate us 'cause we're free,") Meanwhile, where the rubber meets the road, the enlisted combat soldier is interested in nothing but staying alive, loose boots, tight pussy and a warm place to ****.


Pitiful. Write me off your list, because this cuts it with me. Maybe Ford was right about you.

ccmanuals
09-14-2007, 08:45 AM
Pitiful. Write me off your list, because this cuts it with me. Maybe Ford was right about you.

Mr. Cleek, you are wrong on so many levels I wouldn't know where to start. Couch time --- where you kicked out of the military or rejected in some way by a uniformed soldier? Couldn't handle basic training? It's got to be something to instill such an uninformed view of our military services....

Ian McColgin
09-14-2007, 09:16 AM
Lord knows I often disagree with Mr. Cleek but on this one Mr. Smalser is as far off as his belief that despite Bush's reckless destruction of our military is ok because he's packed the Supreme Court.

I know plenty of honorable and smart military professionals active and retired - almost a dozen cousins among them - none of whom would take much exception to Cleek's assessment. It's not at all strange to respect the service but dispute the mission.

The rewards of conformity and conventionality are common in all hierarchical organizations. The extraordinary leader is just that, extra-, uncommon by definition.

Given Bush's record for choosing people for various jobs, the general has much to overcome to convince anyone that he's actually fit for command.

Cuyahoga Chuck
09-14-2007, 10:55 AM
Mr. Cleek, you are wrong on so many levels I wouldn't know where to start. Couch time --- where you kicked out of the military or rejected in some way by a uniformed soldier? Couldn't handle basic training? It's got to be something to instill such an uninformed view of our military services....

CC,
Atta,boy, attack the integrity, intelligence, psychology of the messanger. Do not address what is at the center of his contentions.
They are:
is the ladder of advancement in the military based on actual merit?
how much does politicing and sharp elbows contribute when one climbs into the ranks of flag officers?
My view as a draftee (remember us?) was that the army was very institutionalized. It was very concerned about it's own existence. It did not suffer criticism gladly. And, among draftees, criticism was under every bunk.
Cleek is not all that far off. The military has shown it needs sharp and continuous scrutiny. Star soldiers being the most elite, need to be held on the shortest leash. Every one of those guys sees himself and as a soul brother of Washington, Grant, MacArthur and Patton. But, unlike those guys they, most likely, will not make their bones fighting a shooting war. The war they prevail in is an internecine war with their fellow officers who are competing for the same stars.
And, once having gotten those stars they are not, usually, inclined to risk them even if they have itellectual concerns about the policy they are defending. Most of the flag officers criticising the war have (Ret.) after their names. If there is a star soldier who should be regarded as a hero it is Gen. Shinseki. He was the sole commander who willingly stared down Sec. Rumsfeld.

pcford
09-14-2007, 11:15 AM
Mr. Cleek, you are wrong on so many levels I wouldn't know where to start. Couch time --- where you kicked out of the military or rejected in some way by a uniformed soldier? Couldn't handle basic training? It's got to be something to instill such an uninformed view of our military services....

Mr. Cleek's statement makes me uncomfortable. I had an uncle that had the dubious pleasure of visiting many South Pacific islands during the second half of WW2. He never said one word about it. His reasoning was "I was in the war; the war wasn't in me." These guys have earned our eternal respect.

I think Mr. Cleek would have been better served to clearly focused his criticism on the officer corps.

Bush's adventure in Iraq will clearly go down as one of the great US foreign policy disasters in our history. We have done severe damage to the image of the US around the world. What is troubling...and what Cleek was pointing out...is the fact that so few in the higher levels of the military called bs on this stupidity. We had members of the intelligence community resign in the face of this looming disaster; foreign service personnel resigned rather than support this national nightmare. As far as I know...nobody in the officer corps did. In fact, those that said anything negative were belittled. For example, see the article in the NYer regarding Taquba the guy that investigated Abu Ghraib and the reaction to General Shinseki's objections to the preparations for the war.

Does not speak well for the upper levels of the military. Sure, it would take courage to resist this insanity. Not as much as my uncle exhibited though.

ccmanuals
09-14-2007, 11:40 AM
CC,
Atta,boy, attack the integrity, intelligence, psychology of the messanger. Do not address what is at the center of his contentions.
They are:
is the ladder of advancement in the military based on actual merit?
how much does politicing and sharp elbows contribute when one climbs into the ranks of flag officers?
My view as a draftee (remember us?) was that the army was very institutionalized. It was very concerned about it's own existence. It did not suffer criticism gladly. And, among draftees, criticism was under every bunk.
Cleek is not all that far off. The military has shown it needs sharp and continuous scrutiny. Star soldiers being the most elite, need to be held on the shortest leash. Every one of those guys sees himself and as a soul brother of Washington, Grant, MacArthur and Patton. But, unlike those guys they, most likely, will not make their bones fighting a shooting war. The war they prevail in is an internecine war with their fellow officers who are competing for the same stars.
And, once having gotten those stars they are not, usually, inclined to risk them even if they have itellectual concerns about the policy they are defending. Most of the flag officers criticising the war have (Ret.) after their names. If there is a star soldier who should be regarded as a hero it is Gen. Shinseki. He was the sole commander who willingly stared down Sec. Rumsfeld.

Simply put, the military is simply a reflection of our society. One doesn't learn honesty, integrity, and duty after they have raised their hand and taken the oath. They have had many years to establish (or not) these values before they ever walk into the recruiter or the academy grounds.

John of Phoenix
09-14-2007, 12:09 PM
One of the funniest bits of graffiti I ever saw was in the bathroom at Lowe Army Heliport, the Army’s helicopter training center at Ft Rucker, Alabama - used exclusively by officers so you know one wrote it.


The United States Army - two hundred years of tradition unmarred by progress.

++++++++++++++++++++

Seen this? President Petreaus...

The US commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, expressed long-term interest in running for the US presidency when he was stationed in Baghdad, according to a senior Iraqi official who knew him at that time.

Sabah Khadim, then a senior adviser at Iraq's Interior Ministry, says General Petraeus discussed with him his ambition when the general was head of training and recruitment of the Iraqi army in 2004-05.

"I asked him if he was planning to run in 2008 and he said, 'No, that would be too soon'," Mr Khadim, who now lives in London, said.

Paul Girouard
09-14-2007, 04:55 PM
Mr. Cleek, you are wrong on so many levels I wouldn't know where to start. Couch time --- where you kicked out of the military or rejected in some way by a uniformed soldier? Couldn't handle basic training? It's got to be something to instill such an uninformed view of our military services....


Yes , I was wondering how many times Mr. Cleek had been "passed over" for advancement. Bitter , eh Bob! Those military lawyers are a tough bunch of bastards!

pcford
09-30-2007, 02:42 PM
Wow. And with those credentials one might have expected something more than the bitter politically naive drivel which appears to be your singular contribution to the WBF.

I must say that the comment above is the nastiest thing I have ever read here. It transcends the usual name-calling and ideology-bashing we've come to expect. There is no better person in the world than the one who will take time to share his knowledge and offer his help without condition, to anyone despite where they may agree or disagree. Correspondingly, there is no worse person than he who pretends to be that which he is not in order to degrade the efforts of an honest few.

pcford, you are emblematic of what the WBF has become: a toxic concoction in which the chefs of ignorance attempt to cut the sharp taste of experience with the morbidly saccharine self-loathing and hyperbole. In the end you, too, wind up in the septic tank, and good riddence.

Mr. Starr, you do seem to be an excitable boy. Whatever is your problem? Been trying to reason with hurricane season? Was actually surprised to see you respond to a post of mine since some time ago you called me an anti-Semite and said that you were placing me on your ignore list. Can’t remember, but I suppose I was criticizing the actions of the right-wing government of Israel. This is, you might note, something that American Jews and yes, Israelis do on occasion.

In my estimation, the warmest circles of hell are reserved for racists. How much of the ugliness in this world in the last 200 years have a basis in racism? One ring up in hell are those that use accusations of racism to win a debating point. It is not an accusation that honorable people toss about carelessly. You might ask some of my relatives about the extent of my anti-Semitism.

Now to the issue at hand. I was responding to an attack on my credibility by Mr. Smalser. His abilities and experience can stand or fall of their own accord; I am not concerned with that at the moment.

But your statement,
“Correspondingly, there is no worse person than he who pretends to be that which he is not in order to degrade the efforts of an honest few.” does indeed trouble me.

Whatever can be said of me as a boatwright or a human being…and I assure you that there are plenty of people that are my betters in both of these categories…one of my fundamental aims is to be a person of integrity. Ninety per cent of boat owners know very little of their boats. I do things that they will never know about for their safety and the longevity of the vessel. One does not make a huge amount of money doing this work; I has always seemed damning statement that one would abridge one’s integrity for such a relatively small amount of money…if one does, well, you are a rascal indeed.

You, Mr. Starr, have accused me of being one who… “pretends to be that which he is not in order to degrade the efforts of an honest few.” If you can find one instance of my representing myself or my experience, you will have demonstrated your point. If you cannot you owe me an apology. Let’s see what kind of a person you are.

In your febrile last paragraph, you foresee me as ending up in the septic tank of history. Maybe, maybe not. But if I were you, I would wear a life preserver and remember not to swim with your mouth open.

Hope to see a note from you soon on my purported misrepresentations. ‘Til then you might note this listing in Wikipedia on “purple prose;” it seems to fit your work above.

A term of literary criticism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literary_criticism), purple prose is used to describe passages, or sometimes entire literary works, written in prose (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prose) so overly extravagant, ornate or flowery as to break the flow and draw attention to itself. Purple prose is sensuously evocative beyond the requirements of its context. It also refers to writing that employs certain rhetorical effects such as exaggerated sentiment or pathos in an attempt to manipulate a reader's response.
When it is limited to certain passages, they may be termed purple patches or purple passages; these are often noted as standing out from the rest of the work.

pcford
09-30-2007, 03:03 PM
I occurs to me the my note above might be considered hagiographic when referring to my boat restoration practices.

I should add that mine are no different than say, 95% of my colleagues. Bad apples in every barrel of course, but most are a pretty honorable bunch.

skuthorp
09-30-2007, 09:38 PM
"By all accounts, he could have just said that being there has been no attacks on American soil since 9/11, that the Iraq war has made America safer", pipefitter

It hasn't made Americans safer though, attacking US home soil is logisticly very difficult, but due to some bad luck and incompetence he achieved it. And now they can kill Americans, military and private, and any one else they fancy in an environment that they can chose. Their action has curtailed freedoms and induced fear in the US and given them a seemingly endless supply of targets and a whole country to subvert.
Personally I think Bob Cleek made some good points, and the Gen. Patreus is doing the best job he can in the political circumstances. And he's right about not being able to succeed without the support of the people. Unfortunately, whatever you thought of the original premise, GW, Cheney and co have squandered the possibility. Just getting out with some sort of dignity and responsibility seems a remote hope at present.