A few questions keep buzzing around my cerebral cortex in search of answers, but none seem readily apparent to me.
I don't think things in Iraq are going to end well for us. We're going to be seen cutting and running out of Iraq with our tails between our legs and the job undone by every dirtbag with al Jazeera on the satellite dish and a picture of Osama on the wall. It doesn't matter whether it's running away from a fight, like Clinton did in Somalia, or just "turning these matters over to the Iraqis ahead of schedule," as things are starting to lean in Iraq. I mean, was there anyone in the DOD who had ever looked into the history of Iraq at all? Couldn't someone have called the British and asked them to read up on how things went the last time they tried some regime change there?
Why Jar, we're there to "liberate" Iraq, and to draw the terrorists to Iraq, so we don't hafta fight them here!!
Saves them the price of a plane ticket!!!
You know, the people who run our country, aren't stupid.
We are in Iraq for good reasons... what are your qualifications, for questioning some of the smartest people on the planet??
After all, the neo-cons, know what's best, for you....
(Jar, are you old enough to remember McNamara, and the "whiz kids"?? THIS is the same crew, just a different face! Comforting thought eh?)
Valid questions, sadly though, I think the answers are all too obvious.
GWB was looking for a pushover and got more than he bargained for. We are trying to be big daddy and trying to change people who don't want our help nor do they want to change.
They're religious zealots who see dying for their religion as martyrdom.
If we want to win this war, we sure as hell can BUT we need to treat it like a WAR and completely CRUSH the enemy then rebuild.
What signal does this send the other terrorist nations ?? fear the U.S. ?? or rather, just hold out long enough and send some soldiers home in body bags and they will leave.....but not untill they have built all new power, water, sanitation facilities.
We're just too damn nice when it comes to "war" and our enemies know that and use it against us.
Oops, he said "faithful", sorry....
Anyway, here's a link, if ya wanna browse around. Be SURE to find "Americas Defense for a 21st century". Written in the 90's by a neo-con think tank, and Doug Fieth, who's law partner represents Israel.
Fieth also leaked the recent memo the DOD has disavowed...
Go ahead, and question the source.... Ignore any facts from wherever, at your peril. 'Tis a serious game being played out in the world, and our Nation, at this time...
Good luck in your quest for answers... asking the question, is the first step...
You and I, have unfinished business, here;
Old business first. You delivered quite an insult. I have responded..
I've been waiting.
1. Why invade Iraq, a socialist autocracy inimical to the goals of hardcore Islamist terrorists, when there are so many nations with direct links to the scummiest bastards in existence? Syria: Hamas, Hizbollah. Iran: Hizbollah. Saudi Arabia: al Qaeda. Pakistan: al Qaeda. Pakistan at least has a new administration, but they're holding on by their fingernails anyway.
Yes, Pakistan and SA helped Al-quada more than Iraq. But, perversely, because of that they're our best resources in hunting down the Al-Qaeda, and this complicity has paid off with the capture of many Al-Qaeda honchos. And their cooperation will only increase as Saudi Arabia discovers its policy of appeasement has failed to stop terror attacks against the Saud family regime.
I hate the Sauds, but we need them. Just like we needed Stalin in WWII. Their time will come.
Why invade Iraq before Saddam Hussein was positively identified and fixed in place for elimination? Just like the collossal screw-up in Afghanistan of invading before Osama bin Laden was ID'd and fixed, this has given a hero/martyr figure for loyalists to fixate on and left in place a powerful enemy for possible allies to fear. Every breath Saddam and Osama take makes us look incompetent to the world. Nobody saw that coming?
Sorry, dont understand your question. Next.
Why are US troops sitting in Germany, the middle of the EU who won't give us a dime or a soldier for the effort in Iraq, instead of on the ground in the sand? Why were they left there instead of securing Iraq's borders months ago so every jihadi wannabe with a pound of semtex and a grudge couldn't ride in out of Syria and Iran and get some?
Did President Bush come up with the idea of democracy for Iraq? The majority of Iraqis are Shiite Muslims. What kind of government do you think they're going to vote themselves given the opportunity? Something like ours, but with falafel huts on the corner instead of McDonalds? Or do you think it'll end up looking more like the Islamic Republic of Iran, another majority Shi'a nation?
No, the Neoconservatives (wolfowotz, Perle, Cheney, Rumsfeld) were proponents of getting rid of Saddam in order to change the politcal makeup of the Middle East. Well see wht turn out, anything's better than what was there before.
#1--We went into Iraq because we had legitimate authority (in the form of UN resolutions) to do so; we do NOT have a legitimate cause to go to those other places. Entering those countries with any kind of force will automatically make us the bad guys, and we can't afford to harm the (shaky) alliances we have to do that.
#2--Are you sure we WANT to find Osama? As soon as he's found, one way or the other, America will declare the war on terror over, no matter what else needs to be done. If he's found alive, what kind of a mess will that cause legally? From my perspective, the longer he's still on the loose, the more the average American will stay behind efforts to eliminate these scumbags.
And we had the best info possible on Saddam; we thought he was ID'd, that's why we diverted a B-1 loaded with JDAMs on his position a couple of hours before showtime. Just so happens that Saddam has perfected the art of relocating at a moment's notice (or he's already worm food), and one of the things even we haven't perfected is finding and hitting a relocatable moving target.
#3--My .006475 Iraqi Dinari ($.02 at current exchange rate), we left troops in Germany to remind them (the Europeans) that we still care. From a political standpoint, we have a commitment to keep a certain number of troops there, from a practical standpoint, we alternately cleaned their clocks (in Germany's case) and saved their bacon (applies to the rest of Europe) twice last century, and I think it's a good thing that we left the troops there--sends the message that we can deal with Iraq AND dominate Europe at the same time.
#4--At least he's willing to try. I personally think that democracy is going to fail there--the Iraqi mindset, after 30 years of Saddam, doesn't allow for concepts like equality before the law, truth, fairness, or honorable action. It's easier simply to put a bullet in the competition than to beat them in the arena of ideas. But, we can't go in there, shake up the place, and walk away; the whole reason we didn't do this sooner is because we were more afraid of the power vacuum left behind in Saddam's wake than Saddam himself (the evil that you know, better than the one you don't). There's probably going to be a split in Iraq; a Kurdish country up north (which will REALLY make the Turks happy), a Shiite group in the south and a Sunni region in the middle. Of course, Iran is going to try to influence the whole thing.
Yep, it's a mess, but it's still a damn sight better than what they had before. And, we started it, we gotta finish it. It would be even more immoral for us to walk away now, leaving the Iraqis in anarchy, than if we had never gone in there in the first place.
Nonresponsive, move to strike.
Please quote where I got all emotional and teary-eyed in my post.
I am thinking, which is why I've got some unpleasant questions to ask. If you don't like the questions I ask, then ignore them, but don't tell me I'm a weak sister for asking them.
"More than Iraq?" Yes, millions of dollars from Saudi Arabia is "more than" zero dollars from Iraq. That's like saying that cyanide is "more" poisonous than Pixie Stix are. And where do you see any aid coming from Saudi Arabia? They are only going after al Qaeda IN SAUDI ARABIA as an internal matter now that it's their own ox being gored. They can't be seen to be siding with infidels against their own people, only in chasing down criminals who have committed murder against Saudis.
The al Saud and their poison Wahabbism ARE the problem. Looking to them for the solution is not going to get anyone anywhere.
And have the Pakis done anything to secure their northwestern border and mop up the Taliban/al Qaeda scum that infest it? They have not, and will not. Try again.
You don't understand why it was crucial to our success to find, fix and eliminate Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein? How it makes us look weak and vulnerable to have them above ground and sucking air?
Never mind, then.
President Bush needs to do a nut check, and get his cabal of world changers in line, then. He's The Man, and will forever be associated with the results of this foray, so it's in his interest to take charge and carry out the damned plan of the day. He doesn't get to say, "Oh, it wasn't my plan. Those guys came up with it" and wash the stain away.
And the notion that "anything's better than what was there before" is a faulty one. Saddam and the Baathists might have been genocidal thugs, but would you rather see a bunch of ayatollahs in there instead, with a cross pollinated nuclear program and missiles to deliver it to CONUS, courtesy of the ayatollahs next door in Iran? That would be better than Saddam?
The UN?! The UN is the best you've got?
Please, when I start relying on a body that puts Saddam-run Iraq on the WMD board and Congo on the human rights apparat, I'm going to kill myself for the good of mankind.
So, we have to keep Osama alive to keep the hunt for Osama alive? You are hurting my head.
No, first we kill Osama, then we kill whoever is next in line on the scumbag hit parade after him, then onto number three. And so on. And so on, ad infinitum. I have no problem with ongoing low intensity conflict, but I want it to be effective.
The best info possible (at the time) does not equal hard intel. Why call showtime at all if the opening act is a dud? The elimination of Saddam shouldn't have been dictated by the timetable for invasion; the timetable for invasion should have been dictated by the elimination of Saddam. That's my point.
1. I don't care. Screw Germany, let them defend themselves with their EU pantywaist pals.
2. Are we dealing with Iraq AND dominating Europe at the same time?
Got any evidence of that?
Do the Kurds have a nuke program? Do the Sunnis? The Shia certainly do. Where do you think the Iraqi Shia will put more loyalty: the Shiite ayatollahs of Iran or the new government of Iraq?
My point is that we never should have started it with the sketchy outline of a poorly researched plan.
i think the reasons for going in were well laid out by bush before we went.
no war is ever fought with perfect intel - its a pipe dream to think it exists.
the links to osama and co. have been established a couple of times and conveniently ignored by the liberals and leftist press so the sheeple here continue to fail to see it.
why not the saudi's first? we have bases we need there to stage anything in the area. we know they're involved and they know we know, etc. etc. can't fight them all at once.
the thing that really pisses me off is not our debates and differences of opinons - its the damned media acting as a fifth column just like in the 60's and 70's. the pressure from too much exposure causes our politicians to lighten up so as not to offend the iraqi's in ramadan and what is the result? fewer patrols, looser curfews, more enemy activity.
its gonna get real ugly but the sooner we go in and clean out the areas where these bastards are staging from, the better.
and get ready for every wounded "civilian", every atrocity imagined to be blamed on your sons, friends, brothers, fathers and cousins who are over there now. it'll happen sure as shootin'.
in the long run, the iraqi's are afraid we'll cut and run like we did in somalia - excuse me,"withdraw" like we did. i don't mean to disparage any soldier who fought there - our elected leaders did the cutting and running - and we do that now, thousands of good iraqis will die - mass graves for all. hell thats what egalitarianism, liberalism, socialism and totalitariansism is good for.
don't question the actions of der fuhrer, just follow along with the rest of the reich!
Uhh, no. Anyone who equates President Bush to Adolph Hitler and Republicans to Nazis has lost the debate before it's begun. I find that (il)logic sickening.
The war did start when we knew where saddam was, we hit the building he was in with 12 cruse missiles.
The only problem was he left about ten minutes before they hit. Damn projectile travel time.
That guy is like a cockroach from hell that wont die. We bombed his three car convoy in the first desert storm too, blew up the front and rear car. He was in the middle vehicle and walked away.
No, you're wrong.
I am a proponent of very strictly enforcing our immigration laws. I'm also a proponent of smart warfare. In a dictatorship like Iraq, the smartest way to start the war is to decapitate the leadership of the regime. This didn't happen, did it? Saddam Hussein is still alive and releasing audiotapes, just like Osama bin Laden.
I don't have any problem whatsoever with the way we "went after" Saddam Hussein, except for the fact that we were unsuccessful in our attempt, but went ahead with the invasion anyway.
When we had found, fixed and fired him up.
Jar... it is evident, you are asking questions, that you have given more than a little thought to, and will NOT be satisfied with the cutsy-puffy answers... That's good.
Would you like some info, on Doug Feith? The leaker of the DOD memo, and a formulator of US policy??
WE WENT INTO IRAQ BECAUSE THEY HAD WMD!
(Atleast, that's what we were told)
Absolutely, hit me.
I am beginning to believe that al-Qaeda got lucky on 9/11. There is a mountain of evidence to indicate that something was ongoing with the Arabic men learning how to fly, but not land, large aircraft. Do I think this was a .gov conspiracy? Only to the extent that our 'leaders' had sketchy intel that 'something' was up, and they decided to do nothing. The fact that the Patriot Act was waiting in the wings, along with the HSA, is likley the one worlder's preparation for a near certain, but unknown, future event. Knowint that there is an international organization devoted to attacking the US, and not getting on them like stink on shit, is negligent. OBL was a convenient dummy who played into their hands out of stupidity.
As far as Iraq goes, Saddam is indeed an evil man, and should be deposed. It is not the job of the US to tell the rest of the world how to run its business. The Iraqi people are more heavily armed than we are (after all, any Iraqi citizen could buy a select-fire AKM at any one of a dozen gun shops in Baghdad. Saddam and OBL hated each other, and Saddam had no religious affiliation until he found out that he could get more suppost from Musliims if he was one himself. While Saddam may have been comtemplating WMDs, where is the evidence? GWB's war on terror was sputtering to a halt, and the sheeple had forgotten 9/11. Heneeded something to keep things going, dna a war with Saddam was easier than with Saudi or Pakistan. THAT is where we hang the tale - Wahhabism and the Taliban that sheltered it away from Saudi. If the US wants to be an empire, we better get tough and smack down the opposition, or pick up our marbles and go home. Ops
Hun, you are either wildly misunderstanding my point, or are intentionally misstating it as a straw man argument.
I don't have any problem with regime change in Iraq, but I don't think Iraq should have been the first priority with Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria looming large and actually in bed with terrorists who have killed Americans.
I don't have any problem with the way the invasion of Iraq was carried out, and am in awe of the troops who actually got the job done. But, to restate:
And, in case you haven't been paying close attention, there is no "peace" in Iraq to lose right now: 18 American soldiers killed yesterday. It's a counterinsurgency to which we don't seem to be applying the tried and true lessons learned and paid for in blood by everyone from the Rhodesians to the Israelis.
Here you go... before eric jumps up, I will say, that I will listen to info from almost any source, check what FACTS I can, then make up my own mind..
An ad hoc office under US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith appears to have acted as the key base for an informal network of mostly neo-conservative political appointees that circumvented normal interagency channels to lead the push for war against Iraq.
The Office of Special Plans (OSP), which worked alongside the Near East and South Asia (NESA) bureau in Feith's domain, was originally created by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz to review raw information collected by the official US intelligence agencies for connections between Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda.
Retired intelligence officials from the State Department, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have long charged that the two offices exaggerated and manipulated intelligence about Iraq before passing it along to the White House.
But key personnel who worked in both NESA and OSP were part of a broader network of neo-conservative ideologues and activists who worked with other Bush political appointees scattered around the national-security bureaucracy to move the country to war, according to retired Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski, who was assigned to NESA from May 2002 through February 2003.
The heads of NESA and OSP were Deputy Undersecretary William Luti and Abram Shulsky, respectively.
Other appointees who worked with them in both offices included Michael Rubin, a Middle East specialist previously with the neo-conservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI); David Schenker, previously with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP); and Michael Makovsky; an expert on neo-con icon Winston Churchill and the younger brother of David Makovsky, a senior WINEP fellow and former executive editor of pro-Likud Jerusalem Post.
Along with Feith, all of the political appointees have in common a close identification with the views of the right-wing Likud Party in Israel.
Feith, whose law partner is a spokesman for the settlement movement in Israel, has long been a fierce opponent of the Oslo peace process, while WINEP has acted as the think tank for the most powerful pro-Israel lobby in Washington, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which generally follows a Likud line.
Also like Feith, several of the appointees were protégés of Richard Perle, an AEI fellow who doubles as chairman until last April of Rumsfeld's unpaid Defense Policy Board (DPB), whose members were appointed by Feith, also had an office in the Pentagon one floor below the NESA offices.
Similarly, Luti, a retired naval officer, was a protégé of another DPB board member also based at AEI, former Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich. Luti in turn hired Ret. Col. William Bruner, a former Gingrich staffer, and Chris Straub, a retired lieutenant colonel, anti-abortion activist, and former staffer on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Also working for Luti was another naval officer, Yousef Aboul-Enein, whose main job was to pore over Arabic-language newspapers and CIA transcripts of radio broadcasts to find evidence of ties between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein that may have been overlooked by the intelligence agencies, and a DIA officer named John Trigilio.
Through Feith, both offices worked closely with Perle, Gingrich, and two other DPB members and major war boosters – former CIA director James Woolsey and Kenneth Adelman – in ensuring that the "intelligence" they developed reached a wide public audience outside the bureaucracy.
They also debriefed "defectors" handled by the Iraqi National Congress (INC), an opposition umbrella group headed by Ahmed Chalabi, a longtime friend of Perle, whom the intelligence agencies generally wrote off as an unreliable self-promoter.
"They would draw up 'talking points' they would use and distribute to staff officers for inclusion in any background papers or other documentation provided to their senior officers throughout the Pentagon, and presumably to the office of the Vice President," said Kwiatkowski. "But the talking points would be changed continually, not because of new intel (intelligence), but because the press was poking holes in what was in the memos."
The offices fed information directly and indirectly to sympathetic media outlets, including the Rupert Murdoch-owned Weekly Standard and FoxNews Network, as well as the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal and syndicated columnists, such as Charles Krauthammer.
In interagency discussions, Feith and the two offices communicated almost exclusively with like-minded allies in other agencies, rather than with their official counterparts, including even the DIA in the Pentagon, according to Kwiatkowski.
Rather than working with the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, its Near Eastern Affairs bureau, or even its Iraq desk, for example, they preferred to work through Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security (and former AEI executive vice president) John Bolton; Michael Wurmser (another Perle protégé at AEI who staffed the predecessor to OSP); and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs, Elizabeth Cheney, the daughter of the Vice President Dick Cheney.
At the National Security Council (NSC), they communicated mainly with Stephen Hadley, the deputy national security adviser, until Elliott Abrams, a dyed-in-the-wool neo-con with close ties to Feith and Perle, was appointed last December as the NSC's top Middle East aide.
"They worked really hard for Abrams; he was a necessary link," Kwiatkowski told IPS Wednesday. "The day he got (the appointment), they were whooping and hollering, 'We got him in, we got him in.'"
They rarely communicated directly with the CIA, leaving that to political heavyweights, including Gingrich, who is reported to have made several trips to the CIA headquarters, and, more importantly, I Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff and national security adviser.
According to recent published reports, CIA analysts felt these visits were designed to put pressure on them to tailor their analyses more to the liking of administration hawks.
In some cases, NESA and OSP even prepared memos specifically for Cheney and Libby, something unheard of in previous administration because the lines of authority in the Vice President's office and the Pentagon are entirely separate. "Luti sometimes would say, 'I've got to do this for Scooter,'" said Kwiatkowski. "It looked like Cheney's office was pulling the strings."
Kwiatkowski said she could not confirm published reports that OSP worked with a similar ad hoc group in Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's office.
But she recounts one incident in which she helped escort a group of half a dozen Israelis, including several generals, from the first floor reception area to Feith's office. "We just followed them, because they knew exactly where they were going and moving fast."
When the group arrived, she noted the book which all visitors are required to sign under special regulations that took effect after the Sep. 11, 2001 attacks. "I asked his secretary, 'Do you want these guys to sign in?' She said, 'No, these guys don't have to sign in.'" It occurred to her, she said, that the office may have deliberately not wanted to maintain a record of the meeting.
She added that OSP and MESA personnel were already discussing the possibility of "going after Iran" after the war in Iraq last January and that articles by Michael Ledeen, another AEI fellow and Perle associate who has been calling for the US to work for "regime change" in Tehran since late 2001, were given much attention in the two offices.
Ledeen and Morris Amitay, a former head of AIPAC, recently created the Coalition for Democracy in Iran (CDI) to lobby for a more aggressive policy there. Their move coincided with suggestions by Sharon that Washington adopt a more confrontational policy vis – vis Teheran.
Iran recently said it was prepared to turn over five senior al-Qaeda figures, including the son of Osama bin Laden, who are currently in its custody if Washington permanently shuts down an Iraqi-based Iranian rebel group that is listed as a terrorist organization by the State Department.
Pentagon officials, particularly Feith's office, have reportedly opposed the deal, which had been favored by the State Department, because of the possibility that the group, the Mujahadeen Khalq, might be useful in putting pressure on Tehran.
(Inter Press Service)
If you try to connect the dots for the last hundred years jar???
Be ready to flip RIGHT into denial.... we all did. Keep digging, even when you don't like what you find..
They have oil
How have Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden lost the "liberty to plan attacks on Americans and US interests?" They may have to do without modern conveniences, but as long as they are alive, they are a threat.
As for your very dramatic photo, how is that different from events that occur everyday under shariah law in Saudi Arabia the Sudan and Iran? Or outside the bounds of any law in places like the Congo and Sierra Leone? While events like this are tragic, the people of Afghanistan have only themselves to blame for the depredations of the Taliban. Was anyone here calling for their overthrow before 09.11.01? Or was it their support for Osama bin Laden that put them on our hit parade?
Ending the Taliban, while it was certainly a public service in and of itself, only served US strategic interests in that it took away a safe harbor for al Qaeda. The invasion of Afghanistan before we found, fixed and fired up Osama bin Laden himself was a strategic blunder. He stands to the unwashed pigs as a symbol of the inevitable victory of the righteous over the Great Satan. All the might of the sole remaining superpower and defiler of the holy places of Islam apparently can't fray the hem of the wise and wily sheik's robe.
Get the fuck over it and stop bitching like little girls.
Direct support for terrorist organizations that have directly attacked the US or its personnel.
The UN? I don't care what the UN does or says and, ultimately, neither does the president.
By going into Iraq, in the manner we did, we gave formal notice to other dictators that we're not going to make any serious effort to hold them personally responsible for their actions. The ayatollahs of Iran, Bashar al Assad of Syria and the al Saud princes know that after "a few cruise missiles, and badly aimed," they'll be able to sneak off to Libya or Yemen and draw on their fat Swiss bank accounts until they die of congestive heart failure in the Idi Amin Dada coronary wing of the hospital they endow wherever they end up.
How so? How did Iraq threaten the US anymore than Saudi Arabia?
All your "Gee, America should haves" prove is that you're trying to deflect attention away from my central points. If you need a refresher, take another look at the questions in the first post in this thread. Where do you see anything about the UN? The EU? Sanctions? WMDs? Giving up?
If we want the ayatollahs, Assad, Kim or the al Saud to mend their ways, they have to know that we will take personally any hint of participation or assistance in an attack on America or her interests worldwide.
Son, my support for the West and America in particular is in no way diminished by asking questions and holding people accountable for the way in which they accomplish their mission.
We'll never know now, will we?
Again, gross misunderstanding or willful misdirection. I brought up the deaths of 18 US servicemembers yesterday to point out that there is no peace to keep in Iraq. Peacekeeping is a myth, and one we should not encourage by calling things what they are not.
Are you trying to say that counterinsurgency is different in Iraq? If so, how so? Or are you trying to say that there are no lessons to be learned from past counterinsurgencies which can be applied in present and future counterinsurgencies, that every case is an isolated one, and bloody lessons need to be learned anew, again and again?
And just who is recommending that? Again, nonresponsive, Your Honor. Move to strike.
Most likely, but are they being listened to?
Certainly not if we used Iraq as a blueprint.
You and I, like EricTheHun and I, agree on most things, but your method of argument here isn't convincing me. Thanks for playing, though.
You make two mistakes here: 1)assuming I was making an argument (I wasn't, I was making a suggestion) and 2)assuming I was trying to convince you of anything.
Yes, you seem willing to plumb almost any depths of antiAmericanism to find points to bolster your arguments.
So do I, when it comes to Israel's right to exist free of suicide bombers killing little kids in pizza joints. I'm not for continued settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, but I'm also not a big believer that the people who send out suicide bombers are going to stop for anything less than "the river to the sea."
I'm a former military man myself, and used to have a pretty high security clearance. Oh, and I'm also against abortion, whatever that has to do with Iraq.
Wait, conservative former military guys didn't want to deal with the State Department?!? I'm shocked, shocked I tell you! Next you'll be posting an article stating that there was some animosity on the part of US military personnel toward the Clinton White House.
Anyone wanting no record noted of a meeting would not hold that meeting in the Pentagon.
A little more, on Feith, and those who pushed for the Invasion..
"What's gonna happen with Feith?”
That, in a nutshell, is the question of the month for the Washington cognoscenti trying to figure out whether a major shift in the Bush administration's unilateralist and ultra-hawkish foreign policy is or is not underway.
The reference is to Douglas Feith, the administration's rather obscure but nonetheless strategically placed undersecretary of defense for policy, who reports directly to deputy secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld.
If the administration is looking for a scapegoat for the situation it faces in Iraq, Feith is the most likely candidate both because of his relative obscurity compared to other administration hawks and the fact that, of virtually all of them, his ideas – particularly on the Middle East – might be the most radical.
A protégé of Richard Perle, the former chairman of Rumsfeld's Defense Policy Board (DPB) who stands at the center of the neo-conservative foreign-policy network in Washington, Feith has long opposed territorial compromise by Israel.
He was an outspoken foe of the Oslo process and even the Camp David peace agreement mediated by former President Jimmy Carter between Egypt and Israel. His former law partner, L. Marc Zell, is a spokesman for the Jewish settlers' movement on the occupied West Bank.
But, more to the point, virtually everything that has gone wrong in Iraq – especially those matters that Congress is either investigating or is poised to probe – is linked directly to his office. "All roads lead to Feith," noted one knowledgeable administration official this week.
His now-defunct Office of Special Plans (OSP) is alleged to have collected – often with the help of the neo-conservatives' favorite Iraqi exile, Ahmed Chalabi – and "cooked" the most alarmist prewar intelligence against Saddam Hussein and then "stovepiped" it to the White House via Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney, unvetted by the intelligence agencies.
It was also his office that was in charge of postwar planning, and rejected the product of months of work by dozens of Iraqi exiles and Mideast experts in the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) who anticipated many of the problems that have wrong-footed the occupation.
The OSP also excluded many top Mideast experts from the State Department from playing any role in the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq.
And it is Feith's office that, with the CPA, recommended companies for huge, and in some cases no-bid, contracts in Iraq that have amounted, in the eyes of some critical lawmakers, to flagrant profiteering.
Among the firms that have profited most are those whose consultants or officers also serve on the Pentagon's DPB, members of which are chosen by Feith.
In a particularly provocative move that raises a host of conflict-of-interest questions, Feith's former partner Zell has set up shop with Chalabi's nephew in Baghdad to help interested companies win contracts for reconstruction projects.
"Until they get rid of Feith, no one is going to believe that the administration is seriously reassessing its policies," one congressional aide whose boss has been a strong critic of Bush's policy in Iraq, told IPS.
There are hints that Feith has seen his authority dwindle since the first half of October, when National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice announced that she would head a new interagency Iraq Stabilization Group (ISG).
The move appeared designed not only to give the appearance that the White House was taking control of a situation that had contributed to a precipitous decline in Bush's approval ratings, but also to ensure that the Pentagon could no longer simply ignore other bureaucracies, Rice included, as it had for much of the past year.
Creation of the ISG followed growing public criticism, even by otherwise loyal Republican lawmakers, of the administration's failure to anticipate postwar problems. It came soon after the appointment of former US ambassador to India, Robert Blackwill – who was Rice's boss on the National Security Council (NSC) in the first Bush administration – to a special, high-ranking NSC post.
Other hints that Feith's and other hawks' grip on policy has been loosened came in the form of a distinct softening of the rhetoric against the other two members of the "axis of evil" – Iran and North Korea.
Then, last week a top Feith aide, former assistant defense secretary for international security policy J.D. Crouch II, abruptly resigned his position without explanation.
There have been unconfirmed reports that top White House officials decided two months ago that Feith had to go, but were then dissuaded by Rumsfeld who argued that his departure would be seen as an admission that things had gone seriously wrong in Iraq.
It was in that context, according to these reports, that the administration moved to quietly reduce Feith's authority, in part by creating the ISG.
Like his mentor Perle, Feith has long been a hard-liner on foreign policy and arms control. He was an outspoken opponent of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and the Chemical and Biological Weapons conventions, which he criticized as ineffective and dangerous to US interests.
Among other clients, his law firm represented arms giants Lockheed-Martin and Northrop Grumman.
Also like Perle, Feith has long taken a strong interest in Israel and its security. His father, Dalck Feith, a philanthropist and major Republican contributor from Philadelphia, was active in the militantly Zionist youth movement Betar, the predecessor of Israel's Likud Party, in Poland before World War II.
Both father and son have been honored by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), which, unlike other mainstream Jewish groups in the United States, has consistently supported Likud positions and the settlement movement in the occupied territories and actively courted the Christian Right.
Feith also served with Perle on the board of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), a think tank that promotes military and strategic ties between the United States and Israel.
Feith first entered government as a Middle East specialist on the National Security Council (NSC) under Ronald Reagan in 1981, but was abruptly fired after only one year. Perle, who was then serving in the Pentagon as assistant secretary of defense for international security, hired him as his deputy, a post he retained until leaving in 1986 to found Feith & Zell.
Three years later, Feith was retained as a lobbyist by the Turkish government and, in that capacity, worked with Perle to build military ties between Turkey and Israel.
In 1996, he participated in a study group chaired by Perle and sponsored by a right-wing Jerusalem-based think tank that produced a report calling for incoming Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to build a strategic alliance with Turkey, Jordan, and a new government in Iraq that would transform the balance of power in the Middle East in such a way that Israel could decisively resist pressure to trade "land for peace" with the Palestinians or Syria.
In 1997, he published a lengthy article, "A Strategy for Israel," in Commentary magazine, Feith argued that Israel should repudiate the Oslo accords and move to reoccupy those parts of the West Bank and Gaza that had been transferred to the Palestinian Authority.
Two years later, he and Perle signed an open letter to President Bill Clinton calling for Washington to work with Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress (INC) to oust Saddam Hussein.
In May 2000, they signed a report calling for the United States to be prepared to attack Syria militarily unless Damascus failed to withdraw its troops from Lebanon.
(Inter Press Service)
We are in Iraq, for Israel jar... that's the reality. Seems to be a LOT of people with Israeli ties, and LOYALTIES, deciding where and when US servicemen will die.
If it was about terror, we'd have gone after the Saudis, as you pointed out, for DIRECT SUPPORT of the 9/11 attackers.
You DO know two of them were picked up at LAX, by a prominent Saudi agent in the US??
This agent was whisked out of the country??
Suggestions are like opinions, and you know what they say about opinions.
Certainly not. Do you think they're any less of a threat now than they were then?
Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden haven't directly pulled a trigger in years, but that hasn't diminished the danger they pose. Saddam came up in the Baath party as a leg- and head-breaker. Osama bin Laden may have been a big man in an ambush in the early eighties, but that Krinkov is just for show nowadays. Their power is in what they represent to those willing to do their bidding, not in what they are willing to dirty their hands doing directly.
Out of touch? If you think because their voices haven't been heard on a phone or radio in a while that means they're not communicating, you're fooling yourself.
Did bin Laden learn to fly a plane? Did he plot the navigation into the WTC? Did he buy their tickets?
So only al Qaeda's presence in Afghanistan made it worthwhile to put a stop to events as pictured? And only Saddam's flouting of the UN made it worthwhile to stop his and his odious sons from contiuing their extracurricular activities, I presume?
Who said anything about leaving terrorist sponsors alone? Again, refer to the first post in this thread.
But then your dramatic photo wouldn't have had as much weight, as those events would still be a regular occurence in Kabul.
We'll never know, because it wasn't made a priority.
A martyr sucking down rivers of wine with his 72 whores is one thing. An implacable enemy plotting his next atrocity against America here on earth is entirely another.
Now you've made a third mistake: suggestions are not like opinions.
While they're not synonyms, a suggestion is the verbal expression of an opinion, wouldn't you say, or would you rather continue to be contrary merely for the sake of avoiding a single point central to my argument?
Sorry to answer questions with questions. But here are a few Questions for you all:
1. How could we have fought the war on terror without a base of operations in the middle east?
2. In 2002, what middle eastern country had could we invade to establish the base of operations without being perceived as the aggressor?
3. What are the strategic, tactical and political consequences of an American friendly Iraq with respect to the war on terror?
Answer to Jarhead 22's first question:
We are in Iraq? Leverage.
Again, you are making the same mistake. I don't wish to engage you in an argument. That makes three mistakes now, one of them twice. Perhaps you should either accept or reject my suggestion and drop it, because you seem bound and determined to argue with me over something and I simply don't wish to.
You know what? You're right. I engaged you, mistakenly believing it was worthwhile to do so. Now I see the light.
In the spirit of your first post in this thread, go piss up a rope.
Nope, not worried about the UN (Useless Nations) as much as having a valid cover story that allows us to continue to trade with and accomplish military operations with other nations across the globe. Legitimacy allows us to take the moral high road, without which ANY operations would be impossible and invite the world to unite against us. That would be bad.
I didn't say we don't kill him, I say we don't necessarily want to FIND him. I personally believe he got vaporized in Tora Bora, but my suspicions are that actually looking for him takes a back seat to removing regimes that support terrorism. In other words, the priority is to shutdown the terrorist support network, not go after the individual terrorist themselves, because the effects of eliminating the first will automatically render the second ineffective. I'm all for putting these guys on the express bus to meet Allah, but I'm saying you need to look at a larger picture here. You keep talking about "finding, fixing and firing up" these guys--that's a great way to run operations at the platoon level, but a poor way to run a war. You're thinking tactically, and you need to think strategically. It's NEVER as simple as putting cross-hairs on a forehead; otherwise, we would simply replace one terrorist with another. I think Bush is doing the right thing, going after the roots of the problem, not the leaves.
Not sure how much operational planning you've done, but I've spent quite some time looking at mission planning against relocatable targets (in my case, mobile missiles, but same concept applies). Striking a moving target is HARD; we made an honest effort to schwack Saddam regardless of the invasion timetable, which is exactly what I think you're advocating. I don't know all the details, but from what I've gathered they were pretty sure the intel was solid. Remember, schwacking Saddam's headquarters four hours before the invasion REMOVED THE ELEMENT OF SURPRISE for the invaders, so dropping those bombs was no small matter. Remember, Saddam has (or had) been on the move for thirty years, worried about assassins; he's had a lot of practice.
Yes. Europe still has to deal with us, even though they don't want to. France and Germany are not the leading power in Europe--we are. Who calls the shots in NATO? Usually, us. Remember, our troops in Europe arrived as an occupation force--AND NEVER LEFT. Sometimes we Americans forget that, but the French haven't (since we humilated them by saving their bacon twice), and the Germans sure haven't!
Not sure where you're going with this. Yes, the educated nuclear engineers of Iraq will probably find a new home in Iran. But, remember, what we did in Iraq and Afghanistan put that part of the world on notice that we won't tolerate any more of their crap. I heard a different perspective from a Middle East expert I talked to--they believe in Allah's will so much that when both of those regimes fell (and how really really easy it was for us), they now think that Allah's will is to leave the Americans alone.
And I submit that Iraq was hardly a poorly researched plan. We've (and especially CENTCOM) had a plan to do exactly this on the shelf since 1992. We've done some real good in the world--removed two brutal regimes, stemmed two major operating bases for terrorists, and stabilized a portion of the world that has traditionally been a powderkeg.
I guess what it really boils down to is, I see success, where you see failure. You expected a perfectly executed plan (possible at the tactical level, completely unrealistic at the strategic), while I expected an 80% solution going in and some cleanup (probably take years, but you get the point) after that. Lastly (if I read you correctly) the only objective we should have had was the death of Saddam and Osama, while I believe that that's a foolishly short-sighted view of this conflict. The objective is to stop the funding and harboring of terrorist organizations. We have accomplished that in two countries now. The strategic-level objectives have been met, with the added benefit of:
A) putting other countries in the world on notice that we're ready to clean house (notice how quickly North Korea has stopped their activities),
B) gotten us out of Saudi Arabia, who didn't want us anyway, and now can't use us as a lightning rod to draw attention away from their own internal troubles (while we were there, their dissidents hated us; now that we're gone, the dissidents are still there, and hate the Royal Family)
C) Put to a stop some evil (in the truest, darkest sense of the word) atrocities against innocent people; and
D) Provided a better, more centrally located base of operations to attack the next two terrorist supporters on the list. Now, it's simply a left turn into Syria, or a right turn into Iran; and don't think for a minute that they don't know it.
As for that long diatribe about this Feith guy...anytime I find more than one horribly slanted political buzzword per paragraph(like "neoconservative", "ultrahawkish", etc.) I automatically discount the source as biased--it implies that by slapping a label on someone I can automatically deduce their motives--which is as closed-minded as someone saying "guns are evil."
limaxray, that was an outstanding post, as well as jar's post you quoted.....
As I said, when I posted this stuff, I'll gather info from whatever source. I'm able to recognize MOST propaganda. If something interests me, I find other sources, to verify it. If I quoted from the "New American", I'd prolly get the same reaction....
It sounds to me, like you may have some experience. If so, perhaps you will understand what I'm saying??
EVERYONE has an "agenda". It is up to us, to try and discern "Truth". (hint; it's ALL spiritual)
At any rate, WITH PERMISSION, from you AND jar, I'd like to comment, and perhaps ask some questions, out of your post.
Now we're past the pudding and into the meat.
That's as may be, but ultimately we thumbed our nose at the UN and did it pretty much on our own, a few Brits, Poles and Italians aside. So while noncompliance with UN Resolution 4447 was the pretext, just who do you expect that to impress? It's the thinnest of frosting over a cake of an entirely different flavor, and we're getting that shoved in our faces (and worse) fairly regularly by our so-called allies.
I try to say what I have to say in as few words as possible, so at times key points get vaporized in the condensation of a post.
Obviously we're not going to be able to chase down every dirtbag with an AK and a dream, but the figurehead, the guy with his name on the cave, the strategic visionary: he's an important target, wouldn't you say? Foot soldiers can be found to fight for any cause, as long as the man carrying the flag is still out front calling to the faithful. Silence that voice and you've started to unravel the whole cloth.
Cutting their support out from under them is important, but al Qaeda isn't a localized phenomenon like past terrorist organizations. It's very diffuse, and can pull together a team for a job from groups who have never worked together before, then send them back to their home cells after the job is done. It's like the US Olympic basketball "Dream Team": they perfect their skills in Los Angeles and Detroit and Philadelphia, but every four years they get together to kick some unlucky country's ass. When that gold medal game is over, they disperse back to their home teams again.
Q: How do you kick their support network out from under them without having to take over the whole world?
A: One squalid, festering pit of corruption and 11th century bleakness at a time, until your goal is achieved.
I'm not sure if I'm understanding your specific use of the term "ELEMENT OF SURPRISE" here or not, but do you really think Saddam Hussein --or anyone else in Iraq with access to a satellite dish-- had no idea we were coming for him until that ordnance hit his crib? The entire world knew we were on our way.
And certainly Saddam has had a lot of experience masking his movements and static positions, but that's what we pay the CIA for: to find 'em and fix 'em, so they can be fired up. Again, it's important to my strategic vision to decapitate an autocratic regime like Baathist Iraq. It's sort of along the lines of "Pour encourager les autres." If Saddam eats it first, getting the point across to the generals (Surrender is your only avenue to continued existence. Don't fight for a dead dictator. The ship is sinking under your boots. Grab my hand or drown with it.) won't be that hard.
My point about the Kurds, Sunni and Shia was that no matter what kind of government we manage to engineer in Iraq, once they get into a voting booth all bets are off. They are a balkanized society, and will not vote for what's best for Iraq, but what's best for their tribe. The largest tribe is the Shia, and they are in Teheran's pocket.
Saddam, thank God and Israel, never had a chance to build a nuclear weapons program, but Teheran is well on their way to one. So what's more dangerous: a Saddam regime with gas chromatoscopes and centrifuges buried in the sand and hoping for a chance, or the ayatollahs processing spent fuel rods? Iraq wasn't the priority.
How big a group is this "they" you speak of? What sort of mandate do they have, and how well is that message selling in Riyadh and Sana'a?
Osama is still alive. So is Saddam. All of America's tanks and smart bombs and supersonic fighters couldn't even muss their hair. That sends a strong message as well. I hope you're right about the one that's dominating the marketplace of ideas.
Removed two brutal regimes: certainly. As for stemming two operating bases for terrorists, Afghanistan is hardly stemmed if you go a few miles outside of Kabul, and I would wager that Iraq has more active terrorists per square mile now than at any time in the past 30 years. As for stabilizing powderkegs, Afghanistan looks like it's on its way to stability, but Iraq looks like something entirely different to me.
No plan makes it intact beyond the first couple of rounds fired downrange. The invasion was stunningly successful --aside from that nagging, continuous heartbeat of Saddam Hussein's-- but the aftermath hasn't been managed very well to all outward appearances. The borders went unsecured, allowing every regional critic of US foreign policy to come on down and make his displeasure known. It takes boots on the sand to control terrain and deny it to the enemy, but the invasion force was too light to carry out this crucial mission.
As for "left turn/Syria and right turn/Iran," I can see and appreciate the central position that Iraq holds in the nest of snakes that is the middle east. But it will do us no good to have troops centrally located if they spend all their time dodging SAMs, IEDs and RPGs.
Regarding the Feith article: You and me both. Please refer to my response to that above.
Welp, some of the smartest people in the world, are formulating our mid-east military, and political policy...
If it's going wrong, the question is, why??
(OR, maybe it's NOT going wrong,...for them!! )
Jar, WHO benefits.......