Saturday, October 13, 2007

For my military knowledge, though I'm plucky and adventury, Has only been brought down to the beginning of the century

The MMM* and the BBB* are trumpeting retired General Sanchez' remarks at the Military Reporters and Editors Luncheon. There are some damning remarks made, but I don't think they read the whole transcript, or if they did, they just cherry picked the parts they wanted. (e.g. CNN, LAT, NYT and TPM, Kos & AMERICAblog & Atrios (tho to be fair, Atrios just links to another BBBlogger, as usual.)

Sure, their quotes are accurate, Sanchez did say (apologies for the ALL CAPS that follow, they're from the original transcript, not me shouting):
"AMERICA CONTINUES ITS DESPERATE STRUGGLE IN IRAQ WITHOUT ANY CONCERTED EFFORT TO DEVISE A STRATEGY THAT WILL ACHIEVE "VICTORY" IN THAT WAR TORN COUNTRY OR IN THE GREATER CONFLICT AGAINST EXTREMISM. FROM A CATASTROPHICALLY FLAWED, UNREALISTICALLY OPTIMISTIC WAR PLAN TO THE ADMINISTRATION'S LATEST "SURGE" STRATEGY, THIS ADMINISTRATION HAS FAILED TO EMPLOY AND SYNCHRONIZE ITS POLITICAL, ECONOMIC AND MILITARY POWER. THE LATEST "REVISED STRATEGY" IS A DESPERATE ATTEMPT BY AN ADMINISTRATION THAT HAS NOT ACCEPTED THE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC REALITIES OF THIS WAR AND THEY HAVE DEFINITELY NOT COMMUNICATED THAT REALITY TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE."
and he did say:
THERE HAS BEEN A GLARING, UNFORTUNATE, DISPLAY OF INCOMPETENT STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP WITHIN OUR NATIONAL LEADERS. [...] THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT AMERICA IS LIVING A NIGHTMARE WITH NO END IN SIGHT.
and went even further:
OUR NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL HAS BEEN A CATASTROPHIC FAILURE.
Now all that's great news to hear from a general.

But they left out some really disturbing parts, and remember, this is the General Sanchez who was in charge of Abu Gharaib:
THIS WAS IMPORTANT BECAUSE I HAVE FIRMLY BELIEVED SINCE DESERT SHIELD THAT IT IS NECESSARY FOR THE STRENGTH OF OUR DEMOCRACY THAT THE MILITARY AND THE PRESS CORPS MAINTAIN A STRONG, MUTUALLY RESPECTFUL AND ENABLING RELATIONSHIP. THIS CONTINUES TO BE PROBLEMATIC FOR OUR COUNTRY, ESPECIALLY DURING TIMES OF WAR.
Now see, I have a problem with that. I don't think the job of the press is to enable the military, or even be respectful to them, when the military commits atrocities.

And who's he bitching about? The MMM was the biggest enabler there was in the lies that led to the war.

Let's continue:
I ALSO REFUSED TO TALK TO THE EUROPEAN STARS AND STRIPES FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS OF MY COMMAND IN GERMANY FOR THEIR EXTREME BIAS AND SINGLE MINDED FOCUS ON ABU GHARAIB.
The Stars & Stripes is a US military newspaper. If he thinks they're biased imagine what he thinks of a free press!
MY EXPERIENCE IS NOT UNIQUE AND WE CAN FIND OTHER EXAMPLES SUCH AS THE TREATMENT OF SECRETARY BROWN DURING KATRINA.
Brown was an incompetent hack with no experience who lied repeatedly about conditions in NOLA. Hmm, maybe he should feel a kinship.

Continuing to castigate the military press, he goes on:
PERSONAL REPUTATIONS HAVE NO VALUE AND YOU REPORT WITH TOTAL IMPUNITY AND ARE RARELY HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR UNETHICAL CONDUCT.
Dude! Abu Gharaib! Yeah, the press can be $cumbags, but they didn't torture anyone, they didn't sexually assault prisoners, THEY DIDN'T MURDER ANYONE, (OK, there I was shouting, but c'mon, talk about impunity and not being held accountable!)
IT IS ASTOUNDING TO ME WHEN I HEAR THE VEHEMENT DISAGREEMENT WITH THE MILITARY'S FORAYS INTO INFORMATION OPERATIONS THAT SEEK TO DISSEMINATE THE TRUTH AND INFORM THE IRAQI PEOPLE IN ORDER TO COUNTER OUR ENEMY'S BLATANT PROPAGANDA.
Sanchez, with all due respect, and I do mean with all the respect you are due, you were buying reporters and news outlets in Iraq, planting fake stories, and they wound up being included in the US news as facts. Yo, pot, meet kettle.
WARFIGHTING IS NOT SOLELY THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE MILITARY COMMANDER UNLESS HE HAS BEEN GIVEN THE RESPONSIBILITY AND RESOURCES TO SYNCHRONIZE THE POLITICAL, ECONOMIC AND INFORMATIONAL POWER OF THE NATION. SO WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR DEVELOPING THE GRAND STRATEGY THAT WILL ALLOW AMERICA TO EMERGE VICTORIOUS FROM THIS GENERATIONAL STRUGGLE AGAINST EXTREMISM?
Whaaaaa!? Geebus! He just said the military should be in charge of the 'political, economic and informational power' of our democracy. Anyone see a problem with that? Bueller, Bueller ... Bueller?

And why does he equate Iraq with a 'generational struggle with extremism?' Iraq didn't have Al Queada, religious extremism, WMDs, or an ability to harm the US. What they had was a Brokedown Palace of a secular tyrant.

It gets worse:
THE MILITARY COALITION WHICH WAS HASTILY PUT TOGETHER IN THE SUMMER OF 2003 WAS PROBLEMATIC GIVEN THE MULTITUDE OF NATIONAL CAVEATS, INADEQUATE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT AND OTHER RESTRICTIONS ON THE FORCES DEPLOYED. EVEN SO, THE MILITARY COALITION WAS THE MOST EXTENSIVE, PRODUCTIVE AND EFFECTIVE DEPLOYMENT OF FORCES IN DECADES.
Yo, General, Gulf War 1 had UN support and 500,000 troops. And what ROEs are you complaining about? Your troops tortured and murdered Iraqis. Mercenaries, by Bremer's Law, can't be prosecuted, US military rapists and murderers get reduced in rank and discharged.
But wait, there's more:
THIS ENEMY IS ARGUABLY MORE DANGEROUS THAN ANY THREAT WE FACED IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY.
Dude, Hitler executed 10 million people in concentration camps, almost took over the world and 72 million people died. Is Sanchez really that deficient in 20th century history!?

And what the hell did Iraq, a secular nation, have to do with radical religious extremists? (p.s. the answer is nothing.)

And finally:
PRAISE BE TO THE LORD MY ROCK WHO TRAINS MY FINGERS FOR BATTLE AND MY HANDS FOR WAR.
Sorry, General, you're a radical christian extremist who's prayers are for an enabling press, a compliant government subject to the military, an uninformed populous and worst of all, you think Jesus trained you for war, you should study history ... and His Story.

Blessed are the peacemakers, (not the warmongers.)
Blessed are the meek, (not the warriors.)
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, (not the persecuters.)

In all fairness, I did cherry pick some of the General's remarks. I did cherry pick the biblical quotes. And I do agree with a lot of Sanchez' remarks about incompetency and compliance in the press and our elected leaders. So you should decide for your self what the General in charge of Abu Gharaib meant.



*Millionaire Multi-Media and the Big Box Blogs**
** y, wksctp!***
***Yes, we know skippy coined those phrases!




Cross posted at VidiotSpeak