Thursday, April 15, 2004

Transfer tubes and more 

A somber picture here from veterans for common sense.

More on the hearts and minds via newsinsider.org -- troops beat a man to death for not removing a picture from his car. Makes sense to me.

And from the conservative newhouse news service an army strategist blasts emperor's conduct of war -- must be a pinko.

WASHINGTON -- In a broadside fired at the conduct of the war in Iraq, a senior Army strategist has accused the Bush administration of seeking to win "quickly and on the cheap" while ignoring the more critical strategic aim of creating a stable, democratic nation.

While the United States easily won the initial battles that toppled Saddam Hussein a year ago, the administration "either misunderstood or, worse, wished away" the difficulties of transforming that victory into the larger political goal, Army Lt. Col. Antulio J. Echevarria of the U.S. Army War College writes in a new paper.

Yes, it was rose petal and sweets. Later in the article

Col. John R. Martin, deputy director of the Strategic Studies Institute, stressed that the study "covers multiple administrations." By definition, he added, strategic analysis focuses on problems -- not on successes.

But the critique reflects frustration among some active-duty and retired officers about how Rumsfeld and his top advisers seized control of planning for and execution of the invasion and occupation. Indeed, Echevarria said the reaction to his paper from within the Army "has been pretty positive."

Many officers still are rankled by the treatment of former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki, who last spring was sharply criticized in public by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz for suggesting the occupation would require significantly more troops than the initial war. At Rumsfeld's direction, the number was whittled back, with Rumsfeld and other senior officials arguing that "shock and awe" would collapse any opposition and the Iraqi people, as Vice President Dick Cheney said in a March 16, 2003 interview on NBC's "Meet the Press," would greet U.S. troops "as liberators."

Military officers, by tradition and temperament, are reluctant to criticize the civilian leadership, especially in wartime.

"I know of the frustration of dealing with the ideologues in the Pentagon," said retired Army Maj. Gen. William L. Nash, a West Pointer who commanded an armored brigade in Desert Storm and led U.S. troops into Bosnia in 1996. "But these guys are very loyal and they are not going to grumble."

Nash and others argue that the U.S. campaign in Iraq has gotten off track by focusing on short-term military problems.

Short term is how Bush and neocons work. They don't remember anything -- we have always been at war with Eurasia. The last two paragraphs:

"But once you understand that the political objectives are supreme, you understand that you have to broaden the political coalition internationally, regionally and locally" to support nation-building in Iraq, he said.

"That's hard to do, and even harder if you have to swallow your pride," Nash said.

Bush can't even come up with one mistake, I don't think swallowing pride is an option. You really have to read the whole article.

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