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hardnox604008
Advisor

Gates and Iraq

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gamble_%28book%29

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiasco_%28book%29

 

Took some stops and starts but finished the second book of Ricks' history of the Iraq War over Christmas. Pretty dense reading and since it isn't coming out in graphic novel form most of you will have to read my thumbnail commentary if you are at all interested.

 

The buzz over Gates' comments interested me insofar as Gates is one of the heroes of the story. Hard telling how brilliant he is, there is certainly an element like Obama winning the NPP for not being George Bush- he wasn't Donald Rumsfeld.

 

Rumsfeld probably receives the worst treatment of any of the players. He's depicted as a non- manager who kept yes-men around him, played them off each other rather than making decisions and mostly just reverted to the Vietnam era tactic of scoundrels by claiming that things were going well except for the liberals and media who were not supporting our troops.

 

Second in line would probably be the old, high military leadership in general who appear to have been typical peace time military bureaucrats who didn't get where they were by speaking truth to power. As Ricks points out, in WWII 15 generals of division command level or higher were removed for ineffeciveness, in Iraq before 2007 not 1.

 

Hero #1 is undoubtedly Gen. Jack Keene, a retired Army 4 Star who took up the cause of the substantial dissident movement within the lower officer ranks and had the bones to get the Chiefs and Administration to listen, at least once they were facing imminent catastrophic failure.

 

Kudos also go to the slow and unpredictable ways of democracy. Until the GOP got shellacked in the 2006 elections there was no indication that the Bush Administration was willing to change course to any degree even though they were beginning to hear ominous warnings even from their own military pets. Immediately after Rumsfeld was gone and Bush made what Ricks describes as the signature moment of his presidency where he humbly admitted his own failures and begged the American people for the time and additional resources to keep it from becoming an even greater disaster.

 

With the surge there is also the redemption of Gen. Ray Odiereno who Ricks' gave substantial blame for kick-starting the insurgency through extremely heavy handed tactics. Under the strategic leadership of Petraueus he is described as exceptionally effective in directing the counterinsurgency surge.

The book ends in 2009, before Petraeus' public humiliation, but gives him very high marks for providing the staregic direction that was ultimately successful and for doing his Big Job which was keeping congress and an impatient electorate on board for the surge. In the description of the Senate hearings when he went to ask for authorization, Obama gets realively neutral depiction. He excoriates Senator Clinton for her grandstandig downdressing of Petraeus before the committee- and that the experience was the one event that Petraeus hinted at some ongoing bitterness over.

 

As far as Petraeus the man, he coms off as rather enigmatic- highly respected by his peers for his exceptional academic and leadership record but so driven by competitiveness and ambition that he had no real friends.

 

The book closes in 2009 with the widely held assumption that the US would have some degree of military presence in Iraq for a very long time. It didn't anticipate that the al Maliki government would actually insist that the US leave on the original Bush timetable.

 

 

 

16 Replies
hardnox604008
Advisor

Re: Gates and Iraq

BTW, just thinking for "file away" purposes in regards to bad blood between HRC and Petraeus.

 

Lots of people with ultra high security clerances have affairs and nobody much gives a **bleep** unless they want them gone. The CIA was the other big player, along with Clinton's State Dept., in Benghazi. That event happened 9/11/2012, the first Petraeus hatchet stories were releaded 11/9/2013, immediately after the election.

 

And of course the other odd thing about Benghazi was that Romney was speaking about it with considerable knowledge of the event before there was even any solid news pulled together from the site.

 

No idea if that's the deal. Do know that somebody wanted Petraeus gone for some reason.

 

 

hardnox604008
Advisor

Re: Gates and Iraq

Of course make that 11/9/2012 on Petraeusgate.

bruce MN
Advisor

Re: Gates and Iraq

Again...another missive for everybody to "settle down". http://m.startribune.com/opinion/?id=239693711&c=y
BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: Gates and Iraq

Well, Bush is water under the bridge, 0bama`s only passion for the military was getting DADT repealed.  Supposedly 0bama was "bold" in going against his advisors who make a $140,000 salary, that isn`t bold, bold is going against "the cigarette smoking man"  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L967AdhAX6I    🙂 

 

 

As PJB says `Gates isn`t a stupid man, he had to be aware of the fallout of excerpts from his book`.  Hillary should thank him and Biden is toast for 2016.

Milligan Hay - Iowa d:^)
Veteran Advisor

Re: Gates and Iraq

What the Zionist "Mr. Big" wants, the Zionist "Mr. Big" gets.
jput
Senior Contributor

Re: Gates and Iraq

Bingo BA,  one of the most intelligent commentarys made on this.

 

President GWB and Iraq is water long passed under the bridge.   Fast forward to today,   Iraq's head honcho now regrets insisting that the US military not maintain a base in Iraq because Al Quada is conquering its major cities. 

 

What should be the real focus is the continued futile Afghanistan war where the Brits failed,  the Russians failed,  and just confirms that a boots on the ground escalation that obama did is also failing.   Where's the anti-war protestors that hounded President GWB when we have a worse clusterduck of body bags and maimed soldiers coming back from Afghanistan?  (sounds of crickets chirping).  No,  they're obsessing with water long passed under the bridge because they're stuck in their poltiical mindset,  instead of holding the current pResident In Chief's feet to the fire for this on going waste of men,  money and resources in Afghanistan. 

 

As to hillary,  expect we will  be hearing "what difference does it make?"  and just maybe the aerial drone tapes from that night over Benghazi will finally surface.   Congress doesn't have the spine to impeach obama but those incriminating drone tapes will release the hounds on hillary in 2016 when the timing is right.

 

 

 

hardnox604008
Advisor

Re: Gates and Iraq

Well...

 

in that race it was clear that Mr. Big had big money on Mitt's nose.

 

Although, granted, he spreads his bets aroung pretty well.

 

By far the most interesting developement of the last year was the Tea Party's rebellion against Mr. Big on Syria which then snowballed into the opening with Iran.

 

But as I said, Mr. Big spreads his bets out and you have Bob Menedez et al trying to kill it in congress.

 

Still hard to know how this plays out. You've recently had Mr. Big's boy Rupert trying to throw the Saudis under the bus. Fascinating, and pretty murky.

 

Best guess would be in regards to which group the Gulf arabs are supporting in Syria.

 

"Good news" such as it is, and for the moment, is that they (we) appear to be taking a page from the Surge playbook and encouraging some of the rebel groups to fight each other.

schnurrbart
Veteran Advisor

Re: Gates and Iraq

Reason behind protests over the war in Iraq--bush's war-- was because we were all lied to to get into that war! bush also got us into Afghanistan. Let Iraq take care of it's own problems. Isn't that what y'all want? And Afghanistan. Or if you are craigo, nuke the whole area and then spread a bioweapon on top of the radiation I say bring all home as soon as they can get planes in there to pick them up. Of course, I will have to depend on you and you children to defend us. That will be about time you did!
Canuck_2
Senior Contributor

Re: Gates and Iraq

Although some want to just say it was Bush and Iraq and it is water under the bridge world events are never that simple.

What Bush unleased with his illegal and unprovoked attack on Iraq is still being played out and is having repercussions through out the Middle East.

Indeed may have repercussions further afield than that and for many years to come.

 

If you want more details of what is going on through out that region and a little insight into who all is involved in the problems there this article is worth reading.

 

http://www2.macleans.ca/2014/01/03/an-ancient-war-is-new-again/

The Middle East’s sectarian divide sharpened following the 2003 American invasion of Iraq. Until then, Sunnis dominated the region, with Shia strength concentrated in Iran. When America toppled Saddam Hussein and brought democracy to Iraq, it also liberated the country’s Shias, who had long been suppressed by Saddam and his mostly Sunni power base, despite forming a majority of Iraq’s population.

“This was a tremendous earthquake in the regional balance of power,” says Landis. “It strengthened Iran tremendously. It made the Sunni powers extremely fearful of this growing Shia menace—at least what they saw as a menace.”