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Reasons for silence

D-Ring wants to know why everyone but the milbloggers is talking about retired LGen Ricardo Sanchez' recent speech in San Antonio. Perhaps the answer lies in his take on the general's speech:
One would think that when a former commander of troops in Iraq publicly says that the U.S. has lost the war and should cut its losses...
Problem is, I don't see how you can interpret the speech that way. On the one hand, General Sanchez talks about "staving off defeat", but on the other hand he pops off with this line:
"It's also kind of important for us to answer the question, 'What is victory?', and at this point I'm not sure America really knows what victory is."

Now, God knows I'm no general, but it seems pretty obvious to me that like Korea and Vietnam, victory in Iraq is defined as not losing.

Right now the place is a manpower and money sink for Al Qaida, which has screwed up its own side of the war to the point where even former Baathists are making quiet inquiries about joining the tribesmen of Anbar and Diyala provinces so they can get rid of these foreign assholes. The longer we stay in Iraq, the better the Iraqis get at doing the kind of counterinsurgency work we used to do for them, the better the infrastructure gets, and the more people have faith that the new government will actually hold together once the last American solider climbs on the Freedom Bird to come back to the World.

I'm also bemused by Sanchez' comments about W's failure to "mobilize the nation" after 9/11. Well, WTF was he supposed to do? Reinstitute a draft that the generals didn't want and the Army couldn't handle anyway? This was never supposed to be World War II, or even Vietnam. I keep using the analogy of the Philippine Insurrection, because I think it fits a lot better than any of the other analogies out there, and it's useful to remember that in that particular unpleasantness we didn't mobilize the country either. The war was fought by a small army of professionals and a handful of volunteer regiments, and was widely derided by the press and the opposition party as being wrong, inhumane, etc., etc. Same shit, different day, and there's even a bunch of insane Muslims in the mix.

So when you come right down to it, the reason none of the milbloggers are talking about the speech is because there's really nothing to talk about. Not that D-Ring ever provides a link to prove his point about milbloggers avoiding the topic, mind you.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Jun. 10th, 2007 05:45 pm (UTC)
D-Ring Responds
Thanks for taking the time to sound off about Sanchez' comments.

I disagree with you that the general's comments are nothing to talk about. I think a very senior military leader who commanded troops in Iraq making these kind of statements is quite newsworthy and worth discussing.

And you are correct that I didn't provide a link to prove the milbloggers were avoiding the topic. However, I read dozens of milblogs every day and had not, until this post, come across military commentary on his speech. It is kind of hard to provide a link to a discussion that does not exist.

Steve
The D-Ring
http://dring.wordpress.com
wombat_socho
Jun. 10th, 2007 08:08 pm (UTC)
Re: D-Ring Responds
I disagree with you that the general's comments are nothing to talk about. I think a very senior military leader who commanded troops in Iraq making these kind of statements is quite newsworthy and worth discussing.

Except that we've already had a number of other generals coming forward (now that they're safely collecting their pensions, the gutless fucks) and saying the same things. Sanchez may have some additional credit for having actually been the head honcho in Iraq, but to the media in general and the milbloggers specifically, he's just another defeatist general, and they're going to pass him by.

I phrased the link comment badly. I probably should have said that it's remarkable that nobody on the left side of the blogosphere picked up on this the way you did. As your lead commenter on the post said, it would be an opportunity to paint them all once again as part of the VRWC's noise machine.
(Anonymous)
Jun. 11th, 2007 02:08 pm (UTC)
Re: D-Ring Responds
The reason that generals don't say these things while they are on active duty is because doing so would be tantamount to insubordination. That's a court marshal right there.

As far as lefties not writing about this... well, just check out this link from Daily Kos as starters... And the 152 comments to this post.

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/6/4/203736/2043

Steve
The D-Ring
wombat_socho
Jun. 11th, 2007 11:51 pm (UTC)
Re: D-Ring Responds
The reason that generals don't say these things while they are on active duty is because doing so would be tantamount to insubordination. That's a court martial right there.
More like forced retirement - the case of General John Singlaub, who was publicly critical of Carter's Taiwan policy and got his career cut off at the knees for it, is particularly relevant, if not as well-known as Billy Mitchell's. Still, as a senior officer, you're supposed to be ready to sacrifice your career if you think the civilians have fucked up, and it's pretty sad that so few have been willing to do that.

The link to Kos is dead, but I'll take your word for it.
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