Thursday, September 29, 2005


Remember this? From WaPo on July 27, 2005:
U.S. Signals Spring Start for Pullout

The top U.S. military leader in Iraq said Wednesday there could be substantial withdrawals of some of the 135,000 U.S. troops in the country as early as next spring.

Gen. George W. Casey said that despite continued lethal attacks by insurgents, the security situation in Iraq had improved. He reiterated a position he had taken earlier this year on the possible decrease in the U.S. military presence during a one-day visit by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld for meetings with Prime Minister Ibrahim Jafari.

Casey spoke on a day in which officials reported that 16 people were killed by insurgents, including two Algerian diplomats who had been kidnapped last week.
And now yesterday, September 28:
U.S. general casts doubt on 2006 troop cut in Iraq

The top U.S. general in Iraq on Wednesday cast doubt on his previous forecasts of a substantial cut in American forces in 2006, saying Iraq was in a period of heightened uncertainty that made it "too soon to tell" if troops can be brought home.
Casey's comments in July took place during a particularly high-profile stretch of mayhem and troop deaths in Iraq. His comments yesterday marked a brief period of relative "calm" there.

See how those goalposts will be moved for the next five, ten, fifteen years?


Anonymous scott_api said...

The comment in July was designed to bolster Republican prospects in the midterm elections next year. If troops get pulled out in the spring and summer, the GOP person running for re-election can point to it as progress and the GOP person running against a Democrat can point to it as progress.

9/29/2005 10:11 AM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Scott_api has an interesting observation, but I think this is more a result of the endemic lack of understanding as to the true enemy in Iraq. They are numerous, sophisticated, persistent, well equipped, trained and financed. They are also motivated and disciplined. Simply put: they are strong.

Many senior officers of the United States military and the administration have refused to sufficiently consider the true threat our forces face.

General Casey contradicted his July flourish within a week... It is not surprising that generals who insist on remaining in the fog will have no idea where they are.

In a real and troubling sense, our security is in the hands of these hacks.

9/29/2005 10:18 AM  
Blogger The Ignorant Investor said...

Everything depends on the number of Iraqi forces capable of fighting effectively. That figure is unknown because these guys apparently don't fight for the central government so much as for advancing the interests of their own religious or ethnic groups. I can't imagine it would be easy getting a unit filled with shiites to attack Sadr's forces, even though they might fight sunnis in Ramadi. And some soldiers are probably in the Iraqi army just for the money (which is pretty good by Iraqi standards), but these guys probably aren't keen on heavy combat ("Hey- I'm willing to sit on the checkpoint and search cars- but nobody said anything about retaking Fallujah!")

The planning process must be a nightmare for the U.S. generals.

9/29/2005 11:16 AM  
Anonymous thirdeye said...

Get a grip, guys. We're still in Germany 60 years after the "war" ended. Our commitment to prevent Jewish persecution has no end - it will go on for generations until we can expunge Jewish hatred out of every single human on the planet.

Get used to it.

9/29/2005 11:29 AM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Thirdeye, we stayed in Germany because there was another conflict to fight and because it was strategically important that we remain. Those are two criteria you should consider in your matrix.

9/29/2005 11:54 AM  
Anonymous Jeremy said...

copy editor: And the key difference in Iraq is....?

9/29/2005 2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember when Bush said we'd withdraw from Iraq - bring home the troops - depends on Iraqi security forces being trained...

General George Casey testified today and said that "the number of Iraqi battalions capable of fighting without American support has dropped from 3 to 1."

In June, the Pentagon told lawmakers that three Iraqi battalions were fully trained, equipped and capable of operating independently. On Thursday, Casey said only one battalion is ready.

9/29/2005 4:51 PM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Jeremy, my point is that it is more complex than what Thirdeye had to post. The nature of the conflict and the strategic situation requires that we ask where and how it is best to secure US interests.

9/29/2005 5:56 PM  
Blogger Roy said...

We stayed in Germany as part of our containment policy with the Soviet Union. Some might say we will develop a similar policy in Iraq and if we did and it could be a smooth stay like it is in Germany I would be on board. How many casulties have we had in Germany since WWII ended? Alas, we will need to leave when they are stable and able to defend their nation because it is not Germany.

(Third eye how is that you are able to relate every story to the Jews?)

9/29/2005 7:21 PM  
Blogger owenz said...

From today's Wall Street Journal:

In a joint appearance on Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and three senior generals acknowledged significant political and military obstacles and emphasized that it might take as long as nine years before Iraq's insurgency is defeated. The commanders said the number of Iraqi army battalions capable of operating without U.S. help had decreased to one from three over the past year. They declined to specificially explain the decrease but said many Iraqi units had suffered from a lack of stability and managerial expertise within Iraq's Ministry of Defense as successive Iraqi government shuffled the ranks of both the ministry and the armed forces. At the same time, the commanders said, the country's police and army units have become riddled with insurgent sympathizers. (emphasis added).

9/30/2005 11:33 AM  
Anonymous thirdeye said...

(Third eye how is that you are able to relate every story to the Jews?)

By observing a repeating pattern that goes back a couple of thousand years.

9/30/2005 12:17 PM  
Blogger muckdog said...

If you've been watching the NFL this year, even the field goal kickers can't seem to find the goalposts...

But I doubt we'll ever leave Iraq. I do think the situation there will stablize over time, though.

9/30/2005 12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've read the "body count" references here, they are at it again.

9/30/2005 4:19 PM  
Blogger Roy said...

Thrid eye (By observing a repeating pattern that goes back a couple of thousand years.)

I am not sure what patterns you are observing that creates connections between the Jews and every single news story. If there were no jews on the planet do you really believe it would transform into a peaceful paradise? Would the islamofascists become altruistic saints? I think not. But you saying the US stay in Germany is because we want to protect the Jews then you are misreading these "patterns."

9/30/2005 5:55 PM  
Anonymous thirdeye said...

First off, if there weren’t Jews then there would be another group acting as Jews. Within the spectrum of human behavior, as we know it, there would have to be a very dynamic group at the top of the bell curve and as it happens they are called Jews.

Aside from admiring their achievements and being genuinely entertained by their uniqueness, I also note the by-now clichéd behavioral pattern of them infiltrating other groups and ending up getting kicked out. It happened in Spain during the Inquisition, almost happened in France in the mid-1800s, definitely happened in Germany, some in Russia and now in a death grip struggle in the middle of Arabia. Anyone ignoring this pattern is either blind or stupid.

As I said before, far from hating Jews, I admire them but have to call a spade a spade in their inability to leave well enough alone and constantly bringing attention to themselves. Do I expect them to change? No. Again, another group would just take their place. It’s sort of like the notion “there’s one in every crowd.”

My constant harping about them probably just fuels the fire and I’m grateful Americans, in general, have so far been immune to this recurring pattern. What I fear, though, as we get dragged further and further into their struggle, Americans will get a whiff of anti-Semitism and the whole ugly process starts again.

10/01/2005 9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aug 3, 2005: 18 servicemen killed!

The "stay the course" attitude is going to kill us slowly.

One day you read more troops to be sent, the next week the number is coming down. I think a lot of it is based on the "politics" of the day. And we certainly, after 5 years, have enough historical data and examples, to predict more lies, 'covert propaganda', and corruption are coming.

10/01/2005 1:40 PM  
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Rumsfeld has also served in various positions under President Richard Nixon, served four terms in the United States House of Representatives, and served as United States Ambassador to NATO. Rumsfeld was an aviator in the United States sportsbook Navy between 1954 and 1957 before transferring to the Reserve. In public life, he has also served as an official in numerous federal commissions and councils. Although very accomplished, Rumsfeld is considered by some to be among the most controversial defense secretaries in US history.

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