2007 October 12 Friday
Ex US Iraq Commander Sees US In Nightmare In Iraq

The surge is an act of desperation by political types who are in denial of reality. He is stating the obvious.

Retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, who led U.S. forces in Iraq for a year after the March 2003 invasion, accused the Bush administration yesterday of going to war with a "catastrophically flawed" plan and said the United States is "living a nightmare with no end in sight."

Sanchez also bluntly criticized the current troop increase in Iraq, describing it as "a desperate attempt by the administration that has not accepted the political and economic realities of this war."

He thinks our political leaders are incompetent. Too true. We are incompetently ruled.

So if Bush was an officer he would be court-martialed.

“There has been a glaring, unfortunate display of incompetence in strategic leadership among our national leaders,” Sanchez said. “They have unquestionably been derelict in the performance of their duty. In my profession, these types of leaders would be immediately relieved or court-martialed.”


“Any sequential solutions would lead to a prolonged conflict and increased resistance,” Sanchez said about these messages to Washington. “By neglect and incompetence at the National Security Council level, that is the path our political leaders chose and now America and more precisely the American military finds itself in an intractable situation.”

Yes, the situation in Iraq and in Washington DC really is that bad. I wish more people put a lot of effort into understanding Iraq so that more could see through the lies told by the Bush Administration and its allies and defenders.

But officers such as Sanchez bear part of the blame. His command in Iraq ended June 2004. But he didn't leave the Army until 2006 and didn't speak out until now, more than 3 years after he left Iraq. Well, thousands of American soldiers had to die and tens of thousand had to come back with pieces permanently missing and broken before he'd tell the public what they needed to hear.

Here is the full Sanchez speech, albeit in ALL CAPS.

Update: Unfortunately, Sanchez appears to focus on criticizing while not offering an alternative substantially different from what the Bush Administration is doing.

He said deployment cycles aren’t working with current troop levels, that it will take decades to fix the “military’s full-spectrum readiness,” and that if the U.S. were to withdraw from Iraq, it would lead to “chaos that would lead to instability in the Middle East.” And, he said the Powell Doctrine — which requires a clear exit strategy as part of a war plan — was violated.

Here is my exit strategy: Leave. Does Sanchez have an exit strategy? His exit strategy appears to be to win first before leaving.

Sanchez blames reporters for bad strategic decisions made by generals and politicians.

He said some poor strategic decisions in Iraq had become “defeats because of the media,” and that some reporters feed from a “pigs’ trough.”

Poor strategic decisions are more important in their effects than what reporters say about them.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2007 October 12 10:57 PM  Mideast Iraq Exit Debate

Wolf-Dog said at October 13, 2007 6:18 AM:

Instead of complaining and accusing, let us figure out what we can do to get out of Iraq with minimal damage to the United States: the fears of Bush and his neo-conservatives is what will happen if we leave the Middle East?

1) Will Iran take over the oil in the southern part of Iraq?

2) Will the pro-American Saudi monarchy collapse and its oil become the property of Al Qaeda or even Iran?

3) Will the establishment of a dollar-free oil market by the Muslim enemies of the US destroy America?

Some fear that the question 3) is the most serious danger to the US if we lose control of the oil regions in the Gulf. These fears are well founded. But again, we did survive the Great Depression I, and we can survive the Great Depression II also. So far, oil has been the main currency that is used to trade oil and many raw materials, and this also makes it possible for the US to run a $700 billion trade deficit every year, of which only a small fraction is really for oil imports. Most of the US trade deficit is for manufactured goods coming from all over the world, but these countries pay for their raw materials with the US dollar, and so the dollar remains the main currency, and this makes it possible for the US to enjoy a high standard of living. If we lose this privilege, we will suffer a Great Depression II, but it will not kill us. If we are prepared, and understand that it can happen, then the shock will be much smaller and we will recover faster.

On the plus side, if we pull the troops out of Iraq, then we can spend $500 billion during the next 5 years on alternative energy development, and many inventions, and even Hillary can use some of that money to establish a health care system for America, which would be a much more productive way of spending, even though she is a Democrat.

Anon said at October 13, 2007 9:38 AM:

Sanchez has an ax to grind, you can be sure of that.

John S Bolton said at October 13, 2007 3:39 PM:

This points toward a problem in the jes' folksy White House, which is actually so hierarchical in the ancient status society mold , that it will not alow evaluations to travel up through the pyramid. Just the facts, ma'am, said the dragnet officer. We don't do do quagmires... blah blah...good news only thank you...no excuses... positive thinking... blah blah... when you wish upon a star...we'll do the evaluation... you just give us good news or get out.

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