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 Post subject: Former Top General in Iraq Faults Bush Administration
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 9:44 am 
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Former Top General in Iraq Faults Bush Administration

WASHINGTON, Oct. 12— In a sweeping indictment of the four-year effort in Iraq, the former top American commander called the Bush administration’s handling of the war incompetent and warned that the United States was “living a nightmare with no end in sight.”

In one of his first major public speeches since leaving the Army in late 2006, retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez blamed the administration for a “catastrophically flawed, unrealistically optimistic war plan” and denounced the current “surge” strategy as a “desperate” move that will not achieve long-term stability.

“After more than fours years of fighting, America continues its desperate struggle in Iraq without any concerted effort to devise a strategy that will achieve victory in that war-torn country or in the greater conflict against extremism,” Mr. Sanchez said, at a gathering here of military reporters and editors.

General Sanchez is the most senior in a string of retired generals to harshly criticize the administration’s conduct of the war. Asked following his remarks why he waited nearly a year after his retirement to outline his views, he responded that it was not the place of active duty officers to challenge lawful orders from civilian authorities. General Sanchez, who is said to be considering a book, promised further public statements criticizing officials by name.

“There was been a glaring and unfortunate display of incompetent strategic leadership within our national leaders,” he said, adding later in his remarks that civilian officials have been “derelict in their duties” and guilty of a “lust for power.”


From NYTimes.com. More at link.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 12:07 pm 
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Unfortunately, just another target for the "right wing echo machine" to call a phony soldier. :(

There is this comment in the story that should be challenged, though:
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Asked following his remarks why he waited nearly a year after his retirement to outline his views, he responded that that it was not the place of active duty officers to challenge lawful orders from civilian authorities.

What "lawful orders"? The war/occupation of Iraq was not legal.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 8:55 am 
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That stuck out in my mind too CZ. What lawful orders? How can you have lawful orders in an unlawful occupation.

Ask Ehren Watada...

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 2:26 pm 
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Apparently, retired general Sanchez has not let up:

Ex-General: 'Bring the troops home' -- Former top commander in Iraq supports pullout

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November 23, 2007 - 8:33am.

A former top US commander in Iraq has thrown his support behind a war funding bill proposed by Democrats that calls for withdrawing most combat troops by the end of next year.

Retired Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez says in remarks to be aired Saturday in the Democrats' weekly radio address that Iraqi leaders are not making the tough decisions needed to bring peace to their country.

"The keys to securing the future of Iraq are aggressive regional diplomacy, political reconciliation and economic hope," Sanchez, who led US forces in Iraq between 2003-2004, says in excerpts of his remarks.

"Yet, as our current commanders in Iraq have recently noted, the improvements in security produced by the courage and blood of our troops have not been matched by a willingness on the part of Iraqi leaders to make the hard choices necessary to bring peace to their country," he says.

"There is no evidence that the Iraqis will choose to do so in the near future or that we have an ability to force that result."
...

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 7:42 am 
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Here's Tom Brokaw talking about Iraq and how it can handle its own destiny:

Brokaw: Iraq can handle its own destiny

NBC alumnus Tom Brokaw tells CNN's Howard Kurtz that there must be a "truer measure" of "success" in Iraq besides a recent reduction in body counts and IED explosions, given that the Iraqi government has had four years and billions of dollars at its disposal.

This video is from CNN's Reliable Source, broadcast on November 25, 2007. Transcript of this exchange can be viewed below, and the entire interview is available at CNN.com.

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