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Got a question?

I've been invited to a blogger/podcaster conference call tomorrow morning with Maj. Gen. William Caldwell. DCS for Strategic Effects and Multi-National Forces Iraq Spokesman. At last week's Pentagon blogger's conference call we were joined by Mark Finkelstein of Newsbusters, Austin Bay, and Victoria at RedState. If you have a question you'd like to have me ask the good General, please post it in the comments. I'll try my best to ask it.

My first priority is to fact check Jack Murtha's assertions on Meet the Press last Sunday.

  • National Guard, 90 percent of the units are... below the readiness level to be deployed. - What are the readiness levels of our National Guard?
  • The public in Iraq says ... we're the ones that are inciting riots. ...They want us out of there; 64 percent of the public in Iraq wants us out of Iraq. - Are we polling in Iraq? How do they really feel?
  • We've lost our strategic reserve. We could not respond to a threat to our national security, China or Iran or any other country that were to threaten us, we couldn't respond, because we've completely depleted it and it's readiness. - Should we worry about are military readiness?
  • And my favorite:

  • Yeah. They're, they're in a civil war. We're caught in a civil war. Any way you look at it, it's a civil war. There's no way that we can continue our troops in harm's way in a civil war. - Can we find somewhere to put this guy where he won't do any damage?

Any others? I'll post the recording of the call as a podcast later this week.

Comments (19)

Was told my 2 different cli... (Below threshold)

Was told my 2 different clients of mine, both Marines that have served in Iraq, that there are different rules of engagement for the Army, Marines, etc.

War is not nice, its hard work, long hrs, dangerous, and yeah, even deadly. Playing by some BS liberal, Swiss or UN code of conduct doesnt help in the outcome.

The 1 client, now a local cop, says the Army rules of engagement are that they can see guys setting up an IED

Dont know anyone that would ever want to kill someone, but, if I knew their intent was to kill or maim me or mine, well damn, thats incentive enough for me.

"I've been invited to a blo... (Below threshold)

"I've been invited to a blogger/podcaster conference call tomorrow morning with Maj. Gen. William Caldwell."

I've always wondered this - what bloggers are in on this conference call? If I recall correctly, the last one of these (put on by the Pentagon I think) involved ONLY conservative bloggers. Does that seem dangerous to anyone else?

Does that seem dangerous... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Does that seem dangerous to anyone else?

Selective, perhaps; dangerous, hardly.

Dangerous? Isn't ... (Below threshold)


Isn't it amazing what liberals think is dangerous? Conservative bloggers only in a conference call is dangerous. Leaking classified information that helps our enemies, giving them aid and comfort through their words --- all that is not dangerous. That is fine and dandy.


I wonder what color is the moon on Planet Liberal, because they are not of this Earth.

Yeah, Charlie -- ask him ho... (Below threshold)

Yeah, Charlie -- ask him how much longer before the U.S. forces get the upper hand in this "surge"?

It's obvious from the news of the day that things are getting worse, not better:

Two suicide bombers killed at least 77 Shiite pilgrims in the southern city of Hilla on Tuesday, the Iraqi authorities said, the deadliest of at least a dozen attacks that killed more than 100 Shiites marching to the holy city of Karbala on the eve of an important Shiite holiday.

The first attacks Tuesday struck Baghdad in the morning and early afternoon, killing close to 30 Shiite pilgrims as they left their homes or passed through the capital's western side on their way to Karbala.

Then in Hilla, at about 5 p.m., came the most devastating explosions: Two bombers waded into a thick crowd of pilgrims and detonated explosive vests, killing at least 77 people and wounding 127, the Karbala police said. Iraqi state- run television put the death toll closer to 100, with twice as many wounded."

When he finishes stammering ask him about the jail break - and about the 140 freed insurgents now on the streets.

Suspected Al-Qaeda gunmen stormed a troubled Iraqi jail on Tuesday and freed at least 140 prisoners, the chairman of the area's provincial security committee told AFP.

Hasham al-Hamadani of Nineveh province's security council said fighters loyal to Al-Qaeda kingpin Omar al-Baghdadi had infiltrated the area around the northern city of Mosul and masterminded the jailbreak.

Foreign Arab extremist fighters were among the prisoners freed in the attack on Badush prison, an Iraqi government facility outside the city, he added.

Let us know how it goes...

I want to know what the gen... (Below threshold)
Christopher Sanders:

I want to know what the general's staff is doing to win the public affairs battle, actively counter the negative perspective put forth by the press and counter the enemy propaganda.

It must be more then living dieing and fighting with a higher set of principles. I want to know that there is a friendly plan of action and I want to see the results.

One must recall that the de... (Below threshold)

One must recall that the definition of "conservative" is anyone who is not hoping we lose in Iraq. Therefore the diversity of political theory on the "conservative" side is rather broad. Are there any "liberal" bloggers who actually want to know Maj. Gen. Caldwell's opinion on anything?

As for strategic reserve... we've got a strategic reserve. Silly Murtha.

Ask him to grant me a waive... (Below threshold)

Ask him to grant me a waiver to join the U.S. Army. I could contribute greatly but they won't take me because I am 45 years old. I'm in better health and condition than so many who are the right age. I'd do whatever needs to be done but apparently they have all the help they need.

Synova,As for your s... (Below threshold)

As for your strategic reserve, we also have Walter Reed Medical problems, Libby's being found guilty, No plan B if plan A doesn't work in Iraq.

What happen to the family values you right wing nuts always preach about? It's the same thing the left wing nuts preach about, correct? Get some cranium/rectal surgery before it's too late.

We are in a war, a very serious war, and while being mishandled by the present admin, at least the president has the brass balls to take the war to them. He just fucked up invading Iraq, instead of finishing the job in Afgan, then going after the real terrorist supporting country, which is Saudi Arabia.

Deny it all you want, but it's the truth. Need references, don't have any, but can you idiots use your brains?

Yea, I know, poor Libby was railroaded by the leftwing nuts. What else is new?

bill caldwell. you are doin... (Below threshold)

bill caldwell. you are doing a great job. i just weant you to give your personal assurances to an old friend that we are doing everything we can to winin iraq. is anyone or anythjing you see hindering your efforts?

Please ask:What wi... (Below threshold)

Please ask:

What will happen in Iraq if we leave? Will it be like Vietnam when we left and millions died there and Cambodia?

Who will ultimately control Iraq if we do not support the democratically elected government?

Will it become an Iranian provence providing yet more oil revenue to support Iran's nuclear weapons and its stated goal of wiping Israel off the earth?

Will al Qaeda then win against the US as the Mujahideen did against the Soviets in Afghanistan and use the victories to fill its ranks with tens of thousands of Islamic extremists bent on jihad and the Islamitization of the west (which is al Qaeda's stated long term objective)?

Will the al Qaeda fighters then return to staging international terrorist plots to strike at America civilians instead of martyring themselves against US tanks and Bradleys?

Is this then not an existential threat to the government of the United States much as the loss in Afghanistan ultimately leant great weight to the toppling of the Soviet government and a much longer and vicious war with Islamists within Russia's own borders?

just a thought

Other than Ray's good quest... (Below threshold)

Other than Ray's good questions I dont know if those other comments above included anything worth asking the general. Please ask this:
what is the US military going to do about all the weaponry coming across the border from Iran? Try to interdict at the border? Covert (or overt) attacks on staging and weapon development sites in Iran? Does the general agree that this cross border free flow of men and materiel must be stopped in order for us to win?


Ask him, because he took an... (Below threshold)

Ask him, because he took an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, what is he doing to fight the domestic enemies? This part of the war isn't being focused on.

"Does that seem dangerous t... (Below threshold)

"Does that seem dangerous to anyone else?"

Well, I'm sure Mookie prolly thinks so.

You can see old p'p' 's pos... (Below threshold)

You can see old p'p' 's post coming from a mile off. Either the 1st two words or his 3' of block quotes.

When are the American peop... (Below threshold)
tim blotzke:

When are the American people going to wake up and realize what type of war we are in

What's that called, allen? ... (Below threshold)

What's that called, allen? Bait and switch? Or maybe just switch? Not a single thing to say about "strategic reserve" other than to point at completely unrelated issues?

Walter Reed is endemic of any endeavor that is run by the government. No matter how much individuals care the need for accountability and control *itself* results in a lack of accountability and a lack of control. Yet it needs to be that way. Problems, when brought to light, can be fixed but it's always a case of catch-up. 'Customers' can do little to improve the care they recieve and they can *not* go elsewhere... cannot vote with their feet and pocketbooks. Because that most immediate method of correction is missing the only thing left are methods of delayed correction. As for the congresspersons... you'd think they hadn't been visiting the hospital. What happened that they never noticed how bad it was?

Libby has nothing to do with strategic reserves either. Not a thing.

Nor do family values... honestly, were you just spewing?

If I use very small words to explain that an invasion of Saudi Arabia would do exactly what Bin Laden desired, unite the entire Muslim world in violent opposition to us, would you get a clue? Or do you just not think things through to the end. This also, however, has nothing to do with a strategic reserve.

We *have* a strategic reserve. We *have* what amounts to two entire "armies" who can be brought into play if need be. If we have to use them it's not going to be a nice careful occupation and rebuild because that's not the sort of "armies" they are. If we have to use them it's going to go very badly for the other guy.

I really don't know why I bother to explain this to someone who can say, with a straight face, that we ought to have gone after Saudi Arabia, but those "armies" are called the Air Force and the U.S. Navy. Rested, ready, and willing.

Lee says of a G... (Below threshold)

Lee says of a General

"When he finishes stammering"

"Nice" assumption Lee, that a highly educated professional soldier would give the slightest hesitation in answering what amounts to a sophomoric question.

Been taking lessons from Kerry?

Lee (the resident moron) bl... (Below threshold)

Lee (the resident moron) blathered:

Yeah, Charlie -- ask him how much longer before the U.S. forces get the upper hand in this "surge"?

Comprehension isn't your strong suit, eh ? If you'll strain yourself to think and think WAY back to a few weeks ago, I believe you might recall that General Petraeus stated that he believed that we should be able to tell if the surge is going to work around the end of the summer.

Okay, now check your calendar (that's the thing with all the squares and numbers). Look for the square that says something like 'First Day of Fall' or 'Last Day of Summer'. Found it ? Good boy!

Now, according to the General now running the show in Baghdad, we should be able to tell the whether the surge is starting to have the desired effect around that date. As for how long between now and then, count the squares. Use your toes since you (probably) don't have enough fingers to cover the number of days. Hopefully, this cleared it up for you. If it didn't, let me know and I'll type slower.






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