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How I Failed Liberal Narrative 101

A lot of people are touting the recent public statements of retired General Ricardo Sanchez, who was the commander in chief of coalition forces in Iraq from 2003 to 2004. His criticisms of the Bush administration's management of the war have become major talking points among those who oppose the war.

I know I don't have the best memory in the world, but I seem to recall a few key facts, both from reality and the anti-war narrative:

  • The prisoner abuses at Abu Ghraib were a major black eye to the US.
  • According to the anti-war side, the responsibility for the abuses stretched all the way up to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and President Bush.
  • According to the Army, the responsibility for the abuses started with the guards who carried them out and reached up to the commander of the prison, General Janis Karpinski.

Now, if the left's allegations are to be taken at face value, then the officers in the chain of command between Karpinski and Rumsfeld are also liable for allowing those abuses to happen -- and right smack dab in the middle of that chain was General Sanchez.

So, let's see... I guess the prior criticisms and complaints about Sanchez are no longer "operative" now that he's saying the "right" things about President Bush. And if he happens to mix them in with equal criticism for Congress and even more complaints of the media, they can be swept under the rug and buried -- the only important thing he had to say was about Bush, after all.

Have I got it about right?


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Comments (24)

I think we have a winner!</... (Below threshold)

I think we have a winner!

So, let's see... I... (Below threshold)
So, let's see... I guess the prior criticisms and complaints about Sanchez are no longer "operative" now that he's saying the "right" things about President Bush.

To me, the criticisms are actually quite operative. I haven't really reviewed Sanchez's remarks, but has he been as critical of himself as he is of the Bush administration and the media?


Geesh... talk about [anonym... (Below threshold)

Geesh... talk about [anonymous]troll bait, 54 votes cast at this point and it only rates a 1.9 rating!

The anonymous little cowards have been busy little beavers haven't they? The truth hurts deeply doesn't it you bunch of sniveling weasels?

And BTW, the post is spot on.

<a href="http://www.msnbc.m... (Below threshold)


pennywit, Sanchez "took responsiblity" for abu Ghraib because it happened under his command, even though he said he knew nothing of it. Don't know how far his idea of command responsibility extends, though.

" There has been a glaring,... (Below threshold)

" There has been a glaring, unfortunate, display of incompetent strategic leadership within our national leaders. As a Japanese proverb says, "Action without vision is a nightmare." There is no question that America is living a nightmare with no end in sight.
Since 2003, the politics of war have been characterized by partisanship as the Republican and Democratic parties struggled for power in Washington. National efforts to date have been corrupted by partisan politics that have prevented us from decising effective, executable, supportable solutions. At times, these partisan struggles have led to political decisions that endangered the lives of our sons and daughters on the battlefield. The unmistakable message was that political power had a greater priority than our national security objectives. Overcoming this strategic failure is the first step toward achieving victory in Iraq - without bipartisan cooperation we are doomed to fail. There is nothing going on in Washington that would give us hope.

I would say that the has " talked truth to power" (as our friends on the left like to say) but no one is listening not the press corp or the Politicians.

If you read what he says it true,
How can we have long term believable decisive strategy if we have Bush who want us their till the Job is done and the Dems who want us out now?
This not only undermines the war-fighter (Soldiers , Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Guardsmen) be causing Bad moral and giving propaganda to the enemy but makes the political competent in Iraq a miasma. How can any Iraq politician back a long range partnership with the US with us always talking about abandoning them and how incompetent they are. We criticize them for going on vacation while their country are war. yet our law makers do the same.
We are being forced to do tactical actions because their no long term strategy.
Instead of making permeant fortifications we make temporary ones because we are leaving soon.
The need for a Status of Forces agreement

The Base Al Quedia knows the most have victory in Iraq to sustain there movement. Vietnam, Beirut and Somalia allowed the world to think of the US as paper tiger. Bloody our noise and we will leave.

Thats what our enemies say. state.

The Democrat leadership states we lost to many men and most come home. This plays to our enemies belief system. Attack the US do what you must and if they attack back kill as many of them as you can and they will leave.
Next they talk about sectarian violence until it became a self fulfilling prophecy. What we need are bipartisan committees and investigation on how to win in Iraq how best to have stable Middle East, how to provide better economic and political oversight. We occupied Japan from 1946 to 1952 and then turned over civil control after we had made some reforms politically, socially and economically. We need to help the Iraq help themselves.

There is no victory without commitment to it, determination, sacrifice, vision. and faith in ones cause.

Sanchez may have 'an axe to... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

considering Bush prides himself on being 'the war president' and Sanchez is not 'a peacenick moonbat' but was in charge of US forces in Iraq from 2003 to 2004.

The media conviently forgot... (Below threshold)

The media conviently forgot about Sanchez's remarks about how low, dirty, and lying (feeding at the hog trough) they were and are. Why is it that every Officer/Official that is fired for failure to do their job becomes a hero to the left wing anti-american democrats? Aren't they smart enough to know a mad dog will bit them to?
Just ignore all democrats under the age of 25, they have the mind of a child and are qualified for the children's health program. Doesn't that shoot down the rants of the past that high school children are adults and should be treated as such? That is the meat of the rants from all of the democrat leaders making the talk show circuit today.

Db: What... (Below threshold)
stan25 Author Profile Page:


What we need are bipartisan committees and investigation on how to win in Iraq how best to have stable Middle East, how to provide better economic and political oversight.

Db, that is the last thing that we need. There is no way that there will ever be a bipartisan committee as long as there is a television camera within 500 ft of the room where the hearings would be held. The ones that will be doing the investigating will be preening in front of the cameras for the folks back home.

Look at what a three ring circus the 911 Commission hearing was. Everyone of the members had an axe to grind and the worst ones were the Clintoon hacks. We all know that the Dems on any committee will make sure that bipartisanship will never happen.

If there was a committee impaneled now, it would be run by the Dems and we all know that they have their own agenda. That agenda is to ruin the credibility of the current administration in the eyes of the world. Frankly, I am sick of all of the asshat politicians preening for the tv cameras.

You hit this nail out of th... (Below threshold)

You hit this nail out of the park.

CrickmoreNot that yo... (Below threshold)

Not that you would be able or willing to draw distinctions in internecine policy disputes in the prosecution of this war, your entirely predictable response is fatally flawed for these reasons:

1) Sanchez was shown the door. with a suggestion that it not hit him in the ass on the way out.
2) Truman did the same with McArthur
3) Snanchez' departure and that of Rumsfeld has resulted in a dramatically different outcome in results and strategy....we are winning. Get over it.
4) Sanchez has nothing but disgust for the media...those are your friends, BTW.
5) there is no "GRAND STRATEGY" in war. Combat and strategic operations are dynamic. Embrace that. Learn that. It is the future of our security.
6) Powell may well have been an effective military leader, but he is a failure as a diplomat that has shown poor character and integrity. He knew Richard Armitage was the leaker in the Plame case and did not ( READ: REFUSED) to inform his superiors of his knowledge of said facts. Greatness is bestowed upon those who make courageous decisions in the circumstances they find themselves in. Powell failed. Think not? Where are the great biographies of him today?

HughSPowell fa... (Below threshold)


Powell failed. Think not? Where are the great biographies of him today?

Give it time, media matters is having trouble finding a ghost writer.

HughS, you nailed Crickmore... (Below threshold)

HughS, you nailed Crickmore. Sweeeet.

marcGood point. It r... (Below threshold)

Good point. It remains that Powell is a political being. I hesitate to "McArthur" him, but his gesticulations in the WMD debate sicken me.

Certainly Hillary and George "Media Matters" Soros will memorialize him in a way that insults our memory and our troops. Harsh words, but he is playing present events a bit to close to the vest.

Give it time, medi... (Below threshold)
stan25 Author Profile Page:
Give it time, media matters is having trouble finding a ghost writer.

Hmmmm I wonder if Jayson Blair is available to write that story?

There is no need to destroy... (Below threshold)

There is no need to destroy Powell personally here. The real issue is that Sanchez believed we should use the Powell Doctrine to fight the war, while others wanted to use Rumsfeld's strategy. The Powell Doctrine relies on overwhelming force, much closer to traditional warfare with large, slow-moving armies. Rumsfeld envisioned a smaller, faster force able to strike and move on quickly. Given that many envisioned high casualties from the initial invasion, from WMD strikes and a overestimate of Saddams military capabilitities, it was decided to go with Rumsfeld's strategy. And Bagdad fell in about 3 weeks, so it worked pretty well.

A lot of people think we should have used the Powell Doctrine, to have more forces to secure Iraq. There are two strikes against this: 1) NEVER look past your opponent. If you go in, go in to win. Just like we have heard that we shouldn't fight the last war, that is expect this war to be just like the last war, you can't fight the next one, either. 2)Everyone is complaining that the military is strained, our presence "creates terrorists" and the war is too expensive now. Just imagine how much more dire all of those issues would be today with double the size of the army.
So Sanchez wanted a different strategy but lost that battle, fought constantly with Paul Bremer during his tenure in Iraq and was ultimately booted over those issues and Abu Ghraib. He has reasons to be pretty bitter, but that doesn't make him right.

5) there is no "GRAND STRAT... (Below threshold)

5) there is no "GRAND STRATEGY" in war.

Rather than "nailing" SC, I would prefer that Steve (at least) understand and agree with one of Hugh's six points. That would be more success than attempting to hammer an entire thought change.

"considering Bush prides himself on being 'the war president' and Sanchez is not 'a peacenick moonbat' but was in charge of US forces in Iraq from 2003 to 2004.'

Now this sets off alarm bells that tell us that SC has a level of BDS, not totally detectable, but it's there. I don't know Steve, but every once in a while you come across a liberal that understands while Bush has made pleanty of mistakes, he still is doing his best to protect this nation from greater harm.

As the tides of this war have changed to a more positive outcome, the media and the radical left have turned their tactics inward. For the past few months the WAR NEWS has fallen off the front pages while the minions of MoveOn (or I prefer movement.com) and Media Matters have turned their attention to the conservative voices in this country. When the "betrayus" ad failed as an attack on all of our troops, they changed the conversation almost flawlessly.

While the Clinton machine is running like a well oiled tool, the progress of the prosecution of the war will remind many that the democratic party had not the will to stand by our resolve and will be seen as weak on national security. GW could even become some one other than a liability and make a difference. Mr. Crickmore would undertand this as a "GRAND STRATEGY" in politics, and would be advised to keep his (and a failed General Sanchez's) war stratagies to themselves.

"How come all those same... (Below threshold)

"How come all those same liberal whinning about those mistreated terrorists at ABU GHIARB dont say a thing about those americans mistreated at the infamous HANOI HILTON?"

Well, I for one, was an unyet realized combination of sperm and egg at that time, but anywhere a human being suffers, there should be outrage. Show me some evidence, or better yet, allow the people being held to show some evidence, as is our judicial custom, that every person in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay is a bona fide terrorist, and I'll give you a high five. Otherwise, while you sit on your fat ass and watch TV, real innocent people are being tortured by our forces without even a chance to a trial, or anything.

Db, that is the last thing ... (Below threshold)

Db, that is the last thing that we need. There is no way that there will ever be a bipartisan committee as long as there is a television camera within 500 ft of the room where the hearings would be held. The ones that will be doing the investigating will be preening in front of the cameras for the folks back home.

You made my point. If they really want us to win they would have meetings of that type. However we know that they only want sound bites that will hurt Bush.

In WW 11, did we have one side saying during the first days of the War where Americans suffered some stinging defeats lets Bring our Boys home! Did we have American politicians saying well you Know the Italians and Germans did not attack US so lets not go after them. Did we say that D-Day was failure because the US overshot the German Bunkers and wave after wave of Americans died on the landings. After Operation Market Garden did we say lets pull out of the war we lost too maney men its too hard?

Look at the Island hoping campaigns in the Pacific. Did we hear we lost 3000 men in 1 month its time to stop.

We knew that things had to be done and we did it.

We are in the IRAQ for the long haul. Is it funny when asked all the folks who want every war fighter out of IRAQ now will not say they will have them out of IRAQ if and or when they become Commander In Chief That means they know its just gamesmanship. Which means that they are not truly committed to anything except a political agenda.

Other Ryan. ..We d... (Below threshold)

Other Ryan. ..

We don't have to show you proof that they ARE you have to show proof that they AREN'T. I'm sorry, but your wild accusations do not automatically become the defacto position that everyone has to disprove. The one making the extraordinary claim has to give the extraordinary proof And even if 'Every single one' isn't a terrorist. . .

Are you going to say, for example, that all American prisons should close because there are probably some innocent people in jail?

"A commander is responsible... (Below threshold)

"A commander is responsible for everything his unit does or fails to do."

This goes all the way to the top.

N.B. - being responsible does not necessarily mean a commander is at fault for a given bad situation - but the commander IS responsible for dealing with it.

You can delegate authority,... (Below threshold)

You can delegate authority, but not responsibility. I'm amazed how many people think that is backward.

Jay, you're exactly right. ... (Below threshold)

Jay, you're exactly right. There are more outlets that castigate Bush, fairly and unfairly, than one could shake a stick at. But it doesn't seem to be enough for some people. Those like Civil Behavior - one of the worst - and many others that are constantly looking for affirmation of their outrage as if it's something that must constantly be fed lest any one good thing shake the entire foundation of hate they've built. It's that precarious.

This was demostrated quite clearly when Kansas Congresswoman Nancy Boyda walked out when General Jack Keane tesified. "There was only so much that you could take..."

This was demonstrated when Harry Reid declared, long before Petraeus presented his testimony, that he would not believe what Petraeus would say.

There are so many examples I can't recount them all here.

Over and over again, here on this blog, when anyone speaks of the slightest progress in Iraq, it's met with statements like, "Oh yeah, it's all wine and roses over there - sure!" And the more exceptional the progress is, the louder the shrieks.

That's how delicate their foundation is.

The Boyda Who Cried Wolf.<b... (Below threshold)

The Boyda Who Cried Wolf.

Getting ready to run for of... (Below threshold)

Getting ready to run for office?






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