T Nation

'Forget About Winning In Iraq'

[quote]
(Quote):
The general who commanded US-led coalition forces during the first year of the Iraq war says the United States can forget about winning the war.

“I think if we do the right things politically and economically with the right Iraqi leadership we could at least stave off defeat,” retired army Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez said in an interview.

Sanchez is the highest-ranking former military leader yet to suggest the Bush administration has fallen short in Iraq.

“I am absolutely convinced that America has a crisis in leadership at this time,” Sanchez told AFP after a recent speech in San Antonio, Texas.

“We’ve got to do whatever we can to help the next generation of leaders do better than we have done over the past five years, better than what this cohort of political and military leaders have done”.

Sanchez among those who erred

He added that he was “referring to our national political leadership in its entirety” - not just President George W Bush.

Sanchez called the situation in Iraq bleak, which he blamed on “the abysmal performance in the early stages and the transition of sovereignty”.

He included himself among those who erred in Iraq’s crucial first year after the toppling of the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

“There’s nobody out there that is intentionally trying to screw things up for our country,” he said. “They were all working to do the best damn job they can to get things right.”

Despite those good intentions, Americans will be forced to “answer the question what is victory, and at this point I’m not sure America really knows what victory is”, said Sanchez.

The US ambassador in Baghdad, Ryan Crocker, reacted on Sunday to Sanchez’s comments by insisting: “It’s just way premature to be talking in terms of victory or defeat.”[/quote]

I guess this guy is another America-hater who loves the terrorists, and has no idea of what the hell he’s talking about.

Sanchez obviously lacks the hard military expertise and close proximity of someone like a JeffR, for example. By the way, JeffR… thanks again for your service in Iraq.

Is there anybody here who is actually IN Iraq? I don’t mean the yahoos who sit in an air conditioned office all day who bitch and moan and make other people’s lives hell, I mean the ones who are actually in the fight. The ones who go on the road who take incoming fire and return fire. The ones who go out on patrols and raids. The 18, 19 year old kid who walks down the streets of Baghdad with a rifle in his hands and scared shitless.

How do those people feel? Policy and rhetoric and bullshit on Capitol Hill from the left or the right don’t mean shit when you have a bullet lodged sideways in your ass. I know it’s hell and a lot of times a supreme nightmare scenario.

IMO, its those people who are in the fight that can tell you whether or not something is or isn’t working. Just curious and wanted to hear those peoples opinions

[quote]Rastaban61 wrote:
IMO, its those people who are in the fight that can tell you whether or not something is or isn’t working. Just curious and wanted to hear those peoples opinions [/quote]

No, for many good reasons. The main of which would be that Iraq isn’t just a few acres. It’s very diverse and “support” (at least indifference) for American troops by the locals is very different depending on which province you’re in.

That’s why the insight that high-ranking officials provide is paramount; they see the whole picture. Way too many of them have deserted Bush’s rosy side that “victory” is possible for you to dismiss them as exceptions.

Also, when was the last time a conventional army defeated a guerilla group with the support of the civilians? As-Sadr and his buddies, and the Sunni seculars cannot be defeated simply because the more of them you kill, the more sprout up from the civilian populations. It’s simple math. They protect their country. You’re an invader.

Please note that I’m not talking about Al-Qaeda here. Those have very limited support from the locals and would be most harshly fought by Iraqis if only you’d get out of there. They represent a mere 10% of the insurgency (figure quoted from Reza Aslan), but as long as your troops occupy Iraq, you give them a rallying cause.

Seriously folks, anyone can give me a single example of an army defeating a guerilla that fights for the sovereignty of their land and that has local support? I’m curious if this can ever happen without killing the whole bazar.

Valid point, but I wasn’t looking to discredit the information and opinions of ground commanders but rather hear the personal insights of those who have had bullets thrown at them, their own feelings. This is not a personal attack on anybody here but it’s easy to be for or even against something when it doesn’t affect you personally. For me, I know this is a logistical and leadership nightmare being a junior leader trying to assuage the concerns of young soldiers, the ones doing the shooting and the driving and the dying, when getting shaky information from those at the top. Regardless of our opinions, we are bound by oath and by duty and as such, a lot of our opinions “don’t matter”, or go unheard.

[quote]Brad61 wrote:

(Quote):
The general who commanded US-led coalition forces during the first year of the Iraq war says the United States can forget about winning the war.

“I think if we do the right things politically and economically with the right Iraqi leadership we could at least stave off defeat,” retired army Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez said in an interview.

Sanchez is the highest-ranking former military leader yet to suggest the Bush administration has fallen short in Iraq.

“I am absolutely convinced that America has a crisis in leadership at this time,” Sanchez told AFP after a recent speech in San Antonio, Texas.

“We’ve got to do whatever we can to help the next generation of leaders do better than we have done over the past five years, better than what this cohort of political and military leaders have done”.

Sanchez among those who erred

He added that he was “referring to our national political leadership in its entirety” - not just President George W Bush.

Sanchez called the situation in Iraq bleak, which he blamed on “the abysmal performance in the early stages and the transition of sovereignty”.

He included himself among those who erred in Iraq’s crucial first year after the toppling of the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

“There’s nobody out there that is intentionally trying to screw things up for our country,” he said. “They were all working to do the best damn job they can to get things right.”

Despite those good intentions, Americans will be forced to “answer the question what is victory, and at this point I’m not sure America really knows what victory is”, said Sanchez.

The US ambassador in Baghdad, Ryan Crocker, reacted on Sunday to Sanchez’s comments by insisting: “It’s just way premature to be talking in terms of victory or defeat.”

I guess this guy is another America-hater who loves the terrorists, and has no idea of what the hell he’s talking about.

Sanchez obviously lacks the hard military expertise and close proximity of someone like a JeffR, for example. By the way, JeffR… thanks again for your service in Iraq. [/quote]

Sanchez did, by most accounts, a terrible job when he was in charge in Iraq. In over his head.

Having said that, I tend to think he’s right.

[quote]Rastaban61 wrote:
Is there anybody here who is actually IN Iraq? I don’t mean the yahoos who sit in an air conditioned office all day who bitch and moan and make other people’s lives hell, I mean the ones who are actually in the fight. The ones who go on the road who take incoming fire and return fire. The ones who go out on patrols and raids. The 18, 19 year old kid who walks down the streets of Baghdad with a rifle in his hands and scared shitless.

How do those people feel? Policy and rhetoric and bullshit on Capitol Hill from the left or the right don’t mean shit when you have a bullet lodged sideways in your ass. I know it’s hell and a lot of times a supreme nightmare scenario.

IMO, its those people who are in the fight that can tell you whether or not something is or isn’t working. Just curious and wanted to hear those peoples opinions [/quote]

Sort of. Bear in mind one’s observances of Iraq vary widely based on where one is stationed or working.

I haven’t been there, but have a pair of friends who have, one as a USMC platoon leader and the other as a security contractor. Their words were “clusterfuck” and “we’re not winning this war.”

[quote]gDollars37 wrote:
Rastaban61 wrote:
Is there anybody here who is actually IN Iraq? I don’t mean the yahoos who sit in an air conditioned office all day who bitch and moan and make other people’s lives hell, I mean the ones who are actually in the fight. The ones who go on the road who take incoming fire and return fire. The ones who go out on patrols and raids. The 18, 19 year old kid who walks down the streets of Baghdad with a rifle in his hands and scared shitless.

How do those people feel? Policy and rhetoric and bullshit on Capitol Hill from the left or the right don’t mean shit when you have a bullet lodged sideways in your ass. I know it’s hell and a lot of times a supreme nightmare scenario.

IMO, its those people who are in the fight that can tell you whether or not something is or isn’t working. Just curious and wanted to hear those peoples opinions

Sort of. Bear in mind one’s observances of Iraq vary widely based on where one is stationed or working.

I haven’t been there, but have a pair of friends who have, one as a USMC platoon leader and the other as a security contractor. Their words were “clusterfuck” and “we’re not winning this war.”[/quote]

I can of course counter with guys who are there who say that they are furious at the “back stabbing liberals” who want to run “before the job is done.”

That being said, I noticed that bradley’s post contradicted itself.

In one sentence, we can “forget about winning.” In the next, it was “at least stave off defeat.”

Last time I looked, staving off defeat equals winning.

Oh, bradley. Who do you favor out of the democratic crop?

gdol, if the choice was between Rudy/Fred Thompson and hillary, who will you vote for? (notice I didn’t allow you to weasle in ron paul to try to sound “objective.”)

Thanks in advance,

JeffR

[quote]JeffR wrote:
gDollars37 wrote:
Rastaban61 wrote:
Is there anybody here who is actually IN Iraq? I don’t mean the yahoos who sit in an air conditioned office all day who bitch and moan and make other people’s lives hell, I mean the ones who are actually in the fight. The ones who go on the road who take incoming fire and return fire. The ones who go out on patrols and raids. The 18, 19 year old kid who walks down the streets of Baghdad with a rifle in his hands and scared shitless.

How do those people feel? Policy and rhetoric and bullshit on Capitol Hill from the left or the right don’t mean shit when you have a bullet lodged sideways in your ass. I know it’s hell and a lot of times a supreme nightmare scenario.

IMO, its those people who are in the fight that can tell you whether or not something is or isn’t working. Just curious and wanted to hear those peoples opinions

Sort of. Bear in mind one’s observances of Iraq vary widely based on where one is stationed or working.

I haven’t been there, but have a pair of friends who have, one as a USMC platoon leader and the other as a security contractor. Their words were “clusterfuck” and “we’re not winning this war.”

I can of course counter with guys who are there who say that they are furious at the “back stabbing liberals” who want to run “before the job is done.”

That being said, I noticed that bradley’s post contradicted itself.

In one sentence, we can “forget about winning.” In the next, it was “at least stave off defeat.”

Last time I looked, staving off defeat equals winning.

Oh, bradley. Who do you favor out of the democratic crop?

gdol, if the choice was between Rudy/Fred Thompson and hillary, who will you vote for? (notice I didn’t allow you to weasle in ron paul to try to sound “objective.”)

Thanks in advance,

JeffR
[/quote]

Mayor of NYC on 9/11 who doesn’t understand why terrorists attack us/actor who plays tough guys on T.V. vs. Hillary…hmmm? Why the hell wouldn’t you vote for Hillary?

[quote]100meters wrote:
JeffR wrote:
gDollars37 wrote:
Rastaban61 wrote:
Is there anybody here who is actually IN Iraq? I don’t mean the yahoos who sit in an air conditioned office all day who bitch and moan and make other people’s lives hell, I mean the ones who are actually in the fight. The ones who go on the road who take incoming fire and return fire. The ones who go out on patrols and raids. The 18, 19 year old kid who walks down the streets of Baghdad with a rifle in his hands and scared shitless.

How do those people feel? Policy and rhetoric and bullshit on Capitol Hill from the left or the right don’t mean shit when you have a bullet lodged sideways in your ass. I know it’s hell and a lot of times a supreme nightmare scenario.

IMO, its those people who are in the fight that can tell you whether or not something is or isn’t working. Just curious and wanted to hear those peoples opinions

Sort of. Bear in mind one’s observances of Iraq vary widely based on where one is stationed or working.

I haven’t been there, but have a pair of friends who have, one as a USMC platoon leader and the other as a security contractor. Their words were “clusterfuck” and “we’re not winning this war.”

I can of course counter with guys who are there who say that they are furious at the “back stabbing liberals” who want to run “before the job is done.”

That being said, I noticed that bradley’s post contradicted itself.

In one sentence, we can “forget about winning.” In the next, it was “at least stave off defeat.”

Last time I looked, staving off defeat equals winning.

Oh, bradley. Who do you favor out of the democratic crop?

gdol, if the choice was between Rudy/Fred Thompson and hillary, who will you vote for? (notice I didn’t allow you to weasle in ron paul to try to sound “objective.”)

Thanks in advance,

JeffR

Mayor of NYC on 9/11 who doesn’t understand why terrorists attack us/actor who plays tough guys on T.V. vs. Hillary…hmmm? Why the hell wouldn’t you vote for Hillary?[/quote]

lumpy,

How much time do you have?

However, I don’t want to dissuade you from voting for her. Please send her money. Encourage your liberal friends to beat the hillary drums.

Thanks.

JeffR

We can’t win? what overthrowing a country in Record time wasn’t enough, how about Setting up a government thats growing stronger. Or hell how about us training there troops to fight. How about the fact that bin ladden has sayed shit in a year and half(This isnt normal for him. He’s either scared shitless or dead).

but yeah we got are ass kicked huh.

[quote]John S. wrote:
We can’t win? what overthrowing a country in Record time wasn’t enough, how about Setting up a government thats growing stronger. Or hell how about us training there troops to fight. How about the fact that bin ladden has sayed shit in a year and half(This isnt normal for him. He’s either scared shitless or dead).

but yeah we got are ass kicked huh.[/quote]

A) How can we win? We can keep fighting, and it will get better, but winning? Not unless we stay 50 years and their kids kids randomly decide to rebel and NOT hate us.

B) Bin Laden isn’t scared. He’s either dead, or close to it. He’s been on dialysis and closer to death then you’re likely to think since 2000.

C) Iraq had no terrorists to begin with, we invaded, terrorists are created. I call that losing (because, the war was on ‘terror’, not Iraq, remember?).

[quote]JeffR wrote:
gDollars37 wrote:
Rastaban61 wrote:
Is there anybody here who is actually IN Iraq? I don’t mean the yahoos who sit in an air conditioned office all day who bitch and moan and make other people’s lives hell, I mean the ones who are actually in the fight. The ones who go on the road who take incoming fire and return fire. The ones who go out on patrols and raids. The 18, 19 year old kid who walks down the streets of Baghdad with a rifle in his hands and scared shitless.

How do those people feel? Policy and rhetoric and bullshit on Capitol Hill from the left or the right don’t mean shit when you have a bullet lodged sideways in your ass. I know it’s hell and a lot of times a supreme nightmare scenario.

IMO, its those people who are in the fight that can tell you whether or not something is or isn’t working. Just curious and wanted to hear those peoples opinions

Sort of. Bear in mind one’s observances of Iraq vary widely based on where one is stationed or working.

I haven’t been there, but have a pair of friends who have, one as a USMC platoon leader and the other as a security contractor. Their words were “clusterfuck” and “we’re not winning this war.”

I can of course counter with guys who are there who say that they are furious at the “back stabbing liberals” who want to run “before the job is done.”

That being said, I noticed that bradley’s post contradicted itself.

In one sentence, we can “forget about winning.” In the next, it was “at least stave off defeat.”

Last time I looked, staving off defeat equals winning.

Oh, bradley. Who do you favor out of the democratic crop?

gdol, if the choice was between Rudy/Fred Thompson and hillary, who will you vote for? (notice I didn’t allow you to weasle in ron paul to try to sound “objective.”)

Thanks in advance,

JeffR
[/quote]

Which one? If it’s your lisping little authoritarian, I will vote third party. If it’s Fred Thompson, odds are I’d vote for him. I won’t vote for Rudy or Romney, and I won’t vote for any of the Democrats (due to their support of partial birth abortion above all else). If those are my choices, I will write somebody in. If it’s McCain or Thompson, I’d vote for either of them.

[quote]John S. wrote:
We can’t win? what overthrowing a country in Record time wasn’t enough, how about Setting up a government thats growing stronger. Or hell how about us training there troops to fight. How about the fact that bin ladden has sayed shit in a year and half(This isnt normal for him. He’s either scared shitless or dead).

but yeah we got are ass kicked huh.[/quote]

Your view of Iraq is incredibly simplistic. Overthrowing Saddam isn’t a victory if we leave the country in even worse shape, and as more of a threat to America and the region.

You seem to think that holding an election or two makes a democracy. Not how it works. A democracy is undergirded by law, civil society, and institutions that have taken most democracies centuries to build (free press, independent judiciary, army that stays out of politics, etc.). And not having a civil war helps too.

If “victory” is taken in Bush’s terms, a Minnesota on the Euphrates, that is not going to happen. Iraq is not going to be a stable, peaceful, prosperous multi-ethnic democracy for a long time. Could we still, if we’re very lucky, get a semi-stable, authoritarian, non-Iranian client state? Maybe. If we’re lucky.

[quote]Beowolf wrote:
John S. wrote:
We can’t win? what overthrowing a country in Record time wasn’t enough, how about Setting up a government thats growing stronger. Or hell how about us training there troops to fight. How about the fact that bin ladden has sayed shit in a year and half(This isnt normal for him. He’s either scared shitless or dead).

but yeah we got are ass kicked huh.

A) How can we win? We can keep fighting, and it will get better, but winning? Not unless we stay 50 years and their kids kids randomly decide to rebel and NOT hate us.

B) Bin Laden isn’t scared. He’s either dead, or close to it. He’s been on dialysis and closer to death then you’re likely to think since 2000.

C) Iraq had no terrorists to begin with, we invaded, terrorists are created. I call that losing (because, the war was on ‘terror’, not Iraq, remember?). [/quote]

First it wont take 50 years, Soon Iraq’s army will be able to support it. 2nd. Your right

and 3rd point is irrelevant. Just because you have a few people trying to fight against the Strongest army the worlds ever seen doesn’t mean we lost. You seem to keep pulling that fact up, so ill say it again, they are there and we are fucking them up.

[quote]GDollars37 wrote:
John S. wrote:
We can’t win? what overthrowing a country in Record time wasn’t enough, how about Setting up a government thats growing stronger. Or hell how about us training there troops to fight. How about the fact that bin ladden has sayed shit in a year and half(This isnt normal for him. He’s either scared shitless or dead).

but yeah we got are ass kicked huh.

Your view of Iraq is incredibly simplistic. Overthrowing Saddam isn’t a victory if we leave the country in even worse shape, and as more of a threat to America and the region.

You seem to think that holding an election or two makes a democracy. Not how it works. A democracy is undergirded by law, civil society, and institutions that have taken most democracies centuries to build (free press, independent judiciary, army that stays out of politics, etc.). And not having a civil war helps too.

If “victory” is taken in Bush’s terms, a Minnesota on the Euphrates, that is not going to happen. Iraq is not going to be a stable, peaceful, prosperous multi-ethnic democracy for a long time. Could we still, if we’re very lucky, get a semi-stable, authoritarian, non-Iranian client state? Maybe. If we’re lucky.[/quote]

Iraq will become a democracy, They are constantly gaining the strength to support themselves thanks to the troops the USA is training. And you have the simplistic mindset, Bush did it its bad. your a fucking joke. We did not cause it to be worse, sure for this short time it may be worse but once we are done training the troops there, the terrorists won’t know what the fuck hit them.

[quote]John S. wrote:
and 3rd point is irrelevant. Just because you have a few people trying to fight against the Strongest army the worlds ever seen doesn’t mean we lost. You seem to keep pulling that fact up, so ill say it again, they are there and we are fucking them up.
[/quote]

How hard is it to understand that this particular breed of terrorists feeds on the very violence you throw at it? And no matter what your commanders tell you, they is virtually no limited supply of them.

The war on Iraq exacerbated the terrorist threat. You can’t refute that. Everyone acknowledged that fact.

Saying that it’s irrelevant when you have been lead to war on false pretense and while the whole world was shouting “Don’t do it, you bunch of morons!” is absolutely irresponsible. You are not open to even the slightest self-reflection, and as such, you increase the chances that history will repeat itself and you’ll get drawn into yet another unnecessary war.

John, I’m curious what do you think is the reason behind all those high ranking general (in the highest possible positions in Iraq) are saying that war cannot be won. Are they terrorist sympathizers? Are they unpatriotic? Are they on Al-Qaeda’s payroll?

It doesn’t take a genius to realize that the word of a general in this context is worth a LOT more than that of Bush or Cheney. Let us know what you think is behind their decision to speak up. Do they have money invested in the flowers business?

I can give you a multitude of reasons why Bush would lie. Let’s see you try that for the generals.

[quote]John S. wrote:
Beowolf wrote:
John S. wrote:
We can’t win? what overthrowing a country in Record time wasn’t enough, how about Setting up a government thats growing stronger. Or hell how about us training there troops to fight. How about the fact that bin ladden has sayed shit in a year and half(This isnt normal for him. He’s either scared shitless or dead).

but yeah we got are ass kicked huh.

A) How can we win? We can keep fighting, and it will get better, but winning? Not unless we stay 50 years and their kids kids randomly decide to rebel and NOT hate us.

B) Bin Laden isn’t scared. He’s either dead, or close to it. He’s been on dialysis and closer to death then you’re likely to think since 2000.

C) Iraq had no terrorists to begin with, we invaded, terrorists are created. I call that losing (because, the war was on ‘terror’, not Iraq, remember?).

First it wont take 50 years, Soon Iraq’s army will be able to support it. 2nd. Your right

and 3rd point is irrelevant. Just because you have a few people trying to fight against the Strongest army the worlds ever seen doesn’t mean we lost. You seem to keep pulling that fact up, so ill say it again, they are there and we are fucking them up.
[/quote]

Along with hundreds of thousands of civilians. But they aren’t American, so they dont count.

[quote]John S. wrote:
We did not cause it to be worse, [/quote]

Geez, don’t you ever stop to ask what the locals think? They were in Iraq before and after and in majority, they say that the situation is much worse than it was in 2003. Check out ANY poll on the matter. They’re unanimous.

You do realize that the overwhelming majority of the insurgents has nothing to do with Al-Qaeda, right? You also should know that a significant proportion of the recruits for the “troops there” are either directly or indirectly involved with the insurgents. There’s also speculation that you pretty much gave up on training the Iraqis.

[i]WASHINGTON - Military planners have abandoned the idea that standing up Iraqi troops will enable American soldiers to start coming home soon and now believe that U.S. troops will have to defeat the insurgents and secure control of troubled provinces.

Training Iraqi troops, which had been the cornerstone of the Bush administration’s Iraq policy since 2005, has dropped in priority, officials in Baghdad and Washington said. [/i]

http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/17104704.htm

[quote]JeffR wrote:

I can of course counter with guys who are there who say that they are furious at the “back stabbing liberals” who want to run “before the job is done.”
[/quote]

Those who say that are indoctrinated morons who can’t see the big picture…kind of like you Jerff.

And what exactly constitutes winning? Gutting the country? If that is the criteria, then we’re doing a bang up job.

If it is “spreading democracy”, then we have a long ways to go.

If it is setting up permanent bases so that Iraq will become something similar to South Korea where we will always have troops there, then we are having reasonable success.

Last time I looked, neither was happening no matter what terminology one uses.

Dustin

[quote]cappedAndPlanIt wrote:
Along with hundreds of thousands of civilians. But they aren’t American, so they dont count.
[/quote]

Stop writing this. No one thinks this and it is a worthless comment.

Further, your numbers are always suspect. How many due to terrorists?

Oh, wait you blame us for everything. Never mind.

Back to your hole.

JeffR