General Sanchez Points Finger

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Generals don’t seem to be able to speak their minds when in uniform.
Well, with the exception of Eric Shinseki — and very possibly David Petraeus who seems to be driving his own machinery on Iraq spin.
But now — out of uniform — former top Iraq commander (during Abu Ghraib watch) Ricardo Sanchez shared his views in public. Here are some clips from David Cloud:

~ 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.”
~ “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.
~ “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.”

Note to Generals today — it would help us to know your real views about attacking Iran NOW — rather than after the fact if we go that direction.

— Steve Clemons

Comments

15 comments on “General Sanchez Points Finger

  1. Steve says:

    You are all liars…you are all deceitful liars. A good portion of Gen. Sanchez’s speech ridiculed the American Press. Much more did he speak of the press’s vile and subversive antics…much more did this message hit home in America. Your time has come, we listen to you no more…

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  2. Kathleen says:

    Torsten….Now if only the Demz would apply Zbig’s reasoning to impeachment, we might prevent some real terrorism.

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  3. Torsten says:

    Now he tells us.
    Well then. Why would the esteemed General (ret.) be any different from, say, the fmr. National Security Adviser, the Hon. Zbigniew Brzezinski. In 2007, he wrote in the “Washington Post” that Bush had frightened the Congress into authorizing the Iraq war by dangling the Three-word-mantra “War on Terrorism” in front of them — whereas in November 2001, he told us this in the very one and same paper:
    “The campaign after Afghanistan cannot be confined to intensive intelligence-police activities in Western Europe and in America itself. The explosive character of the Middle Eastern tinderbox, and the fact that Iraq has the motive, the means, and the psychopathology to provide truly dangerous aid to the terrorist underground, cannot be ignored on the legalistic grounds that conclusive ,evidence’ is lacking of Iraq’s involvement in Sept. 11”.
    …Attacking Iraq next, that imperative must not be hindered on the legalistic grounds that conclusive ,evidence’ is lacking of Iraq’s involvement … that was the meaning of it, wasn’t it?
    …legalistic grounds… so-called evidence…
    There are so many decent persons who feel compelled to side with the prevailing winds.
    Why not just let others speak up for a change.

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  4. Kathleen says:

    Color me ultra cynical, but I think all these after the fact truth-tellers are only trying to whitewash their own reputations, however feebly.
    Well, out, out damned spot doesn’t do it for me.

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  5. DonS says:

    ” . . .why anyone would think patriotism would hold sway over the almighty dollar is beyond me. . .”
    You are probably right in general, although it is a sad, sad commentary on the low estate to which real patriotism has fallen. And I am not one to get all misty over patriotism.
    If the reports of misfeasance and malfeasance are changing from a leak to a flood, even the almighty buck is a poor excuse. But I understand. No one thinks they’ll get caught up in the web of responsibility — and their probably right. It becomes much easier to to just collect one’s paycheck, wait to get mustered out, and throw back a few more single malts than usual. Pathetic, whether military, politician or ordinary citizen.
    I really don’t buy the economic argument for silence, strictly. None of these guys are hurting . . . they’re all superannuated. It might hurt the double dipping in the short run, but that sort of greed doesn’t impress me.
    The real whistleblowers are going to look pretty prescient down the road.

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  6. ... says:

    good for sanchez. thanks for posting this steve.
    why anyone would think patriotism would hold sway over the almighty dollar is beyond me… these folks don’t speak out, because they don’t want to lose their financial position. in the usa and most of the rest of the western world to a lesser extent, the dollar is the god of the culture, not patriotism.. this explains why none of these military leaders will speak out while still in the position held in the usa gov’t. correct me if i am wrong, but that is how i see it.

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  7. Linda says:

    Sanchez is writing a book. Accountability and any consequences stopped with Janis Karpinski and him. Abu Ghraib was under control of military intelligence. The whole story probably come out slowly. One of the first things the next President and next Ambassador to the UN should do in late January 2009 is publicly acknowledge and apologize to the world for this disgrace to our nation.
    Since the next President is not going to be Kuchinich, I also hope that he/she knows a little history and uses that opportunity to talk about Frank B. Kellogg’s Nobel Peace Prize,the Kellogg-Briand Pact and our commitment to international law. All that may be idealistic. In matters of peace, global warming, and the health and welfare of all on this planet, the U.S. can and must live up to these ideals to make the 21st century better–or there may not be many people left in the 22nd century.

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  8. Alex says:

    Why did this story run Saturday morning? Why did Sanchez wait a year?

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  9. DonS says:

    Couldn’t he have quit in protest? Perhaps I’m missing someting.

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  10. semper fubar says:

    Sanchez is hoping the Nuremburg Defense will hold water this time.

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  11. Sandy says:

    Gee, Sanchez was such a VICTIM of THEIR incompetency! Soon to be on Larry King and Jon Stewart hawking his book, I’m sure.
    He stands as a fine example of their whole bunch. Still another lying, completely incompetent and corrupt coward…looking for everyone else…anyone else…to blame. He ought to be serving time in a brig somewhere! Why isn’t he? Same reason NONE OF THEM ARE!
    He must think we’re stupid. And, even dumber (dumb and dumber), he must think all those around him are stupid…and will defend him! Pathetic!
    http://www.counterpunch.org/cloughley06202004.html
    “…Many people are of the opinion that Sanchez was grossly over-promoted when he was made a major, but the fact remains he was speaking with the voice of the commander-in-chief when he told his troops that their mission was….”
    http://www.counterpunch.org/zeese04282005.html
    “…Among the facts that have come out are that the top general in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez signed an order on Sept. 14, 2003, authorizing the use of attack dogs as seen in the Abu Gharib photographs. This an other aspects of “interrogation” more aptly described as torture, violate the Geneva Conventions….”
    http://www.counterpunch.org/davis06192004.html
    “…Abu Ghraib, as Seymour Hersh has shown, had its genesis in a reading by the neo-con luminaries of the Bush Administration of a text—Raphael Patai’s The Arab Mind (NY: Scribner’s, 1973)—and specifically a single chapter in that unremarkable book, Chapter VIII “The Realm of Sex.” (2) Reading no doubt with their hands in their pants a light went on in the neo-con darkness: the way to control the other, the Arab, is to use the disorders of their sexuality to humiliate them and thereby destroy their attachment to whatever principle gives their life meaning. Abu Ghraib is the acting out of that project. The languages of transmission–how the idea got from Perle to Rumsfeld to SANCHEZ to Garner, England et al isn’t all that important. What matters is the message. And it is assured, at each step along the way, because it addresses the same shared disorder of the psyche….”

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  12. Joe Klein's conscience says:

    Couldn’t Sanchez have been court marshalled if he said in uniform what he said today? If he could, i’d sure like to see the result of that. Talk about turning applecarts upside down.

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  13. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Perhaps Sanchez’ conscience is bothering him, after he brazenly perjured himself in front of Congress in regards to the Abu Ghraib affair.
    Irregardless, its a shame more Generals aren’t telling Bush to shove it.

    Reply

  14. Steve J. says:

    Impeach Blair over Iraq: UK general
    From correspondents in London
    January 08, 2006
    The Australian
    A LEADING British Army officer believes Prime Minister Tony Blair should be impeached for his role in the war in Iraq, the Mail on Sunday reported. General Sir Michael Rose, a former UN commander in Bosnia, was quoted by the right-of-centre Mail on Sunday as saying: “I think the politicians should be held to account … my view is that Blair should be impeached.
    “That would prevent the politicians treating quite so carelessly the subject of taking a country into war.”
    A high-profile resignation of a senior armed forces officer before the start of the March 2003 conflict may also have made the British Government think twice before sending troops to the Gulf, he added.
    “I would not have gone to war on such flimsy grounds,” he said.
    LINK:
    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,17761511%5E1702,00.html

    Reply

  15. Cracker Copeland says:

    Gen. Sanchez is a little too late. Were the Gen. a “patriotic” American, he would have taken his ‘oath of allegiance’ to it’s logical conclusion. Herr General would have put the courage of his convicitons to the test and arrested Rumsfeld, Cheney, and our insane boy king George. I believe the “oath” Sanchez swore to “uphold and defend” applies to the U.S. Constitution. The would put our good Gen. on some solid constitutional grounds and the Supremes could have sorted out the debris. I wonder and aloud by the by, what might Gen. Eisenhower have done in our current political circus turned treason.

    Reply

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