“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Gen Petraeus warns there is no "military solution" in Iraq.

Iraq's problems 'can't be solved by military'

By Bonnie Malkin and agencies
Last Updated: 10:13am GMT 08/03/2007

US and Iraqi security forces cannot end the violence in Iraq without political action and reconciliation with militant groups, the new US commander in Iraq has said.

Gen Petraeus said reconciliation was key
Speaking at his first press conference since taking control of US forces in Iraq, General David Petraeus, urged the country's leaders to put aside sectarian rancour and warned there was no "military solution" to the nation's conflict.

Gen Petraeus said he had felt "shame, horror and sadness" when he heard of a suicide attack that killed more than 100 Shia pilgrims earlier in the week.

"There is no military solution to a problem like that in Iraq. Military action is necessary to help improve security... but it is not sufficient. There needs to be a political aspect," he said.

The general was speaking inside Baghdad's fortified Green Zone after three days of attacks by Sunni insurgents on Shia pilgrims left more than 150 dead and dramatically increased political tensions.

Note: Iran agrees to attend Iraq conference with US.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. What a strange disconnect between the military leaders in the field, the spin machine in The White House and the State Department.

  3. Another example of the political desire being different from reality.

    Another movie production like the last entry. This one can be called; "Brainless In D.C."

  4. Buildup in Iraq Needed Into ’08, U.S. General Says
    The recommendation reflects the military’s new counterinsurgency doctrine, which puts a premium on trying to win over a wary population.

    Force Alone ‘Not Sufficient,’ Petraeus Says
    More Sad than strange, really.
    What the admin wishes, and the reality in Iraq.
    What is needed militarily, what the Army realistically can deliver. (given the 2 bit approach while at the same time breaking the bank)

    What we've been told the Iraqis can do, security wise, vs what General Odierno reports.

    “There is Washington time and Baghdad time,” said a senior Defense official in Iraq. “Some in Washington want it now, and there is reality on the ground in Baghdad. They don’t always match.”

    "Another point of stress is the amount of time active duty units have spent in the United States between deployments. It takes around a year at home to prepare a combat brigade for Iraq. The Army generally has been able to avoid sending units back to Iraq or Afghanistan without at least a year at home.

    But if Mr. Bush decides to extend the buildup, the first of the Army brigades to return to Iraq with less than a year at home are likely to do so later this year.

    “As you move to less than a year, you’re beginning to erode the ability of the service chiefs to produce a ready force,” said a senior Pentagon official, who emphasized that the United States needed to be prepared to deal with a range of threats."

    All in all, very sad, (as Trish has repeated, over and over) one wishes we could wish it away, but that is for Washington, not us mere mortals.

  5. Iran said yesterday it will attend a meeting with the United States and Iraq's neighbors in Baghdad on Saturday, and U.S. officials said they may use the occasion to hold bilateral talks with Iran that would be limited to Iraq's security.
    The conference will mark the first time in more than two years that envoys from Iran and the United States have met in public.
    "An Iranian delegation, in order to help and support the Iraqi nation, will attend the meeting of Iraq's neighboring countries," Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said at a press conference in Tehran.

  6. Now this is Strange
    The man set up for unprecedented, unprincipled, unmerciful prosecution by the very same administration he served!
    ...and the chorus repeats:
    And Bergler Runs Free!

    Described by another White House aide as "Cheney’s Cheney", Libby’s marriage was that relative Washington rarity - a "mixed" one between a Republican and a Democrat.

    His wife Harriet Grant, also a lawyer, had once handled the challenge to the 1990 Supreme Court appointment of Clarence Thomas – a conservative hero – by Anita Hill, who accused him of sexual harassment during a Senate confirmation hearing that captivated America. Miss Grant sobbed in court yesterday after the verdicts were read.

    Libby, who worked such ferociously long hours in the White House that he often complained about neglecting his wife and two sons, had spent much of the previous 16 months at home preparing for his trial. Now, the couple face separation once again as Libby contemplates jail.

    It will be a bitter pill for a man whose allies believe was unjustly convicted after serving his country despite personal sacrifice simply because he wanted to affect the course of history.

    Very strange indeed.
    One wonders if Justice Thomas can summon any sympathy for Mrs Libby.
    ...after being hung in the Media/Washington Fun House.
    (can't remember his words about being lynched.)

  7. I'd like to see Andy McCarthy admit that his onetime Buddy Fitzpatrick, who he defended as above reproach, is in fact a snake deserving of being shot in the back.
    Don't think he's written much since, but not sure.

  8. Petraeus urged Maliki to pursue political reconciliation and said the U.S. military mission was to fight alongside Iraqi forces to "control the demons who have torn at the very fabric of Iraqi society."

  9. ...and Cheney outlined most of the problems we've encountered back in 1991!

  10. Well at least Ms Rice will not be speaking to herself.

    After the Iraqi Shia decide that the Iraqi Sunni are worthy of reconciliation, there may be one, after the Iraq Civil War is over.

    Look to the US's own history. Reconciliation, after the Civil War did not occur, as judged by equal rights and reconciliation amongst the majority of all citizens, for almost 100 years after the War was over.

    Like Mr Obama said:
    Yet something happened back here in Selma, Alabama. Something happened in Birmingham that sent out what Bobby Kennedy called, “Ripples of hope all around the world.” Something happened when a bunch of women decided they were going to walk instead of ride the bus after a long day of doing somebody else's laundry, looking after somebody else's children. When men who had PhD’s decided that's enough and we’re going to stand up for our dignity. ...
    What happened in Selma, Alabama and Birmingham also stirred the conscience of the nation. It worried folks in the White House who said, “You know, we're battling Communism. How are we going to win hearts and minds all across the world? If right here in our own country, John, we're not observing the ideals set fort in our Constitution, we might be accused of being hypocrites.”

    The US in Iraq until reconciliation?
    Reconciliation in the US did not even begin to occur, until well after the US Army left the Occupied Zone.

    It did not occur until well after Bobby Kennedy died.
    Ask MLK. Oh he died, like Custer.

    Well, then, ask Obama he knows, the task of Reconciliation in the US is not done yet.

    "... I’m here because somebody marched. I’m here because you all sacrificed for me. I stand on the shoulders of giants. I thank the Moses generation; but we've got to remember, now, that Joshua still had a job to do. As great as Moses was, despite all that he did, leading a people out of bondage, he didn't cross over the river to see the Promised Land. God told him your job is done. You'll see it. You'll be at the mountain top and you can see what I’ve promised. What I’ve promised to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. You will see that I’ve fulfilled that promise but you won't go there.

    We're going to leave it to the Joshua generation to make sure it happens. There are still battles that need to be fought; some rivers that need to be crossed.

    Where is the US Army, the Engineers, to help Obama bridge that US river?

  11. Often, Ralph Peters is wrong, often he is right.

    He discusses "Reconciliation" in his latest piece.

    " ... The hatred goes deep.

    The Sunni Arab campaign against Shias isn't just a struggle for political advantage: It reflects an impulse to genocide. And it makes a grim joke of claims of Muslim unity.

    The Tuesday atrocities, followed by smaller-scale attacks on more pilgrims yesterday, were meant to be as outrageous as possible. They not only underscored the hatred Sunni extremists feel toward all Shias, but had the immediate goal of provoking Muqtada al-Sadr's Shia militia to retaliate.

    The Sunni insurgents and their foreign-terrorist allies are worried. The recent effort by American and Iraqi forces to pacify Baghdad has shown early signs of success. Wary of tangling with our troops again, Sadr's Mahdi Army has been laying low, while the Sunni extremists have taken heavy losses.

    The Sunnis want the Shias back in the fight.
    So they slaughtered more than a hundred pilgrims - men, women and children; young and old - in Allah's name.

    Where was the outcry?

    Human-rights groups were too busy applauding European requests for the extradition of CIA operatives (the real enemies of Western civilization, of course). Since this butchery wasn't the fault of Americans or Brits, the Europeans themselves took no interest.

    American leftists, who raved that Abu Ghraib was another Auschwitz, didn't offer a single word of pity for the Muslim victims of Muslims.

    All to be expected.
    Not only is Islamic unity a sham, the Middle East's hypocrisy stinks like a shallow grave. Sunnis regard Shias as Untermenschen. No Sunni government wants to see Shias receive a fair deal - in Iraq or anywhere else.

    In the short term, the question is whether Shias will take the bait and retaliate against Sunni Arab civilians in Iraq. The Baghdad government is doing its best to calm the furious Shia community. We'll just have to wait and see what happens.

    But the greater, long-term danger is one this column has highlighted before: The administration's rush back into the arms of the Saudis and other America-hating Sunni Arab governments is a colossal strategic mistake.

    The moral issues are bad enough: To the Saudi royal family, dead Shias aren't tragedies - they're trophies. One almost expects those bloated, bigoted princes to organize Shia-hunting safaris the way they slaughter endangered species when vacationing in impoverished African countries (been there, seen that).

    The strategic catastrophe that would result from a return to our wretched mistakes of the 20th century would cost us dearly. When picking allies in the Middle East, we've been on the wrong side of history for over a half-century. And now the Saudis are waging a propaganda campaign to convince American opinion-makers that they're our best pals in the whole, wide world.

    It works. An honorable elder statesman I respect recently got suckered during a junket to Saudi Arabia. He left Riyadh convinced he'd been sitting down with our indispensible allies.

    Well, the view I've seen with my own eyes - in dozens of Muslim and mixed-faith countries - is of Saudi money spent lavishly to divide struggling societies, to block social and educational progress for Muslims and to preach deadly hatred toward the West.
    The Saudis, not the Iranians, are the worst anti-American hate-mongers in the world today. When our dignitaries visit Prince Bandar and his buddies, they get the (literal) royal treatment. But in the slums of Mombasa or Cairo, in Lahore, Delhi and Istanbul, the Saudis do everything in their power to make Muslims hate us.

    After the suicide attacks on those pilgrims, did any member of the Saudi royal family visit the kingdom's own oppressed Shias to express sympathy and Muslim solidarity?

    Our relationship with the Saudis reminds me of the scene in the film "The Shining" when Jack Nicholson's character imagines he's embracing a beautiful woman only to open his eyes and find himself smooching a decomposing corpse. It's time for Washington's Saudi-lovers to open their eyes.

    By the way: The two suicide bombers who killed those pilgrims were Saudis.

    Listen to that tune of reconciliation, it's such a siren's song

  12. CCCI convicts 18 insurgents, 3 sentenced to life, 2 sentenced to 30 years imprisonment

    The Central Criminal Court of Iraq convicted 18 security detainees from Feb. 25 to March 1, for various crimes including joining an armed group to unsettle the stability and security of Iraq, possession of illegal weapons, personal identification violations and an illegal border crossing violation.

    Anyone knows whether the catch-and-release protocol still operates?

  13. Hey rufus, how does one identify the "assholes" so that we can kill them?

  14. Sure does, harrison.
    18 sentenced to death, 5 sentenced to jail.
    23 cases.

    There has been no increase in prison capacity, in Iraq, since '03
    One in, one out.
    Except for those 18.
    Four hundred detainees, plus, in the first week of the "Surge".
    18 sentenced to die, not from those 400, I'd venture to guess.

    Remember that a nephew of Saddam was sentenced to life in prison. He was in detention for less than 18 months, before he "escaped".

  15. No assholes in Sadr City.
    Nothing but citizens loyal to the Islamic Republic of Iraq, there, in Sadr City.

    Not a shot fired in opposition to US patrols. Sadr City, as secure as Detroit.

  16. And, rufus, he's the "best" General we've got, they say.

  17. ash,

    You did not answer my question, Ash: Was the American intervention in the removal of the Islamist pseudo-regime in Somalia an appropriate use projection of American power?

    Since you are serious student of American foreign policy, I'm sure your tardiness was merely an oversight.

  18. Even those thinking it's great are confused.
    The threat of killing by former Baathist, and their Alqaida supporters, of those who cooperate seems distant.

    The support of the population in all neighborhoods, including Sadr city, is so strong that the security forces can not process all the information and tips they are getting from the locals.

    You see them say:
    support of the population in all neighborhoods, including Sadr city, is so strong ...

    As Mr Maliki has said, to US, over and over, the Shia militias, al-Sadr and the like ARE NOT THE PROBLEM, in Iraq. They are loyal to the Islamic Federal Republic.

    As Mr Peters relates, Saudi propaganda has spun US around & round until we're dizzy.
    Wahabbists are now our friends, their enemies our enemies.

    The US public has been babboozled by the politicos, corrupted by the Sauds, here in the US.

    Go Bandar Go!!!

  19. I think, allen, that the Ethiopian operation in Somalia was a good thing. The very limited US assistance that the Ethiopians recieved well within the scope of the Authorization for Use of Force, 14 Sept 01.

    The Ethiopians quickly transfering local control in Somalia to locals and the African Union. Limiting the Ethiopian exposure to a long term quagmire.

    There was and has been no US intervention. Just a couple of airstrikes, in support of our Allies.

  20. The military solution is to go after the Sunni Jihadists and the population that supports them, and chase them out of Iraq. But the Saudis have the American Administration by the balls, so it's not going to happen. Best that the 150,000 American sitting ducks in Iraq pack up and go home.

  21. Re: Ash's question of how to identify these "assholes" so that we can kill them.

    If they're Sunnis and they live within a 500m radius of an IED device that went off injuring or killing American soldier(s), these Sunni Jihadists should be facing the slaughter house. Simple as that. We need to stop playing around with these fscks.

  22. mat, I'm surprised that you are content to focus only on Sunni folk yet fine with Shia jihads, Mookie and friends, and expanding Iranian influence in Iraq. I agree Iraq would be better served by the US troops exiting Iraq.

  23. DR,

    re: just a couple of airstrikes

    Isn't that like being just a little pregnant?

  24. Domesticly, the Dems will make a preemptive move to defund a War with Iran. This Iranian preemption will be attached to the next Iraq War funding bill.

    Then they will move, on a different track, to limit the deployability of US troops.
    Training, equipment, time off all to be factored in, by Law.

    The Baker-Bandar Plan guarentees an Israeli-Palistinian situation in Iraq. After nearly sixty yers there is no sign of successful reconciliation, there.

  25. Re: Expanding Iranian influence in Iraq.

    I don't see it as a problem. If it becomes a problem, it will be dealt with in the same fashion.

  26. No, not really.

    The aspirin factories in Sudan, that Mr Clinton hit with Tomahawks, did not qualify as "Intervention" in Sudan.

    A couple of "puffs" does not a addict make, as long as they didn't inhale.

  27. DR,

    For months you were unstinting in pointing out to Rufus the failure of American foreign policy in the Horn. In what will be recognized as one of slickest operations the US has pulled off in decades, the Islamists are handed their heads in Somalia, and you denigrate the operation under the petty rubric “a couple air strikes”.

    It is one thing to be critical, another to be implacable. Do you understand the difference?

  28. Yes, I understand, and yes, it was a good piece of US Foreign Policy work.
    Because it WAS NOT a US intervention.

    It was an Ethiopian Intervention.

    Supported up by the local UN supported Somalian Government and the African Union. With the US in a background role. As it should be.

    Ms Rice and Mr Rumsfeld's Departments working together, to get a foreign government to act in it's own best interests, making US intervention unnecessary.

    The small arms that the Ethiopians use, Soviet. The attack helicopters that destroyed the aQ formations, Soviet made, as well.

    Ethiopia, an active Ally in the War on Terror, requiring "Puffy" air support on a very limited basis.

    Somalia being taken out of the Jihadi column, that credit goes to Ethiopia. With an "atta boy" to the Administration, for getting the Ethiopians to intervene.

  29. ya, but, the current Somalian government is having trouble exerting its power, the AU peace keepers are being greeted with mortar fire and a refugee crisis is brewing in the capital. Meanwhile the local 'warlords' aren't too pleased. Hardly worth shouting 'atta boy' yet.

  30. It went from a stable Jihadi Wahabbist training base to an active war zone.

    Atta boys are in order.

    Whether ultimate Victory is achieved, points are given for finally having the battle joined.

    Destabilization of the enemy in Somalia is a gain.

  31. dr wrote:

    "It went from a stable Jihadi Wahabbist training base"

    Is there any basis beyond administration claims that this is in fact true?

  32. hehehe, I knew you would never shy away from providing an answer.

    I'm curious as to some of the sources.

  33. Reuters reports: UN report links Somali Islamists, foreign militants
    Mon 13 Nov 2006 11:22 AM ET

    Bill Roggio reports:
    All the while, the Islamic Courts continued to receive morale and physical support from al-Qaeda, Iran and Hezbollah. Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and other senior al-Qaeda leaders praised the "Somali Jihad" in video and audiotapes. Al-Qaeda media outlets produced propaganda in Somali and Arabic, with video of Arab and Somali jihadis training and fighting side by side. Hundreds of millions of dollars were funneled into the Islamic Courts coffers by backers on the Arabian Peninsula. Foreign fighters flooded into Somalia, some estimates put the number at over 3,000. Iran provided arms, while Hezbollah provided training for Somali Islamists.

    The Somali crisis came to a head in December, after multiple Islamic Courts leaders openly called for Jihad against Ethiopian. Hassan Dahir Aweys, the al-Qaeda connected leader of the Islamic Courts, called for a "Greater Somalia" to be carved out of the Horn of Africa.

    Open, conventional warfare broke out between the Islamic Courts and the TFG and Ethiopian forces towards the end of December. Fighting was reported as intense, with hundreds of casualties on both sides. After several days of deadlock around Baidoa, Ethiopian armored columns, backed by air and artillery support, punched through and took Mogadishu, while the ICU forces engaged in Puntland were defeated. The Ethiopians then pivoted their columns and headed south. By New Years Day, the Islamic Courts abandoned Kismayo, the strategic southern port city and final stronghold of the ICU. The Ethiopians are reported to have executed foreign prisoners in the field and the ICU is said to have taken thousands of casualties.

    Finally Wiki, ash, gives the broadbrush to the subject.
    Al-Qaeda Activities in Somalia
    Main article: Battle of Mogadishu
    Activities of al-Qaeda in Somalia are alleged to have begun as early as 1992.[57] The organization's role during the course of the 1992–1994 UN missions was limited to a handful of trainers. Ali Mohamed and other al-Qaeda members purportedly trained forces loyal to warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid.[58] Osama bin Laden himself claimed in an interview with ABC's John Miller to have sent al-Qaeda operatives to Somalia. One of the al-Qaeda fighters present during the interview claimed to have personally slit the throats of three American soldiers in Somalia.[59] Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down, states the terrorist organization did train some of Aidid's men on how to fire rocket-propelled grenades to destroy U.S. helicopters, but they were not personally part of the fight with US forces in the Battle of Mogadishu. [60]

    Ties to 1998 Embassy Bombings
    It is believed several terrorist attacks were orchestrated from Ras Kamboni, in the extreme southern tip of Somalia adjacent to Kenya, including the 1998 United States embassy bombings and the 2002 Mombasa hotel bombing.[61]

    On June 22, 2006, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer announced the U.S. was seeking the assistance of the Islamic Courts Union in the apprehension of suspects who carried out attacks against its East African embassies in 1998 and an Israeli-owned hotel in Kenya in 2002.[62]

    She listed the following persons as suspected of being in Somalia (name and nationality):

    Fazul Abdullah Mohamed, Comoros
    Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, Kenya
    Abu Taha al-Sudan, Sudan

    [edit] Ties to the Islamic Courts Union (ICU)
    Hassan Abdullah Hersi al-Turki, a military leader in the Islamic Courts Union, and formerly leader of Al-Itihaad al-Islamiya (AIAI) was designated under US Presidential Executive Order 13224 as a terrorist financier on June 3. 2004.[63]
    Aden Hashi Farah Ayro, leader of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) youth movement, Hizbul Shabaab, was said to have gone to Afghanistan to train with al-Qaeda before 2001, according to Matthew Bryden of International Crisis Group.[64][65]
    On July 1, 2006, a Web-posted message purportedly written by Osama bin Laden urged Somalis to build an Islamic state in the country, and warned Western countries that his al-Qaeda network would fight against them if they intervened there.[66]

    On November 26, 2006, the U.S. Embassy in Kenya issued a travel alert to US citizens regarding travel to Kenya or Ethiopia after letters allegedly written by the Somalian leader of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys, encouraged suicide terrorist attacks on US citizens in those two countries.[67]

    On November 30, 2006, the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) claimed three suicide bombings costing eight lives were the work of al-Qaeda operatives working in the country.[68]

    On December 14, 2006, the US Assistant Secretary of State Jendayi Frazer warned that al-Qaeda cell operatives were controlling the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), the Islamist faction of Somalia rapidly taking control of the southern area of the country.[69] The next day, December 15, 2006, ICU Information Secretary Abdirahim Ali Mudey denied the allegation as baseless.[70] That same day Frazer announced the United States has no intention of committing troops to Somalia to root out al-Qaeda.[71]

    On December 20, 2006, war in Somalia erupted between the ICU and the Transitional Federal Government and Ethiopian allies. Salad Ali Jelle, Defence Minister of Somalia's Transitional Federal Government, claimed Abu Taha al-Sudan led the Islamists fighting against the government in the town of Iidale. On December 25, 2006, Ethiopia began bombing two airports in Somalia. In justifying the attack, the Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi stated that his country was "at war" with Islamist militants in Somalia.

    American officials state that Ras Kamboni served as a training camp for extremists with connections to al-Qaeda.[72][73] US security concerns in the Horn of Africa, particularly at Ras Kamboni, heightened after the attacks on 9/11. On December 16, 2001, Paul Wolfowitz said the US was meeting with various Somali and Ethiopian contacts to "observe, survey possible escape routes, possible sanctuaries" for al-Qaeda operatives.[74] On March 2, 2002 a briefing was held in the Pentagon to discuss the possible use of Ras Kamboni by terrorist groups, including al-Ittihaad al-Islamiya (AIAI) and Al Qaeda.[75] In December 2002, the U.S. established the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) to monitor developments in the region and train local militaries on counterterrorism.[76]

    On January 8, 2007, during the Battle of Ras Kamboni, it was reported an AC-130 gunship belonging to the United States military had attacked suspected al-Qaeda operatives in southern Somalia. It was also reported that the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower had been moved into striking distance.[77] The gunship flew out of its base in Djibouti. Many bodies were spotted on the ground, but the identity of the dead or wounded was not yet established. The targeted leaders were tracked by the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as they headed south from Mogadishu starting on December 28.[78]

    On February 15, in Houston, Texas, U.S. citizen Daniel Joseph Maldonado (Daniel Aljughaifi) was charged with "training from a foreign terrorist organization and conspiring to use an explosive device outside the United States." He had been extradited by Kenyan authorities after he fled there. In the charges, it was alleged he took part in training at camps near Kismayo and Jilib where members of al-Qaeda were present and was willing to become a suicide bomber if he became wounded.[79]

    Wiki, like I said, tells the highpoints.

    The Ethiopians were convinced.
    Which is the only Court which counts. Those that'll enforce their own Warrants and Writs.

  34. ash,

    Why, imagine Muslim terrorists shooting at peacekeepers?

  35. DR,


    Prove the sun will rise tomorrow.

    What a waste, my friend.


  36. DR,


    I skipped over the wiki article while doing my search and the CIA World Fact Book only had a single line referring to Al Qaeda.

  37. I task you, Allen, with convincing Ash that Gravity, when it is being utilized to hold down furniture by the GOP, is not inherently evil.

  38. And Trish thinks it was a waste of time, since Somalia govt may not last two years.
    I say killing terrorists, terrifying terrorists, and bombing sponsoring nations per early cowboy Bush promises, are all very good things.

  39. doug,

    re: And Trish thinks it was a waste of time, since Somalia govt may not last two years.

    That is on the same plain of trustworthiness as Gingrich's prediction of a 1:5 chance of Surge success.

    Trish and I might not survive two years, clean living notwithstanding. In the interim, we will just have to muddle along - bombing, shelling, and shooting whenever and wherever opportunities arise.

    Life is imperfect. Life is not fair.

  40. doug,

    re: Ash

    You cannot fault Ash for choosing a side.

  41. Harriet, Bobby, MLK et al have less to do with Obama being where he is that his upbringing, BS ability, and the desire of the MSM to crown him POTUS.

    If MLK's dream had arrived fully and intact, Ken Blackwell or Michael Steele would be viable candidates.

  42. re: Ash,
    Can even credit him for his ability to almost unerringly always choose the WRONG side.

  43. There isn't anything surprising about what he said. COIN is almost all political. The military effort can't stand alone. Nor is there any disconnect, we've been trying from the beginning to solve it politically.

    We just have a problem with this because Americans typically see war as apolitical - "the last resort when politics fails." Switch politics on, and military off, or switch the military on, and politics off. Never worked that way.

    Bullshit, war is always political. The problem is there's probably no shot of getting these idiots to work together under a national government, so the political solution is most likely a white whale.