What Fresh Hell Is This?

April 22, 2007

Dubya's "Geraldo Moment"

Via Crooks and Liars.

On Friday, Keith Olbermann was talked to Paul Reikhoff, author of Chasing Ghosts: Failures and Facades in Iraq: A Soldier's Perspective and founder of the group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. During the conversation Reikhoff said this:

One of the things that did happen today that concerned me was that during Bush's press conference he actually showed a graphic that showed 24 urban military outposts in downtown Baghdad. I would argue that showing that to the world and potentially to our enemy might compromise moral - might actually compromise operational security.

Our enemies aren't stupid. They can look at that and figure out a grid coordinate and try and drop mortars on those exact locations. I mean, this is like a Geraldo moment during the invasion when Geraldo started drawing troop operation movements in the sand. I mean, this is unprecedented in my experience and maybe I'm missing something, but this is a real worry and I wouldn't go throwing this out on the airwaves for everybody to see if I were the President.

This concerns me, too. This is from dubya's press conference from that day:

My point is, is that the American combat forces are not alone in the effort to secure the nation's capital. And just as important as the growing number of troops is their changing position in the city. I direct your attention to a map showing our troop presence around Baghdad late last year. This is how we were positioned. Most troops were at bases on the outskirts of the city. They would move into Baghdad to clear out neighborhoods during the day, and then they would return to their bases at night. The problem was that when our troops moved back to the bases, the extremists, the radicals, the killers moved back to the neighborhoods.

And we're changing. Part of our strategy change, part of the new mission in Baghdad is for American troops to live and work side by side with Iraqi forces at small neighborhood posts called joint security stations. You can see from this map, there are now more than two dozen joint security stations located throughout Baghdad; more are planned. From these stations, Iraqi and American forces work together to clear out and then secure neighborhoods -- all aimed at providing security for the people of Baghdad. If a heavy fight breaks out, our forces will step in, and Iraqi forces learn valuable skills from American troops; they'll fight shoulder to shoulder with the finest military every assembled.

I would supremely doubt that the bases dubya identified as being in place "late last year" have changed all that much. And even if they had, dubya's just given out "to the enemy" the exact location of more than two dozen security stations.

The security of those stations has to have been compromised. Reikhoff is right. The Iraqis aren't stupid. Giving out any intelligence on the location of the Army/Marine troops station in Baghdad is.

How many more servicemen will die because dubya wanted to shore up support for his war?


Bram Reichbaum said...

Oh, whatever. The Iraqis need watch CNN to get their intelligence? They have moles all the way through the Iraqi army and Iraqi militia, and they probably have moles working with our contractors. Not to mention the used computers we sell them. If we have "bases, checkpoints", whatev, they know about them.

Sherry said...

he has his on reality. it's scary.

xranger said...

But, those bases aren't supposed to be secret.

Much like the local police station, they are the beacon of safety for the local inhabitants, with the joint Iraqi-American presence visible.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

How are those "beacons of safety" working out so far, X?

xranger said...

Getting there.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

Getting there? You really have the cojones to describe the security situation in Iraq as "getting there?" I withdraw the question. It can't be cojones. It can only be engaƱo.

We just set a new record for most Iraqis killed in a single day, and even Petraus says that the impact of the "surge" has been "modest" in Baghdad, negligible elsewhere.

Is this the Bush Administration's definition of "getting there," or your own expert opinion?

xranger said...

The troop buildup and change in engagement is only partway complete.

Unlike you, I'm willing to give Petraus the time to implement and not call defeat.

Like Vietnam showed us, specifically the aftermath, you libs like accepting defeat.

Anonymous said...

xranger -

What are you suggesting? That we should have stayed on in Viet Nam? Are you old enough to remember that war? How many died? (over 55,000!) How incredibly pointless it all was?

In the end this isn't Liberal vs Conservative, it's a matter of common sense and basic intelligence.

And answer me this; at what point would you and Bush be willing to say we'd "won" the war? How much chaos, how many deaths are acceptable? We have to leave sometime...I'm just interested in hearing what your benchmark is for VICTORY IN IRAQ!

Piltdown Man

Schmuck Shitrock said...

Piltdown: You've got to be kidding about XRanger! Not only is he not willing to admit defeat, he won't even take Petraeus' word for the fact that we're throwing live bodies after dead!

xranger said...

Yes, I am indeed old enough to remember Viet Nam. As I posted, the Democrat-controlled Congress eliminated all US aid to South Viet Nam after they took power during Watergate. The vietnamization program, with its phased withdrawal of US troops and the emergence of the South Vietnamese army was complete in 1973. The US was then to supply this army in an attempt to stabilize their country.

The Dems cut off all funding when they got into office, leaving our allies high and dry. The rape and torture of that country, when the Soviet-supplied North finally won, along with the killing fields of Camodia, followed.

By the way, I want to pose a question to you: In the 1990's there was a country, formed by bureaucrats after WWI, that splintered back into smaller, ethnic enclaves. These divisions were on religious lines, christian vs muslim. Over 200,000 innocent people were killed, and the term ethnic cleansing was coined. The country's neighbors were paralyzed with indecision.

The US was called upon to intervene. This country had no strategic value to the US (oil, location, etc.) but regional stability was crucial. The country was subdued with a stategic bombing campaign, and the insertion of 40,000 US troops. These troops were peace-keepers; i.e., keeping peace by separating the combatants.

After 9 years, the US left a stable country, based on the rule of law and self-sufficient. A small contingent of US reaction troops remains to this day.

Now, I'm sure by now you recognize this was the Bosnia story. My question is, if our involvement in Bosnia, soley for regional stability, was correct, why is the current effort in Iraq so wrong?

Sherry said...

bosnia isn't iraq.

Sherry said...

and we have a president who didn't like what his generals that were IN iraq were telling him so he replaced them with ones that would say what he wanted to hear.
now they are begining to tell him things he doesn't want to hear.
and the "elected" government of iraq is saying that they don't agree with us on more than 1 issue.

will we build that wall????

or let the iraq government make us stop? they were elected, we brought democracy to them, remember, well now they are saying things that mr. bush doesn't want to hear!

no, iraq isn't bosnia.
but it is a quagmire, just like vietnam was, for the french before us and for us.

xranger said...

Due to its location in the Persian Gulf, one could make the claim that Iraq is more important strategically, both to the US and the world, than Bosnia.

No, it is not Bosnia. It is more important than Bosnia. We stayed in Bosnia 9 years to ensure it had the time to stabilize and grow as a democratic democracy.

Why do we not give Iraq the same chance?

Sherry said...

iraq and the iraqi people are not bosnians, not even bosnian muslims.
different culture, different customs, different mindset.

different terrain, different neighboring countries.

all you have the same is the fact that in bosnia you had differing religions and 1 of them happened to be muslim.

xranger said...

And the 200,000 dead before we got there.

Sherry said...

and the agonies now from this?

and the view the world has of us now?

and the debts my granddaughter will be paying, IF we have a country left to pay them to and not some sort of "end times" that a lot of bush's supporters so desperately want?

and the sorry state of care for a lot of our own citizens including returning and wounded vets??

and i'm not even going into the perversion of our constitution in this whole mess.

xranger said...

Better that we strive to make that country secure so that the deaths and injuries were not made in vain.

Leaving right now has the possibility of de-stabilizing the entire region. Very crucial thing, since the world's economies depend on that oil and a stabizlized region.

Sherry said...

it's already been destabilized. we did that.
we stay longer and all we do is have more deaths and give the terrorists more aids for recruitment.

we are doing what osama was telling people in the region we were going to do.

we are doing what opponents of the iraq war warned about.

i wondered at first why george bush's dad didn't go into bagdad and remove sadam during the 1st war.

seems he knew better than a lot of us, including his son!

his years of being a diplomat showed him just what might happen with sadam gone.

we got rid of sadam, that was supposedly the reason we invaded, the iraqi's had elections.

we did what we said we'd do.
if we had left right after those elections it might have served as a warning to would be dictators that might try to bluff us as sadmam did or worse, actually have wmds, but no, we stayed. we screwed things up royally, we alienated most of the WORLD

and we've mortgaged our future.

a few mega companies got richer
and a LOT of people died and a country is in ruins and our country is a mess in many ways.

worth it?
i don't think so...

and we still have a very needed job to do in afganistan!

Schmuck Shitrock said...

X, one has to wonder whether you really have some kind of belief in the crap you spew, or whether you are merely spewing crap a la the Bushies.

Comparing Bosnia to Iraq is like comparing Chanel No. 5 to camel barf. We went into Bosnia under the UN aegis. We were invited in by the participants. We went in as part of a true multinational coalition. We went into Bosnia when our armed forces were not already heavily committed elsewhere. We went into a country where there was very little resentment against our presence. We went in to help people who wanted help. And we went in for the reason we said we were going in, not under the guise of a lot of manufactured grievances.

I'll leave it to you, if you have any sincerity in you, to compare and contrast these points to the conditions under which we went into Iraq.

By the way, your depiction of Nixon/Kissinger's farcical bail out from Vietnam would make some great dark-comic theater, except it doesn't have any verisimilitude. You have to put an ounce of truth into even burlesque.

One more thing. I apologize for my previous post in this thread. The personal attack went too far.

xranger said...

Whenever I speak to people about this war, either directly or thru blogging, I feel the other side is so intent on their point of view that they cannot hear my side:

Table all of the reasons, right or wrong, for going to war. We are there now. We broke it, we own it. Start the discussion right there.

My Bosnia-Iraq analogy begins at this point - how do we separate two religious factions, which kill indescriminately based upon religion, and establish a parliamentary democracy. Lessons learned in Bosnia could be hlepful here.

One major difference is that there was no goliath arming and funding the factions in Bosnia. Two major elements are behind the scenes in Iraq, funding the Sunnis and Shiia.

Finally, I want to do what is best for America. If I felt that pulling out right now was best for us, I would support it. I have examined, and agree with, this final push. If we do not see a drastic sea-change in Iraq, we should dis-engage.

Sherry said...

that's fine x, but when do we decide it isn't working?

how long?
how many more deaths, maimings?

i'm serious.
who do we listen too?

a general that bush just sent or the generals that have been there that told the president things he didn't want to hear?

that's what i need to know.

we can not stay there until another president takes the oath of office as bush has said more than once.
we can not, for more reasons than i care to try and type and even you must know that. don't you?

Schmuck Shitrock said...

OK, X. I'll take your bait, accepting your agreement that Messrs. Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld have proven themselves totally incapable of running a war, administering the aftermath of the war, and running the US government. We've made progress with you, I see; but you are the one who raised the comparison to Bosnia.

Inasmuch as we have established that the current administration is entirely inept; that the American public entirely rejects the cost, the method, and the rationale behind the war and the "surge;" and that we now have a semiconscious Congress (as opposed to the former unconscious one) that likewise rejects everything this Administration has done and is doing in Iraq...granting all that, what's the justification for sending in good money after bad and whole bodies after broken?

Let's say you are correct about the external "goliaths." They know Americans are fed up. They know they can wait us out. They even know pretty much how long they have to wait. What's the point of sacrificing all that gold and blood in the meantime?

As for this push being final, your belief in that is naive in the extreme. This would be the, what?, fourth or fifth final act of this tragedy? Let's see, we had "the end of major combat operations" -- also known as "Mission Accomplished." We had the subjugation of Falujah. We had "final death throes." We've had the surge. And now what we have are record casualties and a Iraq CIC who says it really isn't working as he planned.

It's really easy to say you just want what's best for America. Don't just say it. Show it by voting to get our kids out of the Mess in Mesopotamia and the corrupt bums out of the White House.