Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« Post-Season Blues and Choices | You, Lady on Your Cell Phone..... »

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Bush incompetent, war “a nightmare with no end in sight.”

posted by on October 13 at 7:44 AM

Another profile in retroactive courage: The former top American commander speaks up.

In a sweeping indictment of the four-year effort in Iraq, the former top commander of American forces there called the Bush administration’s handling of the war “incompetent” and said the result was “a nightmare with no end in sight.”

Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, who retired in 2006 after being replaced in Iraq after the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal, blamed the Bush administration for a “catastrophically flawed, unrealistically optimistic war plan” and denounced the current addition of American forces as a “desperate” move that would not achieve long-term stability….

General Sanchez said he was convinced that the American effort in Iraq was failing the day after he took command, in June 2003. Asked why he waited until nearly a year after his retirement to voice his concerns publicly, he responded that it was not the place of active-duty officers to challenge lawful orders from the civilian authorities..

RSS icon Comments


I love that he's ready to name names.

Hope he doesn't disappear.

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | October 13, 2007 8:06 AM

Welcome back

Freaky Friday reminded me how talented you and the staff are.

Posted by Lake | October 13, 2007 9:08 AM

Yeah, Freaky Friday was rough.

The more military that speaks out the better, but it seems like it will be pretty easy to paint this guy as a disgruntled 3-star loser from the bad old days, before the Messiah Petreaus came along and we started making real progress.

Posted by Ramjak | October 13, 2007 9:18 AM

While it's certainly tempting to answer this sort of announcement with "now you tell us, asshole!" it's worth noting that the sheer number of top brass coming forward the moment doing so would no longer be considered insubordination and using words like "incompetent" is unprecedented. This is not par for the course. Things must be pretty bad if we're hearing it from these guys.

Posted by flamingbanjo | October 13, 2007 9:26 AM

When will this national nightmare finally end? The Bush people are simply criminal. I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

I saw Maya Angelou here in Ann Arbor yesterday (fabulous!) and for a moment was transported back to Bill Clinton's first inauguration when she recited a poem she had written. I was still in high school, and I can remember how exciting it was to finally have a Democrat in office.

Now I look around and see just how insane everything's become. It's enough to make me stay inside, listen to Judy Garland, and drink.

Freaky Friday wasn't *terrible* yesterday, imho. But it was less enjoyable than normal.

Posted by Michigan Matt | October 13, 2007 9:31 AM

When the military leaders themselves are challenging the war, it means the war will soon be over. Maybe "Happy Christmas, War Is Over" ? How could it possibly continue when soldiers know even their higher-ups don't support the cause? There's only so long they can run on "I do it because I'm a soldier, goddamnit" energy.

Trust me guys, I'm glad Freaky Friday's over too.

Posted by Katelyn | October 13, 2007 10:02 AM

Freaky Friday did lack a certain sizzle. Loved the organic architecture post however. It was gay in the best possible way.

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | October 13, 2007 10:08 AM

Gee Dan,
Why put this up?
I thought you wanted this war.
Or was that just an adolescent wet dream you were envisioning when you endorsed it?

Hot soldiers, men in tents, forget the stories of WWI, WWII, Vietnam, this war was supposed to be HOT!

You jerk.

Posted by old timer | October 13, 2007 10:20 AM

Just out of curiosity all you arm-chair Generals:

Why is it Dan is the only person who's apparently not allowed to change his mind on the subject of Iraq? If it were anyone else (say a certain Commander-In-Chief) you-all would be praising the Heavens for them finally "seeing the light".

And Dan changed his position - what - about two and a-half, three years ago?

Give it a fucking rest, already.

(Oh, yeah. This is soooo much easier than actually having to search out and provide news...)

Posted by COMTE | October 13, 2007 10:29 AM

Off topic - I'm sorry if I offended the posters regarding Freaky Friday (#2); I didn't mean that it was bad. I just meant it was good contrast.

Posted by Lake | October 13, 2007 10:30 AM

I was against the war but I'm for the invasion because in the long run Israel will be more secure. I believe Dan did America a great service by coming out so strongly Pro-War initially. Who cares if he flip-flops? Judaism is not dogmatic, you can be both for the war and agaist it at the same time. I believe most Jews feel that way, that the war is hard, but it is good for Israel.

Posted by Issur | October 13, 2007 11:23 AM

I remember watching the news on the morning of 9/11 and thinking that Bush would use it as an excuse to go to war with Iraq.

I was never for it because there was never a good reason for it and I'm pissed that a. he lied about the reasons for it and b. people actually believed it and couldn't think past their own wishes for revenge.

Revenge is just a lazy form a grief (Nicole Kidman, The Interpreter)

Posted by monkey | October 13, 2007 12:54 PM

Oops, I was going to finish with...

I'm glad when anyone changes their mind about the war but they shouldn't expect a gold star for it. I just hope those people actually learn something from it.

Posted by monkey | October 13, 2007 12:57 PM

He's not the only one. Many vets I know are against the war. There have been veteran's groups formed on this very issue.

I wonder if more people would start accepting the futility of this war in ernest if there was a draft card burning in everyone's pocket.

Posted by mla | October 14, 2007 5:19 AM

I'm particularly impressed that he mentions civilian authority over the military as a reason for not speaking up earlier. At least there isn't a junta in the offing.

Posted by Greg | October 15, 2007 10:03 AM

Type "Ricardo Sanchez" into Google news and you get some interesting takes on this story. Fox News headline is 'Sanchez: Media's Reporting of Iraq War Endangered Soldiers'. US News and World Report 'Military: "Surge" Has Defeated Al Qaeda In Iraq'. WTF?

Posted by butterw | October 15, 2007 11:29 AM

The only reason anyone would give Dan a hard time or endorsing the war is because we had all the information we needed to determine that Iraq had nothing to do with 911 or the Taliban, and that the war could not be successful with the troops on hand. Almost all the left leaning independent publications, had published lengthy arguements detailing the flaws in the administrations' case for war as well as stepping up to predect the unfortunate outcome of invasion and occupation. The evidence was a slam dunk and those of us who read were shocked and awed that our favorite Seattle media had jumped on the national racket of war endorsement. Josh and Sandeep knew better. Not that Dan's opinion mattered in the big picture but the fact that he took the time to research and write a feature on reasons to go to war without investigating the reasons not to is still something I have a hard time with. Dan's mid-democrat politics are mainstream Minneapolis, Seattle would prefer something a little more progressive.

Posted by yeah, so. | October 15, 2007 12:54 PM

Sanchez hasn't rolled over into the anti-war camp, he is simply critical of the administration's handling of the war from the start. his sharpest words were saved for the media and their horrid reporting from the start on the war.

here is the full transcript of his speech, WaPo and NYT did a horrible job of summing it up, totally ignoring Sanchez' criticism.

Posted by jasen comstock | October 15, 2007 1:41 PM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 14 days old).