Monday, September 08, 2008

President Bush Lied About the Surge

Shunted to the last few paragraphs of this article by Bob Woodward:
The president announced the surge decision Jan. 10, 2007. Five more brigades would go to Baghdad; 4,000 Marines would head to Anbar province.

The next morning, he went to Fort Benning, Ga., to address military personnel and their families. His decision had been opposed by Casey and Abizaid, his military commanders in Iraq. Pace and the Joint Chiefs, his top military advisers, had suggested a smaller increase, if any at all. Schoomaker, the Army chief, had made it clear that the five brigades didn't really exist under the Army's current policy of 12-month rotations. But on this morning, the president delivered his own version of history.

"The commanders on the ground in Iraq, people who I listen to -- by the way, that's what you want your commander-in-chief to do. You don't want decisions being made based upon politics or focus groups or political polls. You want your military decisions being made by military experts. They analyzed the plan, and they said to me and to the Iraqi government: 'This won't work unless we help them. There needs to be a bigger presence.' "

Bush went on, "And so our commanders looked at the plan and said, 'Mr. President, it's not going to work until -- unless we support -- provide more troops.' "


I wish the media were more straightforward. Why wasn't their headline the one I used? They called it "Outmaneuvered And Outranked, Military Chiefs Became Outsiders." Sure, that's a big story, but what about President Bush out-and-out LYING to get his surge? Let's bury that part at the end of the article.

Damn liberal media.

6 comments:

asher said...

Did you see Stephanopolis corner Obama regarding the surge? The senator just couldn't admit that it worked...then admitted it worked..BUT.....Obama then won the award for hemming and hawing and using the longest run on sentence in the history of the media. Clearly a Harvard lawyer.

Comrade Kevin said...

Another politician using obfuscation to get his way. No more, no less.

Random said...

With all due respect, but what do you propose Bush should have said at Fort Benning? "All the professionals that we've talked to about this think it's impossible and just plain nuts, but I'm going ahead with it anyway because my guts are telling me it's the thing to do and I'm c-in-c so those other guys can kiss my taut white..."?

Yeah, because that would have done absolute wonders for military morale:-/ Of course he has to tell soldiers about to go off to war that their cammanders are united and support what they are about to do. The blunt fact is Bush was right to force the Surge through against entrenched opposition, and those opposed to it were wrong. If he made even one good call in his management of the war, this was it. And too often it seems that *that* is the real scandal that is outraging the left about this whole issue - not that the Surge happened, but that it worked.

Jewish Atheist said...

Random:

And too often it seems that *that* is the real scandal that is outraging the left about this whole issue - not that the Surge happened, but that it worked.

You're better than that.

Random said...

JA,

Fair enough, maybe I should have said "some leftists" rather than tarring the whole distaff side of the political spectrum with the same brush. But if you think my categorisation is utterly baseless, I would refer you to these words spoken by Barack Obama in an interview with ABC's Terry Moran during his European tour -

"Q: If you had to do it over again, knowing what you know now, would you support the surge?

Obama: No. Because, keep in mind that —

Q: You wouldn’t?

Obama: Keep in mind, these kind of hypotheticals are very difficult. You know hindsight is 20/20. But I think that what I am absolutely convinced of is at that time we had to change the political debate because the view of the Bush administration at that time was one I just disagreed with."

Given his time over again Obama would still oppose the Surge - even knowing it would work - for no better reason than that it was a Bush policy and that the success of the surge would be a success for Bush. I would submit that this is basically consistent with my characterisation above.

You didn't answer my question as to what you think Bush should actually have said at Fort Benning, BTW (unless of course I misunderstood you and your main thrust was criticism of the media rather than Bush, in which case I withdraw my point).

Jewish Atheist said...

Random:

I think you're distorting what Obama said. He said, "at that time we had to change the political debate because the view of the Bush administration at that time was one I just disagreed with." He did not offer a motive, and you assume it's because he didn't want the "success of the surge [to] be a success for Bush." I think it would be far more reasonable to assume he wanted to change the political debate because he thought his side was right for America.

He's being really awkward here because it's hard for a politician to talk about that sort of thing. See Republicans (pre-surge) on if they knew then what they know now whether they still would have voted for war.

You didn't answer my question as to what you think Bush should actually have said at Fort Benning,

Your point is interesting, but look at how you do the opposite for Bush of what you did for Obama. Obama's words you interpret to make him sound like a selfish opportunist. Bush's words -- which sound to me like he was trying to sell the surge and himself politically -- you interpret as being intended for the morale of the troops. I'd prefer a president not lie to the people in a Democracy except in the most clear cases of military necessity (e.g. the bombers are in the air and he can't ruin the surprise.) Lying to the voters so that troops have better morale is not a good tradeoff, imo.