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Cole writes: "Since Petraeus authored that strategy and oversaw a stage of that war as commander, it actually was not fair to have him head the evaluative effort."

Former CIA Director David Petraeus. (photo: unknown)
Former CIA Director David Petraeus. (photo: unknown)



Real Petraeus Issue was Evaluation of Afghanistan

By Juan Cole, Informed Comment

11 November 12

 

aybe it is because I was brought up in part in Europe, but I just cannot understand American puritanism's obsession with public officials' private lives. I can't see that most private issues affect the quality of public service, and I don't think people's private lives are any of our business, nor become our business because they become public servants. So I am not very interested in the lurid details that caused CIA director David Petraeus abruptly to resign on Friday.

Aljazeera English reports:

 

 

What I had been concerned about, despite my admiration for Petraeus, is that he wasn't the right person to head the CIA when among its major tasks was to evaluate the counter=insurgency effort in Afghanistan. Since Petraeus authored that strategy and oversaw a stage of that war as commander, it actually was not fair to have him head the evaluative effort, and he shouldn't have been put in that position.

Counter-insurgency as Petraeus defined it involves a four-stage process. The army has to take territory away from a guerrilla movement. It has to clear that territory of the enemy. It has to hold that territory for long enough to reassure the local population that the guerrillas are not coming back and won't punish them as collaborators if they have something to do with the US. It has to build, i.e. build up local institutions such as police, so as to provide security and prosperity in the long run. Counter-insurgency is long and slow and requires winning over local hearts and minds.

Petraeus and other officers boxed Obama in in late 2009 and more or less imposed a counter-insurgency policy in Afghanistan on him. They only gave him this one plan, when he asked for 3 to choose from.

The counter-insurgency idea derived from the view of some in the officer corps that they had had a victory of sort because of the troop escalation or "surge" in Iraq late in the Bush period. As far as I can tell, however, violence in Iraq fell through 2007 not mainly because of US GI's but because a Shiite ethnic cleansing campaign chased most Sunnis from mixed neighborhoods.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had convinced Petraeus to begin with the Sunni armed groups, and to disarm them. Once they were helpless, the Shiite militias like the Mahdi Army went in and ethnically cleansed the remaining ones.

Through 2007 forward, as mixed Sunni-Shiite neighborhoods became more solidly Shiite, the death toll began declining. Angry Shiites who wanted to kill a Sunni would have had to get in their cars and drive for a while to find one.

Petraeus knew about the ethnic cleansing campaign. He was aware that it was creating a new wave of Sunni refugees. But he saw the troop escalation or ‘surge' as the primary reason for the fall in violence.

Based on this misunderstanding of what had happened in Iraq, Petraeus hoped to do in Afghanistan what he thought he did with Baghdad. Hence the mantra, take clear hold build.

But this kind of counter-insurgency would have required hundreds of thousands of fresh troops. Petraeus didn't have them. It was a huge endeavor.

It has largely failed, though US politicians and journalists seem reluctant to say so.

That failure of counter-insurgency in Afghanistan is dangerous and poses special dangers for our troops. It is dangerous for the future, since it cries out for clearsightedness lest we plunge into more such mistakes.

It was Petraeus's CIA that was charged with evaluating the unfolding Afghanistan disaster. I don't see how it could have done a good job of that. The author of the counter-insurgency strategy was now at the top of the evaluating agency.

As the US started planning for a post-Hamid Karzai Afghanistan, and for a massive troop drawdown, we needed unbiased reporting on the American scene. While I don't doubt that Petraeus would hve tried hard to give it to us, it just wasn't very likely.

So that's my critique. President Obama needs someone at the CIA who can openly evaluate whether the troop escalation has been consistently a success or failure. I don't care how he or she spends their time after 5 pm.

 

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+73 # Barbara K 2012-11-11 12:21
As far as whether the troop escalation is concerned, I don't know yet if it worked, as we are still there. I just wish they would end the thing, and let the troops all come home to the arms of their families and stop leaving them there to die for nothing that helps us -- or them.
 
 
+9 # angellight 2012-11-12 10:54
Behind Petraeus’s Resignation
November 10, 2012

Exclusive: The resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus over an extramarital affair marks a stunning reversal for the longtime media darling. But some in President Obama’s inner circle are not displeased the neocon-friendly ex-general is gone, reports Robert Parry.

The messy departure of CIA Director David Petraeus over an extramarital affair removes the last high-ranking neoconservative holdover from George W. Bush’s administration and gives the reelected President Barack Obama more maneuvering room to negotiate a settlement over Iran’s nuclear program.

BEHIND OBAMA’S BACK: As Bob Woodward reported in his book, Obama’s Wars, it was Bush’s old team that made sure Obama was given no option other than to escalate troop levels in Afghanistan substantially. The Bush holdovers also lobbied for the troop increase behind Obama’s back.

According to Woodward’s book, Gates, Petraeus and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, Adm. Mike Mullen, refused to even prepare an early-exit option that Obama had requested. Instead, they offered up only plans for their desired escalation of about 40,000 troops.

http://consortiumnews.com/2012/11/10/behind-petraeuss-resignation/
 
 
+4 # artic fox 2012-11-12 12:50
this reminds me of the movie about the Crimean War when all the British Generals made excuses as to who was to blame for the disaster. It is quite possible that the movie had a large element of truth in its storyline. And we now have he same thing again in actuality.
 
 
+63 # LeeBlack 2012-11-11 12:21
It seemed strange to me at the time to take a military person and put them in charge of an organization that is supposed to be non-military. I think the CIA should be in charge of information gathering, not involved in 'operations'.

Still, the Patreaus fall seemed to be more about the woman involved having information she shouldn't have. If it didn't come from Patreaus it seems it may have come from her connection to him.

I agree that officials private lives shouldn't be a consideration of their public service.
 
 
+3 # Dave_s Not Here 2012-11-11 23:13
"I think the CIA should be in charge of information gathering, not involved in 'operations'."

Who ya gonna call to get the wet work done?
 
 
+2 # WestWinds 2012-11-13 00:37
I think the logic is, if a person is in public life and doesn't have the good sense not to get caught up in a scandal, then they probably don't have enough common sense to be in that office. Unfortunately, many men in public life, in general; not all, tend to see a broadening of their sexual encounters as a personal reward for a job well done.
 
 
+1 # bmiluski 2012-11-13 12:06
Oh please......thi s has nothing to do with common sense. If we had common sense men wouldn't have been allowed to govern the world. Let's face it, men have, do and will fool around. After all, they're all just boys.
 
 
+31 # D12345 2012-11-11 12:47
"My admiration for Petraeus"

Is this what RSN has come to....?
What next...

"My worship of Dick Cheney" ???
 
 
+13 # dquandle 2012-11-11 15:13
Apparently so. Amazing isn't it?
 
 
+11 # Dion Giles 2012-11-11 18:33
Look at all the fools who admire Rommel, when Rommel had done his level damnedest along with the other Wehrmacht generals to make aggression succeed and to clamp Nazi authority on the world. Fighting against aggression is honourable, fighting to pursue it is not.
 
 
+87 # peterjkraus 2012-11-11 12:47
The problem seems to me to run much deeper. We, as a society, are taught to revere our soldiers. Which leads to the very real and very destructive conclusion that they can do no wrong.
As someone who was born in Germany toward the end of the war, I have always watched this development with great trepidation, as it will lead to what brought German society to its knees.
We fight too many unnecessary wars. We sacrifice our young generations on the altar of self-aggrandize ment.
We should begin to reflect.
 
 
+13 # Glen 2012-11-11 15:43
It does run deeper, peter. Revering soldiers is not the correct attitude any longer, if it ever was. U.S. military is expected to perform duties a military is not meant to perform, such as rebuilding and soothing the local citizenry, etc. A military is for killing and taking. That's it.

The U.S. government knows that, but citizens appear to have forgotten what war is. Certainly, they are shielded from reality in today's highly political atmosphere, but the reality remains. And that reality is destroying the entire fabric and economy of the U.S. So you are right to worry, as many of us are.
 
 
+5 # WestWinds 2012-11-13 00:44
I don't agree. Men want approbation and money and that's what all too many wars have been about. Why don't we have a sports event and the winner of the event is the winner of the war? Because war creates a cash flow like no other, and men get to brag about being men. Take war away, and we would have to solve our problems in some other way; like stop sticking sticks in the eyes of other countries and provoking them to war. We pander to the lowest, most lucrative rung on the ladder and call it patriotism.
 
 
-13 # brux 2012-11-11 20:49
We have two things that would prevent anything like Germany, and you should really know better.

1. Our military tradition has middle class people in the military, and many minorities. I don't see them turning against the people.

2. We have a completely different culture than Germany. It's too early to say we will never revert back to some kind of ugly racist ugliness, but every year it gets less and less likely. I worry about a backlash against whites to tell the truth, and while some whites might deserve it a lot of us do not.
 
 
+3 # bmiluski 2012-11-13 12:11
"1. Our military tradition has middle class people in the military, and many minorities. I don't see them turning against the people."

HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN KENT STATE????
 
 
+1 # brux 2012-11-13 19:38
You mean back when there were regular abuses by minorities? That was also not the US military it was the national guard.
Do you remember Kent State?
 
 
+2 # Carol Sterritt 2012-11-13 15:41
We have a different culture, than 1930's Germany, but both societies are extremely conformist. The Germans were lied to and so they voted in Hitler. We are lied to and so are so happy to have the "free elections" between Obama and Mitt Rmoney. Some difference we were offered there. On most policies the two guys were identical.
 
 
+1 # brux 2012-11-13 19:39
America is nowhere near as conformist as Pre-WWII Germany.
Love these hyper-exaggerat ed comments!
 
 
0 # Hey There 2012-11-14 13:06
I.m with you. Bailout to the banks and Wall St. illustrates well who is being "helped" and who is not.
 
 
+1 # bmiluski 2012-11-13 12:10
Unlike the pre-war Germany, the US is made up of too many cultures which means the mind-set cannot be totally controled as it was in monoethnic Germany. Not that it cannot be accomplished (ergo the tea-party), but its a lot harder.
 
 
0 # Hey There 2012-11-14 13:07
Hadn't thought of that. Good Point.
 
 
+3 # brux 2012-11-11 12:56
See if Hilary is interested in CIA directorship ... that would be interesting ... or even Bill.
 
 
-31 # dquandle 2012-11-11 15:16
Just what we need. More war criminals to be placed in charge of secret brutal organizations bent on subversion and destruction of governments and democracy. She too belongs in prison for war crimes and crimes against humanity, as does her despicable husband.
 
 
+2 # WestWinds 2012-11-13 00:46
I totally agree.
 
 
0 # brux 2012-11-13 19:40
With only you outside of prison won't you find it hard to rule the country so fairly? Get off your high horse and deal with reality.
 
 
0 # Dave_s Not Here 2012-11-11 23:15
YEAH! Bill.
 
 
+2 # WestWinds 2012-11-13 00:46
I'm so sick of the Bush and Clinton dynasties I could vomit! For the love of heaven, let's move on!!!
 
 
0 # Hey There 2012-11-14 13:13
Bill is the one who signed NAFTA into law and "Reformed Welfare" and his and Hillary's health plan as near as I can ascertain would have benefited the Insurance Companies more than the people it was proposed to serve.
But you have a point. It would prove interesting.
 
 
+12 # brux 2012-11-11 12:59
How soon we forget DSK ... Dominique Strauss Khan. This guy was involved in all kinds of public sex clubs. Maybe you posturing European weirdos think all of Europe gets off one such crap, but not all do, and not many Americans want our leaders involved in that, unless they are really dearly beloved.

The problem with Petreus, if this is the real reason, is that affairs and secrecy make you liable to blackmail and extortion, which is unacceptable in the military. In the civilian sector, it's up to the people, not in the military.
 
 
+14 # Billy Bob 2012-11-11 14:01
Well, "the secret's" out now. Can he keep his job? No? Why not? There's nothing left to blackmail.

Of the 5 or 6 wild guesses I've read on the internet so far, the one written in this article is the first one I've read that sounded even plausible.
 
 
0 # Hey There 2012-11-14 13:15
OK. But once it's public he can't be blackmailed.
 
 
+16 # wantrealdemocracy 2012-11-11 13:03
It is not because of some affair that Betrayus asked to be removed from his post at the CIA. I think he is on the outs because he was a part of plans to stage an "October Surprise" that would help Romney get elected. (the killing of the Ambassador after that strange film was given as a false reason for the anger of the Muslim people. The event may have been an unsuccessful CIA adventure.)
 
 
+24 # Billy Bob 2012-11-11 13:26
This is the first logical explanation I've read. Clearly the "surge" was never anything but a propaganda push. That was pretty well known even in '07. I never realized until this article that the whole idea was pretty much betray-us'.
 
 
+38 # eaglew 2012-11-11 13:31
As a former Army person, let me assure you that the CIA has always been involved with and used the military to accomplish their missions. They are particularly fond of using our special operating forces as a tool for "getting things done."
 
 
+13 # Human Right 2012-11-11 13:54
The CIA is a tool used by the state department to fabricate excuses to attack other countries for Israel. Even after the CIA said there was no WMD nor Al Qaeda Iraq was attacked. The same for Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, etc. Petraeus is simply an expendible part of the Ashkenazim mafia plan.
 
 
-11 # Cassandra2012 2012-11-11 14:54
Another thoughtless bigot mouthing off....
 
 
-4 # CAMUS1111 2012-11-12 13:22
yeah, interesting that RSN regularly [effortlessly?] publishes such anti-semitic hallucinations. Not that it matters but I'm not semitic; i just can't stomach bigots on the left any more than i can on the right.
 
 
-5 # brux 2012-11-12 14:29
There "seemingly" are a hell of a lot of bigots of the so-called left, and I think they need to be identified because I don't think they are really are lefties, they are implants designed to fragment the left and keep it unacceptable.

The anti-Israel US "meme" is something I think was started, bought and paid for by Saudi Arabia through their contacts and financial power. Funny that it is a classified secret how much money and what percentage ownership the Saudis have in the US, and how much if not most of our military maneuverings have resulting in more power for the Saudis.

The perpetrators of these conversations of hate on both sides work to fragment and tear up the left, which is by nature very fragmented anyway, without any real leaders as the Right has.

Until we all can disavow and drive this kind of stuff out of the Left there will not not much accomplished, and Obama will mostly be able to disregard anything the left wants while fulfilling a mostly Republicans agenda without anyone really knowing or understanding.
 
 
+12 # Javaparty 2012-11-11 20:24
Very well put. It is mind boggling that the US public is so blind to hthe horrors Israel has made us endure so they can oppress the Palestinans at will. Doesn't anyone even ask why our Presidental canadates must bow before their Israeli Godfather?
 
 
-4 # brux 2012-11-12 14:31
Not Israel, the Saudis, or put a better way, why do you jump for Israel when the long term prospects for them are staying the same or getting worse, but the countries on the Saudi Peninsula are prospering like all get out, and getting tons of .01% American investment ... like control of ports all over the world.

You sound like a dupe driven by your hate - look at some facts for a change.
 
 
-4 # CAMUS1111 2012-11-12 13:54
@Human excrement you are a twisted goosestepper!
 
 
+1 # bmiluski 2012-11-13 12:15
Ah yes.....the ever present holocost card.
 
 
+18 # Misterioso 2012-11-11 14:16
For the record: Then Commander General David Petraeus initiated the 2010 bombshell briefing by senior military officers to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen. The team was dispatched by Petraeus to brief the Pentagon on intelligence that Israeli intransigence in the peace process was jeopardizing American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and that America was perceived as weak, ineffectual, and unable to stand up to Israel.
 
 
+13 # wrf1984 2012-11-11 14:31
I respect your opinions, Juan, but I can't help but wonder if the real, REAL reason he was exposed was his inability to get along with the rank and file in the CIA--a problem many/most outsiders to the agency face when appointed. It would have been easy for an agent/agents to be aware of what was going on and tipped off those who could do him harm. And exactly what is the big deal here? Is his sense of honor such that he felt the need to resign? I agree with others that have said this could cause him great personal/famili al harm but did not affect his performance in his job. Blackmail? Only if he let it happen. Career ending? Hardly.
 
 
+14 # dbriz 2012-11-11 16:06
In the first place the CIA has been closely involved in every military operation since it's creation.

Never more so than during Petraeus of "surge" fame.

The CIA operational wing likes him. His most recent visit to Turkey was an attempt to pull their chestnuts out of the fire over Benghazi fallout.

His resignation has more to do with keeping him from testifying to the Senate Intelligence committee than any "love affair".

If you want to know about an "affair" that is instructive, google up Iran/Contra Affair.
 
 
+1 # Carol Sterritt 2012-11-13 15:43
Uh, Petraeus has left his office. There is a big difference between death and being "retired."
 
 
0 # karenvista 2012-11-15 01:55
He is testifying so forget that right-wing conspiracy story.
 
 
+10 # DrEvel1 2012-11-11 16:14
I think that your point and Juan's are not incompatible. Apparently he had managed in a very short time to alienate a large part of the agency, who felt that he didn't understand their function and was impeding real analysis of both Iraq and Afghanistan. The affair thing was serious for a man in his position, and he handled it very badly; but the real problem was the was also mismanaging the agency. The timing of getting him out was at least very well controlled, and the administration deserves credit for keeping the whole thing out of the media until just AFTER the election. Imagine the chaos that would have occurred if this had been two days BEFORE the election - the GOP and Fox would have had a complete field day. As it was, all they had to chew on were scraps of the Libya disaster, which was pretty much all chewed up earlier and didn't help them much (Petraeus was also involved in that, and it may have been another factor in the decision to oust him.)
 
 
+22 # bruf 2012-11-11 14:41
It is regrettable that we have applied policies in Iraq and Afghanistan which were proved unsound in the Vietnam War.
 
 
+16 # Human Right 2012-11-11 14:42
Saudi Arabian Sunis blew the twin towers so the USA attacks Iraq. Next these brilliant USA strategists attack Afghanistan, a country that had nothing to do with Arabs destroying the towers. Sounds like a commy plot, errr terrorist plot, err a case of vast stupidity.
 
 
+26 # dquandle 2012-11-11 15:12
Petraeus didn't misunderstand the effectiveness of his "surge" in Iraq, he lied about it. It was a brutal failure. The repeat of the policy in Afghanistan was a repeat of a failure and a lie. He is a war criminal. I too do not give a $hit about what he does in bed. He ought to spend the rest of his life in prison as a war criminal.
 
 
+2 # Activista 2012-11-12 01:33
Petraeus is liar/WAR CRIMINAL by any measure. CIA provides polls that show that population around Kandahar supports Taliban.
The analysis on Iraq "success" and why is perfect. Now we exported Iraq, Libya civil war to Syria.
Get out of Afghanistan -
This is why attack on Iran will not go very well - there is no much potential for civil war.
 
 
+8 # X Dane 2012-11-11 15:45
I do understand that the President is feeling a bit cool towards Petreus, for he and the other top generals were downright illoyal to their commander in chief.

In 09 when the talk of a surge was going on, the President was considering the options. As noted he had asked for 3 options....they gave him 1 and in addition they leaked that they wanted 40.ooo troops.

So Obama was under a lot of pressure. I remember that MC Cain and other hawks were on TV all the time lobbying for what the generals wanted, telling us how important it was that the generals got what they wanted.

I think MC Cain forgot that the Military is NOT in charge, the civil government IS. The generals made Obama look weak, when he did what any commander in chief HAS to do,... THINK VERY carefully before sending troops in harms way!!!

So I admire Obama for choosing Petreus as head of CIA, although personally he was not comfortable with him.
 
 
0 # WestWinds 2012-11-13 01:05
I don't think Obama should have appointed Petraeus to the CIA. Petraeus is a Bush hold-over and as such would only further promulgate Bush policy. Obama should have cleaned house at the earliest opportunity. Instead, BHO was too busy genuflecting to the Right to make the best decisions.
 
 
+11 # allie 2012-11-11 15:51
On a different note. The rise of the moral majority in the republican party opened the doors to “what goes on in your private political life is public domain”. It hit full force during Clinton’s second term. Petraeus was never someone I admired, so his indiscretions have no effect on my way of thinking. This affair, possibly affairs, is interesting given the republicans were campaigning him for sainthood before the news broke. Listen to the news today and he’s still on his way.
 
 
+15 # beachboy 2012-11-11 16:47
How can you admire the guy, Juan? For his prussian values? His kill rate?

...and you should know that in the US one thinks 'officially' like a child about sex and honor, especially as a politician, and as a DCIA he IS a politician...an d they really believe that crap - or want to make the public believe that they do: it's the old story about wanting to please the Johnses, who are, of course, religious and perfect citizens...blah , blah...and we cannot disappoint them...or we might taint the other members of our club of the 'Perfect Ones' and don't stay in power ( yawn )

...how can you not understand this?
 
 
-5 # BKnowswhitt 2012-11-11 17:55
Affair is just the cover. Files are kept and people are observed to be used at correct time. Petreus is now exempt and can not be forced to testify on the upcoming Republican run investigation of Bengazi. USA running arms to Syrian Rebels to get the outcome there they seek. Bengazi tied to that and this is the beginning of the coverup. Maybe Obama knew it all maybe not. Expect Executive Privilege by Obama as the heat comes on and this most likely will be his 'Whitewater' ....
 
 
+6 # BKnowswhitt 2012-11-11 18:05
Afghanistan is about knocking out the Taliban and remnants and new recruits of Muslim extremists who will fight to the end and attack the pipelines and US Led Multinational Oil Companies from doing their thing. It's like James Baker said before 9/11 speaking for W' Bush - we will not be nation builders but we will protect US interests around the world wherever they may be. It's the big coverup and lack of real insightful reporting for the cooked Corporately owned and privately run 'News' both Right And Left ...
 
 
+8 # Texas Aggie 2012-11-11 21:51
Whether or not there is some other reason, having a mistress is reason enough for the head of an intelligence operation to find another job. Blackmail aside, this woman would have an increased access to information the US doesn't need slipping into the wrong hands. It has nothing to do with Puritan values.
 
 
+3 # Constant Voter 2012-11-11 23:26
Correct!
 
 
0 # WestWinds 2012-11-13 01:12
And why isn't Petraeus going to Levinworth to join Sgt. Manning?
 
 
+1 # bmiluski 2012-11-13 12:16
The same reason cheney isn't going.
 
 
+3 # Muzzi 2012-11-11 23:13
A jealous mistress who sends threatening emails to another female working with him on a different matter??
A jealous mistress who is married to someone else with 2 small children??
 
 
+3 # Constant Voter 2012-11-11 23:18
Petraeus is very ambitious - remember, he was a cadet who married the West Point Superintendents daughter days after he graduated from there. And he gets out now ... and is, after a suitable period of time ... available to run for public office.
 
 
+5 # Milarepa 2012-11-12 02:02
House of Lies is a good series to watch, as is Homeland, to see where constant lying and obfuscation leads. Petraeus is out, which doesn't mean much. The entire CIA is part of the problem, not the solution. For America it's bad enough at home but most of the dirty work is done abroad, around the world. How long can that last? Until Mother Nature puts a natural stop to it, which may happen soon, certainly sooner than most people think.
 
 
+6 # mjc 2012-11-12 09:33
The analysts whether the CIA or military intelligence thought they could drive the "enemy" out of Afghanistan as they had...supposedl y...done in Iraq but the al Qaeda elements in Afghanistan came from the Taliban, an organization that the US had used to help ensure the defeat of the Soviet Union's occupation of that region. The Taliban were Afghans, men who lived in Afghanistan and in the off-season for fighting were goat-herders of poppy-growers as well as perhaps some other farming, a difficult task in the mountains and cold. COIN was a very disputed strategy and led to the removal of several top US military officers in the early years of our invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. The present Petraeus issue in my humble opinion lies in the tarnish now applied to the CIA's director. You may have noticed the number of prominent conservative Republicans who decried the revelation of the affair. Petraeus is/was political conservative and my guess is he is a top candidate for the presidency in 2016. AND Petraeus was scheduled to report to the Congress about Benghazi. There are hints in various IT sites that Petraeus may have played a part in the deaths of 4 Americans either through lack of support from the CIA or darker reasons involving politicos. If he doesn't go before Congress and give HIS deep evaluation about the Benghazi tragedy, some of those reasons for it may remain unknown.
 
 
+1 # WestWinds 2012-11-13 01:18
George Prescott Bush filed his papers in Texas this last week. He is the son of Jeb Bush and an Hispanic mother. Talk is the Republicans didn't garner enough Hispanic votes to win, and in 2016, they will run Prescott against Hillary Clinton. Another year of bad choices.
 
 
+2 # rsntag 2012-11-13 07:30
I don't find this article persuasive because there is no compelling evidence provided for his claim that the US 'victory' in Iraq was not due to 'the surge' but rather was a consequence of ethnic cleansing.

It stands out like a gaping whole, conspicuously absent from his presentation.
 
 
0 # karenvista 2012-11-15 03:02
[quote name="rsntag"]I don't find this article persuasive because there is no compelling evidence provided for his claim. quote]

Just Google "Salvador Option" and you will have your choice of Salvador Option Iraq, Libya, Syria, and of course the original version.

Thousand of Iraqis were tortured with drills, beaten, had their eys plucked out, decapitaated and shot by death squads that we trained. This was during "the surge." We took credit for that but not for all the Salvador style death squads we trained. The thousands of people per month who were murdered by Shiite on Sunni violence drove the communities apart and terrorized everyone to the point that they couldn't react to the additional invasion of the surge.

If your idea of success is genocide and terror then Petraeus and Negropnte suceeded. I, personally would have expected better.

I will presume that everyone knows what we did in El Salvador.

According to an article published in New York Times Magazine, in September 2004 Counsellor to the US Ambassador for Iraqi Security Forces James Steele was assigned to work with Negroponte on a new Iraqi counter-insurge ncy unit known as the Special Police Commandos who were found to commit most of the crimes against humanity. http://psychoanalystsopposewar.org/resources_files/TheWay_of_the_Commandos.html ).

From 1984 to 1986 then Col. Steele had led the US Military Advisory Group in El Salvador training their death squads.
 

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