Nominee Gates: Against a Speedy Iraq Pullout

Bush's nominee to replace Donald Rumsfeld as defense secretary, Robert Gates, has submitted written testimony to Congress. Shorter version: no speedy pullout.

Robert M. Gates, President Bush's nominee to become the next secretary of defense, said he opposes a swift pullout from Iraq, arguing in written testimony submitted yesterday to Congress that "leaving Iraq in chaos would have dangerous consequences both in the region and globally for many years to come."

Gates was a member of the Iraq Study Group.

That group is said to be leaning toward recommending that the Bush administration seek stability in Iraq partly by holding an international conference that includes Iraq's neighbors. In 65 pages of written answers to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Gates repeatedly mentions such a conference.

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    it is not whether "Speedy pullout" (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by scribe on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:42:55 AM EST
    will happen.  Rather, the issue is when and under what conditions it will happen.  I'd like to think any prudent senior commander would have his staff working, very (emphasize very) quietly, on plans for how to bug out of Iraq on short notice, and that junior commanders would be doing the same for their units.  

    At the rate the situation is deteriorating, there is little doubt in my mind that the US military is going to pull out of Iraq in a hurry, most likely sometime in the next year or so.  The only question I'm entertaining is "under what conditions".

    It's not outside the realm of possibility (sadly, I think it's well within that realm) that Bushie's insistence on keeping US troops in Iraq will result in either a precipitous dash for the Kuwaiti (or Jordanian or Saudi or Turkish) border, with the attendant huge (further) losses of life and equipment or, worse, Bushie insisting on the troops standing and fighting.

    The latter will result in three things:  (1) a debacle 500 or 1000 times worse than Custer and his Last Stand, (2) mass killing of Iraqis, innocent or not, and (3) Limbaugh's rants yesterday to the effect of "kill them all" becoming policy.  Bushie and his fundies have been looking for the opportunity to have their Armageddon (funny, how we haven't heard that word in the MSM for a long time now, no?) and, if his policy continues unchecked, they're angling to get it.

    They've been stroking their nuclear trigger for a while, and I wouldn't be surprised if and when they find a way to use it.

    Every fundie ideologue - and that includes Bushie - has a certain set of attributes:  

    the sure knowledge that they are the recipient of Unvarnished Truth and that all others who disagree in the slightest are not only Wrong but also Evil;  
    the incapacity to recognize error in their own actions and policies and adjust to rectify error;  
    the sure belief that, those lucky dice rolls in the beginning (when they took a chance and got away with it) were not the result of luck, but rather were the result of only their innate superiority in knowledge, intuition, favor of the God(s) and destiny;
    when all goes to crap, the sure knowledge that the common folks just weren't worthy of them;  
    the lack of perspective for the likely results of their actions; and
    rather than lose, they'll go for the Gotterdaemmerung every time.

    In reality, there's not a lot which separates them from people who need their medication to act within the bounds of civilized society.  

    Gates is a product of and a part of that Bush cabal.  There is no reason to believe he will not act as badly as, if not moreso than, Rummy.  But, given W's treatment of Webb in the WH reception recently, I expect Gates' hearings will be entertaining at least.

    That would be this Gates: (4.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Sailor on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 09:20:54 AM EST
    Gates Pushed for Bombing of Sandinistas
    His 1984 memo called for 'hard measures' against Nicaragua.

    WASHINGTON -- Robert M. Gates, President Bush's nominee to lead the Pentagon, advocated a bombing campaign against Nicaragua in 1984 in order to "bring down" the leftist government, according to a declassified memo released by a nonprofit research group.

    Exactly. (1.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Pneumatikon on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 11:45:37 AM EST
    And if we don't grabble with the threat of Muhammad's teaching to our civil liberties consciously and deliberately men like Gates will always drive the agenda.

    The only people... (none / 0) (#12)
    by Bill Arnett on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 12:22:33 PM EST
    ... that are
    consciously and deliberately
    threatening our civil rights are bush/cheney/rumsfeld/rice/feith/yoo/bybee/abu gonzales and the other members of this maladministration.

    Funny, not a single Muslim among them.


    What (none / 0) (#1)
    by aw on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 12:12:47 AM EST
    do we have to do to pull the plug on Iraq?  Go on strike and deprive them of tax revenues?

    Gates history (none / 0) (#2)
    by kipling on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 05:37:18 AM EST
    Gates has been more than a member of the Iraq Study Group, according to this diary

    Something smells. (none / 0) (#3)
    by Edger on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 08:23:39 AM EST
    Too many people are saying too many nice things about Robert Gates... including that he will push for more diplomacy and for direct talks with Iran rather than attacking the country.

    Any conciliatory words or moves from this administration are smoke and mirrors I think, designed to divert attention from hidden agendas.

    They are just retrenching and rebuilding and waiting for the right opportunity. With Robert Gates they are the same bums dressed up in new cheap suit. It will look good for awhile, but won't last very long.

    Michael Klare: Bush Goes Over to Imperial Defense

    Cheney and Rumsfeld thought that there was endless stretch to imperial overstretch and, as a result, managed to push American power (military and economic) so hard in the service of their dreams of global dominion that the actual imperial might of the United States began to crack and give way under the strain. Gates is all too aware of the vulnerabilities this opens up -- like a football coach whose team has suddenly found itself deep in its own territory. That's the moment, of course, when you need to pay closer attention to your adversaries; you need to psych out their strategies and tactics; you have to be able to play defense and give up some yards when endless blitzes of the other team's quarterback prove futile; you have to establish fall-back positions you can hold onto. Rumsfeld could never master those skills; Gates, with his long experience in the intelligence community, already has. It is for this reason, more than any other, that he was chosen at this pivotal moment in American history.

    It is too early to foresee what particular course Gates and his soon-to-be-selected associates will adopt in their effort to refashion American strategy in light of current international realities. But any notion of emerging triumphant from Iraq will now be abandoned, and the search will be on for a strategy that would allow the United States to extricate itself from the Iraqi morass while retaining its dominant position in the greater Persian Gulf region. This has become the overarching objective.

    Be suspicious.

    How many Muslims do you know personally? (none / 0) (#6)
    by Edger on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 09:10:31 AM EST
    And how many Muslim people have you taken the time and made the effort to get to know?

    I've been reading a lot about Islam and these people are crazy

    Yeah, yeah, I've heard just about every racial generalization I ever want to hear, thanks. You're not adding anything new to the mix with statements comparable to: "Them nig*ers are all shiftless and lazy".

    Keep reading. Wait, better yet, STOP reading. Turn off your computer for awhile. Go outside and start meeting and talking to people. Go to the nearest mosque. Make some friends. Or aquaintances if you can't bring yourself to make some friends.

    If the people you meet make you nervous the place to start looking for answers is inside yourself.

    Sh*t..... why do I bother, FFS....

    Your response make me proud to be liberal. (1.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Pneumatikon on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 11:41:08 AM EST
    You can't believe what I'm saying can be a real problem because something like this would never occur to you. So just let my comments kick around in your head. Pay attention to what Muslim leaders are saying over the next several months and years. Keep an open mind.

    Three stories.

    A few years ago I was talking to a Muslim whose parents were well educated and secular, but he himself was starting to get very serious about his Islam. He was headed for graduate school, and talking about looking to find a "strong Muslim woman" for a wife. He had a look in his eyes that bothered me at the time, but since I didn't know what to make of it I blew it off. Still, it bothered me even years later. And the way he talked about getting a "strong Muslim woman" just... I couldn't put my fingers on it. If you're a "strong Muslim" you are serious about slitting the throat of anyone who insults Islam, and what constitutes "insulting Islam" includes the mere criticim of her prophet. It's already starting to happen in Europe. This comes from the prophet himself. I'm not pulling this out of thin air.

    Every year at my company we have a little festival where we celebrate diversity. On one of those years I noticed that the setting for the gay and lesbian group was right next to that of the Muslims, which I thought would be great fun. But later that day after the festival had started I noticed that the gay and lesbian group had been moved to the other side of the room. It bothered me then and it's stuck in my head now. In Islam, there's not just the promise of 70 virgins (or whatever) in paradise. You'll also get lots of "beautiful boys." It's very gay. And yet we gays and lesbians are considered abominations. Any of the mentally healthy among us will tell you that kind of attitude makes for explosively dangerous behavior. There's not much uglier than a closeted self-loathing gay man. Mohammada Atta, as you may know, was gay.

    Once on a job a woman told me she was from Egypt, so I started talking very favorably about Islam since I'd heard so many good things about it. The woman gave me a really ugly look. It was spontaneous and it didn't last long, but again this is something that's stuck in my head after all these years. The woman was Coptic Christian, and although we never discussed Islam after that her look said enough.

    I now know what was happening in my brain and I trust these gut reactions explicitly. It all came from my "low road" limbic system. You shouldn't act on those feelings impulsively, of course, but rather they should be processed through the "high road" executive functions. This is what I'm doing now for you. Reading Social Intelligence and keeping up with other breakthrough research on the brain has really helped me connect with how people work. I also understand -- explicitly -- why Muhammad was so poisonous. Start with reading about mirror neurons and you'll see what I mean.

    This kind of emotional feedback I'm talking about here is well known to therapists, and is in fact why therapists must themselves go into therapy. This is to separate the analysand's feelings that are kicking around in the their "low road" limbic systems from their own. It's very useful in the therapeutic process and it was through that that my therapist was able to put me on notice that I was a very sad person. I had no idea, and I'm still trying to dig down to those feelings. This tool can only be used by therapists, however, when they bring their own feelings into conscious awareness; letting the "high road" executive functions get familiar with them and factor them out on the job.

    Read Surah 9. This is Muhammad's final injuction to his followers and supercedes all earlier revelation. Then be ready to fight for civil rights -- including those of Muslims.


    Pnuematikon (none / 0) (#10)
    by Edger on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 11:58:06 AM EST
    You can't believe what I'm saying can be a real problem because something like this would never occur to you. So just let my comments kick around in your head. Pay attention to what Muslim leaders are saying over the next several months and years.

    I can believe what you're saying quite easily. I hear, read, and see the same kind of things you are referring to on a regular basis. Too regular. Much too often.

    I can also do about 5 minutes of web searching and come up with as much if not much more material "proving beyond all doubt" that "all Christians" are evil psychotic homicidal killers with whom there can never be any reasonable and useful interaction except to bomb the living sh*t out of countries they live in and kill them all.

    And I'd be proving absolutely nothing. I live surrounded by Muslim people. And like the vast majority of Christian people they are ordinary, normal, honest, trustworthy, reasonable and reasoning, good people who make good neighbors and are not interested in the least in hurting anyone, and who ridicule the crazy extremists who purport to be their leaders.

    Keep an open mind:

       "The earth is now home to about 1.4 billion Muslims, many of whom believe that one day you and I will either convert to Islam, live in subjugation to a Muslim caliphate, or be put to death for our unbelief."

        This is an accurate statement of an Islamic article of faith; but so too is this statement:

       "The earth is now home to about 1.3 billion Roman Catholics, many of whom believe that one day you and I will either convert to Catholicism, live in subjugation to Holy Mother Church, or be banished to the depths of hell for all eternity."

        It's accurate to say that most Catholics "believe" this statement, but actually most Catholics, particularly American Catholics, might likely diminish the importance of this statement as "anti-social", or "needlessly divisive", or as a vestige of ancient Catholic dogma no longer relevant.
        Similarly, most American Muslims would also recognize the historic accuracy of Harris' statement above as a matter of dogma; but I suggest they would likewise deny its importance to the contemporary practice of their Islamic faith. It is an extreme minority (Islamists) like Sayyid Qutb, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Osma bin Laden, who cherry-pick the Kuran to justify the bloody flag of fundamentalism.
        The CIA estimates that 1% of the U.S. population is Muslim -- about 2.5 million Americans organized in about one thousand mosques across the country. Isn't it remarkable that there has been no orchestrated incidents of Muslim violence in the United States, no mass protests, no act of organized terror perpetrated by Islamic Americans?

        Shouldn't we attribute the fact that there has been no terrorist act committed in the U.S. since 9/11, at least in apart, to the peaceful nature of Islamic American communities and their respect for U.S. law?

    --Deconstructing Christianity, By Bob Philbin, Oct 16, 2006

    edger that's nonsense.. (1.00 / 2) (#17)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 05:38:49 PM EST
    What you are doing is telling someone to NOT seek education from available and published sources, but to go out and meet some folks who are Moslem.

    Beyond the fact that this is nonsense, what will you say when I go out and meet a Moslem who is screaming jihad an threatening my life.

    Will you believe what I say?

    Your desperate tactics to forgive anything Moslems do, all in the name of multiculturism I am sure, would be funny if it wasn't so sad.


    Watch your language on this site... (none / 0) (#11)
    by Bill Arnett on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 12:12:06 PM EST
    ...as your use of profanity may get you banned.

    You also spew a great deal of hateful speech that does nothing to further intelligent debate.

    You also keep disturbingly referring to "these people" as if they were a single monolithic block all irrevocably locked into a single irrefutable ideology. This is sheer nonsense.

    And you keep citing the "Koran" without saying whose translation of that book you are using, their qualifications as translators, or whether you are reading the original Arabic text.

    Without this information no credence can be lent to either the alleged "quotes" OR your or somebody else's interpretation of the cited quote.

    Hate speech, plain and simple, and YOU complain about Muslims.

    But the language, especially profanity is not permitted here, so kindly watch what you say and how you say it, please.

    In other Iraq related news... (none / 0) (#13)
    by Edger on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 02:09:00 PM EST
    Al-Sadr's bloc has "suspended participation in parliament and the government to protest Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's planned meeting with President Bush. "

    45 minutes ago - Boston Herald

    Every day in every way, etc, etc.

    Martyrdom for Moqtada al-Sadr? (none / 0) (#19)
    by squeaky on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 09:27:44 PM EST
    Moqtada al-Sadr is "not a big problem
    and we will find a solution" for dealing with him, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today

    Nouri al-Maliki is history.


    Link (none / 0) (#20)
    by squeaky on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 09:31:20 PM EST
    wow. (none / 0) (#21)
    by Edger on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 09:31:28 PM EST
    No kidding. What's al-Maliki's solution? Wait till dark then leave town? On Air Force One?

    Maximillian (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by squeaky on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 09:41:08 PM EST
    Wait till dark then leave town? On Air Force One?

    Worse. More like this .


    Wow. Nearly exact parallel. (none / 0) (#23)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 01, 2006 at 07:05:09 AM EST
    Maybe we should email your link to Maliki?

    Then again, I seem to recall a converstion about stunning obtuseness and its relation to history, the other day.

    You ever hear of anything like that? :-)


    Why sin't anyone else saying this? (none / 0) (#14)
    by saltlight on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 02:52:33 PM EST

    It's my blog, but why isn't anyone else on the left SCREAMING this?


    Hmmmm... lets try that again (none / 0) (#15)
    by saltlight on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 02:53:43 PM EST
    Re: doesn't get it... (none / 0) (#16)
    by Edger on Wed Nov 29, 2006 at 03:08:33 PM EST