Saturday, August 04, 2007

Wes Clark

Made a speech with some very pointed and powerful critiques of the current administration today. He was a keynote speaker at the YearlyKos Convention.

You can listen to it here. The really good stuff is around minute 30. [The beginning is a little too much banter plus some bromides]. Minute 30.

The basic point is that Democrats should stop arguing about troop numbers because that plays into Bush's home turf. He can then say (and does) that if anyone brings up troop numbers, they don't care about the troops, are un-patriotic Americans, and therefore should be dismissed.

This is a major speech and was aimed straight at the contending Democrats. He's given them sound advice and they better heed it. Clark for VP?

Clark gets very animated and passionate and vents:
"Stop hiding behind Gen. Petraeus Mr. President."

In other words, focus the criticism where it always has belonged--on the President's failed strategy (a pointed echoed by Biden) and his lack of leadership. The President is Commander in Chief not David Petraeus. The General is a soldier doing his duty--to execute the strategic orders of the President. He is doing the best he can and will come back in September, like the good military man that he is, and say I need more time to execute the job. [Generals typically aren't in the habit of saying they can't do what they have been ordered to do.]

As even Petraeus admits the surge has only been to by time for a national political reconciliation. One problem with that--it is never going to happen. Full stop. There is no impetus for it to occur. It is not going to happen.

The only place there has been some tactical success is where they have started local power sharing arrangements. Story here. Because the primary fact of the post-Saddam situation was a vacuum of power (which the US Army has never filled and could never fill with the insufficient numbers of troops that were sent in) and the devolution of power/influence to the local levels. Ayatollahs among Shia. Sheiks in the tribal regions for Sunnis. Militias, insurgents, criminal gangs, local mosques, imans, and street gangs.

This plan of devolution power-sharing is only funding sides for the upcoming battle royale however. When the US leaves there will be yet another massive power vacuum and Nature, bitch that she is, abhors these as we know. There is no national context because there is no regional context/factoring in. And there is no regional because there is no linking of some of the region's partners to the global order (Iran in WTO for example).

The surge in sum is a tactical shift. Not a change in strategy. The strategy has failed, though some tactics are certainly getting better. It would have been a different story if you would have implemented Petraeus' tactical COIN (counter-insurgency) plan from day one of post-Saddam along with 300-400,000 troops. Then it might have had a shot. It would certainly be light years better than where we are today.

But the strategy has failed. The strategy of going from being a liberator to an occupier--with no international support/legitimacy and no regional link-up (esp. Iran). Did you know that 90% of Iraqis live within a 100 miles of Iran?


The perfect analogy of course is acting like you could say fix the Canadian economy acting as if you could completely ignore the United States. 90% of Canadians live within a similar band (smaller I think maybe like 60 miles) of the US.

How could that work? As a strategy, not moving different pieces around on the chess board and arming different sides for a coming bigger fight. As a strategy.

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At 12:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why Clark for VP?

I find it difficult to imagine General Wes in a 'secondary' role, considering all he's done and said.

Clark for President.

Let him know you support him for that role.


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