as I was saying…

Posted on Thursday 30 August 2007

In a sign that top commanders are divided over what course to pursue in Iraq, the Pentagon said Wednesday that it won’t make a single, unified recommendation to President Bush during next month’s strategy assessment, but instead will allow top commanders to make individual presentations.

"Consensus is not the goal of the process," Geoff Morrell, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters. "If there are differences, the president will hear them."

Military analysts called the move unusual for an institution that ordinarily does not air its differences in public, especially while its troops are deployed in combat.

"The professional military guys are going to the non-professional military guys and saying ‘Resolve this,’" said Jeffrey White, a military analyst for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "That’s what it sounds like."

White said it suggests that the military commanders want to be able to distance themselves from Iraq strategy by making it clear that whatever course is followed is the president’s decision, not what commanders agreed on.

Bush has said on several occasions that he will follow the recommendation of Army Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, but the Pentagon plan makes certain that other points of view are heard.

Morrell said the commanders will make their presentations to Bush at around the same time that Petraeus appears before Congress to assess progress in Iraq in mid September.

Morrell said that those making presentations to the president would include Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. William Fallon, the commander of U.S. Central Command, which has responsibility for U.S. military actions in the Middle East, Army Gen. George Casey, the chief of staff of the Army, and Petraeus. In addition, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates will share his opinion with the president.
… in my last post, the Architects of the War in Iraq are doing everything in their power to convince us that "the Surge" is a viable policy. Many of us never believed that it was anything more than a stalling tactic. It sounds as if the Military Establishment is unwilling to let General Pertaeus speak for all of them. There is too much suspicion that Petraeus is a "company man." So, like the GAO [below], the Military minds don’t agree that "the Surge is working."

As Americans, we are in the unenviable position of having to reach conclusions, knowing that our leadership is "lobbying" for a course of action that appears to everyone except the small group of insiders to be a disaster. The obvious solution is to hire a fresh group of new architects. This isn’t a little question about aesthetics, it’s a structural question about whether the building will fall down.

US Congressman John Conyers said in Pontiac, Michigan, on August 28, 2007 that, while Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi may have impeachment off her table, he has NOT put impeachment off HIS table!

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