Archive for Thursday, September 28, 2006

Retired general: U.S. should stay the course

September 28, 2006

Advertisement

The former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Wednesday night that America and her allies needed to continue the long-term war on terror, including in Iraq and Afghanistan, to combat violent extremists.

U.S. Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, a graduate of Shawnee Mission High School and Kansas State University, encouraged the public to read as much as possible of the National Intelligence Estimate, portions of which were recently declassified and which said the Iraq war has become a "cause celebre" for jihadists.

"It shouldn't be surprising that violent extremists, al-Qaida in this case, would rally to the sound of the cannon. They'll do that," he said. "It doesn't mean that if there weren't the sound of the cannon, there wouldn't be people rallying to the cause, nor would we be any safer."

Myers spoke to more than 100 people at Lawrence Country Club. He visited to address the Jayhawk Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America. Guests and ROTC cadets and midshipmen also attended.

Myers, who became chairman of the Joint Chiefs just after 9-11 and retired one year ago, voiced his opinion for staying the course in a global terror war the same night that former Clinton Administration Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told a Lied Center crowd that the NIE report confirmed that the Iraq war made the world less safe in the fight against terrorism.

Myers said Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida declared war on the United States in 1998 and that the terrorist group has expressed a 100-year view of taking over the world.

Retired Air Force Gen. and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers speaks to the Lawrence chapter of the Military Officers Association of America Wednesday at the Lawrence Country Club

Retired Air Force Gen. and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers speaks to the Lawrence chapter of the Military Officers Association of America Wednesday at the Lawrence Country Club

That's why, Myers says, continued progress needs to be made in Iraq and Afghanistan, not just through the military, but through other means, including economic, diplomatic, educational and informational "to keep men and women from joining jihad in the end."

But the death toll in Iraq continues to climb.

The sectarian violence there has complicated matters, Myers said. He also said it would be "disastrous to the Iraqi people and disastrous to the longer war" to pull out too soon.

"We would be perceived one more time by violent extremists as weak - weak morally and weak culturally," he said.

Leadership from the Iraqi government is the primary need. In both Iraq and Afghanistan, the mission is to create functioning states rather than training grounds for al-Qaida, Myers said.

He also said the current wars in Iraq should be viewed in historical perspective with the larger terrorism conflict in mind.

"This is not World War I or World War II. This is asymmetric warfare," Myers said. "Most insurgencies run their course - modern insurgencies in six to nine years. So they are usually controlled not through military force but through political means."

He spoke on several issues ranging from personal stories about returning to civilian life to his perspectives on President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

"He's not the person you see in the press coverage," Myers said of Rumsfeld. "He's a very collaborative decision maker."

Audience members asked Myers about retired military officers who have criticized Rumsfeld.

Myers called it "very inappropriate" for retired senior military officers to criticize civilian military leaders. It sets a bad example of trust for military personnel still in the ranks, he said.

"I disagree. They are citizens and free to criticize, but I think (Myers) did a wonderful job, and I certainly support our military 100 percent," said Jerry Nossaman, of Lawrence, a retired Navy captain.

Myers addressed another question about policies on interrogation and torture.

"It happens in a big operation. It shouldn't happen, and people have been held accountable for it," he said.

Myers earned a standing ovation at the end of his speech and laughs at several points, including when he joked about the college rivalry between Kansas University and K-State.

Comments

Ward 8 years, 10 months ago

If you're being lead off of a cliff with everyone else and you don't bother to question the consequences maybe you should run off of said cliff.

Becca 8 years, 10 months ago

So, what, do we just blow up the whole world? Hey, maybe we could finish Hitler's plans for world domination! Seems like that's exactly what Dubya's trying to do.

Godot 8 years, 10 months ago

"Huge difference in a training exercise, which ends pretty quickly and has safeguards, and being held for years and being subjected to it for real."

Oh, okay, so if we waterboard the Islamic fanatics for just a few minutes, under control, and tell them it isn't real, it is survival training, it will pass muster with you, then. Thank goodness for your clarity of thinking.

Becca 8 years, 10 months ago

No, but I've always been the type to overexagerate. Just goes to show how disgusted I am with Dubya.

Becca 8 years, 10 months ago

Oh, and I've met this guy before. This isn't the first time he's been in Lawrence. My impression of him was that he was pretentious. But I guess inflated egos will lead to that.

ksmattfish 8 years, 10 months ago

I don't have a problem with staying in Iraq, and fixing the mess we created, but "stay the course" when it's obvious that's not working at all is idiotic and suicidal. Support the troops by demanding new leaders with new, possibly successful, strategies.

ksmattfish 8 years, 10 months ago

We could just prop up a tyrannical dictator. That has served our purposes well in the past: the Shaw of Iran, Saddam Hussein, Noriega, Pinochet, etc.... (sarcasm)

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 10 months ago

"The US will eventually pull out and then they will decide on a government"

No, the US pulling out would mean that the sectarian violence would turn into genocide so bad that it will make us completely forget about Sudan. The violence we are witnessing right now is not a 'decision-making process'. It's hate being acted out in the form of murder. Don't kid yourself into thinking that the violence in Iraq is a natural political process.

"Right now what is going on is jockeying for position"

THAT is an amazing understatement. What's really happening now is a civil war that is being kept at a simmer by the presence of Coalition troops. "Jockeying for position" usually doesn't require mass murder. The New Hampshire primary is "jockeying for position". What an insane thing to post.

This is what is so rediculous about the "get out NOW" perspective: leaving just makes the mess worse. Now that we are there, we need to stay. We may be there for a decade. No president wants to be the one who couldn't finish the war. We'll keep throwing money and people at Iraq for a long time. As sickening as this is, the best course of action is to keep the killing at it's present level. Leaving means lots more killing than staying.

iluvovaltine 8 years, 10 months ago

Most Americans have no idea why we are fighting. They listen to the media and contrive an opinion based upon their previously conceived political judgements.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_generation_warfare

If you only knew...

davisnin 8 years, 10 months ago

Leaving would mark us as weak to the terrorists(Islamic and French). It will only embolden them. And shouldn't it seem obvious by now that we NEVER can trust the rest of the world to do the right thing when it is necessary? (I concede that has come out to be dubious when considering Iraq) LOOK AT DARFUR the UN is doing NOTHING! We are on our own and have to finish this and disgrace the leaders of the jihad. We would also lose any shred of faith from the people that we promised and want a free government. I also believe that leaving Osama to wither and die of disease would be immensely preferable to martyring him.

But never mind, go on believing that talk would win the hearts of these people, since historically...

drewdun 8 years, 10 months ago

"Leaving would mark us as weak to the terrorists(Islamic and French). It will only embolden them. And shouldn't it seem obvious by now that we NEVER can trust the rest of the world to do the right thing when it is necessary?"

Yeah, the REST OF THE WORLD IS WRONG, BUT LESS THAN ONE-HALF THE POPULACE OF THE US IS RIGHT.

Can you say 'delusional?' Better yet, just use its synonym, right-winger.

(Oh, and nice dig at the French - it really illustrates your advanced intelligence)

"I also believe that leaving Osama to wither and die of disease would be immensely preferable to martyring him"

So let me see if I get this straight - invade a country that didn't attack us with ZERO planning for the aftermath, get caught in the middle of simmering sectarian tensions with no perceptible way to stop them, but still, we must 'stay the course.' But the PERSON THAT ATTACKED OUR NATION is to be left to his own devices, because killing him would 'make him a martyr?' Do you even read what you type? And wingers say liberals are 'soft on terrorism.' Idiots

Once again, there is a reason wingnuts have NO CREDIBILITY whatsoever - they live in a fantasy world, purely of their own construct.

Porter 8 years, 10 months ago

What's the difference between George Bush and the French?

The French fought in Vietnam.

Sorry...couldn't help it.

drewdun 8 years, 10 months ago

Shorter conman:

"Don't trust the media, but always trust the government. They know what's best for us, including what information we should receive. And they would NEVER lie. NEVER, especially if they have an (R) next to their names. Now a (D), now that's a different story."

Seriously, though conman, how do you square your blatant hypocrisy with yourself: you claim to be a conservative, who ostensibly stand for 'small and limited government' (I don't believe that's what even traditional conservatives stand for, but for our purposes, let's just assume its true), yet you act, in all instances, as a statist, pure and simple. You favor government censorship of unflattering news and using the machinery of government to observe all members of society to 'check up on them.' The two notions obviously do not square: a small government man, a believer in freedom, who wants the government to have the power what its citizens know and don't know. And yet you hold these disparate views, apparently unaware of the inherent contradiction.

But in reality, you are fully aware of the contradiction. The thing is, you have so much emotion invested in the success of the Republican Party and George W Bush that you are willing to overlook their (and consequentially your) hypocrisy. And that's really the rub of it: you are not so much loyal to the state, the war, or even the troops, as you are loyal to one thing and one thing only - the Republican Party, USA. In a word, you're a FASCIST. So you know what? Go out, buy a brown shirt and a red armband, get a W bumper sticker, and keep railing on about the harm the freedoms of our nation and press keep causing. We'll keep fighting for you to have the opportunity to utilize the very freedom you so openly despise.

drewdun 8 years, 10 months ago

Please, instead of mindless posts, why not respond to my assertion? How do you square your gung-ho attitude about freedom and the conservative mantra of small government with your desire to see the government control information harmful to your political party? What would you call it, besides hypocrisy?

I call it fascism

drewdun 8 years, 10 months ago

The freedom in 'gung-ho attitude about freedom' should have been in parentheses, as the only freedom conman believes in is the freedom to agree with the Republican Party.

Porter 8 years, 10 months ago

Actually, I was hoping you'd throw out the 's' word.

We're limiting your freedoms for SECURITY.

We're torturing whomever for SECURITY.

We're listening. For SECURITY.

You can replace the word SECURITY with 'FOR YOUR OWN GOOD'. That's the trademark of fascism isn't it? Doesn't sound a lot like conservatism to me. In fact, I would think that Barry Goldwater is probably crapping his casket right now.

Porter 8 years, 10 months ago

How do you know that nobody is listening to us in Lawrence? There's no oversight anymore. And I don't have anything to hide. That's not an issue. The issue is that they shouldn't be listening without a court order.

Yes, I'm sure that the detainees have all done something bad. But how do we know? There's no trials. No transparency. No oversight. We're just being told "Trust us, this is FOR YOUR OWN GOOD".

I don't argue that these activities aren't being done without noble intent. However, I also believe that Mussolini and Khadaffi felt noble in their actions. Fascism is fascism no matter why it's perpetrated.

You're right that I don't like GWB. That's not relevant though. I can love the sinner but hate the sin.

ASBESTOS 8 years, 10 months ago

"We're limiting your freedoms for SECURITY.

We're torturing whomever for SECURITY.

We're listening. For SECURITY."

CRAPOLA PORTER!!

How are American Citizens who are law abiding getting their freedoms limited? What is EXACTLY, being infringed here. You say it, but be specific. IF correct I will join you. But just bandying about a slogan or talking point does not a truth make. Just ask Georbels.

2nd.

The United States Does not "Torture". When libs like you say torture, what the Middle East World thinks is that we are chopping off hands, gouging out eyeballls, or beating people. WE ARE NOT!!! The exception was a SMALL case at Abu Grahab, and those soldiers are being dealt with because what they did WAS ILLEGAL and they shouldn't have don it. But playing the Red Hot Chili peppers really loud and keeping someone cold is not torture. IT is different, it is call "coerced interrogation" and is not torture. Yes it scares the hell out of them and breaks them down, however it WORKS quite well, where as, people getting their hands cut off will probably tell you almost anything to avoid that. That is where the difference is. Messing with the head and head games vs. actual physical Trauma.

3rd. Listening in on the phone calls. Those are only people whom are receiving calls from KNOW bad guys. ANd they don't "listen", they screen the numbers and look for calling patterns, THEN they get the court order to get the taps and surveillance.

That is how it works.

Yes you did recite the slogans and talking points quite well, however THEY ARE NOT TRUE. To repeat this kind of CRAP is in my view Treasonous. Disagreement is fine, outright lying on your part is not defensible and that is what is ocurring on the national stage from the DNC.

People are getting hip to it though.

Porter 8 years, 10 months ago

Talking points and slogans?

Like "coerced interrogation"? Call it what you want, but you have to admit that perception becomes reality in world events. If the rest of the world sees us bending the rules on torture, then all rules go out the window. If I was a reporter or visitor in the middle east right now, I would get the heck out asafp.

What are some other talking points and slogans being thrown about? How about "War on Terror"? How about "Cut and Run"? How about "Mission Accomplished". Don't give me that crap about recycling abused rhetoric. It's been shoved down our throats on the nightly news for years now.

I already said I don't care if the govt listens in/screens phone calls (semantics). The point is that there is a reason for the FISA laws. Maybe they're outdated and old. Does that really mean they should just be ignored??

So I'm being treasonous for giving my opinion??? How is that not a threat of fascism?? "Don't disagree with the Fatherland...I mean Homeland!"

ksmoderate 8 years, 10 months ago

Playing extremely loud music for a prolonged period of time is physically harmful to a human being's ears, depending on the decibel level.

Keeping someone awake and cold for an extended period of time is physically harmful, if kept up long enough.

Asbestos: If you don't think those things are torture, then imagine yourself in that situation. No sleep for a long time, maybe days. Constant room temp. of 40 degrees, and all you have on is boxers and maybe a thin polyester t-shirt. The loudspeaker in the corner blasting music you hate very loud and for a long time, without stop. Would you think that you were just being "coerced?"

And this: "ANd they don't "listen", they screen the numbers and look for calling patterns, THEN they get the court order to get the taps and surveillance."

No, they don't get court orders. Remember, the Prez said they had to move fast and getting a court order took too long, so they didn't bother. EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE UNTIL 72 HOURS AFTER THE FACT TO OBTAIN THE COURT ORDER.

Everytime I make a phone call, everytime I check out a book, everytime I get on a plane, I wonder if Big Brother is watching. A lot of other people feel that way too. That is not what America is about!!!

drewdun 8 years, 10 months ago

"Security baby!!" - conman

ANSWER THE QUESTION - is it small government or authoritarian government you support? I mean, anyone who has read you or your ilk's posts already know what the answer is - I just want to hear you say it.

Oh, and ASBESTOS, I would say that gutting the spirit of the Constitution of the United States to get fascists like yourself to vote in November is a bit more treasonous than speaking out against an insane and unnecessary war of aggression. As a matter of fact, for you to suggest that those who disagree with the current government are traitors is downright un-American. I thought our troops were over there, fighting for our 'freedom?'

Once again, the fascists definition of freedom is the freedom to agree with the far-right. And according to consistent polling numbers, over half of Americans are traitors.

Face it, wingnuts - YOU GOT NOTHIN

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 10 months ago

"What defines "victory" for you, OldEnuf???"

I wasn't talking about victory. Victory is a lost cause. I'm talking about mitigating losses as much as we can, which is best achieved by staying in Iraq. Did I sound like a supporter of the war? I'm not insane: this was a huge mistake. But leaving, at this juncture, would be another mistake.

People: We cannot undo this war. It is what it is. How we go forward is the question.

ksmoderate 8 years, 10 months ago

Asbestos: And....?

Your link was to a right-wing blogger who professes the ability to define torture as applies to the U.S. "Waterboarding is not torture." Yeah. Right.

www.crooksandliars.com

Enjoy!

ksmoderate 8 years, 10 months ago

Although, the "Chimpy McHalliburton" thing was quite likely the funniest thing I've seen today!

Ward 8 years, 10 months ago

I absolutley love the idea of "conservative" anything being associated with the radical ideas and actions the so called conservative administration et al toss around so flagrantly. It's a total farce.

PS. someone in this string used the proper "their" in a sentence.

Godot 8 years, 10 months ago

At least as late as of 1994, maybe even later, one military academy subjected officer candidates to waterboarding during survival training.

That was during the Clinton administration. In fact, Clinton gave the graduation address for the class that was subjected to that treatment.

Is it okay with you Clintononians to waterboard our students in military academies, but not okay to waterboard someone who wants to kill millions of US citizens?

However, any one of us would take waterbaording over having our heads cut off, wouldn't we?

prairiepollyana 8 years, 10 months ago

Posted by ksmoderate (anonymous) on September 28, 2006 at 5:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Asbestos: If you don't think those things are torture, then imagine yourself in that situation. No sleep for a long time, maybe days. Constant room temp. of 40 degrees, and all you have on is boxers and maybe a thin polyester t-shirt. The loudspeaker in the corner blasting music you hate very loud and for a long time, without stop. Would you think that you were just being "coerced?"

ksmoderate:

I have to think I would chose any of these techniques over having my head chopped off...I have to think all of these techniques would be chosen over having my head chopped off while on camera for the internet to save my family from seeing that fate...loud music...cold...not allowed to sleep OR chopping of head...difficult choice. Get a grip and complain about real mistreatment.

davisnin 8 years, 10 months ago

Drewdun, you picked a nice place to stop quoting me to better fit your comeback. "And shouldn't it seem obvious by now that we NEVER can trust the rest of the world to do the right thing when it is necessary? (I concede that has come out to be dubious when considering Iraq) LOOK AT DARFUR the UN is doing NOTHING!" I perfectly clearly granted GOING IN to Iraq was ill advised. But we're there now.

Now, here is you, taking my entire statement. "Yeah, the REST OF THE WORLD IS WRONG, BUT LESS THAN ONE-HALF THE POPULACE OF THE US IS RIGHT."

yes, they are, they allow Sudanese genocide. The UN DOES NOT CARE ABOUT ANYTHING.

As for Osama, he's not that important of a player anymore. It would be better for him to die a sad weak death than be used to rally support.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.