Monday, October 15, 2007 Sanchez, former U.S. commander in Iraq, calls war 'a nightmare with no end in sight' By Jeff Schogol, Stars and StripesMideast edition, Saturday, October 13, 2007AP file photo Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, V Corps Commanding General, at a welcoming ceremony for soldiers of the 1st Armored Division at their base in Wiesbaden, Germany, in October, 2004. ARLINGTON, Va. The former top commander of U.S. troops in Iraq slammed the handling of the war and gave a bleak assessment of the current situation in Iraq.There is no question that America is living a nightmare with no end in sight, retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez told a convention of military journalists on Friday. Sanchez commanded U.S. troops in Iraq from June 2003 to July 2004. His controversial tenure saw the capture of Saddam Hussein and the handover of sovereignty to the Iraqi government, but also the rise of the insurgency and the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.While cleared of any wrongdoing, one report found that Sanchez and his deputy, "failed to ensure proper staff oversight of detention and interrogation operations." Abu Ghraib was a sore subject Friday for Sanchez, who lambasted the media for using phrases like "dictatorial and somewhat dense," "liar" and "torturer" to describe him."I also refused to talk to the European Stars and Stripes for the last two years of my command in Germany, for their extreme bias and single-minded focus on Abu Ghraib," he said.But Sanchez reserved most of his venom Friday for U.S. officials, saying the U.S. government still has not brought all the resources needed to win in Iraq.From a catastrophically flawed, unrealistically optimistic war plan, to the administrations latest surge strategy, this administration has failed to employ and synchronize the political, economic and military power, Sanchez said.Continuing changes to military strategy alone will not achieve victory, rather it will only stave off defeat, he said.The administration, Congress and the entire inter-agency, especially the State Department, must shoulder the responsibility for this catastrophic failure and the American people must hold them accountable.Even now, the U.S. government has yet to launch a concerted effort to come up with a strategy to win in Iraq, Sanchez said. Such a strategy should involve political reconciliation among Iraqis, building up the Iraqi security forces and getting Iraqs regional partners.Sanchez acknowledged that U.S. officials have adopted that idea, but added that they do not have the necessary nonmilitary resources to carry it out. And it is not synchronized, and there is no enforcement of the strategy, he said. Sanchez said he realized there were serious challenges to the U.S. militarys strategy in Iraq as soon as he became the top military commander in Iraq.Asked why he did not speak out about his concerns, Sanchez said general officers take an oath to carry out the orders of the president while in uniform.The last thing that America wants, the last thing that you want, is for currently serving general officers to stand up against our political leadership, he said.However, general officers do have the option of stepping down if they disagree with the country's leaders.Sanchez said he felt he could not resign and go public with his reservations while he was in Iraq, because he feared that move could further jeopardize troops serving there.I think once you are retired, you have a responsibility to the nation, to your oath, to the country, to state your opinion, he said. © 2007 Stars and Stripes. All Rights Reserved.
bro FrinGreetings in Jesus' Name by Whose Blood we are Saved.AMEN.you know i wonder, this report by the General seems contrary to what is portrayed by some, what really is going on over there? if there is some truth to these reports of things being bad, or conspiracy theories, we may be in for a rude awakening...i believe this war as far as God is concerned is calculated to bring another one of our idols to naught. if i am wrong, then it is i who is wrong for sure, but if God spoke to me and others about a coming Judgment which would leave the military undone as well as other things, then nothing can stop it. if Prophetic Credentials 3 is something i imagined then there is no problem, but if God has indeed spoken...we're soon to find out.Grace and Peace are ours in Jesus.AMEN.
Hello...Actually, this news article is quite biased and the title and theme take what Sanchez actually said out-of-context. In fact, he is now planning on clarifying his remarks since they seem to have been taken out of context. Sanchez spoke these words to a group of military reporters and editors in Washington DC (who he has repeatedly criticized for sensationalism and bias during the war). He seems to invoke that partisan political rhetoric and debate is a major reason for loss of public support for the militarys peacekeeping activities in Iraq. This is similar to the view of several major historians about the cause of defeat in Vietnam. Even Douglas Brinkley stated, The anti-war movement itself was largely quiet during most of the 1960s. However, a few reports by the national media on the anti-war movement caused the media moguls to realize the ratings. The loud opinions of the minority were constantly pursued and reported by the press, even while public support for the war and troops was still high. Over time, it caused a sudden and dramatic shift in popular support for the war. As support shifted, so did the policies of the Congress. As the voices in Congress changed, so did the policies of the President. Instead of winning a war, the policy was now to contain the enemy while avoiding as many deaths as possible. It was not the Vietcong that ultimately won the war. It was the press. And the press realized it. The power of the press in regard to the Vietnam War has reverberated into nearly every aspect of policy and opinion. Sanchez has been repeatedly critical of the persistence of the press to cover the negative aspects of the war in Iraq. Few major victories are covered. The press, Sanchez argued in a 2005 interview with the Washington Post, would prefer to pursue isolated issues [like Abu Ghraib] that have painted the war and the US military in a questionable light. Speaking to the military press, Sanchez [url=http://www.militaryreporters.org/sanchez_101207.html]actually said[/url]:
"The death knell of your ethics has been enabled by your parent organizations who have chosen to align themselves with political agendas. What is clear to me is that you are perpetuating the corrosive partisan politics that is destroying our country and killing our servicemen who are at war. My assessment is that your profession, to some extent, has strayed from these ethical standards and allowed external agendas to manipulate what the American public sees on TV, what they read in our newspapers and what they see on the web. For some of you, just like some politicians, the truth is of little to no value if it does not fit your preconceived notions, biases and agendas.There has been a glaring, unfortunate, display of incompetent strategic leadership within our national leaders. As a Japanese proverb says, "Action without vision is a nightmare." There is no question that America is living a nightmare with no end in sight. Since 2003, the politics of war have been characterized by partisanship as the Republican and Democratic parties struggled for power in Washington. National efforts to date have been corrupted by partisan politics that have prevented us from devising effective, executable, supportable solutions. At times, these partisan struggles have led to political decisions that endangered the lives of our sons and daughters on the battlefield. The unmistakable message was that political power had a greater priority than our national security objectives. Overcoming this strategic failure is the first step toward achieving victory in Iraq - without bipartisan cooperation we are doomed to fail. There is nothing going on in Washington that would give us hope.America has sent our soldiers off to war, and they must be supported at all costs until we achieve victory or until our political leaders decide to bring them home. Our political and military leaders owe the soldier on the battlefield the strategy, the policies and the resources to win once committed to war. America has not been fully committed to win this war. As the military commanders on the ground have stated since the summer of 2003, the US Military alone cannot win this war. America must mobilize the interagency and the political and economic elements of power, which have been abject failures to date, in order to achieve victory. Our nation has not focused on the greatest challenge of our lifetime. The political and economic elements of power must get beyond the politics to ensure the survival of America. Partisan politics have hindered this war effort and America should not accept this. America must demand a unified national strategy that goes well beyond partisan politics and places the common good above all else. Too often, our politicians have chosen loyalty to their political party above loyalty to the Constitution because of their lust for power. Our politicians must remember their oath of office and recommit themselves to serving our nation and not their self-interests or political party. The security of America is at stake and we can accept nothing less. Anything short of this is unquestionably dereliction of duty.These are fairly harsh assessments of the military and press relationship, and the consequential status of our war effort. I remain optimistic and committed to the enabling of media operations under the toughest of conditions in order to keep the world, and the American people, informed. Our military must embrace you for the sake of democracy -- but you owe them ethical journalism. Thank you for this opportunity. May God bless you and may God bless America. Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my fingers for battle and my hands for war.Thank you.
Sanchez has been repeatedly critical of the persistence of the press to cover the negative aspects of the war in Iraq. Few major victories are covered. The press, Sanchez argued in a 2005 interview with the Washington Post, would prefer to pursue isolated issues [like Abu Ghraib] that have painted the war and the US military in a questionable light.
Wow Chris,Another conspiracy theory, thanks for pointing this out, I dont know what we would do without you keeping us all advised of the truth. Way to go, once again you come through with the 'real story'. :-)
bro ChrisGreetings in Jesus' Name by Whose Blood we are Saved.AMEN.thanks for digging up the rest of that article and putting it all in context. you said:
Notice that he was talking about the CONDITION OF AMERICA when he said that it was a "nightmare, with no end in sight" -- and NOT the war in Iraq. And ironically, the press STILL misquoted Sanchez in regard to the slant by which they presented his message. Strange times, aren't they?