Down and Dirty Sanchez

by Ryan on October 14, 2007

in Politics,The Iraq Front

Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez recently gotten down and dirty against the Administration when reflecting on his tenure as commander in Iraq when he said, “I think once you are retired, you have a responsibility to the nation, to your oath, to the country, to state your opinion.”  Fine, he’s more than earned the right to have is opinion be noticed, even if he calls Iraq a “nightmare”, a “catastrophically failure” in which America can only be able to “stave of defeat.” 

But how about you state those opinions while you are the commanding general actually in charge of something while having the ear of the other generals, the Secretary of Defense, and the President?  Instead, Monday morning quarterbacking from a general who has had a suspect record of his own performance as a commander in Iraq.  Essentially, as a general you get one shot to make a difference.  Sanchez had a mixed record.  Under Sanchez’s tenure, we captured Saddam, established the Coalition Provisional Authority, handed over authority to the Iraqi’s, but also saw the marked rise of the insurgency as well as the internationally embarrassing Abu Graib scandal. 

On Sanchez’s new failure mantra, Senator John McCain has said as recently as yesterday that “the fact is I had face to face discussions with Gen. Sanchez when he was in Baghdad about how I believed that the strategy was failing, and he testified before the Senate armed services committee that the strategy was succeeding — the flawed [Donald] Rumsfeld strategy that I knew was doomed to failure.”  McCain has had the same story for years, Sanchez seems to have a new verve in his.

So which is the real General Sanchez?  On one hand, he nods his head and even testifies in front of Congress the merits of strategy that he now says was a bad one.  This seems like Sanchez is already feeling guilty about his significant role in our admittedly poor strategy during OIF II (Operation Iraqi Freedom II, stabilization after Saddam’s fall from June 2003-July 2004) and is trying to put a spin on how history is apt to judge his tenure.  Tommy Franks will look good for organizing a 3-week pounding of Saddam’s regime fresh off his smacking of the Taliban, Petraeus will be looked at as the man who saved our policy, but Sanchez, Casey and others in between will be viewed as generals of drift, when our policy was not working.  Sanchez knows that and wants to rehabilitate his image at the expense of the Administration, while our troops are still in harms way.

Human Rights Watch photo.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

TRM October 14, 2007 at 11:50 am

From first hand experience I can tell you that military personnel who voice an honest opinion, that may fall outside of politically correct thinking is committing career suicide. I have said it a jillion times. The military are not allowed to do what they are trained to do because podium jockeys, who have never served and have no idea what it takes to win a war are constantly “meddling” in military matters. Take off our muzzle and stand back. We can take care of the enemy quit well. The longer we wait to impose the draft the worse off we will be. The signs are all around us.

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