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Ear to the Ground

Gates: Another Mideast War Would be ‘Disastrous’

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Posted on Apr 22, 2008
Robert Gates
ideologyofantiterrorism.blogtownhall.com

Here’s a statement that should be preserved for posterity: Defense Secretary Robert Gates told an audience at West Point that, although he believes Iran is “hellbent” on developing nuclear weapons, the last thing the U.S. needs is to get into another war in the Middle East. Gates got misty toward the end of his speech, telling cadets he feels “personally responsible” for their lives.


GJSentinel.com:

Gates said the U.S. military was not organized and equipped for the kind of wars it finds itself in today.

“The current campaign has gone on longer, and has been more difficult, than anyone expected or prepared for at the start,” he said. “And so we’ve had to scramble to position ourselves for success over the long haul, which I believe we are doing.”

He called a drawdown of U.S. forces in Iraq “inevitable,” with the debate mainly over timing.

“But the kind of enemy we face today—violent jihadist networks—will not allow us to remain at peace,” he said. “What has been called the `long war’ is likely to be many years of persistent, engaged combat all around the world in differing degrees of size and intensity. This generational challenge cannot be wished away or put on a timetable. There are no exit strategies.”

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According to CNN, Gates got emotional at the end of his speech as he gave the assembled cadets some advice:


CNN:

“I encourage you to take on the mantle of fearless, thoughtful, but loyal dissent when the situation calls for it,” he urged.

At the end of his talk, the Pentagon chief paused to thank the cadets for their decision to attend the academy in West Point, New York, despite what he said was “the knowledge of almost certain deployment to a distant and dangerous battlefield.”

Gates appeared near tears as he choked out the words, “I feel personally responsible for each and every one of you, as if you were my own sons and daughters.”

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By Hoang, April 23, 2008 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If the guy really feels that way, he can do two things: 1)Go on a personal crusade to end the war and prevent further wars 2) If he thinks he cannot do that due to forces beyond his control, then just resign and disappear. That’ all. Short of this, those are crocodile tears.

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By Douglas Chalmers, April 23, 2008 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

Don’t forget that Wolfowitz is still lurking in the background. That’s how everyone in Washington “knows” about Iran…....

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By Douglas Chalmers, April 23, 2008 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

Nice to see that peopel understand the reality of it all so clearly these days - but your M1 Abrams MBT is just as typically a ‘cold war monster’ as the USA itself now is, uhh!

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By Douglas Chalmers, April 23, 2008 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

Yes, even crocodiles have tears….....

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Paul_GA's avatar

By Paul_GA, April 23, 2008 at 7:58 am Link to this comment

After Admiral Fallon, I mean? To get the axe because he dares to question Bush, Cheney and the neocons?

Another thing—-his getting all teary-eyed at the end of his speech makes me think of crocodile tears.

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By DennisD, April 22, 2008 at 10:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Gates: Another Mideast War Would be ‘Disastrous’

I’d expect nothing less from an adminstration that’s done nothing but create and extrapolate disasters.

Gates appeared near tears as he choked out the words, “I feel personally responsible for each and every one of you, as if you were my own sons and daughters.”

As if any Neocon would have their sons or daughters anywhere near a battlefield. Responsibility - that’s strange new word for a Bu$hie to use. I hope someone washed his mouth out with soap after that utterance.

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By cyrena, April 22, 2008 at 9:40 pm Link to this comment

“...And how many carrier groups do you need to keep the high seas safe from stateless terrorist groups?”

Humm, do you mean stateless terrorist groups without a navy, or an army, or planes, or ships, or tanks, or even NAMES/Identities?

Good question.

But, when there’s no real ‘enemy’ aside from the ones they CREATE, I guess they have to ‘cover all bases’. Besides, like you said…the MIC and the politicians need the money.

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By jackpine savage, April 22, 2008 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment

Gates said the U.S. military was not organized and equipped for the kind of wars it finds itself in today.

No shit?  The writing was on the wall by the early 70’s, but in the mid-first decade of the 21st Century, a counterinsurgency manual was published by the Pentagon…to great acclaim.

The reason that the U.S. military is not organized or equipped for the kind of wars it finds itself in today is that there wouldn’t be such big money for defense contractors…and hence politicians.

For example, the M1 Abrams MBT is probably the best MBT in the world.  It is designed for fast movement; consequently, it’s heavily armored on the front and the sides.  It was never designed to sit at a crossroad like a giant phallic symbol, or rumble down city streets.  But that’s what we use it for.

Never mind all the fancy electronics and the huge support staff that they require.  A B-2 bomber doesn’t do much (for the money) against regular looking guys with AK-47’s.  And how many carrier groups do you need to keep the high seas safe from stateless terrorist groups?

The Pentagon, with its general staff of 3,000 (Ike only had 300), is the problem…don’t expect them to solve it.

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By Richard Friedman, April 22, 2008 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

Gates is an improvement over Rumsfeld, but that isn’t saying much.  What’s missing during this election from all the candidates and spinmeisters of both parties is clear views on what our foreign policy should be and by what means and strategies we plan to implement that. We have been muddling through since the end of the Cold War and it isn’t working.

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By cyrena, April 22, 2008 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment

I wonder how personally responsible he really feels for them? I wonder if he even has an idea of how many recent West Point graduates have returned in boxes from Iraq and Afghanistan?

I personally know of three.

Meantime, how does he KNOW that Iran is ‘hellbent’ on acquiring nuclear weapons, despite his own agency’s NIE report from a couple of months ago, that says otherwise. Hillary seems to ‘know’ the same thing.

Do they ‘know’ this the same way that they ‘knew’ Saddam had WMD of all varieties?

How does he ‘know’ about all of these violent jihadist groups around the globe? It would be interesting if these people ever actually NAMED any of these groups and what they’ve done, or who they’ve done it to, or what they ‘think’ their planning for the future of this ‘long war’.

Why do I think they might just be making all of this shit up as they go along?

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