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Sanchez and the Democrats
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The sudden relationship can be summed up neatly by the old Arab proverb: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

Dale has written about it and he and I have discussed it on a podcast. That is the suddenly outspoken retired LTG Ricardo Sanchez blasting the administration about the conduct of the war in Iraq.

Of course what Sanchez never does is take any responsibility for his role in that war. For instance:
Other senior military figures have turned on the White House, but none as senior as Sanchez, whose command of coalition forces in Iraq in 2003 and 2004 coincided with an explosion of violence, the emergence of a brutal insurgency and a prison-abuse scandal that still haunts the war effort.
I am an interested observer of military leaders having been one at a lower level for quite a few years. I know a leader when I see and hear one. In the case of Ricardo Sanchez, it wasn't at all hard to figure out that he wasn't much of a leader. Every time I saw him or heard him he seemed more like a deer in the headlights than a combat commander of the best military in the world. Contrast him to LTG Ray Odierno who now has that job. Odierno is a no-nonsense combat commander who you immediately sense is in charge of the effort, knows precisely what is going on and how he will either counter or exploit a situation. Sanchez, otoh, always seemed overwhelmed and undecided on what he should do next.

One of the things which happens when a peace-time military goes to war is it shakes out its officer corps. Those who excel in peace-time don't necessary excel during war. Unfortunately we don't always find that out until there is a war. But when you have 3-stars, you're expected to perform. And it appears, given the fact that Sanchez was told to find a new career path after Iraq, that the powers to be found his performance to be the worst performance of a senior commander in Iraq.

Obviously Sanchez doesn't agree. But what is also apparent is Sanchez thinks it is everyone else's fault but his own. In his first public speech he lashed out extensively against the press (although the press found that unworthy of any real coverage). And now he has become a part of Team Democrat in an effort to salvage his reputation by sullying the reputations of others.

So let me hit you with my major gripe with this guy. First some context. This guy was two 4-stars removed from the President of the US in the chain of command. He didn't go through the Pentagon and didn't report through the SecDef or the Chairman of the JCS. He reported to Gen. Casey who reported to the commander of CENTCOM who reports directly to the President. Consequently, any problems he saw with the way the war was being waged had a fairly direct route to the "decider in chief". If it all was as bad as Sanchez says it was, he had a duty to say so. And that should be on the record. He should be able to produce evidence of his dissent. Instead we get a variation of the age-old "I was only following orders" excuse that you might grant a LT but not an LTG.

LTGs make policy, create strategy and run wars. They have input. Major input. And they have pull. They are "movers and shakers" in the military establishment. They are an integral part of any plan, both strategically and tactically. In fact, they are responsible for writing them and executing them. What they aren't are simple soldiers who execute what they're directed to execute.

Quite simply, Sanchez did a lousy job and got what is due a general that does a lousy job. But he is the perfect "McClellan" for today's Copperheads. And that is the role he is now apparently willingly playing. He'll remain a "star" of sorts in the Democratic anti-war pantheon of useful idiots until November of '08, after which, his usefulness at an end, he will be relegated to the obscurity he so richly deserves.
 
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the old Arab proverb: "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."
I’ve always more closely adhered to the saying "The enemy of my enemy is my enemy’s enemy - nothing more, nothing less".
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
after which, his usefulness at an end, he will be relegated to the obscurity he so richly deserves.
Wait...

Are we allowed to continue to mock the obscure?
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
It strikes me, they act like they still don’t understand Bush isn’t running for re-election.
Rumsfeld won’t be Sec-Def again.
Cheney gone, Georgie, gone.

What are they trying to say, that Iraq is all the fault of the former Governer of Massachusetts?
The fault of the former Mayor of New York?
The former Senator from Tennessee?

This guy has less relevance than Cindy Sheehan (mocking the now obscure!)
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Are we allowed to continue to mock the obscure?
Sure. People do it here every day. At least two of our commenters are pretty obscure, but are mocked continuously.

But it’s not much fun to mock obscure "celebrities". They’ve already suffered a face worth than death for them, because anyone who craves the limelight is richly punished by becoming obscure.

Some just won’t put up with obscurity, no matter how much they deserve it. Jimmy Carter comes to mind. They’re the ones that it’s really fun to mock, to puncture their delusions of competence and importance. Sanchez looks like he might fit this mold, if he insists on this kind of self-serving exposure often enough.

(And now I’ve probably inadvertantly hijacked this thread, if our resident Jimmy Carter defender shows up.)
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
And McQ, I would like to add that Sanchez is probably bent out of shape for what he thought was his by right - a fourth star. The fact that he led troops in Iraq as a 3-star and left the theater/war and later retired with that same 3-star speaks volumns to anyone with military experience.
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
Billy The Sainted, Great-Souled Jimmu-uh, The Merciful and Beneficent is NOT obscure...all know His name and revere His accomplishments! Woe unto those who demean Him, for I say to you there shall be a great weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth! I say to you it would be better for that person never to have been born....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Billy The Sainted, Great-Souled Jimmu-uh, The Merciful and Beneficent is NOT obscure
No, but the guy who may rush in here to defend him is (listen to me talk...)

Besides he may show up anyway, after all, Sanchez was in Iraq, and we know what that means....
Quagmire! Decline of world stature, high price of oil, trade imbalance, read all about it, on my web-site, today.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Billy,

Carter won a Nobel Peace Prize, and he is respected throughout the world. It is only among his small-minded countrymen where he is mocked. Why, if he ran for President today in France, Gaza or any Banana Republic, he’d likely win. He’s that great of man.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
President today in France, Gaza or any Banana Republic, he’d likely win. He’s that great of man.
Not France, their President LIKES the US of A, but the rest of the list I’d agree with....Well not Gaza, either....but the West Bank, yeah I’d go with that, just not Gaza. Jimm-muh is a Christian and in the current climate in Gaza that’s more likely to get you a seat in a dungeon, not the Government House, plus I’m not sure they HAVE elections in Gaza.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
And Looker, do YOU teach at the Uni of Maine?........I thought not, so I don’t think that the Apostle Scott is obscure
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
But it’s not much fun to mock obscure "celebrities". They’ve already suffered a face worth than death for them...
I don’t judge men by there looks often, ’cause heck, I’ve got no room to judge, but I don’t remember former Gen Sanchez being that hideous. "A face worth than death"? Wow, he must be ugly...
 
Written By: Warrior Needs Food Badly
URL: http://
[Sigh]
I don’t judge men by there looks often...
Noting a spelling or grammar mistake by someone else (although funny Billy!) has more zing when you don’t do the same thing yourself...
 
Written By: Warrior Needs Food Badly
URL: http://
Besides he may show up anyway, after all, Sanchez was in Iraq, and we know what that means....
Quagmire! Decline of world stature, high price of oil, trade imbalance, read all about it, on my web-site, today.
Up will be down, left will become right, cats will sleep with dogs!!
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
" read all about it, on my web-site, today."

The Maytag blogger.


"plus I’m not sure they HAVE elections in Gaza."

They already had one. Why would they need another? Elections are so much bother when you already know the will of the people.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Well Joe, maybe not, but at least I don’t have a face worth than death!

And I did note, sort of, I’m obscure, even on my best days.

Yes, all my (*ahem*) fame comes from personally helping to destroy the financial data infrastructure of this giant capitalist experiment through years of obscure coding and comments (my best was probably "wow...re-write me!", which I swear should have never appeared on that operator log console, and if it did, was indicative that my comment was correct!)
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
plus I’m not sure they HAVE elections in Gaza."
They already had one. Why would they need another? Elections are so much bother when you already know the will of the people.
Fehhhhh who cares about the PEOPLE’s Will...it’s Allah’s Will that really matters.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
...face worth than death...
Are you making fun of my lithp? Sorry, I mean my lisp?
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Are you making fun of my lithp? Sorry, I mean my lisp?

That would depend, do you know anyone named Biggeth Dicketh or Incontinentia Buttocks?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
it’s Allah’s Will that really matters.
I was left out of Allah’s Will.

"To my cousin Louie, who said I’d never metion him in my will.


Hel-lo Louie......"
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Sanchez strikes me as the type of officer that bought into the "manager" meme that led to what some of us call "power-point rangers". Quite respectable and the darlings of the politicos but short on leadership (the military kind not the IBM kind) and so far from warrior that Chesty Puller would consider them incapable of being clerks in "his" marines.
 
Written By: RRRoark
URL: http://sosliesblogspot.com
That would depend, do you know anyone named Biggeth Dicketh or Incontinentia Buttocks?
Yeth, and he ith of thome youth in cayth of a thudden crythith.

You know, Joe, the politically correct police are likely to show on this thread just any time now.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
No doubt to therve No Knock Warranths.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
You people are thick.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
It’s got to be a shock, though, to find out when you’re a three star that you haven’t got the leadership thing down. Easier to deal with as an LT.

And it doesn’t mean he’s a bad person... though making excuses about it might.
 
Written By: Synova
URL: http://synova.blogspot.com
I really don’t desire to slam Sanchez, but does it surprise anyone that a general who is now embracing defeat did such a poor job in Iraq? I have always blamed alot of the war on Bush, but it appears that Rumsfeld’s statement that you go to war with the Army you have is quite applicable here.

I can’t help but think we are going to view Rumsfeld in a completely different light years from now.

 
Written By: ody
URL: http://
I" can’t help but think we are going to view Rumsfeld in a completely different light years from now."

Nah, it’s just that he was not alone in his incompetence. The people he relied on for expertise weren’t expert.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Contrast Sanchez with Eisenhower:

Sanchez —
All the problems I encountered in Iraq were Bush’s and Rumsfeld’s fault.
Eisenhower —
Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops.

My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available. The troops, the air and the navy, did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt, it is mine alone.
Fortunately, Eisenhower never had to deliver his message on D-Day. The fact that he was prepared to do so is one of his finest moments. This little bit of history should have been well-known to anyone becoming a three star. Sanchez apparently did not get the message.
 
Written By: vnjagvet
URL: http://www.yargb.blogspot.com
That was my biggest problem with Karpinski (or whatever her name is, may she be forgotten.) She blamed *everyone* else.

A General (leader) is supposed to take the blame and if it’s unwarranted then other people do the defending while the General gets double kudos for not whining.

I didn’t finish ROTC, but I did get to the "no quibbling or making excuses even if it wasn’t your fault" part of it. And later I enlisted. Some young part of me, in my ill fitting heels and issued blue skirt (since the det didn’t *have* any female pants my size), just resents the heck out of whiny Generals.

Bah.
 
Written By: Synova
URL: http://synova.blogspot.com
" Sanchez apparently did not get the message."

All that expensive education at the taxpayer’s expense was wasted. so much for the idea that education will solve every problem and make every man/woman a king/queen.

Parenthetically, although I do believe in equality of the sexes and all that, trying to be politically correct and gramatically non-sexist plays hob with trying to make literary allusions and quotes.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

 
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