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Tue

11

Sep

2007

History: What a Bitch - (Part – Oh hell, who's counting?)
Tuesday, 11 September 2007 18:24
by Stephen P. Pizzo

I listened all day to the testimony of Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador, Ryan C. Crocker.

Did I mention before that I'm an old fart? Yep. 62-years old and my memory is still sharp as a tack. So yesterday I could say, with real authority, that I'd been there, done that – all of that – before.

And I'd heard all that before too. They were the rationalizations, self-deceptions and outright lies leaders retreat into when trying to avoid admitting that they got thousands of people killed, and are getting hundreds more killed each day, because they were wrong, and/or made a horrific mistake, and/or miscalculated, overreached.

When such men find themselves in that position their choices comes down to admitting they were wrong, thereby sentencing themselves to the harsh judgement of history, or to just continue letting people die so that "defeat" does not come on their watch.

Without further la de da from me, I give you my President of the United States (circa 1968) – who, as a member of the US Marines, was also my Commander-in-Chief – Lyndon B. Johnson:

Feb 2, 1968 News Conference - In wake of Tet Offensive.

Edited for length.(Full Transcript )

THE PRESIDENT: I do not believe when the American people know the facts, when the world knows the facts, and when the results are laid out for them to examine, I do not believe that they (the insurgent Viet Cong) will achieve a psychological victory. I do not want to be interpreted as unduly optimistic at all. I would rather wait and let the facts speak for themselves because there are many things that one far removed from the scene cannot anticipate. I can only say this: that based on the best military advice that I have, I feel confident that the men will give a good accounting of themselves.

Q: Mr. President, is it possible that these developments in Vietnam that you had outlined, plus the imminence of this major offensive, could lead to deployment of additional American combat troops in Vietnam?

THE PRESIDENT: ....I have not seen the requirement or the necessity, nor have the Joint Chiefs, of making any additional requests to the Congress at this time involving additional authority. It would be desirable, as it was last year, to have legislation a little more generous in one respect or two, or maybe more funds appropriated for military assistance that were reduced.

Q: Sir, do you see anything in the developments this week in these attacks in Vietnam that causes you to think you need to reevaluate some of the assumptions on which our policies, our strategy there has been based? I am thinking in terms of the security ratings, amount of population that is considered under Government control? Do you think the basic assumption is still valid?

THE PRESIDENT: We do that every week....We must do it all the time to try to keep up, and to be sure we have not made errors and mistakes...We see nothing that would require any change of great consequence. We will have to move men from this place to that one. We will have to replace helicopters. Probably we had 100-odd helicopters and planes seriously damaged and we will have to replace them.

Q: Mr. President, do you believe, sir, their winter-spring offensive and their call for an uprising and their attempt to impose a coalition government is based on their belief that they are taking military punishment that they cannot sustain for a long time? In short, sir, are we still winning the war?


THE PRESIDENT: Well, I see nothing in the developments that would indicate that the evaluation that I have had of this situation throughout the month should be changed. I do think that the second phase is imminent. What we have expected is upon us. We have gone through the first phase of it. We will have to see what happens in the second phase. If it comes out as expected, I think I can give you a better answer to your question when it is over with. I do not want to prophesy what is going to happen, although we feel reasonably sure of our strength.

Q: Some people say: Well, that proves they know they are licked and this is their dying gasp. And some people say: Well, it proves that we underestimated their morale. How do you feel, sir?

THE PRESIDENT: I haven't read those reports about underestimating all their morale, and their being out of it, and no more problems, and so forth. We do think that we have made good progress there.

As I view history, I think that you have things of this type replete throughout. The fact that people's morale may be suffering and they may be having great difficulty doesn't keep them from breaking glass windows and shooting folks in a store or dashing into your home or trying to assassinate somebody. That goes with it. That is a part of the pattern.

Now whether they are doing this from a position of greater strength or greater weakness — I would say neither. I don't think that they are as weak as you picture them in your straw man that you place up there — that the Government has this feeling. I don't think we feel that way.

I think there are times when a few highly energetic and courageous people could seize the National Airport. But, could they hold it? Does it endure? Is it a victory? Do they pay more than it is worth and so on and so forth? Those are the things you have to evaluate.

Now, I am no great strategist and tactician. I know that you are not. But let us assume that the best figures we can have are from our responsible military commanders. They say 10,000 died and we lost 249 and the South Vietnamese lost 500. Now that doesn't look like a Communist victory. I can count. It looks like somebody has paid a very dear price for the temporary encouragement that some of our enemies had.

But General Westmoreland — evaluating this for us and the Joint Chiefs of Staff reviewing it for me — tell me that in their judgement it (the Tet offensive) has not been a military success.
What you just read should be familiar to you by now. It's the kind of rationalizations that kept us in Vietnam for another decade, a time when nearly 40,000 additional US troops would die.

Politicians dare not say it, but I will: those troops died for nothing. Nothing. George W. Bush keeps saying that history will vindicate this Iraq war. Well, history has completed its review of Johnson/Nixon's Vietnam policies, and concluded that they sent those men and women to their deaths for nothing.

(George W. Bush's own visit to Vietnam as a part of an Asian (all capitalism-all-the-time) economic summit is proof that all the warnings that, if we pulled out, one Asian nation after another would fall — like “dominos” — into communist hands.

President Bush Arrives in Vietnam for APEC Summit
NPR: November 17, 2006 · President Bush arrives in Vietnam, the second stop on a three-nation Asian tour that started in Singapore and takes him to Indonesia on Monday. Vietnam has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The president is in the country to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit with leaders from 21 nations. (Source)

Yes, they – some personal friends of mine – died for nothing in Vietnam.

And today they are dying once again — for nothing. N-o-t-h-i-n-g. And once again we are hearing the same rationalizations we heard 39 years ago.

On some level evolution is nature's I.Q. test. Species either adapt and learn from their mistakes, or they perish.

History is replete with evidence that the same goes for nations.

News Tidbit of the Day

When their friend and fellow oil man George W. Bush invaded Iraq he promised them that they would pumping black Iraqi gold within months. The Hunt Brothers got tired of waiting and went around Baghdad and cut their own deal with the Kurds, who sit on the only oil assets secure enough to pump. Big Oil will not be denied.
(P.S. To George. Don't call us. We'll call you. Hunt Oil)




News Tidbit of the Day

When their friend and fellow oil man George W. Bush invaded Iraq he promised them that they would pumping black Iraqi gold within months. The Hunt Brothers got tired of waiting and went around Baghdad and cut their own deal with the Kurds, who sit on the only oil assets secure enough to pump. Big Oil will not be denied.
(P.S. To George. Don't call us. We'll call you. Hunt Oil)

Hunt Oil Cuts Deal on Oil With Kurds

The Associated Press — Monday, September 10, 2007

VIENNA, Austria: An agreement announced this weekend between U.S.-based Hunt Oil Co. and the self-ruled Kurdish administration of northern Iraq to explore for oil is illegal, Iraq's oil minister Hussain al-Shahristani said Monday.

Those comments underscore the central government's view that exploration contracts with foreign companies should be signed only after the adoption of a new national oil law, which has been stalled for months.

"Any oil deal has no standing as far as the government of Iraq is concerned," al-Shahristani said as he arrived for an OPEC meeting in Vienna. "All these contracts have to be approved by the Federal Authority before they are legal. This (contract) was not presented for approval. It has no standing."

Hunt Oil, a privately held independent oil company, and the Kurdish regional government said Saturday they had signed a production-sharing contract for petroleum exploration in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq. Terms were not disclosed.

Dallas, Texas-based Hunt declined to comment Monday.

The deal is one of several the Kurds have signed with foreign oil companies in the past few years and the first since they put their own oil law into effect in August.

These deals have angered Baghdad, but the Kurdish region appears determined to advance oil exploration in the three-province area they govern in northern Iraq, as Iraq's long-delayed federal oil law remains hobbled by disagreements — among others, about the control of revenues.

Despite Iraq's vast oil reserves, major international companies have sat on the sidelines, not only for security reasons but because of the absence of legislation governing the industry and offering protection for investments.
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a guest said:

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FB
US and Iraq should consider this a declaration of war. I know they would if Kurds had made the deal with China, Cuba or any country other than US or UK.
 
September 12, 2007
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