Monday, December 04, 2006

While Discussing Bush's Admission Of Mistakes In Iraq, Hadley Offers Bait-And-Switch To Russert

National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley played bait-and-switch with host Tim Russert on Sunday's edition of NBC's Meet The Press.

The subject: Whether President Bush has admitted the U.S. was wrong about the number of troops needed to successfully fight the Iraq War.

RUSSERT: (C)ould the president step forward and say, “I acknowledge we were wrong about WMD, we were wrong about troop levels, we were wrong about the length of the war, we were wrong about the cost of the war, we were wrong about the financing of the war, we were wrong about the level of sectarian violence, we were wrong about being greeted as liberators. We made some fundamental misjudgments, and they were wrong, but now we’re all in this together”? Could he do that?

HADLEY: He’s done a lot of that. He’s acknowledged that ...

RUSSERT: All those mistakes?

HADLEY: He has acknowledged that — for example, that there were not stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

RUSSERT: How about troop levels?

HADLEY: He’s, he’s acknowledged that, that in terms of troops we need to be building Iraqi forces to provide greater security. You know, Tim, people forget that, that we had hoped to have 150,000 to 200,000 Iraqi army forces to help in the security proposition, and those forces melted away at the close of the war. ....

***

Russert was clearly referring to the claim Gen. Eric Shinseki, the Army chief of staff at the time, made to Congress, saying the U.S. would need several hundred thousand troops in Iraq. Shinseki's suggestion was refuted by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Undersecretary Paul Wolfowitz, among others.

Last month, the top military commander in the Middle East, Gen. John Abizaid, admitted Shinseki was right.

So it's a nice bit of bait-and-switch by Hadley. Bush has admitted to the mistake of not having the right number of troops ... oops, he didn't.

Unfortunately, as is too often the case, Russert failed to notice.

***

Hadley was also spinning when he said that Iraqi "forces melted away at the close of the war."

As JABBS noted last year: "The first head of what would eventually be known as the Coalition Provisional Authority, Army Lt. Gen. Jay Garner, championed using the Iraqi military to reconstruct Iraq -- akin to a 'Works Project Administration,' as he told UPI. Instead, the U.S. retired Garner, and replaced him with L. Paul Bremer, who dissolved Iraq's 400,000-strong army soon after American forces overthrew Saddam's regime in April 2003."

To Hadley, the troops "melted away" like magic. No need to claim a mistake was made by our guy on the ground.

Kind of brings new meaning to "stay the course," huh?

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seem to remember the president saying that if the GENERALS on the ground, not Senators, Congressmen or hosts of Meet The Depressed wanted more troops they would be supplied.

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enough with Bush. Send in the ushers already!
Remember, Bush promised us he would be "a straight shooter."
Like Danny Devito, there's little left for sane people to do but make funny faces and sputter our lips.

10:03 AM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

To first anonymous -- Shinseki was the Army Chief of Staff at the time, not a Senator, Congressman or Meet the Press host.

And Abizaid has since said he was correct, for all the good that does.

Have you considered remedial reading? Maybe you could find an adult education course ...

10:33 AM  
Anonymous wtmusic said...

"The president has acknowledged something completely different than what you asked me about! Now what was the question again?"

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob, I dont recall Abizaid saying anything about more troops at the start of the war. In fact I dont recall any general asking for more as the war was on. What we have now is armchair quarterbacks and generals who feel slighted. Must be demorat generals. Piss and mone when they dont get their own way.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's such b.s. and hadley, like so many others in the administration, has that condescending tone, the "it's ok that you're so stupid that you don't realize how right we are" manner.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

Anonymous #1, you're so lacking in reading comprehension it's beyond belief.

Hadley is talking about the Iraqi army.

He's saying that these "forces melted away at the start of the war."

This is not the case. The Iraqi army was disbanded, intentionally, by Paul Bremer. It was one of the earliest mistakes in a series of mistakes. Period. That's what the subject is, not whatever the hell you're talking about. Hadley is trying to pull a fast one by suggesting they're just evaporating into thin air, which just wasn't the case.

3:56 PM  
Anonymous whoop4467 said...

There has not been much made of the fact that Bush would not listen to the Generals before the invasion, but now that it is a screwed up mess he wants to have the Generals decide when we leave so that history blames any future screw ups on the Generals! What a real leader that Bushey is!

12:59 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

Anonymous said...
Rob, I dont recall Abizaid saying anything about more troops at the start of the war. In fact I dont recall any general asking for more as the war was on. What we have now is armchair quarterbacks and generals who feel slighted. Must be demorat generals. Piss and mone when they dont get their own way.


>>

Shinseki testified that we needed several hundred thousand troops. Wolfowitz testified that Shinseki was wrong. Shinseki was quickly retired.

Abizaid, last month, said Shinseki was correct in his initial assessment.

This has nothing to do with the generals-turned-pundits that pop up on cable all the time. But for what it's worth, these are the generals that Bush said he would listen to. Instead of listening, Rumsfeld has them retired.

And again, the situation in Iraq is dreadful. By default, if all these generals are saying they were ignored, maybe that wasn't the right gameplan for Bush and Rumsfeld?

1:42 PM  

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