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20 July 2008


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Sidney O. Smith III

Col. Lang:
No greater honor than for the Rumsfeld group to have “disinvited” you. It gives folks like me hope that people in the military still see their calling as a vocation and simply will not sell out. And the Wurmser-Cheney option is all about ignoring the 07 NIE and selling out the tradition of the USM, particularly that which went through Vietnam.
From what I can tell, Col. McMasters would never sell out. Odierno? One would hope he would refuse to meet with Kristol. One would hope that Odierno would say, “No evidence Kristol has American interests in mind.” Or, to use street language, Odierno would say, “I’ve got US soldiers to protect. Kristol is a punk. Get him out of my sight and now.”


maybe it was the vice president's program and not rumsfelds and the best that gates can do is not to be involved

i notice this meeting was held at fort hood some distance from the sec of def conference room

are the generals able to optin or optout of these meetings

bushcheney has politicized every aspect of government


Information is being consciously managed. The military has been quite clear that it is considered another battlespace.

It should not be surprising that Kristol is given exceptional treatment, as he can be relied upon to present matters in the most favorable light

We should also be able to rely on the military to give equal access to other s who might request it, and for the information to be factually accurate. We also ought to be able to expect the media to be independent and not to take all statements as facts to be parroted uncritically. The media should, at the least, make clear what their relationship is and what agreements have been made, as they are lens through which we view these 'facts'.

Decision making is dependent on the completeness and quality of your information. We are being carefully fed what others would like us to think.

In the run up to the first Gulf War, I was surprised to see my old Middle East Studies professor interviewed on TV. He said some things that hadn't been expected. I don't recall any subsequent appearances.

Perhaps Kristol was being briefed on the spectacular new transport pods for the upper echelons. Maybe he was giving makeup tips, or explaining the rationale behind new strategic initiatives. Priorities must be observed.


Col. Lang:

Reminds me of then Lt Gen Petraeus' lengthy July 18, 2007 radio interview with Republican partisan Hugh Hewitt. This was one of the first interviews Petraeus gave prior to his September '07 appearance before Congress to discuss the surge. The interview stirred up a lot of controversy as folks wondered why Petraeus had picked Hewitt when a lot of other, less opinionated people wanted badly to interview him.

Odierno is reputed to be a recent convert to COIN and hand-picked by Petraeus to be his number two? Following in the steps of the master?


also from what i can see, odierno also has staunch pro-israel leanings in most mideast matters, which IMO has no place in the centcom/iraq aor chain of command. general officers need to be 'schooled' in the fine art of 'neutrality' do you not agree?

now deceased hack did not have any kinds words when it came to odienro and petreaus.

i miss hack's comments regarding perfumed princes.


Why was Petraeus ordered to sit on the promotion board for BG's?


Why were the State Departments Arabist threaten to fired for refusing to go to Iraq?


Because the "Jacobin neocons" want to ensure that they remain the only game in town.


Just my two cents...



Not to change the subject but I see (unclearly) that the new Brit P.M. Brown has been saying/doing some interesting things as regards the ME. (Talking about pulling troops our/redeploying them/telling the Israelis to stop colonizing I think/saying or doing I don't know what with re Iran....)

(And I also note what might just be a coincidence of Bush seeming to talk and do more diplomatically w/re Iran too just as we see that new French Prez. and Brown taking over in GB too.)

So maybe if he's out there or if not otherwise maybe you could prevail on David Habakkuk to give us a run-down on the situation over there? What are Brown and Sarkozy like as opposed to their predecessors concerning Iran and Iraq and Bush and etc.?

It's tough to get a sense of the subtleties from the news reports that I've seen at least.



Not in keeping with our traditions, but at this point it will have little/no effect.

I just returned from Iraq, in my opinion the Iraq war is at an end, the Army command realizes it and the soldiers are past ready to come home.

OK, there may be a training mission and some SOF running around, but the days of division-size deployments in Iraq are coming to an end.

The political atmosphere and exhaustion dictate this. Again in my opinion the Presidential election will not be as consequential as supposed - substantial withdrawals in 09, at this point we're debating how many Friedman units this will take.


Col. Lang,

I find your observation about Kristol and Odierno deeply unsettling because I'm beginning to suspect that the Military leadership of the United States may have crossed the final boundary it must not cross, and is not even notionally remaining apolitical as it should.

Please tell me I'm wrong, because if I'm not wrong, and the only way to "get on" becomes support for the Republican party and the NeoCons, then you are heading for "Banana Republic" status, where the military and the Republican party see themselves as equal partners in a "coalition of the willing" to confront the Democrats.

I've seen how quickly and insidiously a rotten corporate culture can trickle down to the lower rungs of an organisation, and if that happens, and the Officer Corps is corrupted into supporting the Republicans, then there is not much hope.

There are a few websites around, the most notorious being www.blackfive.net, that are violently anti Obama and pro McCain and violently pro Iraq war - all under the guise of supporting the troops of course, and the kicker is that they appear to have privileged access to Pentagon material and support from the military that no one else has.

I would appreciate knowing your thoughts about this matter.

robt willmann

So Bill Kristol, of the rather thin magazine The Weekly Standard, was down here within the borders of the State of Texas, at Ft. Hood.

And today (Sunday, 20 July 2008) he appeared on the Fox News Sunday national program.

And what entity owns The Weekly Standard?


Brace yourselves. It's the "News Corporation"!

What else might the News Corporation own?


Brace yourselves again. It also owns the Fox News Channel.

News Corporation's board of directors is a somewhat intriguing group. Included thereon are Rupert Murdoch, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer (of course); Jose Maria Aznar, former president of Spain (and a member of the Iraq-invading "Coalition of the Billing"), who is now president of News Corporation (a promotion!); Viet Dinh (an alleged contributing author of the Patriot Act when he was at the Department that calls itself Justice); and other folks of a somewhat global nature, such as John Thornton, Professor and "Director of Global Leadership" at Tsinghua University of Beijing.


Also today, appearing this morning on C-Span's Washington Journal call-in program was none other than Frederick Kagan, avid promoter of the oppressive Iraq population control operation often called by its cover name, "The Surge(TM)", which might even be a registered trademark by now. He is a "resident scholar" at the so-called American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

And back at the Weekly Standard with Bill Kristol, we see that one of the "contributing editors" is none other than--you guessed it--Fred Kagan (along with Robert Kagan).


Lest we forget, also at the AEI is Irving Kristol, father of Bill Kristol, and the author of a book with the surprising title, "Neoconservatism".

Now we can more easily see how the tragic mess and suffering in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in the U.S., came about, in the element of "perception management".

As the above post asks, "Is Odierno involved in Information Operations in the United States?"

Is that "information operations" or "disinformation operations"? Maybe disinformation is included the former.

I would also be very interested in knowing who attended the small meeting, and who arranged it.


It was really laugh-out-loud funny to see CentCom issue a statement on behalf of Maliki, explaining that he had been misquoted about his agreement with Obama on a 16-month withdrawal timetable. CentCom is the press office for the sovereign Iraqi government, issuing press statements to undercut the Democratic presidential candidate. Petraeus and Co. appear to recognize no political boundaries whatsoever.


Col. Lang:

In reading the earlier comments I couldn’t help but wonder, “Where is the outrage?” Shenanigans indeed. Another Defense Policy Board?

As Sidney Smith suggests, Odierno should know better. The whole damn military establishment should know better. It makes me wonder what part of military culture Petraeus’ appointment to the BG selection board was designed to intrude on. Maybe more than just ensuring that the new one stars would be sympathetic to COIN.

I hope that somewhere, somehow we are rallying opposition on common causes if not fomenting plans for collective action that address our concerns that the events of the day may be subversive to our constitutional government.


ZionKons rule all over the place- really no surprise there. From speaker Pelosi on the left to the Kristol.

But a bit of good news, the hero of Battle of 73 Easting, Col. Herbert Raymond McMaster, and author of Dereliction of Duty is finally on the promotion list to Brigadier.

He had previously been mentioned in an above-written comment triggering this writing.

Richard Armstrong

Kristol (a original Neocon) meeting with the Generals at a Texas army base?

Why do I see shades of Seven Days of May?

Could this be a conclave for EMCOM-NEOCON?

different clue

If the Armed Forces leadership (or large parts of it) and the Republican Party are two key powers in a domestic Coalition Of The Willing against the Democrats (and any other domestic group or individual which this Domestic "Coalition of the Willing" deems to be an inconvenience) as Walrus suggests; could it be that Gates is not in a position to either countenance this meeting or not countenance it? If replacing Rumsfeld with Gates was one step in a power struggle within the government; could Gates still be waging the power struggle on so many fronts already that this meeting is
one more front than Gates is able to address?


From personal experience (paratroop in Afghanistan and Iraq), I don't think that the military would let itself be quietly subsumed by the Jacobins and their ilk.

Its one thing when you have generals and colonels who hang out in Qatar and back in the States who are doing this.

There is an attitude among enlisted, NCO, and company/field grade towards the people who love to dictate how to fight the wars from 3000+ miles away. I have my doubts that any orders issued from above, overt or direct, that smelled of the jackboot would be simply accepted.

Furthermore, I believe there is a core in the military that is dedicated to the principles of the Founders, and any subversion of those principles is going to be met with a lot of noise and bloodshed inside the military.

I do not believe that Odierno is Hindenburg, and Obama is Rohm in this scenario.

William R. Cumming

Bill Kristol is not stupid. He and the Neo-cons now play for the history books. Expect drastic reinvention of the Iraq story over the next few months. Be that as it may, the career military now has a huge problem. Typically, the notion that once held, that career officers should not even vote because to do so is to display partisinship is long gone. Republican affiliation is almost assumed since post-career employment is largely with Republican dominated contractor corporations. but now it appears that both candidates, McCain and Obama have tendencies towards taking on the military-industrial-academic complex. Remember McCain was the original opponent of the earmark system, particularly where contractors got their home-state Senators and Congressman to earmark production that even DOD did not want. It looks like a long-term party realignment to me and doubtful that the neo-cons will be able to ride the tiger whichever way it jumps. So what to do? Seems like the same types always end up as REMFs and no shortage of candidates now for that occupation.

Mark  Logan

Like the serving soldiers
here have posted, I also am having some difficulty in
seeing any reason Odierno
and Gates would wish to
further the ambitions of the neocons given our current state of affairs. But this leaves the Col's question unanswered. Why give private briefings to Billy and his ilk?

I have therefore resolved to follow the offerings of Mr. Kristol closely for
a few weeks and see if I can divine an answer. My only question is: What mind altering chemicals might make this task a little less onerous? Paxil? Ritalin? Jack Daniel's? Ecstasy? A ball-peen hammer? Perhaps some combination of the above?

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