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06 August 2009


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William R. Cumming

Okay let's talk in futuro a moment. Personally I am expecting a Pontius Pilate moment sooner rather than later for the US. The real test is what sort of armed forces will we leave Iraq and what sort of equipment? Any tanks, any armored vehicles? Any aircraft or heliocopters? And sustained foreign assistance or military arms sales? My guess is that those that produce weapons are already wheeling and dealing with Iraqi government and getting oil pledges in return. Personally I think Iraqi politicians will do everything possible to rub the US nose in the sand and make clear for the next century that anything going wrong in Iraq was fault of US invasion and occupancy. The real test is of course not what the Iraqis say but what they do, since I think the US will have great difficulty formulating an Iraq policy antime soon and probably not for the next 100 years. Personally, I would work out a tripartite arrangement with the TURKS and the KURDS and salvage something out of our misadventure. WE were smart enough to subdivide Germany for 60 years, so why not Iraq? PL other than the US military establishment have you heard one peep out of anyone else on what we plan to do in response to Iraqi initiatives from now on? What is certain is that the US has no initiatives other than troop stationing as a policy IMO! Pretty limited choices and options being given US President. I though these guys and gals were policy wonks?


Judy Miller isn't around... Col. that's comedy gold.If you get tired of blogging you could submit some work to Jon Stewart. Thx I needed a chuckle.

Patrick Lang


I like Stewart. If he wants to retire, I'll take over the show. pl

dan bradburd

Re Michael Gordon and his ilk, the following is a quote that often comes to mind.
"Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally reprehensible. He is a kind of confidence man, preying on people's vanity, ignorance, or loneliness, gaining their trust and betraying them without remorse....Journalists justify their trachery in various ways according to their temperaments. The more pompous talk about freedom of speech and "the public's right to know"; the least talented talk about Art; the seemliest murmer about earning a living." (From Janet Malcolm's THE JOURNALIST AND THE MURDERER).


Col, I've posted several links to John Stewart because I think you two are the only ones dealing with reality concerning Iraq and the Middle East.

The "faith-based initiative" of democracy producing Islamic nations willing to accept American/Israeli (or is it the other way around) terms is over.

My concern is that we are not doing enough for the dislocated Iraqis and the consequences of that inaction e.g. what happened in Afghanistan when the Soviets left.

"Personally, I would work out a tripartite arrangement with the TURKS and the KURDS and salvage something out of our misadventure." - William R Cummings

Aren't the Kurds also under the Persian influence due to our alliance with the Turks?

From Canada

Col. Lang,

Forgive me for straying off topic, but what do you make of these murder allegations against Blackwater and its founder?

What are your opinions in general on Blackwater and these PMCs?

Thank you,

From Canada

Jay McAnally

Col: Thanks for your insight; it's pretty much where I expected you'd come down, and I agree with you.

If only our Generals would pay more attention to their Colonels, and less to their press clippings...

Patrick Lang


The US military is not big enough and does not want to do things like guard diplomats and supply convoys over long distances. Therefore, the use of civilian guards is inevitable but the Uniform Code of Military Justice must be applied to them. pl


"Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi,... said the blast walls would vanish from highways and secondary roads within 40 days,
Maybe Obama could have a borrow this man for a few weeks and remove all the blast walls from D.C. and even the National Guard medical unit in Ann Arbor. Every time I see them I think of the last words of the national anthem 'home of the brave.' Too bad the politicians can't live up to them.


do you think Reese will get a backlash for his views to be publicised in such a way?

Patrick Lang


Without a doubt. "Kill the messenger" will be the order of the day. pl

Green Zone Cafe

Re Gordon screwing Col. Reese:

Reese wrote a blog. He circulated his ideas freely. For all we know, the memo was deliberately leaked in order to warn the Iraqis to play ball while the U.S. presence diminishes.

No tears should be shed for Col. Reese. He's a colonel, which is a capstone of a successful military career. For all we know he's delighted at having his ideas published to a wide audience and would rather tell the truth as he saw it than make general.

Am I correct, colonel?

On the rest, I still say we will be in Iraq beyond 2011. If you listened to PM Nouri Al Maliki during his U.S. visit, you could hear him laying the groundwork for that.

There is also talk of what the persistant base structure in Iraq will be -there will be 5 or 6 bases. You can easily guess one - Camp Victory/BIAP base complex. The others I'll leave to your imagination.

Patrick Lang


"Une piege?" What am I supposed to say? That full colonels wish they were generals? Or that you are right and that "oberst" is a capstone point? In my case I was pleasantly surprised to be a colonel, and I suppose that many others were surprised that I was as well.

As I said, I do not know Reese but Odierno does not strike me as a man who likes this kind of "leak." I may be wrong.

I do know Gordon and his friend Judy. pl

Green Zone Cafe


I will say that Reese's memo was widely and informally discussed where I am in the U.S. mission.

The issue contained in Col. Reese's memo is Iraqi recalcitrance to "play ball" and show up when we want them to show up. There's some frustration about what are perceived as slights. So, since they won't always play our game, some want to take the ball and go home.

If you wanted to convey a message of frustration about our Iraqi partners, and possible consequences of things like judges turning the killers of Americans loose, Reese's memo is a pretty good medium.

And. of course being a colonel is a pinnacle. Many have said that is as far as you can go and still retain integrity.

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