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15 August 2010

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Patrick Lang

All

The question in my mind at this point is whether or not Petraeus is covering for Obama an accelerated withdrawal starting next summer or if he really believes the bilge that Gregory encouraged him in. pl

peg

FB Ali --

I read that post Prof Cole wrote about striking Iran and followed the links to Gareth Porter's and Trita Parsi's articles -- all reacting to Jeffrey Goldberg’s article "Point of No Return."

The Neo-Cons are at it AGAIN - I guess some people just like war. Will the American people fall for it again?

How do we PAY for their plans?

I love coming here and reading what everyone has to say. I have learned a lot and am grateful that Col Lang continues to blog.

Patrick Lang

peg

I am glad that you find it worthwhile. I am not so glad when people dump their baseless conspiracy nonsense on SST. pl

DH

"The question in my mind at this point is whether or not Petraeus is covering for Obama an accelerated withdrawal starting next summer or if he really believes the bilge that Gregory encouraged him in. pl"


With the understanding that Petraeus will be his next running mate? That would add a certain wow factor to the ticket.

confusedponderer

Jose,

Did anybody see the Die Spiegel article about German economic growth?

The German have currently become the "Anti-FoolObama's" of the world and are achieving real economic growth as a result.>

Germany has been following it's own economic for a very long time, and it didn't significantly change after Obama was elected. The German model cannot be projected on the US (far too socialist *irony*). We call it the 'social market economy', which is characterised by an attempt to balance the interests of the economic players, employers and employed alike. That extends into all areas of law. Take labour law for instance:

Something like KBR's binding and mandatory arbitration scheme for labour related conflicts (which KBR interpreted to include rape in the workplace - it needed the 'lex Franken' to kill that practice) is unthinkable here (it would be blatantly illegal, sittenwidrig (unfair, frivolous)). The access to the courts for litigation over 'unerlaubte Handlungen' (tortious act) is non negotiable.

While we do have arbitration, it is always voluntary. In the case of KBR it wasn't really; to work there you had to essentially give away your right to access to courts at the door. In contrast, the German view of a fair economic system takes into account what human nature or cold calculating business interest is prone to if allowed to pursue its interests in such a one sided way. If there is any doubt about how that can look like, one just needs to look at the case of Jamie Leigh Jones: Too many liberties allowed to the market lead to rapacious and unfair behaviour.

While we like to bitch and moan about government like everybody else - it's probably a national past time - there is a consensus that government needs to govern.

Whether they are good at it, or whether they need to improve on it is another question. But I am glad that our political system as of now lacks frothing at the mouth loons who are (like Newt Gingrich or Grover Norquist) on a (special interest funded) jihad to 'drown government in the bathtub'.

For instance our disaster relief appears to work, as indicated by the response to the latest Oder floods. Disaster relief to work always requires an 'uneconomical' allocation of resources, IMO a good indicator.

Jose

All

The question in my mind at this point is whether or not Petraeus is covering for Obama an accelerated withdrawal starting next summer or if he really believes the bilge that Gregory encouraged him in. pl

pl, IMHO :

1. The blame game has begun, no way FoolBama can keep the troops over there in the current economics mess. No way Pakistan will be able to launch a new offensive given the flooding, so game over for this year unless we launch a Winter offensive.

2. Generals love to be worshiped and told what they want to hear especially on camera, but let's hope DP is unlike FoolBama and believes his own toady admirers. Reality is hard to ignore.

"The War in Afghanistan demonstrated a large rupture between theory and practice." - LTG Boris V. Gromov, Commander Soviet 40th Army

peg

Col Lang --

I wouldn't have been so concerned - but when you posted this not too long ago, i got worried

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2010/08/vips-letter-to-the-president-on-israel-and-iran.html

walrus

Just back as 'puter.

Col. Lang:

"The question in my mind at this point is whether or not Petraeus is covering for Obama an accelerated withdrawal starting next summer or if he really believes the bilge that Gregory encouraged him in."

I apologise for doing this Col. Lang, but I have to reply with a question: "What in Petreaus's mind, is in the best interest of David Petreaus?" that will determine what he will do, not the interests of the United States, not the interests of Israel.

I am not accusing him of disloyalty. I am labelling him as a narcissist, like Obama, who fully internalises the concept of "doublethink" and can apply it instantly and sincerely to any issue at any time.

Petreaus sincerely believes what he spouted, for now. He will continue to do so until a different reality is called for to satisfy his ego. If that narrative, when it arrives, happens to be consistent with the best interests of the United States then well and good, but be aware that Gen. Petreaus may decide to construe "The best interests of the United States" as requiring him to run for the Presidency.

To be as concise as I can, what will happen between Petreaus and Obama may hang on something as minute as a single phrase in a single sentence in a short telephone call. These Two are going to dance around each other for a while yet.

To put it another way, I don't know what will happen. I don't think anyone else can predict it either.

William R. Cumming

The test for me of any former US military officer running for office is did he exercise his/her right to vote every time after turning eligible? Why? Only that represents someone who actually is willing to practice democracy on a continuing basis.
And by the way the military vote is still being badly manipulated by the unwillingness to make it easy to vote when overseas, or when stateside. Voting when few candidates really make you want to vote and usually forced to vote for the lesser "evil" does not lessen the responsibility of the citizenry to do so. Expecting very low voter turnout this election cycle. Now less than 90 days off.

walrus

Further to my earlier comment, what is the opinion of Gen. Petreaus of the enlisted men who served under him when he was young?

What is the opinion of his colleagues in the middle ranks? Were they "burned" by him or consider it a pleasure to work with him? Same goes with other flag ranks. Was he always managing "up" or taking care of the lower ranks?

I've asked this question before with no result, which, if continued, tells me all I need to know.

Don't think that Israel and other countries don't do this profiling too, then play to weakness.

confusedponderer

Jose,
I take that back in part: Our governing coalition's resident idiot Westerwelle has responded to news about the upturn with a call for tax reductions.

arbogast

A volunteer army is a separate corporate enterprise in America that takes care of itself. Just like Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac.

And taking care of itself means as much war as possible. Nobody likes preseason games. They want the real thing.

Petraeus wants all war all the time. No if's and's or but's. He'll sabotage Obama every single time he gets the chance.

Fred

To quote the end of the Guardian article: "According to one public opinion poll seven out of 10 Americans do not believe the war can end successfully.….Petraeus was upbeat about the war's progress, saying Taliban foot soldiers were increasingly cut off from the insurgent leadership in Pakistan and that the Afghan government was making progress on rooting out corrupt officials."

The first is certainly true, and thus Obama is only following the wishes of his people, Petreaus not withstanding; as to Karzai making progress on rooting out corrupt officials, which ones is he rooting out - his corrupt opponents? Please don't make me laugh. The Taliban foot soldiers? Nothing I can say to that comment that is not profane. Don't the authors have any idea of what is actually driving opposition to both Karzai's government and US and coalition activities in that country?

The US defeated the Aghan government that harbored Bin Laden the first time; whichever successor government that decides to harbor similar terrorist organizations would certainly understand we are quite capable of doing the same thing again - and that we wouldn't be hanging around to re-build the place when we were done. We might just actually knock off the guys at the top for a change. Or at least loot their Swiss bank accounts, rather than have them loot the US treasury.

Clifford,
War good for the economy? That was a few wars ago; this is the era of tax-free, obligation free war - at least amongst the 'aristocracy of money' which FDR fought.

Fred

Arbrogast,

Petraeus might do what you suggest, but he is not 'the' volunteer army; nor is it a 'corporate enterprise'.

Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac? Sounds like another slam against a government agency/policy that ought to have its own post, or be on another blog.
What about all those hedge funds, not to mention companies like Wallmart? They (or their owners) have enriched themselves quite nicely but not necessarilary while serving the national interest.

The background on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the first was founded in 1938, are both on wikipedia.

Thomas

"The question in my mind at this point is whether or not Petraeus is covering for Obama an accelerated withdrawal starting next summer or if he really believes the bilge that Gregory encouraged him in." pl

The December Afghan policy review would appear to be the moment of truth. Any Policy change would happen in the Jan State of the Union adress to a new Congress. Forces would still be there in the spring if an action became necessary.

With the current crises in the area, Pakistan would be wise to broker a winter truce between the US and Afghanis.

Jose

Oops, CG, not Commander it was late...lol

J

The White House responds and speaks (or doesn't?).

White House says Afghan deadline 'non-negotiable'

Will Petraeus ultimately open mouth-insert-foot and pull a Rolling Stone like McChrystal?

DH

"The question in my mind at this point is whether or not Petraeus is covering for Obama an accelerated withdrawal starting next summer or if he really believes the bilge that Gregory encouraged him in. pl"

VP Petraeus, anyone?

Michael Drew

It is not the case that we can assume that if Obama elects to attempt to delay withdrawal after July '11, that Petraeus has rolled him into the decision. Obama left plenty of room for that decision in his Dec. policy speech. Petraeus may be laying the groundwork for that course entirely at the president's behest, even now.

Adam L Silverman

A good question is: who will be on the Afghan policy review team? It will be interesting to see if it closely tracks the same people that were on the last one done by GEN McChrystal or if different personnel, from different organizations, with different points of view are brought in or if we're going to get more of the same.

batondor

Adam... three questions:

1) Whom would you like to see on the panel?

2) Whom would you like to see on the panel who has a chance of being selected?

3) Are you volunteering?

Two or three names for (1) and (2) would be interesting... and Pat is excluded because that's probably too obvious on both accounts!

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