Skip to comments.Gates Betrays Troops in Iraq: War Premise 'Not Valid', Won't Say if Sacrifice Worth It
Posted on 09/02/2010 7:39:59 AM PDT by kristinn
As many Iraqis told me over the years, Saddam Hussein was a weapon of mass destruction.
His regime was a singular destablizing force in the Middle East. Saddam harbored, trained and funded international terrorists. He paid bounties to families of Palestinian suicide bombers. He sought to continue WMD programs. He routinely cheated on the ceasefire agreement from the 1991 war. He tries to assassinate a former U.S. president. He waged genocidal wars against his own people. He waged war on his neighbors.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates knows all this, yet he spits on the sacrifice of 4432 servicemen and women who paid the ultimate price to keep this nation safe by desposing Saddam and then working to secure Iraq so that it will no longer be a state sponsor of terrorism.
Here are Gates's word, spoken in Iraq yesterday, from the DOD website:
Press Availability with Secretary Gates from Ramadi, Iraq
Q Mr. Secretary, as you mark this change, do you believe the Iraq war was worth it?
SEC. GATES: Well, I've been asked that question a lot since December 2006. And I think that it really -- it really requires an historian's perspective in terms of what happens here in the long term. I would just pick up off of the remarks that I made at the American Legion. If we -- if Iraq ends up a democratic country, that is a constructive participant in international life, then I think looking back, although the cost of getting there would've been terrible, as I said yesterday, the potential for it being the core of significant change in this whole region as a democratic state, I think is hard to underestimate.
I think that where we are today, that our men and women in uniform believe we have accomplished something that makes the sacrifice and the bloodshed not to have been in vain, that we have accomplished -- that our men and women in uniform have accomplished something really quite extraordinary here.
How it all weighs in the balance over time, I think remains to be seen.
Q Mr. Secretary [inaudible] clarify that. And if -- does it require of Iraq to be a democratic state for this to be in the U.S. national security interest, this war to have benefited U.S. national security?
SEC. GATES: Well, the problem -- the problem with this war for, I think, many Americans is that the premise on which we justified going to war proved not to be valid -- that is, Saddam having weapons of mass destruction.
So when you start from that standpoint, then figuring out in retrospect how you deal with the war, even if the outcome is a good one from the standpoint of the United States, it will always be clouded by how it began. And so I think that this is one of the reasons why this war remains so controversial at home. But there is no -- there can be no disagreement, and I think as the president said in his speech, with what has been achieved here by our men and women in uniform.
I really don’t like this guy. Bush appointed him, but who recommended him to Bush?
Any Bush appointee who agreed to stay on and serve under a marxist like obama- has squishy principles, at best.
LOL- as if there is such a thing!
Bush was either out of touch, fatally “compassionate” or outright betrayed by the people who advised him, who recommended many of his underlings and policies.
” . . . we have accomplished something that makes the sacrifice and the bloodshed not to have been in vain, that we have accomplished — that our men and women in uniform have accomplished something really quite extraordinary here. “
Sorry, but I don’t see Gates’ remarks as a “betrayal.”
Rather, he is saying what we are all thinking: what our troops have accomplished is “quite extraordinary,” BUT that the long-term is what matters, and that long-term outlook is tenuous because we have an idiot in the White House who is turning his back on Iraq.
Even when Bush appointed Gates, it was noted he was a moderate from academia... or something fishy.
Remember, it was when Bush was in deep shit and needed to appease Moderate Repubs and Dems.
Read it again. He is saying our troops believe that. Gates doesn’t say that he does.
It is the clarification in the second answer that is a betrayal:
SEC. GATES: Well, the problem -- the problem with this war for, I think, many Americans is that the premise on which we justified going to war proved not to be valid -- that is, Saddam having weapons of mass destruction.Gates knows that WMD was not the sole reason for taking military action to force regime change. He also knows that we found significant evidence of the continued presence of a significant WMD program even though we didn't find the stockpiles of WMD that everybody thought we would find (the couldn't possibly have been in any of those truck convoys that were racing across the Syrian border during the weeks running up to the war?). So when he says that the premise for going to war "proved not to be valid" even though he knows these facts to be true, he is betraying the troops, the mission, and the President.
Bush appointed him, but who recommended him to Bush?
What difference does that make?
Completely agree - heard that statement on the news last night and shook my head...
We had lots of senators (dims and dopes) on board, testimony to the UN (for what it was worth), international concensus (especially through intell reports) that this dude needed to be taken down - and YES, he could be linked to al kookoo activities that resulted in 9/11.
For Gates to throw the troopers who fought and died and the admin that appointed him under the bus and give succor to the marxists in power is repulsive...
shame on him!
I read the whole thing.
“. . . there can be no disagreement, and I think as the president said in his speech, with what has been achieved here by our men and women in uniform.”
Gates is simply telling the whole truth: what we have achieved is remarkable, the war has been hard, it will continue to be hard, and it’s largely up to the Iraqis now. They have the resources if they can rise to the challenge, which remains to be seen.
That is — to borrow an overused phrase corrupted by a former VP — an inconvenient truth. War is never glorious, and the outcome is always a mixed bag.
I see no reason to verbally stone those who tell the truth.
“BUT that the long-term is what matters, and that long-term outlook is tenuous because we have an idiot in the White House who is turning his back on Iraq.”
There’s that, of course, but also the fact that we’re betting on a Muslim country to be a good partner in the future. I’m doubtful myself.
Gates is a whore, who will say anything to prop up whoever is paying his salary.
In fact, he knows that we achieved every goal listed in the original authorization for war passed by congress.
Even the WMD goal — Iraq no longer can threaten their neighbors with weapons of mass destruction, because we KNOW they don’t have them. Sure, it’s possible their threat was an idle one before, but the uncertainty made the threats real. Not finding WMD was as good for the region as finding and destroying WMD.
To put the WMD question another way. Suppose after they had killed the environmental terrorist yesterday, they had found that his “guns” were squirt guns, and his propane tanks empty, and his other bombs mere props.
Would our response to be say that employing the police was a waste of time, and those who ordered it should be replaced because they wasted our time and acted on bad intelligence? Would the SWAT team actions be considered “not worth it”?
But the long term is a separate issue from whether we are better off TODAY, right now, because of our actions in Iraq.
Maybe you would argue we are not, but it is an argument to be made. I believe we are, and I think Gates is wrong to dismiss the notion in deference to the separate question of whether we can sustain or strengthen our gains.
When WW2 started, did it mean that WW1 was not worth it? If in 10 years Germany decided to launch a 3rd world war, would it mean that WW2 wasn’t worth it?
We gave a people a chance for democracy, freedom, security, and a better life. Whether they end up taking it or not, that in itself was worth the sacrifice, in my opinion. Moreso than what we have acheived so far in Afghanistan.
“When WW2 started, did it mean that WW1 was not worth it? If in 10 years Germany decided to launch a 3rd world war, would it mean that WW2 wasnt worth it?”
We had no choice about whether to fight WW2. Japan had already attacked us and inflicted massive damage on our navy. Germany declared war on us shortly after. We fought for our survival as a nation.
I think the point Gates was making was that since we didn’t find WMD’s in Iraq, which was the original reason for our going to war, the justification for the war became that removing Saddam would lead to a safer Middle East. That remains to be seen.
Gates began working for the CIA when he was in college. He has served in every administration since Nixon, except Bill Clinton. He served as Deputy NSA to Kissinger, Brzenski, and Scowcroft. Reagan nominated him to CIA Director, but he had to withdraw because of Iran Contra. GHW Bush renominated him to CIA Director and he was confirmed. He turned down two jobs in the GW Bush administration before he accepted the SecDef job.
As for being a moderate, Gates is a member of the Realist Foreign Policy School which is composed of Republicans and Democrats.
When he became Sec Def for Bush he was not merely Bob Gates going to work for George Bush. That was a doctrinal shift in the Bush Administration. The NeoCons had been running Bush's foreign policy and Bush replaced the NeoCons with the Realists. Gates was the point man of the Realist boarding party taking Bush's foreign policy away from the NeoCons.
When Obama came in, he retained the Realists, including Gates. That is why you see Republican Realists like Powell, Scowcroft, Baker, Kissinger and others advising and supporting Obama.
“Bush appointed him, but who recommended him to Bush?
What difference does that make?”
It’s called snake discovery!
#18 is for your question “who recommended him”