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Bush passing the buck?

Iriemon

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"As Iraqi forces gain experience and the political process advances, we will be able to decrease our troop level in Iraq without losing our capability to defeat the terrorists," Bush told a supportive audience at the U.S. Naval Academy. "These decisions about troop levels will be driven by the conditions on the ground in Iraq and the good judgment of our commanders, not by artificial timetables set by politicians in Washington."

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-11-30-bush_x.htm?POE=NEWISVA

A shift in WH policy? I was heaing before the troops would be withdrawn when the mission was completed, when we had victory. Now the president seems to be saying the commanders on the ground will be making the decisions.

Who is the CiC? Why are the commanders on the ground making these crucial decisions about the war in Iraq? Does the commander on the ground really going to make an objective assessment if he knows the wishes of his boss? I appreciate that for military decisions the opinions of the generals are certainly valuable, but it seems to me this is doing more than just saying he will consider their input in making the decision. And there is certainly more to consider on what to do in Iraq that simply the military perspective of the ground commander.

It sounds to me like Bush is fobbing off responsibility for the decision in Iraq so he can take the political heat off himself.

Whatever happened to: "the buckaroo stops here?"
 
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Iriemon said:
A shift in WH policy? I was heaing before the troops would be withdrawn when the mission was completed, when we had victory. Now the president seems to be saying the commanders on the ground will be making the decisions.
Oh I see, now he says what you've been clamoring for him to say, and it's not good enough. You guys are a crack up. :lamo
 

oldreliable67

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I see no inconsistency in those statements versus his previous statements. Bush has always maintained that as Iraqi forces stand up, we will stand down (to paraphrase his earlier comments). This does not seem inconsistent with "staying the course", rather it seems to add specificity and describe more fully the criteria to be used to judge when the course has been completed.

Just my opinion, - YMMV.
 

alphieb

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oldreliable67 said:
I see no inconsistency in those statements versus his previous statements. Bush has always maintained that as Iraqi forces stand up, we will stand down (to paraphrase his earlier comments). This does not seem inconsistent with "staying the course", rather it seems to add specificity and describe more fully the criteria to be used to judge when the course has been completed.

Just my opinion, - YMMV.
He sure jumped the gun to engage in this war (his war) why is he "passing the buck" now. That seems almost cowardly.
 

oldreliable67

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He sure jumped the gun to engage in this war (his war) why is he "passing the buck" now.
Sorry, don't quite understand your statement. Are you trying say, "He sure jumped the gun to engage in this war (his war) [and that is] why [he] is "passing the buck" now." Or what?

"jumped the gun" is your opinion and certainly you're entitled to it. Others, though, disagree. And "passing the buck" seems to also be a POV that Bush detractors will readily agree with, though, IMO, a pragmatic look suggests that there is no justification for that argument. And thats my opinion - YMMV.
 

alphieb

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oldreliable67 said:
Sorry, don't quite understand your statement. Are you trying say, "He sure jumped the gun to engage in this war (his war) [and that is] why [he] is "passing the buck" now." Or what?

"jumped the gun" is your opinion and certainly you're entitled to it. Others, though, disagree. And "passing the buck" seems to also be a POV that Bush detractors will readily agree with, though, IMO, a pragmatic look suggests that there is no justification for that argument. And thats my opinion - YMMV.
Bush wanted this war desperately, even though it had nothing to do with Al-Qaeda and 9/11. This is what was meant by "He jumped the gun".

Now it is an entire mess and he has thrown his arms up and said somebody else deal with it. King Bush started this therefore, he should finish it. I'm sure this only improves his approval ratings.
 

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Now it is an entire mess and he has thrown his arms up and said somebody else deal with it.
Thats an opinion. Care to offer some evidence to back it up? A comparison of statements earlier versus now, for example? Or maybe a quote or two from the "National Strategy on Iraq" as compared to previous statements? Or, heck, anything at all?
 

alphieb

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oldreliable67 said:
Thats an opinion. Care to offer some evidence to back it up? A comparison of statements earlier versus now, for example? Or maybe a quote or two from the "National Strategy on Iraq" as compared to previous statements? Or, heck, anything at all?
Nah, just my opinion. kidding...I'll find LINK LATER
 

Iriemon

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oldreliable67 said:
I see no inconsistency in those statements versus his previous statements. Bush has always maintained that as Iraqi forces stand up, we will stand down (to paraphrase his earlier comments). This does not seem inconsistent with "staying the course", rather it seems to add specificity and describe more fully the criteria to be used to judge when the course has been completed.

Just my opinion, - YMMV.
Could be, seems like a subtle change to me, from we will stay till we win to we will stay until the commanders decide its ok to leave.

I find it lame that the Administration takes the position that it is not they who decides whether we need more troops, or when they can be withdrawn, but the field commanders who will make this decision. That is really passing the buck, and trying to deflect criticism for the an unpopular decision. If the Admin really does not want the troops withdrawn, do you think the commanders are going to say otherwise? Who is the CiC?
 

oldreliable67

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Iriemon,

Your reservations are understandable. I well remember how Vietnam was micromanaged from Washington - and we all know how that turned out. Every Pres since then has given just a bit more authority to their CGs on the scene. Bush (I think) recognizes that nobody is going to know more about the situation than the folks on the ground there and involved on a day-to-day, minute-to-minute basis. He is going to give great credence to their opinions. But, I also believe that Bush, when he refers to the 'commanders' on the ground in Iraq, is also being, well, maybe a bit disengenious. I feel sure that he is also listening to input from other agencies as well, i.e., the CIA, NSA, and other alphabet soup folks.

IMO, Bush's task is to talk all this input and meld into something that resembles a coherent national policy. Can he do that? Remains to be seen. It is in all of our best interest that he get it right. The score so far? Unfortunately, it is quite hard to know.

My impression is that the majority of our guys on the ground there think considerably more progress is being made than portrayed by the MSM (See Lieberman's comments for example, or some of the soldiers blogs on IraqtheModel.com). While overall new enlistment rates are down a bit, I'm told that re-enlistment rates among Iraq veterans is huge - our guys are voting not with their feet, but with their lives. (Was on the train coming home last nite with the XO of the JAG unit here who mentioned it to me. He mentioned a web site for it but it escapes at the moment. Will try and find that link.)
 

Iriemon

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oldreliable67 said:
Iriemon,

Your reservations are understandable. I well remember how Vietnam was micromanaged from Washington - and we all know how that turned out. Every Pres since then has given just a bit more authority to their CGs on the scene. Bush (I think) recognizes that nobody is going to know more about the situation than the folks on the ground there and involved on a day-to-day, minute-to-minute basis. He is going to give great credence to their opinions. But, I also believe that Bush, when he refers to the 'commanders' on the ground in Iraq, is also being, well, maybe a bit disengenious. I feel sure that he is also listening to input from other agencies as well, i.e., the CIA, NSA, and other alphabet soup folks.

IMO, Bush's task is to talk all this input and meld into something that resembles a coherent national policy. Can he do that? Remains to be seen. It is in all of our best interest that he get it right. The score so far? Unfortunately, it is quite hard to know.

My impression is that the majority of our guys on the ground there think considerably more progress is being made than portrayed by the MSM (See Lieberman's comments for example, or some of the soldiers blogs on IraqtheModel.com). While overall new enlistment rates are down a bit, I'm told that re-enlistment rates among Iraq veterans is huge - our guys are voting not with their feet, but with their lives. (Was on the train coming home last nite with the XO of the JAG unit here who mentioned it to me. He mentioned a web site for it but it escapes at the moment. Will try and find that link.)
It is completely fair and wise to listen to the input of you commanders. When I hear Cheney say things like they'd put more guys into Iraq but the generals don't want them, you're right, I do get suspicious. Is that really what the generals want, or is that what they are being told to want.

The frustrating part is that our leaders have been wrong about so many things so many times it is hard to believe them.
 
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alphieb said:
Nah, just my opinion. kidding...I'll find LINK LATER
If I had a nickel for every time you've made this promise, I'd be a rich man.
 

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Wait wait wait...what I dont understand is this...in the beginning of the war, everyone was crying out for him to listen to his commanders...and now you guys are hemming and hawing because he is doing just that? Where is the logic in that? It seems like anything the man says is wrong.
 

alphieb

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KCConservative said:
If I had a nickel for every time you've made this promise, I'd be a rich man.
For one, you can simply refer to Irieman's link
 

Iriemon

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jallman said:
Wait wait wait...what I dont understand is this...in the beginning of the war, everyone was crying out for him to listen to his commanders...and now you guys are hemming and hawing because he is doing just that? Where is the logic in that? It seems like anything the man says is wrong.
It is not the fact that he listens to his commanders. The commanders that told them what they didn't want to hear are out. It is that he tells us it is the commanders decision when of course it is not and this is simply a tactic to deflect the heat. "Hey, I'm not the one who thinks we can't withdraw the troops, I'm not the one who says we don't need more. It's the commanders. Blame them if you have an issue."

Meanwhile, when they talk to the commanders:

Bush: General, wouldn't it be a big mistake to pull out troops?
General: Yes sir! It would.
Bush: General, you don't need anymore guys there, do you?
General: No sir! We don't.

And if the commanders have been in charge and the source of the misinformation and everything that has gone wrong, why the hell should we be relying on them? This was supposed to be an engagement of weeks or months. It's been going on 3 years. What kind of performance is that? If I hired someone who said they could build built your house in months and two and a half years later, it's not half done and they can't even give you a completion date, I'd have fired them for gross incompetence long ago.
 
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