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Rumsfeld nemesis Shinseki named Veterans Affairs secretary

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Another spectacular and great move by President Obama. After his disgraceful treatment by rumsfeld and company, the VA can finally have a leader that stands for integrity and character (the beret issue nonwithstanding). A genuine war hero that lost part of his foot in Vietnam, a true class act that never publicly commented or said anything derogatory towards rummy and company. Interesting how bush and all these other people are crowing about the "surge" when in fact it was something based on what Shinseki originally estimated was necessary to stabilize the country. Even General Abizaid commented that Shinseki was right.

A great choice for the country.

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"Obama said he selected Shinseki for the VA post because he “was right” in predicting that the United States would need more troops in Iraq than Rumsfeld believed at the time."

Nice to see that Obama is also admitting that he himself was wrong about the surge.

He used his Lefty fan base like a pro. Amazing act. I'd go as far as saying they should actually be proud of how expertly they were suckered.

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I'm very happy with this selection. Barack is selecting some good people. < :-)

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TooFarGone,

I think you've gone too far this time.

The war, the surge were all unnecessary in the first place.

It's not time for blame now. Time for real solutions.

And to the war fans, it wasn't McCain who brought the idea of a such after all. In the

beginning Shinseki foresaw the need for it.

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All the best to Obama administration, hope they do a great job and accomplish all tasks.

There is much support for new admistration,they definitely do well,with what they want to do.

More criticisms and tough questions must be given to new administration so that it can rise higher in next 4 years despite many economy woes that plague the Obama administrations.

I think this administration will be first,which will seek counsel from online critics/tough questions.

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Illusions of grandeur or what? Old Rummy, must be turning in his grave! Wait a minute, he is still alive. The Iraq Debacle is a clear case of what happens when pompous bureaucrats (like Rummy) start to think they know more about war fighting than the career soldiers. Adolf Hitler, Rummy, it is all the same. Just because you can push numbers around a desk or marginalize allies, especially in "Old Europe," it doesn't mean you are qualified to tell senior military officers how to do their jobs. And Shinseki isn't the only one who questions Rummy's sanity, sorry judgement. Didn't General Tommy Franks have something to say about Rummy as well. Let's face it Rummy just wanted the glory without the guts (and other serious wounds). Truth of this lies in his opposition to photos being taken of fallen soldiers coffins. Sorry Rummy, war ain't dropping bombs from 1km and nipping back to the Officer's Club for a quick drink afterwards. War is infantry and its supporting arms. It is bringing force to bear and slaughtering your enemy. It is making allowances for large scale casulties, it is not about writing endless memos on how to keep the truth from the American people.

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I think Shinseki must be the best if Obama chose him.

Obama will be the best and prettiest president ever!!!

I'm going to invite Obama to one of my pool parties if he comes to UK. I magine if he came, what i giggle!!. I bet lots of my friends would come.

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MikeBarrymore- I agree with you Obama administration will be best administration ever in human values. There has never been a president/leader like him ever in the past 5 decades or more. The future decades will change much in human values via his able administration next 8 years.

The GOP will find much difficulty to find someone better in election 2012 as presidential candidate.

GOP will be able clueless, to find a better presidential candidate in 2012.

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Somehow I think General Shinseki knew better than John McCain when the Senator declared on 9 April 2003: "It's clear that the end is very much in sight...It won't be long. It, it'll be a fairly short period of time." Not someone who needed to remind everyone he had been right, the General kept his mouth shut. “I do not want to criticize while my soldiers are still bleeding and dying in Iraq” he said in early 2007.

General Shinseki is the right man to head an agency which has struggled to meet its increased responsibilities without a commensurate increase in funding.

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Sounds like everyone here agrees that the US should have invaded Iraq with Shinseki's numbers?

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Betzee

Nice tie in with McCin well done. Can I ask you why the Democrats called the surge.......The McCain Doctrine instead of the Shinseki doctrine when it was first proposed and when they were all opposed to it?

He supported the president's initial decision to go to war in Iraq and has been one of the loudest and most consistent voices urging the deployment of more troops to the region. When Bush announced the buildup decision in January, Democrats eagerly dubbed it "The McCain Doctrine."

But the outspoken senator has also been a critic of parts of the war effort. He was one of the first Republicans to say publicly he had lost confidence in then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, whom he later called the worst defense secretary in history. In stump speeches, McCain describes the war as having been "badly, badly mismanaged" and even recommends several recent books by journalists that recount some of the war's biggest failures.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/17/AR2007031700962_pf.html

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There are two issues, Sailwind.

One, Shinseki's views were shown to be correct. OK, that happens. But there was a far more troubling aspect to his being thrust into the public eye. He was fired for stating, in testimony to Congress, that more troops would be needed for an extended occupation, a position at odds with the neocon-inspired narrative that the war would last "six weeks to six months."

Shinseki is a tactical guy whose views on what would be needed after a surgical strike to remove Saddam from power should have been taken seriously. The number of troops he wanted, however, would have made it much more difficult to sell the pressing need to invade Iraq to the American public so it, or rather he, was simply dismissed. Leaders who surround themselves with "yes men" have a higher probability of being wrong, and the country pays the price.

Many years later the Decider's swashbuckling macho bravado "bring 'em on!" posture is gone, replaced with a "I wish the evidence has been different" self-pitying sad sack reflection on the decisions he made.

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Betzee,

General Shinseki wasn't fired. He retired when his 4 year term was up right on schedule. I will give you that he lost any real influence he had with Rumsfeld and Co. after his remarks to congress.

But he wasn't fired so lets not use that canard to try to bolster his status. You don't need to, it's pretty impressive all on its own without any mythmaking to make a left winger more comfortable with supporting a certified McCain type war hawk as it is.

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Superlib: Sounds like everyone here agrees that the US should have invaded Iraq with Shinseki's numbers?

Not really, we think the invasion shouldn't have began at all.

Or if they so damn needed to invade, they should have listen to others like Shinseki and Powell and done it right

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"Sounds like everyone here agrees that the US should have invaded Iraq with Shinseki's numbers?"

Shinseki was recommending "several hundred thousand" or close to half a million U.S. troops for Iraq. I don't think there are too many people who would have agreed with that, especially Obama.

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sarge: "Shinseki was recommending "several hundred thousand" or close to half a million U.S. troops for Iraq. I don't think there are too many people who would have agreed with that, especially Obama."

Well, no one would agree except for you and every other warhawk on here who is too busy serving his/her computer to get up and serve the country in the wars they rave about. Back then he would have been your hero if the numbers were agreed upon, and now he is simply your enemy because Obama selected him for being right while your president, Rummy (forced to retire), Wolfy (forced to retire), and everyone else on your 'team' was wrong. Oh yes, of course we are not rooting for him since the Dems won the White House and a majority in both houses, but not because he was right back then, particularly since all of us agree the war should never have been illegally launched in the first place, it's because he's clearly better for the job than any of the bush admin. morons.

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Sorry, smithinjapan, I never agreed with Shinseki with his several hundred thousand troops recommendation.

"Obama selected him for being right"

You mean the U.S. should have deployed several hundred thousand troops in Iraq? But you've always said we should never have liberated Iraq in the first place. Which is it, snithinjapan, which is it?

"your president, Rummy, Wolfy and everyone else on your 'team' was wrong"

Were they? Thanks to that team, Iraq is going to be a free nation, in charge of its own security, without foreign troops, in another couple of years. If Obama ( and you ) had his way, Saddam Hussein would still be running the place into the ground from his many luxurious palaces.

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sarge: "You mean the U.S. should have deployed several hundred thousand troops in Iraq? But you've always said we should never have liberated Iraq in the first place. Which is it, snithinjapan, which is it?"

Clearly you didn't read my comment. I said yes, we support the man as a choice made by Obama, but I also said that people like myself never supported the war to begin with; ie., we would not have supported him on that front then, either. It turns out, though, that going illegally into Iraq, which bush regrets, was a failure because they did not use enough troops as this man suggested. That makes him right in what he said about the attack, since it went ahead anyway.

That make sense? The man was right. That doesn't mean in any way I think the war in Iraq should have occurred at all.

"Thanks to that team, Iraq is going to be a free nation..."

Funny, you guys have been saying Iraq is a free nation for years. Glad you can admit it is anything but.

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smithin - So, you're saying that you support Shinseki, the man who advocated deploying up to half a million U.S. troops in the "illegal war based on lies." Incredible...

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sarge: "So, you're saying that you support Shinseki, the man who advocated deploying up to half a million U.S. troops in the "illegal war based on lies." Incredible..."

I'm saying I support him as Obama's choice. I'm not saying I supported what he said at all. What he said at the time was correct, however that does not mean I think the invasion was right. It's a shame you can't differentiate between A and B, given that English is supposedly your native tongue. Not surprising, though, given your history on this site.

I also notice you had no snappy comeback for the fact that you admit Iraq is not a free nation. Glad it's finally sinking in, my friend. Anyway, it must really hurt that Obama is choosing all the people you're heroes dislike; but given how badly your heroes have messed up (a), and that Obama's team has been correct all along (b), with proof of that being how adamantly those in (b) were opposed by (a), everyone knows Obama is right in his choices. Hell, even bush admitted he was wrong in his choices.

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"Hell, even bush admitted he was wrong in his choices."

Allow me to clarify before those who have trouble translating their native tongue into their native tongue confuse the possessive pronoun: even bush admitted he regretted his OWN decisions (ie. as opposed to Obama's being correct and the former person's being all wrong). That ought to clear things up for those who can't do it on their own.

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He was also villified by the entire US Army! What a loser!! Next thing you know, all veterans will have to wear a black beret'!!! Veterans really needed a fighter in that post, no they are going to lose a lot more benefits.

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Darn good to see that General Shinseki in back in Washington. He is one heck of a good soldier. I am certain he will do a darn good job for our forces! Darn good pick for VA Affairs Sec! Bravo Zulu President Obama!!!

I know I know, it is President Elect Obama, but I always hate to wait....

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Thank you for the correction, Sailwind. I went back and looked at the record and it played out this way:

The public rebuke of Shinseki by Wolfowitz was probably the most direct public dressing-down of a military officer, a four-star general, by a civilian superior since Harry Truman and Douglas MacArthur, 50 years ago. This public confrontation between Wolfowitz and Shinseki must have reflected the really deep disagreements going on within the Pentagon then, and a sign of the civilian leadership's impatience with what they viewed as the lack of cooperation from the uniformed military.

A couple of days later, Paul Wolfowitz was testifying before another congressional committee. He went out of his way, in a gesture that everyone involved recognized as being directly addressed to Shinseki, to say, "Let me address some of the ideas that have been floating around recently." He went on to say there had been suggestions of the levels of troops that might be required that were, quote, "wildly off the mark."

Yet Paul Wolfowitz, for getting wrong, was rewarded with the presidency of the World Bank. GWB awarded George Tenant the "Medal of Freedom." There has to be some penalty for getting it wrong. Look at India, people have resigned for failing to do their jobs in protecting the country. That's an Asian response but willingness to admit error is the first step toward admitting "I'd do it differently next time."

GWB seems finally to have backed away from his "I'd do the same thing all over stance." Yet he's hardly taken responsibility by acknowledging "I wish the intelligence had been different" when in fact most of the faulty intelligence came from dubious sources he, not the intelligence community, championed.

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http://asilentcacophony.blogspot.com/2006/11/general-shinseki-was-right.html

Abizaid also publicly said for the first time that the American position in Iraq had been undermined by the Bush administration's decision not to deploy a larger force to stabilize the country in 2003. That decision came after General Eric Shinseki, the army chief of staff at the time, told Congress that several hundred thousand troops would be needed. His testimony at the time was derided by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and the general was ostracized at the Pentagon before his retirement a few months later.

"General Shinseki was right that a greater international force contribution, U.S. force contribution and Iraqi force contribution should have been available immediately after major combat operations," Abizaid said. "I think you can look back and say that more American troops would have been advisable in the early stages of May, June, July."

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Obama knows he was wrong on the surge, as was most of the Left. Good to see him grow up a bit. Wish the rest of the Left would. Obama has retained Gates, one of the architects of the surge. Bringing Shinseki on board seems like a good move.

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Sounds like everyone here agrees that the US should have invaded Iraq with Shinseki's numbers.

Sorry. I don't think you have your little "got'cha" moment. I think it's more of a case of: if you are going to do something, no matter if it is a good idea or a bad idea, you should execute the operation correctly. No matter if you think invading Iraq was a good idea or not, it should have been done correctly. It wasn't, in part, because the architects of the invasion didn't listen to Gen. Shinseki.

I believe that is more in line with what people were saying. I think you were just trying to stretch that into something it isn't.

Also, I don't think this was intended as a slap in the face of donald rumsfeld. That's what reality is for.

Taka

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Frank Rich, in his column today, expresses unease over all the fawning over Obama's brainy cabinet by way of historic reference:

IN 1992, David Halberstam wrote a new introduction for the 20th-anniversary edition of “The Best and the Brightest,” his classic history of the hubristic J.F.K. team that would ultimately mire America in Vietnam. He noted that the book’s title had entered the language, but not quite as he had hoped. “It is often misused,” he wrote, “failing to carry the tone or irony that the original intended.”

If you are going to serve in a high level government post, you gotta be able to admit error and reassess the situation. Peoples lives and welfare depend on it. The GWB administration could never do that on Iraq because it would reopen the issue of whether we needed to go in at all. So violence was explained away on the grounds, "we're fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them here." Admitting error, for too many people, is a sign of weakness, and something to be avoided at all costs. We've paid a big price for that mentality over the past eight years.

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Obama knows he was wrong on the surge, as was most of the Left

Here's the stupidity behind your argument: In the Navy, we said (and they continue to say), 1 oh sht erases 10 attaboys. It doesn't work the other way. You can't have thousands of "oh shts" erased by 1 attaboy. Thinking the surge is justification for the invasion is just that. It's like those old Geico commercials. Sure, your world is crumbling around you but hey, we just saved you up to 10% on your car insurance.

Taka

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It's amazing to see the right-wingers backpedalling like this. Yes, Shinseki advocated several hundred thousand troops being sent to Iraq, given that the war was forced upon him by a bad president. As Army Chief of Staff, Shinseki had to follow the CnC's orders; he did so, brilliantly. Given the parameters within which he had to work, he made the inarguably correct recommendation, which was, unbelieveably, justified by bush's "surge", hence my reference to backpedalling.

The true issue here is the loss of decision-making power of the right-wingers. President Obama is making excellent choices for his staff by picking people, like Shinseki, who displayed their brilliance even in the face of an incompetent, over-empowered fool like bush. The right-wingers can't stand the fact that the decisions are now being made by a better man, President of the United States Barack Hussein Obama, and that now the right-wingers have no choice but see President Obama's orders followed to the letter, orders based on excellent counsel from people like Shinseki. Payback's a bitch, ain't it, neo-Cons? xD

As for Obama being wrong on the "surge", it's actually bush who was wrong, first for sending us into Iraq to begin with, but if we had no choice but to follow his orders and fight his war, bush was wrong not to send enough troops in the first place (especially to Afghanistan, but then, I've already won that argument), again justifying completely my use of the term "backpedalling" as applied to bush. But, you're right on one point: bringing Shinseki on board is a good move, just like keeping Gates on board; Gates has now been granted, by President Obma, the opportunity to do the right thing, unstifled by bush and his ilk.

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Donald Rumsfeld wrote an OP-Ed piece in the NYT's last month in which he pointed out:

In 2005, troop levels in Iraq were increased to numbers nearly equal to the 2007 surge — twice. But the effects were not as durable because large segments of the Sunni population were still providing sanctuary to insurgents, and Iraq’s security forces were not sufficiently capable or large enough.

Now he has a vested interest in making that case to make his tenure look better. Yet most agree it was a confluence of factors, not just a troop surge per se, which resulted in a dimunition of violence. The call for Barack Obama to admit "the surge worked" was intended to make him look weak. Thus, there was no similar request that McCain admit he was wrong when he declared, in April 2003, "the end is in sight."

Yet Obama's acknowledgment did not go over with the public as his critics had hoped. Instead of looking weak he came across as a man of humility, and that was a refreshing change after the intransigence of top level members of the GWB administration who simply couldn't acknowledge things had gone terribly awry.

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Betzee, thank you for your excellent 12:36 post; great points!

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I think I can present a different perspective, one which would be present at the higher echelon of an Intelligence Agency.

Both are correct, but their perspectives are different. One stated what would eventually be needed to complete the mission (Gen. Shinseki) and the other was that political concerns dictated the approach to the mission (Sec. Rumsfeld) - to see how effective "shock and awe" would affect the general populace and to evaluate how to proceed. At that time, it would be politically very hard to get the general US populace to commit to a large mission in Iraq and the implied casualties.

I would not have been able to write this post w/out the constant censorship in the past 10+ years, but they were quite candid in their logic (prior to Iraq) and Iraq is very logical. The info filled in the one large gap in my academic training and my analysis of the Asia-Pacific has been sharpened 100fold. Personal situation ain't good.

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"the war was forced upon him"

Generals don't generally vote on whether they want to go to war, lol.

The article and some posters here are claiming the surge proved Shinseki was right. The surge involved around 30,000 extra troops - Shinseki was talking ten times that or more.

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sarge: "The article and some posters here are claiming the surge proved Shinseki was right. The surge involved around 30,000 extra troops - Shinseki was talking ten times that or more."

All the generals on the ground and others have said, numerous times, that there should have been far higher numbers of troops put in the first place, as Shinseki suggested. After it was proven Iraq was a failure, they finally did take Shinseki's original advice and suddenly proclaimed this great idea called the 'surge' (which they claimed as their own, of course).

Ah, hindsight is always 20-20, eh sarge? You know, and bush admits himself, that invading Iraq was a mistake (via his saying he regrets it). You also know that after the illegal invasion had begun, people should have listened to Shinseki since they insisted on going in anyway, despite the bad intel. The sad part is, if in either case you had listened to the majority of people instead of a terrible president and his cronies, things would be a whole lot better in that region, and in the US as well.

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smithinjapan simply refuses to acknowledge that Shinseki was wrong about needing several hundred thousand U.S. troops in Iraq.

"they finally did take Shinseki's advice"

They did not. Do you know the difference between 30,000 and several hundred thousand, smithinjapan?

"illegal invasion"

Is this the illegal invasion which brought to justice the awful dictator of Iraq and enabled free elections, resulting in a government that doesn't threaten its neighbors or seek WMD? Checking... Yeah, it is!

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sarge: Stop it. Just as much as I would prefer smitty to stop using "illegal" invasion (as I always felt any invasion is illegal if you get down to it). This little "brought to justice the awful dictator of Iraq and enabled free elections, resulting in a government that doesn't threaten its neighbors or seek WMD" I could careless. Many countries including ours had awful dictators and Kings. When the time is right, people will figure out a way themselves to get rid of him/her.

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Generals don't generally vote on whether they want to go to war, lol.

Exactly my point, sarge! Shinseki did the best he could with the crap president he had to work with. So "lol" away, sarge; you're only laughing at yourself.

smith - excellent points, as usual.

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sarge: "smithinjapan simply refuses to acknowledge that Shinseki was wrong about needing several hundred thousand U.S. troops in Iraq."

Well, ONE of us is right... let's see... we have all the generals on the ground and Rummy and co themselves who admit not sending in more troops to start, which Shinseki advised, was a mistake; we have a lame-duck president who says he regrets going to war in Iraq (illegally).... wonder which one of us is wrong here... hmmmm...

Oh, and sarge... I of know a few dictators in other countries... you going to get off your chair and go invade them illegally too? If the purpose of Iraq was to do so, why not overthrow all the other dictatorships as well? Ah, wait... that was never one of the original lies for rushing into an illegal invasion in the first place!

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skipthesong: Sorry I keep mentioning that fact (the illegal invasion), but sarge needs to keep being reminded because he seems to think it was all justified and legal, and that bush was a great man. Seems he needs to be reminded as well who was right and who was wrong. Here Shinseki was right in the beginning that, since forced into the position based on the fact that the US rushed to invade, he said many more troops than were being said should be sent. Now he's getting the recognition he deserves, until a soon-to-be-president who is already doing more for the country than bush ever could, and it makes people like sarge nuts.

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Just think of the carnage we could have caused with 500,000 troops instead of the 150,000 we used.

Boy that would have been a sight.

Glad to see posters here agree with General Shinseki. He's a true warrior knows that if your going to use your Military use it the way it is supposed to be used........Brake stuff lot's of it at the onset and the collateral damage be damned, then after you've inflicted as much damage as you can on the enemy, sit on his neck as an occupation force until he can't breath and surrenders all resistance, all resistance entirely and then only then start talking about some sort of political solution.

I like Shinseki......He gets it when it comes to warfighting.

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You spoil-sports.

The pro-invasion crowd didn't even have time to get in the saddle before being knocked from it.

Still, I wonder how the outcome in Iraq would be different today if the neocons hadn't cocked it up, and had actually listened to Generals like Shinseki..

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I wonder how the outcome in Iraq would be different today if the neocons hadn't cocked it up, and had actually listened to Generals like Shinseki..

It would have been over by now.

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"I wonder how the outcome in Iraq would be different today if the neocons hadn't cocked it up"

I wonder what Iraq would be like today if the liberals had their way and Saddam Hussein was still running it into the ground from his many luxurious palaces.

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I wonder what Iraq would be like today if the liberals had their way and Saddam Hussein was still running it into the ground from his many luxurious palaces.

osama bin laden would've been captured/killed by now, and the US would've had justice for the atrocities of 9/11. See what happens when conservatives get their way? But then, that explains why Americans elected Barack Hussein Obama President of the United States of America, thank Christ.

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"osama bin laden would've been captured/killed by now"

You don't know that. But you do know that Saddam Hussein would still be running Iraq into the ground if liberals had their way.

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“When I reflect on the sacrifices that have been made by our veterans and, I think about how so many veterans around the country are struggling even more than those who have not served—higher unemployment rates, higher homeless rates, higher substance abuse rates, medical care that is inadequate—it breaks my heart,” Obama told NBC.

Finally, FINALLY, after eight horrible years, we now have a CnC who cares about the troops and the veterans! President Obama, we US troops and veterans salute you, sir.

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USAFdude- Obama is committed to cutting military spending. Your job is on the line, welfare soon maybe? There is no guarantee Bin laden would have been found by now, and BTW Rumsfeld has done more for his country and the military than you ever have or will. Shinseki is an old fashioned man, living in the Vietnam era.

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OnTheRecord - my job in the USAF has never been more secure. Sorry if you don't like the fact that I won't have to go on welfare.

Rumsfeld has done more for his country and the military than you ever have or will.

Sigh. So typical of the neo-Cons; post something they don't like but can't argue down, and they immediately "slam" your service. No matter; your tax dollars still pay my salary. Wanna keep badmouthing now? xD

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You don't know that.

I know the chances of taking down bin laden would have been far greater if bush hadn't run half-cocked into Iraq. But then, what could you expect after bush dropped the ball at Tora Bora?

Moderator: All readers back on topic please. Posts that do not mention Gen Shinseki will be removed.

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America should disarm and stop killing tens of thousands of innocents year after year.

Gawd, Shinseki wanted to use more soldiers than warmonger Rumsfeld. How evil is that?

America stay at home and send your troops home and stop the massacres.

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Shinseki is an old fashioned man, living in the Vietnam era.

Sorta like McCain.

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"Gawd, Shinseki wanted to use more soldiers than warmonger Rumsfeld. How evil is that?"

Pretty evil, eh, Harold? And yet President-elect Obama has seen fit to give this evil man a cabinet post. Incredible, isn't it?

"Sorta like McCain"

Except, dude, that Shinseki wasn't tortured by our enemies for five years.

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Except, dude, that Shinseki wasn't tortured by our enemies for five years.

Nah, General Shinseki was tortured by having bush as his "CnC".

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He had a little tension with Rumsfeld. That'll make him come off as a good pick by defalt.

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Shinseki didn't ask for more troops to fight. He said more troops would be needed to secure the peace. And Donald said we're not in the business of nation building. Let's not forget the Bush daddy never took Baghdad for the same reason - it would take at least 500,000 troops to secure and hold until the Iraqi mind had been cleansed of its instinctive nature to rebell.

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Gen. Shinseki is a highly intelligent and dedicated soldier. I had the honor of meeting him in Hawaii. He cares about the soldier on the ground who actually sees combat, the family left behind, and the principles and ideals of our Constitution. He will do his utmost to improve the VA. His sense of duty and honor was clearly demonstrated by how he kept quiet after President Bush forced him into retirement. He never gloated over being right, he never "got political." Gen. Shinseki put the welfare and readiness of the troops first. Sure, he isn't perfect, but Shinseki wanted to put the priority on capturing Osama bin Laden and finishing the fight in Afganistan.

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Gen. Shinseki may not agree with the politicians (like Bush), but he did his duty and told the truth. It is good to see people being rewarded for "getting it right." This appointment shows that President Obama respects and appreciates the military more than President Bush ever did.

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Rumsfeld dismissed rioting as untidyness, his inability to grasp reality led to torture and murder, and he just made too many outrageous blunders such as planning the occupation. It's absurd for anyone on their high horse to tell us Rumsfield is a better man than everyone here and is somehow a hero for his constant incompetence. He himself fessed up to his own failures like a man, but it took the third attempt at resignation before Bush got the message.

It's far from all his fault - Bush and Bremer's incompetence were a big factor among others - but he's done far more to sabotage our country's interests through incompetence than you can count on a single hand.

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Sorry "than people you can count on a single hand".

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