Sunday, April 13, 2008

Transcript: S.O.D. Robert Gates on Face The Nation 4-13-08

Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, appeared on Face The Nation this week. He tried to spin the fiasco in Iraq. His answers nonetheless are very lame. Read the entire transcript:

SCHIEFFER: Are you worried about the strain on the military troops there, what Colin Powell said just the other day, that we're basically maxed out right now, the American military. You've got problems in Afghanistan. I understand the situation in Pakistan grows worse. What do you feel about that?

Mr. GATES: Obviously I worry about strain on the force. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the Joint Chiefs, we all worry about the strain on the force. We all know that these 15-month tours have been very difficult on our soldiers. We know that the longer tours for the Marines have been very difficult for them. But the generals will tell you, these young men and women are amazingly resilient and determined, and I think that Admiral Mullen has said just this week that this--that there's a spring in their step because they know that they're being successful. So, yes, they're under
strain, but they're determined, and, frankly, the decision to go back to 12-month deployments, the increase in the size of the Army and the Marine Corps, there are a number of measures in effect to begin to relieve that strain.

Enough troops in Afghanistan? It's a lie:
SCHIEFFER: Mr. Secretary, do you have enough troops available to do what is going to need to be done in Afghanistan? Because we hear the Taliban grows stronger by the day. Aren't you going to have to reduce those levels in Iraq in order to get troops to Afghanistan?

Mr. GATES: I think we have sufficient forces in Afghanistan for this fighting season in 2008. We've deployed 3500 additional Marines there. The French have committed to send a battalion, which will allow us to send additional forces to the southern part of the country. I think that there is a requirement to have more forces in the longer term, and, frankly, I'm confident that we will have lower force levels in Iraq in 2009 that will enable us to be more helpful in Afghanistan.

SCHIEFFER: Do you want more help from NATO? Is NATO doing what it needs to be doing?

Mr. GATES: I always want more help from NATO.

SCHIEFFER: And do you have any idea that you're going to get it?

Mr. GATES: Well, I think that several countries stepped up to the plate at the Bucharest summit, the French foremost among them. But there are a number of countries that are increasing their commitment. And I think, really, an important element of the Bucharest summit was that, when NATO took over this mission in Afghanistan two years ago Riga, they really didn't know, I think, in many respects what they were getting into, that this was going to be a tough fight and it was going to last awhile. What's amazing is, knowing what they know now, every single NATO head of
government signed a commitment that NATO--that Afghanistan was NATO's most important operation and we were determined to win there.

Go to Links below which contradict what the Secretary is claiming:

U.S. Troops Die to Defend Iraqi Soldiers Who Won't Fight

This is the biggest reason why we shouldn't be in Iraq. Why are American troops fighting and dying to defend a country in where it's troops won't defend their country. The Iraqis are totally dependent on the U.S. And as long as we stay there that won't change:

The Iraqi government has dismissed about 1,300 soldiers and policemen who deserted or refused to fight during last month's offensive against Shiite militias and criminal gangs in Basra, officials said Sunday.

Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf said 921 police and soldiers were fired in Basra. They included 37 senior police officers ranging in rank from lieutenant colonel to brigadier general.

The others were dismissed in Kut, one of the Shiite cities where the fight had spread.

Last month, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered the security forces to confront armed groups in Basra, Iraq's second largest city.

But they met fierce resistance and the attack quickly ground to a halt as fighting flared across the Shiite south and Baghdad.

Since then, government officials have revealed that about 1,000 members of the security forces - including an entire infantry battalion - had mutinied, on some cases handing over vehicles and weapons to the militias.

This might be part of the reason why Iraqi troops won't fight. This also reminds us that American soldiers are dying to defend a government that is hopelessly corrupt and inept:
An $833 million Iraqi arms deal secretly negotiated with Serbia has underscored Iraq’s continuing problems equipping its armed forces, a process that has long been plagued by corruption and inefficiency.

The deal was struck in September without competitive bidding and it sidestepped anticorruption safeguards, including the approval of senior uniformed Iraqi Army officers and an Iraqi contract approval committee. Instead, it was negotiated by a delegation of 22 high-ranking Iraqi officials, without the knowledge of American commanders or many senior Iraqi leaders.

The deal drew enough criticism that Iraqi officials later limited the purchase to $236 million. And much of that equipment, American commanders said, turned out to be either shoddy or inappropriate for the military’s mission.

An anatomy of the purchase highlights how the Iraqi Army’s administrative abilities — already hampered by sectarian rifts and corruption — are woefully underdeveloped, hindering it in procuring weapons and other essentials in a systematic way. It also shows how an American procurement process set up to help foreign countries navigate the complexity of buying weapons was too slow and unwieldy for wartime needs like Iraq’s, prompting the Iraqis to strike out on their own.

Such weaknesses mean that five years after the American invasion, the 170,000-strong Iraqi military remains under-equipped, spottily supplied and largely reliant on the United States for such basics as communications equipment, weapons and ammunition, raising fresh questions about the Iraqi military’s ability to stand on its own.

Just Call Hillary Clinton - Panderer-in-Chief

Hillary Clinton has now lost all sense of decency. She could be surpassing her husband as a sleazy panderer. Whether its taking a shot in a bar or implying she is pro-gun, toughness on crime, or boosting the military. She is whatever you want her to be:

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton outlined a plan Saturday to keep more military-related manufacturing in the United States, calling it an economic and security priority.

Speaking at a plant here that builds transmissions for military vehicles, Clinton said she would limit the Defense Department's ability to buy foreign-made products, in part by making the agency consider the impact on U.S. jobs when it awards contracts.

What she doesn't mention is that her husband's anti-military, anti-worker policies (i.e., NAFTA) help decimate the defense industry and American jobs.

She is also a crimefighter. Just in time for the Pennsylvania primary:
Because black Americans are disproportionately higher users of crack than are whites, many groups want to end policies that punish crack users much more harshly than powder cocaine users, who are predominantly white.

Clinton said she would pay for the $4 billion initiative with savings to be identified by a commission she will assign to "identify unnecessary and outdated corporate subsidies for elimination." Critics of deficit spending generally urge campaigns to be more specific in saying how they will pay for new programs.

"Clinton Becomes A Gun Lover":
Hillary Clinton appealed to Second Amendment supporters on Saturday by hinting that she has some experience of her own pulling triggers.

[...]"You know, my dad took me out behind the cottage that my grandfather built on a little lake called Lake Winola outside of Scranton and taught be how to shoot when I was a little girl," she said.

"You know, some people now continue to teach their children and their grandchildren. It's part of culture. It's part of a way of life. People enjoy hunting and shooting because it's an important part of who they are. Not because they are bitter."

The ultimate elitist pulls the classic pandering tactic--tell people what they want to hear. Don't give people bad news because they might not want to hear it:
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton managed to co-opt Mr. Obama’s message of hope and optimism, beginning a speech in Valparaiso, Ind., by talking about how positive and “fundamentally optimistic” Americans are.

“We don’t get bogged down and looking back – we’re always looking forward,” she said, as heavy applause nearly drowned out her words. “Whatever obstacle we see, we get over it. Whatever challenge we have, we meet it. We’re the problem-solvers, we’re the innovators, we’re the people who make the better future.”

For the third time since Mr. Obama’s remarks were made public Friday night, Mrs. Clinton criticized him at length, saying his comments seemed “kind of elitist and out of touch.”