View Full Version : Mike Jackson -pinko commie leftie - or ?
21st Dec 2008, 12:15
Interesting take on the Iraq situation, by a man who has some qualified insight.
Particularly interesting is the part about the operation original being State Department run, prior to being handed over to the Pentagon at the 11th hour.
Former Army Chief General Sir Michael Jackson Blames US For Iraq Mistakes | UK News | Sky News (http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK-News/Former-Army-Chief-General-Sir-Michael-Jackson-Blames-US-For-Iraq-Mistakes/Article/200812315190425?f=vg)
21st Dec 2008, 13:13
Yes. No "or".
21st Dec 2008, 13:50
I think that even Michael Jackson would have to agree that there are many areas of life today that are neither black or white, especially given the benefit of hindsight.
It's always somewhat of a thrill to dredge up the old stuff in an endeavour to ensure that we don't repeat the same mistakes I guess. But that would ignore mankind's propensity, nay, obligation, to repeat their errors. We've since moved on. It's not about Iraq, or the Neverland ranch.
What we ought to be talking about today are the propensities of both ordinary Americans and Britons to use credit irresponsibly with the complete support of their elected governments, by buying stuff on the never never, somehow believing that the intellectual, financial and war-mongering (peace-making if you insist) capital developed over the past century will always allow us the 'upper-hand' when it comes to dealing with the rest of the world ... :}
If the real Michael Jackson would simply step up to the podium and proclaim what is "black or white" then we should all be able to sleep better at night finally... :uhoh:
21st Dec 2008, 14:49
Hot on the heels of, get this right, Former Army Chief General Sir Michael Jackson's statements, comes this :-
Iraq's Troop Refusal Is Branded A Minor Hiccup By Defence Secretary John Hutton | UK News | Sky News (http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK-News/Iraqs-Troop-Refusal-Is-Branded-A-Minor-Hiccup-By-Defence-Secretary-John-Hutton/Article/200812315190525?f=vg)
Not a good day for the war planners, both former and latter.
21st Dec 2008, 15:11
"I think this is a minor hiccup." I tend to concur. Noone asked for the Iraqi government's acquiescence when our forces went in, why should we need their permission to stay or when even to move out...?! What UN mandate? Hop, skip and jump...?! :zzz:
21st Dec 2008, 17:51
Since you've chosen to start a political thread, I'll bite, but let's see how long the mods leave this one open.
The "de-baathification" of post-Sadaam Iraq is a controversial subject, and Sir Jackson is not the first to have brought it up. There was a heated debate at the time, and it remains heated in many quarters. I suggest history will have a way of sorting out the pro's and con's. But totalitarian, facsist regimes are generally a bad thing, and remnants have a way of reconstituting themselves.
why should we need their permission to stay or when even to move out...?!The recently signed "Status of Forces Agreement" between the US and the sovereign, democratically elected government of Iraq (the only such government in the Arab world) clearly defines US force presence in Iraq.
The UK is currently in the middle of negotiating a similar agreement. To mix metaphors, the "minor hiccups" are just bumps in the road which will be navigated. I'm sure the two governments will come to an understanding.
21st Dec 2008, 18:04
I suppose this thread treads a fine line, but the topic is pretty hot and being openly debated and discussed in the media.
It is also a matter of some importance.
If people keep their heads and none of the usual thread demolition experts show up then the thread my survive
21st Dec 2008, 18:17
usual thread demolition experts
This would be a euphemism for those with an opposite point of view, eh?
21st Dec 2008, 18:20
Well I spent some two weeks in Baghdad with my Iraqi colleagues. The place was relatively peaceful, relatively!! This was in June and July 2003, the June visit to Basra for a short informal visit, getting back over the border into Kuwait was another story, after dark and across the tank bunds.
Our stay in Baghdad was OK, we went around in an old beaten up Toyota, staying with friends outside the green zone. BUT, even then it was obvious that without electricity and water, the locals were becoming fed up, remember the temperature was up around 45 degrees. We met plenty of the local people including ex Iraqi Airways staff etc. It was obvious that the whole thing was a USA business fest. I met the senior directors who were opening up Baghdad airport, they were to open it up first although Basra airport was ready to go before this. They had to be first:ugh::ugh::ugh: I asked whether they knew the range of a shoulder held missile, No they replied, Well it is 3 km or 10,000 feet and it is not a friendly thing for aeroplanes to meet. Shrug of shoulders, but a few months later a cargo aircraft lost an engine due to that.
General Jackson is only stating what many thought obvious - I won't mention the other comments from various people out there, suffice it to say, the operation was really a total missed opportunity for the Iraqi people to regain some peace early on.
21st Dec 2008, 18:38
This would be a euphemism for those with an opposite point of view, eh?
No Dushan, 100% no.
If helps your understanding, I in no way include you in my "mental list"
(Mmm, "mental list" that has some resonance :})
The ones that I refer to, are the ones who deliberately jump in with boorish, antagonistic comments, which in no way contribute to the argument.
We all love a bit of fun with wordplay etc, but there is a hardcore who set out to wreck discussion. You know that.
21st Dec 2008, 18:52
It's a time-honored tradition that all senior British generals at some point hold forth on how the Americans screwed it up and if they only had listened to them...
It's a quaint and endearing trait, like tweed coats and those little caps. We don't mind it a bit, no matter how insufferable the general. He's British, you know.
The appropriate American response is to totally ignore them and move on to more serious matters. That seems to devastate them and they can't abide it.
21st Dec 2008, 18:56
The appropriate American response is to totally ignore them and move on to more serious matters. That devastates them and they can't abide it.
Thus summing up exactly why the whole wide world loves the good old USA. :rolleyes:
21st Dec 2008, 19:06
Hi Ben There.
I was not taking a pot shot at the Americans, but Baghdad was not a good example of your abilities. Were you there?
21st Dec 2008, 19:10
And they are off - - - -:ugh:
Never fails, normally works a treat, the petty stifling of rational debate.
Lets see shall we.
Let's see if we can steer the thread away from closure.
21st Dec 2008, 19:19
The appropriate American response is to totally ignore them and move on to more serious matters.
Thomas Barnett of the DoD gave an excellent TEDtalk (http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=d3xlb6_0OEs) on this subject in 2005.
He was right then, as was General Sir Mike Jackson, and they're both right now.
21st Dec 2008, 19:50
He was right then, as was General Sir Mike Jackson, and they're both right now.Possibly, but of course we'll never know. Hard to rewind the tape and see what would have happened with a resurgent Baathist government.
Would Kurdistan be as prosperous and safe today under a Baathist government?
Would a Sunni/Baathist dominated government have allowed the formation of a constitutional government which allowed, for the first time in Iraq's history, the full participation of the Shia?
Would the retention of the legacy armed forces helped or hurt the formation of an independent national police force?
I certainly don't have the answers to these questions, but it is hard after the fact to argue hypotheticals.
21st Dec 2008, 21:51
el, I'm very sure I'm on your "mental list" and I'm quite proud to be on it.
That aside, I'd be one you'd be surprised to agree with much of the first article.
1. The US State Department is pretty worthless. Lots of noise, not much substance.
2. The DoD is too much involved in matters, but as a matter of circumstance in most cases. If the State Department can't get it's act together, someone has too. By and large, the US military is the one that the world listens to.
3. It's really, really easy to second-guess/criticise decisions made then as compared to the results now. Not so easy to actually make those decisions.
De-Ba'athification probably a good idea. Imagine the howls of outrage if all those responsible for carrying Saddam's orders remained in place. For the average Iraqi, it'd be same old game just a new head man.
The obvious analogy is de-Nazifying Germany. Remember the howls at Patton's common-sense quip to keep 'em in place?
Disbanding the Iraqi military totally was a huge error. It could have provided an in-place, existing structure to maintain some level of stability - average guys getting paid, having an interest in not having the infrastructure destroyed, etc, etc.
And the shocker, coming from me, I'm sure, was the invasion to start with. I was against it then, I regret that it happened now. But you can't unring the bell. What is the best way forward now?
The appropriate American response is to totally ignore them and move on to more serious matters. That devastates them and they can't abide it. :ok:
Coincidentally, I am just finishing up a reread of Cornelius Ryan's "A Bridge Too Far."
21st Dec 2008, 22:52
Hi brick, you old son-of-a-gun.
Hate to disappoint you, but I am more that happy to advise that you do not figure on that elusive list.
I confess however to being a little surprised at your admissions.
I did however suspect that under that "robust" exterior lay a somewhat more compassionate, more honest "brick". It did flash occasionally.
Hate to bash your pride though. Take it as a compliment :ok:
I guess the question remains, was it "taken away" from the State department, or was it "given" to the DoD.
21st Dec 2008, 23:16
(Mmm, "mental list" that has some resonance:} )
Not near as the following.
Say that fast five times. ;)
22nd Dec 2008, 15:31
"Whilst it's not fair to say no planning was done, the planning that was done in the United States was done by the state department.
And at the eleventh hour for some reason, that responsibility was put to the Pentagon and the then defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld"
I was interested it the above section from Mike Jacksons piece.
Was it originally a political operation and only fell to the military at the last moment.
It kind of plays into the hands of those who claim US. ulterior motives, ie security of oil supplies and the like.
22nd Dec 2008, 17:12
And our Donald has shares in what company?
22nd Dec 2008, 19:08
There seems to be a majority opinion that the (second) invasion of Iraq was a bad thing; which begs several questions of which:
1. Was the US pressured by Israeli interests?
2. Are Iraq, Iran and Turkey justified in their suppresion of the Kurds?