Tuesday, August 10

General Frank's eVite

by justmy2 @ 8/10/2004 07:09:00 PM

And while we are discussing the former CENTCOM General, it was the General who apparently called for a now infamous aircraft carrier party.

Retired Gen. Tommy Franks tried to take the blame Monday for President Bush's much-criticized comments declaring an end to major combat in Iraq more than a year ago.

"That's my fault, that George W. Bush said what he said on the first of May of last year, just because I asked him to," said Franks, former commander of forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

..."On the first of May when Bush did what he did, I was proud of him because he did what I, as the commander, had asked him to do," Franks said in an appearance at the National Press Club. "So if there's a mistake there, it's mine, not a plot. So I thought I'd share that with you. "

Franks noted that the Bush administration has had limited success persuading other nations to participate in Iraq. Of some 160,000 foreign forces there now, about 140,000 are American.

My first thought when I read this was "Where is the follow up question, did you tell him to actually say the mission had been accomplished?" After a little research, I realized someone Ted Koppel actually did.

Here is a copy of a Nightline transcript where Franks says he thought the mission was accomplished last May.

KOPPEL: And I assume you didn't paint the banner that said "mission accomplished" either?

FRANKS: No, but I would have agreed with it, and as I looked at the president's comments on the 1st of May, I thought, "Good for him, good for him," and I appreciated that, that he did what he did. KOPPEL: Clearly, as we look back, the mission was not accomplished. A significant portion of the mission was accomplished, and as you suggest in your book, it was accomplished quickly, it was accomplished brilliantly, it was accomplished with far fewer forces than a lot of your colleagues in the Pentagon thought necessary.

FRANKS: Uh-huh.

KOPPEL: But the fact of the matter is, Phase Four of the war, which you describe as being the post-major combat phase, the phase that we're in right now, really hasn't gone well at all.

FRANKS: Oh, I guess it's eye of the beholder, Ted. I talk to a lot of people all over the country about the difference between hope and expectation. Gosh, I had a hope that the Iraqis would embrace a new government, would establish a new Iraq very quickly, and, but I never had that as an expectation.

I guess the expectation was, as the president said, it will take as long as it takes. And so I hoped it would be quick, but I expected that it might take much longer, perhaps three to five years.

Eye of the beholder? I would like to know exactly which "endstate objectives" (his words, from his war plan) have been accomplished other than Saddam Hussein being out of power, and I am even giving him the benefit of the doubt on that because it doesn't even seem like it would be a "Post-Hostility" objective.

Which leads to my second point...

He stated in his own war plan that Post-Hostility Operations were part of the mission. He expected three to five years of Post-Hostility operations but he felt it was a good idea to have the President go tell the country that the mission was accomplished?

What am I missing? Did that give the troops false hope, by providing them with a false sense closure?

I do not doubt the General's intentions. I am also very happy that General Franks served his country with distinction, but it appears that his judgement was seriously distorted by being involved with this administration. It is like the reverse Midas Touch.


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