What a polly cracker.
Militias are a problem, he says. But not a major, long term problem, as long as the army and police remain loyal to the central government. The death squads are a problem, they need to be dealt with. Iraq needs to continue to vet who's joining the army and the police. He and Tim never quite get around to talking about how the Iraqi troops stood by and looked while the Shiite militias attacked Sunni mosques in Baghdad.
Sure, there weren't any WMD, but the Iraqis are better off now than they were under Hussein.
No commanders in the field have asked for more troops. We need more Iraqi troops.
(More Iraqi troops who don't do anything to stop the violence?)
Is the insurgency in its last throes? Tim asks.
The Iraqi people are waiting to see what their government does.
12 minutes into the interview, and I don't think Pace has answered a single question yet.
Pace says if William F. Buckley could get over to Iraq, he'd think differently. (Buckley recently wrote an op-ed that says the mission has failed.)
Tim brings up the narcotics coming out of Afghanistan. Pace says "we didn't do that." Neither Tim nor pace bring up the fact that opium production has increased since we invaded and set up Karzai's government.
Tim says the Taliban are back in Afghanistan, terror attacks on the government have increased. Pace says they've only increased 20 percent, which ISN'T THAT MUCH.
Four stars must not have to get tested for drugs.
Tim brings up the Pat Tillman fiasco--Tillman's dad says the military is lying. The Pentagon IG says the three investigations are unsatisfactory.
Pace says the investigations were thorough, but not thorough enough. So they're going to have another investigation that will be more thorough.
Time's up, Pace goes back to the bunk bunker.
I want to believe that there may have been a time when Pace was a great Marine. But I wonder how long ago that might have been.
Now he's a talking point parrot.
Does he actually believe what he's saying, or does he realize he's just pushing propaganda?
Which possibility is more disturbing?
Is it any wonder that 85 percent of the troops in Iraq think they're in that country to avenge Saddam's involvement with 9-11?
Here's the NYT article on the "latest" Tillman investigation.
The first two investigations were conducted by Tillman's Army Ranger unit. The third was done by the parent unit, U.S. Army Special Operations Command.
In a telephone interview, Tillman's dad said, ""You're assigning the same folks that have been asked several times to address this issue. You're asking them to prosecute something when three times they have said there was nothing to prosecute? Do you really expect them to do it right?"
I've said this before, but it's worth repeating. One of the saddest casualties of this war has been the total loss of credibility of the Department of Defense, the Pentagon, and the individual services. I'm wondering how much longer the inspector general who ordered the fourth investigation of Tillman's death will be allowed to stay on active duty.
Murtha on Face the Nation:
Iraq is his definition of a Civil War.
The administration has mischaracterized the war for two years.
On Pace's statement that things are going very well: "Why should anyone believe anything Pace says?"
The only people who want us in Iraq: al Qaeda, Iran, and China. They want us to deplete our resources.
On the Bush administration: "These guys have used fear as a club."
Iraqis have to settle this thing themselves.
From Judd at Think Progress, Project for the New American Century founder Bill Kristol on Fox News Sunday:
I think it’s become in people’s minds an emblem of the administration that just isn’t as serious about the competent execution of the functions of government as it should be. And even — I’m struck talking to conservatives and Republicans — they agree with the president on basic political philosophy, the they agree with his basic policy agenda, but they are worried that they just don’t seem to be able to execute as well as they should be.
This is classic Kristol: the neocon philosophy--which Kristol himself played a major role in shaping--is okay. It's the guys in the White House who screwed things up.
Expect to hear a whole lot more of this drumbeat in the weeks and months to come.