Thursday, March 26, 2009

Things are true because words mean what I say they do

Overseas contingency operations will replace the war on terror.

We will no longer use the term enemy combatants even though we will still engage in extraordinary rendition and we assert the power to hold people pretty much forever without charges.

President Obama will keep his promise to withdraw all combat brigades from Iraq by renaming them:

Despite President Barack Obama's statement at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina Feb. 27 that he had "chosen a timeline that will remove our combat brigades over the next 18 months," a number of Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs), which have been the basic U.S. Army combat unit in Iraq for six years, will remain in Iraq after that date under a new non-combat label.

A spokesman for Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, Lt. Col. Patrick S. Ryder, told IPS Tuesday that "several advisory and assistance brigades" would be part of a U.S. command in Iraq that will be "re-designated" as a "transition force headquarters" after August 2010.

But the "advisory and assistance brigades" to remain in Iraq after that date will in fact be the same as BCTs, except for the addition of a few dozen officers who would carry out the advice and assistance missions, according to military officials involved in the planning process.

Gates has hinted that the withdrawal of combat brigades will be accomplished through an administrative sleight of hand rather than by actually withdrawing all the combat brigade teams. Appearing on Meet the Press Mar. 1, Gates said the "transition force" would have "a very different kind of mission," and that the units remaining in Iraq "will be characterized differently."

"They will be called advisory and assistance brigades," said Gates. "They won't be called combat brigades."


Anonymous said...

Steve, you are certainly cherry-picking here. Look again at Gates' statement just before the part that you emboldened: "Gates said the "transition force" would have "a very different kind of mission," and that the units remaining in Iraq "will be characterized differently.""

A "different kind of mission", says Gates, Steve. Apparently you don't believe him, correct? Why not?

Perry Hood

a most peculiar nature said...

When I went back to finish my degree in the late 80's, early 90's, I was called a "non-traditionally aged student".

LOL. They should have just said "old broad".

Anonymous said...

Shirley, that's a good one!

And good for you! I'll bet you had a few things to teach those younguns, students and professors alike!!

Perry Hood

Anonymous said...

Perry: Is there ANYTHING people say about Obama for which you won't defend him?

I'm sure you thought it was "cherry picking" when people laughed at Reagan's "enhanced radiation weapon" (aka the neutron bomb) and "revenue enhancements" (aka tax increases). This is the precisely the same thing.


Steven H. Newton said...


The kind of mission doesn't matter.

Candidate and President Obama both promised the withdrawal of "combat troops."

In case you don't understand the different, combat brigades are collections of Infantry, armor, and artillery units.

Combat support troops are logistical units.

What Obama and Gates are doing is the equivalent of taking a .44 magnum handgun, sticking a paper label on it that says "Peacemaker," and then telling people they've taken guns off the streets.

I really try to be nicer than Hube, but either (a) you just don't get it; (b) you are the complete Obama apologist; or (c) you are one of my libertarian friends posting as Perry Hood to see how long it will take me to determine you're not really serious.

Which is it?

Anonymous said...

Steve, I take Gates at his word, unless demonstrated otherwise. Let us assume that the units remaining contain the three unit types you listed. Do we then assume a mission for them to be other than what Gates said? It could well be that they will be in training mode for the Iraqi military. It could mean that they will be used for protection purposes instead of for combat missions. Neither you nor have any evidence to the contrary. Your view is based mainly on speculation. That said, you could be correct.

On your other point, I have admired and trusted Obama since he announced his intentions and I read his two books. Yes, politically we are on the same page on most issues. Moreover, I trust him, much as you probably trust Ron Paul, or someone who represents your political/ideological preferences/agenda very well.

So far, I think Obama is doing a very good job under extremely trying circumstances, in spite of the critics like Hube, Limbaugh, Beck, Coulter, Hannity, BillO, and the like, who do all they can on a daily basis to bring him down.

Perry Hood

PS: I'm sorry to be missing your get together tonight.