Is Cheney Behind the Attack on Obama’s Plans to Withdraw from Iraq?

picture-80.thumbnail.pngA number of people have pointed to this important Gareth Porter article describing an insubordinate attack on Obama’s plan to withdraw from Iraq in 16 months.

A network of senior military officers is also reported to be preparing to support Petraeus and Odierno by mobilizing public opinion against Obama’s decision.


The source says the network, which includes senior active-duty officers in the Pentagon, will begin making the argument to journalists covering the Pentagon that Obama’s withdrawal policy risks an eventual collapse in Iraq. That would raise the political cost to Obama of sticking to his withdrawal policy.

If Obama does not change the policy, according to the source, they hope to have planted the seeds of a future political narrative blaming his withdrawal policy for the "collapse" they expect in an Iraq without US troops. 

One aspect of the article has been underplayed in coverage of this insubordination: the centrality in this plot of Jack Keane.

The opening argument by the Petraeus-Odierno faction against Obama’s withdrawal policy was revealed the evening of the January 21 meeting when retired army General Jack Keane, one of the authors of the Bush troop-surge policy and a close political ally and mentor of Petraeus, appeared on the "Lehrer News Hour" to comment on Obama’s pledge on Iraq combat troop withdrawal. 


Keane, the army vice chief of staff from 1999-03, has ties to a network of active and retired four-star army generals, and since Obama’s January 21 order on the 16-month withdrawal plan, some of the retired four-star generals in that network have begun discussing a campaign to blame Obama’s troop withdrawal from Iraq for the ultimate collapse of the political "stability" that they expect to follow the US withdrawal, according to a military source familiar with the network’s plans. 

But what really hasn’t gotten enough attention, IMO, are the ties between Keane and Dick Cheney.

Ever since he began working on the troop surge, Keane has been the central figure manipulating policy in order to keep as many US troops in Iraq as possible. It was Keane who got Vice President Dick Cheney to push for Petraeus as top commander in Iraq in late 2006 when the existing commander, General George W. Casey, did not support the troop surge. 

Now, as Porter suggests,  Keane’s role in the surge and his relationship with Cheney is best chronicled in Woodward’s most recent book. As I have shown, that chronicle ignores Cheney’s role in the formulation of the Iraq policy. So it presents Keane as getting involved in the surge first in his role as a member of the Defense Policy Board–where he served with a bunch of other Neocons. Woodward then depicts Keane joining the push for the surge at AEI, too, which mysteriously got a bunch of information that even Keane appears to have suspected had been leaked to AEI. And only after three months of involvement (according to Woodward’s story), does Keane first brief Cheney and Bush on December 11; this is after Cheney had been summoned to Saudi Arabia and ordered to undercut the Iraq Survey Group report, and after the report itself was released on December 6. Yet suddenly–again, according to Woodward’s narrative–Cheney embraced Keane’s plan and Keane himself. From that point forward, when Keane wanted to undercut plans at the Pentagon, he had to do no more than call Cheney’s then-National Security Advisor, John Hannah, to put words challenging opposing plans into Cheney’s mouth. Every time Petraeus wanted to bypass the chain of command, Keane went back-channel though Cheney.

Keane briefed Vice President Cheney on his trip, establishing a secret backchannel line of communication–Petraeus to Keane to Cheney to Bush–around the chain of command. 

And that chain of command Keane and Petraeus were bypassing was often–according to Woodward–Bob Gates, particularly at times when Gates endorsed policies closer to those Obama now espouses, including gradual withdrawal. Cheney also followed Keane’s bidding to thwart others–Admiral Fallon, the Joint Chiefs, Condi Rice–perceived to be insufficiently supportive of Petraeus. When Admiral Mullen tried to cut off Keane’s clearance to travel to Iraq, Cheney’s office reinstated it. And, as recently as April, Keane worked with Cheney in promoting Petraeus to CentCom and replacing him with Odierno, all in the context of trying to tie a Democratic administration to their–Keane’s and Cheney’s–intransigence in Iraq.

Let’s be frank about what’s happening here. We are going to have a new administration. Do we want these policies continued or not? Do we want the best guys in there who were involved in these policies, who were advocates for them? Let’s assume we have a Democratic administration and they want to pull this thing out quickly, and now they have to deal with General Petraeus and General Odierno. There will be a price to be paid to override them.

Now, Woodward’s book (which crafts Keane as the hero that saved our efforts in Iraq) suggests Keane’s efforts to keep us in Iraq came first, only later followed by Cheney’s championing of those efforts. There are reasons to believe that is nothing more than craft, the latest narrative Woodward got paid to tell. And even pretending that Woodward’s suppression of Cheney’s role in crafting the surge strategy is accurate, Woodward clearly shows that Keane’s efforts to tie us down in Iraq were a joint effort conducted with Dick Cheney.

So what is Dick Cheney’s role in publicly undercutting the current President of the United States? Is Cheney still doing the oil companies’ bidding to make sure our military protects their investments in Iraq?

Sure, perhaps this attack on Obama is no more than Petraeus’ god-father, Keane, making sure Petraeus’ project in Iraq is either successful–or blamed on a Democrat. But given the fact that Cheney and Keane have spent the better part of the last two years working to ensure we remain stuck in Iraq, I’d suggest we ought to look closely at Keane’s role and even further than that to find the source of this insubordination.

54 replies
  1. Stephen says:

    Remember the secret weapon that Woodward mentioned in an interview about his latest book and how he was sworn to secrecy? The secret weapon according to Bob, seemed to miraculously bring all the law and order to Iraq. When did Bob drink the Kool Aid?

  2. JimWhite says:

    Funny you should take this angle, EW. When I read Siun’s post with the link to Porter’s article, I immediately did more digging to refresh my memory on Keane.

    Slimy, slimy bastard.

    From his bio on a Johns Hopkins website:

    Since his retirement from the Army, General Keane is currently President GSI, LLC, is senior advisor to Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts and Co. and advisor to Chairman and CEO, URS Corporation. He is a director of METLIFE, Inc and General Dynamics Corporation.

    General Keane serves as a member of the Department of Defense Policy Board. He is also a military contributor and analyst for ABC News.

    URS is a huge defense contractor, as is General Dynamics. For good measure, he also is with the economic ratfuckers, through KKR and METLIFE. Of course he is a charter member of the Pentagon Propagandists, too.

    Thanks for connecting him to Cheney. It makes perfect sense. Keane, Petraeus and Odierno belong in the brig as Cheney’s cellmates.

  3. jonL says:

    Does it surprise anyone that DICK is still residing in DC. That he has not gone back to WY to fish out his life.

  4. JTMinIA says:

    You know, to be blunt, and with all due respect to your digging, ew, I really don’t give a rat’s behind who’s behind it. If a member of the military is ever found to be working against the CnC, then they are out. Period. Don’t pass Go. Don’t collect $200. Gone.

    One example needs to be made and the problem is (probably) over with. I would love for it to be Betrayus, but OdiousOrNo or Gates would be fine.

  5. JohnLopresti says:

    It was reported that the Dept of State canceled Blackwater’s contract in Iraq. It might be more costly for private enterprise to cover some of that power vacuum, but there will be people now laidoff who already are onsite and looking for work. I would expect the oilcos to turn to those available individuals for additional coverage until the natural level of civil quiet returns to Iraq.

    Aside from cost savings, there are sure to be people vested in continuity of policy of various sorts, including diplomacy as well as military. Consider this news from Gtmo last week, that the Cole bomber trial is to proceed presidential directive notwithstanding. People involved in progressing toward a just solution in that disaster will continue to want assurances that fairness will rule. I expect some thoughtful resolution. There are politics in the military. The difficulty in the exit from Ho Chi Minh City continues to be bothersome for some people, from the US perspective. Most of this is difficult for civilians on both sides, as well. And history books continue to grasp at the various meanings, even for events as long ago as that other conflict in the 1970s.

  6. Mary says:

    Ok – when is the Comstock post due up?


    More on topic – Obama needs to show if he is in the game or not. Of course Cheney and ever defense contractor and every general who gets power from troop buildups and increased military recruitment and spending and who is looking forward to their own lucrative lobbying/punditocracy deals has their oar in the water on this. If he’s not prepared for this, the most predictable of predictables, he’s just not prepared. Hopefully he is prepared. I’ve kind of giving up on vesting anything much in Obama, though. I’ll just send him some well wishes and hope that before I die, we see a president more in the tenor of a Russ Feingold. Won’t happen – but that’s were I’m vesting.

  7. Arbusto says:

    To the Military/Political analysts out there, besides firing Betrayous and Oderous, what can Obama/Gates do to slap down all this back channel, special interest crap?

  8. Hmmm says:

    Petraeus, Odierno, Keane, Pohl, Comstock, the focus on mouthpiece Rush… Something is definitely building, and I think we can assume it’s been planned and scripted out for a long long time. Mainly by Rove, I would guess if pressed to. Meantime Team PBO is distracted with the nominee problems which seem, distressingly, to have blindsided them. Put it all together and it looks like an awfully strategic attack plan. I hope the people around PBO are as smart as they usually (not always) seem and can get in front of this instead of getting stuck only reacting.

    • bobschacht says:

      I think maybe Cheney is swinging for the fences here. He anticipates that Judgment Day is coming, so he’s ginning up the ante for a Stay-out-of-jail Free card in exchange for calling off the dogs that he’s lining up to attack Obama for “losing” Iraq. This isn’t just a minor skirmish, ISTM. This is for the whole bag of marbles.

      Bob in HI

      • freepatriot says:

        so he’s ginning up the ante for a Stay-out-of-jail Free card in exchange for calling off the dogs that he’s lining up to attack Obama for “losing” Iraq.

        so what happens if nobody buys his “Obama lost Iraq” arguement

        kagan tried to sneak an oped past the readers of the WaPo

        the WaPo’s failure to mention PNAC was mentioned once about every 15 comments

        I read about 250 comments

        kagan got support from THREE wingnuts

        America ain’t buying what the repuglitards are selling

        • freepatriot says:

          here’s a sample of the comments in respons to kagen

          and this guy IS ON KAGEN’S side in this dicussion

          I am politically on Robert Kagan’s side. And I agree with him on Iraq and on the need to keep our military strong, indeed to strengthen it.

          But this column is shameless.

          It is not true that the defense budget is being cut. To the contrary. Around $14 billion are being added to the $513 billion already commited to fiscal 2009. Moreover it would equal what President Bush projected for 2010.

          To claim, as Kagan does, that the budged is being axed by 10% is more than disingenuous, it is disgusting.

          I repeat:


        • Larue says:

          And therein FP, lies our hope for hope.

          That the Sheeple are smarter, and won’t get fooled again.

          Without that hope, the doom and gloom would more than I can bear anymore. *G*

  9. WilliamOckham says:

    This is just part of the larger effort to embed the Cheney policies so deeply into the military-industrial complex that we will never be free of his authoritarian philosophy. Anybody who read Angler should realize that Cheney spent 8 years creating an infrastructure of tyranny designed to survive either a nuclear strike or a Democratic administration. Rachel Maddow has the the right idea with her “Scrub, Rinse, Repeat” segment. This is going to take awhile.

    • bobschacht says:

      Maybe Mr. Cheney is just trying to help Obama achieve his “bipartisan” agenda by entrenching his cronies so thoroughly througout the government that every Democrat will have a Republican minder at his or her elbow…

      Bob in HI

  10. tanbark says:

    [email protected] has the trenchant paragraph here. Including:

    “Something is building”…

    It is.

    Some realities: If we leave 3 months from now, or 3 years from now, what follows is very unlikely to be user-friendly to America. All of the players in this little brinksmanship game know this, especially, the ones who

    A: created La-Brea-Tarpit-East-With-Lots-of-Flying-Bodyparts (No need to call the role; they know who they are…)

    and the ones who

    B: (specifically, Petraeus and Odierno) were tasked with (Such fun; talking like Alexander Haig…) keeping the lid on long enough to let group A get the fuck out of Dodge while claiming lots of putative “progress”; i.e.: mission accomplished sorta/kinda.

    It’s bullshit.

    The Sunni insurgents have been off the briberoll since late October, and are getting very antsy. The reason the violence is down is due more to a Lebanon-like ethnic cleansing and the fact that Baghdad has been turned into a rat’s maze of checkpoints and concrete blast barriers, than to any factional willingness to sing harmony on kum-ba-yah. Fallujah is still in retinal-scan lockdown. Mosul is still bubbling away. In Four of Iraq’s 18 provinces, including the three in the Kurdish north, the recent election wasn’t even held…it was deemed to be too volatile a situation for that expression of democracy. (Which, after all, amounted to barely half of the registered voters…)
    The Kurds give fuck-all about “greater Iraq”, but will pay lip service as long as we have a large chunk of our military trapped there in what amounts to the largest hostage situation in the history of the universe. And that’s what it is.
    The notion that when we DO leave, the greed and hatred (Lebanon on steroids, as has been said) and the residual anger from 6 years of bloody, humiliating, occupation, will somehow evaporate, is tooth fairy stuff.

    That leaves the blame game to be played. And that’s the Alpine Redoubt that Petraeus and the BushCo OberKommand are so diligently constructing. If/when Obama starts making major drawdowns, and mortar rounds once again begin landing on the green zone because the Iraqi “security” forces have neither the will nor the ability to suppress that situation, and if, in the south, with the brits saying they’ll be GONE by July of this year, the militias begin to reassert themselves, and if all of the other worms begin to poke their heads out of the bushCo-liberated can, then the petro-patriots will act as if Obama has taken a shit on the steps of the Sistine Chapel…he will have fouled the perfection that he inherited.

    How many americans will buy this new-and-improved koolaid is unclear, but marketing it is about all they have left, but it’s a pretty good product, because if Obama isn’t well along with substantial drawdowns by the mid-terms, we’ll lose most of the congressional gains that we made last November. Unfortunately, I don’t think he can do it without the factionalism raising it’s ugly head, and he can’t afford to send troops going house-to-house again, with a surging casualty list.

    The best way to neuter this asshat pit bull is for Obama to do a Truman on their MacArthur, and then for him to put in some respected brasshat to head CentCom who will publicly and unequivocally state that there is no way to leave Iraq and have it occupy the category of our 51st state…that is, the kind of strip-mall cum lots-of-oil-reserves that produced thigh-sweats in Cheyney and Perle and Wolfowitz, etc. No troops there equals no blueberry-pie-for-supper ending. Period.

    This lull is the right time to begin the process. I’d thought that three months would be about right for “reassigning” Petraeus and Odierno, but if they want to start ginning up the GOP’s “who lost Iraq?” bullshit, then Obama will need to do some housecleaning a little sooner. It will be tough, and the petro-borgs (thanks again, Driftglass…) from Bush down to Malkin will squeal like stuck pigs, but it’s time for the bandaid on the hairy leg. The longer he stays, the more it’s going to hurt.

    • LabDancer says:

      The election news from Iraq is interesting: after months of stories & concern expressed about how the Shi’ia sects, including Sadr in particular, after being disqualified from direct participation in Iraqi Parliament, were engaged in sublimating that into arrangements for front groups, and with indications that some of those front groups were showing growth potential, the bulk of votes are going to Malaki.

      I’m going to reserve discounting for manipulation of the counting, because there are also stories on the presence of some “300,000″ observers – except that number seems suspiciously high, and the implications of the count so far being scrupulous serves Malaki of course. But assuming the count is essentially accurate, this suggests the formerly oppressed Shi’ia are coming out in droves to assure the ‘continuation’ of Malaki’s aggressive efforts at internal security – as most of the Iraqi-in-the-street interviews are suggesting.

      We heard an awful lot more on the msm about Malaki’s attacks on forces said to be aligned with Sadr, in part because those reports fed the base; but we heard far less on the msm about not just Malaki’s but most of the factions aligned with the Bush administration about the Iraqi army, security & police forces attacks on Sunnis – despite the far greater numbers of Sunnis killed.

      It all brings to mind Nir Rosen’s reporting from a few years back that the occupation wasn’t going to prevent civil war, or certain aspects of it, but rather simply in influence it in certain directions, including the passage of time. I haven’t heard of Rosen amending that view of what will happen once the US no longer is a forceful presence, nor would I expect it could be. Some of the bases of the Shi’ia-Sunni resentment don’t go back just a few decades, to when Hussein seized power; they go back over 1,300 years. Remember when former Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. Turki al Faisel said [paraphrasing]: The Americans went into Iraq uninvited; they should not leave uninvited. To my mind, this goes deeper than Cheney.

      I’m not arguing against withdrawal. I’m just saying: get the Stimulus & Banking Reform & Health Care Reform done soon, because when U.S. forces pull out in numbers, there’s going to be a lot of blame cast around for the coming genocide, & the Right is going to throw all they’ve got at Obama.

      • Larue says:

        LD, good thoughts, and Nir Rosen is a hoss.

        Juan Cole at Informed Consent has a recent post out regarding the Iraqi Elections, and even HIS info is contradictory in places. Who KNOWS who really has any edge in any of the voting. You won’t find the truth in OUR MSM, that’s for sure.

        But regardless of who’s WINNING, the actual election IS a travesty, with the turnout, disqualification of large groups thru out the country, etc.

        Not to quibble TOO much, but one statement ya made I’d like to detail on. Islam was started in the 6th Century, as a simple Wiki reveals: “Born in Mecca, in western Arabia, Muhammad (ca. 570–632)”.

        My point is that the ’squabbles’ you refer to as going back 1,300 years, would NOT be Islamic based, but rather, tribal and regionally based. NOT due to the birth or inception of Islam.

        Other than that, good thoughts as I said.

        And may I bow once more, to Marcy, and the Pup Comments. Sure beats inhaling the MSM. *G* I value your voices.

    • Larue says:

      “Tanbark my dearest friend” (he says in his BEST Ambassador Mollari Centurain voice), it’s GOOOD to see you with a grasp of both the overt and sublime ploys of these meddlesome priests. *G*

      Spot on hoss, I have more to add, but above I ESPECIALLY like how someone tied Craddock to this recent emerging pattern of Pentagonian Dissent towards the Prez.

      My BIG pic is that the Obama proposed Iraqi withdrawl coupled with recent supply line SERIOUS emergencies (and a step up in action by both Talibani and tribal lords in Pakistan and Afghan) in Afghanistan has spooked the PetroBorgs (Drifty) and their banking elitist lords.

      This means they are digging in HARD to spook the horses and gin up more violence anywhere on the planet they can as sort of a ‘false flag’ policy.

      This in hopes of spooking even the Israeli’s in maybe taking out Iran or something, so there’s a LARGER global conflict to brew that drags in Russia and China.

      I’m getting downright conspiratorial all over again post Dem Election Bliss about a banking elite, it’s history (Council On Foreign Relatins) and it’s goals for a New World Order thang.

      That view suggests WW1 and WW2 were ginned up and supported by USA and the banking elite who seduced Britain into war to bankrupt Europe and induce a debt limit NO country could handle, including Britain (essentially burying the shiv in their ally who was no longer positioned to lead the New World Order, which they had planned all along).

      The Bankers shifted their resources and efforts to America early in the 1900’s to back USA as THE one country to impose Global Hegemony (USA money and banking money fully funded The Weimar Military rebirth, then later, the military rebirth of the Nazi’s and the Japanese).

      Both wars were the ‘coming out’ of America as a Global Hegemon Agent and the past 60+ years have seen America as the ‘Agent Of The Bankers’ to impose global hegemony.

      Unfortunately for this theory, OUR TIME has passed, and we are in the middle of our own econ decline, paving the way for one large war and the imposition of a World Bank and A New World Order, which effectively will stick the shiv into OUR backs as the Banking Elite moves closer to imposing the NEW New World Order and THEIR vision of Global Hegemony run by IMF, World Bank, etc.

      Popcorn and tinfoil, anyone? *G*

      We are quickly being drawn (well, have been drawn for decades) into quite a SERIOUS point in history where HUGE decisions will be made that will impact the world. And Obama is sitting square duck in the middle of it all. Is he a JFK? If so, he’d be eliminated by now. Is he an Agent of the Banking Elite? That would mean that the Cheney/Pentagon challenges are pure kabuki.

      As our dear friend Norkse (hoss LOVE your comments, thanks so much, you need a blog) might say, “Pass the whiskey and the popcorn, bar the door and take the cap of you powder horns fellow FirePups, they’ve been spotted by land AND sea, and they are coming.”

      Damn I love long winded replies. *G* It’s so, so, cathartic, and ’sides, it’s SCARY out here in the dark at night . . . LOLOL

  11. Palli says:

    What is happening about the military judge who is insisting on continuing the Military tribunal trial against a tortured Guantanamo POW? Did he set the next court date for a couple weeks away?

  12. phred says:

    Good to know that burrowing isn’t just for the little BushBots. I wonder how hard it will be to finally cut the strings of puppet-master Cheney? I suspect he will be imposing his will for a long time to come…

  13. acquarius74 says:

    Program beginning now on PBS, NOVA, ‘The Spy Factory’ about NSA’s electronic survelience of bin Laden before 9/ll.

  14. siri says:

    so do all the right things MAKING IT LOOK LIKE Bu$h cabal left town, but keep pulling the strings behind the curtains……..
    totally makes sense, i seriously wondered if they’d leave town at all!
    and WE ALL KNOW that Dick “Dick” Cheney was and is traitorous, so no surprise there either.
    will Obi go after his sorry ass?
    that’s the ???? for MEEEEEEE.
    thanks ew.
    i do NOT know how you stay on top of everything in the world like you do.
    excellent posts, of rapid fire massively importance today, all day long.

    do you have a staff?

  15. rkilowatt says:

    Once again, for data on “team members left behind”, suggest read “Secret Team” publ 1970s, by L. Fletcher Prouty as 1st-person history. The whole intention was laid bare.

  16. tanbark says:

    Lab’, I agree that he should make as much hay as possible on the domestic stuff, but if he can’t get us out of Iraq, then that failure will define his presidency. He can bend the domestic issues to his will, to a substantial degree, but Iraq, and down the road, Afghanistan, will be the cruncher.

    It’s not complex. He has to make substantial withdrawals by the mid-terms, or we’ll get hammered. And he has to have us out or practically out, by the time of the 2012 election campaign, or he will be a one-term president.

    And I think leaving is going to be tough because when that vacuum begins to show up, some of the factions will be voting with AK-47’s and RPG’s.

    I think a lot of our troops are going to wind up in the Kurdish north, where Talabani and the government there have already invited us in for good basing opportunities. What happens after that is anyone’s guess, but I don’t see how Sadr or the Sunnis will hold still for Blockbuster stores in strip malls selling DVD’s of Britney pole-dancing. The only way to make Iraq user-friendly to the Fortune 500 is to keep those troops there, to back up the Iraqi government. It’s no accident that most of the Praetorian Guards for Iraqi higher-ups in the government and parliament are foreign “contractors”. They don’t trust their own people that much.
    And without our troops there, those contractors might as well have bullseyes on their backs.
    Loyalty is a commodity in Iraq. I don’t see a lot of it remaining for the government, when we stop backing them up with cash and Apache helicopters.
    It may be that Obama won’t have to do anything for a year or so, but in that time, Petraeus and Odierno and the rest of the dead-enders will be working hard to create that “Who lost Iraq?” theme for the GOP. As I said, just watch them and you’ll be able to tell, to some extent, what’s going on. If they’re popping off to the media about staying, and Obama is doing nothing about it, then we’re in for it, and the progress that he makes on the domestic issues in the first part of his first term, is probably going to be all that we’ll get.

    • Larue says:

      Hoss, we won’t be needing a few years, this shit is gonna come due an payable to Obama in the next three months at the most. We’ll know MUCH sooner what the end game is gonna look like.

      We’re danged near a crux of a Turning Point (h/t John Mayall) and we need some room to move, soon.

  17. wigwam says:

    Here is where Obama has set himself up by claiming that the surge worked, which it didn’t. Iraq is sure to have further violence and the outcome of that violence is likely to be a Shiite victory and increased Iranian influence. And then the Republicans will start in with their who-lost-Iraq games.

  18. tanbark says:

    Wigwam; good thoughts. Except, in one important respect the surge DID work: It let bush and his minions get out of Dodge while hanging the flaming turd-lei around the necks of Obama and the dems.

  19. tanbark says:

    Hillary is not wasting any time taking off on her first junket. On the schedule are Japan, South Korea, and China.

    But what we need to watch for is a little side-trip into Iraq. If she goes there, and sets up a photo-op/presser with Petraeus and/or Odierno, it will be nothing less than the preznint of the U.S. being run through their little spay-and-neuter clinic. If this happens it won’t matter WHAT they say; Obama’s policy making ability there, already being questioned by Petraeus, will be down to one leg, and counting.

    One photo of the three of them meeting will be worth a ton to the people who do not want us to leave Iraq. We can only hope that when she leaves D.C. it will be with ironclad instructions from Obama to stay the hell away from there and leave that to Obama. If she goes there to exchange ass-rubs with Petraeus and Odierno it will be a stab in the back of major proportions; and it will make it that much more difficult for him to do a relatively quick reassignment of them. Which he’s going to have to do if he’s planning on having a democratic congress to work with for the second two years of his first term.

    It’s critical that these vestigial bushmasters be isolated while Obama waits for a decent time-window to get them out of his hair. Any hint of approval for them from Hillary or other higher-ups in his administration is going to be giving the people who created this misery a bigger hammer with which to beat Obama. I’m sure he understands this and will put her on a short leash.

    I’m sure. Really…I am.

    • Larue says:

      Dude, that’s so crushingly verdad it’s frightening.

      Yer spot on. One lousy photo op, and BOOM, goes all of Obama’s political cache, as far as public opinion goes (libs and progs notwithstanding, but we’ll have been neutered by this and we won’t count).

      As I said, I believe we will know how this all twists within 3 months, if not sooner. And SecState HRC may be the beacon to look for, indeed.

      How you DO that, Tan? *G*

  20. Neil says:

    Cheney bashes top Democrats
    By: Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei and John F. Harris
    Dec 5, 2007 07:39 PM EST…../7234.html

    Vice President Cheney warned in an interview Wednesday that a premature withdrawal from Iraq would invite “further attacks” against the United States and said he has been surprised by the weakness of the Democratic Congress.

  21. siri says:

    I thought we were finished with Dick “Dick” Cheney’s death threats forever.
    Why isn’t he under investigation at the very least. In a perfect world he’d be in a cell at The Hague awaiting trial.
    And WHY is he getting all the msm attention?
    Is he not irrelevant now?
    I thought we had an election. I’m sure we did. I was dancing in the streets with a bunch of other people.
    in a thunderstorm.

  22. tanbark says:

    Siri, thanks. As someone who is certain that dealing with Iraq is going to define Obama’s presidency, and in many ways, our direction as a nation, I’m sweating bullets about Hillary. We should never forget that it took her the better part of 6 years, and an imploding primary campaign, to finally and unequivocally eat that authorization vote for bush’s war. A few times she farted and tap-danced around it, but never did it until she was getting her nose rubbed in the political cost to her of hanging on to bush’s war wagon.

    I’m worried that if/when she goes to Iraq, she will view Petraeus, Odierno, and the rest of the warbots, as potential political allies in 2012, and deal with them accordingly. Obama has no option in this; he HAS to get them out of the driver’s seat in Iraq, or he won’t be able to get us out of the quagmire. If Hillary Clinton has been there, praising these bushCo protectors, and swapping media spit with them, it will be a hammer on Obama. I feel sure he knows this, and has told her to restrict her maiden voyage to venues and situations with less ability to hurt him.

    Fingers crossed.

  23. tanbark says:

    Long-winded or not, it was good-winded. :o)

    We share some of the same paranoias, and why not? As you say, Rome IS falling; we just need to make it as soft a landing as possible. :o)

    Caveat Emptor, dude. :o)

    • Larue says:

      Thanks hoss. *G*

      ME? I’m seizing the carp.

      Give a Larue a fish (or a lake full) and I’ll make us ALL dinner. No miracles here, I’m just a good cook!!!!

      That and a bigass vat of popcorn (extra garlic butter and some parm reg grated on top please) and a jug of whiskey . . . . will get us . . . . numb to it all, if we can’t change it all.


  24. tanbark says:

    You want scary? This is scary…WTF is Clinton doing setting up the ambassador to Iraq? That’s Obama’s call. Not hers. That SHE, of all people, is asking Zinni for his views of Iraq, when, more than 6 years ago, he was warning Bush that he was getting ready to open up a can of worms on which he would not be able to replace the lid, not long before she was flacking and voting for, the invasion, is crazy.


    I make it at least 50-50 that on her maiden junket she shows up in Baghdad for mutual strokes with Petraeus and Odierno. And I’ll be glad to lose on that.


  25. tanbark says:

    In fairness, Zinni’s connnections with DynCorp, who are making a mint furnishing “security” in Iraq, are a good reason to not pick him for the ambassador there, but it could have been handled a lot better. And I hope the final call, was Obama’s, not Clinton’s.

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