The Sunday pundits seem to have universally declared he was right…and I cry foul.
Without knowing much about the man, I do respect him for his honorable service and great accomplishment of rising to the rank of General. However, it strikes me that if he had any intention of sticking around during a critical time of war to better influence events from his perspective; he may have started his now famous answer something like this:
With all due respect Senator, the occupation you seem to imply in your question is vastly different than the mission given by the Commander in Chief. To answer your question as stated, a thorough occupation that ignores all other elements of the President’s strategy in Iraq and in that region of the world as well as the reality of current force structure and availability may very well require several hundred thousand troops, but…
As it was, the General gave what may very well have been an honest answer to a less than honest question. Upon the most superficial of analyses, he couldn’t have been more correct…but seldom has a correct answer been more irrelevant (and received more praise from a willfully ignorant press). Both the question and the answer assumed a definition of occupation that had nothing to do with the course that the civilian leadership had determined for the war or as I like to call it…reality.
Except by the Monday morning quarterbacking, anti-BushCheneyRumsfeld press, no one this side of a congressional hearing would (or should) mistake any of this General Shinseki flap as anything serious. Then or now.
Proud Member for 4 Years and 3 Months