Mullen Warns Against Obama's Iraq Troop Plan

By Zachary A. Goldfarb
The nation's senior military official warned against a plan, put forward by presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama, to remove all U.S. troops from Iraq by early 2010.

"I think the consequences could be very dangerous," Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on "Fox News Sunday." "I'm convinced at this point in time that ... making reductions based on conditions on the ground are very important."

Obama has argued that a drawdown in Iraq is necessary to increase troop levels in Afghanistan. The Illinois Democrat was in Afghanistan on Sunday and reiterated his call to add up to 15,000 U.S. troops there.

"This is where [terrorists] can plan attacks. They have sanctuary here. They are gathering huge amounts of money as a consequence of the [opium] drug trade in the region," Obama said in an interview on CBS's "Face the Nation."

Mullen said conditions in Iraq have improved and "we're making progress." If that trend continues, he said, "I would look to be able to make recommendations to President Bush in the fall to continue those reductions."

Asked if more troops might depart before Bush leaves office in January, Mullen said, "Certainly there are assumptions which you could make which would make that possible."

Obama's visit to Afghanistan was part of a tour that will also bring him to Iraq and Europe. The candidate said the United States has failed to do what was necessary in Afghanistan over the years because it has been focused on a different war.

"We got distracted by Iraq," he said. "I don't think there's any doubt that we were distracted from our efforts not only to hunt down al-Qaeda and the Taliban, but also to rebuild this country."

Obama acknowledged there is a perception in the United States that he lacks experience in world affairs. But he said it is an unfounded perception - and that neither experts nor troops agree with it.

"The interesting thing is that the people who are very experienced in foreign affairs, I don't think, have those doubts," Obama said. "The troops that I've been meeting with over the last several days, they don't seem to have those doubts."

Obama said that a growing number of people agree it is time to withdraw troops from Iraq. Last week, President Bush and the Iraqi leadership announced a "time horizon" for troops to leave Iraq. Mullen said it is not possible to put an exact date on that plan, though.

"I'm not yet able to put an exact time line on it per se," Mullen said. "I think the strategic goals of having time horizons are ones that we all seek because eventually we would like to see U.S. forces draw down and eventually all come home."

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said progress in Iraq is allowing for the new attitude toward withdrawing troops.

"The day is coming when American forces will step back more and more from combat roles. The day is coming when will be doing more in the way of training and less in the way of fighting. Those goals are being achieved now," she said on CNN's "Late Edition."

Two campaign surrogates - Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) for McCain and Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) for Obama - sparred on "Fox News Sunday" over which candidate's Iraq plan is best.

"Senator McCain and I and others -- want us out of Iraq sooner rather than later," Lieberman said, "but we want us out in a way that does not compromise all the gains that American and Iraqi forces have made in Iraq. ...[W]e want to stay there to a victory because we don't want all those who have served in the American uniform there to have served, or in some cases died, in vain."

Bayh said that Obama called the Iraq war the wrong step from the beginning.

"I think it's important to note that Barack Obama's judgment about these issues has been excellent from the beginning, the kind of judgment you'd want in a commander in chief, and others are now beginning to adopt his positions," he said. "We wouldn't be discussing surges in Iraq or anything else if Barack had had his way. We wouldn't have started that war to begin with."

The talk turned to politics.

Bayh plainly stated that he would accept the vice presidential slot if offered to him. "That's not the sort of thing you say no to," he said. He would not respond to questions about whether he is being vetted as a potential candidate.


Lieberman, who was Al Gore's vice presidential nominee in 2000, said the idea that he would be the same for McCain is "not going to happen."

Lieberman, a lifelong Democrat before breaking from the party in 2006, said he did not know yet whether he would speak at the Republican National Convention in September.

He said he would "if John asks me and he thinks I can help him," but that he would not attack Obama.

For her part, Rice suggested she had no interest in serving on a McCain ticket. "I've done my part," she said. And she added that she wouldn't say for whom she's going to vote - though she said she has made up her mind.

Gore Discusses a Different Time Bomb

Former vice president Al Gore warned that time is ticking down on the opportunity to take steps to avert a climate disaster.

"We may have less than 10 years in order to make dramatic changes, lest we lose the chance to avoid catastrophic results from the climate crisis," said Gore, the 2007 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on environmental matters.

"This climate crisis is threatening our country, threatening all of human civilization," he added on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Last week, Gore proposed a 10-year plan to move the nation's entire energy supply to renewable sources, reinventing the electricity grid, moving fully to electric cars and spending billions of dollars on solar, wind and other renewable technologies.

Even those who back aggressive steps to combat climate change viewed the proposal with some skepticism. They said the proposal was impractical and far too costly. Gore disagreed.

"We need to reset the bar and change the debate," Gore said. "Our current course is completely unsustainable."

Gore acknowledged that the cost of a transition to renewable energy sources would be extremely costly - in the trillions of dollars - and felt acutely by the average consumer. But he said ordinary Americans are already feeling the brunt of the energy crisis.

"The devastating effect on Main Street and the rest of the country is coming from the present cost of electricity," he said. "The price increases are likely to continue until we stop just taking baby steps."

Gore has sharply criticized President Bush for his climate policy but declined to criticize the Democratic-led Congress.

"The focus now is past President Bush toward what's going to happen in January," he said. "I'm trying to enlarge the political space."

Gore reluctantly waded into political waters. Host Tom Brokaw prodded the former vice president for his view on Sen. Hillary Clinton's proposal, made during the Democratic primary, to halt collecting the federal gasoline tax to help offset rising gas prices.


"I disagreed with those who wanted a so-called gas tax holiday," Gore reluctantly said. "The people of this country are ready for bolder, more dramatic actions."

Obama and others have suggested that Gore might play the role of an energy czar in a Democratic White House. Gore acknowledged the White House is the ultimate bully pulpit but said he is more comfortable with his current role.

"I'm under no illusion that there's any position with as much influence as that of president. And, in fact, I tried to get that position, but that didn't happen," Gore said. "But I personally feel that my own best role is to try to bring about a sea change in public opinion."

Brokaw asked if Gore would give a Shermanesque statement about his intention for public office.

"General Sherman famously said, 'If nominated, I will not run. If elected, I will not serve,' " Gore said. "I didn't run for the nomination, and I've already been elected and did not serve." He added, in a sly reference to the 2000 campaign, "Joking about that."

By Post Editor |  July 20, 2008; 1:00 PM ET
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Comments

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Now that Prime Minister Maliki has specifically cited Obama's time frame of 16 months as being on the same page as his, I wonder how long it's going to take for Admiral Mullen to label Maliki as a dangerous radical who can't be trusted to run his own country.

Posted by: Andy Moursund | July 20, 2008 1:31 PM

Interesting that this post doesn't even mention al-Maliki's interview with der Spiegel, in which he accepts Obama's rough timetable.
The question is--is Obama's time horizon reasonable--the answer appears to be yes on all sides, circumstances permitting. Mullen isn't actually disagreeing with him, but he's speaking for an administration which just last week was foiled in its effort to lock in US forces in the various permanent bases being built around Iraq.
The Post continues its support for the neocon agenda. What IS shabby is WaPo's attempt to dress up its mouthpiece status with a pretence of fairness.

Posted by: scientist1 | July 20, 2008 1:34 PM

You gotta be kidding me. The Iraq Prime-minister says that "Obama is right" and that the US troops should withdral within "16 months", and all the Post can report is some Bush Administration stooge calling into question Obama's Iraq leadership? Nice reporting there.

Posted by: Atlanta, GA | July 20, 2008 1:42 PM

Someone should inform the ghettto Michelle Shaniqua Obama that when the Republicans release her "whitey" tape, her husband's campaign is finished.

Posted by: Dianne72 | July 20, 2008 1:44 PM

Listen you idiots, stop with the ghetto references. I'm so tired of all this racial crap. Diane72, your name is a ghetto as Michelle, dumb b@#*h.

Posted by: Antoine | July 20, 2008 1:47 PM

As an active member of the armed forces, I believe that Admiral Michael Mullen should refrain from political speeches and campaigning. It's the law and it's a good one. I am tired of having our servicemen and women used as political footballs. If Mullen wants to enter the campaign, then he can retire and comment to his heart's content.

Posted by: Cornfields | July 20, 2008 1:47 PM

Shouldn't Mullen be disciplined in some way for getting involved in politics? Also, Antoine, Diane72's post is just spam. You'll have to just ignore it until the Post finally figures out how to do something about it.

Posted by: Atlanta, GA | July 20, 2008 1:52 PM

Whatever happened to civilian control of the military? Mullen should keep his trap shut and stay the hell out of politics. The JCS has enough on its plate.

Posted by: Army Brat | July 20, 2008 2:06 PM

Gore is correct about a 10 year push to halt carbon pollution. There is mention in the article that this "too bold" yet I think not.
We need an all out, total war on oil. This war requires a timeline (excuse me, an horizon as Mullen politically put it.). Most vehicles in America will be replaced in ten years and we need real options ASAP that will only happen if Americans goal seek. We have done a few times before and we always succeed.
We can fast track battery technology, super-ultracapacitors, and the solarfication of the south and the large scale implementation of wind and wave/tidal energy near the coasts.
America, as the principle stakeholder of this investment, will reap the lifelong dividends (free energy for life).
The technology will then be proven and for sale to Asia and Africa so they can debtor nations to the US.
It must be war!
War on oil!

Posted by: Rich Rosenthal | July 20, 2008 2:09 PM

In order to clean up Iraq and Afghanistan ans scare Iran as well as improve McCain's flagging chances, Pres. Bush ought to order him over there to take charge immediately.

Posted by: FstSgt (Ret.) Jack Costanzo, USMC | July 20, 2008 2:21 PM

Agree with Rich, a war on oil is exactly what we need. American automakers have already produced electric cars, yet stopped. And who do you think was behind that! If we shifted more of our resources and tax breaks currently on oil and other fossil fuels, we could achieve that 10 year goal. I for one am ready to make the switch.

Posted by: dawn | July 20, 2008 2:32 PM

Bayh as VP...ugh! A BushDemocrat if ever there was one. He didn't distinguish himself as a governor, nor has he done anything worth mentioning as a Senator. Surely Obama knows to select someone more industrious and loyal.

Posted by: FormerHoosier | July 20, 2008 2:47 PM

Mullen is clearly betraying his true intentions of occupying a country of non-whites by force and against their (PM Maliki for example) stated will. Being originally from the largest democracy in the world I know the pain, suffering and humiliation of being colonized, brutalized and dehumanized by the British for over 200 years. John McCain already has talked about a 100 year long occupation of Iraq, in time it might become 200 years and even include Iran in his dreams. Sad to say but some folks just cannot resist the temptation to rule over, brutalize and dehumanize other people, again, as John McCain said "Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran" and killing them by letting them smoke. Forgive me, but such callous thoughts can occur only in the minds of people of McCain's and Mullen's ilk who have already perpetrated such deeds in this country against our African American brothers and sisters. Because no matter what McCain says today he has always opposed Dr. King's birthday from being a national holiday and a holiday in AZ forever while being an admirer of Jesse helms and Storm Thurmond (may their souls rest in peace).

P.S. I am a US Citizen for over 15 years now, so the racists among you, kindly refrain from asking me to go back to my f*!@##! Country, because my country is the good old US of A.

Posted by: Swapan Chatterjee | July 20, 2008 2:54 PM

Mullen should shut his damn mouth. The military isn't supposed to intervene in political campaigns, in any way, shape or form.

Where does he think he lives, Pakistan?

It would have been nice for the WaPo to mention that, but they're too busy licking McCain's toes.


Posted by: Lindsay | July 20, 2008 2:55 PM

Dianne72 wrote:

"Someone should inform the ghettto Michelle Shaniqua Obama that when the Republicans release her "whitey" tape, her husband's campaign is finished."

Posted by: Dianne72

First of all, we've heard the tape, and she didn't say "whitey".(listen again). Secondly, are you headed to a cross burning after you finish sliming the Obamas? Every time there's a racist comment on this board, I look for your name.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 20, 2008 2:59 PM

I will take the word of Admiral Mullen any day over any wishy wahy politician period. Lets let the Generals and the Admerial Finish the job they where ordered to do, WIN The War !

Posted by: Nicklan | July 20, 2008 3:01 PM

Lets not let the 10 thousand Americans who have paid with their live down. Let use not for get the 10s of thosands wounded and crpped for life, Lets not let those sacrafices be for not, America Make Shore We get what the blood and lives of our best is paying for.
Don't waste this fantastic efford of Free Men be carried out Freely.
We should only leave Iraq, Afganistan and the Middle East when we have VERY Clearly WON THIS WAR.
MacCain is the only Choice For America for complete Victory !

Posted by: R G Langille | July 20, 2008 3:09 PM

Let's hope that whoever wins the presidency this Nov. (and I'm praying for McCain to be the victor), he will listen to our generals about the wars. Hitler lost because he thought he knew more than his generals (sound like someone we know?).

Posted by: Julius Caesar | July 20, 2008 3:12 PM

General Mullen should be court martialed for his comments, period. He is subject to the same UCMJ rules as a private and he broke the law.

Posted by: madisonhack | July 20, 2008 3:14 PM

get ready for the draft boys

Posted by: pvazwindy | July 20, 2008 3:15 PM

Maliki is a Muslim and Obama is a closet Muslim (almost all his blood relatives are/were Muslim and his friends are Muslim .. Nation of Islam, his friends in Indonesia, etc.)....so what would you expect one brother to say to another brother.

Posted by: Judity Fraizer | July 20, 2008 3:15 PM

Niklan - what does "winning" look like if not the elected government telling us, " Okay, we've got it from here. You can leave now." Iraq is not a perfect place. The govt is not completely functioning, the military has a long way to go and Iran will be a continuing problem. These issues will most likely take YEARS to happen. But they are standing up. To us. And telling us to leave.

If this is not victory, please define what, exactly, is.

Posted by: AtlantaGal | July 20, 2008 3:16 PM

Admiral Mullen was acting as a partisan, similar to the unprofessional behavior of the Bush Justice Department until this latest Attorney General arrived. The agmiral misinterpreted Obama's policy in a partisan fashion since Obama also said that we would be as careful getting out as we were careless getting in. Adm. Mullen is apparently confused about the degree of care Pres Bush used in entering the war since Obama set the highest degree of cautiousness for getting out.

It is a sad commentary how easily people can become confused when they take a partisan position. Adm. Mullen is probably planning on retiring next year and running for elected office. I doubt Pres. Obama will have much use for an unprofessional warrior like Mullen.

Posted by: G8tr | July 20, 2008 3:17 PM

Senator Obama should take the Iraqi prime minister endorsement with reserve.The withdrawal of the US troops in Iraq can also lead to chaos, Shiites and Sunnis will continu to kill each other and the destruction will continu. Like the Massai of Kenya say "When two elephants fight, it's the grass that suffers the most"
guy

Posted by: Guy Blaise | July 20, 2008 3:20 PM

This article misstates Obama's position on Iraq. You state Obama's position as being to "remove all U.S. troops from Iraq by early 2010." Under Obama's position, "a residual force will remain in Iraq and in the region to conduct targeted counter-terrorism missions against al Qaeda in Iraq and to protect American diplomatic and civilian personnel." Please get your facts straight before lifting statements directly from FAUXNEWS, especially for the first sentence of your article. Their journalistic integrity is so dismal that you cannot rely upon them for statements of fact.

Posted by: factcheck | July 20, 2008 3:23 PM

Cornfields,

Your non partisan response to the admiral's behavior is to the point.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
"As an active member of the armed forces, I believe that Admiral Michael Mullen should refrain from political speeches and campaigning. It's the law and it's a good one. I am tired of having our servicemen and women used as political footballs. If Mullen wants to enter the campaign, then he can retire and comment to his heart's content."

Posted by: Cornfields

Posted by: Ronnn | July 20, 2008 3:25 PM

Mullen is blunt-spoken and no doubt truly believes he is right regarding Obama's troop withdrawal goal. However, active duty general officers have a particular obligation not to influence national elections. Going on Fox News to criticize the plan of a specific presidential candidate is over the top. Mullen should be dismissed forthwith. Oh, and where were all these blunt-spoken general officers when Bush decided to invade Iraq? And given the mess our military leadership have made in Iraq and Afghanistan, they really don't have much standing to say anything at all about military plans. Someone needs to tell them all to shut up and come up with plans that actually work. Might also do to remind them that they get more money than the next 16 highest spending nations on defense COMBINED.

Posted by: Bob22003 | July 20, 2008 3:27 PM

Guy,

So you think that you or the American President know more about what is good for the Iraqis than their own government. Democrats thought the same way in the 80's with regard to the economy and that lead to the Reagan revolution. I doubt you're thinking will go well in this country, it has been rejected before.

Posted by: G8tr | July 20, 2008 3:32 PM

Is there a place we can lock Gore up and leave him there until he grows up and gets a real job??

Posted by: RichD | July 20, 2008 3:36 PM

You people make comments as though the reason Bush invaded Iraq was because of terrorism. The FACT is that he and his close group of oil buddies wanted access to Iraq's vast oil reserves. That is what this is all about. That is what we are defending. That is what has been achieved!

Posted by: Frank B | July 20, 2008 3:36 PM

ADM Mullen should be terminated and made to retire. How can an active duty servicmen, be it star quality or 11B grunt basically say the Democratic nominee for the President of the United States plan for withdrawing troops from Iraq (based on tactical situation on the ground) is incorrect...or dangerous.

This guy should not be at the helm of the military in the first place...the Navy plays a very small part compared to the Marines and especially the US Army.

The first day on the job, Obama's people should ask for his retirement..no demand it...

Posted by: LTC US Army | July 20, 2008 3:37 PM

The top military brass has a vested interest in perpetual war. Where else could these Bush appointed goons find such lucrative and powerful jobs, other than running General Motors into the ground.

Posted by: Tom in Alabama | July 20, 2008 3:40 PM

Ask troops in a war zone if they would LIKE to go home and, of course, they are going to agree.

Special Ops troops may be different, but the vast majority of troops, IN ALL WARS have ALWAYS envisioned the day when they could go home ... and who can blame them?

Now ask the same troops if they would PREFER to be in Iraq or Afghanistan AND THAT IS A VERY DIFFERENT QUESTION, but they will most likely rightly presume some home leave, or whatever, before going to Afghanistan.

Posted by: BRUCEREALTOR | July 20, 2008 3:43 PM

I would also like to point out that in the interview with ADM Mullen and the one with Gen P yesterday, they both state that with the mission they have been given they are making these statements. I find it interesting that they BOTH use this phrasing.

Obama has said that he would give the military a NEW mission and that would be responsible withdrawal from Iraq. I wonder what changes in their strategy they would implement with THAT mission.

Obama 08!

Posted by: Show Me | July 20, 2008 3:44 PM


Gore is absolutely correct!

We know that Big Oil and Big Energy as it stands now will
stop at nothing to maintain control of their assets.

Their greed, their short sighted vision and their corporate protectionism have controlled affordable, clean energy solutions for long enough.

They are the DeBeers of energy, artificially controlling how much hits the market to prop up prices.

I agree with the others about Washington Post's role to provide balanced reporting.

If they had done their job over the last 8 years, we would
not be in the mess we're in today.

I'm sure some of your major advertisers are pressuring
the editors to lean right, but right now this country
needs you to remember your first duty, to the people.


Posted by: OgreDaddy | July 20, 2008 3:50 PM

Comments from Admiral Mullen regarding caution vis-a-vis any FIXED time table, not also associated with improvements on the ground, appear to be based on lessons that we learned in Vietnam, the hard way.

If the Iraqi government had kept to ANY of the previous time frames for accomplishing stability within their own country, such a statement might be inappropriate, but since they have apparently not done this, the Admiral appears to be merely reminding all of us of THAT REALITY.

FOREWARNED IS FOREARMED !!!

Posted by: BRUCEREALTOR | July 20, 2008 3:50 PM

Someone should inform the ghettto Michelle Shaniqua Obama that when the Republicans release her "whitey" tape, her husband's campaign is finished.

Posted by: Dianne72 | July 20, 2008 1:44 PM
-----------------------------

You're such an imbecile and dupe for the Republicans that you actually believe the Republican rumors about this tape. Where is it? You idiot.

Posted by: mnjam | July 20, 2008 3:52 PM

Someone should inform the ghettto Michelle Shaniqua Obama that when the Republicans release her "whitey" tape, her husband's campaign is finished.

Posted by: Dianne72 | July 20, 2008 1:44 PM
---------------------

How gullible and easily manipulated are you?

The Republicans could steal everything you have and you would still sing their praises.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 20, 2008 3:53 PM

So, the Admiral's word criticizing the Obama (read: Maliki plan) gets a play on the Wash. Post website but not the story on Maliki himself saying that his thinking is more aligned to that of Obama's. Does anyone need any more evidence that Wash. Post has become a republican hack? It is patently unfair and Post should be ashamed of itself for the disservice it is doing to the country. This plan and discussion requires a detailed posting compared to the huge real-estate being wasted on Condit and Chadra Levy.

Posted by: Ravi Palanivelu | July 20, 2008 3:54 PM

Obama has no foreign policy experience at all. So where does he come off saying he has. Besides being a "community organizer" he has almost no experience at all. We are asked to buy an empty suit. I think we all should be afraid,very afraid if he is elected. And we do not know who has been behind his candidacy,besides MoveOn.org. Is is George Soros????

Posted by: messine | July 20, 2008 4:04 PM


Flash -major news update- Obama offers personal endorsements for fitness for president.

Some sorry academic or a guy he meets along the way is what? supposed to assure the American people he is qualified for President?

Obama is really only a frame

Posted by: JohnAdams1 | July 20, 2008 4:06 PM

What's the matter, Repigs..... Afraid?

Afraid Obama will finally euthanize your bankrupt ideolgy?

Name callings all you've got.

The facts aren't on your side.

You hate your own candidate.

You are jealous of the passion Obama creates when your own candidate puts everyone to sleep.

You can't stand the fact that McCain and W call Obama "naive" one week and adopt his policies the next.

You are bitter that your own candidate appears to be senile and can't go a day w/out saying something utterly ridiculous.

You're mad that Obama will accept the nomination at Mile High while McCain's speech has been moved to the Holiday Inn.

You can barely write a coherent sentence so of course you hate someone who writes brilliant speeches.

The bitterness of soon becoming completely irrelevant is starting to set in.

So of course all you've got left is name-calling.....

A random sample of some of the names you mental midgets have called Sen. Barack Obama:

-- Chump
-- Simian
-- Mongrel
-- Empty suit
-- anti-Christ
-- Bozo Barry
-- Black Jesus
-- Montel
-- Pompous
-- Messiah
-- Mr. Borackjangles
-- Socialist
-- Narcissist
-- Purple lips, big ears
-- Moron
-- Incompetent ignoramous

Is this all you retards have got?

Sheesh....WTF is wrong with you?

Americans know Obama is the only choice for November.

http://www.desitorrents.com/forums/images/smilies/nail.gif

Posted by: Rubiconski | July 20, 2008 4:15 PM

someone needs to remind admiral mullen of the chain of command and just where on that ladder he sits....

Posted by: linda | July 20, 2008 4:16 PM

Mullen has no credibility. He is just a cheap Administration hack spinning for Bush and the GOP at this point.

Maliki agrees with Obama, and it's his country. So I guess he's a terrorist, right wingnuts? Hahaha! We got suckered into a war based on lies by Bush and his stooges like Mullen, and got 4,100 KIA, over 30,000 wounded, and spent about $500 billion...all for NOTHING.

Obama is the man to lead this country out of Iraq, and to get ... remember that guy who is behind 9/11?: bin Laden.

Posted by: LH | July 20, 2008 4:18 PM

On FOX News Sunday, Lieberman made some ridiculous accusations, and Bayh did a good job of defending Obama. Lets be serious, no American politican is for "defeat in Iraq."

check it out for yourself: http://youtube.com/watch?v=Fzr9BCttZ6M

Posted by: calidem | July 20, 2008 4:25 PM

Mullen has made a life from the military nipple. 16 months is a timeframe the typical baby is weened from its mother. If the powers that be want to continue suckling, expect Bush to attack Iran before he leaves office.

Posted by: senatorsun | July 20, 2008 4:26 PM

It must be the season of 'flip-flops' and U-turns (the so-called 'refinement' in an earlier position).

Al-Maliki of Iraq agrees with Obama's plan for withdrawal from Iraq, according to de Spiegel, BUT GWB, his military spokesman Mullen and McCain do NOT. Besides, it seems there is a "time horizon" agreement between GWB and Maliki. We are now dealing with Iran, or close to it, something we had refused to do. position on North Korea also remains "flexible."

The condition in Afghanistan are worsening. Remember, this is whwere Osam and his colleagues planned 9/11. The gang is still at large, Talibanzation is on an upswing, and we have roughly one-fourth of the troops in Afghanistan than we have in Iraq. We are distracted in Iraq, while we should have been working to get Osama and curbing anti-US hatred that they have been spreading. I like Obama's plan to infuse more troops in Afghanistan, where we should have been focusing our efforts right from 9/11.

Election year politics as usual, except a few twists.

Posted by: cantabb | July 20, 2008 4:41 PM

What does Victory in Iraq look like you ask?

It looks like 10 to 25000 thousand men joining the fight we America in Afganistan.

I don't think they are ready for their own Country yet, let along to fight with America in Afganistan.

How ever that will Change !

Posted by: Nicklan | July 20, 2008 4:50 PM

Sounds like Adm. Michael Mullen thinks it's better to have al Quada keep benefiting from the opium trade so they can finance and plan future attacks than to comply with the Maliki doctrine for a thoughtful drawdown of troop levels in Iraq.

Posted by: anybody but a Republican | July 20, 2008 4:51 PM

First Mullen should not have gone on an opinion show like Fox News Sunday while his potential new boss was overseas on a fact-finding trip.

Second, Mullen should not be openly trying to help elect a Republican.

I have written both of my Senators -- one Dem and one GOP -- and asked them to have Admiral Mullen fired for this unseemly breach of American tradition.

This was -- practically -- insubordination. A memo was released warning ALL military members to refrain from interfering in the current election process.

FIRE MULLEN.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 20, 2008 5:06 PM

"Someone should inform the ghettto Michelle Shaniqua Obama that when the Republicans release her "whitey" tape, her husband's campaign is finished."

Why? Bush is an alcoholic, coke addict and tried to keep blacks out of his fraternity...he's the War Criminal President of the United States. He also murdered hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, knowing damn well the invasion was based on lies, and he's still president. He's turned off half of the Bill of Rights portion of the Constitution, and *he's* still president.

Get a brain, you idiot. NOTHING Michelle Obama has EVER done equals what this war criminal administration does in one week.

Get used to President Obama and stewing in your own bigot soup.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 20, 2008 5:10 PM

We have sacrificed thousands of our guys on a bad war, and Lieberman wants to sacrifice thousands more so that we can put a comfortable (to him) label on the outcome - "victory".

In other words, no American life so valuable it cannot be sacrificed in order to vindicate Lieberman-Bush...

Posted by: an theist | July 20, 2008 5:20 PM

Any fool knows that if the Iraqi government supports Obama's plan and wishes all U.S. troops out of Iraq in 16 months then there's nothing we can do about it. I mean what is this guy trying to say -- is it that Al-Maliki has a screw loose and doesn't know what he is talking about. Nope. It means that Bush and his cronies have been trapped between a rock and hard place, and so has McSame as he argues that he will follow Bush's misguided policies.

Posted by: caliguy55 | July 20, 2008 5:22 PM

I guess I am just one lowly American feeling overwhelmed by insanity now. But, if King George says Congress can do it, then by all means Congress must do it right ? The King has made his decree, so be it and yadda, yadda, yadda.

Posted by: Mark W. | July 20, 2008 5:46 PM

"Someone should inform the ghettto Michelle Shaniqua Obama that when the Republicans release her "whitey" tape, her husband's campaign is finished.

Posted by: Dianne72 | July 20, 2008 1:44 PM "

Hey Dianne72 -- jealous? Or were you also a Princeton undergrad, Harvard Law grad? Hmmm, not sure which "ghetto" those Ivy Leaguers slum around in -- where do you? Of course you're not Ivy League, you're Bush League -- racist, ignorant and jealous. Lol ... Michelle Obama's family was blue collar and her disabled Dad worked every day of his life to put his kids through school. How telling that you can't imagine a black person not a "ghetto" resident. You haters are hilarious that you think this slime is going to land on anything but your own sorry selves.

Posted by: straight talk my a** | July 20, 2008 5:47 PM

Another piece bordering on opinion from the WaPo, McCains base, trying to advocate 100 years in Iraq.

Posted by: Julian | July 20, 2008 6:00 PM

You have to wonder if Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on "Fox News Sunday" is a traitor. The statement he made is very dangerous and anti-american. In addition, he is effecting foreign policy and even a dumb Admiral like Mullen should know his place.

To you Admiral I say: It's a ground war, go play with boats in the bathtub. I hear from the field there is no reason why the troop cannot come home.

Posted by: katman | July 20, 2008 6:21 PM

Mullen ought to be fired for entering a political debate. His duty is to execute, not decide the strategic policy.

Posted by: Oscar | July 20, 2008 6:23 PM

To Messine, I fully agree with you, Obama has very little experience and I cannot envision his wife being first lady, she is no lady!

Posted by: Tony | July 20, 2008 6:33 PM

Mullen Warns Against Obama's Iraq Troop Plan
By Zachary A. Goldfarb

_____________________________________
MULEN? Is this another of Shrub's "Toy Soldiers"? And GOLFARB , do that be a "JEW" or just "JEWISH"?

Posted by: harried | July 20, 2008 6:36 PM

In this country civilian leadership trumps military leadership. Our chairman of the Joint Chiefs has a duty to express his views to the civilian leadership when required and that is it. He has no duty or business to spout views on Fox News Sunday. If he wants to be a publicity hound or media bobble-head he can resign and join the Fox News Team.

One of the things that has gone radically wrong with this war in particular is that every Chairman has become a political player. That has been a serious detriment to the Military and the war effort. It is time they remember what their real job is. That is to carry out the lawful orders of Secretary of Defense and the President. To do that job God gave him two ears and only one mouth for a good reason. On his own he took an oath to lawfully follow orders and defend the constitution. As a professional he should keep his political views to himself, period.

My advice to Obama or McCain when they take over is to thoroughly house clean out all of the senior political brass from the military. If either one has a pair they will follow Harry Truman's example.

Posted by: Redman | July 20, 2008 6:36 PM

Thank you, Baye, for making the point on judgment in the first place. McCain's "experience" didn't lead him to that judgment either. So much for that. A few are certainly moving towards one's particular ideas on what needs to happen though. I do see that. I don't believe that there is anything WRONG with it either, but I find I would rather go with the one most authentic on the issue. Obama was already there from the get-go, and I find I have more reason to trust him on this. The man can think. Thank goodness for that.

Go Baye! Go Obama! Go PEOPLE of the U.S.! Gratitude for foreigners who also understand the need for Change in policies of this country, instead of continuation of what a great portion are TIRED (and simply cannot afford) of.

Posted by: Obama2008 | July 20, 2008 6:38 PM

Try the word *JEW* on yjis Wapo board and see what happens!

Posted by: harried | July 20, 2008 6:39 PM

Try the word "JEW" on this board and see what happens!

Posted by: harried | July 20, 2008 6:41 PM

Yjis Mullen, how far behind the lines is he?

Posted by: harried | July 20, 2008 6:47 PM

"Even those who back aggressive steps to combat climate change viewed the proposal with some skepticism. They said the proposal was impractical and far too costly."

Oh yeah?

Who?

Posted by: RBS | July 20, 2008 6:51 PM

"The nation's senior military official warned against a plan...to remove all U.S. troops from Iraq by early 2010."

"I think the consequences could be very dangerous," Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on "Fox News Sunday." "I'm convinced at this point in time that ... making reductions based on conditions on the ground are very important."

Hey folks, get real. It make no difference when we leave, because Irag will surely convulse in some big way whenever we leave.

Just a few facts: of Iraq's prewar 20% Sunni population, two million have left the country and will not vote in the fall elections. The Sunni remaining, roughly 11% of the population, are totally unreconciled to the Shiia taking control of Iraq, and are only temporarily quiescent because we pay them $300 per month per man which will end whenever we leave, and cannot control the country by electorial politics. They are building their forces and the Saudis will fund this faction when push comes to shove.

The Shiia are badly divided between the al-Hakim and the al-Sadr factions. Both have extensive militias that are only for now laying low. The army is divided in its loyalties between them. It will also split when push comes to shove.

The Kurds demand Kirkuk, Turkmen and all Arabs notwithstanding, and the vote scheduled for fall to decide who gets Kirkuk has been cancelled. Turkey regularly pounds the PKK factions in Iraqi Kurdistan, and is developing genial relations with the Iranian general staff who have a similar problem with PEJAK, the Kurdish rebels in Iranian Kurdistan.

Meanwhile, the greenzone government is incapable at this time to restore any public services such as electricity or sewers, and the oil funds are being extensively siphoned off in corruption.

I could go on. The point is that only a central strongman can keep the whole bloody mess from flying into a million pieces. This will not happen while the occupation army sits on the situation, but when we leave, wholly or even substantially, who can realistically doubt my proposed scenerio?

And we spend 3 billion every seven days. I say get out now and let the chips fall as they may, with the problem landing squarely in the lap of the IRI. Let them have it.

Posted by: tarquinis | July 20, 2008 6:54 PM

What the h*ll is Mullen doing on "Fox News On Sunday"?

He should be fired immediately.

These aren't the end days of the Roman Empire.

Mullen should remember just who and what he is.

Posted by: RAS | July 20, 2008 6:59 PM

Obama - has one more thing to do on his 1st day in office.

FIRE Mullen and all such WAR-MONGERS who have brought ruin to USA because of this criminal, propogandist war and occupation of Iraq.

The president sets the policy -- men like Mullen just follow orders as he seems to be doing for thug Bush.

Posted by: Raj | July 20, 2008 6:59 PM

So no one can disagree with the Great Messiah without eliciting a hue and cry for them to be fired? That's not good.

Posted by: John | July 20, 2008 7:22 PM

It's frightening to have the generals playing a larger and larger role in the political life of the Republic.

To have a general do a political commercial on Fox news is pathetic. Mullen is out of line.

Posted by: jfp | July 20, 2008 7:23 PM

Adm. Mullen has disgraced his uniform by making clearly politically-clothed remarks. He should be publicly disciplined if not forced to retire. An Article 15 would do it, just as long as it is public.
What a disgrace on the Nation.
We need leadership.
NO FREE PASS FOR MCCAIN. NO FREE PASS FOR HILLARY. NO BAMA BUCKS FOR BILLARY.

Posted by: Gorgonzola | July 20, 2008 7:35 PM

Dianne isn't really 72. She's 95.

Posted by: tom | July 20, 2008 7:52 PM

My Sunday morning ritual is to wake up, grab a cup of coffee, watch Meet the Press, and then switch to Fox News Sunday. While the political leanings of Fox are no secret, I have generally felt that Chris Wallace was less of a Right Wing mouthpiece compared to some of his other colleagues like Hannity, Gibson, O'Riley, etc. But I have noticed a distinct, unabashed shift to the Right from Wallace. His questioning of Adm Mullen was one of the most brazenly partisan interview that I have seen on Fox News!! The questions Wallace posed, and the way he framed his questions were very similar to an attorney questioning his own client on the stand! Although Adm Mullen tried half-heartedly (well, if he had a pair, he would not be a Bush appointee now, would he!?!?!)less effusive than Wallace about the Bush/McCain approach, and less derogatory about the Obama approach, Wallace kept badgering him to toe the party line. It was an interesting interview! Not sure if any of the other readers picked up on the same vibe.

Posted by: Geonerd20 | July 20, 2008 8:00 PM

Rightwing-extremist Republicans never saw a war they didn't like. Let's cut to the chase. War is big business and lines the pockets of millionaire/billionaire Republicans. Essentially -that- is why hard-right military leaders go on sympathetic FOX News and promote McCain's 100-year war in Iraq. If rightwing radicals at FOX News and Washington love war so much, ship 'em out to Iraq. If that happened, the war would end tomorrow. The bottom line is that the US economy is already is in dire straights for a number of reasons: i.e. reckless spending, loans to third world countries, shipping US jobs south of the border and overseas, lack of universal healthcare, failure to invest in alternative energy sources, etc. Oh, and W.'s war for oil doesn't help either. John McCain is a little bit funny. Unlike the vast majority of the Repub leaderhip in Congress, he actually fought in 'Nam. Yet he spouts off "100 years in Iraq" and "Bomb, bomb, Iran" as though it were child's play. The war in Iraq is big business for the military-industrial complex, but remember that there were zero organized terrorist groups there, before W. attacked it. A vote for McCain is a vote for more unwarranted wars and reckless fiscal policies that make the rich richer. "They make a desert, and they call it peace." -Tacitus

Posted by: Dr. Don Key | July 20, 2008 8:10 PM

It would have been nice if "The Talk" pointed out that Mullen is a Bush appointee and is an agent of the Administration. He is not an unbiased party. Furthermore, Mullen is a Navy man, and he has had not endured the bitter experience that the Army and Marines have in Iraq. The reason Bush promoted Navy members like Mullen is because most of the Army folks turned against the Bush policy.

Obama is right on target. The days of the neocon are numbered.

Posted by: Khyber Jones | July 20, 2008 8:10 PM

If a president Obama orders Admiral Mullen to have US troops out of Iraq in 16-24 months he will salute smartly, say "aye aye sir" and it will be done. No doubt what so ever about that.

Posted by: marc | July 20, 2008 8:22 PM

All you folks supporting McCain can do a few things to ensure victory in Iraq and Afghanistan: 1. tell your neighbors to support the war and why; 2. pay higher taxes so we can afford to continue fighting; 3. volunteer or sign up your kids, relatives, etc. to fight. Then again, you're Republicans so you will just sit on your fat greedy butts and do nothing except talk and worry about scary black and brown people... and gays. When you selfish cowards put your money and your physical security where your mouths are then the USA could take over the entire planet. Until then, shut the hell up, cowards!

Posted by: Vincent F | July 20, 2008 8:31 PM

Guess who's no longer going to be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs on Jan 1, 2009?

Posted by: Haven | July 20, 2008 8:43 PM

The Iraqi Prime Minister has stated that his rematks were misinterpreted by the Germans, so he does not, in fact, agree with Mr. Obama. Too bad the Obama camp did not wait or a confirmation before expressing their pleasure that the Iraqi P.M. agreed with Mr. Obama.

People see his opinion on the war that was formed without any knowledge and/or examination of the facts (intelligence) as proof of good judgment. This continues to confound me. Would America want a President who would decide that a foreign nation is not a threat without having checked out the facts (intelligence)? I sincerely hope not. If I recall correctly, after a tornado did serious damage to a town in Oregon, and after the media had reported several times about the miracle that less than 12 people were killed, Mr. Obama, must have seen pictures of the devastation and he stated that more than a hundred were killed. He probably did not check out the facts before giving his opinion. These are not the only instances. This is probably why the man of words has to explain his changed point of view so often.

Posted by: CalP | July 20, 2008 8:56 PM

Gore is correct about a 10 year push to halt carbon pollution. There is mention in the article that this "too bold" yet I think not.
We need an all out, total war on oil. This war requires a timeline (excuse me, an horizon as Mullen politically put it.). Most vehicles in America will be replaced in ten years and we need real options ASAP that will only happen if Americans goal seek. We have done a few times before and we always succeed.
We can fast track battery technology, super-ultracapacitors, and the solarfication of the south and the large scale implementation of wind and wave/tidal energy near the coasts.
America, as the principle stakeholder of this investment, will reap the lifelong dividends (free energy for life).
The technology will then be proven and for sale to Asia and Africa so they can debtor nations to the US.
It must be war!
War on oil!

Posted by: Rich Rosenthal | July 20, 2008 2:09 PM

Mr. Rosenthall:

Cars that run on batteries are nice but you are tremendously mistaken. By using batteries in cars you are merely exchanging one form of carbon for another; namely dirtier coal (bad) or natural gas (better and cleaner but not perfect)that is burned at a stationary power plant. Yes we would use less oil but it is a short sighted approach. People talk as if wind, hydroelectric and tidal generators will solve all of our problems. There is no way that these technologies will support the entire US much less the East and West Coasts.

The problem is not just generating power; it is more demand for electricity on a national grid that is nearly at capacity right now (wait for the blackouts to come folks if we do this.)

What I would humbly suggest is that we look at a two fold approach: use of natural gas in cars for now and a crash program to exploit hydrogen fuel cell technology. This is cleaner,produces only oxygen and water as a byproduct, and sustainable once the infrastructure is in place.

Posted by: MarkWL | July 20, 2008 8:56 PM

The Iraqi Prime Minister has stated that his rematks were misinterpreted by the Germans, so he does not, in fact, agree with Mr. Obama. Too bad the Obama camp did not wait or a confirmation before expressing their pleasure that the Iraqi P.M. agreed with Mr. Obama.

People see his opinion on the war that was formed without any knowledge and/or examination of the facts (intelligence) as proof of good judgment. This continues to confound me. Would America want a President who would decide that a foreign nation is not a threat without having checked out the facts (intelligence)? I sincerely hope not. If I recall correctly, after a tornado did serious damage to a town in Oregon, and after the media had reported several times about the miracle that less than 12 people were killed, Mr. Obama, must have seen pictures of the devastation and he stated that more than a hundred were killed. He probably did not check out the facts before giving his opinion. These are not the only instances. This is probably why the man of words has to explain his changed point of view so often.

Posted by: CalP | July 20, 2008 8:57 PM

Obama never said he would remove all troops in 16 months. That is what you wanted to hear. He said and has continued to say he would remove all combat troops in 16 months which means there are many types of troops staying behind to train, defend, protect, advise, etc. i find it amazing how no one listens but hears what they want to hear.

Posted by: optodoc | July 20, 2008 9:16 PM

Bayh as VP...ugh! A BushDemocrat if ever there was one. He didn't distinguish himself as a governor, nor has he done anything worth mentioning as a Senator. Surely Obama knows to select someone more industrious and loyal. Posted by: FormerHoosier

As a Hoosier, you ought to know.

But then, what has the great Barack done, worth mentioning - other than a speech opposing the war at a Southside rally, when it didn't count for anything?

Posted by: BarackIsStillWetBehindTheEars | July 20, 2008 9:35 PM

Sorry, Obamabots, but Maliki says that he does not agree with that fool Obama's 16 month plan for US troops withdrawl. On Friday it was reported that Iraqis want the US troops to stay in Iraq five years after Iraqis have taken the lead on security nationwide.

The Demos and liberals' wish that Iraqis become involved in a civil war that would cost millions of lives or that Iraq fall under Islamic fundamentalism will not be realized.

Sorry, Pelosi, Reid, Democrats and liberals everywhere.

Posted by: zqll | July 20, 2008 9:50 PM

Talking about that mt suit Obama's southside anti-war speech in 2002 he said in that speech that he would willingly take up arms himself to prevent another 911. Well, we are still waiting.

Obama is a fraud.


Posted by: zqll | July 20, 2008 9:55 PM

Mccain claim that he is the author of the surge is a lie.

Here is the proof

The General Who Got It Right on Iraq by Frank Gibney LA TIMES

When Donald H. Rumsfeld swooped down on the Pentagon in 2001 as President Bush's secretary of Defense, Gen. Eric Shinseki must have looked like a natural ally to him. Like Rumsfeld, Shinseki wanted to "transform" the armed services and had announced his plan for changing the Army when he became chief of staff in 1999. But Shinseki's notion of transformation differed substantially from Rumsfeld's. To the new Defense secretary, transformation meant greater reliance on technology, not troops, to achieve goals; to Shinseki, it meant more intensified training, featuring highly mobile medium-light brigades of mechanized infantry capable of a variety of missions. Their philosophical clash became public when the United States went to war against Iraq. The preemptive attack relied on overwhelming air power and deployed a bare minimum of ground troops. Asked by a Senate committee to estimate the number of troops needed for the operation, Shinseki said "several hundred thousand." Rumsfeld's office immediately denounced the number as "wildly off the mark
7/20/2008 10:10:39 PM

Posted by: VIC | July 20, 2008 10:15 PM

It's said that he had an affair with Johnson.She has a profile on a famous dating site,""" Seekingtall.c om """,although she is engaged.

Posted by: Mary Ann | July 20, 2008 10:37 PM

This is for you John McCain. I would like to personally thank you for goading Senator Obama to visit the Middle-East. Smiling, enthusiastic troops greeting Senator Obama, Iraq calling for a withdrawal, the world witnessing Afghanistan security decreasing day by day as Senator Obama predicted and photo-ops with Middle-East and European leaders not to mention soon to be massive pro-Obama rallies in Europe to turn around America's negative image abroad. It just doesn't get better than this! Again, thank you John McCain!

PS
Are you sure you are not working for the Democratic Party?

Posted by: woody | July 20, 2008 10:50 PM

In spite of what CENTCOM, in Tampa says, Maliki DID say he supported Obama's plan:

www.politico.com

Direct translation

The Times, noting that the interpreter was Maliki's, not Der Spiegel's, gets the tape and offers a very literal translation that backs up the German magazine:

But the interpreter for the interview works for Mr. Maliki's office, not the magazine. And in an audio recording of Mr. Maliki's interview that Der Spiegel provided to The New York Times, Mr. Maliki seemed to state a clear affinity for Mr. Obama's position, bringing it up on his own in an answer to a general question on troop presence.

The following is a direct translation from the Arabic of Mr. Maliki's comments by The Times:

"Obama's remarks that -- if he takes office -- in 16 months he would withdraw the forces, we think that this period could increase or decrease a little, but that it could be suitable to end the presence of the forces in Iraq."

He continued: "Who wants to exit in a quicker way has a better assessment of the situation in Iraq."

Posted by: Anonymous | July 20, 2008 10:57 PM

So,Adm Mullen's opinion will of course mean
absolutely nothing to Generalissmo,Messiah
Barack Hussein Obama,since poor Admiral
Mullen is not in El Presidente/Commander
Guy Obama's New Chain of Command,since it
only includes,Obama,General 9% Approval
Rating Nancy Pelosi,General Harry Reid,and
Chief of Staff Michelle Obama,plus Sec of
Defense Swift Boat John Kerry and Chairman
of Joint Chief General Weasely Clark as I'm
ya'll must know by now! So how dare a mere
Admiral critize Der Leader (Furher)Obama.

Posted by: Sherry Kay | July 21, 2008 12:05 AM

The fact that Maliki thought Obama's 16 month time frame was OK doesn't mean anything. Maliki has bumbled around for years not meeting his "benchmarks." Frustrating the American military and Congress. Obama took his Iraq strategy about withdrawing the troops from Hillary in an early debate. Just like the green jobs, his economy plan with her dollar amount, etc. I remember several weeks ago, Obama flip-flopped about an Iraq withdrawal in the same day. In the morning Obama said he wouldn't set a timeline, it would depend on the military advisers. In the afternoon, after taking heat from the far-left, he flip-flopped-flipped and said he would bring troops home within 16 months. As far as Maliki liking Obama's plan, consider the source.

Posted by: Janet8 | July 21, 2008 12:19 AM

Someday Obama is going to give the wrong speech to the wrong group; and your can kiss that "Change you Can Believe in" good-bye.

Posted by: voteexpatriate | July 21, 2008 12:40 AM


Ah, the inconvenient truth for Obama.

The military owes it to the troops, the politicians (including Obama), and the people to give their best advice.

How else can politicians make informed decisions?

Posted by: WylieD | July 21, 2008 1:01 AM

Every time some right wing hack, e.g., Bush, McCain and their assorted neocon associates complains about setting a time table for withdrawal from Iraq, the media treats these statements as something brand new when in fact the McBushs have been bleating about this for years and will, if we're not out by then, continue to utter such nonsense (e.g., we want to get but it depends on the situation on the ground so we can't set any type of timeline; as the Iraqs stand up we'll stand down; any type of timeline amounts to precipitous withdrawal and a wish for defeat, etc.) for the next 20 or 30 years. We must by now recognize such utterings for what they are, a strategy, as Obama put it, for remaining in Iraq for the foreseeable future. The media treats the latest Bush uttering about setting time horizons or goals for getting out of Iraq as some sort of change in policy, when it's in fact just more of the same garbage, i.e., we're glad to set goals or horizons, recognizing of course that these depend on the situationon the ground. What's left unsaid here, once again, but intended is that we've basically won the war, we've been victorious with our surge, etc., etc., but conditions are nevertheless just not right now for getting out, nor will they ever be. Thank God Bush will soon be a nightmare of past and we can only hope that McCain doesn't get the chance to carry on his special brand of idiocy, otherwise we'll be in Iraq for ever.

Posted by: Stan Suser | July 21, 2008 1:31 AM

As a Brit I am a bit confused to the continual remarks about your Commander-in-Chief. I thought the USA was a Democracy headed by a President not a military government headed by a Commander. It is little surprise that many small countries are afraid of the USA when much of what they hear is militaristic. "If we don't get our way we will bomb you".

I am also confused to how the US government operates given that you are really led by a President. I thought if the President leads he makes the policy. He shouldn't need the permission of the military. For example like any Chief Executive Officer it is ok to say "I want this job done in 18 months; now tell me how you are going to do it." It is then up the CEO to provide the resources to get the job done. There may be some discussions in order to balance achieving the goal and resources required. However CEOs do NOT go to their staff and ask "What shall I do?"!!

It seems that McCain has very little understanding of how things should operate in civilian life. It looks like the tail is wagging the dog in his case. The army says this so we will do this. The question for US citizens is "Does the military run your country for you?" or "Does the military serve the country?". McCain's view appears to be that the population must support the military even if this bankrupts the USA. McCain will support the military, not lead, because it is the only thing he has experience about and he wasn't a leader. He has already admitted he know nothing about economics. So if the war stops and USA has peace what will McCain do then? Will he look for another war?

Posted by: jimbo | July 21, 2008 5:12 AM

Zachary you cause yourself and the Washington Post to lose credibility.

Barack has not put forward a plan to remove ALL U.S troops by 2010. You need to write a retraction and apology for falsely stating the following.


By Zachary A. Goldfarb
The nation's senior military official warned against a plan, put forward by presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama, to remove all U.S. troops from Iraq by early 2010.

Posted by: Mr. Unite Us | July 21, 2008 5:16 AM

The big story on Mullen should have been that he warned against any NEW WAR or attack on Iran, saying it would be disastrous for the already overburdened Army, but of course the writers at WaPo have to slant their coverage to benefit McKrusty and bash Obama.

I wonder if there's any mention here at WaPo of the fact that President Malaki basically endorsed Obama's Iraq pullout version, and then very unconvincingly claimed he hadn't actually said that (after frantic calls from the White House)...another inconvenient fact for ole leatherneck that probably will be played down here.

Posted by: wagonjak | July 21, 2008 12:28 PM

It is foolish writ large to believe that Obama's stand against the Iraq war in 2002 shows anything more than a broken clock is right two times a day.

In 2002 he was the 13th district senator of Illinois. One of 59 to be exact. Since when did local politicians receive national security briefings?

Obama knew no more about the conditions in Iraq than my 14 year old granddaughter. To claim he made a considered and intelligent decision based upon exactly nothing is quite humorous.

All this guy did was flip a coin or do what the typical knee jerking liberal would do. Voted against the administration.

Posted by: HawaiianGecko | July 21, 2008 1:43 PM

Neither Senator Obama nor Senator McCain know the future of Iraq. Nor do they know whether the withdrawal of US troops in Iraq- short or long term- will have a positive or negative effect. Like the Bambara of Timbuktu (Mali) say "There is no mountain over which you can see the future."
Guy Blaise

Posted by: Guy Blaise | July 21, 2008 6:54 PM

Re: Rich Rosenthal

Which country are you representing?

Posted by: premier | July 22, 2008 4:17 AM

Re: optodoc

Are you kidding me? You do not speak English??

Posted by: premier | July 22, 2008 4:19 AM

I seen this fellow on tv and you have to wonder,what is his stance on the don't ask don't tell policy,he's sure seems to have a little sugar in his tail, he's so sweet
is that a trait of lifer sailors,who have been at sea so long.just wondering

Posted by: HORNY FOR HANNITY | July 23, 2008 10:33 AM

With the appointment of Al Gore as Secretary of Energy, for the first time the title would not be properly "Secretary of Petroleum".
This, all by itself, is a major improvement.

Posted by: OldUncleTom | July 27, 2008 7:07 PM

Note Barack Obama's writing in "Audacity":

"In the wake of 9/11, my meetings with Arab and Pakistani Americans ... have a more urgent quality, for the stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging," he laments. "I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction."

http://www.americanconservativedaily.com/2008/03/heartless-us-must-weep-for-muslims/

Posted by: FoolsThatWeAre | August 4, 2008 12:04 AM

Note Barack Obama's writing in "Audacity":

"In the wake of 9/11, my meetings with Arab and Pakistani Americans ... have a more urgent quality, for the stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging," he laments. "I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction."

http://www.americanconservativedaily.com/2008/03/heartless-us-must-weep-for-muslims/

Posted by: FoolsThatWeAre | August 4, 2008 12:05 AM

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