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Thread: War of Words-Tommy Franks

  1. #1
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    [b]OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR
    War of Words
    By TOMMY FRANKS[/b]

    Published: October 19, 2004

    President Bush and Senator John Kerry have very different views of the war on terrorism, and those differences ought to be debated in this presidential campaign. But the debate should focus on facts, not distortions of history.

    On more than one occasion, Senator Kerry has referred to the fight at Tora Bora in Afghanistan during late 2001 as a missed opportunity for America. He claims that our forces had Osama bin Laden cornered and allowed him to escape. How did it happen? According to Mr. Kerry, we "outsourced" the job to Afghan warlords. As commander of the allied forces in the Middle East, I was responsible for the operation at Tora Bora, and I can tell you that the senator's understanding of events doesn't square with reality.

    First, take Mr. Kerry's contention that we "had an opportunity to capture or kill Osama bin Laden" and that "we had him surrounded." We don't know to this day whether Mr. bin Laden was at Tora Bora in December 2001. Some intelligence sources said he was; others indicated he was in Pakistan at the time; still others suggested he was in Kashmir. Tora Bora was teeming with Taliban and Qaeda operatives, many of whom were killed or captured, but Mr. bin Laden was never within our grasp.

    Second, we did not "outsource" military action. We did rely heavily on Afghans because they knew Tora Bora, a mountainous, geographically difficult region on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is where Afghan mujahedeen holed up for years, keeping alive their resistance to the Soviet Union. Killing and capturing Taliban and Qaeda fighters was best done by the Afghan fighters who already knew the caves and tunnels.

    Third, the Afghans weren't left to do the job alone. Special forces from the United States and several other countries were there, providing tactical leadership and calling in air strikes. Pakistani troops also provided significant help - as many as 100,000 sealed the border and rounded up hundreds of Qaeda and Taliban fighters.

    Contrary to Senator Kerry, President Bush never "took his eye off the ball" when it came to Osama bin Laden. The war on terrorism has a global focus. It cannot be divided into separate and unrelated wars, one in Afghanistan and another in Iraq. Both are part of the same effort to capture and kill terrorists before they are able to strike America again, potentially with weapons of mass destruction. Terrorist cells are operating in some 60 countries, and the United States, in coordination with dozens of allies, is waging this war on many fronts.

    As we planned for potential military action in Iraq and conducted counterterrorist operations in several other countries in the region, Afghanistan remained a center of focus. Neither attention nor manpower was diverted from Afghanistan to Iraq. When we started Operation Iraqi Freedom we had about 9,500 troops in Afghanistan, and by the time we finished major combat operations in Iraq last May we had more than 10,000 troops in Afghanistan.

    We are committed to winning this war on all fronts, and we are making impressive gains. Afghanistan has held the first free elections in its history. Iraq is led by a free government made up of its own citizens. By the end of this year, NATO and American forces will have trained 125,000 Iraqis to enforce the law, fight insurgents and secure the borders. This is in addition to the great humanitarian progress already achieved in Iraq.

    Many hurdles remain, of course. But the gravest danger would result from the withdrawal of American troops before we finish our work. Today we are asking our servicemen and women to do more, in more places, than we have in decades. They deserve honest, consistent, no-spin leadership that respects them, their families and their sacrifices. The war against terrorism is the right war at the right time for the right reasons. And Iraq is one of the places that war must be fought and won. George W. Bush has his eye on that ball and Senator John Kerry does not.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    What's funny is the MSM will never take this into account when kerri makes his ludicrous allegations nor will they call kerri on this....just like they wouldn't when Bremer took kerri to task: [url=http://www.jetsinsider.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=31511&hl=bremer]http://www.jetsinsider.com/forums/index.ph...31511&hl=bremer[/url]

    As far as the NY Slimes is concerned...allowing Franks to counter kerri's arguement then burying it in the back of the paper is nothing more then a feeble attempt to prove they are not partisan *****es for kerri...funny how most of their "breaking" news stories, (99% which are anti-GWB) always cite "anonymous sources" rather then named people...here is someone that was in control of the events on the ground countering-kerri's claim yet it is not newsworthy!

  2. #2
    and what drives me up a freakin' wall is that every time Kerry made these accusations during the debates Bush didn't really say enough to dispell the misleadings. I can't tell you how many times I was screaming at the TV during those debates for Bush to speak up and correct Kerry's lies. GRRRR!!

  3. #3
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    Something tells me Bitonti won't be quite as supportive of this career soldier's viewpoint...

  4. #4
    [quote][i]Originally posted by Piper[/i]@Oct 20 2004, 07:35 AM
    [b] Something tells me Bitonti won't be quite as supportive of this career soldier's viewpoint... [/b][/quote]
    Just like you were SOOOOO supportive of the Soldiers opinions he posted, right Piper? Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. :rolleyes: :lol: :rolleyes:

    Leadership needs to listen to soldiers of BOTH biases, on both sides and every opinion in-between, before they craft their strategy and pre-planning. THAT is my biggest critisicm of the Iraq war, that it was poorly planned, poorly tactic'd and poorly thought out in almost every way.

    Simply, this war could have been handled much better by our leadership. That isn't to say Kerry will be a better Wartime leader (in actuallity, I don't really think he would be), but that our CURRENT leader needs to learn from his obvious tactical errors and change our tactics in Iraq, have a firm exit strategy and timeframe, and review our tactical theory in the greater "War on Terror".

  5. #5
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    Tommy Franks' opinion is equally as important as a grunt's opinion?


    Would you listen to the CEO of Wal-Mart when he talks about business trends and the long-term profitability of Wal-Mart in light of their current business model and strategy, or would you equally weight the views of a Wal-Mart cashier in Des Moines who says that he has noticed that he's not as busy as he used to be? Who's opinion would you tend to listen to more?

    That is not to say that you are wrong, Fisher. I don't mean to imply that whatever Franks says is gospel, or that other high-ranking, retired military men don't disagree or whatever. Just saying that a low-level sergeant's perspective may not be large enough for him to have a credible opinion.....

  6. #6
    [quote][i]Originally posted by jets5ever[/i]@Oct 20 2004, 10:27 AM
    [b] Tommy Franks' opinion is equally as important as a grunt's opinion?


    Would you listen to the CEO of Wal-Mart when he talks about business trends and the long-term profitability of Wal-Mart in light of their current business model and strategy, or would you equally weight the views of a Wal-Mart cashier in Des Moines who says that he has noticed that he's not as busy as he used to be? Who's opinion would you tend to listen to more?

    That is not to say that you are wrong, Fisher. I don't mean to imply that whatever Franks says is gospel, or that other high-ranking, retired military men don't disagree or whatever. Just saying that a low-level sergeant's perspective may not be large enough for him to have a credible opinion..... [/b][/quote]
    You misunderstand my intent Jets5.

    When I say "listen to Soldiers on both sides", I do mean primarily commanders and high ranking officers (of which there have been many, active and retired, on both sides of the debate over the tactics used to-date in the Iraq Campaign).

    Although, with that said, I DO think it's important to listen to the men in the line of fine, on both sides. They see the war day in and day out, and have a valuble and unique perspective that commanders behind the lines (or in the US) may not truly see or appreciate.

    So, I do not think your Wal-Mart comparison is valid on this one my friend. :D

  7. #7
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Warfish+Oct 20 2004, 10:55 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (Warfish &#064; Oct 20 2004, 10:55 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-jets5ever[/i]@Oct 20 2004, 10:27 AM
    [b] Tommy Franks&#39; opinion is equally as important as a grunt&#39;s opinion?


    Would you listen to the CEO of Wal-Mart when he talks about business trends and the long-term profitability of Wal-Mart in light of their current business model and strategy, or would you equally weight the views of a Wal-Mart cashier in Des Moines who says that he has noticed that he&#39;s not as busy as he used to be? Who&#39;s opinion would you tend to listen to more?

    That is not to say that you are wrong, Fisher. I don&#39;t mean to imply that whatever Franks says is gospel, or that other high-ranking, retired military men don&#39;t disagree or whatever. Just saying that a low-level sergeant&#39;s perspective may not be large enough for him to have a credible opinion..... [/b][/quote]
    You misunderstand my intent Jets5.

    When I say "listen to Soldiers on both sides", I do mean primarily commanders and high ranking officers (of which there have been many, active and retired, on both sides of the debate over the tactics used to-date in the Iraq Campaign).

    Although, with that said, I DO think it&#39;s important to listen to the men in the line of fine, on both sides. They see the war day in and day out, and have a valuble and unique perspective that commanders behind the lines (or in the US) may not truly see or appreciate.

    So, I do not think your Wal-Mart comparison is valid on this one my friend. :D [/b][/quote]
    Of course it is valid, if you are talking Big Picture. You mis-understand me...I don&#39;t mean that the opinions of grunts are irrelevant...far from it, actually. But in terms of assessing Big Picture issues, I feel that a 4-Star general does have more to add than a single sergeant, who doens&#39;t know the true developments outside his little sphere of experience. The opinions of all sergeants in aggregate is VERY valuable and should be a large factor in the opinion of High Command. But this relevance breaks down at the individual level, for low-level officers, IMO. He may notice trends, etc. But those trends are likely confined to his immediate surroundings, and he may lack suffucient information with which to extrapolate accurately from them. High Command would (theoretically) have more and broader information.

  8. #8
    [quote][b]Of course it is valid, if you are talking Big Picture. You mis-understand me...I don&#39;t mean that the opinions of grunts are irrelevant...far from it, actually. But in terms of assessing Big Picture issues, I feel that a 4-Star general does have more to add than a sergeant, who doens&#39;t know the true developments outside his little sphere of experience. He may notice trends, etc. But those trends are likely confined to his immediate surroundings, and he may lack suffucuent information with which to extrapolte accurately from them. High Command would (theoretically) have more and broader information[/b][/quote]

    As I said, I did primarily mean High Ranking Commanders in my comments, but consider your point taken. :D

  9. #9
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Warfish[/i]@Oct 20 2004, 11:04 AM
    [b] [quote][b]Of course it is valid, if you are talking Big Picture. You mis-understand me...I don&#39;t mean that the opinions of grunts are irrelevant...far from it, actually. But in terms of assessing Big Picture issues, I feel that a 4-Star general does have more to add than a sergeant, who doens&#39;t know the true developments outside his little sphere of experience. He may notice trends, etc. But those trends are likely confined to his immediate surroundings, and he may lack suffucuent information with which to extrapolte accurately from them. High Command would (theoretically) have more and broader information[/b][/quote]

    As I said, I did primarily mean High Ranking Commanders in my comments, but consider your point taken. :D [/b][/quote]
    Man, I can be an over-bearing know it all at times, huh? Yikes....

  10. #10
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Warfish+Oct 20 2004, 10:50 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (Warfish @ Oct 20 2004, 10:50 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-Piper[/i]@Oct 20 2004, 07:35 AM
    [b] Something tells me Bitonti won&#39;t be quite as supportive of this career soldier&#39;s viewpoint... [/b][/quote]
    Just like you were SOOOOO supportive of the Soldiers opinions he posted, right Piper? Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. :rolleyes: :lol: :rolleyes:

    Leadership needs to listen to soldiers of BOTH biases, on both sides and every opinion in-between, before they craft their strategy and pre-planning. THAT is my biggest critisicm of the Iraq war, that it was poorly planned, poorly tactic&#39;d and poorly thought out in almost every way.

    Simply, this war could have been handled much better by our leadership. That isn&#39;t to say Kerry will be a better Wartime leader (in actuallity, I don&#39;t really think he would be), but that our CURRENT leader needs to learn from his obvious tactical errors and change our tactics in Iraq, have a firm exit strategy and timeframe, and review our tactical theory in the greater "War on Terror". [/b][/quote]
    I merely pointed out that it was one soldiers viewpoint, and would catagorize Franks&#39; opinion the same way.

    Bitonti used that to conclude that it could be a majority of soldiers opinions, which is what I took exception to.

    I don&#39;t disagree with much of the rest of your post which I believe is due to an ill-concieved attempt at executing a politically correct war. I hope our leader has learned from this as well.

  11. #11
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    Gen. Franks&#39;s claim in NYT contradicted by news reports

    In an October 16 New York Times op-ed piece, retired General Tommy Franks attempted to undermine Senator John Kerry&#39;s assertion that the Bush administration "took its eye off the ball" with regard to pursuing Osama bin Laden and prosecuting the war against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Franks claimed: "Neither attention nor manpower was diverted from Afghanistan to Iraq." But highly specialized personnel and equipment that had been used successfully against Al Qaeda and bin Laden were reassigned in March 2002 to the impending invasion of Iraq.

    From Franks&#39;s October 16 op-ed piece:

    As we planned for potential military action in Iraq and conducted counterterrorist operations in several other countries in the region, Afghanistan remained a center of focus. Neither attention nor manpower was diverted from Afghanistan to Iraq. When we started Operation Iraqi Freedom we had about 9,500 troops in Afghanistan, and by the time we finished major combat operations in Iraq last May we had more than 10,000 troops in Afghanistan.

    While it is true that troop levels have increased, Franks&#39;s assertion that "neither attention nor manpower" was siphoned from Afghanistan into Iraq contradicts numerous news reports. According to an April 12, 2004, article in The New Yorker:

    In the early summer of 2002, a military consultant, reflecting the views of several American Special Forces commanders in the field, provided the Pentagon with a briefing warning that the Taliban and Al Qaeda were adapting quickly to American tactics. "His decision loop has tightened, ours has widened," the briefing said, referring to the Taliban. "He can see us, but increasingly we no longer see him." Only a very few high-level generals listened, and the briefing, like Rothstein&#39;s report, changed nothing. By then, some of the most highly skilled Americans were being diverted from Afghanistan. Richard Clarke noted in his memoir, "The U.S. Special Forces who were trained to speak Arabic, the language of al Qaeda, had been pulled out of Afghanistan and sent to Iraq." Some C.I.A. paramilitary teams were also transferred to Iraq."

    From a March 29 USA Today article:

    In 2002, troops from the 5th Special Forces Group who specialize in the Middle East were pulled out of the hunt for Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan to prepare for their next assignment: Iraq. Their replacements were troops with expertise in Spanish cultures.

    The CIA, meanwhile, was stretched badly in its capacity to collect, translate and analyze information coming from Afghanistan. When the White House raised a new priority, it took specialists away from the Afghanistan effort to ensure Iraq was covered.

    A March 26 article in The Guardian went into greater detail:

    The fact that the Pentagon pulled the fighting force most equipped for hunting down Osama bin Laden from Afghanistan in March 2002 in order to pre-position it for Iraq cannot be denied.

    Fifth Group Special Forces were a rare breed in the US military: they spoke Arabic, Pastun and Dari. They had been in Afghanistan for half a year, had developed a network of local sources and alliances, and believed that they were closing in on bin Laden.

    Without warning, they were then given the task of tracking down Saddam. "We were going nuts on the ground about that decision," one of them recalls.

    "In spite of the fact that it had taken five months to establish trust, suddenly there were two days to hand over to people who spoke no Dari, Pastun or Arabic, and had no rapport."

    Along with the redeployment of human assets came a reallocation of sophisticated hardware. The US air force has only two specially-equipped RC135 U spy planes. They had successfully vectored in on al-Qaida leadership radio transmissions and cellphone calls, but they would no longer circle over the mountains of the Pakistan/Afghanistan border.

    From a September 5, 2003, Knight Ridder article:

    U.S. intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because intelligence matters are classified, said that as much as half of the intelligence and special forces assets in Afghanistan and Pakistan were diverted to support the war in Iraq.

    Franks served as commander-in-chief of the United States Central Command from July 2000 to July 2003. He led the 2003 American invasion of Iraq and served as commander-in-chief of the American occupation forces. He is the author of American Soldier, has endorsed Bush&#39;s reelection, and is a member of Veterans for Bush.

  12. #12
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    Well, anonymous quotes from the Guardian are good enough for me&#33; What does Franks know about it? USA Today, baby&#33;&#33;&#33;

  13. #13
    how do i get dragged into these discussions?

    i was talking about a soldier talking about Iraq, this is a soldier talking about Afghanistan. How are these similar situations?

    Frankly (:lol:) the general is probably right about Tora Bora. No one ever accused the Democratic party of knowing everything.

    But the last line makes no sense. how is Bush on the ball? By randomly invading countries and stretching our forces dangerously thin? this has been the poorest run operation since Vietnam and General Franks is more than partly responsible for this...

    But hey what do I know, according to Piper the Iraqi people are so happy to see us and they are stepping over themselves to lay palm fronds at the feet of our "liberating" soldiers.

    f**k the Iraqis. They neither deserve nor can comprehend democracy.

  14. #14
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by bitonti[/i]@Oct 20 2004, 12:59 PM
    [b]
    f**k the Iraqis. They neither deserve nor can comprehend democracy.

    [/b][/quote]
    Funny, the same can be said about Jersey.

  15. #15
    New Jersey (unlike Israel, Afghanistan or Iraq) is a state in the Union. They have had a star on the flag since the beginning. If we spent as much money securing Newark as we did securing Bagdhad i _guaruntee_ the cops that Stewdawg posts getting shot would never have happened.

    that&#39;s why the majority of the Bush supporters live in the sticks. They have no comprehension about life in the city, especially life in the ghetto. They&#39;d rather spend our nation&#39;s treasure securing the holy land then the Newarks, Camdens, and Trentons of this country.

    It&#39;s a damn shame. But how can we expect people who spend their time in the sticks to be concerned about that? Only when there&#39;s a national disaster in their part of the woods, then all of a sudden it&#39;s the gov&#39;ts responsibility to rebuild their infrastructure. It is hypocracy, and not good for the future of this nation.

  16. #16
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by 4th&Long[/i]@Oct 20 2004, 11:44 AM
    [b] Gen. Franks&#39;s claim in NYT contradicted by news reports

    [/b][/quote]
    yes...very valid "U.S. intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity"....."Without warning, they were then given the task of tracking down Saddam. "We were going nuts on the ground about that decision," [b]one of them recalls[/b].

    As I stated at the end of the article and you have helped prove...all the anti-Bush rhetoric that gets front page coverage are stories backed by "anynomous sources", etc. BS....BS....BS

  17. #17
    [quote][b]As I stated at the end of the article and you have helped prove...all the anti-Bush rhetoric that gets front page coverage are stories backed by "anynomous sources", etc. BS....BS....BS [/b][/quote]

    Does that mean any future Anti-President Kerry (LOL, yea right&#33;), Anti-Demorat articles YOU post that draw on Anonymous sources (like everything Drudge ever does on his site) can be simply labeled as B.S......B.S......B.S. as well?

    Just looking for consistency. Nothing more, nothing less. :P

  18. #18
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Warfish[/i]@Oct 20 2004, 01:40 PM
    [b] (like everything Drudge ever does on his site) can be simply labeled as B.S......B.S......B.S. as well?

    Just looking for consistency. Nothing more, nothing less. :P [/b][/quote]
    What are you talking about? Everything on Drudge is a link to something else. He compiles links to articles, he doesn&#39;t write anything.

    Right now I am looking at links to:

    reuters
    abcnews
    usatoday
    heraldonline
    bbc
    bostonherald
    apnews
    cnn


    Is he reporting now? Is he quoting an unamed source?

  19. #19
    [quote][i]Originally posted by JetFanTransplant+Oct 20 2004, 01:45 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (JetFanTransplant @ Oct 20 2004, 01:45 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-Warfish[/i]@Oct 20 2004, 01:40 PM
    [b] (like everything Drudge ever does on his site) can be simply labeled as B.S......B.S......B.S. as well?

    Just looking for consistency. Nothing more, nothing less. :P [/b][/quote]
    What are you talking about? Everything on Drudge is a link to something else. He compiles links to articles, he doesn&#39;t write anything.

    Right now I am looking at links to:

    reuters
    abcnews
    usatoday
    heraldonline
    bbc
    bostonherald
    apnews
    cnn


    Is he reporting now? Is he quoting an unamed source? [/b][/quote]
    Uh, I was attempting to kid around with CBNTY Transplant. Don&#39;t take every offhand comment (especially those that end in :P ) so seriously my friend.

    Peace, eh. :D

  20. #20
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Warfish+Oct 20 2004, 01:48 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (Warfish &#064; Oct 20 2004, 01:48 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>[quote]Originally posted by JetFanTransplant@Oct 20 2004, 01:45 PM
    [b] <!--QuoteBegin-Warfish[/i]@Oct 20 2004, 01:40 PM
    [b] (like everything Drudge ever does on his site) can be simply labeled as B.S......B.S......B.S. as well?

    Just looking for consistency. Nothing more, nothing less. :P [/b][/quote]
    What are you talking about? Everything on Drudge is a link to something else. He compiles links to articles, he doesn&#39;t write anything.

    Right now I am looking at links to:

    reuters
    abcnews
    usatoday
    heraldonline
    bbc
    bostonherald
    apnews
    cnn


    Is he reporting now? Is he quoting an unamed source? [/b][/quote]
    Uh, I was attempting to kid around with CBNTY Transplant. Don&#39;t take every offhand comment (especially those that end in :P ) so seriously my friend.

    Peace, eh. :D[/b][/quote]
    I hear ya... just having one of them days myself. :[img]http://www.jetsinsider.com/forums/html/emoticons/mad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='mad.gif' />

    Frustrated with the lack of consistency in ALL my technology right now. Apparently still having after affects from all the hurricanes.

    My internet is sporadic at best. And when my job relies on streaming audio video it makes for a troublesome experience.

    Both my home phone and cell phone come and go as they please.

    My cable cannot stay on for more than one hour straight.

    My satellite is always affected by the storms in Fla...

    I am just venting. UGH&#33;&#33; :[img]http://www.jetsinsider.com/forums/html/emoticons/mad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='mad.gif' />

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