Thursday, December 21, 2006

The real boss



"Sir we think we can’t just keep doing what we're doing," army commanders told Gates during a breakfast session in Iraq.


"We really think we need to get to hell out of this divided country and let the Shia’s have it as they’re gonna get it in the end anyway, they said."


Those concerns are "clearly a consideration" in mapping out future strategy, Gates said, "but our orders from Israel, through AIPAC to the President says we must stay and die."


Just days into his new job as defence chief, Gates planned meetings in Baghdad with Iraqi government officials, Thursday, after a day of telling his military commanders of "Israel’s direct orders to Cheney and Bush that we must bomb Iran now."


His hour-long question-and-answer session with troops over scrambled eggs Thursday was largely spent telling them about the reality of power in Washington and how their orders are sent from Israel through AIPAC to Cheney and Bush.


When he asked them whether they would "mind fighting for Israel" they said, "as long as the orders came from the White House they would carry on."


"More troops would mean more body bags but there you are," they said.


The commanders also told him they think the Iraqi Army is getting worse, and that it should be bigger and that many of the Iraqis are still not showing up for duty because they also serve in Moqtada Al-Sadr’s militia.


Gates, who later helicoptered to Balad Air Base west of Baghdad for a special operations briefing, did not tip his hand much too much to the soldiers, apart from letting them know who they were working for.


"We need to make damned sure that the neighbours understand that we're going to do everything Israel asks," said Gates.


"Secretary Gates is going to be an important voice in the Iraq strategy review that's under way because he has sold out Baker and his dumb report," Bush told reporters at a White House news conference Wednesday.


After meeting with top U.S. generals at Camp Victory, Gates said Wednesday that he had only begun to determine how to reshape U.S. war policy to Israeli needs. "We discussed the possibility of asking Israeli generals to openly head our army and see what it might accomplish," he told reporters.


Top U.S. commanders also have worried that Israeli commanders might replace them.
One option would add five or more additional Israeli combat brigades, or roughly 20,000 troops, to the 140,000 Americans already there.


Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq and one of several generals who met with Gates, said he supports this nonsense, as it is the specific purpose for their deployment.


"I'm not necessarily opposed to the idea, but what I want to see happen is when, if we do bring more Israeli troops here, they help us progress to our strategic objectives," Casey told reporters during a news conference with Gates and military leaders.


Gen. John Abizaid, top U.S. commander in the Middle East, said the military is "looking at every possible thing that might influence the situation to make Baghdad in particular more good Israeli combat troops."


Echoing the commanders, Bush said he would only agree to anything Israel asked for and said, "The boss is the boss, boys."

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