Archive for the ‘Kuwait’ Category

After five years, the Iraq war is transforming the military

March 16, 2008

Nancy A. Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers 

WASHINGTON — When U.S. forces crossed the Kuwaiti border into Iraq in the pre-dawn hours of March 20, 2003 , the military set out to shock and awe the Middle East with the swiftest transformation the region had ever seen.

U.S. and South Korean Marines participate in a combined arms ...
(AP photo)

Five years and hundreds of billions of dollars later, it’s the U.S. military that’s been transformed. The efficient, tech-savvy Army , built, armed and trained to fight conventional wars against aggressor states, is now making deals with tribal sheiks and building its power on friendly conversations with civilians.

Instead of planning for quick, decisive battles against other nations, as it was five years ago, today’s American military is planning for protracted, nuanced conflicts with terrorist groups, insurgents, guerrillas, militias and other shadowy forces that seldom stand and fight.

The staples of American military doctrine that have developed since the Civil War — artillery, armor, air power, speed and overwhelming force— are of limited use against enemies who blend into civilian populations.

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CitiBank Bailout is $14 B From China, Kuwait

January 12, 2008

By Henny Sender in New York
Financial Times (UK)
January 11 2008

Citigroup is putting the final touches to its second big capital-raising effort in as many months, seeking up to $14bn from Chinese, Kuwaiti and public market investors.Under the proposal being discussed, he bulk of the money – roughly $9bn – would be most likely to come from China, people familiar with the negotiations say. The Kuwait Investment Authority would contribute about $1bn, while $2bn to $4bn would be raised through a public placement of shares.

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Bush won’t commit to troops reduction

January 12, 2008
By TERENCE HUNT, AP White House Correspondent  

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – President Bush said Saturday that he has made no decision on bringing more U.S. troops home from Iraq, and if his top commander does not want to go beyond the reduction of forces that’s already planned, “that’s fine with me.”

Meanwhile, that commander, Gen. David Petraeus, said attacks in Iraq linked to Iranian explosive devices have sharply increased. While the overall flow of weaponry from Iran appears to be down, he said violence caused by “explosively formed projectiles” tied to Tehran are up by a factor of two or three in recent days.

“Frankly, we are trying to determine why that might be,” Petraeus told reporters.

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President George W. Bush speaks to U.S. soldiers based at Camp ...
President George W. Bush speaks to U.S. soldiers based at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait January 12, 2008. Bush held talks with the top U.S. officials in Iraq on Saturday at the base in Kuwait, during a Gulf tour he hopes will aid the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and contain Iran.
REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

What’s In A Name (January 1, 2008)

January 1, 2008

By John E. Carey
Updated January 1, 2008

A friend who works near where I work is from India.  His name “Naresh” means King.  He must have very hopeful parents! Koumba is a woman from Africa.  Her name means “First Girl.”

Num Pung means “Honey Bee” in Thailand.  Her mother ate honey comb while pregnant.

Alam is a Bangladeshi name meaning glorious or magnificent. It is usually a boy’s name.

Names fascinate me.  Those from the sphere of the Western European influence frequently choose Bible names or Old English names for their offspring. 

Native American youths earned their names for centuries; or were given meaningful names from tribal lore or from nature’s beauty. 

Many Asians have lyrical, almost poetic names; my wife among them.  She is called Honglien or “Pink Lotus.” By coincidence, my friend from Nepal, Kamala, has the same name: Kamala translates to “Pink Lotus.” 

A comman man’s name in Nepal is “Ram.”  Ram means, “Guard of Hindu.”  WOW!  What a great name!

Other men’s names from Nepal include Mukti (”Freedom”) and Diwakar (”Sun”).

In Vietnam one of my favorite man’s name is “Nghi” (pronounced like “knee”).  It means standing straight and tall, standing at attention or really moral and honest.

Africans often bestow meaningful names upon their children.

One customer of mine is an African named Shaka.  He told me he is named for the greatest warrior of all time: Shaka who united the  Zulu nation in Africa. He said Shaka is viewed and respected for his military adeptness like Attila the Hun or Alexander the Great. 

Islamic people have some wonderful names. Monzer (as with all of our names there are various spellings) means “One Who Warns” or “The Warner.”  It is good to name a little girl baby Rahil, which means “innocent.”

The first thing we have to clarify is this: in our modern world, we tend to lump people and even races into groups like “Native American.” When Columbus arrived in North America there were as many as 500 Tribes; many with languages as different as Chinese is from English. The tribes also had many cultural and religious variations. So as we open this discussion, I penalize myself from the start because I am prone to fall into the trap of lumping people together in huge and unnatural generalities like “all Asians” even though I know that is not correct. I know the Vietnamese are vastly different from the Philipino, for example, even though both are Asians. Even among the Vietnamese there are several “tribes” and cultures.

I have an acquaintence from Thailand named Wantanee.  It means “The Greeter.”   Put your hands together as if in Christian prayer and bow: that’s “The Greeter.”

I have been blessed to know many different people from different parts of the world. Some of my Native American friends, that come from different tribes, have names like “Wild Horse,” “Truth to Tell,” “Comes Killing,” “Soars with Eagles,” and my favorite of all: “Shot-to-Pieces.”

I have been told that many Native American earn their names through some act of bravery or some other memorable event. A young boy that kills a bear might be called “Bear Slayer” for example.

Many who trace their lineage back to Christian European nations might have Bible names. I am named for John the Apostle and we celebrate his Feast Day in the Catholic Calendar on this day. My brothers have old English names: William and Thomas. My sisters also have traditional English names: Pamela and Elizabeth. My cousin is Edward as in Edward the Confessor, I think.

Charles means “manly” or “strong.”  I’ll bet you didn’t know that!

I’ve met many people that think Cynthia is an old English name.  Actually, it comes from Greece.  The meaning of the girl’s name Cynthia is “from Mount Kynthos.” It was one of the names of Artemis, the goddess of the moon, and it refers to her birthplace on Mt. Kynthos.

The name Michael comes from the Hebrew name which means “He Who Is Like God.” Pretty good name. In the Catholic Church, Michael is the number one angel or Archangel. His feast day is September 29, a day he shares with the other top angels: Raphael and Gabriel. Across America many parishes are named for Saint Michael or Raphael or Gabriel.

Michael is a common name in Spanish speaking countries (Miguel), Arabic and even Russian. My name John becomes Juan in Spanish and is also translated into other languages.

Colin means “Victory of the people.”  The name is derived from Greek but became a common name in what is now Britain.  Traditionally the “O” was soft but American’s have taken to say a hard “O” as in Colin Powell.

The Japanese have a lot of terrific names.  Aika means Love Song.  Keiko means Blessed Child.

I am married into a Vietnamese family and each of the Catholic Vietnamese have a Vietnamese name and a Christian name from the Bible. I know a woman named “White Swan” in Vietnamese. Many of the names are terrific!

My wife Lien is also called Mary Magdalene. Mary “M” was a friend of Jesus that may have had a jaded past. I tell people Mary Magdalene “started wrong but finished strong.” Both our parish priests are called John the Baptist. My mother in law is Mary and a Vietnamese friend is Joseph.

But there are some unusual Vietnamese names and this custom spills over into other Asian cultures. The last child of the family might be called “Last One.” I know of a family that has, translated from the native language, a “Last One” and a “Late Mistake.” A particularly tiny Baby might be named “Little Peanut” or something like that.

The Vietnamese name “Hien” means “Gentle.”

I had a Thai friend that swore her father named her “Cucumber” because she was so small and cute.  The Thai name “Wantanee” means “One Who Greets” or “Greeter.”

Another Thai I knew a long time ago was named “Far,” which means sky or more correctly, “clear blue sky.”

Many African and African American names have meaning. A girl named Wangari should know that she has a name from Kenya that means “Leopard.” Mwamba is a Tanzanian name that means “Strong.”

I met a man named Mr. Erhunmwunse on April 2, 2007.  His name means “My Prayers Have Come True” in his native Nigeria!

Ethiopian names are among my favorites: Kalikidan means “promise,” Adonich means “healing,”  Assefa is an Ethiopian name that means “expansive” or “to widen,  “Zelalem” means”Forever” and Lulseged means “King.”

A woman in Ethiopia might be named “Alem.” It means “World.”

The Bangladeshi name “Rowshanara” means “bright” and is my second favorite name from that part of the world after “Amina.”  Amina means “Trusted One.”

Rowshanara is actually the Persian or Farsi word meaning bright — even though the Rowshanara I know is from Bangladesh.

Amin being the root word for “trust.”  Amina is also a common name in Nepal.

Another great Bangladeshi name for a woman is Farida.  Farida means “Unique.”  Another man’s name is “Sariful” which means “Modest.”

Let’s get back to Rowshanara.  My favorite Rowshanara works in a 7-11 near my house.  She is short and thin and “bright” and very beautiful.

This past Sunday I stopped for milk at the 7-11 and found Rowshanara trapped in the refrigerated food case.  Instead of refilling the case from behind, she opened the front door for a front fill.  She is so small that she needed to stand on the bottom shelf.  She is so thin that the glass door closed!

I knocked on the glass door and said, “So this is what a refrigerated Bangladeshi Rowshanara looks like!”

I freed her and she couldn’t stop laughing!

“Jali” is a Bangladeshi name that means “happy thing.” Not a bad name!

Many Indian words have made it to the regular English vocabulary. Most of them were added during the British imperialistic rule over India from spanning from 16th to 20th century. More than five hundred words of Indian origin were absorbed into English during that period and it has grown ever since.

Currently the Oxford English Dictionary lists over 700 words of Indian origin.

Rowshanara’s boss at the 7-11 has an Indian name that translates into “Happiness.”

Names come and go and what is popular today will undoubtedly be passe a few years from now. Sarah Womack wrote in the (London) Telegraph on December 21, 2006, that “Mohammed, and its most common alternative spelling Muhammad, are now more popular babies’ names in England and Wales than George, reflecting the diverse ethnic mix of the population. “

She continues, “Spelled Muhammad, it is the 44th most popular name and enters the top 50 for the first time along with Noah, Oscar, Lucas and Rhys. “

Rhys? I must be getting old.

My purpose here is only to interest the uninitiated in the vast world of names with meaning. Do a word search for your name or the names of your friends and you might be surprised.

Part of the richness of any culture is its language and one facet of the many sided jewel that is language is the vast array of names parents bestow upon their children.

The article above has been updated many, many times.  Although we continue to learn the meaning of new names, we have finally “locked” “What’s in a Name.”

from Thailand:
“Kanalya” means “Subdued, Cool, or Behaving with Style.”

From India:
“Rohini” is a woman’s name meaning “lightening!”
“Igin” means “Sunshine.”
“Dipti” is a woman’s name meaning “source of light.”

From Arabic (He grew up in Kuwait)
“Mahmood” means “gifted.”

From Ethiopia:
Yework Wuha means “Gold Water” or “Liquid Gold.”
Sehay means “Sunshine.”
Tewodros means “Gift of God.”
Genet means “Heaven.”
Almaz means “Diamond.”
Negussie means “King.”

From Nepal:
Jay means “Victory.”
Surya means “Sun.”

“Azim” means “The Greatest.”
“Habib” means “Beloved.”
“Wahid” means “Unique.”
“Karim” means “Kind.”

From Korea:
my neighbor’s name is “Oh So Young.”

“Nahida” means “Ali’s Power.”

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Missile Defense Going Global

December 21, 2007

By James T. Hackett
The Washington Times

December 21, 2007

The Dec. 17 interception of a ballistic missile by a Japanese Aegis destroyer off the Hawaiian Island of Kauai is a milestone in the U.S.-Japan missile defense collaboration. The Bush administration’s goal of global missile defenses is becoming reality, but to effectively protect the Eastern United States defenses in Europe are needed.

For years, representatives of Japan and a number of other countries attended missile defense conferences. They regularly announced plans to study the need for missile defenses. Each year they said the same, but there was little sense of urgency and no sign of progress, except in Israel and the United States.

The United States developed the Patriot PAC-2 to stop short-range missiles just in time to defend U.S. troops and Israel in the first Gulf war. Then Israel, surrounded by enemies, developed and deployed its Arrow missile interceptor in record time.

Land-based Patriots were sent to defend U.S. forces and allies around the world, but the ABM treaty prevented the U.S. from developing either a national missile defense or ship-based defenses. The problem became critical in 1998 when North Korea launched a Taepodong missile over northern Japan. It was a blatant threat to Japan and its three stages meant it also had the potential to reach the United States. Tokyo began deploying defenses.

Japan placed 27 Patriot PAC-2 batteries around the country, put in orbit its own spy satellites, bought Aegis radar systems for six new destroyers, joined the U.S. in developing a longer-range ship-based missile interceptor, and allowed the U.S. to put an X-band radar in northern Japan. Last March, Japan began deploying more capable Patriot PAC-3s at 16 locations to protect major cities, military installations and other potential targets.

Japan also is modifying its four operational Aegis destroyers to carry SM-3 missile interceptors. The destroyer Kongo, which made the successful intercept on Monday, is the first non-U.S. ship to shoot down a ballistic missile. The U.S. Navy already has shot down 11 in 13 attempts with ship-based interceptors.

By the end of 2008 the United States will have 18 Aegis warships equipped for ballistic missile defense. Japan eventually will have six, and Australia, South Korea, Taiwan and others also likely will put missile defenses on their ships. Ship-based defenses can be coordinated with land-based defenses, including the various models of Patriots in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, and the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense when it is ready in a few years.

Ship-based SM-3s can intercept missiles outside the atmosphere. Any that get through can be stopped inside the atmosphere by the land-based interceptors. Such defenses can both protect against North Korean missiles and reduce intimidation by China, which has nearly 1,000 missiles opposite Taiwan.

For decades the Soviet missile defenses around Moscow were the only defenses against long-range missiles anywhere. The Russians are now modernizing those defenses against the kind of missiles being developed by Iran. Even though Russia claims Iran is no threat, in August Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin, commander of the Russian air force, announced activation of the first S-400 interceptors as part of Moscow’s missile defense.

Russian reports claim the S-400 can reach out 250 miles and stop missiles with ranges greater than 2,000 miles. This covers both Iran’s Shahab-3 and the new solid-fuel Ashura, the development of which Tehran announced three weeks ago, claiming a range of 1,250 miles.

With the constraints of the ABM treaty removed by President Bush, the United States is putting missile defenses in Alaska and California, at U.S. bases abroad, and on ships at sea. Other countries also are developing and buying missile defenses. India, surrounded by nuclear missile-armed Russia, China and Pakistan, plans to deploy its own two-tier missile defense in a few years. On Dec. 6, India conducted a successful intercept within the atmosphere, while a year ago it killed a ballistic missile outside the atmosphere.

Proliferating missile defenses diminish the value of the nuclear-armed ballistic missile. In the Middle East, Israel is expanding its missile defenses, while Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Turkey have bought or are seeking to buy such defenses. In Europe, Britain and Denmark are hosting early warning radars.

The Polish and Czech governments are resisting Russian pressure and are expected to sign basing agreements early next year. Meanwhile, the threat continues to grow as Iran develops new longer-range missiles. Ship-based defenses in the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean can help, but to effectively protect the U.S. East Coast and Europe, bases in Europe are needed.

Sea-based defenses now are advancing quickly. It is time to move forward with land-based defenses in Europe.

James T. Hackett is a contributing writer to The Washington Times based in Carlsbad, Calif.

Peace and Freedom wishes to thank Mr. Hackett who provided this and many other great articles to our readers.

National Intelligance Estimate: Incomplete Snapshot?

December 18, 2007

NIE in the sky?
By James Zumwalt
The Washington Times
December 18, 2007

With the recent publication of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) suggesting Iran may have halted work on its nuclear weapons capability in 2003, we recalled the intelligence reporting received in 1991 as we prepared to advance into Kuwait during Desert Storm.

Assessments made it clear a formidable Iraqi army stood between us and our objective. Aerial photos revealed massive networks of bunkers.

Intelligence, from an array of other sources, supported the assessment thousands of enemy soldiers occupied the networks. But one very important intelligence input was missing from the assessment — human intelligence or “humint.” Absent the benefit of human eyes and ears on the ground, i.e., an observer, spy or defector providing timely,
subjective information, we lacked good intelligence on enemy troop levels, willingness to fight, their ability to fight, etc. Advancing into Kuwait, we encountered little resistance.

Unbeknownst to the analysts, many Iraqi soldiers deserted under cover of darkness. What Saddam Hussein predicted would be the “mother of all battles” became the mother of all defeats as U.S. ground forces routed the Iraqis in four days.

The science of analyzing intelligence is imperfect. Like modern art, it is subject to personal interpretation. At times, intelligence can provide clear evidence of enemy intent. In the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, it proved most embarrassing for the Soviet ambassador, after
being called in by the U.S. State Department and denying the presence of Soviet missiles in Cuba, to be shown indisputable evidence of same in aerial photographs.

Edging toward war, Washington remained steadfastly firm, forcing Moscow to back down and remove the missiles.

Only later did we discover such U.S. steadfastness was the result of critical humint fed to Washington by a Soviet spy inside the Kremlin, thus providing Washington with a decided edge throughout the crisis.

In the Desert Storm example, no humint was available to indicate enemy levels and intentions; in the Cuban missile crisis example, enemy intentions were clear. Thus, intelligence assessments become a balancing act of trying to determine what elements should be given more weight and which should receive less.

Sometimes analysts give humint the wrong weight. In December 1941, as the Japanese navy silently approached Pearl Harbor bent on war-making, analysts felt war was not imminent, giving greater weight to the words and actions of Japanese diplomats in Washington they believed to be bent on peacemaking. Thus, even when humint is available, intelligence analysis is seldom perfect.

There are several reasons for concern about NIE’s about-face on Iran’s nuclear weapons capability.

The assessment appears to have been triggered primarily by recent humint input. Worrisome is the weight given to what may well be a counter-intelligence effort by Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The humint relied upon is a claim by senior IRGC official Ali Rez Asgari who defected during a February trip to Turkey. Mr.
Asgari told a foreign intelligence agency all activity on Iran’s nuclear weapons program stopped four years ago. His claim purported was supported by intercepted communications among Iranian officials.

Such information needs to be carefully scrutinized as we have learned
some lessons from the Cold War. We now know “critically timed”
defections as well as intercepted communications within a targeted
country could conceivably be a counter-intelligence initiative. The
Iranians are well aware of Moscow’s successful use in the past of
double agents — Soviet spies who defected to the West only to further
U.S.S.R. objectives in obfuscating Moscow’s sinister intent.

The role of one such Soviet double agent, Yuri Noshenko, remains a
mystery. His timely defection to the United States, shortly after
President Kennedy’s assassination as the Warren Commission began
investigating whether accused killer Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, has
long been cited as a disinformation effort to divert suspicion from
Moscow. While claiming coincidentally to have just reviewed the KGB’s
files on Oswald, who visited the U.S.S.R. prior to the assassination,
he said he found no evidence of Soviet complicity. Yet Noshenko later
failed two polygraph exams.

Surprisingly, the commission accepted the humint, finding Oswald did
act alone. Some critics believe the failed polygraphs cast questionable
light on the timing of Noshenko’s defection. Likewise, the timing of
Mr. Asgari’s defection must be questioned, coming at a time the
Iranians realized even America’s European allies were losing patience
with Tehran and considering more severe economic sanctions. Blindly
accepting Asgari’s claim is a “pie in the sky” approach to NIE

There are also major concerns about the experience and motivation of the U.S. analysts involved. Newsmax reports it was prepared by inexperienced State Department political and intelligence analysts who, as Democratic Party activists, politicized the assessment. Thus, it was either their political leanings or their inexperience that resulted in
several shortcomings in the NIE.

First, they relied upon humint unvetted by U.S. intelligence agencies.

Second, as pointed out by Iran expert Alireza Jafarzadeh, they failed to focus on actions of the IRGC — the military arm created in Iran by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979 to safeguard and export the Islamic Revolution. Mr. Jafarzadeh, who first revealed the existence of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, reports the IRGC holds the keys to the
country’s nuclear weapons program. IRGC leaders who are also nuclear scientists, in collaboration with Iranian universities, are fully committed to achieving what they believe is Tehran’s religious mandate to be so armed.

Yet the NIE makes little mention of the IRGC. Third, the acceptance of Mr. Asgari’s claims Iran’s nuclear weapons program ceased in 2003 conflicts with Iranian purchases two years later of 18 North Korean BM-25 long range, land-mobile missiles that are used to carry nuclear warheads.

A post-report concern is the effort just this month by Iran to secretly obtain uranium from Bolivia, through the good offices of Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a dedicated follower of Khomeini and believes in the ayatollah’s assertion, “Islam makes it incumbent [for believers] to prepare for the conquest of countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country of the world … [by fulfilling Islam’s mandate to] kill all unbelievers.”

Devout believer Mr. Ahmadinejad has made clear, several times, his intention to wipe the U.S. and Israel off the map. So there should be no doubt his intentions remain focused on obtaining nuclear weaponry with which to make good on his threat.

Against this backdrop of declared Iranian intentions to destroy us, of past questionable U.S. intelligence assessments, of the timing of Mr. Asgari’s defection, of the inexperience and motivations of the analysts, can we afford to put the world at risk by blindly accepting
it? Previously, the U.S. was able to bounce back following flawed intelligence assessments.
But that will not be the case if we are wrong about Iran.

Therefore, the only assessment we can afford to accept is one obtained via verifiable inspection of a nuclear weapons development program Tehran keeps hidden deep beneath the Earth’s surface, while claiming peaceful intent.

James G. Zumwalt, a Marine veteran of the Persian Gulf and Vietnam
wars, is a contributor to The Washington Times.

National Intelligence Estimate 101

Cash-Flush China, Russia Arouse Unease As Investments Spread

October 20, 2007

Reinhardt Krause
Investor’s Business Daily

Globalization faces a big test: the rapid rise of state-run investment arms by China, Russia and other cash-rich nations.

These countries want to earn better returns on their massive currency reserves, but some in the West fear sovereign wealth funds may try to control strategic assets or invest for geopolitical reasons.

Cooler heads seemed likely to prevail at an Oct. 19-22 meeting of the Group of Seven nations — the U.S., Japan, U.K., Canada, France, Germany and Italy. G-7 finance chiefs planned to just ask China and other nations to give more data on state-run fund activities.

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First Lady Raising Her Profile Without Changing Her Image

October 15, 2007


The New York Times

CRAWFORD, Tex., Oct. 14 — This Saturday, a military jet with the code name “Bright Star” will take off from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, bound for a diplomatic mission in the Middle East. It will carry an increasingly outspoken and quietly powerful White House emissary: Laura Bush , the first lady of the United States.

The official purpose of the trip is to promote breast cancer awareness; nobody expects the president’s wife to engage in bare-knuckle negotiations over war and peace. Yet in the twilight of her husband’s presidency, the woman who once made George W. Bush  promise she would never have to give a speech is stepping out in a new and unusually substantive way.

First Lady’s Influence Goes Global

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On Iraq: Remember Vietnam

September 5, 2007

By Jeff Danziger
The International Herald Tribune
September 4, 2007

The Pentagon has little choice but to begin planning for the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. The House of Representatives has just passed rules that make a soldier’s second or third tour in Iraq possible only after an equal amount of time has been assigned at home.

We don’t have enough troops now, and the House action will mean even fewer troops will be available.

Journalists have an interesting way of illustrating the difficulties involved in a withdrawal: If all the trucks, humvees, tanks, semitrailers, and wheeled artillery pieces were lined up in a convoy down the road south to Kuwait, Time magazine reported, they would stretch 100 miles, or 160 kilometers. It wouldn’t happen this way of course, but for sheer history-book gee-whiz quality, that would be a photo opportunity to equal the helicopters leaving the roof in Saigon.

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‘Get It Done’

August 10, 2007

By Peggy Noonan
The Wall Street Journal
August 10, 2007

In the lives of interesting people, there are bound to be interesting events. This is about one in the life of Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. troops in Iraq.

Gen. Petraeus of course will be all over television in September, reporting to Congress on the war, and America will be getting used to him. He is not in an easy position. The left and most Democrats are invested in the idea of Iraq as disaster. The right and most Republicans placed their bets on the president and the decision to invade.

Normal Americans just want Iraq handled. They want America to succeed: for the war to end in a way and time that prove if possible that the Iraq endeavor helped the world, or us, or didn’t make things worse for the world, or us. My hunch: The American people have concluded the war was a mistake, but know from their own lives that mistakes can be salvaged, and sometimes turned to good.

Whatever ….

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