Thanks to a link from Parapundit (in an interesting post), I found this Arnaud de Borchgrave column in the Washington Times, which details the remarks of General William E. Odom.
Odom is described by de Borchgrave as "a Republican who once headed the National Security Agency and also served as a deputy national security adviser."
Odom apparently called plans for democratizing Iraq a "pipedream" and this conclusion is quoted
Remove U.S. forces "from that shattered country as rapidly as possible."Strong stuff.
Gen. Odom says bluntly, "we have failed," and "the issue is how high a price we're going to pay — less by getting out sooner, or more by getting out later."
And there's more. The General thinks that the current situation could explode, as Iraq could become a new launching point for global terror attacks:
At best, Iraq will emerge from the current geopolitical earthquake as "a highly illiberal democracy, inspired by Islamic culture, extremely hostile to the West and probably quite willing to fund terrorist organizations," Gen. Odom explained. If that wasn't enough to erode support for the war, he added, "The ability of Islamist militants to use Iraq as a beachhead for attacks against American interests elsewhere may increase."The situation in Iraq, Odom claims has further radicalized Saudi Arabia and Egypt (just what we needed, eh?).
Odom's solution sounds an awful lot like hallway chatter from my left-leaning colleagues in the social sciences:
The retired four-star's proposed solution is for the U.N. and the European allies to take charge of political and security arrangements. This formal request from the U.S., says Gen. Odom, should be accompanied by a unilateral declaration that U.S. forces are leaving even if no one else agrees to come in.Apparently, we can look forward to more comments of this type.
The article reports that a "company-size bevy of retired U.S. generals and admirals were in constant touch this week with a volunteer drafter putting the final touches to a 'tough condemnation' of Bush administration Middle Eastern policy."
This follows the letter signed by 52 former British diplomats criticizing Iraq/Middle East policy.
A slightly larger (60) collection of former American diplomats have signed a similar letter criticizing the Bush administration.
And of course, I've blogged about an array of military leaders (in uniform or out):General Anthony Zinni, Reagan's Navy Secretary James Webb, Bush Sr. National Security Advisor General Brent Scowcroft, and (Democrat) General Wesley Clark.
These military guys join Republican critics: Nixon lawyer John Dean, Bush Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, and terror/NSC guy Richard Clarke.
Plus, there's former head of the Iraq Survey Group, David Kay.
Maybe someone should alert John Kerry.