As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Listening To The Generals

If you haven't been following it, Christopher Hill, a career diplomat who negotiated some of the better deals with North Korea under the Bush Administration, has been nominated for the post of US Ambassador to Iraq, and conservatives are flipping out because, well, that's what they do. Despite his credentials and history in the foreign service, they claim he has no experience in the region; really they are displeased with his actual negotiation with North Korea, which circumvented Dick Cheney and the neocons. Now the top US commanders in Iraq are voicing their displeasure with the GOP holdup of Hill's nomination:

There's one as yet unremarked constituency increasingly disturbed by some Republican senators' efforts to block the confirmation of former North Korea envoy Christopher Hill to be the next U.S. ambassador to Iraq: the U.S. military.

Sources tell The Cable that Centcom commander Gen. David Petraeus, top Iraq commander Gen. Raymond Odierno, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates are frustrated by the delay in getting a U.S. ambassador confirmed and into place in Iraq, and support Hill's confirmation proceeding swiftly [...]

"I would not at all be surprised if military commanders in Iraq are frustrated that they don't have a new ambassador in position," added Gen. William Nash (ret.), the former top U.S. commander in Bosnia, now a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. "The issues are far more political and economic than they are military and U.S. efforts need to move forward on those fronts. That's particularly critical in the execution of the withdrawal plan."

Asked if Republican objections to Hill that he is not a Middle East expert are legitimate, Nash said the opposition is "being difficult to be difficult. I have known Chris Hill for 14 years. He is a wonderful diplomat and exactly the kind of guy we need in Iraq."

Today is the sixth, that's right the sixth anniversary of our misadventure in Iraq, and the fiends who got us in this mess in the first place refuse to cease making life harder on this country. They cannot conceive of a world where economic development and diplomacy supersede the task of the military, so they want a subservient ambassador. Of course, the fact that the generals prefer Hill shows the hypocrisy of the neocons on this. They only listen to the advice of the commanders on the ground when it agrees with their aims. And they never take into account the hopes and desires of the people in the countries over which they mean to project power. The neglect of reconstruction and economic development in the war effort leads to outcomes like the water being undrinkable in Baghdad six years after the beginning of the war.

These are contemptible people.

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