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December 28, 2006

H&I Fires* 28 Dec 2006

Open post for those with something to share, updated through the day. New, complete posts come in below this one. Note: If trackbacking, please acknowledge this post in your post. That's only polite. [Admittedly, I'm fibbing. Trackbacks are still broken]

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The headline may change by the time this post is published, but the current one is "Report: Ford Said Iraq War is Not Justified." The quotes in the story say nothing of the sort. In a previously-embargoed interview from 2004 (now published by the WaPo), Ford says he would have preferred to push sanctions more vigorously, but regarding justification for the war, he is quoted:

Rumsfeld and Cheney and the president made a big mistake in justifying going into the war in Iraq. They put the emphasis on weapons of mass destruction... And now, I've never publicly said I thought they made a mistake, but I felt very strongly it was an error in how they should justify what they were going to do.
So it sounds to me like his disagreement is with which emphasis they used in justifying it (WMD), not that the war was unjustified/unjustifiable as an action in itself. Disgusting, disgusting headline... to twist Ford's words after he had so obviously went out of his way to not publicly criticize Bush in even the small question of political tactics... I really can't think of anything else to say that would get past the PG-17 and John's "don't attack the messenger" rules. - FbL

UPDATE: Yup, they changed it. Now it's "Ford had problems with Bush Iraq policy." The new opening paragraph says, "Former President Gerald R. Ford questioned the Bush administration's rationale for the U.S. invasion and war..." But the following paragraph just restates the old headline. However, it goes on in additional new material to make explicitly clear what he actually meant:

Saddam Hussein was an evil person and there was justification to get rid of him," he observed to the Daily News. "But we shouldn't have put the basis on weapons of destruction. That was a bad mistake. Where does (Bush) get his advice?
There's no byline on this AP article. I thought the only question was, are they blinded by bias, or just incompetent journalists? But apparently somebody has enough shame to not want to claim this piece of filth.

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Great Britain pays off her WWII debt in full. I'm impressed, though I'd have thought we'd given them some credits, if nothing else, for their standing by us in the GWOT. Some commenters aren't, um, impressed. H/t, Jim C. -the Armorer

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Heh. Methane and jail. Not a good combination. H/t, Mike L. -the Armorer

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*A term of art from the artillery. Harassment and Interdiction Fires.

Back in the day, when you could just kill people and break things without a note from a lawyer, they were pre-planned, but to the enemy, random, fires at known gathering points, road junctions, Main Supply Routes, assembly areas, etc - to keep the bad guy nervous that the world around him might start exploding at any minute.

Not really relevant to today's operating environment, right? But, it *is*

The UAVs we fly over Afghanistan and Pakistan looking for targets of opportunity are a form of H&I fires, if you really want to parse it finely. We just have better sensors and fire control now.

I call the post that because it's random things posted by me and people I've given posting privileges to. It's also an open trackback, so if (Don Surber uses it this way a lot) someone has a post they're proud of, but it really isn't either Castle kind of stuff, or topical to a particular post, I've basically given blanket permission to use that post for that purpose. Another term of art that might be appropriate is "Free Fire Zone".

Comments on H&I Fires* 28 Dec 2006
Maggie briefed on December 28, 2006 11:12 AM

I would most certainly given some credit to GB for their support.

Barb briefed on December 28, 2006 11:20 AM

There, now that I've turned comments back on, I can speak my piece ;-)

FbL - The AP piece is just a regurge of the WaPo piece from Woodward:
"...In his embargoed July 2004 interview with The Washington Post, Ford said the Iraq war was not justified, the Post reported Wednesday night. ..." This is typical AP cheap 'reporting' - I wouldn't be surprised if they have an automated routine on a computer that does the rewrite ... *grin*
The original WaPo piece is here.

FbL briefed on December 28, 2006 11:24 AM

Thanks, Barb. It looks like the WaPo article is misleading unless read very closely. But the AP takes what was merely misleading and explicitly twists it. Really pathetic.

Sigivald briefed on December 28, 2006 03:50 PM

Yup, already changed. "Ford had problems with Bush Iraq policy".

Trias briefed on December 28, 2006 06:33 PM

Ford's words have been quite twisted and as it happens i agree with him. Maybe we need a new term for pretend journalists.

I'm disappointed the US wanted the money back. It's fair business i suppose but certainly not the way I operate. I wonder if we are paying money back. Not sure we got some but we are commonwealth after all.

Instapilot briefed on December 28, 2006 07:49 PM

It takes committed leadership to hold to your promises, especially when it comes to paying your bills over the long term and despite the ups and downs in one's own economy and in relations between governments over decades. Who better to illustrate the courage of one's convictions than an Economic Secretary named Balls?

Sorry.

Couldn't resist.

I'm tired. It happens. -Instapilot

BillT briefed on December 28, 2006 08:02 PM

Headline on Page 1 of this morning's fishwrapper: "Ford Opposed Iraq War." I feel a Letter to the Ed clawing its way out.

Trias - I think the only WWII debts Oz owes are ones of gratitude -- and so many owe Oz those same debts that the gratitude just keeps flowing, touching shore here and there, compounding interest. Which, in my book, is a *Very* Good Thing.

And, speaking of gratitude, seven Aussie helicopter pilots died flying with us in RVN -- four of the survivors belong to the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots' Association and we're looking to bring in the remaining twenty-three before they pull pitch for Fiddlers' Green...

J.M. Heinrichs briefed on December 28, 2006 08:39 PM

The debt repayment makes news because the UK had a very large bill at the end of the war. FWIW, one of my profs in 78 mentioned that only Finland and Canada had repaid their WW2 debts at that time. The question could be: who are the other debtors and what are their account standings?

Via PowerLine, a different account of President Ford's last thoughts: http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/483757p-407239c.html

Cheers

FbL briefed on December 28, 2006 09:29 PM

BillT, when that letter finishes clawing its way out please share it with us. :)

Timerick briefed on December 29, 2006 12:16 PM

When Nixon was pardoned by Ford
it left almost all of us floored.
Now both of them are
in front of God's bar --
I bet that the angels aren't bored.

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