American Samizdat

Wednesday, December 06, 2006. *
Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the Nov. 20 New York Times reports, is returning to Iraq in December "to take charge of the day-to-day fight as commander of the Multinational Corps-Iraq." The article says that the lieutant general spent "several months preparing for his new command (in Iraq), assigning his staff several histories of counter-insurgency efforts in Malaya, Algeria and Viet Nam."

Lt. Gen. Odierno appears to be taking an interest in three extremely brutal colonial campaigns against popular movements for self-determination.

As noted in a recent article on this website (see archive "Iraq Troop Withdrawal Looks Far Off"), " Lt. Gen. Odierno has a sad history in Iraq in which troops under his command in the Fourth Infantry Division in 2003 and 2004 were involved in apparent war crimes. This point is, remarkably, overlooked by the Times article which says that after he left Iraq in early 2004, he spent 18 months as an assistant to the Joint Chiefs, “most of that as an advisor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice."

Lt. Gen. Odierno will be taking command at the same time that the Iraq Study Group, headed by James Baker III and Lee Hamilton will be making their recommendations on Iraq. A Pentagon group is also working on recommendations as is the staff of the National Security Council. The competition is on for the "winning" formula for Iraq, and it is highly likely that increased counter-insurgency action will be part of this formula.

From the archival link above :
Evidence of the possibility of a bloody time ahead can also be found in the appointment of Army Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno to be second in command of U.S. forces in Iraq, as reported recently in the Wall Street Journal.

The history of Lt. Gen. Odierno's 4th Infantry Division in Iraq is characterized in the book "Fiasco" as one involving massive detentions of Iraqi civilians and widespread abuses of civilians, including killing. One reported result of the wholesale rounding up of civilians conducted by his division was the abuse at Abu Ghraib.

"What wasn't widely understood at the time," writes Thomas Ricks in "Fiasco", "or now outside the military, is that the overcrowding at the prison, and some of the resulting lapses in supervision, resulted directly from tactical decisions by (Lt. Gen. Ricardo) Sanchez and his division commanders, most notably the 4th ID's Gen. Odierno. In the fall of 2003 they were stuffing Abu Ghraib with thousands of detainees, the majority of them bystanders caught up in sweeps."

Mr. Ricks documents abuses of the 4th ID under Odierno's command that appear to constitute war crimes. He reports that one fellow officer thought Odierno showed "very sound" leadership, but that a senior intelligence officer "thought Odierno intentionally turned a blind eye to certain brutalities: 'He's a good guy. But he would say to his colonels, 'I don't want to hear the bad shit.'"

So Bush is saying fuck you to Uncle Baker and Poppy and doing his own thing?
posted by Uncle $cam at 8:51 PM
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