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"Mr. President, You Did Not Listen"

Retired Army Major General John Batiste speaks truth to power in this video ad released today. Who is Batiste?

From March 2001 to June 2002 he worked with Paul Wolfowitz, and was involved in the very early planning stages of the Iraq war.[1] In spring 2002 Eric Shinseki chose Batiste to be commander of the First Infantry Division of the United States Army, which was deployed to Iraq in December 2003, during the war.[1]

(Click on the "play" button in the bottom left-hand corner to play the video)

More: votevets.org

Our ads are airing in states and districts of those Members of Congress who are very close to breaking with the President on Iraq, and joining the troops and American people. They are: Senators Susan Collins, John Sununu, John Warner, and Norm Coleman, and Representatives Mary Bono, Phil English, Randy Kuhl, Jim Walsh, Heather Wilson, Jo Ann Emerson, Tim Johnson, Mike Rogers, Fred Upton, and Mike Castle. Mentioning them by name at the end, the local spots will call on them to "Protect America, Not George Bush."

Next week, we'll launch another ad with retired Major General Paul Eaton. And, after that, the campaign will wrap up with a powerful ad from former NATO Allied Supreme Commander, General Wesley Clark. Help keep our ads on the air. We're trying to raise $100,000 to get these ads on nationally. Help us spread the word click here to donate.

Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Rating: 3.7/5 (6 votes cast)

Comments (9)


speaks truth to power

You do realize that, as far as everyone who's not a True Believer is concerned, "truth to power" really means "not particularly true, but we can pretend it is for political purposes," right?

Steve Crickmore:

Lee, strong words coming from Major General Batiste..Congressman Vietnam vet, Wayne Gilchrest, Maryland (R), who voted with the Democrats in Congress, on a spending bill for the war with a timeline for withdrawal, makes the same point, "It always irritates me when they say "We're going to listen to the generals." They haven't listened to the generals from day one."

"You do realize that, as far as everyone who's not a True Believer is concerned, "truth to power" really means "not particularly true, but we can pretend it is for political purposes."

I've always thought of "truth to power" as being one of those axioms that transcends partisanship and politics, Cirby.

If it's viewed as just "politics" then Bush would ignore a General who speaks "truth to power" -- which in turn serves as evidence that Batiste right -- that Bush didnt' (and still doesn't) listen to the generals.

If you're not a "believer" of Batiste, Cirby - do you believe this learned gentleman?

[B]eyond affirming executive supremacy in matters of war, what is George Bush going to do? It is simply untrue that we are making decisive progress in Iraq. The indicators rise and fall from day to day, week to week, month to month. In South Vietnam there was an organized enemy. There is clearly organization in the strikes by the terrorists against our forces and against the civil government in Iraq, but whereas in Vietnam we had Hanoi as the operative headquarters of the enemy, we have no equivalent of that in Iraq, and that is a matter of paralyzing importance. All those bombings, explosions, assassinations: we are driven to believe that they are, so to speak, spontaneous.

When the Romans were challenged by Christianity, Rome fell. The generation of Christians moved by their faith overwhelmed the regimented reserves of the Roman state. It was four years ago that Mr. Cheney first observed that there was a real fear that each fallen terrorist leads to the materialization of another terrorist. What can a "surge," of the kind we are now relying upon, do to cope with endemic disease? The parallel even comes to mind of the eventual collapse of Prohibition, because there wasn't any way the government could neutralize the appetite for alcohol, or the resourcefulness of the freeman in acquiring it.

General Petraeus is a wonderfully commanding figure. But if the enemy is in the nature of a disease, he cannot win against it. Students of politics ask then the derivative question: How can the Republican party, headed by a president determined on a war he can't see an end to, attract the support of a majority of the voters? General Petraeus, in his Pentagon briefing on April 26, reported persuasively that there has been progress, but cautioned, "I want to be very clear that there is vastly more work to be done across the board and in many areas, and again I note that we are really just getting started with the new effort."

The general makes it a point to steer away from the political implications of the struggle, but this cannot be done in the wider arena. There are grounds for wondering whether the Republican party will survive this dilemma.

- William F. Buckley, Jr.

Batiste says the nation is at peril -- and Buckley says your party is at peril --both are the result of the same root cause. Patraeus is presumably speaking "truth to power" and if it aligns with his political views then I'm sure Bush will listen to him, right?

So I ask again, Cirby - what do you believe in? Do you only believe people who agree with you?

P. Bunyan:

It's not really a matter of "not particularly true" Cirby, it more an example of typical leftist inability to distinguish between opinion and fact. Of course thinking people realize that there is no "true" or "false" in opinion- it's more a matter of supported vs. unsubstanciated - so Lee's mistake is rather silly, but as I said, typical. I'd expect the same of Katie Curic or Brian Williams.

Take Steeve Crickmore's post as another example. Do you realize Steve, that there is no more truth in the statement:

"They haven't listened to the generals since day one."

then there is to the statement:

"They listened to every single general and did everything that every general suggested, exactly as they suggested it."


There are a lot of generals and retired generals that have conflicting opinions on this war. Just because a fraction of them are saying things that you want to hear does not make everything they say "fact" or "truth".

Things could have been done better, but they could have been done worse. You can't know for sure. The only thing that is fact is what we did and what happened as a result. Anything else is simply opinion. You just have your opionion while victory supporters like myself have ours. Neither is fact or truth they are all opinions.

Oak Leaf:

The President sure is not listening to the recommendations of the US Army Surgeon General.

The GOP could have won all of this had they put the interests of the soldier and the readiness of the US Army first.

Oh well, I long for the day as a Conservative that I no longer have to agree with you guys and can disagree with you again but I think that is going to take about two years.


You are taking a lot of misguided heat at the sister site "Wizbang" and as a Soldier I just want to thank you for Supporting the Troops because that is exactly what you are doing in this debate.

My normal allies on the "right" do not support the troops, they support the "war."

I can disagree with your politics from morning until night but every day we get closer to ending this Nation Building exercise is better for everyone of my brothers in arms so that we may rightly pursue the GLOBAL War on Terror.

Thank you,

civil behavior:

The days of putting the interests of the troops ahead of the aristrocracy has never happened.

The two cannot coexist if both agendas are being fulfilled.

With the advance of the internet it is now possible to educate oneself and learn all the past history of wars and empires, serfs and lords, propoganda and truthiness. It's possible to educate oneself as to the reasons why we are exactly where we are in this mess today and why most of what any of us argue and debate is worthless.

Money and power....I repeat, money and power. Without it you are but a necessary nuisance. To think the aristocrats, plutocrats, Republicrats are going to listen to the people's cries is simply delusional thinking.

Get a grip folks, this kind of "not listening" has been going on for eons. Those with money and power make the rules. Depending on the century you can either make the best of it and cry in your sleep or support the madness and pretend it doesn't matter.

My pillow is always wet.

Oak Leaf, Thanks for your support, and keep up the good fight.

P. Bunyan:

"The President sure is not listening to the recommendations of the US Army Surgeon General."

Are you as stupid as a leftist Oak Leaf, in that you would think that just because the President may not be implementing every sugestion of any particular person that that means the President did not "listen" to that person?

Is it not possible that there are many, many variables and not everyone is going to have everything done exactly as they'd want it?


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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