American Progress hosted a press roundtable with retired Marine Corps General Joseph Hoar on September 13. Hoar headed U.S. Central Command following Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, overseeing U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf after the first Iraq war.
Gen. Hoar was blistering in his assessment of the current conflict, and the failure of the Bush administration’s civilian leadership to grasp the dynamics on the ground in Iraq. Excerpts follow (or read the full transcript here):
Iraq is like our Revolutionary War, except now we’re the British:
Well, it’s true [that the two conflicts are alike], but we’re on the wrong side. We’re the Brits. This is part of the hubris of this crowd that would think that in a country where 95 percent of the population was tribal, where it had been under various colonial rules for however long – since the Caliphate I guess – that all of a sudden this thing was going to turn around overnight. By the way, I just finished reading [David] McCullough’s book, 1776. We’re in there. (Laughter.) … Yeah, but we have red coats.