On the second page of his autobiography's preface, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez describes his time in Iraq:
From June 14, 2003, to July 1, 2004, the period immediately following major combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom, I was the commander of coalition forces, responsible for all military activity in the Iraq theater of war. I was there when Saddam Hussein was captured. I was there when the prisoner abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib occurred. And I was there when low-level enemy resistance expanded into a massive insurgency that eventually led to full-scale civil war."
Wow, that's pretty passive language for a general.
Sanchez acknowledges in the first half of this paragraph that he was in command, but then does not seem to embrace responsibility for the things that happened under his watch. He could have written: "Units under my command abused prisoners at Abu Ghraib." Or: "I commanded coalition forces and watched as the insurgency grew to oppose us." He could have acknowledged his role in each of these major turning points. But he doesn't, saying instead that he was merely there.
This is revealing. And there seem to be two plausible explanations for his passive language. Either Sanchez is still conflicted and confused about the role he played as senior U.S. commander during these events, or he's consciously adopted what psychologists call an "external locus of control" for the events that occurred around.
Elsewhere in the book, such as when he's describing pre-deployment training for his troops, Sanchez accepts a great deal of responsibility. But here, when describing operations in Iraq more generally, he dodges the bullet.
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: CivilianVu | May 10, 2008 5:02 PM
Posted by: Dijetlo | May 11, 2008 3:14 PM
Posted by: Zathras | May 13, 2008 11:01 AM
Posted by: Jess Bowling | May 13, 2008 5:42 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.