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TITLE: Commanders Misplace 4th Infantry Division; "I Thought You Had Them," Says General
DATE: 3/25/2003 08:11:00 PM
High ranking officials in the White House who had never been to war were stymied when the democratic processes underlying Turkey's government continued to thwart U.S. intentions to use Turkish land as a military staging area. (See Middle East Democracy deals Blow to Plan to Install Other Middle East Democracy)
"I don't understand it," snarled Paul Wolfowitz. "Just because a governmental body votes one way, doesn't mean you have to follow the dictates of a democracy. In America we wouldn't stand for it." Dick Cheney fumed. "Those Turkish [expltive deleted] don't have the slightest idea how a few people at the top can totally override the will of the people."
Although Turkey's Parliament had barred U.S. ground action in Turkey, White House officials told U.S. commanders to keep the 4th Infantry Division, a heavy Army unit force deemed essential to a ground war in Iraq, floating in the Med instead of moving them to join ground forces in Kuwait. As a result,
Cheny continued to fume. "What the hell do those [expletive deleted] Turks want anyway? We tried diplomacy, we offered them $30 billion dollars or something. That damn Powell cannot do anything right."
In contrast, Donald Rumsfeld was calm and resolute. "We didn't need the British and we don't need the 4th Infantry. We'll go it alone and even if we're not there, we'll do it."