Ray McGovern talks about his brutal arrest by NYPD on Thursday night, preventing him from attending a talk given by General Petraeus...
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Interviewee: Ray McGovern
Rob: This is the Rob Kall Bottom-up Radio Show WNJC 1360 AM, I am speaking with Ray McGovern.
Ray you have just been through quite an experience...again. Can you tell me what happened?
Ray: I was up in the New York City teaching a course at Fordham University and at Manhattan College. Yesterday October 30th and I heard as I was planning my lesson plans so to speak, that the General Petraeus was going to be speaking at the 92nd Street Y, which is a feature of Manhattan, and so I thought, "damn I need to get to that lecture and I can because these classes are over before 7:30". So I arranged for a friend to get some tickets for some friends of mine and me and I wanted to be there and especially when I saw there was going to be Q & A (Question & Answers), I said that's for me, You know I'll try to get in some position or ask him a real question. In the manner of what I did with Rumsfeld back in the May of 2006, where I had a wonderful foreman debate with him or he kept coming back, and well anyhow.
Rob: That's the one where CNN picked it up and it went viral.
Ray: Yes Rob the funny thing about that-- there is nothing else in the whole world that happened on May 04th 2006 and CNN and C Span had it live in Atlanta. So almost all the other Cable TV's and Network TV shows had it on so. I didn't have those great expectations for this one but I did want to have a chance to ask him sought of like well General Petraeus says everybody what now, you famously asked many years ago "Please tell me how this all ends". I felt at that time about General Petraeus that was a kind of a funny question for a General to ask.
I was only a Captain of US Army but I always had some idea of how my tactical approach or strategic approach to this or that objective-- how it ends, you had no idea. So you know now how it ends, don't you, because those crackerjack troops that you trained, those Iraqi hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Army ready to take over, earlier this year to the embarrassment of everyone, it's on this ISIL up in the northern part of Iraq shot a couple of AK47 rounds...they all ran. Four divisions-- four crackerjack divisions. The officers didn't run. They took Helicopters out of there getting out of dodge, but the men all ran. And it was so embarrassing. Why? Because they not only ran without their weapons, they left tanks and artillery and all kinds of heavy weaponry behind them and the US was embarrassed into this situation of having to send our fire bombers to destroy all the US manufactured hardware-- tanks and so forth. That we had given to the Iraqi Army which we had trained so well and we needed to destroy all that stuffs so that ISIL wouldn't get it and use it against what was left of theIraqi Army. Now the only people who were jolly about that, of course, Rob, was the weapons manufacturers. I mean, is this a great country or what? You make the weapons you sell them to Iraq, they leave them behind to the enemy you destroy them you may go up and sell it to Iraq again. You know I was thinking about General Allen who is back there in Baghdad and it seemed that they have given him a second try right and so one of the things, if I had the chance, was to be asking...Petraeus are you going to get a Mulligan on this, are they going to give you a second try to train the Iraqi's again to make them into the Crackerjack Army that you bragged about before or are you going leave that to General Allen now. I mean the whole thing if they weren't so...
Well I guess the bottom line for me Rob is to care as a guy, responsible for untold suffering, killing and I don't just mean Iraqi's Afghan's, I mean US Government Soldiers-- that surge in Iraq-- that cost almost 1000 US troops that one Surge in Iraq, What did it do? It did nothing other than that to allow Cheney and Bush to ride off into the western sunset not having lost the war. We all knew that-- we knew that was the reason. What needed to be done at that point was to say "look Iraqi's you are going to get your act together. If you don't work out an arrangement where Sunni and Shia are welcome in one Government, we are out of there. Now that would have been 2006 or 2007. What are we, 7 years later now with all kinds of death and destructs itself. So Petraeus is the guy, for me representing the responsible analysts who kept telling president Obama, look Afghanistan is a fool's errand. You can surge there just as you surged in Iraq it's not going to make any difference. So I get arrested and I was kept in prison overnight and Petraeus gets lauded I don't really have an account of what happened there. But those are big fans you know and I don't know if he wore the merit badges that he had got from Boy Scouts and other Medals. But he has been known to wear those on a civilian suit, but in any case he probably was given many encomia which was very ill deserved and I only regret that I didn't have a chance to ask him some real questions as I did when I asked Rumsfeld in May of 2006 and I suspect, Rob that's one reason why they wouldn't let me in.