Friday, December 02, 2005

An Army Broken?

With all the eagerness of a dog returning to something it has vomited up, the conventional media has latched onto Rep. Murtha's rambling discourse about the Army being "broken" and "has done all they can."

Unmitigated crap. And I don't say this out of defensiveness or service pride - I'll tell you about how far we have had to come in a bit. First, though, a little material for you to mull over.

The US Army is quite open about how it works, what it sees for its future, what it has been told to do in the future by the civilian authorities we serve. You can see its budget, strength, recruiting, retention, doctrine and philosophy. And not just official sources. US Army Soldiers tell the world about things that go right and wrong. Also, what we do on our own. We are our own strongest critics and staunchest defenders.

What really infuriates me is that someone like Rep. Murtha knows better. Ask any veteran who served between 1975-1982/3 what the Army (or the rest of the Armed Forces for that matter) were like. Drugs everywhere, low pay, morale was non-existent, equipment was falling behind or scarce, there was no great sense of mission or purpose. Only the heroic measures of a few dedicated officers and NCOs saved us from absolutely bottoming out. We needed the Reagan Era build up (hell, even Jimmy Carter, not the brightest or strongest to even stumble across the White House threshold, realized things had gone down too far, too fast, by the last two years of his miserable term in office) but almost as important, we got our elan back - we were told we mattered, we were the shield of liberty against Soviet totalitarianism. I felt that deeply, and in March of 1985 I walked straight into a recruiter's office and signed up.

Oh my Lord - I had joined an Army National Guard that was about to get dragged into readiness, professionalism and competence, whether it willed or no. The first field exercise I went to featured Miller High Life to wash down the first generation MREs. By 1988, things were WAY different. I remember taking a 14 hour convoy from central Illinois up to Ft. McCoy, WI. We went straight to the field site, tactically, and didn't come out for 12 days. When we did come out, it was just in time to take a strictly graded Physical Fitness Test, clean up, pack and convoy home the next morning. The look on some of the old-timer's faces was something I will NEVER forget.

But the Gulf War (I) showed that we still had a ways to go. The National Guard Brigade called up to go fight in Desert Shield/Desert Storm never made it. We still had work to do. Bosnia, 1996-onward showed that we were awfully close. I was part of the Army Reserve serving in Operation Joint Guard/Joint Endeavor (my time was FEB 1997-NOV 1997). We didn't do too badly - even the Regular Army folks said as much. But we weren't finished yet.

The Guard and Reserve had been getting shoved through two of the worst places God made (to steal a line from Lawrence of Arabia) JRTC and NTC. I thank the Almighty I only had to go through JRTC, and not both. The same beat-you-to-your-knees-training that the Regulars had to do. It helped. You never get so good an insight into your strengths and weaknesses as when you have been worn down to exhaustion, attacked constantly and been living in a frickin' bayou the whole July.

As anyone who has read this blog knows, The Inner Prop and I served in Operation Enduring Freedom V (Afghanistan, March 2004-March 2005). We stood at the end of the longest sustained supply line in the history of human conflict. We were in war-torn Central Asia. Af-frickin'-ghanistan. We had decent food, e-mail, phone (OK, sometimes they weren't always working, but almost all the time) excellent medical support, good pay, regular (if slow) mail. We had a PXs at most of the larger bases, and coffee places sprang up too. We had so damned much ammunition that we needed to build a bigger ammunition supply point at Bagram, AF. We had so many vehicles that we were constantly squabbling over where to put them all - and we had enough up-armored ones too. Our supply warehouses were stuffed with clothing, boots, body armor and the like. "Living hand to mouth" is the worst lie of the bunch.

The constant stream of re-enlistments was a revelation to me. When I was the Executive Officer of the garrison at Bagram Airfield (a job I gladly traded away after 5 months) I had to find room to more than double the size of the Retention Office. I personally administered the oath of re-enlistment to an E-5 and an E-7. The E-5 was a mother of two young children and the E-7 was eligible to retire when we got home!

Broken? Hardly. Is it difficult work? Yes.

Do not mistake hard work for foundering. Respectfully, Rep. Murtha - you are wrong. Dead wrong.


Blogger PatCA said...

Amen, my brother!

8:54 PM  
Blogger The_Real_JeffS said...

Well said, Major John!

I was in the Illinios Guard around the same time you were. I'd been IRR for a couple years after a 4 year tour after ROTC.

The first AT with my unit was nearly a total disaster, starting with the road march from Chicago to Fort McCoy, and not ending until I got home to throw my gear into the closet. The good news was, any beer was hidden away (but it was there).

I've seen the same problems, and the Army has come a long long way since those dark days. Is it perfect? Not hardly! But Murtha does not know of what he speaks.

9:59 PM  
Blogger Maggie Goff said...

Sir, thank you very much for this. I am grateful to you and to your family for your service to our country. God bless you.

9:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you.
That should be published in the New York Post.

9:20 AM  
Blogger opotho said...

That's damn good blogging! and the first time I've ever encountered any mention whatsoever of the history - not to mention improvement - of morale in any of the armed forces. Americans are wholly ignorant about such things, and are thus deprived of the feelings of pride you've instilled in me today. Thank you, every one of you.

Sadly, for almost everyone in my New York town, John Murtha's record seems only as relevant as last week's media reports which set in stone this military giant's faked change of heart. Two weeks into the story and I still haven't encountered a single discussion where anyone was aware Murtha declared the Iraq War "unwinnable" more than a year and a half ago. Too sad! but it's also a real conversation stopper (try it, it's fun!).

General Pace was right: as your blog attests, that you guys in the know just have to speak out more often. (It would be interesting to learn what kind of numbers Instapundit is bringing you today?)

9:54 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Given the American Left, media and Democrat's baseless and gratuitous political attacks on the military's capabilities and performance in the Afghanistan and Iraq fronts in the War on Terror, two things are becoming increasingly clear: the nation's civilian leadership's will for victory is clearly fractured and may result in critical losses in the larger war; these losses will most very likely not be the responsibility of the nation's armed forces in any way.

I too served in the USAR in the early '8o's, and you write truth about the readiness of the Army Reserves in those days. Thank you for serving. I am both humbled and gratified by your service. Drive On!

10:25 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you sir for correcting the record. That you even need to constitutes a great mystery to me.

Rep. Murtha's claim is absurd on its face. One would logically suppose that the media response would be something along the lines of an embarrassed silence, and, perhaps, unpublished concerns that the poor man should seek medical or psychiatric help immediately.

11:22 AM  
Blogger TallDave said...

Thanks for your service, and for sharing your much-needed perspective.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Rosemary Welch said...

First, thank you so much for your service. Second, thank you for the detailed history in a way I could understand. :)

Third, I have been and remain proud of our Military. I do not understand why the Left does not understand the diffence between a separate war and a separate theatre.

I guess Liberia, Africa was a war during WWII! My goodness. Thank God for men and women such as you. Merry Christmas.

12:09 PM  
Blogger opotho said...


A Republican representative (whose name I missed) was just speaking on FOXnews, stating that the army is not only NOT broken, but is "the best we've ever had." Than he went on to provide details and facts about the claim.

It may be that Murtha and co. have irritated enough to illicit, in a more widespread and organized response, the kind of proactive and positive explanation of the situation that we can read about above but that we'd never come across in, say, The New York Times, or on CNN? (Unless the President happens to mention it, which for the MSM is itself immediate grounds for dismissal.)

There seems to be no overview of the war's strategic history yet - not in the public imagination anyway. The popular narrative doesn't go much beyond the fall of Saddam, after which everything supposedly "went wrong".

Unfortunately, the coordination of and strategic details about the many phases of military operations in Iraq has yet to be appreciated by the American public, and I for one am eager to learn the history (but never at the risk of giving away the gameplan). I'm hungry for details about how we are LEARNING to defeat this sort of enemy, but for now it's up to the MSM and assorted academics to compose the story for us.

Just in time Rosemary's reminded me that our USS Iwo Jima group's liberation of Liberia in August 2003 from the throes of civil war was bumped off the headlines after a mere 6 hours due to the northeast's huge power outage. I don't think it was ever mentioned in the MSM again. Another history "composed for us".

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sense I get from reading the milbloggers is that the soldiers are proud to be where they are, proud to know that they're making a difference, yes the job is hard and there are days that suck (like with any job), but that it is a job worth doing and one that is bringing good to the world.

Clearly Murtha and I are not living in the same reality.

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks sooooo much for your service and for your efforts to penetrate the lack of truth the average American is getting in the media. The service member blogs and my AFEOD son in Iraq are my source of info which I KNOW are truthful. Keep up the good job and know you all are in my thoughts and prayers during this Christmas season when all of we Military Mom's and families miss ya'll so.

Texas EOD VERY proud MOM

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a veteran of Jimmy Carter's "Hollow Army". I was commisioned in May '77, served on active duty until Nov '81, stayed on as a reservist in a MOBDES slot until '89. You're right about that post-Vietnam Army. I remember serving as Staff Duty Officer as a 1LT. I was told to tour the barracks area, but under no circumstances to enter the Enlisted Men's Club - it was far too dangerous for me. The SDNCO was ordered to go in there near closing time, and asked very seriously if he could take a sidearm.

That last 9 months serving under Ronald Reagan, I could see the attitude begin to change. I still serve the Army as a Civil Servant, and I couldn't be prouder of what soldiers like you have made of my Army.

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you

1:18 PM  
Blogger CPA said...

Great post. It's interesting you put 1975 as the year of the beginning of the Army's nadir. I think that losing (especially when you feel you weren't allowed to fight all out) is the worst experience for an army, and winning is the greatest morale builder of all.

(I've referenced your post on my own blog BTW).

1:22 PM  
Blogger Terrie said...

Thank you for correcting the media-driven misconception. Most of all, thank you for your service to protect me and my family.

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you. Thank you mainly for your comments but thank you especially for your service. I live near Maxwell AFB (Montgomery, AL) and many of my neighbors are military -- I'm so proud of each and every one of 'em.

1:25 PM  
Blogger Ferris said...

Thank you for this and for your service.

It's almost enough to make me root for Army over Navy today, but not quite.

1:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice fact-free post... and of course based on the usual fallacy, which is that how well the army is doing is based on talking to individual soldiers and asking them how good they feel. A bit like the related fallacy, which is that publishing accurate reports about torture, deaths of Iraqi civilians, and so on counts as not Supporting The Troops because it makes the troops feel bad.

Murtha knows what he's talking about, in the sense that he has contact with people who know what is kept from individual soldiers: the task the army is expected to do (stopping Iraq from being a terrorist haven) is literally impossible. He has made the logical point that the best chance of coming out of this without destroying both Iraq and the American army is to leave. One can disagree with that, but saying "Murtha doesn't understand how much cooler the army is now than it was in the Carter years" is not disagreement, just hurt feelings. (Carter, at least, was honorable enough not to send the army to do impossible things; so was Reagan, who is also criticized for "cutting and running" in various places. Pulling the army out of an impossible situation is the right and honorable thing to do; leaving people to get killed for a vaguely-defined goal is not.)

Conservatives have become very touchy-feely lately, always talking about things based on how they make one "feel." Even assuming that pointing out the facts about the Iraq war are hurting the troops' feelings (which I don't accept; not all the troops are right-wingers, after all), telling the truth is more important than being politically correct. Liberals, at least, understand this. Conservatives, who are now much more politically correct than liberals (don't report bad news from Iraq! Don't talk about how we got into Iraq! It may be true, but it's not right!) obviously do not.

1:48 PM  
Blogger Don Singleton said...

Thank you for your service. See this post on my blog for more.

2:24 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Boy, writing of a fact free analysis, none serves the point better than t.b.'s missive. I'm sorry to see him (her?) confirm my point about baseless and gratuitous political attacks on the military's capability and performance in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Presuming (undoubtedly a safe presumption) an argument of any fact or logic will fail to penetrate t.b.'s ever-so-facile "mind" committed to defeat, and is nothing more than a waste of time, his (her?) post raises an interesting policy question: What is the Left’s plan besides cutting, running and appeasing?

Assuming, for the sake of argument, that a post-Bush president and Congress would be stupid and weak enough to withdraw from Iraq before victory was secured, how would/could they sell it as anything other than retreat under duress, i.e., defeat?

And how would that, in turn, help us: 1) win the war against the Islamicist fascists; 2) convince moderate Muslims we stand with them and their aspirations for liberty and political freedom; 3) convince weak governments of predominately Muslim nations that we stand with them and, 4) finally put to bed the notion the U.S. is a weak ally in time of war, unable to overcome its domestic minority bent on surrender and defeat?

In short, how is abandoning Iraq going to leave our military anything but defeated and disgraced; the U.S. significantly weakened, our enemies significantly strengthened, our allies made profoundly more insecure? And, since the Left’s newest fantasy is their cross-dressing “concern” for an Army in which they’d never, ever serve under any condition imaginable, (since they “support the troops [when they kill their officers]”); how do the Leftists propose to recruit all the new soldiers to serve in this defeated Army?

Shorter still: how can we win by losing?

Or does the Left consider losing winning?

And if they do, can I finally question their patriotism, once and for all?

2:40 PM  
Blogger opotho said...

At the risk of engaging a possible web troll, t.b. writes that "Carter, at least, was honorable enough not to send the army to do impossible things" - evidently forgetting the failed hostage rescue known as "Operation Eagle Claw".

Perhaps the poster was meaning that we learn through failure, as it was the failure of the different services to work cohesively together on that mission that led directly to the creation - though under Reagan - of the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and the U.S. Army 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.

As to the charge that "Reagan [was] also criticized for 'cutting and running' in various places", I can only think of one, our having pulled out of Lebanon, which now we're better able to understand was a regrettable decision, and an early defeat for us in the war against terror.

That our goals in Iraq are "vaguely-defined" for the poster perhaps instruct us more about different ideas of human nature, and a proclivity in one of those camps for self-doubt and ingenuousness (on a par with the inaccurate history lesson above), than about our actual historical situation and the challenges we face as a nation.

In other words, some people just don't get it. When I encounter this kind of obtuseness (e;g. the factually inaccurate Jimmy Carter claim), my question always concerns the degree of willfulness involved. Sometimes it just boggles the mind.

2:41 PM  
Blogger opotho said...

Tim (namesake), I hadn't seen your post before posting.

"Does the Left consider losing winning?"

I think that in this case, at this time in history, the answer to that is Yes.

But their's refers back to a different premise than the one that you and I share, and I think it best not to frame the difference in terms of "patriotism".

If we allow that even a Ramsey f***ing Clark might actually and even passionately believe himself to be "patriotic" (I doubt he'd use the word really, but let's allow it for argument's sake) then I think we'll have to come up with a more profound description of the disconnect we're involved in.

Burke opposed the foolish Rationalism that was fashionable in his day, but not on grounds that it wasn't "patriotic". Instead, he drew out the profound differences between the American and French Revolutions to illustrate the difference between tendencies and kinds of people everywhere.

William Blake named his "Contraries", which for him were two, ever-present tendencies between the timidity of those captured by Rationalism - and so unwittingly and forever in the sevice of tyranny - and those free imaginations who are unbound by doctrine and thus capable of inventiveness ("Angels" and "Devils", respectively.)

Two examples only, both from the 18th century.

But as to the question of "patriotism", I'd answer with Blakes's formulation that "Without Contraries there is no progression". It's not our job then to show the "Angels" that they're "bad", or "wrong" in the sense that they're evil somehow (which may itself become an evil) but to show them how they're in error, and how that error is in the service of tyranny and evil - which otherwise you've done quite nicely.

3:15 PM  
Blogger sonicfrog said...

Tim wrote:

"Does the Left consider losing winning?"

It depends on what the definition of losing is:-)

I find it amazing that those on the left, who are so energized by "ideals", "isms", and the power of the "movement" du jour, remain so ignorant of the ways in which these very things succeed and / or fail. The current WOT is like many others we have fought before; wars in which we are pitted against those who believe they should and will dominate us; that in some way or another we are, either because of race or religion or econo-governmental philosophy, we are inferior and should die. We have fought for the ideal and popular notions of liberty and independence from 1776 - 1783. We have fought against nationalism" and fascism" in WW's 1 & 2. We have fought against communism in Korea and Vietnam. All these wars have something in common. They were all driven by the belief, by one side or another, that their philosophy or way of life was better than that of the opponent or current populous. This is no different in the WOT. Of these wars, only one have we ended up on the wrong side of the winners circle, Vietnam (Korea was a push). Messer’s t.b. and his like absolutely MUST study an honest assessment of both how we failed in Vietnam, and the strategies Gen. Gaip used so well to defeat our will to fight.

Communism's promise of true equality and better living conditions for all was already a popular idea in the region as France's version of western style governance had done little to improve the lives of the ordinary Vietnamese (yeah, I know blame the French). We not only lost because the U.S. public lost its will to fight, and the war was poorly micromanaged by politicians (yes that's a warning to the Dems in congress), but we also lost because we failed to show the Vietnam population that our way could provide a better way of life.

Militarily, the Viet Cong lost the three month long tet offensive. But when Giap saw how the U.S. was reporting that as a U.S. defeat, he knew that he didn't have to win militarily, that all he had to do was keep our casualties mounting and we would lose our will to fight. He was right. Even if we would have "won" the Vietnam war. We may very well have lost the region at a later date because the "idea" of Communism looked more attractive than the what ever we could have provided at the time.

Though the Viet Cong killed and butchered far far more innocent civilians than we did, they won more followers because they had BETTER propaganda, which was partially supplied by us (thank you Dan "It's A Fake!" Rather). We only reported how many of our troops died or how many civilians WE killed, accidental or not. Our free press virtually ignored the vicious slaughter of innocents and massive body count incurred at the hand of the Viet Cong. And they never reported any hard-fought U.S victories as victories. Because people died, all battles were portrayed as failures. Sound familiar?

Now, t.b., I'm not going to argue whether this war was planned well from the beginning, or that we didn't have enough troops or blah, blah, blah. All leaders on all side make all sorts of errors and blunders when fighting wars, as is evident if you study the history of all the wars I mentioned in the first paragraph. We can't just come home and forget we were ever in Iraq. In the short term, we may save a few American solders lives. Bbut in the long term, if we leave before the Iraqi government has a change to stand on it's own and defend itself from the violence that will continue no matter when we leave, then doesn't it make more sense to leave at a point when the Iraqi goevnment is ready and not before? Unless, of coarse, if you have no faith in the Iraqi people, or in the power of liberty and democratic rule.

Hopefully, I don't need to spell out the root of the conflict in the WOT. But I will say this. Look at the attention that Murtha's reckless "Army is broken" comments are getting in our press vs that of fellow Democrat Lieberman's more optimistic WSJ Op Ed. piece. Consider this. If Murtha is right, where are the Democratic proposals to funnel billions into the military budget to help fix the broken Army??? Don't tell me that kind of bill would never get through Congress because, of coarse, no politician would want to show how much MORE stuff they're giving to the military during a time of war. And you can (and probably do) dismiss Lieberman as a tool of the administration, even though he WAS Al Gore's running mate a few years ago, and by you accounts, should be the VP. Fine. But what is his motivation for doing this Op. Ed.? More important however. WHAT IF HE'S RIGHT IN HIS ASSESMENT??? And you wonder why the Pentagon has been giving positive stories to the Iraqi press. They HAVE TO, unless they want to loose in Iraq as they did in Vietnam.

6:13 PM  
Blogger sonicfrog said...

Ooops. Thought I fixed these bits. The last two paragraphs should be switched around, and the last sentence should read:

"And you wonder why the Pentagon has been giving positive stories to the Iraqi press. They HVAE TO, unless they want to loose in Iraq as they did in Vietnam".

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This great Nation is simmering and if things keep rolling along as they have been I believe the pot might just boil over sometime in the future. The democrats , if they persist in following the path they have chosen are going to literally tear this country apart. And if that is their goal , they're getting awfully close to success. Let's start with the war in Iraq. To begin with I was against the war , but as soon as boots were on the ground and our young men and women were commited to combat , I shut up. I shut up, not because I reversed my position or my belief. I shut up because it was the right thing to do. I did so because as a conscientious American ( not a hyphenated American, though being born in Germany) I will never utter one word that might be construed in such a way that might bring harm to our servicemen and women. Now if I know not to do something that would bring harm to them, then what excuse can elected officials who stand on the floor of the House of Representatives have. Let's forget for now what Nancy Pelosi has said. Let's start with the one they trotted out and hid behind, Congressman Jack Murtha. Yes , Mr, Murtha served in Viet Nam. Yes, Mr. Murtha was wounded and received the Purple Heart. So what, that does'nt make one damn little bit of difference in this matter. Honorable deeds done in the past, are just that. Something that one participated in or did a long time ago. Certainly this is not to say he shouldn't be remembered or honored for those deeds, he should be. But calling for a pullout in the middle of war, a war that by any objective standards we are winning. Yes, I said winning, is absolutely one of the worst actions that I have ever seen taken by a United States federal elected official. That is until this same man, Congressman Jack Murtha comes out and says that the military is broken. With United States Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen currently in combat one of their own Congressmen, comes out and tells the world our military is broken. Now lets throw in all the shameful, no strike that, disgraceful things said and done by various other Leaders in the democrats party. Lets stop all this now. There was no doubt in nineteen ninety-eight and nine, that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Both parties agreed and did so publically. So did most of the civilized governments around the world. There was no doubt in two thousand-three about weapons of mass destruction, either. Again, leaders in both parties knew this along with the rest of the world. Forget the United Nations opinion. Anyone, at least anyone with an I.Q above room temperature knows now the U.N. is finished. The organization has zero credibility. Most of us have realized this for years. Let them go hand out and distribute food and medical supplies, and this should only be allowed with adult supervision. I don't want them on the continent, much less in our country. And forget Vanity Fare covergirl Plame and that goofy husband hanging on her skirt. Those two clowns remind me of Maxwell Smart and Agent 99 or one Jethro Bodine's double naught spies, for you youngsters, refer to TV Land. Back to the democrats ( Nationally elected ones) what they are doing has gone way past politics, with their fellow travellers in main stream old media they are dancing with the devil. And many are skirting and flirting with TREASON, and I don't believe we should be skittish about it. If this were reality or say 1944 around early June and these same antics were going on same said people would be run out of the country or tied to a post, given a cigarette and asked if they had any last words to say. And yes it was proper to offer the condemned a cigarette, back then.


Rick Hoffman

Acme Liberation Front

7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From a Korean War vet that has been paying attention... You're absolutely right Major and thank you for your servive and for speaking out.

8:03 PM  
Blogger LTC John said...

T.B. - Follow the links I provided at the beginning of the post - particularly the references one. Alos, try the CALL (Center for Army Lessons Learned). We make mistakes, we learn from them, we change, we experiment and move on. Our numbers, budgets and the like are open to the public to see. "Fact free" is only for those who don't use the references I provide.
As for Murtha knowing more than "the individual soldier is told". I did get a short laugh out of that. A pity he couldn't manage to share any of that-in the form of figures, citations, quotes, or the like-with the rest of us.
I happen to be a field grade officer - not a PV2 right out of basic training. I had access to theater wide information, as well as being on the ground at the logistics hub of the theater - well, when I wasn't out and about in the Afghan countryside...

8:07 PM  
Blogger Desertmoon said...

Mr. Murtha has sold out! He knows better. Major John, hold your ground, you are correct.

8:47 PM  
Blogger Desertmoon said...

Mr. Murtha has sold out! He knows better. Major John, hold your ground, you are correct.

8:48 PM  
Blogger Michael Gersh said...

I must make a small correction. We won the Vietnam war. We turned it over to the South, and they repelled at least one major invasion and made quite a bit of progress in the countryside. THEN the democrat congress decided to insure defeat and reneged on the cash and materiel aid that we had promised. ONLY THEN could the North launch another major invasion, and succeed.

9:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does the Left consider losing winning?

There is no shame in losing a war, actually. All great nations have done it. The U.S. has lost wars before and most Americans are not haunted by this; the people who are haunted by the loss in Vietnam are the crazy people who think if only they'd been willing to fight ten more years and kill a bunch more people, we might have "won" (whatever "winning" is in this context).

The Iraq war, on some level, was lost as soon as it turned out that the main goal -- removing Saddam -- was not helpful to American interests. (Not helpful because Saddam was no threat to America, because he was no great ally of the Islamists, because his removal has led to more Iraqis dying in the last two years than in the two years before the war, and so on.) It's not the first war based on mistaken premises, but once the premise has been exposed as a mistake, the war is a failure. When that happens, the honorable thing to do is admit it, not keep killing more Americans and Iraqis in the hope of making a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

The essence of war is killing; sometimes killing is necessary, but to continue the killing because it might help fifty years down the road is the deeply decadent act of a nation that, in some sense, really does view "losing as winning."

Two last points and I will leave:

1. I don't accept the premise that leaving Iraq will Embolden Our Enemies. Our enemies are emboldened no matter what, and no matter when the U.S. leaves, they will claim it as a U.S. defeat. The idea that if a country looks "strong" it's safe from terrorism is ridiculous, but even if it wasn't, the U.S. looks much less strong since the invasion of Iraq than before. The U.S. has a much better chance of scaring the world if it gets out of Iraq and regroups (it'll take a few years to rebuild its image, but it can be done); the longer it stays in Iraq, the more it looks like a paper tiger.

2. I never, ever understand what the hell people mean about "the will to fight" as applied to civilians. Soldiers need the will to fight. American civilians, especially in this particular war, can live totally normally whether the U.S. is in Iraq or not; it affects their lives not at all. What you call "the will to fight" is merely the will to let soldiers (and Iraqi civilians) get killed. There's nothing wrong with civilians supporting a war they don't fight -- but there's equally nothing wrong with civilians turning against a war and deciding it's not worth all the killing. War is a matter of policy, and "the will to fight" makes no more sense than "the will to accept tax cuts." Americans turned against Vietnam because they could no longer see that it was good policy to let all those Americans and Vietnamese get killed for strategic reasons that didn't seem all that important to America's security. (And from America's point of view, this turned out to be true: the Communists did not take over America, and were in no serious danger of doing so even before Reagan came.) Instead of blaming the media, how about blaming the Johnson, Nixon and Bush administrations for failing to persuade American civilians that their favored policies are worth the investment of so much time, money, and blood? Again, it's a policy question, not a question of who's tougher.

If American civilians wake up tomorrow and decide they all support the Iraq war, they won't be one inch tougher than they were the day before. Supporting a war is not wrong, but it doesn't make you tough.

In other words, it's perfectly OK for you to support the war. But you are showing no more "resolve" or "will" than a civilian who doesn't want the war to continue. You are just a policy wonk with a policy preference, like the rest of us.

9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vietnam vet or not, Murtha is an senile idiot. He doesn't deserve any special consideration for his past service. Screw him and all those liberal scum.

9:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S. - I wrote: There is no shame in losing a war, actually.

This should go without saying, but given the atmosphere here, it probably won't, so I should add: yes, I think winning a war is preferable to losing a war and it is right and proper for a nation to do everything it can (within the ethics and laws of war) to win a war once it's in. However, sometimes nations lose. And when that happens, there is no shame in having lost; there is shame in sacrificing more lives in the infantile belief that "failure is not an option."

9:59 PM  
Blogger SgtHook said...

Spot on Major. I doubt Mr. Murtha and his crew will ever get it.

BTW, I was at BAF around the same time as you with the Hillclimbers. Neither broken nor worn out.

11:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tb, your post is fact free as well.

I'll make you hear it again. The army was in the crapper when I joined in 1979. I had vehicles that were deadlined for months..months! I couldn't get soap for the soldiers in my barracks. One of my platoon was an 18 year old soldier who couldn't speak English and had THREE kids. Most of the squads in my infantry battalion were at half strength (tuberculosis...that means they didn't have all the soldiers they were supposed to). The ones that were there included lots of high school drop outs who were challenged to say complete sentences.

One day shortly after Reagan became president, I saw a new kind of troop coming into my unit. Motivated and educated. The army really began building in doctrine and training during that time and it was great to be a part of it. TB (may I call you tuberculosis), it was great to be a part of defeating international communism under the Gipper and we laid the foundation for the warriors who will defeat this 'insurgency' in Iraq.

This isn't rocket science, reenlistment rates are really high. Yes the america hating liberal journalists are depressing recruiting slightly, but goals are being met for the most part.

It is true that the Army is too small, but this was called the "Peace Dividend" by one former president. We could have a larger one if Congress had the will, but the Pentagon doesn't want forces that large.

Murtha knows about readiness measurement from his position on the Armed Services Committee. He knows what he is saying about "broke" is a lie.

12:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Problem with Murtha's statements is they are open to so darn much interpretation as to what he meant. Broken Army? I don't think he was talking about the people. Reenlistment rates, morale, focus on mission clearly dispute the people are in any way other than superb. So if not talking about the people, what is he talking about? I speculated on that in my blog the other day. I think he is talking about the tools we give our men and women to work with are "near broken." Overhaul and replacement isn't happening at a pace to keep up with the OPTEMPO. Who's to blame here anyhow? Well the Army certainly for not standing on the desks of Congress and pointing this out. But, as you know a "support the Executive branch Army" doesn't have a lot of latitude here. So who is next to blame? Look to Congress for not asking the right questions and not focusing the funding where it needs to go - to fix the part of the Army that is broken, and only money is gonna help there.

12:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look to Congress for not asking the right questions and not focusing the funding where it needs to go - to fix the part of the Army that is broken

----- Agree with this statement.

However, Murtha's meaning is made clearer when you recall that days before he called for "immediate" withdrawal (literally in a press conference which was broadcast to the enemy). That doesn't parse into 'are going to improve the maintenance status of worn out hummv's'

12:54 AM  
Blogger sonicfrog said...

t.b. said

"There is no shame in losing a war, actually."

WHAT????? Tell that to the Germans and Japanese and French, all of whom have white washed their history to avoid any mention that they were a conquered people. If there is no shame in losing a war, then why is every single conflict the U.S. has been in automatically compared to the freaking Vietnam War??? That war scarred us for many years. From day one, the Democratic party has been doing everything in its power to try and cast the Iraq war in Vietnam's image. Your statement explains completely why no one trusts the current Democratic party with national security. You don't have the courage to weather hard times and make difficult decisions and stick to those decisions to ensure THE BEST outcome possible. "CUTTING AND RUNNING IS NOT THE BEST WAY TO END THINGS IN IRAQ!

There is no shame??? How did Oliver Stone make his mark in the directors chair? By showing his rendition of the shamefull actions the Americans took in Nam and, as I mentioned earlier, COMPLETELY IGNORING the atrocities committed by the Viet Cong. His message was clear. You message is clear. WE ARE THE EVIL DOERS! WE ARE THE ENEMY!!!

"The U.S. has lost wars before and most Americans are not haunted by this;"...

How many wars have we lost? ONE! If we are not haunted by the ONE war we have lost, then why oh why are we still comparing Iraq to Vietnam?? Two days after we entered Iraq, some stupid murderous Chapaquitic (sp) Democrat, you know, the one with the braver brother who became President, was ebloviating that this was a Vietnam like quagmire. Be honest for a change. Democrats want to get out of Iraq because they fear it is, or will become another Vietnam. You obviously didn't read my previous post. Vietnam was lost ONLY because the political and journalist elite showed the enemy through their actions that they did not have the will to continue the fight. Again, read the writings of Viet Cong General Giap. He, not the evil neo-con right wing nut job, is the person who said THAT IS THE REASON HE KNEW THEY WOULD PREVAIL. Right after tet failed, Giap was ready to sign a peace accord. Once he saw the way tet was reported here in the U.S., as U.S. defeat, he knew it was only a matter of time before we gave up and decided to continue fighting. His words, not mine. I dare you. Dare you, for a two week period, to read three milblogs reporting positive progress about the conflict in Iraq and then still want to pullout immediately.

"the people who are haunted by the loss in Vietnam are the crazy people who think if only they'd been willing to fight ten more years and kill a bunch more people, we might have "won"

Again, THEY killed a freaking ton more people than we ever did. And how many died in the years after we left prematurely??? 1.5? 2 million? you, my friend, are the one haunted by Nam.

"(whatever "winning" is in this context)".

How 'bout a UN enforced DMZ. Not perfect, but better that leaving a country at the mercy of the murerous Communist regiem. But the UN was as useless in these matters then as they are now. Do you realize that if the UN had a backbone of any kind, Saddam would have been taken out years ago. North Korea and Iran would not be able to freely persue nuclear weapons.

And hey, here's a novel concept. if the insurgents would stop BLOWING PEOPLE UP, we would be out of Iraq in six months. There would be no need for to be there.

2:15 AM  
Blogger Dr Victorino de la Vega said...


Friday, December 2nd 2005
“10 Marines Killed in Bombing Near Fallujah”

One might recall that Fallujah used to be a peaceable and sleepy provincial town where Sunnis, Christians, and Shiites lived in harmony…that was long long time ago, before the US Government decided to teach “Ayyrab terrorists” a lesson they would never forget: In November 2004, George W. Bush launched Operation Al-Fajr ("The Dawn" in Arabic), also known as Operation Phantom Fury, a joint U.S.-Iraqi offensive against “rebel strongholds” in the city of Fallujah. The Pentagon called it "some of the heaviest urban combat Marines have been involved in since Hue City in Vietnam in 1968"

While listening to the latest wave of robotic Neocon platitudes churned out by the US military’s PR and Information Management Department, I remembered the words of a famous 19th century American philosopher of Gallic descent who once said of brainwashed pseudo-patriots “Now, what are they? Men at all? or small movable forts and magazines, at the service of some unscrupulous man in power?...

Visit the Navy Yard, and behold a marine, such a man as an American government can make, or such as it can make a man with its black arts—a mere shadow and reminiscence of humanity, a man laid out alive and standing, and already, as one may say, buried under arms with funeral accompaniments, though it may be

"Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note,
As his corse to the rampart we hurried;
Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot
O'er the grave where our hero we buried."

The mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies. They are the standing army, and the militia, jailers, constables, posse comitatus etc. In most cases there is no free exercise whatever of the judgment or of the moral sense…”

Truly, Thoreau’s prose was prescient in many ways…

3:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is incredible that when conservatives, Republicans, and military leaders make similar statements (as they did during the Clinton administration - some of which were echoed by George W. Bush in his campaign), and as many have done during this administration - including both those who opposed, and who supported, the Iraq war, people don't react this way... But when a Democrat happens to make these assertions, they do.

The prestigious U.S. Army War College issued a report in 2003, expressing these same concerns... And senior military officials and generals, including those who served in the Reagan, Bush 41, and Bush 43 administration, have said the same things... As have a number of GOP elected officials. I could provide numerous reference links and citations, but those can easily be looked up... and it's nearly 5 AM.

4:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice response Sonicfrog to (nut case) t.b.
My only comment is how can anyone say we "lost" the war in Viet Nam, when in the end, after winning militarily (as you correctly stated) our liberals in congress choice not to further fund the war. In other words how can you lose, if you don't try to win?
P.S. Major John keep up the pressure your article was right on.

6:31 AM  
Blogger Subsunk said...


Nice post. I saw the same improvements in the Force when I joined the Navy in 1980. Until our spare parts were bought and in the fleet, we went to sea with MAJOR equipment broken, all the time. If we had a flooidng casualty, some of our ships might not have come home.

Rep Murtha is an idiot. If defeating Islamofascism was easy, the the Girl Scouts would be doing it. This may take some years. It may even take a couple of generations. But it is better to attempt it now before it gets truly hard, when they have nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, and have eliminated most of our allies.

America has never lost a war militarily. There is shame in losing, just as there is shame in being caught in a lie, and shame in being a pedophile. TB take note. TB is not in charge. Because it doesn't affect you, you don't care if others die to protect you. Your life is Oh So Much more important than the soldiers. But that is because you truly don't care for anyone but yourself. Your soul is black as the night. Theirs is pure as the driven snow.

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER give in. Sir Winston Churchill was right, and TB and Murtha are wrong.

Press on, to Victory.


7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

......The prestigious U.S. Army War College issued a report in 2003, expressing these same concerns...

But they didn't express them to justify unilaterally surrendering to savage islamofascists.

8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you. For everything.

12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conservatives have become very touchy-feely lately, always talking about things based on how they make one "feel."

I think that's a rather keen observation of t.b.'s. But in point of fact there has been a major political role reversal going on in this country since the nadir of the "conservative" movement in 1994. You are the touchy-feely ones now. How ironic. In any case, Murtha is right and so is T.B. and if you are going to cite the "hollow army" meme (attributed to Gen. Edward C. Meyer) and attempt to link it to Carter, it displays your ignorance of the history and the subject at hand. Carter inherited the "broken army". It was broken by Viet Nam, just as Iraq is hollowing out our army again. It's all a moot point now. Welcome to the fringe, folks. It gets lonely out here. At least you have each other. For those interested in actual history and facts, not this touchy-feely crap, I suggest:

All We Could Be: The Rebuilding of the Army from Vietnam to Desert Storm
, a 79 minute videotape featuring discourse and interviews of principals by Lt. Gen. Frederic J. (Rick) Brown, USA Ret., distributed by First Person Productions, 1-888-917-4400, $19.95 ($14.95 for AUSA members).
Reviewed by Maj. Gen. Edward B. Atkeson, U.S. Army retired

This is a remarkable -- and novel -- piece of work. Virtually anyone who served in the Army from the late 1960s through to the early 1990s can relate to some aspect of the film. Moving from the depths of the Vietnam disaster, it portrays the enormous effort undertaken by the Army to pull itself, both physically and intellectually, from the jungles of Southeast Asia to meet the challenges of operations on the large landmass of Europe, and beyond that to the smashing victory of the Gulf War in 1991. Lt. Gen. Rick Brown spared little over a period of six years to interview most of the top commanders of that period, and to assemble the results in a professional and highly inspirational manner. In this we see not only the birth of new concepts, new equipment and new doctrine, but a complete change of attitude within the Army, from one of defeat to one of victory. It would become an organization of men and women aspiring to be all that they could be!

Colin Powell, Don Starry, "Dutch" Kerwin, Norman Schwarzkopf -- the names ring like the pages of a history book. And there are dozens more. These are the interviewees, talking to us as though in confidence next to their firesides in their dens of retirement: chiefs of staff, field commanders, the best and brightest of the Army of over a quarter of a century.

In the late 1960s the Army was broken. By all internal measures, it was a force virtually incapable of attaining any important objective. Discipline and race relations were wretched, even to the point of the fragging (assaulting with grenades) of officers. Troop commanders dared not enter the enlisted barracks on many posts at night. Leaders had little confidence that their commands could win wars, either in Asia or Europe.

Army enlisted ranks in those days were composed of no more than 50 percent high school graduates. National polls reflected a low esteem for the organization among the populace at large -- just one step above sanitation workers. Even into the 1970s, a chief of staff, Gen. Edward C. (Shy) Meyer, would speak of the Army as a hollow shell.

Gen. Brown, as our principal guide, takes us through the rebuilding of the organization step by step, beginning with the formation of the Army’s first integrated Training and Doctrine Command, with Gen. William E. DePuy as its first commander. It would be a return to the basics. We would learn that it was possible in warfare to attain new heights of mobility, of lethality and of an ability to see and understand enemy maneuvers. We would learn again that we could mold and train our forces to act decisively at the critical time and to destroy the enemy with highly integrated combined arms operations.

New equipment would be required. What came to be known as the big five: the M1 tank, the Bradley infantry fighting vehicle, the Apache and Black Hawk helicopters and the Patriot air defense missile, would afford us new survivability, lethality and mobility. Unfortunately, not dealt with in this formulation, but none the less important, would be the impact of new intelligence capabilities, including national airborne and space systems, which would afford us much greater ability to see into the depths of enemy formations and to assess their strengths and weaknesses. The understanding of this dimension was somewhat slower to catch hold in the Army than it was in the other services. That would come later with the development of all-source analysis centers and deep-strike systems, especially the multiple launch rocket system.

The introduction of large numbers of women in the Army did much to enhance the academic achievement level of the overall force. None of the women interviewed for the program expressed a desire to enter the combat arms, but they were confident that they could take over many of the tasks previously limited to male soldiers. Presumably, they wanted to keep options open for other women who might aspire to more rigorous tasks.

Former chief of staff Gen. John A. Wickham Jr. was one of the early enthusiasts for the creation of a light infantry division. This, he and Army Secretary Jack Marsh believed, would afford us a capability for more rapid deployment of a significant combat capability to threatened areas of the globe without necessarily sacrificing our strategic ace-in-the-hole, the 82nd Airborne Division. The initiative was not easily undertaken, given that no theater commander in chief at the time showed much interest. As it turned out, for whatever reasons, it would be the 82nd which would stick its finger in the dike in 1990 in hopes of deterring further advances of Iraqi forces beyond Kuwait.

As the videotape makes clear, one of the most important dimensions of the Army’s "revolution" was the establishment of new objective training standards by which combat readiness might be measured. The creation of the National Training Center at Ft. Irwin, California, was an important milestone. There, units could maneuver against live, interactive opponents with ample opportunity for the exercise of initiative, for the commission of mistakes and for a thorough critique of practically all activities at all levels of command.

For a new drive in recruiting for the all-volunteer force, the Army turned to Gen. Max Thurman, future commander in chief of Southern Command for the "Just Cause" invasion of Panama in 1989. Thurman engaged a prominent public relations firm to deliver a new recruiting song for the Army on a quick turn-around basis. The result was the catchy and durable "Be All That You Can Be." He -- as would others -- found the product so gripping, he said, that he had tears running down his face before the song was finished. Exactly how many young men and women it motivated to sign enlistment papers with the Army we do not know, but it had an almost immediate energizing effect on the entire force. It is no wonder that Gen. Brown might use what appears to be a derivative of the slogan for the title of his videotape.

What is missing from this video? Not much, considering the limited time and the array of matters with which it deals. Older timers may look for a more critical examination of the early days of the effort. The first draft of Field Manual 100-5, Operations, suffered from a misnomer, according to another interview with Gen. DePuy. "It is entitled ‘Operations,’" he said, "but we were thinking tactics." Others would fault the document for its failure to deal with nuclear matters. The concept of "active defense," which is mentioned in the video, was another weakness, according to Gen. DePuy. It was an ill-conceived effort to meet the political demands in West Germany for holding a line well forward for as long as possible. The active defense, which was almost exclusively designed to block an opponent, would eventually give way to the first generation of "Air-Land Battle," the exciting, offensively tailored concept for joint operations against a large armored opponent in the field -- exactly the sort of effort which would be so exquisitely executed in Operation Desert Storm in 100 hours in 1991 against the cream of the Iraqi army.

The videotape concludes with a sobering talk by Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, who emphasizes the need for vigorous political backing by both the administration and Congress for Army transformation, now, as in the past.

This video is an important historical report on a critical period in the development of the Army.

MAJ. GEN. EDWARD B. ATKESON, USA Ret., Ph.D., is a senior fellow at AUSA’s Institute of Land Warfare. He has written four books and more than 100 articles on military affairs.

And this article from the Cato Institute, (hardly left wing sites}:
The Misleading Military "Readiness Crisis"

How does it feel to be the new "useful idiots"?

P.S. Lenin never used that term. It was made up by the same people who have turned you all into the new useful idiots, the same ones Eisenhower tried to warn us about. I suppose some of you think Ike was a "commie".

3:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

J.T. Davis... That was an exhaustive post, but you forgot to include a point.

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After reading your comments which I agree with wholeheartedly I key in to your remarks about the National Guard you joined and the state of readiness of the US National Guard units. If the US guard units lacked that much in readiness why are our Congressmen and Senators and liberals expect so much of the Iraqis' if not just for political fodder. Maybe some of these comments can be made to the home state politicians or the Main Stream Media. Somewhere where more americans can see if the US had problems with its own military readiness shouldn't we be giving a little more leeway to these people who have been subjugated, oppressed, repressed, tortured, murdered and otherwise just given up on by the rest of the world for the last 35 years and who have never picked up a firearm or had any type of traing in their entire lives.

6:39 PM  
Blogger Gun Trash said...

Yessiree, I did 20 yrs, 7mos, 19 days from '65 til '85 and it was a whole different experience once Reagan got in office. Morale and the budget all got a big shot in the arm with the Gipper in charge. From out of the dark and into the light. He helped erase a lot of the shame I felt the way we abandoned the South Viets.

And Lord, how I despised and loathed James Earl Carter... I still do, come to think of it.

USAF E-8 Retired

7:07 PM  
Blogger LTC John said...

JT Davis, et al. Please try to keep the comments to at least a bit more reasonable length. I have never deleted a comment for length (in fact I have only deleted two comments ever - both spam, before I wised up and turned on the word verification, heh heh) - but this post is sorely tempting me. If you have a blog, please feel free to leave a link to any rebuttal or supporting arguments, evidence, etc.

Oh, and I am glad to see the invective level remaining relatively low, thus far - let us please try to keep it this way. I rather prefer ideas clashing than insults flying.

The Administrator (Major John)

7:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you MAJ John, for those words about OUR Army.

As long as I can remember, we were not broken. We had to work harder to get the mission accomplished, but we did it.

We will continue to do it. Hooah!!

Watch your 6 and keep your helmet on, Sir!

12:21 AM  
Blogger NotClauswitz said...

Thank you Major John for your service, Sir! Blogging this and Baldilock's commentary.

6:00 PM  
Blogger Inner Prop said...

The only thing I have to add is a rebuttal to TB's remark:

"American civilians, especially in this particular war, can live totally normally whether the U.S. is in Iraq or not; it affects their lives not at all. What you call "the will to fight" is merely the will to let soldiers (and Iraqi civilians) get killed."

I think I will tell my wife and three daughters that and see what they think.

I was away for almost 15 months when Major John and I were mobilized for Afghanistan and in that time MJ says he truely feared for his life three times, I did not at all. Yes I was in harms way and yes I was attacked, but he an I took approprate measures (easily) and were in no real danger.

Did my family send me off to die? No.

Were they affected? What do you think?

And just so this isn't "just a story from one of our soldiers" you can do your own math to figure out how many families are affected, how many businesses, how much income, how much consumer spending etc.

The reason those who choose not to be affected are not affected is because the families of those service members and the people who support them DO HAVE THE WILL TO FIGHT.

12:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait a minute. Who is this guy? He's still a Major...after how many years? And it's not as if picking up rank in the Guard is terribly difficult.

12:54 AM  
Blogger LTC John said...

"Wait a minute. Who is this guy? He's still a Major...after how many years? And it's not as if picking up rank in the Guard is terribly difficult."

Must have been a Reservist who said that - kidding!

I started out as an enlisted guy, Mr. or Ms. Anonymous. That took my first 2 1/2 years. Then 2LT 2+ years, 1LT 4+ years, CPT 7+ years (RC promotion times took, and still take longer than active duty). Then you have the time from getting your state promotion orders until Federal Recognition.

There are approximately 10,000 IL ARNG. How many LTC slots do you think there are? I will be up for LTC in a couple of years - and I have to compete with the AGR and State military technicians...Heck, I never thought I would make it this far.

I realize that your may have retired as Major General Anonymous, but give some of us a break.

8:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said!! I enlisted in 1980 and my final post was in Iraq 2003. Murtha, Dean and Kerry are just plain WRONG. The Army is made up of better people then they will ever hope to be.



11:50 AM  
Blogger sonicfrog said...

t.b. said:

"the people who are haunted by the loss in Vietnam are the crazy people who think if only they'd been willing to fight ten more years and kill a bunch more people, we might have "won"

Howard Dean said:

"I've seen this before in my life. This is the same situation we had in Vietnam."

Thanks Howey. Class dismissed.

12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Major John is entitled to his opinion.However,will Major John return to Iraq for more tours if his unit is called again? Now,let's begin the lesson. The U.S. should not have invaded Iraq!!!! Any weapons of mass destruction that Saddam had were given to him directly or indirectly by the U.S. The U.S. fully supported Saddam in the Iraq/Iran war from 1980-1988! Saddam did not get on the bad side of the U.S. until he invaded Kuwait. The real question to ask is, when did Saddam become an enemy of the U.S.? Moreover, the enemy of the U.S. is in Afghanistan,Osama bin Laden. Do you really think Osama will be killed or captured? NO! The reason is if he is harmed by the U.S. the royal Saudi family is in extreme jeopardy of being overthrown, also Pakistani President Musharraf will be in danger of a coup. How many more Americans must die to keep this lie in Iraq going? It is time to leave now.

3:26 AM  
Blogger LTC John said...


Yes, I will go wherever I am sent. I have been in just shy of 21 years now - I could have hung it up long ago. I believe in what we are doing - I have gone, and I will go again if needed.
Do try to get off the WMD hang up. I suggest you read the actual Congressional authorization of force in Iraq. Well, that and the law of 1998 that legislated efforts to end the Baathist rule in Iraq. Of course, I never heard any squealing about that particular policy - since it was one of Bill Clinton's...

2:16 PM  
Blogger Inner Prop said...


MJ didn't say it so I will (it's always been a sore point of mine). If you've paid ANY attention to this blog you would know that we were in Afghanistan, not Iraq.

I don't see the logic in your assertion that if UBL falls the Saudi family and the Pakistani president will be ousted. Can you back that theory up with facts?

I'm not arguing with you here. This thread has had some discussion about backing theories up with facts and I wondered if you had any.

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No all this guy has is theory-much like his band of brothers who actually hate soldiers and stuck them in an illegal war.

Dude, my kid just got back from Iraq-not a damn field operation-you are talkin' shit!

But what can you expect from brass more worried about their next promotion, than about our military.
And yes, I know soldiers who have NOT had enough to eat in the damn desert. So don't write if you cannot bother to tell the truth.

I don't say this lightly pal-my whole family is military-even my sister is law enforcement. So please stop feeding people bullshit.

Or go to Iraq your damnself-and stay there.

7:46 AM  
Blogger LTC John said...

Somebody needs to lay off the peyote...

9:51 AM  

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