October 16, 2007

More soldiers speak out (again)

This time, on the fifth bloody annniversary of the Bush Blunder in Iraq, it's twelve former Army captains:
The Real Iraq We Knew
Today marks five years since the authorization of military force in Iraq, setting Operation Iraqi Freedom in motion. Five years on, the Iraq war is as undermanned and under-resourced as it was from the start. And, five years on, Iraq is in shambles.
What does Iraq look like on the ground? It's certainly far from being a modern, self-sustaining country. Many roads, bridges, schools and hospitals are in deplorable condition. Fewer people have access to drinking water or sewage systems than before the war. And Baghdad is averaging less than eight hours of electricity a day.

Iraq's institutional infrastructure, too, is sorely wanting. Even if the Iraqis wanted to work together and accept the national identity foisted upon them in 1920s, the ministries do not have enough trained administrators or technicians to coordinate themselves. At the local level, most communities are still controlled by the same autocratic sheiks that ruled under Saddam. There is no reliable postal system. No effective banking system. No registration system to monitor the population and its needs.

The inability to govern is exacerbated at all levels by widespread corruption. Transparency International ranks Iraq as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. And, indeed, many of us witnessed the exploitation of U.S. tax dollars by Iraqi officials and military officers. Sabotage and graft have had a particularly deleterious impact on Iraq's oil industry, which still fails to produce the revenue that Pentagon war planners hoped would pay for Iraq's reconstruction. Yet holding people accountable has proved difficult. The first commissioner of a panel charged with preventing and investigating corruption resigned last month, citing pressure from the government and threats on his life.

Against this backdrop, the U.S. military has been trying in vain to hold the country together. Even with "the surge," we simply do not have enough soldiers and marines to meet the professed goals of clearing areas from insurgent control, holding them securely and building sustainable institutions. Though temporary reinforcing operations in places like Fallujah, An Najaf, Tal Afar, and now Baghdad may brief well on PowerPoint presentations, in practice they just push insurgents to another spot on the map and often strengthen the insurgents' cause by harassing locals to a point of swayed allegiances. Millions of Iraqis correctly recognize these actions for what they are and vote with their feet -- moving within Iraq or leaving the country entirely. Still, our colonels and generals keep holding on to flawed concepts.

U.S. forces, responsible for too many objectives and too much "battle space," are vulnerable targets. The sad inevitability of a protracted draw-down is further escalation of attacks -- on U.S. troops, civilian leaders and advisory teams. They would also no doubt get caught in the crossfire of the imminent Iraqi civil war.

Iraqi security forces would not be able to salvage the situation. Even if all the Iraqi military and police were properly trained, equipped and truly committed, their 346,000 personnel would be too few. As it is, Iraqi soldiers quit at will. The police are effectively controlled by militias. And, again, corruption is debilitating. U.S. tax dollars enrich self-serving generals and support the very elements that will battle each other after we're gone.

This is Operation Iraqi Freedom and the reality we experienced.

Who are you going to choose to believe? Proven liars from the White House and their highly paid mouthpieces? Republican congressmen (and Smokin' Joe Lieberman) who go over to get the phoney "tour" in Iraq complete with hundreds of bodyguards who then return to trumpet "success" and how "normal" things are? Or actual soldiers with their "boots on the ground", who were so disgusted with what they saw and experienced and the utter disconnect between reality and the actions of both their chain of command and the civilian leadership that they felt compelled to try to tell US what is really going on?

Or will you simply follow that noted warriror Rush Limbaugh and dismiss them as "phoney soldiers"?

Read the entire piece from the Washington Post here.


At 10/16/2007 10:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course there are soldiers with negative comments, just as there are as many soldiers with positive comments (I expect that you have little interest in posting these).

You are not silly enough to buy into the Rush/ phoney-soldier deal the way that Harry Reed did - are you?

Rush was discussing the anti-Iraq agenda-driven individual who LIED and said that he was a soldier in Iraq, when he was not (he was a 'phoney-soldier') and now he is serving time for his lies.

At 10/16/2007 11:18 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Find me some actual troops who think things are going just peachy in Iraq and I'll provide a link.

Secondly, you apparently didn't get the memo, but Rush's statements have been shown to most definitely have been addressed at ANY soldier who opposes the war.

His supposed response, in which he re-played a tape of the segment, conveniently edited out almost two minutes of the thing, thus trying to suggest he was referring to one particular soldier who was found to be "phoney" indeed.

The fact of the matter is that the comedian Limbaugh said "phoney soldierS... plural, and did so nearly two minutes BEFORE he ever mentioned the case of some guy who was later revealed to have misreprented his service or something.

Rush as usual, with his oxicontin addled brain, trying desperately to dance backwards, and authority worshipping sheep like you buying it hook line and sinker.

If you're interested, the Rush thing is debunked many places, complete with the original transcript and audio, NOT Rush's little attempt to edit it to fit his defense.

And besides, the pudgy little chicken hawk then went on to demean the long serving Marine vet John Murtha as phoney.

Face it, Limbaugh is disgusting, nuts, and by his own description, a "water carrier" for the right.

At 10/17/2007 6:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How did I ever think that you would actually have a proper perspective on Limbaugh's comment?

I guess you only hear out of your left ear...

Sad that you cannot even get the English language correct.

And the thought that no soldiers in Iraq think that we are doing a good thing there and that things are going in a positive manner.

I guess the fact that (1) not every soldier can be negative on the war (defies logic), and (2) THAT A SOLID PERCENTAGE OF SOLDIERS ARE ASKING FOR A SECOND TOUR - and A GOOD NUMBER ARE REINLISTING means that they really think that the effort is not worth it??????

Not everything is as BLACK and BLACK as you suppose.

At 10/17/2007 9:24 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

What kind of a fool barges in here spouting off ranting and raving about voices they hear in their heads? Fools like you.

You're comment is criticizing some fantasy you've concocted in your head.

You try to rip me for supposedly thinking that NO soldiers support the war when I said NO SUCH THING WHATSOEVER... (moron).

Why do you have to MAKE UP stuff to attack me about? Can't you stick to things I've actually said or suggested?

Your arguments fall apart if you stick to logic, so you instead rely on false logic, little bullshit tricks of the trade, like the ones you use here, otherwise known (how many times do I have to explain this one, yet people STILL continue doing it) called the STRAW MAN.

When you have NOTHING to say to refute or deny what I've said, you simply MAKE UP or invent a straw man, then you argue against THAT.

Your comment is a perfect example.

You froth and bluster about crazy stuff that you simply invent.

First of all, you simply say I don't have a "proper perspective" on Fat Ass's disgusting comments.

Well, Oh all knowing one, just what IS the proper perspective? I heard and read exactly what he said. How is THAT a "wrong perspective"? Because it's reality?Factual? I guess that is the "wrong perspective" for you wing-nuts.

You say it's sad I can't even get the English language right, but you don't explain. What did I get wrong, Chumbly?

And then it's pretty telling when you begin... "And then the thought that....." and set up your straw man.

But you forgot to point out that it's YOUR THOUGHT, not mine, OK?

If you enjoy arguing with yourself, go on ahead, whatever tickles your pickle. But don't do it here.

And I don't particularly think that soldiers standing up and speaking out when they're being sorely misused and expected to risk their lives in service to leaders who have no idea what their goals or strategy are is "BLACK", as you apparently think.

I'd love to see you cite those "solid percentages" of soldiers who are re-upping.

The fact is that many of them are sent back over and over and over and over again. I'd love to see how many of those people, often guardsmen, are re-upping.

That must be why there were several reports suggesting that military recruitment was in a state of crisis not long ago.

Seriously, THINK before you waste my time here.

At 10/17/2007 9:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I hear the logic that the high reenlistment rates indicate that troops overwhelmingly support the war, I don't buy it.

The number one reason troops reenlist is unity. To not reenlist is seen by many as letting down those that remain in the fight.

Another (maybe not the second) reason that reenlistments are up in the combat zone is the money. Reenlistment bonus money is tax-free in a combat zone.

Recruitment...that's another issue entirely.

At 10/17/2007 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, you are indeed strange. You said,

"Find me some actual troops that think things are going peachy in Iraq and I'll provide a link" - if that is not a staement stating that you do not believe that there are such troops, then what is it?

Then you make a comment specific to Limbaugh and the 'phoney soldiers' - which is nothing more than a liberal-lie - as Limbaugh was speaking specifically of the pretend-soldiers (people who said that they were in Iraq and were not) - AND ONE SPECIFICALLY WHO HAS BEEN SENTANCED FOR HIS LIE.

At 10/17/2007 9:49 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Hmmm Seems like you struggle a bit with the English language yourself.

First of all, bellowing in all caps doesn't make you right.

You simply say what Lard Butt meant, but his words say you're wrong. He didn't mention the soldier you're certain he was talking about until over two minutes after he called soldiers who speak out against the war "phoney soldiers".

Do you want a link to hear it for yourself? Ah forget it, you're so far gone you wouldn't believe your lying ears anyway.

And the quote you quoted?

That doesn't say what you think it says either.

You were whining that I only reported on soldiers who oppose the way we're going about the mess in Iraq. You said there were many soldiers with "positive comments".

All I said was if you can find some soldiers with their postive thoughts about Iraq, I'll post a link to it.

BUt of course, rather than finding an example of what you tell us is just as common as troops speaking out against the occupation, you twist things all together in your head until you think I'm saying that there's not one soldier who thinks we're doing just dandy over in Bagdhad.

Come on there buddy.... try harder.

At 10/17/2007 11:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are soldiers that think Iraq is a bust.

There are soldiers that are signing up for an additional tour of duty and that think that the war is going well.

You need a link to show that either is accurate?

Why is the most remedial issue beyond you?

At 10/18/2007 7:42 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 11:35.

Next time, please let us know who you're addressing. It can't be me, because I'm not denying that some soldiers are gung-ho.

Since this goof insisted on jumping ugly with me for simply mentioning a piece written by Iraq vets and tried to bluster that there are soldiers that support the effort as well, I simply replied that if he had some links to articles in major papers that soldiers had written in support of the war, to provide them.

Apparently what neither he nor you can comprehend is that I've provided links to two major pieces in major papers written by both active duty and former troops emphatically arguing that we're only making things worse in Iraq.

If someone wants to make the point that troops think our goals and lack of strategy are just great, let them show us the article.
I'd personally like to see it.
And since the previous commenter and yourself asert that there's plenty of troops in favor of whatever the hell it is we're doing over there, then it shouldn't be difficult at all to simply provide us some examples.

P.S. I think you should maybe look up "remedial", as it doesn't really make sense in the way you used it.


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