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Soldiers in Iraq say Pulling Out Would Have Devastating Results

Will the Democrats listen to the troops they say they support? Don't bet on it.

FORWARD OPERATING BASE SYKES, Iraq, Nov. 5 -- For the U.S. troops fighting in Iraq, the war is alternately violent and hopeful, sometimes very hot and sometimes very cold. It is dusty and muddy, calm and chaotic, deafeningly loud and eerily quiet.


The one thing the war is not, however, is finished, dozens of soldiers across the country said in interviews. And leaving Iraq now would have devastating consequences, they said.

With a potentially historic U.S. midterm election on Tuesday and the war in Iraq a major issue at the polls, many soldiers said the United States should not abandon its effort here. Such a move, enlisted soldiers and officers said, would set Iraq on a path to civil war, give new life to the insurgency and create the possibility of a failed state after nearly four years of fighting to implant democracy.

"Take us out of that vacuum -- and it's on the edge now -- and boom, it would become a free-for-all," said Lt. Col. Mark Suich, who commands the 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment just south of Baghdad. "It would be a raw contention for power. That would be the bloodiest piece of this war."

The soldiers declined to discuss the political jousting back home, but they expressed support for the Bush administration's approach to the war, which they described as sticking with a tumultuous situation to give Iraq a chance to stand on its own.

This the opinion of the men and women who are on the front lines everyday. They have an up close and personal view of Iraq that the Democratic politicians in Washington don't. Yet, if the Democrats have their way they would get the hell out of Dodge as fast as possible. Elizabeth Dole was absolutely right when she said on Meet the Press yesterday that "the Democrats are content with losing."

Greg Tinti writes:

In sum, it states pretty much unequivocally that the vast majority of the people fighting in Iraq--unlike the people trying to make political hay out of it here at home--believe in the mission and want to continue fighting until the job is done.


Or, in other words, according to the troops, the Democrats are wrong, wrong, wrong.

I really like Captain Ed's comments:

We have heard a lot from the Democrats in this election season about supporting the troops by withdrawing them from Iraq. Terms like "phased redeployment" and "event horizon" have been thrown around by critics of the war. However, the people that will have to execute those maneuvers do not have much enthusiasm for them.

No they don't.

Richard at Hyscience correctly notes that pulling out of Iraq would not only increase the danger of more terrorist attacks not only in the Middle East but also here:

A premature withdrawal from Iraq would cause unimaginable instability not only in Iraq, but also throughout the Middle East. And there can be no doubt that jihadists would chalk up Iraq as proof positive that terrorism works -- adding it to other "successes" in Lebanon (1983) and Somalia (1993). Worse, an ignominious U.S. retreat would prove to countless other troublemakers that America is nothing more than a paper tiger.

Update: Leader of the terrorist organization Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, tells Muslims in the Middle East that the US will abandon them the same way it left Vietnam:

Nasrallah.jpg

Here's a partial transcript:

When I talk about an [American] failure, I'm not saying that the Americans' plan for the region has collapsed, and that they are packing up their things and leaving, like what happened in the final days in Vietnam. But I would like to tell you clearly... I am one of those people who see a very clear picture. In our childhood... When we were young boys... I cannot forget the sight of the American forces leaving Vietnam in helicopters, which carried their officers and soldiers. Some Vietnamese, who had fought alongside the Americans, tried to climb into these helicopters, but the [Americans] threw them to the ground, abandoned them, and left. This is the sight I anticipate in our region, but I am not saying it will happen in months. It will take years. The Americans will gather their belongings and leave this region - the entire region. They have no future whatsoever in our region. They will leave the Middle East, and the Arab and Islamic worlds, like they left Vietnam. I advise all those who place their trust in the Americans to learn the lesson of Vietnam, and to learn the lesson of the South Lebanese Army with the Israelis, and to know that when the Americans lose this war � and lose it they will, Allah willing - they will abandon them to their fate, just like they did to all those who placed their trust in them throughout history.

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Comments (49)

This the opinion of the ... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

This the opinion of the men and women who are on the front lines everyday.

It is not. From the Stars & Stripes, that bastion of liberal thought:

"Poll of troops in Iraq sees 72% support for withdrawal within a year"

By Leo Shane III, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Wednesday, March 1, 2006

"WASHINGTON -- Seventy-two percent of troops on the ground in Iraq think U.S. military forces should get out of the country within a year, according to a Zogby poll released Tuesday."

"The survey of 944 troops, conducted in Iraq between Jan. 18 and Feb. 14, said that only 23 percent of servicemembers thought U.S. forces should stay 'as long as they are needed.' "

"Of the 72 percent, 22 percent said troops should leave within the next six months, and 29 percent said they should withdraw "immediately." Twenty-one percent said the U.S. military presence should end within a year; 5 percent weren't sure."

The terrorists want the SAM... (Below threshold)
theExecutioner:

The terrorists want the SAME thing the Democrats want. WHY?

lolWhat a disaster... (Below threshold)
jp2:

lol

What a disaster. Either way, it's going to be rough. Biggest. foreign. policy. blunder. ever.


Way to go neo-cons.

Hassan Nasrallah does NOT w... (Below threshold)
theExecutioner:

Hassan Nasrallah does NOT want to cut and run. WHY?

Soldiers in Iraq say Pul... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Soldiers in Iraq say Pulling Out Would Have Devastating Results

Yeah, but who believes them anyway. They're too stupid to really know what's going on.

/snark off

"Will the Democrats list... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"Will the Democrats listen to the troops they say they support? Don't bet on it."

I wouldn't bet on it either, but I would bet on the Democrats listening to the generals more than the Republicans have. The Republicans have run roughshod over the generals. The Democrats won't.

A <a href="http://www.prosp... (Below threshold)
cmd:

A Zogby poll, astigafa? You might as well ask a blind chicken for accurate results.

"way to go, neocons."

Yeah, because letting those dumb camel jockeys get murdered in Saddam's plastic shredders and letting Uday and Qusay have the run of Iraqi virgins in their rape rooms was so much better. So much more stable. So much more nuanced.

You're an asshat, jp - so's your whole filthy, morally bankrupt degenerate excuse for a party. Who cares what happens to the Iraqis so long as you can bop on down to the Apple store and get a flashy new Ipod, right? Hell, they're just a bunch of animals over there anyway.

And Kim, you ask if the Dems will listen to the troops? Why should they - they're all a bunch of poor, white-trash dopes, anyway. John Kerry says so - and he was in Vietnam, so he must know what he's talking about.

"I wouldn't bet on it ei... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

"I wouldn't bet on it either, but I would bet on the Democrats listening to the generals more than the Republicans have. The Republicans have run roughshod over the generals. The Democrats won't.."

What does that matter? It doesn't because Generals don't answer to nor do they consult the members of Congress on military strategy; they answer to the Commander-in-Chief.

Zogby is a Democrat. His ... (Below threshold)
theExecutioner:

Zogby is a Democrat. His polling is most often off.

A few easy questions and th... (Below threshold)
theExecutioner:

A few easy questions and the Democrats CUT AND RUN.

I have contact with Iraq wa... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

I have contact with Iraq war vets 3 times a month at the Denver V.A. PTSD program..granted they have a bias as they have been discharged and are activly seeking help...
What our nation still does not understand is what is unique about our 3 1/2 year occupation is that every troop there is on the front line. Every troop regardless of their MOS or gender are subject to attack. The one's I listen to in the sessions I attend don't give a crap about US policy...they are trying to get over the trauma they experience everytime the are in a car and see a broken down vehicle ahead...or when a car simply pull up to the side...

The Republicans have run... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

The Republicans have run roughshod over the generals. The Democrats won't.

Calling bullsh*t on Lee again. The last three Democrat presidents micro-managed every nit of military actions. Johnson physically prepared target maps. Carter dithered about every military decision to the point of exhausting those at the tip of the spear. Clinton was a poor mix of the two and added the timing of his Monica problem, thereby earning the everlasting disrespect of most of the military and likely all 0-6's and below.

"they are trying to get ove... (Below threshold)
theExecutioner:

"they are trying to get over the trauma" -nogo postal

I told you Democrats NOT to lower the standard, but you did and now you have proven yourself wrong again.

Lee, there were very few co... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Lee, there were very few combat generals left when Slick Willie left office. Ask your weenie hero Clark who bombed the Chinese Embassy. The only ones promoted had a brown ring around their neck from burying they're heads up Slicks A**. Only way to get promoted in the 90's. No independent though allowed. just like the dim's of today, group think, one brain for all and it's weak, really weak.

Now there is a fairly smart group of generals that have already won the war. The murder goes on only to repay the terrorists support provided by the dim's. All terrorists organizations have endorsed the democrats, that should tell you something. Like Vietnam the dim's will abandon the country after the war is won and the shooting stops and allow millions to be slaughtered. They love the blood on their hands.

Now we know that the Brits stopped another attack being planned in 2004 to take down a lot of NYC and kill thousands. Anyone live there, better leave fast if the dim's win. Hit the road about 6PM Wednesday if the election results turn out Wrong for the Security of America. There will be no way to detect and stop the next big one.

If the dim's are in charge ... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

If the dim's are in charge of Security for the country and Blair resigns in the U.K., you're going to have to move from more than NYC. And this is from the left wing BBC.

BBC News
A Muslim convert planned to detonate a dirty bomb and launch an attack on London's Tube, a court has heard. Former Hindu Dhiren Barot, 34, from London, planned "massive explosions" in a synchronized attack in the US and UK. Barot, who admitted conspiracy to murder last month, planned to pack limousines with gas cylinders and also use a radioactive "dirty" bomb...The would-be bomber planned attacks on various unspecified targets in Britain, prosecution QC Edmund Lawson said. "There were plans for the detonation of a radiation dispersal device, more commonly known as a dirty bomb, the use of a petrol tanker to cause an explosion, and an attack on London's rail or Underground network, including the Heathrow Express, of an explosion on a Tube train while in a tunnel under the River Thames." The prosecution said Barot had written: "Imagine the chaos that would be caused if a powerful explosion were to rip through here [London] and actually rupture the river itself. "That would cause pandemonium, what with the explosions, flooding, drowning etc that would occur." Barot also planned to target the IMF and the World Bank in Washington DC. The New York Stock Exchange building and the Citigroup headquarters, as well as the Prudential building in Newark, New Jersey, were also among his targets.

Scrpiron, Clark was... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Scrpiron,
Clark was the military commander at Waco. The liberals were strong and tough against American women/children at Waco. That is their type of hero. They would send troops to get Elian Gonzalez and wipe out American women/children. Yet at the same time, they would want to the terrorists our bills of right. That 's the liberal left.

Looks like that last bloody... (Below threshold)

Looks like that last bloody nose put a little gray in Nasrallah's beard.

Lee?Other trolls?<... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

Lee?

Other trolls?

**crickets chirping**

You're an asshat, ... (Below threshold)
jpe:
You're an asshat, jp - so's your whole filthy, morally bankrupt degenerate excuse for a party.

Actually, a morally bankrupt policy holds that Iraqis are less valuable than Americans, and should be sacriced so we can carry on shopping.

Once again the Democrats pr... (Below threshold)
theExecutioner:

Once again the Democrats prove that they have NO ANSWER on how to stop terrorism.

The world isn't going to co... (Below threshold)
kaz:

The world isn't going to come to an end if we pull out of Iraq. And 1,000 Al Qaeda fighters there aren't going to take over a country of 26 million people most of whom are Shiites and Kurds who hate Al Qaeda. Iraq isn't going to become the center of a new Al Qaeda caliphate.

The Al Qaeda threat in Iraq is wildly overblown by Republicans desperate to hang on to their power. Iraq is a civil war pure and simple. The Shiites and Kurds are 80% of the population. They can handle the Sunnis (who laregly don't support Al Qaeda themselves).

"The world isn't going to c... (Below threshold)
theExecutioner:

"The world isn't going to come to an end if we pull out of Iraq."

No, but we will. Obviously, you don't mind embarressing yourself with your ignorance.

So kaz is claiming that if ... (Below threshold)

So kaz is claiming that if we left Iraq there would be no civil war? Forget Al Qaida.... Sadr is nobody? If the Shia and Sunni Kurds are a majority and can easily handle the Sunni Arabs, how the h*ll do you explain Saddam?

As for Lee and the thuggish Republicans trompling all over the Generals... why do you assume the Generals, I should put that in quotes or at least capitalize "the"... The Generals... are in accord and all agree how best to do anything? Or maybe the Generals.... oops... The Generals, should vote on policy and go with the majority strategic and tactical opinions and civilian leadership can take a flying leap... just get us our banana republic creds now and go for it.

Synova - Letting the Genera... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Synova - Letting the Generals vote - Hahaha -- You'd really suggest that - sheesh.

That's even dumber than taking a poll of what the soldiers on the ground want to do - then suggesting the Democrats are wrong because they don't agree.

Pretty dumb scenario, but so far dumb ideas is all we've had from Republicans when it comes to Iraq.

Oh my kaz, Synova smeared y... (Below threshold)
Bob:

Oh my kaz, Synova smeared you all over your own sh**

Civil War will NOT BREAK OU... (Below threshold)
Robert:

Civil War will NOT BREAK OUT if we leave Iraq.

Civil War has already broken out.

I guess no one here has hea... (Below threshold)
theExecutioner:

I guess no one here has heard of the Cole, two twin tower attacks, etc.? Have the Democrats no answer except to surrender?

And this Civil War will not... (Below threshold)
Lee:

And this Civil War will not end while we continue to occupy Iraq, not without changing our methods radically from what's being done now.

So kaz is claiming that ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

So kaz is claiming that if we left Iraq there would be no civil war?

Umm, he said:

Iraq is a civil war pure and simple.

Is that too oblique for you? It obviously is for Bob.

"not without changing our m... (Below threshold)
theExecutioner:

"not without changing our methods radically"

yeah, like surrender.

Tuesday evening, when Democ... (Below threshold)
pagar:

Tuesday evening, when Democrat leaders including Gen Clark and others are wildly celebrating, each time a democrat is declared a winner, the world
will also see the leaders of Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and the American Communist party cheering for the same reason.
Doesn't it worry you, when you see the American
leftists and America's enemies cheer for the same
side?

"yeah, like surrender."<... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"yeah, like surrender."

That might be your choice, fathead. It isn't mine.

Oh, well I never heard any ... (Below threshold)
theExecutioner:

Oh, well I never heard any other answer from you Dems.

Surrendering isn't the choi... (Below threshold)
theExecutioner:

Surrendering isn't the choice of the Dems but they have no other choice either, which means they are TOTALLY confused or liars or both.

Lee, I'm not suggesting tha... (Below threshold)

Lee, I'm not suggesting that The Generals be given a vote and control of national policy. You're the one insisting that they be "listened to" but the thing is that The Generals do not and will not and can not agree. The Generals who have criticized the president's choices are some of them but not all. So *which* Generals should be listened to? A vote, to see which choices have approval from the most Generals would be a logical way to figure that out, no? But I'm not suggesting such a thing. Some Generals are going to get their pet ideas tromped on. The *fact* that some of The Generals get their pet ideas tromped on is Right and Good.

Generals are concerned with military goals but civilian leadership has to consider military as well as political goals, foreign policy externalities, and any number of things.

Has Bush made the best decisions? I don't know that anyone claims he has, but I think he's done a decent job overall. My main fear is that his approach will be too soft or that he won't be able to keep the nation focused on the larger picture. Radical changes? Such as what? If someone were proposing radical changes that were focused and agressive and talked about our reputation (the one Nasrallah is quoted talking about above) I'd be willing to listen, certainly. If the "changes" in policy were focused on the goal of *winning* I think the administration would even be open to them (and we'd be showing a united front overseas which would be priceless.)

But all I get, and I do mean ALL I get from Dem campaign ads is "time for a change" and our ditsy and corrupt Dem challenger for a US House seat saying that Bush is "wrong on Iraq".

And do you know why? I think you must know why we don't get details. It's so that both Democrats who take the Islamist threat seriously and those who think it will all go away if the evil USA just stopped causing trouble, can both put their own interpretation on things and vote Democrat.

"Stay the course" isn't a plan? Well, dang, at least it gives people an idea. The Democrats *have* to get the votes of people who really *do* think we should just bring all of our troops home, and let whatever happens happen when we do.

Frankly, I think that if Iraq is not abandoned and all parties involved have an assurance that we *will* go back again if we must, that our involvement there will continue to decrease. But this isn't just Iraq, it's Islamist terrorism and agressive expansionism and it's not going to go away for a very long time.

What radical changes will the Democrats make?

Oh, well I never heard any ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Oh, well I never heard any other answer from theExecutioner.

"When do you Republicans expect to win?"

And it's such a simple question, too! He must be cutting and running.

When will we win?B... (Below threshold)

When will we win?

Battles are won every day. When will the Global War on Terror be won? At least a decade, probably longer, and only if we don't do something incredibly stupid like quit and have to start over.

"pucker puss' (lee lee) jus... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

"pucker puss' (lee lee) just said he wants the country run by the military!!!!!

Great idea!!!!! Let's let o... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Great idea!!!!! Let's let old "pucker puss" (lee lee) tells us how to win.Tick tick tick tick tick----tick---tick----

Synova -If we quit... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Synova -

If we quit now and have to start over, there's no way we'll be able to get as far as we have to date as cheaply as we have. I fear, however, that the Dems will do a 180 and beat feet out of the ME if they get into power, and the next time (and there will indeed be a next time) the butcher's bill will be incredibly higher... with the loss of major cities an added feature.

Question for the soldiers i... (Below threshold)
Robert:

Question for the soldiers in Iraq.

What do you think will happen if we pullout of Iraq?

Civil War is there NOW.

I answered you Brian. Can'... (Below threshold)
theExecutioner:

I answered you Brian. Can't you read English? Repeating lies doesn't make you right.

I told you that the answer is LONG BEFORE WE WIN BY SURRENDERING you pathetic vomit of scum.

Once again the Democrats pr... (Below threshold)
theExecutioner:

Once again the Democrats prove that they have NO ANSWER on how to stop terrorism.

Robert, It isn't m... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Robert,

It isn't my opinion civil war is there now. My reasoning (I can't remember if I covered it in another post) is that there aren't separate factions with separate presidents and separate constitutions at war with each other inside the country.

I think to say there is a civil war, we need to define the criteria. My criteria is based heavily on the conditions that occured during the American civil war. What basis for comparison are you using?
Religious strife and terrorism doesn't equate to civil war to me.

People in Iraq are still fi... (Below threshold)

People in Iraq are still figuring out how the new government will work. People like Sadr are trying to consolodate power and other forces (Iran and Syria?) are trying to destabilize efforts. There's not a lot of trust that those with power will behave fairly to those without. (Can't imagine why.)

So, yeah, there's strife. I can't imagine any way that there wouldn't be.

I don't know what people expected. Whining about being told (lied to) about how easy it would all be just seems dishonest to me because I never had those expectations and it makes me wonder what a person has to believe before they will interpret anything said about Iraq as promises of a strife free insta-victory. Basic common sense, use your own brain to think about what is involved in building a new government in a diverse country unused to democracy or equal treatment under the law and the fact that there is stife *now* isn't surprising and isn't alarming either.

Common sense. Your own brain.

It's really not too much to ask.

>"When do you Republican... (Below threshold)
Brian:

>"When do you Republicans expect to win?"
I answered you Brian. Can't you read English? Repeating lies doesn't make you right.
I told you that the answer is LONG BEFORE WE WIN BY SURRENDERING

That's your answer? LOL! And I thought you actually had something intelligent to say.

Once again the Democrats prove that they have NO ANSWER on how to stop terrorism.

I'll answer you in the same vein as your answer above. "We will stop terrorism by replacing it with peace".

Now, please wipe the froth off your mouth and go back to shouting into the mirror.

"We will stop terr... (Below threshold)
Heralder:
"We will stop terrorism by replacing it with peace".

That is also my answer to the question, Brian.

Like in all wars, there will be peace when one side wins. My question to you is: which side would you like to have win in order get your 'peace'?

which side would you lik... (Below threshold)
Brian:

which side would you like to have win in order get your 'peace'?

The American side. Which, last time I checked, included both Republicans and Democrats, and included a 200+ year old process for selecting them.

I prefer the Democrats. You, on the other hand, apparently favor autocratic rule of one party. That makes you un-American, which means you couldn't want America to win, which means you want the terrorists to win.

You know, political discourse in this country would improve greatly once the numbnuts stop asking divisive questions like these just so they can feel clever, patriotic, and/or virile.

I'm impressed, Brian. You ... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

I'm impressed, Brian. You took a question and completely exploded it into an issue of me favoring autocratic rule. I didn't even mention Democrats and Republicans in my post.

I wonder why you're so defensive.




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