« "I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was going to blame you."* | Main | Another VA Hospital Horror Story »

Some Thoughts On the Democrats' Plan for Retreat

Bob Owens and John Hawkins make some good observations about the possible effects of the Democrats' plan to withdraw from Iraq in 2008 (or as some are calling it, the Roadmap for Terrorists). Owens of Confederate Yankee points out that all the new policy would achieve is a pullout of American forces, but not an end to outside influences in Iraq.

As House Democrats trumpet the release of their "son of 'Slow Bleed'" legislation to evict American forces from the Iraq War, Rep. David Obey, D-Wis was credited with an interesting set of pull quotes in one too-telling Associated Press paragraph:
Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., and chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said the proposal would bring an "orderly and responsible close" to American participation in what he called an Iraqi "civil war."

Like the larger Democrat-led effort to lose the war, this statement avoids mentioning--purposefully, in my estimation--that the proposed election-time retreat would end just American involvement in the war. The Democrats refuse to embrace the consequences of such a retreat.

It is expected that the power vacuum left by a Democrat-forced American military retreat from Iraq would be filled by foreign nations fueling a sectarian war in Iraq that would be both civil and proxy in nature. Saudi Arabia has made clear their intention to provide military and financial resources to Iraq's Sunni minority to hopefully keep their co-religionists from being "ethnically cleansed," while Iran would continue or increase its military and financial support of Shia factions in hopes of gaining a sphere of influence over oil-rich southern Iraq.

The end result of the Democrat plan of defeat would be a war-torn landscape not too dissimilar to the Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian War, writ large.

Hawkins at Right Wing News points to the problem with requiring all American troops to be out of Iraq by a specific.

It's certainly understandable that we wouldn't combat troops patrolling the streets by then, but they want American special forces that may be targeting Al-Qaeda to be gone by then? Why do they want American advisors who may be helping the Iraqi military and police out of the country? Why do they oppose using American air support to help the Iraqis?

If we're winning -- and let's face it, if we're not winning by March of 2008, Congress will force Bush to pull the troops out -- and American troops aren't getting killed in significant numbers, why would we want to cut off Bush's option to have American troops there, in the background, helping to make sure Iraq remains a free, democratic society? That's basically what we're doing in Afghanistan today, so why not do it in Iraq, too?

Simple: Because the Democrats in Congress have made a calculated political decision that seeing America defeated, our troops humiliated, and Iraq exploding in violence and civil war will help them in 2008 because they can blame it all on George Bush.


TrackBack

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Some Thoughts On the Democrats' Plan for Retreat:

» Plains Feeder linked with US Defeat in Iraq

Comments (53)

Why would we want a full pu... (Below threshold)
Listkeeper:

Why would we want a full pullout anyhow? By establishing permanent bases in Iraq, we maintain strategic control over the region militarily.

"we maintain strategic cont... (Below threshold)
yo:

"we maintain strategic control over the region militarily."

Which in my estimation, was the entire point.

Simple: Because the Demo... (Below threshold)

Simple: Because the Democrats in Congress have made a calculated political decision that seeing America defeated, our troops humiliated, and Iraq exploding in violence and civil war will help them in 2008 because they can blame it all on George Bush.

Wrong. The Democrats are trying to force a pullout because they received a mandate from the American people to do just that. The November 2006 election was a referendum on Iraq and the people said they want out. And they frankly don't care much about the "consequences" of a pullout. They are just fed up and want this war over with. As Petraeus explained yesterday:

"There is no military solution to a problem like that in Iraq, to the insurgency of Iraq," Petraeus said.

He went on to explain that a political reconciliation must happen before the violence can be brought under control. The Democratic plan would apply pressure to force the Iraqis to achieve this reconciliation. Promising to keep the troops in Iraq indefinitely as Bush has done has the exact opposite effect. It removes pressure on Maliki and supports continued Shiite consolidation over their control of the army, police and government while the Sunnis remain on the outside looking in.

In short, the Democrat plan is a plan for victory while Bush's blank check to the Shiites is a sure recipe for defeat.

In short, the Democrat p... (Below threshold)
DSkinner:

In short, the Democrat plan is a plan for victory while Bush's blank check to the Shiites is a sure recipe for defeat.

Surrendering = victory?

So the French are the most victorious army in history? Someone needs to get this information to the NCAA basketball teams. The first one to phone in their forfeiture after the bracket announcement wins the Big Dance. Brilliant plan.

Larking, the err in your th... (Below threshold)
yo:

Larking, the err in your thinking (and by extrapolation, the Dems') is that the political and military solutions are not mutually exclusive.

You can't turn off a faucet by asking it to stop, you have to turn the handle.

In short, the Dem... (Below threshold)
Dan Irving:
In short, the Democrat plan is a plan for victory while Bush's blank check to the Shiites is a sure recipe for defeat.

The Dem plan as victory has yet to be seen and only has historical parallel - Vietnam.

We withdrew from Vietnam. The civil war that was a stalemate concluded 2 years later with victory for the NV Coms. If this is the 'victory' you desire then you are consigning untold thousands of Iraqis to their deaths.

While I don't agree that Bush has given a 'blank check' to the Shia. The plan was Gen. Proteaus' and even he has stated that we won't be able to determine success or failure until mid summer.

No suurender is not the opt... (Below threshold)
Saneandontheright:

No suurender is not the option. The better option is to spend another 370 billion dollars, So that in another 4-6 years we can have our troops come home to more veterans cuts. Luckily, more will be dead by then so it won't hurt them all that much.

Also if we stay another 4-6 years we can really help Al-Quaeda meet their recruiting drives, by fueling Anti-American sentiment in the region. Nothing helps america like that.

Finally this our last chance to see if we can break the millitary. Really see if we can leave in as unready of a state as possible. To deal with future crisis.

or as some are calling i... (Below threshold)
Brian:

or as some are calling it, the Roadmap for Terrorists
...
Surrendering = victory?

Typical right-wing rhetoric. When you aren't capable of addressing the merits of a plan, just start calling it names using scary words.

But regardless, how exactly would it be "surrendering" to turn the fight over to the Iraqis? They're our allies, so we wouldn't be "surrendering" to them. We wouldn't be "surrendering" to bin Laden, since he is apparently no longer a person of interest. Oh, I guess we'd be "surrendering" to "thuh terrrrists!" Boo! Let's care what they think!

By the way, the terrorist influence in Iraq, while minor, is much larger than it's ever been before. If there's any "Roadmap for Terrorists", it's the Bush plan.

Good thing they set a date.... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Good thing they set a date.

Wouldn't want something like the surge sending conflicting signals to hopeful terrorists.

The surge was as much psychological as it was practical. This deliberately undercuts that.

"The surge was as much psyc... (Below threshold)
yo:

"The surge was as much psychological as it was practical. This deliberately undercuts that."

Agreed. I'm so um .. happy that our Dem-lead Congress is taking the feelings of our enemy into account when they devise these wonderful plans of theirs.

Betcha' Murtha gets a kick-@ss present for Ramadan.

Um, Brian?Withdraw... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Um, Brian?

Withdrawing your troops from the theater of battle and cedeing territory to the enemy, while the battle is still going on, is very rarely promoted as a winning strategy... that is, if the objective is to actually beat the enemy.

If the objective is to lose, however, it's a great means of doing so.

By the way, I've noticed there's not much news on the results of the 'surge'. Could it be that the Dems want to force a withdrawl commitment BEFORE the surge can have more of an effect than it has already?

Nice timing on the withdraw... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Nice timing on the withdrawal date. Isn't it special that there's just enough time for the Dems to do a victory dance and not enough time to see the full effect of the withdrawal to influence the November election. (Its a rule of thumb that nearly all voters have made up their minds for the Presidential elections by the beginning of October).

Saneandontheright <... (Below threshold)
marc:

Saneandontheright

Luckily, more will be dead by then so it won't hurt them all that much.

I sincerely hope this was meant as satire... if not STFU!

The Democrats' plan sounded... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

The Democrats' plan sounded so familiar to me when I read the news reports. And it felt to me it was more recent than 'Nam.

Then I realized, we have seen this same plan executed recently. It was by that brilliant "General", Muqtada al-Sadr. It goes something like this, "You guys are doing great. Keep it up. You have to be willing to die for your beliefs. Meanwhile, I'm just going to go stand OVER THERE".

Anybody seen what's been happening to the Mahdi Army lately? Yeah, that plan has been working out real well.

Withdrawing your troops ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Withdrawing your troops from the theater of battle and cedeing territory to the enemy, while the battle is still going on, is very rarely promoted as a winning strategy

Interesting description. Doesn't apply to Iraq, though. There wouldn't be any ceding of territory to "the enemy", since "the enemy" is holed up in a cozy cave in Afghanistan. The "territory" is all of Iraq, and it's run by the Iraqis (isn't that the point of the great new elected government and battle-ready security force you guys are always touting?), so all we'd be doing is having them take over the fight.

If the objective is to lose, however, it's a great means of doing so.

If you won't call what's been going on the last four years "losing", then you don't know the meaning of that word.

If you won't call what's be... (Below threshold)
yo:

If you won't call what's been going on the last four years "losing", then you don't know the meaning of that word.

Posted by: Brian

You might be right. I mean, despite one recent victory, who else is more familiar with the concept of defeat other than Democrats?

Let's say Bush has come aro... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Let's say Bush has come around to the idea that Iraq is a lost cause. The question then becomes how best to exit while saving face. Well Bush could just stick to his plan until the Democrats force him to do otherwise. Then when things turn to shit in the world, republicans can blame the Democrats for botching the end game in Iraq. Of course conservatives know that Bush is too honest to do that, but liberals don't believe that. In fact liberals who can think ahead just a little bit are very worried that Bush is laying the groundwork to blame all future terrorists attacks on the Democrats.

If you're liberal and disagree then either you think Bush is too honest to do that, or you can think ahead, or you don't think Bush can think ahead. That last option doesn't fly because the plan is now laid out and we all know Bush reads Wizbang :-)

If you won't call what's... (Below threshold)
Dan Irving:

If you won't call what's been going on the last four years "losing", then you don't know the meaning of that word.
Posted by: Brian at March 8, 2007 05:05 PM

That's a bit misleading. If you assume what has been happening in Iraq as 'losing' then we were losing during Operation Eclipse. Which is strange because right now Germany is a stable and vibrant democracy.

If you don't call what's be... (Below threshold)

If you don't call what's been going on the last four years "winning" you don't know the meaning of that word either.

A "win" or a "loss" is determined when it's all done, not when it's started or underway.

Though I often feel like some people's definition of "winning" is "painless and perfect". As it is, having the Iraqis take over *is* winning, just so long as they are taking over because they are prepared to do so and not because we've abandoned them when they are not yet prepared to do so.

Leaving has *always* been our plan (much as I think we should have planned to stay.)

The *problem* as it were, is that certain parties have been insisting loud and long that what is going on for three years is losing rather than winning. So if we *win* by leaving Iraq stable and sufficient for her own internal defense it will be a political *loss* for those people. But it looks reasonably good over there.

It's not that hard to determine who wants to win and who would rather lose because it validates what they've been saying since before we half begun.

Oh yeah... I was thinking of something else liberalism gave us. Remember how the concept of a "dysfunctional" family was such a fad a few years ago? No doubt some families are, but the usage quickly came to mean *any* imperfection. It wasn't that the family was *so* broken that it no longer could function, it was that there were flaws. People might be getting on reasonably well, but they had problems and that meant they were dysfunctional.

It became such a useless concept that people stopped using it.

That's what this is like. It's like looking at Iraq and saing "if that isn't dysfunctional you don't know the meaning of the word" when in fact it functions and makes progress dispite flaws and imperfections and ongoing strife. That's what functional means and it's what *winning* means.

In short, the Demo... (Below threshold)
In short, the Democrat plan is a plan for victory while Bush's blank check to the Shiites is a sure recipe for defeat. Posted by: Larkin at March 8, 2007 03:32 PM

Typical internet libtard groupthink at work here...just say your plan is going to work and put your fingers in your ears and hum really really loud when people ask why you think so.

As it is, having the Ira... (Below threshold)
Brian:

As it is, having the Iraqis take over *is* winning, just so long as they are taking over because they are prepared to do so and not because we've abandoned them when they are not yet prepared to do so.

There are some who believe that as long as we're there saying we're never going to leave, then they will never have the incentive to step up and become prepared.

The *problem* as it were, is that certain parties have been insisting loud and long that what is going on for three years is losing rather than winning.

There are more deaths, more attacks, more terrorists, and more American casualties in Iraq now than ever before. The Iraqi government is an impotent shell that extends not far outside the American-fortified Green Zone. The billions in aid we sent them have been largely embezzled. Their security forces (obviously, if you think they're not ready to step up) are untrained and corrupt.

Yeah, gee, I wonder how "certain parties" could mistake this for losing instead of winning.

You might be right. I me... (Below threshold)
Brian:

You might be right. I mean, despite one recent victory, who else is more familiar with the concept of defeat other than Democrats?

Well, given that the Republicans were losers for 40 years prior to the Dems being losers for only 12 years, I'd say that the answer to your question is "you".

Typical internet libtard... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Typical internet libtard groupthink at work here...just say your plan is going to work and put your fingers in your ears and hum really really loud when people ask why you think so.

Umm, I think there's a typo here. You meant to say "wingnut" instead of "libtard". Then the rest is wholly accurate.

How do you face each day, B... (Below threshold)

How do you face each day, Brian?

Look at the news from Iraq. Along with the embezzlement there are arrests and prosecutions. Does that not seem revolutionary to you? This is one of those (many) places where the right to enrich ones self is hardly questioned and yet they are questioning it. Some police and security forces are doing well, some not so well, but they all do better when Americans are there explaining during training and opperations that it really isn't okay to beat confessions out of prisoners or let their family buy them an escape. The priviledges of being a cop are another thing taken for granted because that's the way it's always been.

They will not become prepared when we take away the crutch of our being there, they will do what they know how to do and expect and that is to keep the "peace" through fear and intimidation and to expect the financial perks of getting ones self into power.

That it's hard in no way implies that it can't or shouldn't be done. And that's what has been going on. Crying about it being hard and dangerous and expensive. I mean... DUH!

Question for those that sup... (Below threshold)
marc:

Question for those that support the latest move by Democrats to leave Iraq before 2008.

In formulating this plan who would you think they would consult over how the plan would work and it's aftermath?

The CIA?
The General in Charge of the effort in Iraq, General Petraeus?
Neighboring countries to Iraq?
The U.N.?
The U.S. Senate Intel Committee?

The answer is none of the above. Before they floated this plan they consulted with....

wait for it.... Moveon and labor unions.

But any dilution of Murtha's original proposal is likely to infuriate the antiwar wing of the party, which wants dramatic action now. After a conference call yesterday, antiwar and labor groups all but gave up on Murtha's approach, concluding they could only support a war-funding "supplemental" bill if it contains a deadline for withdrawing troops.

Participants -- including the Service Employees International Union, MoveOn.org, Win Without War and the Iraq veterans group VoteVets -- insisted there would be more support for a straightforward approach to ending the war than the roundabout efforts Murtha champions.

Figures don't it?

There are more deaths, m... (Below threshold)
Proud Kaffir:

There are more deaths, more attacks, more terrorists, and more American casualties in Iraq now than ever before.

Posted by: Brian at March 8, 2007 06:55 PM

Did you ever hear of something called the Iran-Iraq War that lasted eight years with the estimated deaths of over 1 million? Did you ever hear about Saddam's frequent slaughter of the Kurds and Shiite that is believed to have kiiled 100's of thousands? Have you heard about the mass graves discovered in Iraq?

Just because they never discuss it on Dailykos doesn't mean it never happened. Things may not be well in Iraq right now but it certainly has been much bloodier in the past.

How do you face each day... (Below threshold)
Brian:

How do you face each day, Brian?

Usually with truth, not with fantasy. You, however... well, not so much.

Look at the news from Iraq. Along with the embezzlement there are arrests and prosecutions.

A former senior advisor to the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), which ran Iraq until the election of an interim Iraq government last January, says that the US government's refusal to prosecute US firms accused of corruption in Iraq is turning the country into a " free fraud zone."


Newsweek reported earlier this week that Frank Willis compared Iraq to the "wild west," and that with only $4.1 billion of the $18.7 billion that the US government set aside for the reconstruction of Iraq having been spent, the lack of action on the part of the government means "the corruption will only get worse."

The Democrat House plan has... (Below threshold)
Proud Kaffir:

The Democrat House plan has two options based on "benchmarks":

1) Surrender by the end of the year, if certain benchmarks not met, with the start of surrneder in July. (Hear that, Al Qaeda. Make sure to make things plenty bloody in June-July so the US can immediately withdraw in defeat.)

2) If benchmarks are met, the US will instead surrender by fall 08 with surrender beginning in MArch 08. ( On second thought, why even waste the bombs and bombers? Just wait a few months and the US will have surrendered anyway.)

There will be enough troops on the ground to train the Iraqis and "force protection". However, since combat troops are not allowed, I doubt the force could be very well protected. The Iraqis will still need US support-troops and air support, but this is not allowed practically ensuring defeat and bloodshed on an almost unimaginable scale. See Vietnam and Cambidia in mid to late 1970's.

The Senate Dem plan is at least simplier. It just calls for surrneder by March 08 to begin in 120 days.

There are two things that a... (Below threshold)
Proud Kaffir:

There are two things that are left unanswered by the Dem plan:

1) When exactly will we sign the surender papers to Al Qaeda?

2) Since the world is round, should all US citizens on the West Coast bow to Mecca towards the West while the citizens in the Eastern US bow towards the East, or should we all just bow in the same direction?

So, Brian, perhaps instead ... (Below threshold)

So, Brian, perhaps instead of using all their political capital to declare defeat and failure the Dems should put forth actual plans to solve some of the many problems, promote peace and stability, and do what they can to win.

Why not?

Because failure is the only political "win" they have available. A Plan that did anything but condemn being there would earn them the ire and worse of their "base." It's simply not a political option.

Pulling out a bad report doesn't really do anything but prove I'm right anyhow. I never claimed that money wasn't embezzled or misspent or stolen. Even if your report is two years old.

Why is the answer to problems to leave? It's the easiest thing, of course. It doesn't require work, or a plan that works, or hardship or even the possibility of failure itself seeing as no actual plan is ever undertaken so no plan can fail. Anything bad that happens, civil war (the real sort) or hardship for the people there, death and famine or anything. All the deaths no longer count. All the people no longer matter. It's their own buisness and none of ours so long as we just leave. Yes, it's an attractive option. Particularly when you are consumed by a defeatist and negative attitude. Causing a human disaster is easy to justify if you're already convinced that the whole of existance sucks so give up and die.

The fact that what we are doing is hard and expensive and dangerous and not always going smoothly doesn't reflect at all on it's merit. That it is messy and painful and thankless doesn't reflect on eventual success.

I will not bow to any fo... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

I will not bow to any foreign Country nor respect any Criminal Democrat using his ill gotten gains to impose their sick agenda.

The Democrat leadership are cowards and punkass traitors hiding their every explanation , vote or peice of legistlation as being the will of the People via Nov. 7 Mid Term Election. What a bunch of pussies , they will blame all their failures and fuckups on you stupid people who put them in power and if they can get away with it , they'll just blame President Bush and move on. They will never accept responsibility or accountability for their actions or inactions.

You try and execute one democrat for treason like Fraud Kerry and the entire Democrat party's asses will tighten so much they will be shitting Diamonds for days.

Brian, you are an idiot, sh... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Brian, you are an idiot, shut up.

Boy, Larkin sure got the he... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Boy, Larkin sure got the hell out of here as soon as he got his ass handed to him. Love it. Dems are morons.

Jo - give me a break. I ha... (Below threshold)

Jo - give me a break. I have something called a job unlike yourself. I don't have time to monitor Wizbang all day long.

But I will search through the messages and make a reply of that you can be sure.

"Because the Democrats in C... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

"Because the Democrats in Congress have made a calculated political decision that seeing America defeated, our troops humiliated, and Iraq exploding in violence and civil war will help them in 2008 because they can blame it all on George Bush."

That is exactly how I saw it from the very beginning when the lard ass drunk was having flashbacks screaming Quagmire! Quagmire! after what? less than a few months?

If you give aid and comfort to the enemy just once , that is considered treason, correct?

Fucken Democrats have been doing it for fricken years. SHIT! should have known the traitors are in a UNION. Still , 5 years is long enough , assemble the firing squads. This Country need a democrat colonoscopy.

The Democrats OWN defeat...... (Below threshold)
Dave:

The Democrats OWN defeat...

They have invested in it, and the only they win in this situation is when the USA loses. plain and simple.

Okay, well, other than Yo I... (Below threshold)

Okay, well, other than Yo I didn't see much of a substantive response to my post but I will elaborate anyway.

The situation as it stands right now works massively in favor of the Shiites. Our forces roam around the Sunni areas clashing with the Sunni insurgents and Al Qaeda while the Shiite militias get off scott free. The surge was telegraphed so far in advance that the Shiite militias have had ample time to relocate their weapons and fighters to avoid confrontation with the US.

Central to the Democratic plan (and also the Baker/Hamilton group report) is the establishment of a timetable with benchmarks. Without a firm timetable there is nothing that will compel the Maliki government and the Shiite groups to do anything substantive to bring the Sunnis into the "new" Iraq. They will sit on their hands while building their strength, training their militias, and watching as US forces kill Sunni insurgents. The status quo works in their favor so why would they want it to change?

That's why Gen. Petraeus says that a political reconciliation is absolutely critical for our success in Iraq. He knows that without that the Sunni insurgency is likely to drag on for decades. As a student of guerrilla warfare he knows that insurgencies are rarely stamped out solely with military action. He is aware that ending insurgencies much more often involves a political accommodation (i.e., a slice of power) that gvies some power to the group that is resisting the central government. He has seen this happen many times before in history and most recently in Nepal where the Maoist rebels ended their decades long rebellion when they were finally given a stake in Nepal's government.

For some reason, however, Bush dismisses out-of-hand the strongest form of leverage he has to compel a political solution to the Iraq war: that of a timetable for withdrawal. He has thrown away the most important card we have that could truly strike fear into the hearts of the Shiites. Imagine if Bush said tomorrow that the Shiites had one year to get their act together or he was pulling the plug. The Shiites would suddenly realize that, one year from now, they could be facing the Sunni insurgency directly without the US there to serve as their protector. That, I guarantee, will compel them to action.

As for Yo's response, I am not of the belief that we can just "turn off the handle" as you put it. We've invested and bled too much to not put our best effort forward to salvage something here. We should have all long ago given up on the dream of a democratic, unified, federal Iraq that is an ally in the war on terror. That's not going to happen. The best we can hope for is a free and independent Kurdistan, and a new Sunni state that is free of Al Qaeda influence. The Shia areas will be a pro-Iranian theocracy and there's nothing we can do about that. The Shiites voted for polticians who have had that goal for decades and that's what they are going to get. In reality, we've probably got about a 1 in 4 chance of avoiding a bloodbath in Iraq. But we need to give it one last try before we pull the plug. And by "try" I mean forcing a political reconciliation among the warring parties in Iraq with the threat of a firm timetable for withdrawal.


"Why do they want American ... (Below threshold)

"Why do they want American advisors who may be helping the Iraqi military and police out of the country?" -- Lorie Byrd

Well, Lorie, you ever hear of the phrase "opportunity costs"? Why should the United States spend billions upon billions upon billions of dollars and thousands of lives in providing Iraq with a police force, when we can take that money and spend it say, on New Orleans, and/or on improving education in this country so that there are fewer conservatives, and/or on scientific research designed to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and/or on economic assistance to struggling countries in subSaharan Africa and elsewhere and/or on trying to capture Osama Been Forgotten?

Iraq is one of the most oil-rich nations in the world. Let them provide their own damn police force!! No reason for Americans to get caught between factions intent on killing each other. We got better things to do!!!

Osama Been Forgott... (Below threshold)
Osama Been Forgotten

Damn, wish I had thought of that. LMAO.

I took my oath and enliste... (Below threshold)
bill10:

I took my oath and enlisted in the Army National Guard March 2001. I was not your usual recruit. I wasn't joining for the college money, because I had earned my B.A. in 1993. I was 32 years old and I worked as a Technical Instructor / Software Analyst for a successful software company. I joined because of something that I saw on the front page of my local paper October 13th, 2000.

What did I see? I saw the faces of young men and women that had been killed in the attack on the U.S.S. Cole. I saw how young the majority of those Sailors were, and I thought about the sacrifice that they had made for their country. I wondered what had I done for the liberty I enjoyed and my beloved Republic.... a few months later, I decided to enlist in the National Guard.

For most of America, September 11, 2001 will live in their hearts and minds with vivid imagery as they watched T.V. stunned by the viciousness of our enemy. Stunned because the Cold War had been over for 10 years -- who hated us that much?? For me, September 11, 2001 has very different memories. You see that was my first day of Basic Training. I don't have the same emotions many of you feel when you remember that day. Though, perhaps because I was a good 15 years older than the average recruit I was lined up with, I immediately understood that our world had just changed forever.

By the way, I was a somewhat active Republican when I enlisted. Looking back, I am stunned to think I used to be an avid Conservative. What caused my change of heart? Going to Afghanistan with my Guard unit in 2003, just 3 months after the invasion of Iraq.

I saw and heard things while I was in Afghanistan that slowly served to wake me up that what I heard on the news was propaganda, because I saw a quite different reality on the ground. By August 2003, I was calling Afghanistan the "Forgotten War". Even back then, I guessed that the Taliban was not as dead or as desperate as the American public had been led to believe.

You have to go to a country like Afghanistan to fully appreciate what we have in this nation. It chokes me up to contemplate it for even a few seconds. I saw little children that did not even know that a word like "hope" existed in any language. I saw how we couldn't really help the people because the warlords would buzz into town after U.S. / NATO troops left and take what ever we left to make life better for the villagers. I spoke with several locals and I found out that we paid them 2$ a day for labor, not because we were being cheap - but because anything more than that the warlord would just take anyway. I saw an orphanage that had no protection from the elements, even with freezing temperatures at night. The smallest children were the most expendable - they would be the ones that had to sleep in the beds that were right next to the open doors and windows that had no glass. I learned that little girls were still used in parts of Afghanistan to sweep suspected minefields - because girls were considered worthless. I saw little innocent children with phosphorus burns that covered 30-50% of their body.

And then I saw what the Bush Administration was doing about all of this. Nothing.... I heard about fellow National Guardsmen that couldn't get health care when they got home - because the active Army facilities would not treat them. Why - because they were National Guard. I just thought these were isolated events. I even heard about soldiers not receiving paychecks while they were recovering from lost limbs. All of this was in 2003.

I came home very discouraged. I thought I had volunteered to serve my country. To repay the land I loved. To honor those that had gone before me. Instead - the love I had for my country was taken for granted and used. I felt like I had been the victim of a Florida Realestate Con....

When I reached my home 15 months after leaving, I was euphoric. And then, I couldn't sleep. I would wake up with my heart racing. I would see those pathetic children in my minds eye. I would re-live the rocket attacks, (I still can't hear a storm siren without wanting to duck into a bunker to avoid shrapnel). I lived in terror of being sent back. And this was for Afghanistan. Within 45 days of returning home, I had more health problems that I care to list here. I felt like I was going insane, I had trouble separating reality from flashbacks. To this day, I can't see movies that depict bloody carnage - because I remember the REAL human cost of this war on terror. All of this was in 2004. Before it was widely known in this country what the TRUE cost of this war would be.

Finally, I screwed up the courage to try and get some help so I went to the nearest Army base looking for aid. All I got was a blank stare. I just wanted to talk to a doctor. Still... just a stare from the bureaucrat at the Army hospital. Finally, it was arranged for me to see a Chaplin. That man saved my life, but he still wasn't a doctor. And a doctor is what I needed.

I am just lucky that I work for a private company that has first class health insurance. ; I was able to seek help through non-military doctors. But I am painfully aware that I am in the minority. I knew in May 2004 that if I had trouble getting help -- think of what the COMBAT soldiers that came home from Afghanistan and Iraq would experience. It was then that I flipped the Republican Party the middle finger.

I see the attention that the substandard care the bravest of our citizens receive and I can not help but get angry. There is not a word to describe the rage I feel. I am glad that the problems of our veterans are FINALLY getting some coverage -- it is about time the hypocrisy of the idiots with "Support the Troops" ribbon magnets on their cars is exposed. I read this week's Newsweek article about our forgotten Hero's and my blood literally boils.

I can not understand how people can just blindly support such heinous willful ignorance.  Where were the questions 2 years ago from the media??? Why did they have to wait until the war is not supported by 60-70% of the public before they started trotting out "exposes"?

Where is the outrage from the media? David Gregory and Helen Thomas are the ONLY reporters that I have seen take the White House to task in the White House briefing room from 2004-2006. AND Thank Zeus for Keith Olbermann.

I think the media woke up from their stupor when Bob Woodruff was almost killed. Notice that the Republican talking point about the "lazy" reporters that never left the Green Zone has all but disappeared since Bob Woodruff was blown up.

I read the newsweek story about Jonathan Schulze and I cry tears of rage. I saw the same clueless eyes that are described in the story as he desperately sought help from the bureaucracy that Americans trust is there for him and his fellow vets. I still remember one of my civilian co-workers expressing surprise when I was telling the story of my trip to the local Army Hospital. He had trouble believing that veterans were having such difficulty getting help. I could tell he almost didn't want to believe me. He couldn't wrap his brain around the reality and contrast it with the rhetoric of the White House.

I am so goddamn pissed. Where the hell is "We the People"? Why are we so afraid to call a spade a spade?

Where in the HELL are our politicians? At goddamn fundraisers. Joe Lieberman makes me literally want to vomit. I had to listen to the Senator from Alabama - the WONDERFUL Jeff Sessions talk on the news last night about the tornado that hit Enterprise High School. I sat there incredulously listening to this... this TOOL talk about the sanctity of life and how terrible it was the 8 school children died in his home state. He said it was a "travesty" .... yet this same asshole thinks everything is PEACHY in Iraq and Afghanistan. So much so that we need to expand the "war" to include Iran. What about the sanctity of life for 3100 U.S. troops and the THOUSANDS of innocent Iraqi's that have died? Is that a travesty too? What about them Jeff Sessions? GOD!! What an ASSHOLE!

These "Republicans" make me sick I was ever proud to call myself a Republican. I mean literally SICK. What do we have to do to get our voices REALLY heard? Besides donate 250,000$ to some yo-yo's campaign. I am SICK to death of petitions that disappear into obscurity. I am sick of writing my DEAF Congressman and Senators. I am sick of feeling HELPLESS.

P.S.

By the way, Cenk - I was not in the least surprised by the Army's solution to the discipline problem at Walter Reed. I predicted when the Abu Ghraib happened that the first thing the Army would do is to ban all camera when soldiers were in a combat zone... and guess what - the next week that is EXACTLY what they did.

Get are troops out of Iraq! and replace them with all the republicans who don't vote for this withdrawal.

Larkin, I don't see the ine... (Below threshold)

Larkin, I don't see the inevitable Iranian domination of Shiite Arabs. It's a bit like saying that Sunni Arabs would like to be dominated by Sunni Kurds. Take help from them, sure. But be ruled by them? By Persians?

I also think it's just as likely if not moreso that the Shiite reaction to our leaving will not be to accomodate the Sunni Arab minority but to see it as an opportunity to thrash them. The bad old days weren't so bad if your side was in power after all. Why should they fear the opportunity to turn the tables? And hasn't Saudi said something about pledging to help, should we leave, to prevent a genocide of Sunni Arab Iraqis? *That* might be enough to make the Shiites who'd rather thrash the Sunnis agree to keep the US and our quaint ideas of equal protection around long enough to make a difference.

Kurdistan is a fabulous and wonderful example of success, but if it doesn't even keep the appearance of remaining part of Iraq proper, what will be the result in Kurdish Turkey and Iran? If Kurdistan Iraq can show it's possible to find some accomodation in a multi-ethnic nation it will be easier to be done again, without the human suffering and strife involved with redrawing national borders.

So, I suppose this means I disagree with pretty much all that you said, but I want to say how incredibly much I appreciate that you at least made an intelligent argument that displayed some depth of thought about how different forces interact and why. It's a refreshing change from the usual assertions that our pulling out would solve all problems without ever any indication that any understanding of the problems that exist. THANK YOU!

Larkin, I don't see the ... (Below threshold)

Larkin, I don't see the inevitable Iranian domination of Shiite Arabs. It's a bit like saying that Sunni Arabs would like to be dominated by Sunni Kurds. Take help from them, sure. But be ruled by them? By Persians?

Synova, don't think I used the word 'ruled'. But, without a doubt, the new Shiite Iraqi entity will be closely allied to Shiite Iran. Much like Hezbollah in Lebanon (who are Arabs) are aligned with the Iranians. To be sure, there will be a lingering Arab-Persian rivalry between the Iranians and the rulers of the Shiite Iraqi state but this won't prevent their close cooperation.

I also think it's just as likely if not moreso that the Shiite reaction to our leaving will not be to accomodate the Sunni Arab minority but to see it as an opportunity to thrash them.

That could very well be. If the Shiites and Sunnis are intent on having their civil war there's nothing we can do to stop that. It would be like the British in post-WWII India insisting that they had to stay in order to keep the Hindus and Muslims at bay. We know now that wouldn't have worked in the long run. We can delay the eventual civil war in Iraq, but we can't prevent it if the people of Iraq want it. Petraeus confirmed that with his remarks.

...what will be the result in Kurdish Turkey and Iran?

This won't be easy to manage but if we retain a presence in Kurdistan then we can help them maintain indepedence and peaceful coexistence with their neighbors. It's going to be a difficult road though. We can expect lots of blood to be spilled in that area in the future.

Bill10- nice post, thanks for volunteering for your country.

Synova and Larkin, I just w... (Below threshold)
JT:

Synova and Larkin, I just want to say I think you both are a class guys. I find myself agreeing more with Larkin (I'm a liberal), but both of your posts are thought provoking and worth the read. Also I appreciate the fact that you both look like you are trying to discern the truth in the "Fog of war" and not wasting time calling each other traitors and chickenhawks.

Bob Owens and John Hawki... (Below threshold)
MyPetGloat:

Bob Owens and John Hawkins make some good observations about the possible effects of the Democrats' plan to withdraw from Iraq in 2008 (or as some are calling it, the Roadmap for Terrorists"

Also Known As:

Trick-Knee-Gun-Counter-Gomer and Co-Cheeto-Warrior-Wanker pontificate on a topic to embolden the 30% percent of the (lacking indoor plumbing or addicted to prescription meds) U.S population that "we're winning!" somewhere, some way, somehow- if we just forget that Bin Laden is still free and Afghanistan is getting even worse since 2001.


Buh-Bye, Caspian Basin...

"We should have all long ag... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

"We should have all long ago given up on the dream of a democratic, unified, federal Iraq that is an ally in the war on terror. That's not going to happen."

Ya , I say the same thing about the democrats their Media and the Immoral Hollywood Liberals. We should have shit canned the whole UnAmerican Treasonous Democrat Party.


"No reason for Americans to get caught between factions intent on killing each other. We got better things to do!!!"

Better things to do ? like what? Does Hilary Rotten Clinton need more soldiers in Uniform to pass out the finger foods again?

Unless you suggest bringing them home to root out all the Un-American traitorous scum starting with Piglosi and Reid , then hell ya. But really , the boy scouts can take out the trash that has been betraying our Country and the People.

Rob, I'm lonely in jail (Wa... (Below threshold)
bubba:

Rob, I'm lonely in jail (Waiting for libby to get here) When I get out I think I'm going to look you up and make you my girlfriend. All this talk of yours is turning me on. Can't wait to see you sweetie.

Bubba

Hey bill10 how long did it ... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Hey bill10 how long did it take for Muthra to write that history lesson for you? My son-in-law was over there for longer then a year and his version doesn't sound anything like yours. And don't give me that shit about him not being where the going was rough. His unit had KIAs and he himself was wounded and was in and out of hospitals for over a year. If you are so sure that you could do better why were you not in command to set the policy. Sounds just like another bash Bush hack job to me. But I still commend you for doing your part. I support the troops. (where have I heard that before?)

Hey bubba, didn't your mamm... (Below threshold)

Hey bubba, didn't your mamma every tell you that trotting out the gay slurs is homophobic?

MyPetGloat,It neve... (Below threshold)

MyPetGloat,

It never ceases to amuse me that commenters such as yourself feel secure in attacking the character those with which you disagree, yet you can never quite gin up even the minimal courage required to post under your own name. You are among the lowest of cowards, sir, completely unremarkable or exceptional other than for the amount of bile you contain.

It also amuses me that you, like so many other hidden cowards, are all too willing to attack those supporting the chance for liberty in Iraq, while claiming that our forces are depleted, that bin Laden is our true enemy, and Afghanistan is where our military should be focusing its effort.

Surely, if you and your fellow leftists felt this way, you would have enough courage in your convictions to enlist, en masse, requesting above all combat duty in Afghanistan, where you claim the only true enemy resides.

And yet, you don't enlist. You refuse to fight the war, that by your own words, you say must be fought.

You, sir, are an empty, hollow, craven creature.

I think we all fully understand why you hide who you are.

Trick-Knee-Gun-Counter-G... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Trick-Knee-Gun-Counter-Gomer and Co-Cheeto-Warrior-Wanker pontificate

if you and your fellow leftists felt this way, you would have enough courage in your convictions to enlist, en masse, requesting above all combat duty in Afghanistan

Battle of the chickenhawks, place your bets!

"We have to fight them in I... (Below threshold)
JOHN RYAN:

"We have to fight them in Iraq or else they may follow us home"

That is the same argument that the right wing tried to use in Vietnam. Well I am still waiting for them to invade Hawaii.

why would we want ... (Below threshold)
Nikolay:
why would we want to cut off Bush's option to have American troops there, in the background, helping to make sure Iraq remains a free, democratic society? That's basically what we're doing in Afghanistan today, so why not do it in Iraq, too?
The question is, why do you have to blatantly lie to make your point? Here's from Harry Reid:
A limited number of troops would remain for the purposes of force protection, training and equipping the Iraqi troops, and counterterrorism activities.
The Democrat's plan _does not_ include total withdrawal. And this is just projection:
Because the Democrats in Congress have made a calculated political decision that seeing America defeated, our troops humiliated, and Iraq exploding in violence and civil war will help them in 2008 because they can blame it all on George Bush.
In fact it's Republicans that made a calculated decision to blame the outcome on Democrats in case it all turns out bad. Never mind the fact that it's _their_ insensitivity to reality, their hysterical politicization of all things Iraq, _their_ support for Bremer, Rumsfeld and other incompetents that caused things go bad in Iraq. If Petraeus manages to save the situation, if the diplomats start doing their work instead of relegating everything to military -- well, that would be great, and it would only happen thanks to the November election. The GOP spinners would, of course, spin victory in Iraq as a political loss for Democrats -- they are shameless and they would do so.
I think that this whole "pu... (Below threshold)
David H - Iowa:

I think that this whole "pullout issue" is much bigger than a lot of folks want to admit. In reality, most Americans want us to win as we have "bought and paid for a military", a product of 30 years of "hands off comittments: but we need to win and win "big." Since this is not happening, then most Americans would rather see us out as we cannot win no matter what. This is akin to taking one's baseball home when the game is not going the way we want it to. One has to remember that the the Brisitish lst ober 10,000 dead between WWI and WWII in Iraq alone. Such is the way of the area.

What Americans will not want to see are Iraqis cheering and shooting AK47s in the air as the last convoy pulls out. Too bad that those who have invested in America's defeat for politcal gain, are not prepared for that. But what they are prepared for is not only pulling forces out, but the eventual massive draw down of force levels and capabilities as part of this strategy. If you put your ear in the wind, you hear things from various Democratic camps as....50% reduction of the Army, elimiation of the Navy, etc. That is the true agenda here.

We Americans are simply sheep. And that is the way the politicians want us, on both sides of the arguement. I am retired military as well as a registered Democrat. What I see coming scares the crap out of me.




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

tips@wizbangblog.com

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy