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Their failure to consider the effects of "running away" isn't new as I attempted to point out here, which concludes:
The Law of Unintended Consequences will surely come into play if we abandon the world to al Qaeda thugs, just as it did when we abandoned South Vietnam to North Vietnamese thugs. Only this time, it has the potential to be much, much worse.
I've been away from home for most of a month now, but I finally had some access to high speed and a little time to do some updating over at Some Soldier's Mom (even a brief update on my son Noah). In addition to updating and adding some perspectives on the Future of Military/Veterans Health Care, I've included the following personal observation on Harry Reid's and other politicians' assertion that the violence in Iraq is not our problem and we need to go home:
Reid and the Dems' constant call to withdraw our military because it's a civil war in Iraq and we can't fix that with the military, doesn't have anything to do with "supporting our troops" -- I realized that Reid and the Dems KNOW that millions of Iraqis will most likely die in the violence likely to ensue if we leave -- and they don't care. THEY ARE TELLING THE WORLD THAT THEY DO NOT CARE WHETHER MILLIONS OF INNOCENT IRAQIS DIE -- SO LONG AS THEY "WIN" THE POLITICAL POINT. How absolutely repulsive is that? That democracy and "world peace" is only for Reid's white man's world... that "world peace" is only world peace if the Democrats say so and on their terms. They are willing to let MILLIONS of Iraqis die for political hay.
Forget why or how we got there. Inside the four corners of the box WE ARE THERE and whether it was intended or not, our military presence is keeping millions of Iraqis alive and if we leave, they will die. Of course, it's not the only thing our military is doing there -- they are taking the fight to the enemy (you do remember al Queda??), but they also are breaking up local militias and keeping common criminals from perpetrating even greater violence. While American soldiers and Marines are on the ground, there will be no genocide in Iraq. The Dems have said, "Not our problem, bring our soldiers home." Not because it's the right thing to do or because it will end the violence, but because it is a political position. I am appalled, aghast and ashamed that any person would take such a position KNOWING that so many men, women and children will die... (Smacks of selling infected blankets to the American Indians??) These are not the people I want to run my country. They have stood and declared to the world that they do not care how many die. They do not care what we have promised. They do not care that if this fledgling democracy is not helped to true stability and security (against all enemies foreign and domestic) that Iraq could become a greater threat to us than even under Saddam. THE DEMS DO NOT CARE -- so long as they can make a political point. I listen to them speak with this new perspective... appalling. Horrifying. They should be ashamed. Anyone who knows that even one person will die and does nothing to prevent it are guilty as if they had killed with their own hands.
IMHO... You can read it all if you care at SSMAll done!
When asked what troops were doing in Iraq, Harkin(ed Senator) said: "That is a good question. I don't know what they're engaged in, what they are trying to do.
Don't you think you should know what you are voting for or against Senator???
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - Afghan forces have trapped up to 200 Taliban fighters in a southern village, possibly including the militia's military commander, demanding they surrender or come under attack, Afghan officials said Monday.
Afghan police and government officials said the suspected Taliban fighters were surrounded as they gathered for a meeting in the mountain village of Keshay in Uruzgan province on Saturday.
Provincial police chief Gen. Mohammad Qasim Khan said NATO troops were also involved in the siege, but NATO spokeswoman Lt. Col. Angela Billings said she had no such information.
Uh ohs! Communication breakdown? Was NATO there or not? And when I say "NATO," I mean member states that are actually fighting. Like Canada.
I'm hoping no. Would be nice to see the Afghan national Army pulling off an op of such....large-itude.
Hotel Tango: Worldwide Standard Blog
A refreshing little tale about some National Guard troops saving lives found here.
Title borowed from an old Sons Of The Pioneers song:
All day I face the barren waste without the taste of water,Go Mud Hogs!
Old Dan and I with throats burned dry and souls that cry for water,
The night are cool and I'm a fool each stars a pool of water,
But with the dawn I'll wake and yawn and carry on to water,
This clip from CNN International (yes, it has been on CNN in the U.S., too) could hardly be called a "morale booster"
"We've talked at length, my soldiers and myself, and a term that comes up often is, 'this is our generation's Vietnam.' I don't think this can be won."
That's a tough assessment to hear - but it's also not an isolated opinion, and it should be heard.
To respond I would need to know what "Vietnam" means to SSG Pierre. I'm not taking the easy way out here - I'm being fair and not assigning my meaning to him. Military members have almost as many opinions on Vietnam as the general public. A couple simplified points most would agree on are "a lot of people killed" and "a war lost in Washington".
Does SSG Pierre agree? I don't know. If I were the interviewer I would have asked. But if he did, that question and it's answer didn't make the final cut for this video clip.
CNN: He fears the United States will leave this country worse than it found it, leaving a slaughter behind it.Over at Daily Kos that's distilled into a more palatable form:
St Pierre: We are the buffer right now. When you pull us out the people that support us are going to feel the wrath, and the people that were against us - and they're the majority - they're gonna, I believe ultimately win. That's unfortunate.
CNN: It is one soldier's view, from the evidence of his eyes.
St. Pierre recognizes that U.S. forces are the "buffer" in this civil war, and that a withdrawal of American troops will lead that majority who is against us to win.As with Democrats in congress, the "slaughter" part goes away. Put that slaughter back in and it's hard to believe SSG Pierre is in favor of leaving. (Maybe even the Kos readers - which may be why it didn't make "the cut".)
But back to Daily Kos:
But, as Sargent points out, St. Pierre is echoing what Harry Reid said in recent weeks.True - if you change what one of them said. (After all, both Harry Reid and General Petraeus are saying the same things too, right?) As I said, this video clip is hardly a pep talk, but one could as easily infer it as a warning to politicians in Washington (especially those who announce that "this war is lost") that they're about to have another Vietnam-like slaughter on their hands.
Let's close with a thought from a commenter at Kos ("the reality based community"):
"I'm just desperately hopeful that it turns out to be the beginning of the end of MSM passivity on Iraq."
Just a reminder for everyone, North Korea is now 11 days past the agreed upon deadline to shut down their nuclear reactor, anyone surprised? Since North Korea has once again failed to live up to their end of an agreement what penalties have they faced for this? Well not much. First of all the US agreed to give them back $25 million dollars worth of frozen funds in a Macao bank that were linked to the counterfeiting of US currency. The funds were given back to them for a "pledge" from the North Koreans to use the money for humanitarian purposes. Yeah right.
Secondly, the South Koreans went and handed over $400,000 worth of cash in a suitcase to the North Koreans to use to supposedly buy computers. Sure they will. Then to top it of 400,000 tons of rice aid was sent to North Korea despite their failure to meet the nuclear deadline. Additionally the slave labor park in Kaesong is still being allowed to operate in violation of a UN resolution.
If these are the penalties for non-compliance I would hate to see what the rewards will be.
(What better way to celebrate Anzac Day?)
An insurgency can only be won by the following actions
A) Addressing the Legitamate Concerns of the People
B) Imprisoning or killing the rest
An insurgency can only lost by -
A) Failing to address the concerns of the people
B) Failing to kill or imprison those whose concerns can not be addressed
The military can only address issue B....politico's have to deal with option A.
Of course...DUMBASS Harry Reid....with ZERO understanding of Middle East culture...chooses C....
But hey...those NBC suits you all wore in 2003...will come in handy in 2013...CNN will get the ratings they so rightly desever... as a NUKE goes off over your heads of advancing American troops.
Thats the real problem....CNN didn't get the footage they were looking for.....it isn't that there were no WMD...it was that that COKED UP ASSHATS at CNN don't have footage of 10's of thousands of US troops being evaporated in a nuclear blast.
Here's one reason Reid cites for failure:
They've even moved up in the Kurdish area now. Have tremendous explosions up there, killing two dozen people today.When he says "they've" he's talkijng about the terrorists - who I would assume he would declare as the winners of the war if he weren't so focused on the negative side.
But I've looked for news of the event he cites and can't find it. I found a story of a Kurdish political party hit by a suicide bomber in Mosul, and another about a religious sect having 23 members killed (this doesn't seem war-related) but I can't find any story of a bombing attack on April 23rd (give or take a day for time differences) in the Kurdish regions. (Mosul - "the capital city of the predominantly Sunni province of Nineveh" ain't there...)
Help me prove that Reid knows what the hell he's talking about - otherwise people are going to think he's clueless.
Just because I can't find something doesn't mean you can't. Find that story - leave a link in the comments. Let's get Reid at least that one tiny shred of credibility a man in his position should have. We're Americans, damn it, and this man is our Senate Majority Leader, and we can't leave him to look like a complete buffoon.
Patrick Lasswell writes:
Senator Reid is incorrect, the Yezhidy Kurds who were killed were pulled off a bus in Mosul. This bit of violence was a retaliation killing for a really stupid stoning death of a Yezhidy girl who ran off with a Muslim boy.Patrick has been blogging from northern Iraq for a while now.
I like the Yezhidy and they are my friends, but they screwed the pooch on this, overreacting on this instance. For referance, the Yezhidy are endogamous, they only marry their own, so running off with people from another religion is a big deal. This does not excuse the stoning death, but does give context.
Taking 23 Yezhidy off of a bus and shooting them in retaliation is just unhinged violence.
This sort of thing happens all over the Middle East and it is screwed up, but it has nothing to do with the insurgency. This is just old-fashioned religious intolerance that happened to occur in Mosul.
As for Senator Reid's assertion that this happened in Kurdistan, he's out of his mind. The distance from Mosul to the Kurdish region is nothing. It's funny, I've been minutes away from Mosul and perfectly safe looking at it. This is not something I've troubled my wife with.
For more information from the Kurds: http://www.thekurdistani.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2958
Ladies and gentlemen, the United States Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid:
BASH: The phrase "the war is lost" really touched a nerve.Video here - you really need to see the man in action to fully appreciate this.
Do you stand by that -- that -- that comment?
REID: General Petraeus has said that only 20 percent of the war can be won militarily. He's the man on the ground there now. He said 80 percent of the war has to be won diplomatically, economically and politically. I agree with General Petraeus.
Now, that is clear and I certainly believe that.
BASH: But, sir, General Petraeus has not said the war is lost.
I just want to ask you again...
REID: General -- General Petraeus has said the war cannot be won militarily. He said that.
BASH: Is there something to that, an 18- and 19-year-old person in the service in Iraq who is serving, risking their lives, in some cases losing their life, hearing somebody like you back in Washington saying that they're fighting for a lost cause?
REID: General Petraeus has told them that.
BASH: How has he said that?
REID: He said the war can't be won militarily. He said that. I mean he said it. He's the commander on the ground there.
BASH: But, sir, there's a difference...
REID: Are they critical of him?
BASH: ... between that and saying the war is lost, don't you think?
REID: Well, I -- as I said, maybe it's a choice of words. I mean General Petraeus has said the war cannot be won militarily.
Doesn't every soldier going there know that he's said that?
I think so.
BASH: He also said that General Petraeus is going to come to the Hill and make it clear to you that there is progress going on in Iraq, that the so-called surge is working. Will you believe him when he says that?
REID: No, I don't believe him, because it's not happening.
I'm reminded of an event from 2nd grade:
Teacher: Harry, why did you say that?
Harry: David said it too!
Teacher: No Harry, David did not say that .
Harry: Uh huh. Did so.
Teacher: I don't think..
Harry: We meant the same thing! Everybody hearded it!
Teacher: No, you didn't mean the same thing - but clearly you aren't listening to me. What if David says he didn't mean what you meant?
Harry: Then David is a big fat liar!
One more time, for the record - here's what people really said (in as short a form as I can make it - follow the link for the full grown up talk):
Bush announces the troop surge, and the new strategy behind it:
"A successful strategy for Iraq goes beyond military operations. "General Petraeus gives his first briefing from Baghdad:
We and our Iraqi partners recognize that improving security for the Iraqi people is the first step in rekindling hope. The upward spiral we all want begins with Iraqi and coalition forces working together and locating in the neighborhoods those forces must secure. This concept features Iraqi and coalition soldiers partnering with local police to establish joint security stations, such as the one we began establishing in Sadr City on Monday, as well as combat outposts to ensure continuous presence in local communities.Later in that briefing a reporter asked a question:
...As citizens feel safer, conditions will be set for the resumption and improvement of basic services. This is hugely important.
Q (Through interpreter.) (Name inaudible) -- from Al Hurra. Could you confirm to us, please, that there is a dialogue between the American officials and the Mahdi Army militias and some armed groups like the Islamic Party in Iraq?He's asking whether we're going to negotiate with the enemy or kill them all.
General Petraeus responds:
GEN. PETRAEUS: In an endeavor like this one, the host nation and those who are assisting it obviously are trying to determine over time who are the irreconcilables and who are the reconcilables.That's an excerpt - more at the link. Another reporter then asked for clarification:
Q ...You said that the host country can determine who are the reconcilable groups. ...So how are these people going to be part of the solution?And the General replied:
GEN. PETRAEUS: With respect, again, to the -- you know, the idea of the reconcilables and the irreconcilables, this is something in which the Iraqi government obviously has the lead. It is something that they have sought to -- in some cases, to reach out. And I think, again, that any student of history recognizes that there is no military solution to a problem like that in Iraq, to the insurgency of Iraq. Military action is necessary to help improve security, for all the reasons that I stated in my remarks, but it is not sufficient.
For years now I've been explaining this sort of thing in terms that junior troops can understand - so I'll try it for civilians: He's saying we aren't going to hunt down and kill everyone opposed to the Iraqi government - that we'd rather they come to terms with that government - but that it's up to them and the government - not him, he's the military guy, but he will kill the ones who need it. (Had I been explaining this to junior GIs, I would have used adjectives, but you get the point.)
The next day, these were the headlines:
LA Times: "No military solution" in Iraq
CNN: No military solution to Iraq - U.S. chief
Reuters: U.S. commander says no military solution to Iraq
And on and on.
Now even a second grader should be able to determine which one of these things is not like the other - which one of these things doesn't belong:
Bush: "A successful strategy for Iraq goes beyond military operations."Final irony: If Reid agrees with Petraeus, he also agreeing with Bush.
Petraeus: "With respect, again, to the -- you know, the idea of the reconcilables and the irreconcilables, this is something in which the Iraqi government obviously has the lead. It is something that they have sought to -- in some cases, to reach out. And I think, again, that any student of history recognizes that there is no military solution to a problem like that in Iraq, to the insurgency of Iraq. Military action is necessary to help improve security, for all the reasons that I stated in my remarks, but it is not sufficient."
Reid: "This war is lost."
Update: Origin of the 80-20 rule quote here.
A spate of suicide bombings targeting residents of the city of Khowst and other areas in Afghanistan have turned Afghans against the Taliban, Army Col. Martin Schweitzer, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team, said during a satellite-carried news conference.
I may be a country bumpkin...but blowing your potential constiuents to bits is probably a less than effective campaign technique. These AlQueda types might also want to do a bit of consumer research to determine if anyone actually wants to buy what they are selling...seems to me...anyone who gets a 'taste' of the AlQueda lifestyle finds it to tastes somewhat less appealing than camel dung.