Duty, Honor, Country

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Pokefan

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Aug 3, 2004
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#41
I kinda resent this, and it's very demeaning of you. I actually considered going into the ROTC before I chose to college. If there was a draft today, I would probably be drafted as an engineer, and would gladly serve my country in that capacity. You are simply attacking me on a personal basis, and lying about it at the same time. I am thankful of the sacrifice that grown men have decided to take defending this country. I respect them greatly for that. For you to insinuate that I have complete disregard for how many die is complete nonsense. I would not whine my way out of a draft as you perhaps would. I don't disrespect my country like that.

BTW, it takes time for a surge to work, maybe not years, but hell, its only been less than a month and you people are jumping all over it ready to scream defeat. There are currently reports all over the place out there that say the surge is working. Where do you ever hear of it not working? Pokefan, your parameters for a successful surge are not the same as the military's I would bet, and I would also bet that they know a hell of a lot more about it than you.

Again, pointing out past "mistakes" does not help us move forward, and does not help us win.

I had a draft number of 362 in 1971 and I enlisted...
 

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Edmond
#42
I disagree. While I will likely never believe that it was the right move to go into Iraq when we did, I have changed my mind somewhat on the current situation. Six months ago I thought there was no glimmer of hope for a successful resolution. If some of the reports that I have heard are true that the Sunni insurgents are getting tired of Al Queada and their heinous ways I think there is now a better chance of a good resolution to this situation. If we can further fragment those fighting against us or turn the Sunnis insurgents against the Sunni terrorists then maybe a peaceful outcome can be developed.
How much of this change is due to our troop surge versus just coincidence is not a question that I can answer.

If none of you guys are open to the slightest possibility of changing your minds, what exactly the point of posting?
Your points are well taken.
 

GR8K9

Wrangler
Jun 19, 2007
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#45
Re: Duty, Honor, Country...on this thread

I saw words like "effective way", "positive outcome", "wrong decision", "doing nothing to change it", "quagmire", "endless parade of casualties coming home", "not going to change anyones mind on this", "some way can be found to make this workable"......don't recall reading the word "victory" in any entry (could be wrong but not gonna re-read)

Folks the surge is working...bet most of you can't describe that strategy.
.................................................................................................

"One of the many problems the Bush administration has made for itself is the inability to control the narrative about the war. A perfect example is that the current effort is known as The Surge, which gives the impression of simply more of the same. The problem is that this has been a completely new and different effort and having it branded as throwing more troops at the problem is unhelpful.

There has been some success in having Gen. Petraeus as the brainiac in charge of the effort, as that makes it difficult to attack "Bush's" strategy. But the fact that we waited more than two years to fight an insurgency with a counter-insurgency (COIN) falls on W's shoulders for not firing Rumsfeld, and those like me who supported him far too long. But now we have a the proper doctrine under leadership committed to fighting it, but do we have the time necessary to make it happen?

It has seemed like Gen. Petraeus and this whole wacky COIN idea just landed fresh on the scene last Fall. He finishes up the new book on COIN doctrine and goes up on Capitol Hill to explain his cunning plan to the dim bulbs in the Senate who overwhelmingly approve this and send him off to Iraq in Jan. and then before the last troops to conduct this new effort have left the US, the disloyal Democrats begin calling the whole thing a failure. Well COIN is hardly new and even before Petraeus, we had the basics down, just ask the Marines, who had a perfectly functional manual that would have been a much better guide than Rumsfeld's plan of Iraqification, even if it is a bit weak on hearts and minds.

So what is Counter-inSURGEncy?

An insurgency can be fighting a sitting government or can oppose an occupying power. Our current situation is a mixture although it leans toward the latter as the Iraqi Government has shown little ability to actually govern. The Shia rebellion at the end of the first Gulf War was an example of fighting a sitting government. Sadaam also showed the most effective method for stopping an insurgency, completely brutal and savage violence to kill all or most of the opposition and their families and immediately break their will to resist. We had that option early in the war when we found heavy opposition in Fallujah and instead of crushing that resistance we pulled back. I am not saying we should have acted like Sadaam and just killed them all for Allah to sort out, I am saying we should have gone in and pummeled any and all who opposed us. We should have done so using the precision fire weapons and rules of engagement to limit civilian casualties that we always use

In addition, let's consider who is an insurgent and who is an innocent civilian. Casualty numbers are often tossed around in the media as if anyone not found with an AK and a couple of RPGs isn't an insurgent. I disconcur, and in many cases civilian casualties are members of the insurgents family and support group. If Akhnard heads out in the street next to his house and lobs a couple of mortar rounds at us, then jogs back inside, well the 2,000 bomb that flattens that building kills no civilians. Anyone in there is actively or passively assisting Akhnard and while it is sad that some of these are actually innocent kids, if he puts his whole family in his fighting position then their blood is on his hands.

Another early COIN test that we failed was when Mookie Sadr's thugs poked their nasty heads up. The whole point of an insurgency is to oppose the formal powers of the state or occupier and show that you are equally able to project force. Sadr's thugs started running around acting like the religious jagoffs that they are, and showing that they were the power. Then they started fighting and killing US troops and there was one good answer to that, Mookie's head on a pike, yet once again we appeased. Throw in the early decision to disband the Iraqi Army and you have three strikes that put us in our current position behind the eight ball.

How do you win a Counter-inSURGEncy?

Mao had the answer to winning an insurgency "The people are like water and the army is like fish,". An insurgency requires that the populace either actively assist or at least not oppose it. This has obviously been the case for us in Iraq as Sunni insurgents, AQI and Shia extremists have been shielded by the rest of the people and we stayed in our bases, venturing out to clear some area of bad guys and then hand security off to Iraq military and police forces either incapable of handling the job, or hopelessly infiltrated by sectarian agents. We would move on to the next target and the area we just cleared would see death squad retaliations by Shia militia members of the security forces, or we would see Sunni and AQI attack and defeat the "Iraqi" forces then retake control of the area.

To defeat the insurgency, you must be in the water swimming with and catching the fishes and that is the simple fact about COIN. It is less about combat power, than cup of tea power. Currently in Iraq many of the insurgent strongholds were maintained through intimidation not allegiance and once we have come in and then put down stakes the locals see that they will not be left to the tender mercies of the insurgents or sectarian security forces. They get to know and trust the US forces who now have skin in the game just like the locals. Now they can point out that there are a couple of terrorists trying to lay low in a house over there. Oh and there are IEDs on that route, and the guys who planted them went that way in a white Toyota pickup. We have heard all along that only the Iraqis can give themselves security, and that is true. But they need us to keep the savages trying to maintain their claw hold at bay while they do this. Once initial security has been established then local security/police forces must be empowered to share and then take over day to day security.

That is COIN pure and simple. You go among the people and share their sacrifices, build rapport and protect them from the barbarians at the gates. Once you have marginalized the insurgents by denying them safe haven to rest, refit, and plan they are much less capable of creating havoc as they are constantly looking out for that Predator drone. This creates a snowball effect as more areas are pacified and the insurgents are driven like salmon to the shallows to be scarfed up easily.

Then and only then can true political reconciliation occur. It is ridiculous to expect Sunni and Shia to make a political deal when every day each side's worst elements compete in a spectacle of savagery trying to win the atrocity of the day award. COIN is designed to first eliminate the insurgent's ability to operate in safety and then to build the people's confidence that our forces are on their side. That sets up the political reconciliation which is the only way to get to an end game."

very informative site with articles by folks with boots on the ground....

http://www.blackfive.net/main/
 

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#46
This may be one of the best arguments from either side of the issue I have heard. Well thought out and informative. Thank you for your post.
 

steross

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#47
As I posted above it appears there is finally some progress. I actually hope it isn't due to the surge but I'll take progress in any form. It would be better if the Iraqi people were standing against the violence instead of our surge. Regarding "victory" I don't even think we are close to that. When we get control of the violence, show that there is a somewhat effective government for us to depend on when we stop occupying land, and are able to withdrawal forces then I will be ready to discuss victory. Until then victory is just a hope. Remember, we have been told mission accomplished, last throes and other misleading things by our government about this war. I'll believe this snowball effect when I see it happening. I'm not ready to claim victory again just yet but am hopeful. They must prove more and talk less.

I just skimmed your website and I'm sure there are nuggets in there but it looks about as unbiased as www.moveon.org .
 

GR8K9

Wrangler
Jun 19, 2007
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#48
and I have "skimmed" moveon.org also (does the name george soros mean anything to you?)...if you skim http://www.blackfive.net/main/
you do it not justice....I repeat...these are folks with boots on the ground...
this is not part of the lamestream media.... I watched this morning abc interview a couple troops that were whining about their situation....care to take a poll with active troops? our troops KNOW they can and are winning....they UNDERSTAND the word victory....I am an old dawg and I don't want to see defeat snatched from the jaws of victory again and a repeat of the killing fields.


stop the politics and relax the rules of engagement....we have the finest military in the history of mankind and we are hindering them...
 

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#49
I'm getting the impression the success is a combination of the surgeand its presence giving the Iraqi people the courage to stand up. I'll take the success regardless however if it were going poorly, I'm sure it would be blamed on the surge.
I don't know about you but I can't find many sources regarding the war that don't reflect a bias, one way or the other. Do you know of some?
 

steross

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#50
Of course I know Soros. I wasn't putting moveon.org out as a recommendation. I was using it as another example of bias. The site you mention looks biased to me. "Boots on the ground" sounds good but means nothing. CNN has boots on the ground. Hell, I've had boots on the ground. When the first thing I read is about "awful Harry Reid" I know the site is biased. Even if you personally despise the man, you don't call a US Senator awful while supposedly reporting what is happening in the war. That is opinion, not reporting. I would not believe a report about the war that started with "Bush sucks" either.

To answer your question Sig, I do not know of any site devoid of bias about this war. Add to that the bias of the reader and it is very difficult to assess. What I think sounds very biased may sound neutral to you or vice-versa. That is why I like reportable facts better than opinion. Facts are hard to come by in Iraq. That is why I said I'll be ready for victory when I see decreasing death tolls and troops returning home. That combination would be difficult to bias.
 

MustangPokeFan

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#51
This article makes the dangerous presupposition that the same congress that gave Bush carte blanche to do whatever the hell he wanted is the same one that is currently trying to pull us out of this mess.
This Congress definitely needs to "pull something out of something" but it has nothing to do with the "mess" in Iraq...........
 

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#54
I'm in agreement that there is some bias in every source of information. I think readers typically find more credibility in sources that support the position the reader has. I prefer a conservative point of view and as a result don't go to cnn, msnbc or the 3 big networks for news articles that support my beliefs. Those on the left feel the opposite way, I presume.