Monday, December 18, 2006

Listen In

In lieu of a better post I just wanted to mention that I will be “appearing” on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show on the 27th of this month. If you live in an area that broadcasts his show be sure to tune in but if you don’t go here to find out how you can listen. I believe I will be on for the whole show so call in and say hi if the spirit moves you.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Where do we go now?

Since I have expressed my disdain for the “findings” of the ISG I suppose I should offer my opinion on what course I believe our military should take to win the war in Iraq and against the greater war on terrorism in general.

First off when we find ourselves engaged in a war our military are more often than not the ones fighting it. Unless things have changed in the past three weeks since I left Iraq there weren’t any politicians on ground clothed with body armor patrolling the streets looking for the bad guys. My point being that in war we should let the war fighters fight the war with their guns and steely knives not the politicians. America cannot afford to hamstring it’s military any longer with senseless limitations.

I am not the first to make this point but the ISG offers no course for victory in Iraq. The ISG instead discusses what they think would be our smoothest course of action for pulling out of Iraq. Who said pulling out of Iraq is our only course of action? I guess considering our recent history with Vietnam, Beirut, several embassy bombings, Mogadishu, the first bombing of the WTC and the USS Cole to name a few we have been accustomed to either non-action or quitting the fight too soon.

A true Iraq Survey Group would not have been comprised of men like Baker and Hamilton but rather, men like General Norman Schwarzkopf and General Tommy Franks for their ability to make tough decisions. Along with these men a group of soldiers who had recent experience on the ground would serve as no nonsense advisors. We would need soldiers of all ranks and jobs in order to fully grasp the big picture. As I have noted before it is often hard to obtain the real picture from high-ranking officers alone so a true mix of all types of soldiers would be ideal. Throw in some educated Iraqis and a group of Iraqi soldiers who are risking their lives to save their country from falling into the hands of the terrorists and I believe my version of the ISG would come up with much more sensible recommendations than Baker’s ISG did.

The most important key for victory is to counteract the negative press coming out of Iraq. Terrorists know that to beat America they must do it on the nightly news and not on the battlefield. As things stand right now no terrorist organization or terrorist supporting country could even hope to hang with our military in battle. From my own experience I believe the terrorists are merely keeping up the fight in order to wear down the resolve of the American people. My company traveled the roads of northern Iraq and we often encountered roadside bombs but never were any of our soldiers injured. The IEDs were small and merely an annoyance. I often wondered why anyone would risk their life to place such a small bomb that had no hope of injuring anyone besides themselves and I came to the conclusion that as long as bombs were going off the news would report on them and the American people who don’t know any better will think that chaos continues to reign in Iraq.

I am not against changing our course in Iraq but I am against cutting and running. With a realistic plan for victory composed by the very men and women who are doing the fighting combined with a media who was behind our efforts I believe a victory would not be long behind. If our military was simply allowed to do their job and not be hamstrung by politicians 5000 miles and a world away Iraq would be a much different place.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

What we should and should not do: An Authoritative Voice...

After watching the Iraq Survey Group press conference today I am a firm believer that all politicians are idiots. Okay well not all of them but they all have a problem understanding reality. If any politician is reading this now feel free to email me and we’ll go out for coffee and I’ll further explain. But I digress.

The Iraq Survey Group’s findings or rather, recommendations are a joke and could have only come from a group of old people who have been stuck in Washington for too long. The brainpower of the ISG has come up with a new direction for our country and that includes negotiating with countries whose people chant “Death to America” and whose leaders deny the Holocaust and call for Israel to be wiped from the face of the earth. Baker and Hamilton want us to get terrorists supporting countries involved in fighting terrorism! If I am the only one who finds something wrong with that then please let me know because right now I feel like I am the only person who feels this way.

Not only are the findings of the ISG a joke but the people who led the group (Baker and Hamilton) treat soldiers like they are a joke. One of the main recommendations of the ISG is to send more troops to Iraq in order to train Iraqis so they can secure their own country, but they don’t feel that we are doing a good job of that right now because training Iraqis isn’t an attractive job for soldiers to do because it isn’t a “career advancing” job. As someone who trained Iraqis from time to time I take personal offense to this remark. In my experience soldiers clamored for the chance to train Iraqis. Any soldier who doesn’t think training Iraqis is worth their time because it isn’t a “career advancing” job shouldn’t be part in the war on terror plain and simple.

What the group desperately needed was at least one their members to have been in the military and had recent experience in Iraq. The problem with having an entire panel with no one under the age of 67 is that none of them could possibly know what the situation is actually like on the ground in Iraq. Now I concede that it is possible to have a good understanding of things as they stand in Iraq but unless you interact with the people of Iraq and spend a year or years of your life on ground you cannot possibly have a complete picture of the situation.

We cannot appease our enemies and we cannot continue to cut and run when the going gets tough. As it stands in the world right now our enemies view America as a country full of queasy people who are inclined to cut and run when things take a turn for the worse. Just as the Tet Offensive was the victory that led to our failure in Vietnam our victories in Iraq now are leading to our failure in the Middle East. How many more times must we fight to fail? I feel like all of my efforts (30 months of deployment time) and the efforts of all my brothers in arms are all for naught. I thought old people were supposed to be more patient than a 24 year old but apparently I have more patience for our victory to unfold in Iraq than 99.9 percent of Americans. Iraq isn’t fast food-you can’t have what you want and have it now. To completely change a country for the first time in it’s entire history takes time, and when I say time I don’t mean 4 years.

Talking doesn’t solve anything with a crazed people, bullets do and we need to be given a chance to work our military magic. Like I told a reporter buddy of mine: War sucks but a world run by Islamofacists sucks more.