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.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hope Bill Bennett reads your suggestions. I hope Bill bennett and the Hugh Hewitts of this country publish it. I hope all of us civilians who know you are right will bombard the media so that that tool of the enemy will know we news consumers will tolerate them no longer. There are good reporters out there who need to read you, Sgt. Boggs. They need to have their hands untied as well and be allowed to say what they see without their work being edited to fit the agenda of news agencies or even fear being fired. The bad reporters need to be exposed for what they are. And we need more men to cover this war, to embed for longer periods of time along with willing Military officers to make this possible. The liberal ones won't last...the ones who want the truth will. We think you are right. A Military set free from PC and able to do the job they are fully capable of...win a war...and the American people given the truth of the situation by an honest press...and an American public fully informed of the threat our enemies impose and truly standing behind our Military are a winning team. No way could the enemy win if that were the situation. And then maybe more Iraqis would be brave enough to join in this battle for freedom. Nobody wants to follow a two minded man. We give out mixed messages to our friends and our enemies. Hesitation is not what we need. Retreat is not what we need. Negotiating with the enemy is not what we need. We have all of the elements to win this war..we only need to use them with confidence. I hope that our political leaders (if you want to call them leaders...for few are real leaders) read your blog and listen to what you are saying. Do you hear that, Mr. Bennett and Mr. Hewett?! We must fight harder now than ever, civilians as well as our great Military men and women. Give us more food to sustain us and more of your thoughts to inspire us, will you Sgt. Boggs? You have our attention. Thank you Boggsy.
A&N

Anonymous said...

Boggs,

One of your "small" bombs happened to kill a friend of mine on the same roads you drove. Perhaps you were at the memorial service in June?

Small bombs are still bombs. Because we are in armored vehicles, we are able to defeat them, most of the time. Small bombs can still kill.

Check out this site

http://www.nhgazette.com/cgi-bin/NHGstore.cgi?user_action=list&category=%20NEWS%3B%20Chickenhawks

You are right, politicians should stay out of war, this includes, Bush, Rumsfeld, and all the other warmongers who send other people's children into war without being willing to send their own for a cause they believe is so valiant and so true!

I am a soldier on the ground and I would advocate strongly for a gradual withdrawal. Iraqi's will not stand on their own feet while we are here holding them up.

Just my opinion. Everyone's got one.

Anonymous said...

I'm very sorry about your friend, another soldier. And every soldier wounded or killed. And I have fears that the Iraqis will not stand up and maybe aren't capable of ruling themselves peacefully. But what are we going to do about terrorism? Everybody with a brain hates war. We also hate being attacked like on 9/11 and the many other places around the world. We can't just do nothing and let them continue with larger and larger attacks. Ignoring them isn't going to help. And talking to them is like talking to the wind.

Anonymous said...

Every time, I see the word "Chickenhawk," or the military referred to as "children" it makes my blood boil.

Was FDR a Chickenhawk?...He certainly fits the description...But, being old enough to remember, I can't recall anyone saying at that time, you had to have had military experience to lead this country to war, or supporting the military in what they accomplish.

It's the GLARING DIFFERENCE, between "The Greatest Generation" and this one...In THAT generation, the press blared the POSITIVES, not the negatives...It was UNDERSTOOD, there would be sacrifices...That wasn't the ISSUE.

Mr. Boggs, my hat is off to you, our military, and all that you've accomplished, against unbelievable odds, in particular, the Back-Stabbing Liberals, and their Megaphone Press.

Frank in Spokane

tfaunt said...

Tim,
we're sooo glad you are home, and are STILL speaking up for what is right. You are dead on in your analysis of what should be done for Iraq in this World War IV against terror (if we do not consider the Revolutionary war our first world war, which it certainly was).

I have not had time to read an excerpt of the ISG report, but I hope to after the holiday crazies. The current problem is very discouraging. In the worst case of voter fraud in over a century, democrats ran conservative candidates in order to win a majority and elect the most outrageous liberal leadership. At a time when we need to be decisive about Iraq, then Iran and Syria, we will get crap. Crap like the ISG, harassment of the President, and appeasement /cut and run.

What about imbedded LOCAL media with national guard units on the ground? Mainstream media is liberal and biased, but they do a great job of supporting their own locally. Would this help show a more balanced view of the Iraq situation?

gypsy said...

I couldn't agree more with your assessment of who should have been involved with the ISG. The men who came up with their opinions haven't been on the ground.

As far as the media goes, pfft I have no use for most of them since all they give us is a body count these days. I don't say that with any disrespect, our men and women are giving all in the fight against the radicals that want us dead.

The good news is Michael Yon is on his way back to Iraq...it will be great to read more of his direct and informative dispatches from the front.

ET USN 71-78 said...

Glad to see you're still on stride. This is excellent. I really like your improved ISG composition; it would be immeasurably better than the existing (worthless) group.

BTW, Michael Fumento (http://www.fumento.com/weblog/) is also doing a great job reporting from "outside the wire".

I am encouraged by so many responsible individuals going on record to disagree with the defenseless ISG report, including many Iraqis.

Leta said...

From the moment I heard "who" made up the members of the ISG I figured it would be one more of those "attempt to appease the masses" outcomes. What a surprise! I'm sick of the word bi partisan. I'm sick of the professional politicians worrying more about their own fannies and retirement than ANY issues regarding our nation. I'm sick of grown men and women who, supposedly, are educated making decisions on which they have little or no standing to make. I'm sick of the American public spending their energy on complaining and not speaking up and/or taking action in a democratic way.

I cannot fathom how the ISG could possibly have been put together without the addition of military personnel. You are spot on with your assessment that the military personnel should have come from all levels. I also agreed (and really never thought about it) that Iraqis should have come to the table as well. Guess we will only be able to imagine the findings had the makeup of the ISG been a viable one.

Most of all, I'm SICK of this nation not standing behind our troops.

Flag Gazer said...

I don't know if you heard about it, but Bill Crystal quoted T F Boggs on Fox News Sunday!

Your words even gave the liberals on the panel pause!

Great piece! Thank you!

gypsy said...

flag gazer, help a girl out...what did he say??!! That is too cool...

Tanksis said...

WOW! Sgt, I cannot believe the responses to your last post. Where in the hell did all those people come from??? I honestly couldn't finish reading ALL of them tonight. You certainly did ignite a firestorm and God love ya, you do it so well;-)

I'm with Gypsy--what DID Bill Kristol quote from you??? I can't believe I missed it!


Anyhow, now that I've been outed as a "rightwing nutjob" (my thanks to gypsy, missbirdlegs, and anon for the support on my assessment), I feel it won't come as a surprise to you that I wholeheartedly agree with your post on the ISG, and I certainly feel you are in a better position than most to make suggestions on how best to proceed in Iraq.

While there is no doubt there is much to be done, I am damn proud of all our military has been able to accomplish, DESPITE the efforts of the MSM and the defeatists to undermine those efforts at every turn. Thanks to you, Sgt, for your part in that. Your efforts shall not be for naught, my friend. We will overcome.

Keep the faith.

Anonymous said...

Boggs,
Just finished reading a number of posts to The Weekly Standard, including yours.
Oh man, please, please tell the guys all of America does NOT support the ISG recommendations and we do support the troops!
Most I've spoken to are confused why the ISG members think the two nations that have fueled much of the terrorists activities in Iraq since virtually day one, would come to the table to discuss anything but obtaining MORE concessions & a stronger position to push their nefarious intentions.
If Iran & Syria are involved in the Iraq solution, it will mean Iraq has become another flunky state of Iran's, ready to supply any & all assistance in the global terrorism effort. It will also mean Iran goes nuclear, Lebanon becomes a full fledged Syrian puppet, no one ever finds out if Syria is behind the Lebanese assassinations to eliminate opposition, the rest of the mid-east cowers as Iran threatens them with the bomb, Kurds will die wholesale, any religious faction not aligned with Iran is destined for genocide, & the world will face more & larger terrorist attacks because the nasty Americans are no longer occupying them in Iraq!. And some folks think this was/is all about oil & nothing else!
None of us wants to see any more die. We are seriously saddened by the deaths & injuries that have already happened. I am what some call a "chicken-hawk." Physical & family factors kept me from service. They wouldn't take me. Spilled milk.
That does not mean I am not entitled to my opinion. And it is really shallow of any to assert mine doesn't count. How would they react if people excluded them on issues for one reason or another, maliciously contrived to make them feel inadequate & stifle communication or opposing opinions?
Point is, you guys served in Iraq on the ground & of all the info I have read, heard, or seen, the info I get from guys on the ground has been more accurate, more logical, more positive, and has more credible idea's for solutions, than any of those delivered by politico's
since day one!
I agree that no one should be left in Iraq embedded, if we pull the bulk of the troops out. That is a prescription for kidnap, sniper, & other sick terrorist fodder, if I ever heard one.
On the issue of training Iraqi's, perhaps some really do not understand the efforts are simply going slow? The formation of a democracy in an area that has never had representative government, probably should take awhile. These folks are in a bit of shock that someone is asking them to participate in a manner other than victim or brutalizer. Big change!
The ISG contains nothing that has not been floated before, other than begging the instigators (Iran & Syria), to let us go home. The new Washington majority party won elections based on calls for change, yet we now see they have no idea's for that change, just an intention to conduct serious oversight of any previous or future Bush actions.
Gosh, we out here in average America, thought they were supposed to have been doing that all along!
Please keep up the great posts & keep us up to date on the guys on the ground.
Thanks, Rubicon

Anonymous said...

That last comment, Sgt. Boggs, just about said it all. Amen

T. F. Boggs said...

You can find the clip here of Bill Kristol reading part of my letter on FOX.

http://movies.crooksandliars.com/FNS-Williams-ISG-12-10-06.wmv

Nothing too special but kind of fun at the same time.

gypsy said...

Thanks t.f., very cool. I wish more people would listen to our Military members on the ground.

tanksis...LOL! You're the best.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you completely about the ISG make-up. I have not yet read the report (Barnes and Nobles gave away my reserved copy and I have to get into Harvard Square to pick up the two I have reserved there), but I hear the one good thing is a really comprehensive overview of all the "players" involved. I will read it, but form what I've seen of their appearances on CSpan and elsewhere, I don't hold out much hope that there is much in there for me. So far the only discussion seem to be when to leave. What really needs to be discussed is the ROE. Have you read Froggy over at Blackfive? He really makes the arguement very well.
http://www.blackfive.net/main/2006/12/a_modest_propos.html
You are doing a great job! Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Boggs, if you are in the schooling mood... maybe a Mr. grade or better awaits! Great insight, knew from the start the ISG would be a sham... no old fart military present... we know where all the young studs and fillies are... What! no SOS eaters available! What a bunch of fluffers... please explain to me (someone, anyone) why a retired SC Justice was one of these fluffers! OH! never mind. Anyway Mr. Boggs one heck of a powerful article, I thank you for your service to our nation and to the American people... even more, your service to the lefties (who know no better). An old retired wingnut.

strykeraunt said...

"I thought old people were more patient than 24 year olds."

"It pathetic, it’s pathetic for adults to be impatient. The soldiers know it takes time and is worth fighting."

I dunno Boggs, as an old(er) person, I think I am going to have to disagree with you...that is pretty special :D

Anonymous said...

You are quite correct about the media bias. IMO There's no doubt that if a different president had been at the helm - ie a democrat (per impossible of course) - there would be nothing but positives spewed daily from -dare I say it- even the NYT. Why Iraq would be nothing less than a Bright American Victory amidst the darkness of islamofascist evil.

Anon wrote
"You are right, politicians should stay out of war, this includes, Bush, Rumsfeld, and all the other warmongers who send other people's children into war without being willing to send their own for a cause they believe is so valiant and so true!"

I'm sorry but that phraseology just rubs me the wrong way: it drools of anti-american liberal condecension - so, to counter, I'll just rewrite it to make it more accurate,

You are right, politicians should stay out of war, this includes, Bush, Rumsfeld, and all the others including those who signed the Declaration granting Bush the Powers to use force against Hussein way back in Oct-Nov 2002 (includes most democrats btw*) since afterall we need political leadership back home to run the war effort, and since we have the world's greatest military anyway - which is comprised not of "other people's children" but of our own valiant brave men and women who make their own decisions and who -as mature responsible adults- *decided* to *volunteer* (not exactly "sent" as in "warmongers sent these poor children") to fight for continued American freedom and security which values easily top sharia and any other "values" for which the Islamofacists (be they Hussein, AlQ, Iran,Hamas, Hezbos,etc...) carry out their militant jihad.

*it's a fact that a good number of these signed a Report urging Clinton to take Saddam out for his WMDs way back in 1998.

Anonymous said...

As much as I respect several of the members of the ISG, I agree with Tim that it offers no solution for victory in Iraq. To achieve consensus, they had to compromise--not always a bad thing, but in this case, the solutions they have offered are not particularly constructive.

I also agree with Tim that one of the keys to victory is countering the negative press. Many have been able to resist forming opinions based on biased media reports; many others have not--whatever the press says, they believe. While there are many honorable men and women serving in the media who do a meticulous job of reporting events while withholding their own personal bias, there are many more who have not. It is up to each American to check the facts as they are--not just accept them as they are reported--and we need to be willing to be challenged in our thinking. We need to know what we believe and why we believe it--so many just embrace the views of their political party or people they respect, without knowing the basis of those views. Such a mentality weakens our country--we never need fear the truth, but we do need to fear embracing someone's "spin" on what the truth is.

America faces a deadly serious enemy. America is divided on how to counter that enemy. Leadership has never been for the timid or faint of heart--if leaders act true to their convictions, they are going to face criticism and opposition. I shake my head when I think back to how America pulled together after Sept. 11, and how it has pulled apart in the 5 years following. I don't just shake my head, I grieve. Our enemies are not confused about their objectives and core values, so why are we?

It is my personal opinion that history is ultimately going to look favorably on George Bush, on Tony Blair, and even Donald Rumsfield--and on our men and women in uniform who have risked and sacrificed so much in such a critical time as this. Each of the men who have led have made mistakes--none of us are humanly free from that condition--but they have seen the threat as it is, and have persevered in countering it.

When we act with no conviction or principles to guide us, when the going gets tough, many drop back and lose sight of the goal. I believe that is where our country is today. The enemy is wearing us down, because we have become accustomed to taking our freedom for granted. We are not accustomed to sacrificing or enduring hardship for the incredible privileges that we enjoy. It has become a right that many in our nation expect, to the poverty of our character and nation.

As the sacrifices and hardships continue, my prayer for America is that she will regain her focus, that she will rediscover her love for the truth, and that she will be able to unite in an ability to pursue together a definitive solution that is not a weak capitulation to the enemy. The hardships and sacrifices are going to continue, whether the ISG report is followed or not. The question is, will the hardship and sacrifice accomplish a noble objective, or will it be as a result of our retreat?

I am all for diplomatic solutions when they are feasible, but in this instance, all I can see is a Neville Chamberlain redux. Does anyone remember where that got Europe?

Don't know if I should add this, but for a meaningful read that will bring home all that our men and women in uniform give and the impact on their lives, check out the article by Jim Sheeler in the Rocky Mountain News, "Battlefield's 'Doc' now in a nation's care". Powerful article.

Just some thoughts from the heart of an average citizen.

We appreciate you, Tim!

Clare

Matty Stump said...

Timmy B,
I couldnt agree more with the ISG that you would like to set up. At least the things that need to be done would have a chance of being done. I think that you and I both should be on it. That might be fun, but considering you have not called me since we got back, maybe you hate me now. I just don't know. But yes, I continue to read your blog. Hopefully I will hear from you soon. Jon is having his bachelor party today. Bye bye

Mike's America said...

Great mention of you on Fox News Beltway Boys tonight!

Jennifer said...

Heard about your blog on Beltway Boys today. I appreciated your comments on the make-up of the ISG -- I hadn't given it much thought. The only thing that surprised me from the ISG was the recommendation that we work with Iran and Syria (?!?!).

Thanks for your service and welcome back to the States.

Anonymous said...

Heard you quoted on the Beltway Boys, TF Boggs. They snuck it in at the end but it had impact. Patience is a virtue and in war a necessity.

strykeraunt said...

In case you missed it, the Beltway boys put the following quote from you on the screen during their discussion.

"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."

Anonymous said...

In case you missed it, William Perry, the Defense Secretary under Bill Clinton, a member of the 'bipartisan' Iraq Study Group, gave the weekly Democratic response to Bush's radio address.

I certainly don't expect the members of the group not to have personal opinions on the subject, but I do expect that they will not use their participation in a partisan manner while the report is being considered. In my opinion, for what it is worth, he could have shown better judgment.

Isn't this an example of what makes people skeptical that the group truly was bipartisan, and flames feelings on both sides even more?

Just an observation.

Clare

Anonymous said...

As the wife of a marine, I cant agree more! As an american living overseas, now as a civilian, I realize it isn't important that everyone "Like" us they just need to "Respect" our strength. Thank you for your service to our country!

Christina Brundage said...

I just read your quoted comments in The Weekly Standard. You say,
"right now I feel like I am the only person who feels this way." No, you're not. I have many friends who feel the same. I am a retired RN, 69, no connection with the military, but I have an ordinary amount of common sense which says asking Syria and Iran to help us against terrorism is too ironic for words and that we should have a bit more spine and staying power than we are showing, especially to our military.
Keep up the good words!

Rancher said...

We can’t win in Iraq until we acknowledge that we are at war with Iran.

Anonymous said...

I agree 500% with everything you said Sgt Boggs as I agree with most posters here as well.The msm is without a doubt the biggest enemy we face today,but until we collectively reach the point where we agree to put them out of business nothing will change.I am not proposing we do it with violence, but we should do it with numbers.We must find a way to convince 75-100 million Americans to turn off they're T V'S and stop buying print from rags such as..well you all know nyt,lat wapo,sfchron,ect,ect.God bless America.

Anonymous said...

My son is a Navy pilot..he flys missions over or close to both North Korea and Iran montoring nuke activity. He has a very simple solution to all this...Tell Iran and North Korea you have a week from today to stop this or we will turn you into dust.

When his Grandmother commented that what he said sounded a little extreme his comment was "Don't you think they could do it to us they would?"

The ISG is compliciant in buying the Iranians more time to prepare for war. The longer wait to deal with this problem the more we will have to pay to stop them.

Doug