Archive for Thursday, July 12, 2007

Iraq role

July 12, 2007


To the editor:

As one of the few Iraq veterans that several people I encounter have met, I am frequently asked about my opinion of the war.

Whatever you think of why we went into Iraq to begin with, the question now is what to do about it. We have accomplished most of the ever-changing objectives the Bush administration has asked the military to do. With the exception of the violence by Iraqi insurgents against Iraqi people, these have been accomplished, giving up on the weapons of mass destruction.

In 1941, before Pearl Harbor, the entire U.S. military troops numbered about the same as the current level of troops deployed in Iraq. Within a year we had trained a military of more than a million troops to defend our country. During the Korean War, my father was drafted by the Army. Eighteen weeks from the day he was conscripted to the Army, he was trained and in Korea. That schedule was followed in Vietnam. Currently, the U.S. Army takes a new recruit from basic training through advanced infantry training in 16 weeks; sometimes directly to Iraq.

We must insist that the Iraqi government build up their own military, either by recruitment or conscription, to defend themselves. America did this in 1861, when we had similar issues as Iraq. Our role should be training their military and, after about 18 weeks, as advisers. Our infrastructure currently in Iraq is sufficient to handle that. Iraq can only be a free country when we give them the ability to defend themselves.

Paul VanCleave,



Linda Endicott 10 years, 10 months ago

For God's sake, RT and ferd, go take your medication. You know you can overcome that obsessive compulsive behavior...

You two come in here and spout the same hate in the same way ad nauseum, and attempt to tear apart the posts of others, ad nauseum...

You two constantly run around in wonder you're both dizzy...

Go take a pill and fantasize some more about Clinton...

Richard Heckler 10 years, 10 months ago

We invaded Iraq illegally. We are not the world police. The world community has never supported this effort.

Bring the troops home and fire 100% of the incumbents in 2008 who supported the Bush administration on day one. Bush never provided hard evidence. The whole world knows the Bush administration lied. How can anyone support a huge lie such as this?

armyguy 10 years, 10 months ago

After 4 plus years, make the Iraq Government and Iraq Military do their Jobs. The Iraq military has had ample time to acquire troops and defend themselves. What a mission, four months then mostly out of there, no rocket science involved.
If we did it that many times and with such great force, Iraq can do it as well. It is time to wean the infant. Four years at the teat is enough. Basic training and Air Traffic Control School for me was about 24 weeks, one of the longer schools at the time. Then, shipped off to do the job I was trained for.

jonas 10 years, 10 months ago

I don't particularly mean to come down on you so much so recently, crazyks, but you can hardly say that they are the only folks that obsess over one thing, and go around in circles. The circular, repetitive argument is something of an art-form here, I think.

/not talking about you, by the way. Others, others.

Horatio Bfor 10 years, 10 months ago

Ok, you can make a good soldier in 16 weeks. How long does it take to make a good captain, major, or General? Much longer.

The benchmark that is used to see how these miltary units are doing is to look at how big an unit is which can be fielded by itself. The larger the unit, the higher the rank required to field it. 4 years is pretty quick to get good larger than brigade sized units trained from nothing

Oracle_of_Rhode 10 years, 10 months ago

Actually the military has largely turned over the job of training Iraqis to private contractors like Vinnel, despite the fact that our own US special ops are experts at training foreign military. And the contractors have done a heckuva job, haven't they?

So if you hate government and love the private sector, like Dubya, don't use the great Iraqi military as an example in your argument of why the private sector can always do it better. Sometimes the government does it best.

Jamesaust 10 years, 10 months ago

Thanks right_thinker - I was wondering what the neo-con spin was going to be to foist responsibility for their own failures upon: Democrats, Iraqis, the media, the military, et al. (i.e., all but themselves).

To your credit, at least you restrained yourself from attacking this veteran for having failed you.

No doubt, we'll soon see more headlines like this:

Bush: Maybe U.S. Military 'Just Not Very Good'

Bubbles 10 years, 10 months ago

To say that these people are barbaians is racist. So is the notion that they can't govern themselves.

Since we are not the world police I say we pull out of the UN also.

jonas 10 years, 10 months ago

Don't think I saw anyone here denying that. Maybe it didn't get brought up yet, but it's certainly valid, and it's certainly a red herring.

drewdun 10 years, 10 months ago

Another day, another Kevin post claiming that Democrats have 'attacked' the troops in Iraq. Hey, Arminius, wonder if you saw this, a shining example of Republican 'support' for our men in the field:

"Yesterday, on the first in a series of Iraq amendments to the annual defense policy bill, seven GOP senators voted with Democrats to break a Republican filibuster of a proposal from Sen. James Webb (D-Va.) to require longer troop rest periods between combat deployments."

Ah, so some Republicans are starting to 'hate' the troops as the Democrats do, by voting to allow them to spend as much time at home as they are deployed. Wonder why that could be?

"Six of the seven Republicans are vulnerable 2008 incumbents."

How shocking. Shocking I say!

"and the main Democratic plan, sponsored by Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl M. Levin (Mich.) and Sen. Jack Reed (R.I.), would begin troop reductions no later than 120 days after enactment.

"Support for that provision remains far short of the 60 needed for passage, much less the two-thirds Senate majority needed to override a presidential veto. But it received a significant boost yesterday when two Republican senators, Olympia J. Snowe (Maine) and Chuck Hagel (Neb.), signed on. Snowe has long been a critic of the war but had until yesterday refused to support any mandated troop reductions."

Like rats on a sinking ship. Where's your denunciation of these fine Republicans, Kevin? I won't be holding my breath waiting for you to call Hagel 'anti-military.'

""We have arrived at the crossroads of hope and reality, and we must now address the reality. We need to send a strong message from the United States Congress, on behalf of the American people, that the current strategy is unacceptable," Snowe said."

Damn Defeat-i-cans.

It must be getting harder and harder for nuts like rt and ferd to maintain their delusions in the face of this momentous GOP 'shift' regarding the war. Several of them have 'seen the light' (read: they fear losing their jobs; being ousted by the vast, vast majority of the public opposed to this senseless war) and are slowly coming around to doing what the people of this country want: to bring our brave troops home from the hellhole.

Let the spin begin...

Jamesaust 10 years, 10 months ago

"Just think of Jack Murtha and his attacks on the troops, or the various Democrats who have attacked our commanders in Iraq."

This is the height of hypocrisy considering that the neocons in the Senate YESTERDAY are filibustering against our troops (and the bipartisan attempt to enforce standards for rest, recuperation, and training). Like most blather from this Administration, the "troops" are a rhetorical foil to be deployed whenever convenient, never a duty that the Administration is to see fulfilled.

As the link has Bush saying: "I know the folks on our end didn't drop the ball. The civilian oversight of this war and the plan of attack has been brilliant. There's no doubt about that in my mind. Hate to say it, but maybe our men and women in uniform just aren't what they're cracked up to be."

Jamesaust 10 years, 10 months ago

Kevin, you know very well that the Idiot-in-Chief is 'The Incompetent.' If Reid is clear about anything, its that. Seriously, who do you think your fooling? The voices in your head?

ndmoderate 10 years, 10 months ago

There is now a long list of republicans who are against the troops. They voted yesterday against giving soldiers and marines much needed time at home between deployments. Roberts voted against it, so he doesn't care much for the troops.

Brownback evidently didn't vote....surprise!

Jamesaust 10 years, 10 months ago

"Are you denying that Pinky Reid called Gen. Peter Pace incompetent?"

I don't know. I call Pace a disgrace who should have been fired. Sort of a General Hooker - if Lincoln had kept him on and lauded him for his "success" while Failure swam all around him.

Oracle_of_Rhode 10 years, 10 months ago

Peter Pace IS incompetent. So were Tommy Franks and Gen. Sanchez. So was Bremmer, who disbanded the standing Iraqi Army. Heckuva' job.

You want to blame Democrats for this loss? Hilarious.

Democrats didn't put idiots and yes men and ideologues in charge of the war, did they? They didn't invade with TOO FEW troops or fail to plan for the occupation, did they?

Democrats deserve blame only to the extent that they voted to let Dubya invade. And that's a lot of blame.

But Reid is right, the war is effin' LOST. Sorry, super-patriots and martial experts.

We lost in Iraq the day the Abu Ghraib scandal broke. You defeat an insurgency by winning the hearts of the population. You lose an insurgency by kicking down doors, shelling towns, humiliating people, and failing to seal borders. Incompetents and cowboys, that's who lost the insurgency and gave terrorists a new base of operations.

Bottom line: Republicans lost the war. Thanks, you arrogant idiots.

Jamesaust 10 years, 10 months ago

"Since the quote was made up, those are the only two possibilities."

Did it just dawn on you that The Onion is a parody newspaper? Or do you just comment on commentary you've never read?

Jamesaust 10 years, 10 months ago

"Do you seriously believe that Democrats calling our troops incompetent and murders, and comparing them to Nazis and terrorists is on par with yesterday's filibuster?"


Coming up next on the Hannity Hour we'll have a bipartisan debate with Sen. Joe Lieberman and Ralph Reed whether the treasonous Democrats are worse that Hitler and Stalin combined, or just worse than each individually.

Jamesaust 10 years, 10 months ago

"I guess leading Communist-organized protests against your own country on foreign soil ..."

Indeed, the VAST majority of American citizens are a shameful lot, aren't they?

But as the Onion attributes to The Decider: "....but if they can't handle the pressure, maybe they don't deserve my support. They're making me look bad."

Jamesaust 10 years, 10 months ago

"Do you suppose that may be why I accused you of being dishonest (or ignorant, for not realizing the Onion was parody) for presenting the Onion's quote as an actual Bush quote?"

I realize its not nice but its always funny when it dawns on the slow-kid in class that everyone else is ahead of him and have been laughing at his dullness all along. Me so bad.

Jamesaust 10 years, 10 months ago

Kevin is so funny.

I remember the time he was either lying or too stupid to count to four (he insisted it was three).

I remember 'pulling the string' about how Clinton favored warrantless searches of people's homes only to find that it was a sympathetic comment from Clinton about the plight of people in Chicago living in public housing and the City's attempts to merge their "government hat" with their "landlord hat" and "inspect" the towerblock apartments.

Just the other day he was calling blacks in the South the equivalent of stupid because they didn't realize that Democrat segregationists stopped being segregationists by converting to the GOP.

Oh, oh! Has everyone forgotten about "retroactive impeachment"! Imagine how easy it will be to impeach W in 2009 with a Democrat President and an even bigger Democrat majority in Congress.

So many funny, funny memories. ::sigh::

Jamesaust 10 years, 10 months ago

"If you hadn't been corrected, you may have shared your ignorance with many others today."

Its not ignorance; its irony. The quote RINGS true. W - like most alcoholics - blame everyone else for their own failures.

Various neocons have ALREADY started blaming the military for the Iraqi fiasco. Granted, the military brass have shown themselves more interested in their pensions than their oaths in many cases, but you can hardly blame them: any of the 'Medals' contradicts Cheney/Rumsfeld and they find themselves heading into early retirement; the others 'learn and adapt' so they can say, "yes, you're a genius, sir," which in turn allows W to say, "I'm not listening to the politicians; I'm listening to the generals."

Oracle_of_Rhode 10 years, 10 months ago

Right Thinker,

I suggest that you are the Anti-American, anti-Military, anti-soldier, pro-terrorist in the room, you unfortunate brainwashed simple man.

In fact -- you have recently expressed hope that we are attacked by terrorists. I'll let your words speak for themselves....

5 July 2007 at 7:23 a.m.

right_thinker (Anonymous) says:

History will be kind to Bush, especially after a few more deadly attacks on American soil happen and the mainstream majority of the populace is reminded that this so called 'bumper sticker' global war on terror that John Edwards refers to is refreshed in their memory.

Bubbles 10 years, 10 months ago

ferdinandlanghoff (Anonymous) says:


"To say that these people are barbaians is racist."

How so? If I said the Nazis were barbarians, would you consider that a racist remark?


The Nazis were white so we can call them anything we want. It's open season on those guys.

guesswho 10 years, 10 months ago

Back to the topic at hand...

I was in the minority at the beginning of the war for opposing it - it was clear that although Sadaam was a ruthless dictator, he was keeping factions from fighting among themselves. After he was killed, there became a power vacuum. Training the Iraqi military isn't a clear answer - who do WE want in the military may be very different from who wants to be in there. Although I protested the idea of invasion - doing a quick withdrawal could be even worse. We can't just blame the Iraqis - gee, you need to want this and if you can't fix your own mess, too bad.

yourworstnightmare 10 years, 10 months ago

Oh, how quickly the neocon winds change direction.

Let's assume that the Iraqis are barbarians that are violent by nature. Why the hell did we go there with hopes of nation-building and liberator-greeting?

Any way you slice it, the Iraq war was a huge strategic mistake and quagmire that rests squarely at the feet of bad decisions made on the part of Bushco. And this is the rosy view of the situation.

yourworstnightmare 10 years, 10 months ago

Hatred of Bush is irrelevant. What counts is whether or not you agree or disagree with his policies. I have found that I am almost always in nearly diammetrical opposition to his policies and decisions.

A little quiz for right_reactor: Do you agree with these Bush policies? 1) The Iraq invasion and occupation. 2) No Child Left behind. 3) Resistance to congressional oversight of the executive branch. 4) Extralegal prisons and torture. 5) Censoring and politicization of science. 6) Politicization of the justice department. 7) Immigration.

Bubbles 10 years, 10 months ago

Just like you flat out hate the "far-left secular-progressive" "liberals"-you always have-you always will.


What's to like about them? Name a society that they have created and is thriving.

Kontum1972 10 years, 10 months ago

right_ thinker, so when did u receive your combat action badge?

i spoke to an army major today and he has 3 tours under his belt* and his son is getting ready to go back over..and i asked him to give me his take on the whole thing....he said there will never be any stability would be best if we just pull back and let them do their blood-letting..once the smoke clears we go back in and mop-up..he said they enjoy killing each other.....its all about the oil...they cant agree on the benchmarks...i said to him it would of been all over if the admin would of listened to Gen. Shinseki on what it would take to do the job..but bush and co didnt want it that they screwed look at the mess they created...Bush and co. didnt even listen to they iraq study groups findings.....they never used the tools baker and company provided....not once....i do not know where u got your military science degree but if i was in a combat zone with you..i just might have to take u out first....because you might get me and my buddies killed....and i did serve in kontum in 1972 ....1ST Aviation Bde/ Black Cats

camper 10 years, 10 months ago

Terrorists are barbarians. Right now they are threatening Great Britain because they recently honored Salman Rushdie. This is almost comical if it were a joke, but it is true. Did I say the word comic....oops, this is another sensitive subject for terrorists. I say we get the heck out of Iraq 100% and let these idiots fight amongst themselves.

Mkh 10 years, 10 months ago


Guess what? No One Cares! Give it a rest before you get yourself a hernia.

drewdun 10 years, 10 months ago

"right_thinker (Anonymous) says:

If the far-left liberal idealogue would simply stop trying to socially engineer America to their liking and aiding and abetting our enemies, I would be happy."

Yeah, just agree with rt and the radical right agenda and he will be happy. I fear any dissent from the far-right's agenda could possibly adversely affect rt's well-being. Therefore, anyone to the left of Rush Limbaugh must change their political views, for the sake of rt's satisfaction. Because what rt wants is of paramount importance, and let's face it: he's been right about so many things on this site that he's earned a little credibility and the right to tell others how to think.


Jesus, what a loser.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 10 months ago

The Other War: Iraq Veterans Speak Out on Shocking Accounts of Attacks on Iraqi Civilians

==== The Other War: Iraq Veterans Speak Out on Shocking Accounts of Attacks on Iraqi Civilians

The Nation magazine has published a startling new expose of fifty American combat veterans of the Iraq War who give vivid on-the-record accounts of the US military occupation in Iraq and describe a brutal side of the war rarely seen on television screens or chronicled in newspaper accounts. The investigation marks the first time so many on-the-record, named eyewitnesses from within the US military have been assembled in one place to openly corroborate assertions of indiscriminate killings and other atrocities by the US military in Iraq. We speak with the article's co-author, journalist Laila Al-Arian, and four Iraq veterans who came forward with their stories of war. [includes rush transcript - partial]


Iraq War Vets Describe "Brutal Techniques" Used by U.S. Military Against Iraqi Civilians

Two Iraq war veterans, Sgt. John Bruhns and Spc. Garett Reppenhagen recount their experience in Iraq, particularly describe the brutal house raids they conducted on a regular basis in Iraq. Spc. Reppenhagen says, "You could see the frustration on [the Iraqi's] faces, the anger, the sadness, the worry, the fear. You know, it was very hard to see the faces of the Iraqi people when you took their family members away...especially when you know most of the time you have bad intelligence and you are raiding the house that usually the people inside are innocent."

If Soldiers Came From Another Country And Did This To My Family, I Would Be An Insurgent Too" War Vet Describes Iraq House Raid

Staff Sergeant Timothy John Westphal, who served in Iraq for one year, recalls raiding a sprawling farm on the outskirts of Tikrit in 2004 and the screams he can still hear of the man he woke up inside. Sgt. Westphal says, "He was so terrified and so afraid for his family. I thought of my family at the time and thought 'If I was the patriarch of the family, if soldiers came from another country and did this to my family, I would be an insurgent too.'" We also speak with Sgt. Dustin Flatt who describes unarmed civilians being shot or run over by U.S. military convoys.

yourworstnightmare 10 years, 10 months ago

greyheim said: "R_T, i will start calling you "inane comment boy"."

He already answers nicely to "idiot".

ndmoderate 10 years, 10 months ago

R_T, you're the one who warned us all back in Nov. that a new Democratic majority would send the stock market into a tailspin.

Oops, huh?

ndmoderate 10 years, 10 months ago

Ferd, why did we send our troops to Afghanistan?

ndmoderate 10 years, 10 months ago


No difference. Democrats can't pass legislation without a majority, just like Republicans.

ndmoderate 10 years, 10 months ago

Uh, yeah, I know.

And despite R_T's warning, the stock market is doing fine.

ndmoderate 10 years, 10 months ago

Dude, never mind. You didn't follow my original point, which was to show R_T that his statement of "BTW, whatya think about that stock market? Pretty historical stuff there, wonder why the leftist press gives it about 2 minutes a day?" was worthless, since he was the person back in Nov. trying to warn us all that the stock market would go in the dumps if democrats won a Congressional majority. This is not at all about legislation.

ndmoderate 10 years, 10 months ago


My recollection is that he was referring to "having a Democrat congress." After all, it was election time. I don't have his post on hand, but haven't taken the time to look back through his posting history.

"There's a big difference."

What do you mean?

ndmoderate 10 years, 10 months ago

Ferd: OK, I follow you. But what does that have to do with R_T's comment? Nothing.

drewdun 10 years, 10 months ago

"rt says.....

Losing a war, ha!"

Your political messiah and his sycophants in the administration are doing a damn fine job of that himself. And need I refresh your memory that the Congress was controlled by YOUR party for the first four years of the war, and now its suddenly only the Dems fault that we're 'losing the war.' You're so predictible, yet still you astound me with your ignorance on a daily basis.

"The Defeat-O-Crats have become so desperate, arrogant and obnoxious"

Jesus, you truly are delusional. Remind me again, who is abandoning the president? That's right, members of his own f* party*, you know, the one you worship. Six of the seven who have come out swinging at Bush? Yeah, they're up for re-election next year. Talk about "desperate, arrogant, and obnoxious" not to mention craven and unbelievably cynical. You know, a lot like you, rt.

"They could care less as long as they can demonize W"

Who was it who started this damn war? Who has controlled the war since *day f** one? I know you have a fatal allergy to ever assigning responsibility for the disaster in Iraq to the one who is truly responsible, but please, trying to pin this clusterf on the Dems shows exactly how unstable you truly are.

"The Defeat-O-Crats are willing to do anything including silencing the majority on the right"

Need I post another link to a poll showing your political messiah sitting at 26-29%? That 66% (that's two-thirds, rt) disapprove of Bush? That 62% think the invasion was a colossal mistake? How about consistent polling showing that huge majorities of polled Americans favor universal health care, even if that means higher taxes, that majorities consistently and decisively favor abortion rights, and on and on? You are unable to accept that it is you who favor minority positions, and it is your side that is poised for a historical beatdown next year. The hatred exuded from the right towards everyone that didn't blindly follow their evil and blatantly insane agenda since 9/11 will haunt your party for years and years. Accept this, and the fact that it was people like you, rt, who blindly support/supported Bush, that will keep your side in minority status for a generation.

Cue "far-left, secular, anti-American progressive traitors blah blah blah." That's your only argument, and highly indicative of the type of person you are, rt. Truly an object of simultaneous contempt and pity.

Jamesaust 10 years, 10 months ago

ferd: "I can't speak for Kevin....."

I always had you down for a schizophrenic but now you're bipolar too.

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 10 years, 10 months ago

We are not the world's sugar daddy either. We should spend the money we give away to foreign countries on America. We have plenty of problems to address right here at home. It makes me sick to see all the money we have given away through the years, when our own people need it. This is a bi-partisan problem. It needs to stop now. Every time I turn around Africa is starving again. Why don't those people practice birth control? If we are intent on helping them, it should be with the requirement that they stop having babies until they can support themselves, and feed their population. This goes for every other country too. Thank you, Lynn

Jamesaust 10 years, 10 months ago

"Just the other day he was calling blacks in the South the equivalent of stupid because they didn't realize that Democrat segregationists stopped being segregationists by converting to the GOP."

"Please tell us when Robert KKK Byrd, Sam Ervin, Al Gore, Fritz Hollings, William Fulbright, Fritz Hollings, and Sens. Eastland, Ellender, Hill, Holland, Long, Sparkman, Talmadge, et. al. "converted" to the GOP."

Sorry? How do "Democrat segregationists" who "covert to the GOP" include people who haven't "converted to the GOP"? I know you have problems with logic but if you can't make a coherent comment nobody's forcing you to contribute.

Please stop describing non-GOP blacks as stupid because they are smarter than you and aren't fooled by some bigot who puts on a new hat.

ndmoderate 10 years, 10 months ago

Crap, can't find it at a cursory skim-through, and don't have the time or gumption to go through all the posts. Ferd, R_T, I cry your pardon.

Bubbles 10 years, 10 months ago

Extremists of ANY type have never been successful at creating anything that thrives for the long-term. That goes for Left/Liberal/Democratic extremism: or the Right/Conservative/Republican extremism embraced by right_thinker, "K.G.", Pilgrim, or any of the others.


I knew you couldn't.

If the malcontents would leave the contents alone, the grass would be greener.

Linda Endicott 10 years, 10 months ago

No, not the only ones, Jonas, but once they get started on a thread, it's a lost cause...

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