March 19, 2008

"On this day in 2003, the United States began Operation Iraqi Freedom."

President Bush marks the 5th anniversary of the war.

IN THE COMMENTS: I appreciate the many comments from those who have served, and I'll frontpage this one from Roger to represent them all:
For those of us who have been soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen, you all will understand what this sort of date means. Those who have served understand the requirements of that service; we know the sacrifices that our comrades in arms have made. And we understand that those sacrifices will never be recognized by a sizeable portion of our fellow citizens. And even sadder that service will be the object of derision. So be it, and that really is not important. Those of us who have been there and done that know what it is to serve. Because we no longer have a draft, the task of service is left only to a small portion of the citzenry: to volunteers. That in itself is a shame. But it in no way diminishes the illustrious service of those volunteers who accept the burdens of service.

For those brave men and women who have served and sacrificed, please know that you are comrades with every soldier who has ever come before. God bless you all as you accomplish your missions and God speed you in safe return. You are in our hearts and prayers.

90 comments:

The Drill SGT said...

Absent Comrades

Hooah!

blogging cockroach said...

up quick fair
sitemeter
this topic will get it going

all i have to say is solve the anagram
thats the first line
to get a short summary
of the war

SGT Ted said...

hooah Drill!

The price of freedom is always high. May their sacrafice not have been in vein.

Elliott Ness said...

Mission Accomplished!!

Three years ago.

Middle Class Guy said...

SGT Ted and the drill sgt.,

Here's to those and those like us. The rest are dead. RIP

MadisonMan said...

I hope the families of those killed and injured find some sort of comfort today.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Iraqi fuck up?

I love puzzles.

The Drill SGT said...

MM,

I'm going to Coronado tomorrow to see my niece marry a Marine SGT. Wonderful fellows those SGTs, even if he is a Jarhead. He's deploying back to Iraq soon I think.

Wars are really miserable things, the only thing worse than winning a war on the misery scale is losing one.

Almost none of the servicemen (women) in Iraq would like to be there, given a choice. They are there because their country (their President and their Congress) sent them there to do a job. Friends have died, friends have been hurt. Some don't think we should have fought this war, but that isn't the Army's choice. We salute and go where the country sends us.

However, now that we're there, most all of the troops want to WIN, then come home, even if it takes another 5 years. I think we are finally winning.

As for the families, it's not fun. I know my mother hated the year I was in Nam. I didn't deploy to GWI and my wife hasn't deployed to anything yet, though some of her troops have (as individuals). The troops are all adult and families need to respect those adult decisions, even when it results in injury or death.

In summary, I'll close with that great Orwell non-quote:

"Good people sleep safe in their beds at night, because rough men are prepared to do violence on their behalf".

sometimes that results in a widow getting a folded flag, but the words (it varies by service, here is the Army version) are:

This flag is presented on behalf of a grateful nation and the United States Army as a token of appreciation for your loved one's honorable and faithful service.

Those of us who have been rough men don't tell stories about blood and wounds when we stand at the bar on a day like today. You can look into a man's eyes and know if he understands. What we do is raise a glass and salute: "Absent Comrades'

Hoosier Daddy said...

I hope the families of those killed and injured find some sort of comfort today.

Well I suppose that kind of sentiment would go with any loss suffered in any war. I suppose the prevailing wisdom is that the 350,000 plus that died in WW2 is that they died for a 'good cause' although probably to a young wife or mom or dad, no cause is worth thier son's or husband's life.

I'm willing to bet that 99% of those serving would rather be home but I'm also willing to bet they want to see everything they have sacrificed over the years bear fruit despite those here who would rather see the US defeated and humbled rather than Iraq emerge a stable and successful.

Simon said...

... And it was still the right thing to do, even if it was later almost sunk by a string of blunders, misjudgments and incompetence by the administration.

Doyle said...

Just 5 years? God I've been enjoying the freedom-spreading so much I've lost track of time!

Hoosier Daddy said...

And it was still the right thing to do, even if it was later almost sunk by a string of blunders, misjudgments and incompetence by the administration.

Lets spread the wealth a bit and not leave the Iraqis out. Aside from the Kurds, when presented with an opportunity for peace and freedom after a couple generations of dicatorship, the Iraqis opted for settling scores on ethnic grounds rather than build a stable and prosperous society.

Lets face it, they spent a whole lot more effort trying to kill each other than they did the infidel invader.

Doyle said...

Simon, the main justifications for the war were false and known to be at the time. This whole thing is a national disgrace, and no amount of bullshit from you or anyone else will change that.

Simon said...

According to some protesters, it's 5 years to many (sic.)

Doyle, the reasons for which I supported liberating Iraq - that Hussein was an appalling tyrant, and that the United States had accumulated a moral debt to the Iraqi people by supporting him - haven't been falsified. The conduct of the war has been a disgrace, I agree with you on that. Unforgivable mistakes were made, and this President is going to have to bear that burden. Those mistakes were his mistakes, even when made by his subordinates. But the decision to go in the first place, I think, was right and isn't vitiated by subsequent events.

Palladian said...

How many years have we had to put up with Doyle? Just die already!

Hoosier Daddy said...

Simon, the main justifications for the war were false and known to be at the time. This whole thing is a national disgrace, and no amount of bullshit from you or anyone else will change that.

Amen Doyle, Testify my brother. Hey, did you see that Kosovo is having problems with those recalcitrant Serbs again? What we need is another Clinton in the White House to bomb those insolent bastards back in line.

Palladian said...

And one doesn't have to think the Iraq war was a good thing, well executed to find Doyle an insufferable douche-bag.

Michael_H said...

Sgt, Sgt, MCG: Hooah!

Doyle: Piss off.

Palladian said...

And the wonderful thing about America is that you can dislike Bush, despise his administration's incompetence, deplore the feckless planning and organization of the Iraq war, mourn the loss of any of our soldiers and still think that the Doyles and other bleating lefties of the world are insufferable douche-bags. What a country!

In fact, you can believe all the aforementioned things and still celebrate the victories and accomplishments of the men and women who served in Iraq and thank them for 5 years of hard work and sacrifice. The ability to do this is what separates normal Americans from the insufferable douche-bags.

blogging cockroach said...

oh my
hoarsely yawned
someone normal who was wondering
what the first two lines here would say
with the letters scrambled into a different omlet

cant get my mind off food

The Drill SGT said...

Amen Doyle, Testify my brother. Hey, did you see that Kosovo is having problems with those recalcitrant Serbs again?

Yes, one of our good guys got killed the other day. grenade.

Doyle, that one has been going on for more than 10 years now and we've still got troops in harm's way.

oh, I forgot, that was a good war. No oil, just genocide. Unlike the bad Iraq where it was Oil, Genocide and a Saddistic killer who tried to whack our President.

To you it seems to only matter who is in the WH, but to the Army, it's a mission.

Doyle said...

The Army's mission is entirely dependent on who's in the White House, jackass.

Hoosier Daddy said...

oh, I forgot, that was a good war.

Sarge keep in mind that to liberals, the only good wars are those in which the USA has no national interests whatsoever. If we have nothing to gain, than the number of body bags that get shipped home is irrelevant.

Doyle said...

Sarge keep in mind that to liberals, the only good wars are those in which the USA has no national interests whatsoever. If we have nothing to gain, than the number of body bags that get shipped home is irrelevant.

If that were the case, Iraq would surely qualify as a good war. We didn't rid Iraq of WMDs and we didn't cripple a state partner of Al Qaeda.

Not much left but the bodybags and the bill.

The Drill SGT said...

Doyle, Doyle,

You lefties fall back on namecalling and profanity much much too fast. Likely it's because of the poor training you receive in College. If you only hear one side of the argument on all topics, it makes you sloppy and ill prepared to argue your case rationally doesn't it.

I'm not convinced we should have gone to war as fast, and I sure would have sent more troops. There's a great maxim: Few operations have failed due to too many troops. Bush and Rummy screwed the pooch and soldiers died. yep... OK, let's move on, we're there. Now we win or we lose. I'm for winning and so are the troops. I wasn't attcaking you personally, just noting that you folks seem to be bipolar about the use of force depending on whether a Dem is in the WH.

What's the next step?

You can't fall back on the chickenhawk defense.

Sort of hard to call me sexist, since I addressed servicewomen and my wife in uniform.

Guess you'll need to find a reason that I'm racist.

Good luck.

Doyle said...


Guess you'll need to find a reason that I'm racist.


I'll settle for reasons you're a moron.

MadisonMan said...

the Iraqis opted for settling scores on ethnic grounds rather than build a stable and prosperous society.

This turn of events should have surprised no one.

Is there anyone who has emerged 5 years later with a bigger dent to their reputation than Don Rumsfeld?

ricpic said...

I think Hoosier Daddy's point about the nature of the people being liberated is the crux of the matter. Maybe the Iraqis, a sizable percentage of them anyway, don't want liberty, or want it less than they want to settle scores with other Iraqis. What do you do when you've led a horse to water and he won't drink?

Cedarford said...

Agree with Palladians basic line of thought.
One does not have to be a blind war suporter to conclude that there are insufferable douchebags on the left that WANT America to be badly damaged in our security, reputation, and lots more dead American soldiers - to Show America and it's evil society a thing or two. And who actively seek to manipulate and mislead the American public about our troops being helpless dumb atrocity-committing children too poor or lazy to go to college and then get a REAL job.

My nephew was in Fallujah and Ramadi in the worst of it. He was one of those people you see on stock footage going door to door. 1/4th of his company, including himself, were casualties. (He by a car bomb that blew out an ear drum and gave him a concussion as it knocked him out. Also bullet-grazed in another fight. He killed several Iraqis, 4 Al Qaeda, and regrets including two unarmed female Iraqi "innocents" that didn't stop at a Ramadi checkpoint, or stop at the warning shots. They panicked.
His "lessons learned" were extensive. He thinks the top people took his company's debrief feedback and harsh critiques about extraneous "fobbits", need for use of dogs or electronic sensors in door-to-door ops, and earlier the US being out-communicated in Al Anbar by AQ propaganda - very seriously. He is very proud of his time in Iraq and believes he made a difference and wants us to finish the war. He's now out because of his wounds causing balance problems that are now about fixed. His VA care has been excellent.

In Bush's speech, I wish he had been as willing to discuss errors and what will be done on the political, diplomatic, and strtegic communications front. A lot can be said for the Will he has to stick things out in the face of anti-American Lefties wishing for defeat, but the general consensus of soldiers in the field was that there was a lot of bungling and only the Marines and certain Army elements performed superbly in Iraq and the "grades" for the civilian leadership, American and Iraqi are low "D"s or ""F"s.

Doyle said...

there are insufferable douchebags on the left that WANT America to be badly damaged in our security, reputation, and lots more dead American soldiers

Hey you're the ones who supported this disaster. We tried to stop it.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I'll settle for reasons you're a moron.

That's telling him Doyle! Don't ever let anyone tell you you're an intellectual lightweight!

It's that kind of wit and style which makes the rest of us see that debate with you is futile.

Doyle said...

Point being, more dead American soldiers is more your cup of tea.

Palladian said...

It's not just your lame bleats that annoy us, Doyle, it's that you're so bloody boring. I mean, there are at least some creative lefty bleaters out there. You have all the quick situational wit of a badly programmed shell script.

Middle Class Guy said...

Drill Sgt…
You lefties fall back on namecalling and profanity much much too fast. Likely it's because of the poor training you receive in College.


Wrong, wrong, wrong!!! It is because of the poor training or lack of training they received by their parents. Colleges do not teach manners, etiquette, or social skills and graces.


You are a racist. A racist is anyone who disagrees with a liberal!!!

Palladian said...

"Point being, more dead American soldiers is more your cup of tea."

You'd shit your lace panties if you ever actually encountered American soldiers (alive or dead) in the flesh. Like others of your miserable, tiresome kind, you use soldier's coffins as your soapbox.

Reprehensible. And boring. All at the same time.

MadisonMan said...

a badly programmed shell script.

bash!

Middle Class Guy said...

Doyle said...
Point being, more dead American soldiers is more your cup of tea.



Nope. Point being more dead Iraqi insurgents and political Imams like Sadr would be my cup of tea.

The Drill SGT said...

MCG said...Wrong, wrong, wrong!!! It is because of the poor training or lack of training they received by their parents. Colleges do not teach manners, etiquette, or social skills and graces.

I blame it on the social science and humanities faculty of most all colleges.

I exclude the science, math and engr departments from that generality. Look at MM, he's a liberal prof from a liberal school, but he's over there in some enviro-science type dept. You know, science, where you posulate a hypothesis, contruct and experiment to test your theory, analyze the results, modify your theory, and repeat.

The rest of those hacks are all about post-neo-critical studies and victim science.

If you only get spoon fed liberal pablum, it makes it hard to learn how to think rationally. Because you don't learn how to reason, conduct critical analysis, and debate.

I bet MM agrees about the sorry state of the social sciences as sciences in academia

Palladian said...

"a badly programmed shell script.

bash!"

Ha!

but bash is smarter and more useful than Doyle. He's more a Booby on Rails.

Kirk Parker said...

Drill SGT,

"I'm not convinced we should have gone to war as fast"

You call 1991 ~ 2003 fast? I sure wouldn't.

Bob said...

Absent Comrades


Doyle,
"The Army's mission is entirely dependent on who's in the White House, jackass."

Actually Jackass, the answer is "it depends". The President is explicitly the Commander in Chief. So how a a Prez frames the mission and its nature matters. Such as say when Clinton directed Army to put soldiers on ground for "humanitarian missions" (such as Bosnia) and we went. In others a Prez goes to Congress and asks for permission to go to war, such as Bush 43. Now Congress can say yes or no but of course saying No would require Congressional courage. Still, if Congress had said NO then US military would not have gone to Iraq. 'Cause the military swears allegiance to Constitution and not to Prez. And depending on "the mission" that may actually require Congressional approval.

I sense that's kinda a big idea for you to wrap your brain around.

Revenant said...

You call 1991 ~ 2003 fast? I sure wouldn't.

The Rush to War.

The Drill SGT said...

This is the oath I operate under:

"I, John Doe, 123-45-6789, having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of Major do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God."

cold pizza said...

"Tell them of us and say,
For their tomorrow,
We gave our today."
-posted outside a British cemetary in India

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
-T. Jefferson

Not only is this the fifth year anniversary of the start of OIF, it's also twenty years since Saddam Hussein gassed Halabja, killing thousands of men, women and children as an object lesson. "Some villagers came to our chopper. They had 15 or 16 beautiful children, begging us to take them to hospital. So all the press sat there and we were each handed a child to carry. As we took off, fluid came out of my little girl's mouth and she died in my arms."

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things (etc).

I will not mourn those who gave their todays so that others will have a tomorrow. I will celebrate their lives, for without their sacrifices I fear that I would hold my own freedom cheaply. Instead, I will mourn those who die meaninglessly in stupid commonplace little accidents, whose deaths serve no purpose other than to remind me to "buckle up."

Because others have given their lives when called to the tree, it is up to me to make sure that their sacrifices have meaning, to keep faith and ensure that we don't give up on the Iraqi people. They also deserve their tomorrows.

To absent comrades!
-cp

former law student said...

I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic

“I confidently trust that the American people will prove themselves … too wise not to detect the false pride or the dangerous ambitions or the selfish schemes which so often hide themselves under that deceptive cry of mock patriotism: ‘Our country, right or wrong!’ They will not fail to recognize that our dignity, our free institutions and the peace and welfare of this and coming generations of Americans will be secure only as we cling to the watchword of true patriotism: ‘Our country—when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right.’”— Carl Schurz, Senator from Wisconsin

former law student said...

Further Schurz, cited by wikipedia:

The man who in times of popular excitement boldly and unflinchingly resists hot-tempered clamor for an unnecessary war, and thus exposes himself to the opprobrious imputation of a lack of patriotism or of courage, to the end of saving his country from a great calamity, is, as to "loving and faithfully serving his country," at least as good a patriot as the hero of the most daring feat of arms, and a far better one than those who, with an ostentatious pretense of superior patriotism, cry for war before it is needed, especially if then they let others do the fighting.

– Carl Schurz, April, 1898

Middle Class Guy said...

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

rhhardin said...

It's disappointing that Bush doesn't give the reason for Iraq.

Namely modern weapons are too dangerous to fall into the hands of smaller and smaller sized bunches of bad guys.

The strategy is that it takes a certain size group S to do much devastating, and so no group of bad guys must be allowed to grow to size S.

Fortunately, the bigger a group, the easier it is to detect, owing to finances, defections, and so forth, and so (NYT take note) by harassing and monitoring groups can be kept from growing to that size and so from working much mischief.

So long as the detection size is smaller than S, we're okay.

A side consideration is that there must also be no place where non-state groups are not harassed and chased, and Iraq is the first place where that's being put into effect.

When that's done (meaning the Iraqis do it themselves) we move on to the next such state, one way or another, unless Democrats take over and kick the can down the road.

Why bother? Because once an American city is taken out in a repeatable way by this or that group, the resulting war will be over in an afternoon, and that's not going to be good for the Muslims. They ought to be offered an earlier way out, which is what Bush and the armed forces are offering them.

ZPS said...

It's so nice to see so many of you honoring our "absent comrades" and all the "sacrifices."

And just think, if those of you who support the operations in Iraq never supported them from the beginning, you might never have had the chance to express your support today for the thousands of Americans who have been killed.

It really is worth it because Saddam is gone and he was the worst of all the dictators in all the dictators of the world right now. Eveything else will be fine once we win in Iraq, thank god.

Michael said...

Doyle: Simon, the main justifications for the war were false and known to be at the time. This whole thing is a national disgrace, and no amount of bullshit from you or anyone else will change that.

Excerpted from H.J.Res.114 - Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Enrolled as Agreed to or Passed by Both House and Senate)

Whereas in 1990 in response to Iraq's war of aggression against and illegal occupation of Kuwait, the United States forged a coalition of nations to liberate Kuwait and its people in order to defend the national security of the United States and enforce United Nations Security Council resolutions relating to Iraq;

Whereas after the liberation of Kuwait in 1991, Iraq entered into a United Nations sponsored cease-fire agreement pursuant to which Iraq unequivocally agreed, among other things, to eliminate its nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programs and the means to deliver and develop them, and to end its support for international terrorism;

Whereas the efforts of international weapons inspectors, United States intelligence agencies, and Iraqi defectors led to the discovery that Iraq had large stockpiles of chemical weapons and a large scale biological weapons program, and that Iraq had an advanced nuclear weapons development program that was much closer to producing a nuclear weapon than intelligence reporting had previously indicated;

Whereas Iraq, in direct and flagrant violation of the cease-fire, attempted to thwart the efforts of weapons inspectors to identify and destroy Iraq's weapons of mass destruction stockpiles and development capabilities, which finally resulted in the withdrawal of inspectors from Iraq on October 31, 1998;

Whereas in Public Law 105-235 (August 14, 1998), Congress concluded that Iraq's continuing weapons of mass destruction programs threatened vital United States interests and international peace and security, declared Iraq to be in `material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations' and urged the President `to take appropriate action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of the United States, to bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations';

Whereas Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations;

Whereas Iraq persists in violating resolution of the United Nations Security Council by continuing to engage in brutal repression of its civilian population thereby threatening international peace and security in the region, by refusing to release, repatriate, or account for non-Iraqi citizens wrongfully detained by Iraq, including an American serviceman, and by failing to return property wrongfully seized by Iraq from Kuwait;

Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people;

Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its continuing hostility toward, and willingness to attack, the United States, including by attempting in 1993 to assassinate former President Bush and by firing on many thousands of occasions on United States and Coalition Armed Forces engaged in enforcing the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council;

Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;

Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of United States citizens;

Whereas the attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001, underscored the gravity of the threat posed by the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by international terrorist organizations;

Whereas Iraq's demonstrated capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction, the risk that the current Iraqi regime will either employ those weapons to launch a surprise attack against the United States or its Armed Forces or provide them to international terrorists who would do so, and the extreme magnitude of harm that would result to the United States and its citizens from such an attack, combine to justify action by the United States to defend itself;

Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) authorizes the use of all necessary means to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 660 (1990) and subsequent relevant resolutions and to compel Iraq to cease certain activities that threaten international peace and security, including the development of weapons of mass destruction and refusal or obstruction of United Nations weapons inspections in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 (1991), repression of its civilian population in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688 (1991), and threatening its neighbors or United Nations operations in Iraq in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 949 (1994);

Whereas in the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1), Congress has authorized the President `to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) in order to achieve implementation of Security Council Resolution 660, 661, 662, 664, 665, 666, 667, 669, 670, 674, and 677';

Whereas in December 1991, Congress expressed its sense that it `supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 as being consistent with the Authorization of Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1),' that Iraq's repression of its civilian population violates United Nations Security Council Resolution 688 and `constitutes a continuing threat to the peace, security, and stability of the Persian Gulf region,' and that Congress, `supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688';

Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-338) expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime;

Whereas on September 12, 2002, President Bush committed the United States to `work with the United Nations Security Council to meet our common challenge' posed by Iraq and to `work for the necessary resolutions,' while also making clear that `the Security Council resolutions will be enforced, and the just demands of peace and security will be met, or action will be unavoidable';

Whereas the United States is determined to prosecute the war on terrorism and Iraq's ongoing support for international terrorist groups combined with its development of weapons of mass destruction in direct violation of its obligations under the 1991 cease-fire and other United Nations Security Council resolutions make clear that it is in the national security interests of the United States and in furtherance of the war on terrorism that all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions be enforced, including through the use of force if necessary;

Whereas Congress has taken steps to pursue vigorously the war on terrorism through the provision of authorities and funding requested by the President to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such persons or organizations;

Whereas the President and Congress are determined to continue to take all appropriate actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such persons or organizations;

Whereas the President has authority under the Constitution to take action in order to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States, as Congress recognized in the joint resolution on Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40); and

Whereas it is in the national security interests of the United States to restore international peace and security to the Persian Gulf region: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled...


---

The Doyles of the world will point to that long list of justifications for the war, find one of those justifications lacking ex post facto, and declare the whole thing a fraud.

Iraq harbored, trained, and funded international terrorists, and thus was a legitimate target in the war on terror.

madawaskan said...

ZPD-
Saddam is gone we fight evil where and when we can.

Just because evil can be perfectly evil doesn't mean we have to fight it perfectly.

Oh and as if your "side" isn't culpable....

Like you didn't make things harder for the ones that died.

They and those that they have left behind.

There are/were no consequences to your party's actions?

Middle Class Guy said...

The Doyles of the world...

Never, ever read history. The one glaring fact left out is the Baath Party, whose main purpose and goal was to establish a Moslem kingdom that stretched across North Africa from the Atlantic to as far east as approximately Russia.

Contrary to what Sadamm Hussein claimed, his foray into Kuwait was a test of the waters. he wanted to see what would happen if he did in fact invade an Arab country. He found out.

This has been a goal of many Middle Eastern parties and Moslem religious sects for many generations.

One other thing is lost on the Doyles of the world. Adolf Hitler. Many Middle East Countries supported Hitler during WWII. For that support their militarys received training in intelligence gathering, military tactics, political indoctrination, propaganda, and unconventional warfare tactics.

They were also enamord of Hitlers political goal of European domination and the expansion of the German State.

They translated that into domination of what was the old Moslem world. Their aim was to take it all back.

Maybe if people read more and fulminated less the world would be better off. History is a bitch when it slaps you on the ass.

Hoosier Daddy said...

the Iraqis opted for settling scores on ethnic grounds rather than build a stable and prosperous society.

This turn of events should have surprised no one.


I suppose so MadisonMan. Then again I was trying to give the Iraqis some credit but if I had said that Arabs generally can't handle democracy and need a brutal dictator to keep their 11th century behavior in check, I'd be accused of racism or some such other epithet.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I think Hoosier Daddy's point about the nature of the people being liberated is the crux of the matter. Maybe the Iraqis, a sizable percentage of them anyway, don't want liberty, or want it less than they want to settle scores with other Iraqis. What do you do when you've led a horse to water and he won't drink?

I don't disagree. Then again I hope we do learn from this and don't do the same thing again in say, Darfur, Tibet etc.

The problem I have is that I hear the bleating about 'poverty' being the root of Islamic terrorism. Well the quickest way out of poverty is adopting a free market system as well as a free society. Those go hand in hand. It's not mere coincidence that the richest nations are the freest nations.

Anymore I'm a born again Isolationist. Intervene and we're devils, don't intervene, we're callous devils. Only intervene when its on the terms of the UN and just leave the checkbook on the table and go home.

No thanks.

Eli Blake said...

Feb. 7, 2003, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, to U.S. troops in Aviano, Italy: "It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months."

Rummy would have said you were certifiably crazy if you suggested six years.

Bob said...

Ricpic - most of the Iraqis I met were glad we had overthrown Saddam. But they were also confused and anxious about the idea of democracy and were ambivilent about our military presence. I sensed they would have preferred to do it themselves but, after 30 years, just something they couldn't actually see "how". If you haven't dealt with Iraqis for a period of time its hard to understand just how traumatized that population was. But I was there in 2005-2006.

That the Kurds and Shites had scores to settle should surprise no one as that region's motto is "an eye for an eye". Much of sectarian violence was done based upon perceived honor - be it family or tribal. Don't think all that ransacking after the regime fell was just to grab goods. A lot was aimed at security facilities by groups who wanted the payroll records (find out just who was in the regime's forces) and but those intent on destroying said records.

Eli Blake said...

Let's also remember that when President Bush gave his 'mission accomplished' speech on May 1, 2003, the war had lasted for six weeks, cost 139 American casualties and $50 billion.

Using those yardsticks, we've won the war already at least two dozen times.

Much more of this kind of winning will be the ruin of us.

former law student said...

Many Middle East Countries supported Hitler during WWII.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. -- Chinese Proverb. Nazi radio stations beamed clandestine messages to India as well as Arabia, hoping that the locals would rebel against their British colonizers. I'm sure that the Irish shed few tears over the London Blitz, as well.

former law student said...

michael -- if the justification for invasion is invading neighbor countries, violating U.N. resolutions, and clandestinely developing weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty,

well I'm sorry but we're going to have to invade Israel as well.

Eli Blake said...

bob:

The real problem with our letting them burn down all those government buildings was not who did or didn't get the records, but that WE didn't get them.

Among the records that would have really helped us over the past few years would be (for example) names of Baathist party members and paramilitary (who for years formed the backbone of the Sunni resistance), information on war crimes, information on exactly what did happen to the WMD, intel information on foreign governments and groups, such as al-Qaeda and Iran, lists of who the informants were in Saddam's government, and information on whatever happened to Scott Speicher.

In fact, the only government building we sent troops to guard in Baghdad after the fall of the government was the Oil Ministry. So yeah, we got all their geological survey maps.

The level of ineptitude is apalling. George W. Bush is making Jimmy Carter look like a genius when it comes to competency.

Bob said...

Eli - the conventional phase of the war lasted three weeks. During which most of the Sunni manned Iraqi Army simply walked home rather than fight. What didn't happen was we didn't reduce Iraq to rubble as we did in Germany or Japan. So that they were crushed. No, instead the CPA, State, & DOD made stupid decisions. The Sunnis realized we actually meant what we said (we weren't going to continue using Sunni's only in security forces), and Kurds & Shites got the payroll records. Then AQ came in, the UN ran away and as they say things spirialed out of control...

Eli Blake said...

Lost in all of this is a simple fact.

Let's even suppose that the right is right, that we did have a policy of 'regime change' that went back to Clinton, that we did consider Saddam a threat, and that we did feel that removing him should be a top priority.

In that case there are many other options before you get to war: diplomacy, support for dissident factions inside and outside of Iraq, covert operations, in fact many options short of war.

For that matter, we undermined the Soviet Union by opening trade with them, and the people themselves got rid of the government (with trade follows ideas.)

To invade Iraq to get rid of Saddam is like discovering you have termites in your house, so you burn the house down to dislodge the termites. It's just not logical to suggest that 'Saddam needs to go' = 'we must invade.'

Eli Blake said...

the UN ran away

??

The UN was never in Iraq as a military force. You may recall that they sent Blix in when Saddam gave into the threat of force over not letting the inspectors come back, and it was George Bush who ordered Blix to leave before the job was done.

Bob said...

Eli - thank the Turks for us not having enough troops during the first two weeks after fall of Baghdad. The 4th ID was bobbing around off Turkish coast rather than attacking from Turkey into the Northern border of Iraq. 4th ID had about 18,000 troops and they instead got routed thru Kuwait in the weeks after (April & May). If they had be in the fight wat start e would have had more boots on ground in Baghdad to secure those sites quicker.

And the Oil Ministry wasn't only building guarded. Just there were hundreds of sites needing to be guarded, only a small number of troops, and only a small window of time when it mattered. After a couple of weeks it was a moot point...

Revenant said...

Using those yardsticks, we've won the war already at least two dozen times. Much more of this kind of winning will be the ruin of us.

On the contrary, we can afford to keep fighting the Iraq war for the next thousand years if we felt like it.

According to this antiwar site, the Iraq war has thus far cost us a little over $500 billion over the last five years. That sounds like a lot of money, and indeed it IS a lot of money -- but during that same five-year period, our GDP grew from $11 trillion to $13.8 trillion.. In other words, our economy is currently outputing $2800 billion more per year than it was when the war started. Ok, so we're spending a hundred billion or so per year on the war, so our actual growth was only $2700 billion -- but even after accounting for inflation we're still coming out ahead.

In other words, Eli, we as a nation are continuing to grow steadily richer even while fighting this war. The claim that we can't afford it is objectively false.

Revenant said...

Let's even suppose that the right is right, that we did have a policy of 'regime change' that went back to Clinton, that we did consider Saddam a threat, and that we did feel that removing him should be a top priority.

Yeah, "let's even suppose". That takes a lot of imagination... or, you know, a memory that stretches back to before George Bush's inauguration.

In that case there are many other options before you get to war: diplomacy

Tried it for 12 years. It was a catastrophic failure for all twelve of those years.

support for dissident factions inside and outside of Iraq

We tried that as well and, again, it didn't work.

covert operations

To do what, exactly? And have you considered the obvious fact that any covert operation which removed Hussein from power would have caused an even worse mess than the one that's there now? Somebody needed to be there to take control. If not us then who, exactly -- and how would they have retained power when the democratic government of Iraq can barely manage to do so WITH massive US support?

in fact many options short of war.

Feel free to think of some and share them. The three you've listed simply indicate that you only started paying attention after the war had started.

It's just not logical to suggest that 'Saddam needs to go' = 'we must invade.'

Saddam has to go. Russia, China, France, and Germany want him to stay in power. He has no significant internal opposition because like all totalitarian dictators he liquidates his internal opposition. All attempts to bring diplomatic pressure to bear have been total failures. All attempts to apply actual consequences to his treaty, cease fire, and UN resolution violations have failed because three-fifths of the UN Security Council's permanent members are on his side.

So, genius, what's your brilliant alternative? Prayer and happy thoughts?

Hoosier Daddy said...

well I'm sorry but we're going to have to invade Israel as well.

Actually Obama's former foreign affairs adviser advocated that very thing I believe. I'll wager his 'spiritual adviser' would concur as well.

Let's even suppose that the right is right, that we did have a policy of 'regime change' that went back to Clinton

Well he did. Clinton bombed Slobodon Milosovec right out of office. Did it in three months with no US casualties, no imminent threat to the US, no UN authorization and no congressional approval. Now that's getting stuff done right.

Then again if he put as half as much effort in getting Osama as he did Milsovec, the Branch Davidians or even Elian Gonzales we wouldn't even be having this conversation.

Hoosier Daddy said...

So, genius, what's your brilliant alternative? Prayer and happy thoughts?

Don't forget bumper stickers. You know like Free Tibet and Save Darfur

Fact of the matter is that none the stuff Eli mentioned works. Sanctions? Yeah they've done wonders for regime change in Cuba. Diplomacy? How many dead now in Darfur cause China will veto any UNSC resolution? The EU has been talking to Iran about nukes for years now and will still be talking when there is a mushroom cloud over Tel Aviv. Dissident factions? I think they're still digging up mass graves filled with them. Covert operations? What exactly are you implying Eli? Remember legalities now.

There are always options just not many good or effective ones.

Revenant said...

The EU has been talking to Iran about nukes for years now and will still be talking when there is a mushroom cloud over Tel Aviv.

Although admittedly not for too much longer AFTER that...

Fen said...

Bravo Zulu DevilDogs. You've done an incredible job killing Al Queda and rebuilding Iraq. Thanks for protecting our civilization. Again.

Fen said...

"the UN ran away"

Eli: ??

Exactly. You don't know the material...

Eli: The UN was never in Iraq as a military force

Here's your background. Catch up please:

Explosion Rocks U.N. Mission in Baghdad - August 19, 2003

"...The blast occurred at the Canal Hotel (search), home to the U.N. mission in Iraq. U.N. workers, who lived and worked there, said there were up to 300 workers inside the building at the time of the explosion.

The attack stunned an organization that had long been welcomed by Iraqis, even by many who protested the presence of U.S.-led occupation forces.

Except for a newly built concrete wall, U.N. officials at the headquarters refused the sort of heavy security that the U.S. military has put up around some sensitive civilian sites. The United Nations "did not want a large American presence outside," Salim Lone, the U.N. spokesman in the Iraqi capital, said.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,95100,00.html

Roger said...

For those of us who have been soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen, you all will understand what this sort of date means. Those who have served understand the requirements of that service; we know the sacrifices that our comrades in arms have made. And we understand that those sacrifices will never be recognized by a sizeable portion of our fellow citizens. And even sadder that service will be the object of derision. So be it, and that really is not important. Those of us who have been there and done that know what it is to serve. Because we no longer have a draft, the task of service is left only to a small portion of the citzenry: to volunteers. That in itself is a shame. But it in no way diminishes the illustrious service of those volunteers who accept the burdens of service.

For those brave men and women who have served and sacrificed, please know that you are comrades with every soldier who has ever come before. God bless you all as you accomplish your missions and God speed you in safe return. You are in our hearts and prayers.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The EU has been talking to Iran about nukes for years now and will still be talking when there is a mushroom cloud over Tel Aviv.

Although admittedly not for too much longer AFTER that...


I'll hedge my bets on that. I envision some murmurs about grave concern and maybe a strongly worded protest against Iran right before France or Belgium propose a UN resolution condemning Israel's retaliation as a 'disproportionate response.'

Call me cynical.

Elliott A said...

Roger....

Well said!

Chip Ahoy said...

I've always hated the sound of taps. Despised it actually. But never have I heard it played as well or as clearly in perfect pitch on the cold November morning two years ago when we buried my father at Ft. Logan cemetery. My friends present were on their best behavior, for once. We were presented with phrases like "answered the call of duty," service to country," "honor," and many other similar Klingon-sounding words and phrases, in the snappiest, most precise funeral I've ever attended. It was the first time in decades that I had been on anything remote to a military installation. The flags, the spotlessly manicured grounds, the painted rocks outlining the driveway, the portrait of CIC prominently displayed in the visitor center that would have made anyone but a serviceman wretch, the perfectly put together gracious and polite young servicemen with shinned shoes, all came together to remind me whence I came and why I was so at odds with everyone I knew. All my friends are doyles. They have nothing of value to say but nonetheless never cease saying it, as if attempting to continuously re-hypnotize themselves, continuously reaffirming the same depressing point of view lest it all crumble away. To them, even victory will not be victory. They have too much invested and so will not allow it. It's why we no longer speak.

To the rest of the commenters here, thank you.

The Drill SGT said...

Chip

When I was a commander of a tank company in central Texas (Ft Hood) 25 years ago, we used to get the duty of providing funeral details. We always tried o do a good job at them. Put our troops on a bus and drive to some small town and do the coffin, flag folding, rifle salute, taps, flag presentation thing. As I was taught and told my LT's, there is no room for error or horsing around. You have 1 shot to make a good or bad impression for a family and an entire town. Don't screw it up, give that soldier a good send off. We tried every time to make it go well.

Simon said...

Eli Blake said...
"Lost in all of this is a simple fact ...[:] there are many other options before you get to war: diplomacy, support for dissident factions inside and outside of Iraq, covert operations, in fact many options short of war."

Those haven't been "lost." They were tried. They didn't work. The exception is some kind of covert ops "hit" mission, but there's good reasons why that wasn't viable.

former law student said...

but during that same five-year period, our GDP grew from $11 trillion to $13.8 trillion.. In other words, our economy is currently outputing $2800 billion more per year than it was when the war started. Ok, so we're spending a hundred billion or so per year on the war, so our actual growth was only $2700 billion -- but even after accounting for inflation we're still coming out ahead.

You forgot to allow for the fall of the dollar. When W. took office, the euro was worth 85 cents. Last week, the Euro was worth $1.55. Thus, because of W.'s policies, GDP dropped from 13 billion Euros to 8.9 billion Euros.

And even sadder that service will be the object of derision.

W., Cheney, and Rumsfeld have cruelly taken advantage of Americans' desire to serve their country. Colin Powell, an honorable man whose testimony was instrumental in persuading many members of the U.S. Congress to support military action against Iraq, resigned when the evidence he relied on was found to be non-existent.

Revenant said...

You forgot to allow for the fall of the dollar.

Since we were discussing the size of the Iraq War bill (in dollars) in comparison to our national wealth (in dollars), the value of the Euro is completely irrelevant. What matters is the yearly cost of the war as a percentage of our GDP, whether you measure the cost and GDP in dollars, pesos, Euros or yen. Were that percentage increasing, Eli's belief that we can't afford to keep funding the war would indeed be true. But since the cost of the war as a percentage of GDP is shrinking, Eli's belief is mistaken -- at the rate we're going we can fight forever if we want to.

Secondly, pricing our GDP in Euros is ridiculous, as we don't buy all our goods and services from the European Union. The higher costs of those goods which we do purchase from the EU are factored into the inflation rate, which I already accounted for.

Finally, we come to your belief that "X happened while Bush was in office" means "Bush caused X", I can only assume you flunked out of law school before they got around to discussing the post hoc logical fallacy. :)

Hoosier Daddy said...

You forgot to allow for the fall of the dollar. When W. took office, the euro was worth 85 cents. Last week, the Euro was worth $1.55. Thus, because of W.'s policies, GDP dropped from 13 billion Euros to 8.9 billion Euros.

I suppose this would have relevance if we were paying for the war in Euros.

Fen said...

W., Cheney, and Rumsfeld have cruelly taken advantage of Americans' desire to serve their country

You don't speak for us.

I served to defend Arthur's dream - that Might can be channelled for Right. Volunteered three times over to get to Somolia and defend the starving from brutal warlords who stole western food and medicines to maintain their oppression.

Same for our troops in Iraq, they believe in the mission, even if you don't. They don't feel betrayed, else why was Army re-enlistment at 70% in 2005?

Fen said...

/edit, 2006 not 2005

"According to Army statistics ... 70 percent of soldiers eligible to re-enlist in 2006 did so — a re-enlistment rate higher than before Sept. 11, 2001. For the past 10 years, the enlisted retention rates of the Army have exceeded 100 percent. As of last Nov. 13, Army re-enlistment was 137 percent of its stated goal."

Fen said...

If you haven't dealt with Iraqis for a period of time its hard to understand just how traumatized that population was

Battered Wife Syndrome.

AllenS said...

Ann said: "I appreciate the many comments from those who have served."

Before I started to read the comments, I just knew, there would be the usual commenters whose regrets take the place of the dreams of others.

AllenS
US Army 1966-68

knoxwhirled said...

All my friends are doyles... continuously reaffirming the same depressing point of view... It's why we no longer speak.

I found myself in this situation with some of my friends when Bush was elected, even before the Iraq war. I had a friend who took to saying republicans should have their throats slit in their sleep. A lot of that stuff is tolerable when you're in your 20s, but once you start getting older it's just gross, depressing and (excuse the pop psychology) "toxic". It's sad, but sometimes better to say goodbye than to be dragged down.

former law student said...

Secondly, pricing our GDP in Euros is ridiculous, as we don't buy all our goods and services from the European Union.

Fine. The dollar has declined with respect to the British pound, the Japanese yen, and the Canadian dollar as well. The incredible number of goods we purchase from China (just walk through a Target store) is priced in terms of the US dollar, but our Chinese friends are increasingly reluctant to keep collecting US dollars as they keep decreasing in value. Combined with the fall of the dollar, low interest rates make US Treasury obligations increasingly unattractive to foreign investors, who have been fueling our increasing deficit spending. The dollar is in free fall, but I guess you won't worry till it hits bottom.

Finally, we come to your belief that "X happened while Bush was in office" means "Bush caused X", I can only assume you flunked out of law school before they got around to discussing the post hoc logical fallacy.

OK. The last time the dollar sank this much against foreign currencies was when Jimmy Carter was in office. In fact, gold has reached price levels not seen since the Carter administration. The last time oil spiked this high was also during the Carter administration. The last time a Muslim country kicked our ass like this was during the Carter administration. So, you most likely believe that Carter's actions had nothing to do with any of these unfortunate events, either, and in fact voted for his re-election.

former law student said...

they believe in the mission, even if you don't.

They would have to, right? Otherwise they would experience cognitive dissonance. Whatever you're going to do, you have to believe in wholeheartedly -- you can't dog it when your buddies' lives are at stake.

What is the mission, anyways?

Revenant said...

Fine. The dollar has declined with respect to the British pound, the Japanese yen, and the Canadian dollar as well.

I guess you're just hoping that if you throw enough crap at the wall, something will stick. The purchasing power parity GDP of the United States has increased. Non-sequiteurs about the value of the dollar, while entertaining, don't change that. We're still growing steadily richer as a nation.

Do we face potential challenges in the future? Yes, and we always have, and we always will. The world economy is, shockingly enough, not static.

The dollar is in free fall, but I guess you won't worry till it hits bottom.

"Hits bottom"? The minimum value of a currency is zero. Only an idiot would think we're in any danger of the dollar becoming worthless.

A low-value dollar makes foreign goods more expensive, but it also makes American goods cheaper to foreigners. In other words, it helps domestic industry. You leftists are fond of bitching about the flight of American jobs overseas -- well, a weak dollar discourages that. It encourages foreigners to hire Americans, instead of vice-versa; it encourages foreigners to buy American, instead of Americans buying foreign. In other words, little brain, there are both good AND bad aspects to the exchange rate. That's why China has been deliberately trying to keep the yuan weak against the dollar -- so we'll keep buying from them.

The last time the dollar sank this much against foreign currencies was when Jimmy Carter was in office

Oh goody, a *second* post hoc fallacy.

The dollar is weak not because of our massive current account deficit -- in other words, because we buy far more goods from foreigners than they buy from us. This problem, if it is a problem, was not caused by Bush or any other President. It is caused by the fact that we're a wealthy nation and have more money to spend on goods than the citizens of other nations do.

If, as you fear, countries stop wanting to invest in the United States because the dollar is weakening too much, the current account deficit will shrink -- and the dollar will strengthen again.

The last time a Muslim country kicked our ass like this was during the Carter administration

The last Muslim country to "kick our ass", as you put it, was Somalia -- during the Clinton administration. But a person would have to be pretty delusional to think Iraq is "kicking our ass". Our losses have been trivial.

So, you most likely believe that Carter's actions had nothing to do with any of these unfortunate events, either, and in fact voted for his re-election.

I don't think Carter had much of anything to do with the lousy economy of the 1970s, no. Richard Nixon had a lot more to do with it. He certainly deserves blame for acting like a complete pussy in the face of Iran's acts of war against us, though, and that alone was reason enough to bounce his wrinkly ass out of office.

Revenant said...

What is the mission, anyways?

Stabilizing Iraq.

Bob said...

Roger - well said!

To the former law student - guess what, sometimes you believe in the mission and sometimes you simply suck it up or you leave the service. You don't get to pick and choose.

I watched several "studs" in my unit exit the service when we got mobilized. Some left because they said "I can't leave my family again" (they had been deployed in 1990 and again in 1997). I respected them. But others left or hide because "Hey, I only joined for college $" and those I have come to despise. Its easy to be a sunshine patriot but they left holes in a unit when it needed leadership and continuity.

When I was a LT my NCOs were all Nam vets. They seperated fellow soldiers by who did and didn't go. By "who took their place in the line" and who bagged. I didn't understand the depth of loathing towards non-deploying soldiers or the venom against the antiwar crowd who ridiculed them. I've come to understand those feelings. Not everyone has gone and I understand why. But now I just look to see if a soldier has a patch on both sleeves. And I know who in my unit actually went out versus just sat on the FOB. Who walked the talk and who hide.