"Hopefully this Buck won't stopone of the best damn MilBloggers to ever knock sand from his boots." -- The Mudville Gazette

« Home | SURGING AHEAD WITH THE NEW STRATEGERY » | BLOG UNDER CONSTRUCTION » | INCOMING HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS » | THE ENEMY OF THE GOOD » | RETURN OF TALES FROM THE FRONT » | FIVE YEARS & CHANGE » | WIN, LOSE, OR DRAWDOWN » | THE BUCK STOPS HERE » | REPATRIATE GAMES » | OUTTAKES FROM THE FRONT »

STUDYING IRAQ FOR DHIMMIS


General Ingenuity Joe strikes again:
A working prototype of Iraq Study Group Recommendation #79.
photo by Buck Sargent

It’s important to remember that “stability” is Arabic for “the mess we’re in.”
-Mark Steyn, America Alone


December 6, 2006: a date which will live in irrelevancy.

Now that four out of five critics have agreed to agree that the President's latest elective surgery is poised to kill the patient on the operating table, I finally made time to digest that redundant monstrosity of pomposity known as the Iraq Study Group Report of the Hamilton-Baker Commission. (Also referred to by anyone who's spent more than four days on the ground as The Complete Idiot's Guide to Iraq). Less people have white-lied about finishing Moby Dick than this myopia-inducing dirge, but then I don't believe even Sir James reads what he signs his name to these days, other than his own royalty checks of course.

By now it's no secret that the ISG's half-baked Ham-Bake is little more than a neverending litany of duh on arrival recommendations that are not only far from novel ideas, but have already been implemented for quite some time now. For starters:
The United States should significantly increase the number of U.S. military personnel, including combat troops, embedded in and supporting Iraqi Army units.
Well, duh. Embedding military transition teams (MiTTs) throughout Iraqi units has been a staple of U.S. policy for at least the past two years, at least in deed if not word. It has been in essence the reverse of our mission creep in Vietnam, in which our early years of involvement consisted predominantly of advisory elements followed up with an escalation of combat ground forces. In Iraq's case, the opposite has been tried. A large invasion and occupation force has slowly been phased out in return for an increased training and advisory role.

This is not uniformly true throughout the theater, and is not necessarily reflected in the number of U.S. forces forward deployed -- the supply and support tail percentages have swelled in recent years to obscure this result. But of the 150,000 some-odd U.S. troops soon to be the official total in Iraq, fully half of them are in de facto non-combat duties. What this means is that they live and work on the large concentrated FOBs in a daily environment and threat level barely distinguishable from a stateside posting. The number of soldiers who venture outside the wire on a routine basis are in facto shockingly few in number.

The very eponymy of the rear-area pejoratives du jour should be enough to give lie to the journalistic trope that there are neither front lines nor safe zones in this war. It is an exaggeration that serves all the Force-Pro Fobbits, Big League CHUers, Green Zone Goblins, and Green Bean Gobblers equally, measured directly by how many times deskbound TOC-roaches, embed-wetting reporters, or KBR commandos breathlessly describe on their MySpace pages their own heroic braving of enemy rocket or mortar attacks that even the cherriest line soldier would sleep through.

Intraservice rivalries aside, what this all translates to is that the Iraqis have been on their own out there for quite some time now, helping explain both the relative success in the northern areas as well as the abject failure in the Sunni Triangle and Baghdad in particular. Bottom line: many of them simply weren't ready to fly solo and we've been remiss in pushing them into it too fast and too furiously, especially as a matter of domestic political necessity rather than military logistical imperative. After we stood them up, they fell down.

While the Pentagon publicists were busy talking up the handover of the initiative to Iraqi forces last fall, our own Stryker unit was spending a depressingly large segment of our time in Baghdad as heavily armed census takers with only a smattering of token Iraqi troops to serve as our Arabic secretaries:
"Alright, sayyid, now how many AK's do you own? Just one? Got it. And this is your car? And you live here with your wife and brother? No children? Wait, your brother has two children? Oh, they were both kidnapped. Very sorry to hear that. Okay, well... you get all that down, M'hammed? Alright, let’s move on to the next one..."
Even the residents understood the fundamental absurdity of our game plan:

"Mistah, why you search the people's houses today when Ali Baba [the bad guys] leave one week before you come? He come back next week after you leave and will attack the people again. Why you not go after Ali Baba where he live? [Meaning Sadr City]. Why, mistah?"
What could you say to that except throw your hands up and shrug your shoulders? An ordinary middle-aged and underemployed Iraqi engineer who can encapsulate the folly of our mission within a paragraph of broken English. Meanwhile, the the ten-member cast of The Realist World and its crew of extras was apparently busy putting the finishing touches on their million dollars-per-page words of wonder-wisdom:

The situation in Baghdad and several provinces is dire... The level of violence is high and growing. There is great suffering, and the daily lives of many Iraqis show little or no improvement. Pessimism is pervasive.
Indeed. Especially in this report!


Yet the biggest disappointments in the progress of the war remain the biggest disappointments within Arab societies in general. Stuff happens, but this stuff ain't new. Name a single Arab country to date that can boast of a flawlessly managed self-government, a volunteer army created from scratch complete with a somewhat functional NCO corps, simultaneously holding an ex-dictator to account while resisting the appeal of a new one to take his place in the interim, and all while surrounded by decidedly unfriendly next-door neighbors who'd like nothing more than for them to fail spectacularly and aren't shy about helping it along.

That's what I thought.

But what say you, Messrs. O'tamia?
Iraq’s neighbors and key states in and outside the region should form a support group to reinforce security and national reconciliation within Iraq… Given the ability of Iran and Syria to influence events within Iraq and their interest in avoiding chaos in Iraq, the United States should try to engage them constructively.
Dr. Phil, call your office. Form a support group! Surely they can't be serious. (They are serious, and don't call them Shirley). But Iran's already been lavishly donating to their support group of choice -- it's called Jaish al-Mahdi. But on second thought, the ISG is absolutely correct. We should be trying to engage them constructively. Which approach do you prefer: bad cop or worse cop?


In spite of their occasional head-scratching assertions that Iraq's busy-bodycount-producing neighbors arent' seeking chaos within their own 'hood, the Pap Blue Ribbon panel does eventually go on to concede that both Iran and Syria are delighting in helping bog us down there. Of course they are. And why shouldn't they? OIF Deuce effectively became Operation Swept Under The Persian Rug the second some guy with four names that probably included Hussein figured out that if you buried an artillery shell under some roadside trash and blew it up when an American column drove by that some other guy with aftermarket body armor and blow-dried hair would jump out of his Nomex socks to broadcast its aftermath across the globe before the shrapnel finished cooling.

If there's anything a group should be formed to study, it's how a nation with a cast iron stomach that could down Krouts for breakfast, Japs for dinner, and Commies for a midday snack could suddenly develop into such a bellyaching diaperpower with a blistering case of war rash.

While a case can be made that we've overplayed our hand in the War on Terror by fixating on fixing our broken pottery, at this point I still believe misunderestimating our enemies to be quite malapropriate. And one shouldn't have to TiVo the History Channel in perpetuity to recognize this.

Just as we delighted in bleeding the Soviets dry through a proxy fight in mid-eighties Afghanistan, the Iranian mullahs and the Baby Baathist regime are providing us a taste of our own medicine in mid-oughts Iraq. Like it or not, it's one for all or all for naught. Quitting the fight now doesn't just mean conceding victory there. It's conceding victory everywhere.

But why stop there? While we're at it, let's finally get with le programme and mothball our military, open up Infidel Reparation Accounts, preemptively apologize to the Muslim grievance lobby, and petition the EU for retroactive membership. Because what jizya think the other side is fighting for? I can tell you one thing: if you've ever kicked around little green footballs, you'd know it isn't free minds and free markets.

Which is precisely the point, ¿n'est-ce pas?

Mark Steyn's latest must-read volume makes the case that Muslim demographics will in our lifetimes begin to overwhelm much of the Western world, to include the entirety of Europe -- conquering via birthrates on a scale incomparable to Islamist murder rates. And in his grim estimation, "America alone" will be the last man standing. "To see off the new Dark Ages will be tough and demanding," he closes. "The alternative will be worse."

He's wrong. To those of us who've been privy to such an alternative in its purest and most wicked forms -- other than a Countdown w/Keith Olberman podcast stuck on repeat...

...little else could be worse.

Holy Crapballs batman!! Well Stated!

Trackbacked at The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 01/19/2007

Tried to read the ISG report - couldn't focus my attention on so little said so poorly for very long. I hand it to you for reading it...

Value your perspective, as always, thank you..

Anonymous above bears out your point exactly. Hate isn't confronted by lollygagging around in the background and hoping it will go away.

I don't remember who said it, but when a commanding officer stated that America is at war, a Lt. stood up and said, "No sir. The Army is at war. America is in the mall."

Where is all the concern here at home? Has everyone forgot the lessons of 9/11.

Thanks again Buck Sargent.

Ouch - I am disappointed by your narrow-mindedness. While I'm sure you would hate my political ideas, I have enjoyed your point of view, until now...You are intelligent, witty, and well read...an informative blogger, but your pessimism has led me to prefer blissful ignorance. Woe is me...my world (of infidels) will come to an end at the hands of all that is Islam? Great Lesson Buck Sargent! I will give you one more chance, but if you do this again, I'll only be reading you for the same reasons I read Perez Hilton...

Ah, for the return of the days, I was just uninformed and stupid.

I can remember those days easily. But no where in my memories of those years is anything about Islam, Muslims or terrorism. I was well off, had everything that I wanted, including what I thought of at the time, my last girlfriend and my future second wife.

Well, I was wrong about the second wife part, but she was my last girlfriend, much to my dismay and heartache, when we parted not long after.

I was not wrong (in the big picture of things) to not be troubling myself to learn about the Middle East, or Muslims, Arabs or Persians. I was still working 60 to 70 hours a week and had other family obligations and worries much closer to home.

Just as millions of Americans and others do today.

I doubt that I would have heard the bias lies of the media, or politicians or even noticed our Military much, except that I of course, would have wished them good luck, good targets and to come home safe, but the complexity and the looming menace would have been lost on me at the time.

Just more background noise on the TV.

It is now up to us and others to awaken our neighbors who are now so loaded down and overworked to even really notice or even care to notice the war, the long war, that the world and this Republic, must win against the Islamics.

If you mention the war, the only thing they think of is Iraq. Iraq is not the war,but only one of the opening battles of the war.

The pressure to win has to come from the American public, just as the pressure to lose, to run away, is coming from different segments of America and the world right now. Without the pressure to win from the American Public, to defeat our enemies, no matter how, when or where...

We will be forced to fight even longer, with more casualties and more destruction, here and elsewhere in the world.

Papa Ray

"My world (of infidels) will come to an end at the hands of all that is Islam?... I will give you one more chance, but if you do this again, I'll only be reading you for the same reasons I read Perez Hilton..."

I'd like to be able to respond to this intelligently, but I honestly do not have enough to go on. Could you elaborate a bit more on what you found so objectionable? No snark here, just curiosity at work. You sort of left me scratching my head.

-Buck

Buck: Enjoy reading your knowledgeable take on what was going on in Iraq while you were there, and appreciate your love of country.

Baker of course was responsible for much of the disaster in the middle east due to his support of Syria. Like Carter, undoubtedly his bank accounts have been suitably enriched.

I totally disagree with your take on Mr. Steyn. Steyn doesn't know damn all about demography. His argument is actually one about the feudal elitist / serf mentality behind the 'cradle to grave' bankrupt welfare state which is Europe.

Just like the elitist plantation owners in old Hawaii, and the open border promoters in the US of A today, their mantra is: keep the masses poor and stupid, while we all sip mai tais and take up our burden to give them the benefit of our benevolent reign.

The arabs could not out breed the locals if they hadn't been brought in to begin with. Besides, in the US of A the arab question is a moot point, since that role has been assigned to hispanic populations.

Its not that confusing; just repeat: its not the demography, its the feudal mentality behind the failed welfare state, stupid(<<--not you, Buck; Steyn :)

How stupid be the Americans !!!

We killed last months in Iraq three American Soldiers and next months we try to kill 7 or 10 american Soldiers !!

Away with these Zionists!!!

Killers and rapiest´s of women and Kids !!

Nazi state USA !!DIE !!!!

Buck- Thank you for your views and for trying to enter into a dialogue with, unfortunately, an islamic fundamentalist who is so unaware of his existence he doesn't realized what a victim of jihadist propoganda he truly is. The Allah they invoke is seemingly one at the same time for peaceful solutions to problems and for exploding indiscriminate weapons that almost daily kill and cruelly cripple women and children. What a political strategy- embrace an ideology that is ok with blowing up the people to gain influence with them! How is that different from the agenda of every tin pot dictator-cum-world domineer who ever ordered an execution? Do Hitler, Mussolini, Tojo, Castro,Hussein, et al, come to mind?
Sorry, anonymous, you poor dumb wretchedly ignorant warlord's buffoon- your attitude will surely get you introduced to Allah sooner rather than later, but if you die thinking the USA is a Nazi state, you will not only die for nothing, but also in ignorance- or do you really believe we do medical experiments on prisoners, gas detainees and burn them in gas ovens, and ship prisoners from around the world to death camps? The line from the poem by Edwin Markham comes to mind- "Who hath blown out the light within this nimble brain?" (The Man with the Hoe)

Wise up or be the confetti after the parade- you float in the wind a short time and end up uncared for or noticed, flattened to the ground, worth nothing.

Again, thank you Buck Sargeant, for your pinache, machismo, and erudite wordsmithing. Keep it up!
-civ. contactor frequently outside the wire

"Could you elaborate a bit more on what you found so objectionable? "

I guess I was purposefully vague there because I didn't want to get too personal. I have always found your blogs to be relatively constructive, but found this last blog to be SO negative and honestly, insulting, to my own military family, Muslims and other groups that include many good people. I'm sure that it was cathartic for you to write and I understand, from very personal experience, the need to vent such frustrations, but the overwhleming pessimism that follows deployments always makes me sad and the read left me with a bad taste in my mouth. It's simply more than necessary and I think it is unhealthy on a multitude of levels (personally, locally, globally)... As for the comparison to Perez...if this continues, my reason for reading would be out of morbid curiosity.

H. Short,

If you read Steyn's argument fully, you'll see that he did not attempt to create his own new demographic figures, all he is doing is highlighting the trends that are already taking place. It is a fact that most of Europe (with the exception of EU-petitioner Turkey) has native-born populations that are currently not breeding at replacement levels (defined as a fertility rate of at least 2.1). This means that Europeans are increasing not marrying and not having enough children to replace themselves once they die. His argument is that their "cradle to grave" lifestyle largesse has caused them to mortgage the continent's future due in return for living it up in the past.

The only populations in Europe not following this death-spiral are their large Muslim immigrant populations, who incidentally are resisting (or have been shut out from) assimilation into the culture at large. This is not comparable to the USA because one, birth rates in the US remain high and growing, and two, the hispanic immigrant populations tend to share our American values, as opposed to either passive or outright support for extremist killers.

Some dying countries in similar predicaments like Japan (although without immigrants to help slow the bleeding) are already beginning to panic and attempting to coerce their people into having more children via legislative incentives. Europe, however, seems content to drive itself directly over the cliff with the top down and the music blaring.

Your concern with the "feudal elitist/serf mentality" is indeed part of the problem, but that alone will not create Eurabia within 50 years and the effective disappearance of Western civilization from the lands of its origin. But refusing to breed WILL. And these are long-term trends that cannot be reversed overnight.

Anonymous author of "I guess I was purposefully vague there because I didn't want to get too personal. I have always found your blogs to be relatively constructive, but found this last blog to be SO negative and honestly, insulting, to my own military family, Muslims and other groups that include many good people." (Can't you just give yourself a fake name to make this easier?),

I still am at a loss as to what in Allah's name you are referring to. I can't answer your argument if you patently refuse to even make one.

-Buck

What a post! Good to have you back.

Love the new digs (and thanks for changing to the white font).

B.S. - Let me be more clear - I'm insulted by the fact that you imply that members of my family (Green Bean Gobblers) don't face danger downrange simply because they aren't ground troops.

"It is an exaggeration that serves all the Force-Pro Fobbits, Big League Chooers, Green Zone Goblins, and Green Bean Gobblers equally, measured directly by how many times deskbound TOC-roaches, embed-wetting reporters, or KBR commandos breathlessly describe on their MySpace pages their own heroic braving of enemy rocket or mortar attacks that even the cherriest line soldier would sleep through."

There is a very good chance, uh, no huge chance, that they have frequently saved the asses of those like you, while being shot at by the same bad guys you face, despite the fact that their feet have never touched the ground outside of an FOB. Have a little respect!

I'm not making any argument against your blog because it's your perspective/reality - but your perspective is narrow-minded and in the long run, I think that attitudes like yours make it hard for people to swallow this war - hate breeds hate and you come off as hateful, spiteful, over the top pissed off, and grouchy...and you have every right, but a little constructive wording would be helfpul.

Your wording implies a sentiment that Muslims becoming the majority in Europe and elsewhere would somehow put us in the throws of hell...insulting to most Muslims, I believe. I'm sure you don't see an ounce of truth in anything I'm saying, because I'm exactly the kind of bed-wetter that you despise, except that I married into a life that requires me to tolerate and support, on some level, the actions of our military leaders. Oh well...As I said, I've enjoyed what you have said and the many ways in which you have enlightened my views on the state of the world, but my patience for narrow-minded attitudes is short.

Call me: CNN friend

Man I would rather read that TF Boggs crap then this pessimistic blather. Oh and did you know that you spell Seargent wrong?

Wait I posted too early. Now that Anon is back with some clarification I have some other things to say.

Just out of curiosity how do the people who stay on the FOB save our asses? And how are they shot at by the same guys who shoot at us outside the FOB? I don't get that last one at all. All the Fobbits I know were more concerned with how their pants were bloused then they were with what the hell we had to deal with outside the "wire." Not that there aren't some good Fobbits, I know some actually, but I just don't see it how you see it Anon. Maybe that's cause I was there for 2 years, or not.

Oh and if Muslims do become a majority and they get their way and impose Sharia on everyone, then yes we would be in the throws of Hell in my opinion. CNN friend I think your so open-minded that your brains have all but completely fallen out.

t.f boggs - you, at least, made me laugh today...anyway, there are these amazing vehicles that transport people through the air...it's a pretty cool technology...;-)

CNN Friend

Ahhh, then those flying people wouldn't be fobbits now would they. What we have here is a failure to agree on definitions. A Fobbit is someone who doesn't leave the FOB. A pilot (if that is what you refer to. Gosh I am just so dumb that sometimes I don't get anything) does leave the FOB hence they are not Fobbits.

Buck, loved your post and your witty dissection of the Iraq Surrender Group report. I was both a red zone MP and a contractor fobbit(not by choice). I don't mind at all your pointing out the relative difference in danger. It is simply truth.

To CNN Friend, one day you will realize that we are not at war in Iraq but fighting a global insurgency conducted by transnational jihadists who exercise a level of warfare in each area appropriate to the development of their strength. In the US, they use propaganda to leverage our foolish multi-culturalism as a means of gaining political strength. In Europe they are using what an Imam recently called the "child bomb" and low-grade civil discontent. Google the rioting in France. In Iraq they use classic guerilla tactics. Please wake up. It's not a bad dream! We need your help (or at least for the left to stop helping the enemy). btw, don't accuse me or Buck of racism. I've lost several Iraqi friends who died because they believed Iraq could change.

t.f - read more carefully

Enforcer: What exactly do you propose that I can do? I'm interested in your view on that. I understand what we're up against, but I also believe that human civilization goes through a natural course of war and peace and that the US will not ALWAYS be in the lead.

Additionally, I think this is a much bigger problem in the Muslim world than in the non-Muslim world and because it is based on ideology...they will be the only ones who can resolve it. Do you really think that WE have the ability to eradicate jihad terrorists? I think that the very idea of us being AGAINST them is giving them what they want...feed the fire, feed the fire. Are you really so sure that OUR way is the RIGHT way? Don't get me wrong, democracy and capitalism are great (for us), but they have their drawbacks, too, and I'm not going to abide by the idea that everyone sovereign nation should be like us.

CNN Friend

Thanks Buck for this blog. It is pretty tough to fight terrorists and other stupid people at the same time..ain't it? But you do a great job of doing both. A multi-tasker we'd say.
You are inspiring to us. You and TF.
A&N

Having been a reader and commenter on military blogs for a while, I may risk getting booed off the blog but here goes anyway: CNN Friend is presenting a viewpoint both civil and reasoned. While readers of Buck’s excellent blog may be of a slightly different ideological bent, I believe CNN Friend is here at Buck’s blog for the same reason most of us are (Except anonymous “Die American Die”) To learn and to try to discern the truth. I find it a disservice to blogger and reader alike that dissenting views, no matter how minor, are immediately met by a chorus of name-calling, insult throwing, etc. etc. We all are edified by honest intellectual discourse. CNN Friend may actually have a point I (or Buck) hadn’t already considered. If I don’t agree, I can move on. Taking a blowtorch to (reasonable) dissention just reduces discussion to blah blah blah. Buck is keeping it reasonable, how 'bout if us here in the peanut gallery do the same?

CNN friend (isn't that handle an oxymoron, btw?),

"I'm insulted by the fact that you imply that members of my family (Green Bean Gobblers) don't face danger downrange simply because they aren't ground troops."

Sorry you're insulted, but it's the truth.

"There is a very good chance...that they have frequently saved the asses of those like you, while being shot at by the same bad guys you face, despite the fact that their feet have never touched the ground outside of an FOB."

I'm with T.F. You're going to have to explain this one to me. If you don't leave the FOB, you're not in danger. Period. That's why we sleep quite soundly there and don't carry loaded weapons. The brass only makes us even carry them because they're afraid we'll lose them if we don't. (And I know many examples in which they'd be correct in this assumption).

Besides, "fobbit" is simply a bunker mentality that people without much to do in Iraq get stuck in. They're not used to even the commonplace dangers, so they exaggerate the ones they do experience. The hordes of fobbit "tourists" who attempted to joy ride on our daily patrols just so they could get pictures of themselves in the city were legion. And then you have to put up with twitchy guys practically doing combat rolls in the streets in response to everyday occurrences that I wouldn't even stub out my cigarette for.

"I think that attitudes like yours make it hard for people to swallow this war...you come off as hateful, spiteful, over the top pissed off, and grouchy..."

Only when I wake up on the wrong side of the cot! Actually, I thought it was attitudes like CNN's that make it hard for people to swallow this war. You know, "everything is a disaster, troops can't stop dying, Iraqis all hate us, blah, blah, blah..."

BTW, am I correct in assuming you work for CNN in some capacity, or just really really like them? Because that would explain quite a bit. The journalists from Newsweek I met in Baghdad were Ernie Pyle compared to the CNN people. And considering what I think of Newsweek's professionalism, that's saying a lot.

"Your wording implies a sentiment that Muslims becoming the majority in Europe and elsewhere would somehow put us in the throws of hell"

Um... yes. You are correct, sir.

"...insulting to most Muslims, I believe."

Not my problem. What is my problem is a bunch of head-chopping fanatics -- OR THE PEOPLE WHO SYMPATHIZE WITH THEIR VIEW (key point, hence the CAPS) conquering Western Civ via maternity ward rather than by sword, as was Islam traditionally spread.

I respect and like the huge percentage of Iraqis (and even some Afghans) who are simply Muslim by default, in that it is the majority religion in the country in which they were born and they are familiar and comfortable with its customs and beliefs. However, neither do they wish to impose Sharia or a Somalia-style Islamic Courts System on themselves or the rest of us. They don't wish death on children simply to further their own twisted religio-political aims. Many, many ordinary Iraqis (easily the majority of them) are on our side, which by way of them actually getting to choose their own leaders for once, means that their government will also remain on our side. The same cannot be said for the disparate collection of Muslim immigrants currently flooding Europe. They care nothing about being "European" (whatever that means), but only in eventually remaking the continent in their own image. The Continent will be the new Caliphate because death-spiraling Euros don't have enough spine or sperm to fight for the future of their own civilization. This is not yet a certainty, but statistically it will soon approach that point of no return.

Better go visit Paris and Rome while you still can without a head scarf or a beard.

"Do you really think that WE have the ability to eradicate jihad terrorists?"

Yes, I have first hand knowledge that we do and can, but only if we are willing. Never underestimate the power of political will. It's more important than military might.

"democracy and capitalism are great (for us), but they have their drawbacks, too, and I'm not going to abide by the idea that everyone sovereign nation should be like us."

Political and economic freedom has flourished in every single place on earth it has ever been allowed to. Your assumption that Muslim states are too primitive to handle it is what I find offensive. Perhaps its success in Iraq would be more obvious if there wasn't a global movement to defeat it by any means necessary, including mass murder of civilians. Just a thought.

Mama: Thanks for understanding where I'm coming from!

Buck: I would say to you, like T.F., that you are not reading my comments carefully enough.

"Sorry you're insulted, but it's the truth....I'm with T.F. You're going to have to explain this one to me."

You're the one in the wrong here. For OPSEC reasons, I prefer to not go into the jobs of my family members, but you don't have to set foot on the ground outside of an FOB to leave one...get it? Have you never received air support for your activities on the ground? Do you think that the pilots and other crew members of all of the armed forces who are dropping people, vehicles, bombs and bullets that spend all of their ground time inside an FOB never face danger? I'm sure you've confiscated enough RPG's to know that's a fallacy. If not that would be beyond insulting...but don't worry, when you need them, they'll still be helping your conceited ass, anyway!

"I thought it was attitudes like CNN's that make it hard for people to swallow this war. You know, "everything is a disaster, troops can't stop dying, Iraqis all hate us, blah, blah, blah..."I thought it was attitudes like CNN's that make it hard for people to swallow this war. You know, "everything is a disaster, troops can't stop dying, Iraqis all hate us, blah, blah, blah...""

I'm not affiliated with CNN - I simply chose that name because I prefer it as my news source over the military favored FOX News. I agree with your take about the media - though I apply it generally to ALL forms of American media - including your blog. I agree with Michael Moore's idea that we have taken on a culture of fear in the US, and I try to avoid giving in.

For this very reason, I would like to think that even if Europe was taken over by Muslims, that the majority of them would fall somewhere to the moderate side of jihadism (in the terrorist sense - because many believe that jihad does not mean taking up arms and killing everyone who does not follow sharia, but means rising up in favor of Islam on a personal level).

I'm only slightly more concerned about fundamentalists in the Muslim world than I am about the fundamentalists Christians in the US. Do I think they're all nuts! Hell yeah! Do I think they threaten our freedom every day that they spread their narrow-minded, end of the world, fear of God crap? Yes! Do I think we can change how they think? No...I think we can keep them out of political power positions. I think we can make laws that puts their sorry asses in jail when they kill a doctor who performs abortions while he walks to his car, but we can't stop them from being crazy! I realize that there is only so much preventative action that can be taken. Short of using violence to prevent violence, there's only so much that we can do, and the eye for an eye doesn't work well in the punitive sense unless you're willing to take it all the way - and here's where I agree, Westerners are too weak stomached for that. However, I don't think that's wrong...I'm glad that we're too weak stomached for that - it's what makes us free...there is no freedom when you live in fear...isn't that why we're over there? Oh - I forgot...WMDs and then there's that
thing called oil.

CNN Friend

CNN Friend (yeah, down with that "military-favoring" Fox News! Who do they think they are, anyway?),

"For OPSEC reasons, I prefer to not go into the jobs of my family members..."

People need to stop hiding behind "OPSEC OPSEC OPSEC" all the time. At least be bothered to figure out what it and isn't covered. Saying that you have a spouse or a sibling that's a pilot is about as far from an OPSEC violation as one can get.

Secondly, where did you ever get this idea that I'm anti-pilot? Heck, I once was in training to be one. Pilots aren't fobbits. Fobbits know who they are, and don't require any "calling out." You really need to get over this already.

"but don't worry, when you need them, they'll still be helping your conceited ass, anyway!"

While I certainly respect the job they do, let's get one thing straight. Kiowa and Apache pilots sent us on more wild goose chases through Mosul last year than I can count on a stick. When they would self-identify over the radio net that they were in the immediate area, you could hear the collective groan from the guys in your crew. But that being said, you're right. When the fit is hitting the shan, we'll gladly accept their help anytime.

"I would like to think that even if Europe was taken over by Muslims, that the majority of them would fall somewhere to the moderate side of jihadism"

You know, I'd "like" to think that too. I really would. But I would only be kidding myself.

"I'm only slightly more concerned about fundamentalists in the Muslim world than I am about the fundamentalists Christians in the US."

Whoa. And thus the other shoe finally drops. Mamaworecombatboots, care to revise your previous statement any at this point?

"Isn't that why we're over there? ...WMDs and then there's that thing called oil."

You know, I thought just this once I could engage a liberal in at least a somewhat rational dialogue. I stand corrected yet again. (sigh)

Using the word "Idiots", Buck, is not dismissing rational conversation. Idiots is a descriptive word....that I just couldn't find a better descriptive word for to describe...idiots. You did a great job, Buck, trying rational dialogue. You know somethimes it just seems a waste of time though. Very good job, however, of showing how ..lets see...what word can I use here...I've got it...idiots reason....or not.
A&N

Anybody who's honest with themselves and who's had a bit of personal interaction with others knows exactly what the deal is.

As observed in a recent coversation between a Fobbit and an 11-Bravo who had just met:

Green Zone Guy: "Some of you guys drove through once and were hanging out of their vehicles taking pictures of us. We thought you were impressed with us or something."

Breaking-down-doors-guy, respectful: "Don't be insulted or anything, but that might have been us. We couldn't believe guys inside the Green Zone were walking around wearing their IBA."

Green Zone Guy, thoughtful: "Dude, after hearing about what you've been doing, I'm not insulted at all."


"I'm only slightly more concerned about fundamentalists in the Muslim world than I am about the fundamentalist Christians in the US."

The other shoe finally drops indeed.

Anybody who's honest with themselves and who's had a bit of personal interaction with the other subjects of this post knows what the deal is, too.

I'll happily admit that I know little first hand about the fundamentalist jihadists that call themselves Muslims. However, I think that it is dangerous and against our best interest to willy-nilly group them in with the rest of the Muslim world. Cooperative effort with other Muslims is the only way to help contain terrorist efforts - therefore, choose your words wisely is my thought.

Buck - your view of OPSEC is so typical of an Army guy. I'm continually shocked by what non SOF groups will say and put out there about themselves. If you want to have a one on one email dialogue...cool, but I'm not posting personal shit on this blog...sorry, but my spouse would serve me a platter of "don't you know when to shut up?"...I do my best to contain what I can, when I can.

Surely, Shirley, you can elaborate on your thoughts about fundamentalist Christians - are you saying you don't think they have the ability to be a problem? You enjoy the crazy broad with her, "God is punishing you" signs standing in front of military funerals? She's just a few steps shy of joining a criminal organization, but she has every crazy right to believe what she believes. Nice, huh?

I would like to think that for once, I could engage in an intelligent dialogue with someone who think that Ann Coulter has a brain...just once..

mamaworecombatboots is right - I'm looking for the truth here, and if all you can do is throw your hands up in the air when I try to figure out what you mean, or better, what your idea of a solution is...well, so much for constructive dialogue.

CNN Friend

The number of fundamentalist Christians pales in comparison with Jihadists. I don't even know really where to start with this one other than if you took every isolated case of fundamentalists in this world we would be at this all day long. The fact is there are millions of Jihadists out there and a handful of crazy enough Christians to bomb abortion clinics. Your example doesn't even begin to compare and leaves me wondering who it is that really lives in a world of fear.

Saying that your husband is a pilot breaks no policies of OPSEC although if you don't want to share that info then you don't have to (something tells me I am too late with that comment).

It is you that needs to read more closely CNN friend. Buck and I both say that pilots aren't fobbits, we are refering to the battalion stallions that stay on the base all day and tell each other war stories about their Carpal Tunnel.

Until the "moderate" Muslims speak out against the crazier ones I will continue to lump them all in the same group. When fundamentalist Christians blow up abortion clinics other Christians are the first ones to speak up and condemn their actions. Where are the throngs of these so called moderates?

The shoe really dropped when you mentioned oil and WMDs. Now it is clear to everyone that you really have no clue what you are talking about and anyone who has paid attention to the facts in the last 4 years knows exactly what I am talking about.

Sweet dreams in fantasy land CNN friend. Those of us who live in the real world will continue to solve the big problems for you. Just keep droning on about that damn Bush administration and their lust for that Iraqi oil that hardly pumps out enough to satisfy a bio-diesel VW.

"your view of OPSEC is so typical of an Army guy."

And yours is pretty typical of a civilian who doesn't have the faintest clue of what you're talking about. Have you ever read a newspaper? You haven't noticed that every day they feature men and women alike fighting overseas, complete with their names, rank, hometown, theater of service, and job description? Isn't that a bit of a clue into what is and isn't OPSEC? Come now, use a little common sense. Or just look it up on the DOD site so you can finally stop blogging in perpetual fear.

On that note, when's the last time anyone blew up an abortion clinic? Because Muslims are blowing things up and killing people who oppose them all somewhere across the world every single day.

But go ahead, keep fearing those evil Christians. That'll help.

Boggs... man, you crack me up sometimes. Shouldn't you be studying for the LSAT right now?

I've got it Tim and Buck....could it possibly be that her spouse flys that little thing with wings around inside the FOB and never goes outside the wire? Heck, maybe he is a kite pilot for all we know, which is something I'd want to keep secret too come to think of it. Great blog Buck. You biggoted, sour puss, you.(sorry mamaworecombat boot...we know you hate the name calling)
Neatie AKA: No friend of CNN

You know, I’ve spent a lot more time off a FOB than on, and I’m not planning on buying a timeshare in Fallujah any time soon, but for all that you paint a pretty broad picture with “fobbits” and are surprised that people are offended. Of all the people I know who were wounded or died in Iraq, probably the worst case was a navy petty officer who died when the porta-john he was in was struck by a mortar. He never left the FOB to the best of my knowledge except in a bag, instead he was the best linguist and intelligence analyst I’ve met. Instead of doing the Baghdad census bureau route he worked 18 hours a day trying to locate high value items and send folks to somebody’s doorstep instead of to some general neighborhood. He out worked the battle captains I know, made more of a tangible difference than any of the trigger pullers I know and bled out in a pool of his own piss for the efforts.

I don’t deny that every time you get in the turret of a gun truck and roll out the gate you experience the joy of the IED lottery, but for all that it’s not like you’re storming Normandy Beach. So before you get all high and mighty bashing some Joe’s wife who gets to sit at home every year you are gone and hope that the phone not ringing for 24 hours isn’t a black out that ends with a knock on the door, keep in mind that maybe she has a reason for being a little sensitive about you appearing to bad mouth her husband.

As for WMD’s and oil, are you really that surprised that they keep coming up? It’s not like the American public was convinced to send troops to Iraq because it was the only reasonable place we could invade and hope to make a difference in the region (even if that was true). There were and are legitimate reasons to have invaded Iraq, and as long as we don’t just admit defeat and walk away there is still a decent chance of accomplishing something there. That said, this war was sold on false principles, founded on unrealistic projections and expectations and for every military success on the ground there have been a dozen major political failings that have brought us to where we are. Our administration has consistently looked at the range of possible outcomes to every scenario and proclaimed the most sunnily optimistic option to be the obvious likelihood. To plan a war where you assume that the best possible outcome is always the most likely is sheer fallacy bordering on delusion, and to fire the commanders who give an alternate reading without considering their viewpoint is simply unacceptable.

The cost of this war is not just in dollars or lives, but in our future ability to prosecute wars around the globe (and I’m just guessing here but I think we can look forward to plenty of those in years to come). We have dramatically dropped the standards for recruiting, effectively broken the National Guard and abused the IRR system. In fact, as far as I can tell the only thing that is unaffected and firmly in place is the garrison mentality that consumes the senior NCO support chain in country and out. Moreover, to say we need to rethink our strategy and maybe we need more troops to do the job would have been a lot easier for the American public to bear in 2004 than 3 year and $400 billion later (American Enterprise Institute estimate, not some liberal anti war group).

Although I certainly know why most of the Army is not thrilled by Democratic control of the Congress, maybe it’s time they started pushing Republican senators for a diplomatic strategy and execution to match the Army’s work on the ground. No war is worthwhile outside of a larger diplomatic picture and this one is no exception. You want to stop dealing with Syrian supported mujahideen coming over the border, Iranian built IEDs and financial support of the Mahdi Army? Better figure out a realistic deal you can cut with Iran and Syria. As distasteful as talking to their governments is, we are in no position to invade and occupy either of them and strategic bombing will only escalate their will to see us fail. You want to slow the advance of global jihad? Better start addressing the legitimate concerns of the moderate countries you aren’t planning to invade (read: India and Indonesia). It’s a lot harder to recruit people to fight the kafiriin in America for their crusade against Islam when over half the Muslims in the world are on your side.

Sorry this went so long, just thought someone had to say something that wasn’t high fives and good games.

I didn't really want to continue to comment on non-issue points, but this cracks me up!

"Have you ever read a newspaper? You haven't noticed that every day they feature men and women alike fighting overseas, complete with their names, rank, hometown, theater of service, and job description? Isn't that a bit of a clue into what is and isn't OPSEC? Come now, use a little common sense. "

Since when does what the media write/publish/release indicate what falls under OPSEC??? I'll make sure I pay more attention to what Geraldo is reporting on and use that as my guideline! Common sense...Geez! I thought you were a smart guy, but I'm laughing so hard in dismay that I'm about to crap my already bed-wetten liberal pants!

CNN Friend

kafir: Thanks for being on-point AND articulate! This thread has digressed into a pissing match (and yes, I just added to it, but I couldn't help it) - you've pretty much brought up every single thing I can think of that I'd like to hear Buck comment on!

Ah, just like the old days...

The only problem is that Kafir brought up every single point that I already spent a year and a half refuting, so forgive me if I don't feel the need to yet again rebut tired liberal talking points. If at this point a No Blood For Oil bumper sticker is still a compelling argument for you, than you're beyond reasoning with. It's not that I don't like to argue, it's that I would like to get another post written sometime this month.

Everyone has a "I knew someone who got blown up in a portajohn" story. Believe me, I've heard them all. We had guys who died in four-wheeler accidents on the FOB or shot themselves because their girlfriends left them or just got extremely unlucky and found themselves hit by a one-in-a-million shot by Haji. My point wasn't to denigrate their sacrifice. Everyone who serves their country during wartime deserves respect. But that still doesn't change the fact that the overwhelming percentage of OEF and OIF vets are people who do very little over there except harass and irritate the rest of us. They then come home and help paint a "war is hell" picture of Iraq that is exaggerated because they considered the routine to be "scary."

My perspective is simply a fairly common attitude among Army infantry noncoms and specialists. It's not to paint a picture of ourselves as Rambo, it's annoyance at pogues who often try and depict their experience as WWII for people back home who don't know any better. Doing so goes directly to affecting popular support of the war. If people had any idea of how dull most of the daily routine in Iraq truly is, perhaps they wouldn't be so quick to throw up their hands in disgust.

Back to OPSEC (jeez...), the military decides what it is and isn't, not you and not me. Please just look it up if you're confused. The media operates in theater under the military's approval. Geraldo violated it over three years ago, has he been back since? Are you telling me you think every one of Michael Yon's dispatches have been OPSEC violations? Come on, you're just embarrassing yourself now.

I'll give you military experts the last word since I know you won't be able to resist. But I'm moving on. But I did enjoy the repartee, it's been awhile since anyone's picked a fight on here. I was starting to get lonely.

Yes.

The article was great but the dialogue that occurred above cracked me up!! I agree with the points of the article and those clarified here by Buck and Tim. Actually, I was going to post my opinion regarding the "moderate" muslim but Boggs made my point.

CNN friend, you got so hung up about Buck possibly insulting your Fobbit family member that you missed the whole point of what he was saying.

Strykeraunt:
No, I'm pretty sure I got it, I just think it's a little over-the-top...and at this point, I'm as bored with his ideas as he is with mine.
CNN Friend

Post a Comment

"Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed." -- Abraham Lincoln