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Thursday, December 07, 2006

One Soldiers Words on Politicians

T. F. Boggs, a sergeant in the Army reserves who has spent
two tours IN Iraq has some very harsh, but well deserved words for our politicans. We often ignore what our military says because it does not "fit" with many of the views about Iraq. The "views" from those sitting at home on our asses watching the nightly news, compared to the views of those IN Iraq fighting and witnessing firsthand what is happening on the ground. It seems almost silly that anyone not in Iraq would think they know more about Iraq than our soldiers that are on the ground, because they can flip the channels and see the news. Silly, yet that is exactly how many think.

Boggs says:

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

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

No, Mr. Boggs, you aren't the only one. Since you have spent two tours IN Iraq, I would say yours is the opinion though that I would listen to, because only an idiot does not pay attention to those who know the realities on the ground, and would rather pay attention to one sided reports that do not reflect the accurate picture in Iraq. There are many out there.

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

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

Now another soldier is also speaking out, in an interview. Capt. Eric Coulson, in Anbar, his blog is Badgers Forward and he gave an interview to Frank Warner.

U.S. Army Capt. Eric Coulson is commander of A Company, 321 Engineer Battalion, based in Ar Ramadi, al-Anbar Province, Iraq.

Today he took part in an e-mail interview, which Central Command helped to arrange, with me. Among his observations: Iraq can keep its democracy if we are patient. And the food is great in Falluja.

FW: The Department of Defense tells me you’re commanding A Company, 321 Engineer Battalion, and your blog says you are a lawyer in the Army Reserve, 38 years old. Is that correct? Of the 111 people in Company A, how many are men, how many women?

Capt. Coulson: I am an attorney and was in private practice in St. Louis, Missouri prior to deployment. I am married, I have two dogs and a cat. I am one of those crazy people who consider them my kids. Yes we have 111 people here including detachments; that includes two women.

Now, to interrupt here, please make sure people like John Kerry and Charlie Rangel sees this... the man was a lawyer, that gave up his practice to go fight in Iraq. He didn't join because he "had" to, or because he wasn't able to have a career as Rangel suggests about those who join the military and he is well educated if he was able to create a career as a lawyer.

Back to the interview:

FW: Is al-Qaida influence or presence noticeable there? Or is the insurgency based primarily on common criminal elements, or tensions between former Baathists and the newly empowered Shiite majority?

Capt. Coulson: AQ is the biggest insurgent threat here, aided by ex Baathists and common criminals. There is virtually no Shia presence here.

That is a quick point to Nancy Pelosi who doesn't believe that al-Qaeda is a determining factor in Iraq..... Listen to your soldiers Nancy... your dislike of the military should not shut down your whole brain!!!!

FW: Finally, my blog tries to make the liberal case for liberating Iraq: that transforming a nation from tyranny to democracy is in the best liberal spirit of defending the defenseless and freeing the oppressed. Do you see any incompatibility between liberalism and what the U.S. armed forces are trying to accomplish in Iraq?

Capt. Coulson: Liberalism as currently understood by much of the mainstream political community is incompatible with the objectives of the US in Iraq and the military option in general. But one must understand that “Liberalism” today as embodied by the baby boom generation that came of age in the 1960’s during the Vietnam war has nothing to do with classical liberalism as one might recognize from an earlier time.

One will note that the “anti-war” protests of the Vietnam War ended as soon as the draft did. One has not seen protests on that scale this time because there is no draft. It’s not about the correctness of the endeavor, it’s about being personally convienent to the person.

I closed down a law practice in St. Louis to come do this. I do not have a job to go back to. I know others that have done similar things, but not one has been what I consider to be a liberal. I have looked at your webpage and have concluded that your world view has many similarities to mine and I would not consider myself “liberal” in today’s sense and understanding of the word.

Read the whole interview, it is interesting. I simply hi-lighted the points I believed were relevant to this post about listening to those that are on the ground, speaking from their experience in Iraq.

A couple quick notes for those that even care what our soldiers are saying, my post on how the soldiers in Iraq views the press coverage, gives a very clear picture about the soldiers disdain for the press coverage and how the American people are hearing only what the press corps deem fit instead of the "truth".

Then make sure you see the other military news that came out yesterday, yet the press has completely ignored it, simply because it was GOOD news and not bad.

186 k per second is also noticing and caring what the soldiers have to say.

Other discussions on the ISG report: