Monday, October 16, 2006
An Iraqi army soldier from 3rd Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army Division holds a small girl during a visit to a village outside Mujahida.
U.S. Navy Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jackey Bratt.
You want to abandon them to Isamo-Fascism?
When he posted that above, Master Gunner was boots on the ground in Iraq, on his second deployment. As I have watched the oh-so-predictable events in Iraq this last while, I have also listened to our Veterans and their families voice their opinions.
I remain so beyond furious about the almost inevitable collapse that is Iraq. As always, those who have been there, done that in Iraq - paid the price -have been sharing their opinions.
From John Nagel in The Washington Post:
Iraq veteran: This is not what my friends fought and died for
John Nagl, a veteran of both Iraq wars,
[...]For a veteran of the fighting there—and proponent of the counterinsurgency strategy that provided a chance for the country to stabilize—watching the recent unraveling of Iraq has been disheartening but not surprising.[...]
We are reaping the instability and increased threat to U.S. interests that we have sown through the failure of our endgame in Iraq and our indecisiveness in Syria. There is a clear lesson here for those contemplating a complete withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Having given al-Qaeda a new lease on life in the Middle East, will we provide another base where it began, in Afghanistan and Pakistan?
This is not the end state my friends fought for and died for...
He has much more to say, much food for thought, and I urge all to go read it here.
His words are being echoed throughout the Veteran and the Gold Star Family community in the US. (And beyond.) According to statistics, up to the end of 2012, 4,486 US Troops paid the ultimate Sacrifice deployed in Iraq, fighting to ensure Freedom - and a future - for Iraqi children.
A Gold Star Wife shared what I know are the same thoughts of many American families who lost precious loved ones in Iraq:
I had some kind of feelings this evening as I watched a piece on the take over of Mosul. I thought to myself, why did Scott die there if its not any different? What has changed? I've never felt this way but tonight seeing everything happening there it really hit me.
This is the reason [my husband] use to say you don't go in and battle and then just go home because if you do, things end up worse than when you went in. I know what he was trying to explain fully now.
It's just got so many thinking what was the point then? All our guys (and gals) gone.. For what exactly? To watch it go back to what it was and then we can go and repeat the process?
He did his job, it's too bad those in position of power who are supposed to be called leaders of our country aren't able to do their jobs. They all deserve to be in jail ... in my opinion.
Her opinion IS shared by the Gold Star Families (and Veterans) I have spoken with.
It must be obvious to anybody paying even a 'smidgen' of attention, that the current US administration has failed our Warriors and their Families. They are failures at foreign policy, and their failures continue to exact a high price from our children of Fallen Military families AND the Iraqi children. I continue to be haunted by a phone call I had with a young Iraqi man who faced daily danger choosing to work alongside our Troops. He was the proud father of a newborn girl. I spent a long time talking with him, as he spoke of his commitment to our Troops, as they fought side by side to ensure a future of Freedom for his children.
Little Iraqi girls such as this one:
I first became aware of her in February 2007, when another US Soldier, deployed in Iraq at the time, wrote to a few of us, sharing some of his thoughts:
What are we doing here? That is a question I hear quite often from those who oppose our actions in the Middle East. What are we doing here? We are giving people the opportunity to fight for their freedom. Freedom is not a concept that is given, it is earned.
We all made a promise to children like the Iraqi girl above, that we WILL NOT FAIL. I looked at this picture the most today writing this letter. I kept asking myself if I have done everything I can to give her the opportunity to work for freedom and live in true peace. I hope I have. I know others have given everything in that cause. 3,000 have given their lives so little children like this girl will not live under tyranny. Many thousands more have given years of their lives to fight the rising tide of tyrants in the world.
To those people, I give my sincerest thanks and love, as everyone who reads this should also...
To those that want to surrender for “peace at any cost” or “cut and run” because they are too selfish and pathetic to defend their own Freedom, let alone the Freedom of others, I ask you to look into this young lady’s eyes and tell her that her life is insignificant.
[...] Tell her that she is worthless to you. Tell her that you will gladly let the terrorists kill her and her family, and sleep very well afterwards knowing that your cowardly treason killed her. Look her in the eyes and tell her that those who were given everything free of charge will expend nothing to give her the most basic need of humanity. Look her in the eyes and tell her that she is not worthy of being Free, but your worthless hide somehow is.
What about the “cut and run” mentality? I can only say to the people who support this stupid notion the following: If we cut and run from the Middle East, we WILL have terrorists on our own streets in America. Will you grab a gun and defend our home then? Or will you continue to cower and stab you defenders in the back? Will you fight as a Free Person or die as a slave in an Islamic Caliphate? This IS the war which will determine whether Western Freedom or an Islamic Caliphate slave state will prevail. Iraq is just one battle in this war.
If we win here, the terror supporting states surrounding Iraq will fall....
He is not the only Combat Troop/Veteran who was committed to the mission, and the Victory of that mission. As always, our Troops, but apparently not the MIC administration, - understood the necessity of staying the course, and WINNING.
From The Guardian (UK):
I remember Mosul, but Iraq 3.0 is what happens when you exit a war early
Five conversations in a veteran's mind, before and after the return of Isis – none with a plan, none with a point. Just death. What else can you say?
13 June 2014
Tuesday 10 June 2013, Starbucks, Los AngelesAn ominous Facebook message: So what do u think?
I asked myself: is this person drunk?
Think about what?
My friend answered: Mosul.
Reports about it "falling", my friend wrote.
Pissed off that it was taking me forever to get my cup of coffee, I responded: That's "news"? People are surprised? Really?
We had lost the war. Of course Mosul had fallen, and of course Tikrit and maybe even Baghdad were on the way. I'm no general or military strategist, but I'm pretty sure that's what happens when you exit early, when you leave without finishing a job: the shithole gets shittier, and hell comes back.
I thought about why my friend cared what I thought. I thought about what the 4,487 soldiers killed in action would think about this week. Sadly, we'll never know. Maybe that's a good thing. Maybe they wouldn't want to see that this is what the end of the Iraq war looks like – like the middle of it, all over again – but very few soldiers would be surprised.
Monday 20 October 2003, Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington stateA pre-deployment briefing, to provide my entire infantry unit – a couple hundred infantrymen seated in a room in at Carey Theatre – answers to the question: What is your mission?
The answers were as follows:
- We are here to help Iraq restore its independence.
- We will work to eliminate the enemy that continues to hinder the progress for the Iraqi people.
- Our efforts support the continuing fight in the Global War on Terrorism.
- We will remain in Iraq until our mission is complete.
One day my son is going to ask me at the dinner table: Daddy, why did we lose the Iraq war?
I have years to prepare an answer for my son. Right now, this is what I think: We were winning when I was there. We were winning when we were there.
That's about all I can say. We lost.
Of course, I could also say the same same thing my father thought about his alma mater: A lot of good Americans died in the war.
Period. End of discussion.
What else can you say?..
I DO disagree vehemently with his statement of "We lost". Our Troops did NOT lose the War. The politicians lost it. GO, read the rest of what Colby Buzzell has to say, here...
If anybody is not yet convinced that it IS Obama's epic failure that is the underpinning of the current slaughter in Iraq, take a look at this.
From BlackFive, another Veteran:
June 12, 2014
The Hubris and Incompetence of Barack ObamaLeadership is hard. Harry Truman wasn’t the best president ever, but at least he knew his job. When it came time to decide in 1945 after the Potsdam Declaration, "Bomb or No bomb," he made the call and did the right thing, which was a very hard thing. ..
Contrast that with what comes from the Occupant in Chief; lots and lots of "I just learned about this the same time you did" followed generally by "It was/wasn't a youtube video" "It was (insert policy maker/leaders' name here) decision" followed closely by not doing anything of significance or involving competence and then pivoting to solving the student loan crisis.
This is what “leading from behind” without any leadership experience at all combined with the view of an unenlightened academic who was put in charge by the unintelligent looks like. This is the picture of incompetence, combined with a dangerous soup of a lack of forethought and foresight and an inability to make any decision regarding anything more complicated than ordering lunch.
This is not the failure of Bush, as much as the trolls and the uninformed want to hope and wish that it is; this is the failure of Obama. Failure. Utter and complete failure as a leader...
Deebow has much more here - GO read - and his accurate assessment of Obama's failure is echoed throughout the Military community that I know and love. Obama can bob and weave all he likes, but the facts IS the facts. No amount of political spin will change the inevitable truth of what is happening today in Iraq.
Obama and his minions may fool 'some of the people some of the time...' but the blame for what is happening in Iraq, since Obama took over this War, is all his. The buck for the carnage going on in Iraq really DOES stop at Obama, nobody else. Hell, even one of his own mouthpieces recently claimed that Obama doesn't give himself enough credit for his 'accomplishments.'
As an attack on Baghdad becomes ever more likely, and Obama sends in the Marines, this despite having said recently that "boots on the ground" was not an option - he lied, again??? - there can be no denying: This IS Obama's War - not 'Bush's War.'
As I have watched him these last days, I am reminded of an American Hero, SGT Eddie Jeffers, whose words resonate from beyond the grave. SGT Jeffers was a Warrior who gave his life in Iraq. Eddie Jeffers was also a prolific writer, and his Sacrifice - along with his words - will stay with me forever.
From Gazing at the Flag:
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Hope Rides Alone by SGT Eddie Jeffers[written February 1, 2007]
I sweat, and I am tired. My back aches from the loads I carry. Young American boys look to me to direct them in a manner that will someday allow them to see their families again...and yet, I too, am just a boy....my age not but a few years more than that of the ones I lead. I am stressed, I am scared, and I am paranoid...because death is everywhere. It waits for me, it calls to me from around street corners and windows, and it is always there.
And to think, I volunteered for this...
We are the hope of the Iraqi people. They want what everyone else wants in life: safety, security, somewhere to call home. They want a country that is safe to raise their children in. Not a place where their children will be abducted, raped and murdered if they do not comply with the terrorists demands. They want to live on, rebuild and prosper. And America has given them the opportunity, but only if we stay true to the cause and see it to its end. ..
We must...stand and fight!
Isn't that what America is about anyway?
-Sergeant Eddie Jeffers is a US Army Infantryman serving in Ramadi, Iraq
Editor's Note: Eddie was killed in Iraq today...
Obama would be well-served to go read this and the other columns on that site which SGT Eddie Jeffers wrote while he was in Iraq.
In my opinion, Obama has failed every single one of our Fallen Heroes, their Families and our Veterans. He continues to fail them, and the children of Iraq, every single day.
EPIC - DANGEROUS - FAIL.
[Related: The Collapsing Obama Doctrine - Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.]