Monday, April 24, 2006

Views from the War Zone

Those who oppose the war invariably say they nevertheless support the troops. Some even claim to speak for the troops. In a previous post (Troops in Support of the War, 4/13/06) I presented a response to the anti-warriors from Marine veteran Wade Zirkle and his Vets for Freedom organization. Zirkle objects to those who say the war is a disaster and the troops are demoralized. Says Zirkle, the morale of the trigger-pulling class of today's fighting force is strong.

One of the trigger-pulling class is Palos Verdes Marine Brian Weiss, who has this to say about the whiners who frequent my blog comment space.

RE: Troops in Support of the War

Many worthy things have been achieved by war. It seems to me that these whining people are once again blaming the US for trying to protect itself. I have no problem with diplomacy, but it is tough to use rational words with complete lunatics, like in the cases of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and North Korea. I know that we will be safe only when we intervene with our military.

It is completely unacceptable to take the Democratic point of view and wait for American blood to be spilled before we strike. I waited for the 2004 election to be over before I joined the military, as I was not going into the service with a Democrat in office. I want a hawkish Commander In Chief who will not only punish the people responsible for the 2001 attacks but also will ensure, as President Bush has, that we will use any means necessary to prevent future attacks(including wire taps).

Most of the people whining here seem to forget that we MUST be proactive, and that sticking our heads in the sand will not fix the problem that was handed to us after years of terrorism mismanagement by the Clinton folks. I know we will be safe at least until the next election, and that I really have to work hard to elect another hawkish Republican to protect our future.

As per the comments in regards to Bill's service: Bill serves me and this country in many ways (do they??), with the unrelenting support he has always offered to the military, he always sides with Americans (a lesson some Liberals should learn), he is a true patriot, and he is a great American. I only wish I could see the patriotism, caring, and support coming from the Democratic side of the house.

All too often the Democrats want to use anything they can to justify their position (like editorializing the American deaths in the war) instead of putting some positive energy into being truly supportive. Like all of my brothers and sisters in the Military, we volunteered for our service. I am here in a combat zone, with 270 California Marines who have dropped their personal lives to serve their country in a just mission.

I would give my life a thousand times over to provide safety and freedom to all Americans. I only wish all Americans had the same devotion to the country as I do. Imagine the successes the US could achieve!


Thank you again and again for your service Brian.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another letter:

...My time in Iraq has always involved finding things to convince myself that I can be proud of my actions; that I was a part of something just. But no matter what pro-war argument I came up with, I pictured my smirking commander-in-chief, thinking he was fooling a nation. I discovered that the result of the war and the actions of G.W. cannot be treated as the same issue. Bush accidentally did a good thing for the Iraqi people. After the fact he's starting to claim humanitarian intentions for going to war - obviously bullshit. But he realizes that that is the only positive outcome. I could explain what I've seen here; a people forced into poverty & ignorance – but I'll spare you. I try not to think about the ultimate future of this place. I'm sure we'll cause them to fall victim to Banana Republic and Joe Millionaire, with a puppet president and monopolized oil industry. But there will be plenty of time in the future to worry about those things....


...You'd be surprised at how many of the guys I talked to in my company and others believed that the president's scare about Saddam's WMD was a bunch of bullshit and that the real motivation for this war was only about money. There was also a lot of crap that many companies, not just marine companies, had to go through with not getting enough equipment to fulfill their missions when they crossed the border. It was a miracle that our company did what it did the two months it was staying in Iraq during the war. As an MP company, we need hardback humvees so we can mount weapons such as 50 cals and mk19's. When our company got there, there were mostly worn out vehicles from the last war, and everything was completely disorganized. It amazes me with all the money our government spends on the military, all the foul-ups and screwed up things we've had to put up with during this campaign.

9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Brian's military service is admirable. Obviously his politcal views are aligned with yours, and are equally extreme.

However, here's a list of American Strategic, Tactical, and Other Mistakes in Iraq. There's nothing on it that you didn't already know. But the compilation is stunning--and depressing.

* Inaccurate threat estimates that created a false rationale for war.

* Diplomatic estimates that exaggerated probable international support and the ability to win an
allied and UN consensus.

* Over-reliance on exile groups with limited credibility and influence in Iraq.

* Broader failures in intelligence and analysis of the internal political and economic structure of Iraq.

* Inability to accurately assess the nature of Iraqi nationalism, the true level of culture differences, and the scale of Iraq's problems.

* Overoptimistic plans for internal Iraqi political and military support.

* The failure to foresee sectarian and ethnic conflict.

* Failure to anticipate the threat of insurgency and outside extremist infiltration, in spite of significant intelligence warning, and to deploy elements of US forces capable of dealing with counterinsurgency, civil-military operations, and nation building as US forces advanced and in the immediate aftermath of the collapse of the regime.

* Rejection of the importance of stability operations and nation building before, during, and immediately after the war.

* Shortfalls in US military strength and capability to provide the personnel and skills necessary to secure Iraqi rear areas and urban areas as the Coalition advanced, and to prevent the massive looting of government offices and facilities, military bases, and arms depots as the during and after the fighting.

* Planning for premature US military withdrawals from Iraq before the situation was clear or secure.

* Inability to execute a key feature of the war plan by miscalculating Turkey's willingness to allow the deployment of US forces and transit through Turkey.

* Failure to anticipate and prepare for Iraqi expectations after the collapse of Saddam's regime.

* A failure to plan and execute effective and broadly based information operations before, during and after the invasion to win the "hearts and minds of Iraqis."

* Failure to react to the wartime collapse of Iraqi military, security, and police forces and focus immediately on creating effective Iraqi forces.

* Lack of effective planning for economic aid and reconstruction.

* Initial lack of a major aid program for stability operations.

* Not giving ORHA a meaningful mandate for conflict termination, stability operations, and nationbuilding effort.

Brian's military service is admirable. The guy accountable for the totality of these errors is George Bush.

Anything here you disagree with?


9:33 AM  
Blogger Bill Lama said...

Anony 1,
If you were in Iraq with the US military and could not be proud of your actions, then I am sorry, for you are either blind or ignorant. History will ultimately judge our actions to be heroic.

Once again you list the DNC talking points consisting of "mistakes, inaccuracy, over-reliance, inability, lack, overoptimistic, rejection, shortfall, premature, failure, failure and more failure."

Wars are inexact, messy things but the important thing is that we are fighting it. Only a Republican President would have the courage, for which I am eternally grateful.

You and the rest of the war protestors only weaken the resolve of the American people and politicians. Because of you we may "lose" by withdrawing and eventually have to fight the Islamo-fascists on American streets. God forgive you.

Anony 2,
Your insulting an American soldier is revolting. Djbouti is a dangerous place and part of the war. If you really think that "very little has been achieved in Iraq" or that there have been 100,000 Iraqi deaths then you are a fool.

I am removing your comments from my blog. Please don't come back again.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Bill, but when a naive right wing soldier basically casitgates all democrats as unpatriotic, he needs to be taken to task. And I never said I wasn't proud to serve...I was very proud to serve our nation's soldiers...why do you put words in my mouth? The 100000 Iraqi dead figure comes from Lancet, a well respected medical journal. You're entitled to your opinions, but not your own facts. And for God's sake, Djibouti is nowhere near as dangerous as Iraq! You have no idea what you're talking about. If you choose not to publish these comments, fine. you can dish out the unpatriotic/libs are evil commies, but when you are confronted with real facts, you get all defensive. Predictable.

3:19 PM  
Blogger Bill Lama said...

YOU were the one who said you spent your time in Iraq trying to "convince myself that I can be proud of my actions." I did not put the words in your mouth.

The Lancelot number has been widely discredited, as I suspect you know. It's not even close.

And I never said that Djbouti is as dangerous as Iraq. Now you are putting words in my mouth. I said "Djbouti is a dangerous place and part of the war."

I did not castigate all Dem's as unpatriotic. Where did you see that? I castigated the war protestors, Dem or any other. God forgive them all.

When you have any real facts to confront me with I'll be happy to listen. But so far, no cigar.

7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ask those who "support the troops" if that includes counting their ballots from overseas if they arrive a few days late.


7:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, Lancelot was Knight of the Round Table. Lancet is a highly respected medical journal. Yes, it's been discredited, mostly by non-hysician/statistician/scientists. Have you actually read the article? Put quite simply, Djibouti is not a dangerous place for US military personnel. It's probably more safe than downtown San Pedro. And the HOA has nothing to do with the Iraq was, so let's really get our facts straight. You did not castigate all dems as unpatriotic, but you do say "Because of you we may "lose" by withdrawing and eventually have to fight the Islamo-fascists on American streets. God forgive you." demo or any other? Please. I was actually commenting on Brian's piece in which he did castigate all dems as being unpatriotic. Now if you want to get into semantics, fine. It all depends on what your definition of is is. So far, I'm smoking a cigar. Cheers.

7:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Brian!
Anony,thank you also. You should be proud of your actions and in knowing that you were part of something just.

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please thank Brian for his message and tell him we thank him and his fellow servicemen (and women) for their service. We keep them in our prayers. God bless them.


11:59 AM  
Anonymous Sgt Bev. Was With 4th PSC with uncle weiss said...

I just wanted to add to you guys argueing over what combat zone is more dangerous. A combat zone is a combat zone. And the ones we serve in lately are all unpredictable. Djibouti isn't all that dangerous. It is not the concern. The surrounding areas are the concern. Which are where security marines and ARMY 3 Bravos patrol and secure. There are many missions in these areas that are unheard. And there are terror plots that have been prevented that I have been part of. In my Iraq tour I saw actual combat. It was much different than HOA, but I felt just as vulnerable in both areas. This is ultimately a war on terror that has been going on with U.S. involvment since Beirut in the 50's only then it was not called a war. Remeber Beirut 1983. The Marines who "Came in Peace". It was an insurgency then as well.

12:46 PM  

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