Sunday, August 19, 2007

Soldiers speak - the surge has failed

By Libby

This piece by a group of soldiers who are just returning from a 15 month deployment in the sandbox is the must read of the day. It stands in stark contrast to the rosy assessments coming from the politicians and "expert class pundits" like O'Hanlon and Pollack and Kristol, who all have seen cheerful improvements in the few day's worth of dog and pony shows arranged personally by the Pentagon to entertain them during their "fact finding" tours.

As they say, read the whole thing but here's a few pertinent quotes.

To believe that Americans, with an occupying force that long ago outlived its reluctant welcome, can win over a recalcitrant local population and win this counterinsurgency is far-fetched. As responsible infantrymen and noncommissioned officers with the 82nd Airborne Division soon heading back home, we are skeptical of recent press coverage portraying the conflict as increasingly manageable and feel it has neglected the mounting civil, political and social unrest we see every day. ...

Given the situation, it is important not to assess security from an American-centered perspective. The ability of, say, American observers to safely walk down the streets of formerly violent towns is not a resounding indicator of security. ...we see that a vast majority of Iraqis feel increasingly insecure and view us as an occupation force that has failed to produce normalcy after four years and is increasingly unlikely to do so as we continue to arm each warring side.

Political reconciliation in Iraq will occur, but not at our insistence or in ways that meet our benchmarks. ...The choice we have left is to decide which side we will take. Trying to please every party in the conflict — as we do now — will only ensure we are hated by all in the long run.

[I]t would be prudent for us to increasingly let Iraqis take center stage in all matters, to come up with a nuanced policy in which we assist them from the margins but let them resolve their differences as they see fit. This suggestion is not meant to be defeatist, but rather to highlight our pursuit of incompatible policies to absurd ends without recognizing the incongruities.

John Cole hits on a key point in my reaction.
While these guys are in the 82nd Airborne, you can see that what they write is sure to infuriate the patriots in the 101st Chairborne. I wonder if they are going to have the nerve to ratchet up the smear machine against these guys. They have their names. Do they have the balls? I am betting that since they don’t, they will choose route #2- ignore the op-ed completely.

Cole is spot on with that prediction. Having held off posting on this for a few hours, I see only one of the biggest Beauchamp ragers managed to acknowledge the piece. Hot Air notes, well here's seven guys who don't think we're winning. Yawn. The rest of them are pimping Ledeen's let's bomb Iran piece or desperately honing in on some guy who's trying to sell his book about how 9/11 turned him away from liberalism.

So where's the machismo of the Mighty Rightys today? One lone soldier writing in a low circulation magazine is a federal case worthy of two weeks of maniacal sleuthing and incessant screeching about honor and morale but seven active duty airmen in the newspaper of record who contradict their prevailing meme aren't worthy of their notice?

One is tempted to think our courageous keyboardists are simply afraid to take on opponents with the means to fight back.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

whoops i just posted this up in mr martins topic. sorry

12:36:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

No problem.

5:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that essay kicks ASS. It renders thousands of others useless.

12:17:00 PM  

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