Vets For Freedom–Back To Iraq

I had the honor and privilege recently of interviewing three men from the group Vets For Freedom.

http://www.vetsforfreedom.org/

http://www.vetsforfreedom.org/states/MN/

http://www.vetsforfreedom.org/states/OH/

Jason Meszaros heads the Minnesota chapter. Nathan Martin runs the Ohio Chapter. Pete Hegseth heads up the entire organization at the national level. I had the pleasure of meeting Jason and Pete at a Republican Jewish Coalition event in San Francisco several months ago. I have emailed with Nathan and Jason, and visited their blogs.

The link to this radio interview is below.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/TheGGRNetwork

Jason had his article recently published in the Minneapolis new site Twincities.com

What he emphasizes is that partisan politics must take a back seat to the reality and facts on the ground.

http://www.twincities.com/opinion/ci_10034912

For obvious reasons, I would prefer that people listen to my one hour interview with them in its entirety. I also know that time is precious.

Here are some of the exchanges.

Eric: This is not Hardball and I am not Chris Matthews. Pete, as long as you promise not to come to my day job and tell me how to do it, I have no interest in telling you about the facts on the ground in Iraq.

Pete: Eric, I like that deal. I’ll take it.

Eric: Pete, what is going on in Iraq. Give us the facts. Arianna Huffington says we are losing.

Pete: The surge, and more importantly, the new counterinsurgency strategy in 2007, is the driver behind the progress. Iraqis are prepared to maintain security gains because Americans fought so dearly. It is important that we get the word out. Jason is a particularly effective advocate. We have to get the word out that we are succeeding, and why we are succeeding.

Eric: I am proud of you guys. Welcome home. I believe what you say, that the surge is working. However, Americans want tangible metrics. What statistics do you have?

Pete: Since June of 2007, attacks down 85%, sectarian violence down 98%. Talking point of Iraqi civil war does not exist. In addition to our surge of 30,000 troops, the Iraqi Army surged, and added 133,000 members, plus 98,000 Sons of Iraq. Over 200,000 Iraqis have stood up to fight. Caches are being found at a rate of over 70% higher than last year.

That is on the military side. On the political side, Iraqis have passed 15 of the 18 benchmarks. The Maliki government has taken the fight to Basra and Sadr City. There is also reconciliation and elections coming up.

This July America lost 5 service members. Last year we lost 70. Violence continues to drop.

Jason: The Iraqi Sunni Bloc rejoined the government. They are working with the Shiites and Kurds. The country is healing politically.

Eric: We ask so much of you guys. What do you want from us? Maybe I could use basic training. I am fat and out of shape from sitting on my couch. However, I don’t want to do basic training. What can I and other ordinary Americans do to help you guys win?

Nathan: Americans need to do what our forefathers did. We need to look past ourselves. We need to make America better for future generations. Support our troops by allowing them to do the job. America is not a strong America if we lose.

Eric: I think we are a dead America if we lose.

Pete: Jason had an outstanding op ed today which I urge listeners to check out. Partisan politics must be taken out of this war. This is much more than an election cycle. It is about winning the wars we start. Also, arm yourself with the facts. I see signs in Iraq saying “Marines and Army are at war, and the rest of the country is at the mall.” Folks at home need to stay informed. Read military blogs like Blackfive.net.

http://www.blackfive.net/

Jason: We soldiers know how to win this war. We need people to put aside their political biases and just support us. Get informed. Talk to soldiers. Ask us. We will give you the good and the bad. We give it straight up. Talk to people who were there in 2006 and 2007. Find out how the surge has succeeded.

Eric: What do you say to those that point out that 9/11 had nothing to do with Iraq? How do we react to the idea that Afghanistan is the good war, Iraq is the bad war, and that Saddam had nothing to do with Bin Laden? How do you argue the point that it was wrong from the beginning?

Jason: 9/11 had nothing to do with Iraq. That is true. However, it is not true to say Iraq had nothing to do with terrorism. That is the distinction. Replace 9/11 with terrorism. Saddam’s connection to terrorism was incredible.

Arguments such as WMD are not worth bothering with. The connections to terrorism were there.

Pete: We try to bring the debate to 2006 and 2007 and 2008. Regardless of whether you thought it was right to go in, we are there, and must have the right strategy. Historians can debate 2003. I supported it, others did not. It is irrelevant. We are there, and must insure we are successful. What we do now is more indicative of who we are as a country.

As for good and bad wars, leaders of Al Queda repeatedly declare that Iraq is the central front. They came close. In 2006, Anbar was almost lost. It is also about what our members have seen. We were fighting Jihadists from around the world, Syrians, Chechens, etc. We are beating them there. This is why they are forced to go to Afghanistan. It is their last haven.

Eric: Some members of Congress say that they support the troops by bringing them home. I personally feel we should support Congress by sending them home. Can good patriotic Americans support the troops, but be against the mission?

Nathan: It’s difficult. Somebody can say that they hate football, it’s a violent sport, but that they root for the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s difficult to do that. In any other line of work that would be called silly. People don’t love plumbers but hate what they do. To lambaste a soldier and then say you love them does not make sense. Those who sacrificed voer the past 5 years…the way to ensure their legacy is to emphasize the importance of the mission, and allow them to come home with honor and dignity.

Pete: There is an intellectual disconnect to separate the two. I understand why people want to. They want freedom, but don’t like this President. Therefore, I hate the mission. That undercuts the mission. Honor our service by honoring what we are fighting for. I support you, but don’t want you to do the dirty work to defend the freedoms I have.

Eric: How do you feel when people such as Max Cleland, John Kerry, John Murtha, and Jim Webb try to speak for the military? Are they military opinion, or aberrations?

Pete: They are a product of a particular time. They came out with an ax to grind based on their experiences. Fighting in Vietnam does not mean they understand the current conflict. We started Vets For Freedom to provide a counter voice. Soldiers are not monolithic. The opinion we espouse does represent the vast majority of soldiers on this mission. We believe in it and want to finish it.

When Murtha called our Marines cold blooded killers, it hurt. He was not informed because he was not there. We honor the military service of him and the others, but they are not as informed on this issue as the soldiers fighting now.

Nathan: You will never hear Pete talk about himself. He talks about the mission. It is not about us. It is about every other American that deserves to have their freedoms protected. We want people to be free from a black cloud over America. Some say “look at me.” That is not us.

Eric: Donald Rumsfeld had a quarter of a century experience. He was the Secretary of Defense for Gerald Ford. Yet despite his resume, it seemed in 2006 that we were in a state of stagnation. Rumsfeld then lost his job. What is it that General David Petraeus did that nobody else could have done, or nobody else did?

Pete: General Petraeus studied counterinsurgency. He wrote his dissertation on it based on the lessons of Vietnam. He wrote the counterinsurgency manual. He was the right man at the right time. We can armchair quarterback why it took so long. Rumsfeld had his vision, but it took a fresh set of eyes to change everything from the top down. He has the skill set and the intelligence to make it happen. He is an outside the box thinker. We were fortunate, and are fortunate to have him at CENTCOM. Some lessons can be exported to Afghnaistan, but some new tactics will be needed as well.

Nathan: When victory became a partisan cause, any kind of change would be a media defeat. This pidgeonholed the administration. The 2006 elections freed them from this.

Eric: Given that political analysts try to be military generals, I will ask you for some political analysis. Did Barack Obama do the right thing regarding his trip, and the flap over the troops?

Pete: Vets For Freedom called on him to go to Iraq. This was not to score political points. It was because he might be the next President, and he needed to benefit from hearing Petraeus. I was dismayed he laid out his plans five days before going. He should have gone first.

All in all, it was good that he made the trip, but his observations may have been predetermined. As for Germany, I don’t buy his explanation. If he wants it to be private, and apolitical, leave behind the cameras and visit them. I think they realize it was a mistake, and they should admit that.

Nathan: Senators visit places such as Walter Reed all the time. Cameras do not need to be there. If you go for the troops, you can go any time.

Eric: Over the next one to two years…do you have any projections? What can be done to make this situation in Iraq what we want it to be, dare I say it, a shining city on a hill?

Pete: Our timeline should be based on conditions on the ground. Jason is right about the significance of the Sunnis rejoining the government.

Myself and 7 others are going back to Iraq to where we served previously to get that assessment on the ground. We need to make sure the gains do not slip away. We will put together policy observations when we come back.

Eric: You guys are the definition of heroes. One of you gave the hypothetical example of hating football. That could get me to take up arms. Sometimes it takes a 9/11 or a canceling of the NFL season to get people off of their couches.

Guys like you are the reason Chris Matthews is able to berate and attack you. The more you do, the more it allows me and others to enjoy the future.

I want to get a commitment from you guys. I don’t need it now. I have met two of you in real life. The only thing I would ask is this. You guys secured Fallujah and Anbar. Is the situation hopeless, or can David Petraeus turn around and secure Detroit?

Jason: It’s not hopeless.

Eric: I won’t ask for a battle plan now. We don’t want the enemy to get our tactics. If anybody can secure it, you guys can.

Nathan: Americans like you help.

Eric: I am a chimpanzee typing on a keyboard. You are out saving lives. I will be in Israel next week partying on the beach. You will be in Iraq saving all of our lives. So I will say to you guys in advance…Thank you, and welcome home. I speak for a majority of Americans.

Pete: We’ll do this again.

Eric: Thank you, and welcome home. God bless.

The above transcription were mere snippets of the program. I implore those to listen to the entire program. Skip my voice, since all I do is ask questions. Listen to Pete Hegseth, Jason Meszaros, and Nathan Martin.

Hear them out. They have been there.

Pete will be there again next week. I eagerly await his report.

eric

26 Responses to “Vets For Freedom–Back To Iraq”

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  2. Micky 2 says:

    Its nice to hear these gentlemen repeat what I’ve known and believed all along.
    Thanks gentlemen and god bless you.

  3. I was going to call in last night if I could have, but with the mood I was in, I thought it best to be quiet. Just the same, a few things really bothered me…

    First, Jack Murtha did NOT call “our Marines cold blooded killers.” It’s a LIE. Now, I noy saying that “Pete” is a liar. I’d rather think he was repeating what he’d heard and is simply ignorant of the facts (I hope).

    Here’s the story: http://www.newshounds.us/2006/05/23/congressman_murtha_smeared_again_on_hannity_colmes.php

    Typical Fox “News” misinformation.

    Secondly, I am soooooo sick and tiired of this disingenuous (and yes, I’ll say it) sleazy rhetoric of ‘you can’t support the troops unless you support their mission.’ It would be one thing if the military was some democratic institution in which the troops vote for whether or not to engage in a mission – but it’ NOT. In America, the civilian government tells the military what to do and the brass passes those orders down through the ranks and the soldiers carry out those orders. If they do not, they are court marshalled, sometimes even if the orders themselves are illegal. That’s why Abu Ghraib was such a disgrace. The brass got nothing but a slap on the wrist for that stupid PR debacle, while that poor little “twit” went to prison. Shameful.

    Soldiers follow orders that are passed down from the President to the Pentagon to the field officers to the soldiers. The soldiers do not just make them up out of whole cloth. They are given a mission, and whether or not they like it, whether or not me or you or anyone else likes it, they carry out that mission. There are plenty of soldiers who do not and did not like this mission, but they carried out their orders with honor. They are not self-loathing maschists, just soldiuers following orders. OF COURSE, you can “support the troops” without supporting any given mission. In fact, every single taxpaying American “supports” the troops with their hard-earned dollars every day!

    But what really bothers me about this sleazy and disingenuous rhetoric is what is really meant by some who employ it if you don’t support Bush, then you don’t love our soldiers. And that’s just unspeakably low.

    There’s more I’d like to say, but again my mood is sinking. The “surge” nonsense. The fallacious belief that somehow soldiers are experts at economics, foreign policy, politics, trade, etc. This notion that we should ignore the will of the Iraqi people and just stay there as long as we like. All of these things just turn my stomache.

    I respect our soldiers as much as anybody else, and they as entitled to their opinions as much as anybody else. But I really don’t weigh what they think about the big scheme of things beyond the battlefield any more then any one else’s thoughts.

    I call that good sense.

    JMJ

  4. Micky 2 says:

    JMJ;
    “It would be one thing if the military was some democratic institution in which the troops vote for whether or not to engage in a mission – but it’ NOT.”

    Unfortunately you seem to forget that the majority of the troops on the ground right now volunteered for their 2nd and 3rd mission knowing exactly what’s in store for them.
    Ontop of new recruits who are aware that they most likely will get sent to one of two destinations. Afghanistan, or Iraq.
    Seems odd that someone would enlist knowing that his odds are 50% that he would be sent to war he did not agree with.

    JMJ
    ” I am soooooo sick and tiired of this disingenuous (and yes, I’ll say it) sleazy rhetoric of ‘you can’t support the troops unless you support their mission.”

    The reason you might be tired of it because its almost impossible to explain away the hypocrisy of saying you support what you don’t believe in.

    Take from a soldier who has been there.
    You might want to actually listen to Nathan;
    “To lambaste a soldier and then say you love them does not make sense. Those who sacrificed over the past 5 years…the way to ensure their legacy is to EMPHASIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MISSION, and allow them to come home with honor and dignity.”

    “Honor our service by honoring what we are fighting for.”
    ————————————————————————————-

    “First, Jack Murtha did NOT call “our Marines cold blooded killers.”

    There’s not really a whole hell of a lot of difference jersey y between what your link says and what other sources say.

    Here’s your link.
    Iraq in which civilians were allegedly murdered by US troops. Murtha said the killings were “in cold blood.” In the same sentence, he also said “Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them.”

    And here’s a transcript of what Murtha said to Chris Matthews on hardball.

    http://newsbusters.org/node/5410

    MATTHEWS: Was this My Lai? When you say cold blood Congressman, a lot of people think you’re basically saying you’ve got some civilians sitting in a room or out in a field and they’re executed on purpose…

    MURTHA: That’s exactly what happened.

    Why did Murtha not reject Chris’s use of the phrase ” cold blood”?

    Also, as I started to say, if Murtha actually said the” killings were in cold blood ”
    its not too far of a stretch to to say that Murtha was calling them cold blooded killers because he did call the marines killers and did say the murders were in cold blood.
    (they killed in cold blood)
    So, when you put it all together in the English language, you have …

    “”COLD BLOODED KILLERS””

    As much as you would like to play these semantic little pedantic games it will not fly over the head of normal adults who know what they hear when they hear it.
    What’s worse is Murtha has yet to apologize to the one marines that were cleared after slandering them prior to any investigation.

    Nobody is ignorant to the facts Jersey. But if we had to leave it up to you to present them “ALL” to use in a fair manner then we most certainly would be “ignorant to the facts” as you say.

    The rest of your post is just a ghost of an attempt to save face for example trying to say that the Iraqis are somehow the force behind the surge is just an effort to take away from the brilliance on the part of America for instituting the surge.

    GOOD SENSE ??
    ROTFLMAO.

    I will listen to the soldiers and those they take their orders from before I listen to some dude behind a keyboard in Florida.
    Their opinion is one that comes from first hand sightings and witness to what is happening.
    Are you calling these men Eric interviewed liars ?

    “Since June of 2007, attacks down 85%,”

    Is that because of the Iraqi people ? Did they bring in the extra troops that caused that result ? I have a funny feeling that the soldiers with the weapons to prevent those attacks actually had more to do with it than anyone.

    “sectarian violence down 98%”
    Did the Iraqi people come up with the extra manpower to accomplish that ?

    In addition to our surge of 30,000 troops, the Iraqi Army surged, and added 133,000 members, plus 98,000 Sons of Iraq.

    Has it occurred to you that our previous presence and surge made this possible also ?

    Over 200,000 Iraqis have stood up to fight. Caches are being found at a rate of over 70% higher than last year.

    JMJ:
    ” The “surge” nonsense. The fallacious belief that somehow soldiers are experts at economics, foreign policy, politics, trade, etc.”

    I want an answer to this question.

    Who said that the surge qualified our soldiers as anything you mentioned in that quote ?
    You hold their lack of attainment in these fields against them as if it was supposed to be some sort of logical explanation as to why you think the surge is “fallacious”?

    I think you’re a little confused here.
    Our soldiers are trained warriors who are quite capable of seeing the results of their labor and sacrifice without having some disingenuous false patriot demeaning them by saying that they don’t have what it takes to notice good when it happens because they are not experts in the fields you mention.
    That is laughable sense almost to the point of hysteria.

    I asked you a while back and you never answered me. I would like an answer.

    Are the troops idiots because the man who issued the mission is an idiot ?
    Because their mission and Bush’s mission are exactly the same thing.
    They volunteered.
    They were not dragged in off the street

    You came in with this stuff we are supposed to swallow by saying the military is not a democracy and bla bla bla, and they have to follow their orders and bla.
    but the fact is that most of these guys knew they were going to Iraq when they enlisted their 2nd and 3rd time.
    Are they idiots for believing in the same mission as Bush ?

  5. “To lambaste a soldier and then say you love them does not make sense.”

    Who the heck is lambasting the soldiers??? That’s just nonsense!

    Personally, I think anyone who thought the invasion of Iraq was a good idea was mistaken. Period. They don’t have to be idiots. Lot’s of smart people thought it was a good idea. Me? I think it was stupid. Why? For the same reason Dick Cheney cited back in 1992… http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/192908_cheney29.html

    … And the question in my mind is how many additional American casualties is Saddam worth?” Cheney said then in response to a question.

    “And the answer is not very damned many. So I think we got it right, both when we decided to expel him from Kuwait, but also when the president made the decision that we’d achieved our objectives and we were not going to go get bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq.”

    Going to Baghdad, Cheney said in 1992, would require a much different approach militarily than fighting in the open desert outside the capital, a type of warfare that U.S. troops were not familiar, or comfortable fighting.

    “All of a sudden you’ve got a battle you’re fighting in a major built-up city, a lot of civilians are around, significant limitations on our ability to use our most effective technologies and techniques,” Cheney said.

    “Once we had rounded him up and gotten rid of his government, then the question is what do you put in its place? You know, you then have accepted the responsibility for governing Iraq.”

    But in his 1992 remarks in Seattle, Cheney foreshadowed a future in Iraq that is remarkably close to conditions found there today, suggesting that it would be difficult to bring the country’s various political factions together and that U.S. troops would be vulnerable to insurrection and guerrilla attacks.

    “Now what kind of government are you going to establish? Is it going to be a Kurdish government, or a Shi’ia government, or a Sunni government, or maybe a government based on the old Baathist Party, or some mixture thereof? You will have, I think by that time, lost the support of the Arab coalition that was so crucial to our operations over there,” he said.

    The end result, Cheney said in 1992, would be a messy, dangerous situation requiring a long-term presence by U.S. forces.

    “I would guess if we had gone in there, I would still have forces in Baghdad today, we’d be running the country. We would not have been able to get everybody out and bring everybody home,” Cheney said, 18 months after the war ended.

    It sickens me to think that Cheney, knowing this, decided we should go in anyway. Blood for oil and contractors’ profits. Sickening.

    JMJ

  6. Micky 2 says:

    JMJ;
    ” think anyone who thought the invasion of Iraq was a good idea was mistaken. Period. They don’t have to be idiots.”

    Oh, but Bush is ? You have called him every name in the book over his decision to invade.

    “Why? For the same reason Dick Cheney cited back in 1992… ???”

    And how do you get to use the first Gulf war as a comparison to this war ?

    Most of the info from your Seattle moonbat rag came from this rag.
    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/connelly/192828_joel29.html

    And its…. surprise ! very slanted and unrealistic .

    The invasion in 2003 was for completely different reasons, many of which had accumulated during Clintos slumber party
    Nice try.
    You cant be serious.

    ( I like the way you answerd my questions)

    I guess no answer says it all

  7. Bush, I do think is an idiot. He has a long public and private record and his exploits are well-known. Do I think all of Bush’s supporters are idiots? No. Some? Yes, I’m sure. There are lots of idiots in the world. I think most of his supporters that still back him todsay, after all these years of abject corruption and failure, are delluded (or are profiting from his adminstration). They sufer cognative dissonance. They can not admit they were wrong about him and the war. I think many soldiers suffer this dissonance as well. It can not be easy to fight in a war that you believe was a mistake. It must be a terrible psychological dilemma.

    Cheney’s statements back in ’92 are also well-known and documented. There’s no slant to his own words. A lot of people were upset back then that GHWB didn’t “finish the job” and invade and depose the Baathist government of Iraq. “Realists,” like Cheney back then, recognized that the costs were not worth the risks. Anyone who thinks that this war was worth 4,000 Americans dead, 30,000 Americans maimed, hundreds of thousands of American lives turned upside down, possiblly trillions of dollars when all is said and done, our global reputation in the trash, and more animosity for America from the Middle East then ever before, is certainly delluded (or is profiting from the war).

    My answer? I don’t know these guys well enough to calculate their smarts, so that would be an “I don’t know.”

    JMJ

  8. Micky 2 says:

    JMJ:
    “I think many soldiers suffer this dissonance as well. It can not be easy to fight in a war that you believe was a mistake. It must be a terrible psychological dilemma. ”

    Please, they dont your pity based on an assumption that they are somehow trapped in this tumultuous internal conflict.

    You fail to accept the FACT that most of these troops were well aware of what they were getting into when they volunteered.
    Also, you fail to accept the fact that most of these troops re enlisted for their 2nd and 3rd tours believing in the cause and mission.
    Also, 75% of our troops vote republican.
    A also find it rather gross on your part to label them as suffering from dissonace simply because you cant see it their way.
    This little character defect of yours is very narcissistic and self absorbed if not dowmnright arrogant as I have pointed out before and Chrlene did as well on the prvious post.

    JMJ:
    “Cheney’s statements back in ‘92 are also well-known and documented. There’s no slant to his own words.”

    Thats besides the point.

    In the first gulf war we were not faced with the same situation as we were faced in with 2003 and the likelyhood of WMDs anlong with a zillion sanction violations, acts of against the US directly., etc…etc…
    Also, after 911 we had done a serious re evaluation of our pre emptive policies. Saddam and 911 gave us damn good reason to follow up and act on those re evaluations.
    That is something that Cheny could not of imagined 20 years ago.
    At one point we were critisized for not “finishing the job but really the job at hand at the time was a different calling at a different time.

    Also, your source may use Chenys exact words , but the slant comes in the form of pre qualiftung syayements ad headlines that they use on top of editing that arrainges Chenys statements in cherry picked manner.
    The interview and excerpts from his speechs are not in their total context.

    The lead in to the story says that Cheny has done an about face but does not ask him today why his opinion is different than it was 20 years ago and also does not go on to explain how we live in a different world today and have a different policy after 911 and all of Saddams violations.

    So please, try not to insult a grown mans intelligence with feeble explanations that might get past a high schooler.

    JMJ;
    “My answer? I don’t know these guys well enough to calculate their smarts, so that would be an “I don’t know.”

    And yet you go on to say;

    “”I think many soldiers suffer this dissonance as well.

    “Anyone who thinks that this war was worth … cont.

    “is certainly delluded ”

    looks to me that even though you say that you cant calculate their smarts you say you are certain that they are delluded.

    I call major hypocrisy.

    Because the fact is that they are fighting the same exact mission that Bush is fighting, for the same cause and principles.

    JMJ;
    “They can not admit they were wrong about him and the war.”

    Would you like to ask a 3 time toured trooper of he can or cannot admit he was wrong about the war ?
    Or for supporting the commander in cheif if his mission as well as the troops was idiotic and wrong ?

    All logic points to one thing, and one thing only.
    The left prevails in hypocrisy in this issue as a means to save their rumps from being ripped to shreds by the public if they voiced their reall opnions of the soldiers and the war.

    I believe they all would love to say that the soldiers are just as dumb as they think the war is.
    The left would love to ask the soldiers how they could support something they view as stupid.

  9. “You fail to accept the FACT that most of these troops were well aware of what they were getting into when they volunteered.”

    What fact? They knew they’d get a reckless commander in chief that would send them off into the worst quagmire since Vietnam? Really? And what about all the Guards? They knew they would be sent on endless stop-loss 15 month stints in a foreign expeditionary war? Really? C’mon. Get real. And enlistment rates haven’t risen, even though the bonus is up to 40K now and the age limit has been risen to 42! So what “fact” are you talking about?

    “Also, 75% of our troops vote republican.”

    Yes. And they’re mostly male, white, not college educated (too young), and their average age is under 20. If they weren’t in the service, they probably wouldn’t even vote, and even if they did, they represent a solidly Republican demographic.

    “In the first gulf war we were not faced with the same situation as we were faced in with 2003 and the likelyhood of WMDs anlong with a zillion sanction violations, acts of against the US directly.,…”

    And how exactly is any of that different from the situation in 2003?

    And what the heck does 9/11 have to do with Iraq?

    And sure I’d ask a soldier how he feels about the war! And sure I’d tell him whether I agree or not! Why wouldn’t I? Are you suggesting these people are too unhinged to converse like adults?

    JMJ

  10. blacktygrrrr says:

    “I think most of his (President Bush) supporters that still back him todsay, after all these years of abject corruption and failure, are delluded (or are profiting from his adminstration). They sufer cognative dissonance. They can not admit they were wrong about him and the war.”

    1) I am not deluded. Neither are my Dubya supporting friends.

    2) I do not directly profit from his administration. Neither do my Dubya supporting friends. However, those who love economic freedom, liberty, and democracy worldwide do indirectly benefit from President Bush, so maybe that is what was meant.

    Then again, most people that disagree with me are incontinent.

    (I used that word for no reason)

    eric 🙂

  11. Micky 2 says:

    JMJ:
    “What fact?”

    What you wrote after that has absolutly nothing to do with a cognant answer.

    The FACT is that they were aware of what would happen to them.
    Afghanistan or Iraq.

    A recless leader and all that other crap behind it is only your spiteful hateful opinion.

    Jersey, you have to come back down.
    No one believes that all are our soldiers repeated to themselves what you just said in that first paragraph.

    Really, get a grip.

    JMJ:
    “Get real. And enlistment rates haven’t risen, even though the bonus is up to 40K now and the age limit has been risen to 42! So what “fact” are you talking about?”

    None of that controverts my point or has anything to do with anything.

    The fact is that they are on their 2nd and 3rd deployment and volunteered to do so knowing exactly where they were going and for what

    JMJ:
    ““Also, 75% of our troops vote republican.”

    Yes. And they’re mostly male, white, not college educated (too young), and their average age is under 20. If they weren’t in the service, they probably wouldn’t even vote, and even if they did, they represent a solidly Republican demographic.”

    So what ?
    I speak facts, no matter what you say is “probable”

    Gee, I thought the left was bitching a while back how most recruits are black ?
    Still, that paragraph says nothing to prove me wrong.

    JMJ;
    “And how exactly is any of that different from the situation in 2003?”

    I thought you were a student of history ?
    Huge difference. If you dont know the difference then you may not be able to comprehend the explanation

    JMJ;
    “And what the heck does 9/11 have to do with Iraq?”

    Obviously you did not learn of how our rules of engagement with other countries changed after 911.
    And you did not read where I said that after 911 out pre emptive policies changed to where we would come after percieved threats, not wait for the worst.
    alspo Saddam was violating resolutions and conducting attacks against the US, not Kuwait.

    JMJ:
    “And sure I’d ask a soldier how he feels about the war! And sure I’d tell him whether I agree or not! Why wouldn’t I? Are you suggesting these people are too unhinged to converse like adults?

    Thats not how I said it.

    Read, and be honest.

    Try again, honestly, with no sematics or word games or obfuscation.

    “Would you like to ask a 3 time toured trooper of he can or cannot admit he was wrong about the war ?
    Or for supporting the commander in cheif if his mission as well as the troops was idiotic and wrong ?”

    (in other words, are you as dumb as I think the president is for fighting the same war for the same reason?)

    “Are the troops idiots because the man who issued the mission is an idiot ?
    Because their mission and Bush’s mission are exactly the same thing.”

    Ask him the way I worded it.
    Stop your little games.

  12. Well, Eric, I am terribly irregular, so maybe you’re onto something there! LOL!

    When I said “profitting” I did mean in more ways than just say contracting with the government. For example, if you’re very wealthy, then you would have profitted from all those tax cuts for the rich. If you’re not very wealthy, then you’re tax cuts wouldn’t even cover the price increases in milk and cheese. Or, if you are the sort of person who evades paying taxes at all, then you would have profitted from the GOP’s gutting of the IRS. Or, if you’re invested in oil, or Haliburton… well, enough said. I do think that many people support Bush (and the late GOP one-party state in general) because he put more money in their pockets, so to speak. But this is a rather narrow and selfish adoration, because in the long-term, these policies have seriously damaged the nation. So while some people may be loving these benefits now, they’re going to have a very hard time explaining to their grandchildren one day why life was so much better for you than it will be for them.

    Micky,

    “The FACT is that they were aware of what would happen to them.
    Afghanistan or Iraq.”

    That sounds a lot more like an opinion than a fact. I’m sure there are plenty of soldiers who never expected such irresponsible utilization of their service.

    “Gee, I thought the left was bitching a while back how most recruits are black?”

    Have you seen their enlistment rates lately? First of all, black people only represent about 8% of the population but make up about a fifth of the forces. Since 2000, though, black enlistment has declined from about 23% to about 13%.

    “Are the troops idiots because the man who issued the mission is an idiot?”

    No. They’re just following orders. As I said, the military is not a self-contained democracy. They don’t pick their missions. They just go on them. If the president happens to be an idiot, then they’re just going to have to follow orders from an idiot. Such is life.

    JMJ

  13. Micky 2 says:

    JMJ;
    “That sounds a lot more like an opinion than a fact. I’m sure there are plenty of soldiers who never expected such irresponsible utilization of their service.”

    No, realistically speaking when it comes to other peoples expectations you cant assume that those expectations are brought about with the same opnion as yours, which is that they would be subjected to” irresponsible utilization of their service.”
    You see T H A T is an opinion, and it is your opinion.
    You view it as irresponsable. Fine.
    But the FACT and not opinion is that most of if not all these guys have television sets and have been aware of the two wars for years now.
    Its also a F A C T that it is a volunteer service.
    It is also a F AC T that when volunteering they were aware of the two wars.
    It is also a F A C T that they are aware that they will get sent to one of those two wars.
    It is also a F A C T that they were aware that they would have to follow orders pertaining to the mission in either war.
    The democracy that is involved in the military is that they had a choice to enlist or not.
    It is also a F A C T that there are troops there that have re enlisted for their 2nd and 3rd tours. It isd also a F A C T that they knew what they were fighting for.
    It is also a F A C T that 73% of them voted for their commander in cheif in the last election which would by no doubt mean that they support him.

    The black elistement was just a curious thing and not really any more relevant than you bringing up the white population in the service.

    You do not support the troops.
    Bcause you cannot wth a clear conscience bring yourself to ask just one soldie “are you as dumb as I think the president is for fighting the same war for the same reason ?

    The president and the troops are fighting for the same reasons.
    And yet you think we are stupid enough to accept that you expect anyone to believe that you separate the two ?

    If two people believe in the same thing for the same reason you cant say one of them is right and one of them is wrong.

    You are calling the troops that follow the same belief as Bush, idiots.

    They are all part of a team that is fighting the same war for the same reasons.

    And the only reason you dont come clean is because I believe you dont have the testicular fortitude to stand your ground for your beliefs and are more worried about acceptance in the general population.

    Be free, just say it ! Go to the mountain top and scream it !

    “I think that anyone who knowingly participates in the biggest blunder in history is an idiot !!!
    Anyone who believes this is worth it, the same as Bush does is an idiot !!!
    Anyone who stands with Bush for the same cause is as guilty of stupidity as he is. ” !!!

  14. Micky, nice try putting words in my mouth. Considering the number of guards deployed (highest percentage in a foreign expeditionary ever), and considering many have becaome anti-war actviists, I think it’s pretty safe to say A) many did not expect to be utilized in this way and B) many think the war was a mistake. It’s also quite safe to say, as history points up, that comradery is the main reason for reenlistment among young men – it always goes up in a time of war, always. So if you think it’s all about the “mission” for most all of the soldiers, I’d say you don’t know much about war.

    But there’s one even more important factor that you’re leaving out – as far as the military’s mission goes, they have been successful. No doubt about it. The problem is that there’s a heck of a lot more to “nation building” than just fighting militarily. And that’s where the “stupid” comes in – and THAT has nothing to do with the military in the first place. There’s political, sociological, religious, ethnic, economic, and institutional considerations as well. In fact, those would cover MOST of the considerations. And that’s where Bush and Co have yet again screwed up. And for that you can not in any way blame the military or accuse them of stupidity.

    And THAT’S why the war was not worth the cost.

    JMJ

  15. Micky 2 says:

    First of all I was not putting words in your mouth.
    Had I done that I would of made it evident that I was quoting you by using quotation marks to surround your actual words.
    You set up a false premise with an inaccurate accusation.

    What was being said was a suggestion as duly noted (which you conveniently miss) by my saying;

    “Be free, just say it ! Go to the mountain top and scream it !

    This is just another example of your pedantic/semantic ways of dodging or clouding an issue.
    ———————————————————————————–

    JMJ;
    “and considering many have becaome anti-war actviists, I think it’s pretty safe to say A) many did not expect to be utilized in this way and B) many think the war was a mistake. ”

    Yes, the key phrase is “have become”
    And no , its not safe to say unless you are Jersey McJones.

    These troops who have “become” anti war activists are not the ones who have re enlisted and are not the troops in issue here and are not the topic of the conversation.

    The troops who have re enlisted and are fresh recruits are by no means to be placed with your assumption and opinion that they expected what you say or think they expected.
    You are not clairvoyant or psychic or telekinetic.
    Their is no possible human way on earth that you knew what their expectations were.
    But , its is a FACT that these men did expect to take orders requiring them to kill other humans.
    It is also a F A C T that most people will ask themselves when ordered to kill someone ” W H Y ” ????

    For you to say that these troops are “JUST FOLLOWING ORDERS” is to say that they are mindless mercenaries who are killing for a paycheck. Or you are saying that they are too low in the morals and ethics dept. to ask what would be the reason and justification for killing another man.
    Or you are saying that they are too stupid to relate to the reason and cause we are fighting for.
    Once again, your unsustainable assertions are meaningless and beside the point.
    It is only an attempt to save face.
    The majority of our troops are all too well aware of the reasons they fight.
    For you to insinuate that they are to dumb to know what they are doing and for why is definitely not support.
    ————————————————————————————-
    JMJ;
    “I’d say you don’t know much about war.”

    What you know about war is no more than what I know since its plain to see that neither one of us has ever served.
    So your assumption and claim that you somehow know more about it than I do is nonsense and ridiculous and just another pathetic attempt at elevating yourself to some scholarly plain that does not exist.

    I do know what I hear from the troops. the majority of which are re enlisted soldiers on their 2nd and 3rd tours.

    I don’t know where you get your facts from but they are hardly believable since its well known that our soldiers are re enlisting for the cause. And are devoted to fighting this war for the same reason as Bush.

    http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=238

    Survey: Troops Believe in Iraq Mission, Morale Generally High
    American Forces Press Service

    WASHINGTON, July 21, 2006 – Two-thirds of U.S. troops serving in Iraq say they believe the cause they’re fighting for is worthwhile, according to a new Stars and Stripes survey.

    The survey explored readers’ views on a variety of other issues. Among them were how clearly their mission is defined, their unit’s as well as their personal morale, support for troops in the Middle East, and how informed they are about that support.

    Respondents overwhelmingly agreed that their mission is clearly defined, the survey noted. Fifty-five percent called it “very clear” and 27 percent called it “somewhat clear.” Nine percent said it’s “somewhat unclear,” and 7 percent said it’s “not at all clear.”

    The survey results, reported in the July 19 Mid east edition of Stars and Stripes newspaper, revealed that 46 percent of readers in Iraq who responded to a survey called fighting the war for America “very worthwhile.” Another 30 percent rated it “somewhat worthwhile.”

    ONLY 7 % JERSEY ! And I’m sure only a small percent of them are anti war activists as you say.
    ————————————————————————————-

    So you see Jersey, once again you have been proven wrong only by your insistence that you are somehow the holder of knowledge which is actually fictitious.

    The survey clearly says what I have been saying all along. It was conducted in Iraq and conducted with American soldiers of all ranks.

    So here we are again, back to the fact that you are calling the troops idiots by saying that they know not what they are doing or why.

    JMJ:
    “The problem is that there’s a heck of a lot more to “nation building” than just fighting militarily. And that’s where the “stupid” comes in – and THAT has nothing to do with the military in the first place. There’s political, sociological, religious, ethnic, economic, and institutional considerations as well. In fact, those would cover MOST of the considerations”

    This has nothing to do with anything that is the crux of the issue.

    How the war was and is conducted does not take away from the fact that our troops fight for the same beliefs as their commander in chief.

    Do some of our troops believe it all could of been executed better ?
    Yes, of course. But that does not take away from the fact that they do believe in the reasons and cause of what they do.

    By you trying to take away the fact that our men and women serving do not posses the facilities to make a moral judgement or that they would not and instead are just following orders is basically very insulting to them as it would be to any human.

    JMJ:
    “And for that you can not in any way blame the military or accuse them of stupidity.”

    But yet you are accusing them of being stupid because they support the war for the same reasons that the administration and president do.
    They went to fight for those reasons.
    You think those reasons are stupid.
    You are saying that the troops believe in stupid reasons.
    People who believe in stupid reasons are stupid by fact of association.

    You do not support the troops because if you did you would believe in their mission as much as they do.
    You do not support the troops because by proxy you have associated them as supporters of stupidity.

    JMJ;
    “And THAT’S why the war was not worth the cost.”

    That cost is to be determined most of, all if by anyone , the man who actually lays his life on the line.
    Not by you, and not by me.

    What you think is worth it or not is irrelevant.

    What is relevant is that our troops support a mission for the same reason and cause as the president of the united states.

    You say that Bush’s reasons for going to war were stupid.
    That means that you are also saying that the troops reasons for going to war are stupid.
    You are also saying they are too stupid to ask why they are fighting if you say that they are only following orders.

    That is incredibly insulting to our troops who do what they do with clear purpose and intention.

    You lose.
    You do not support our troops no matter how you try to dress up all your disingenuous rhetoric.
    And there is no way by any means of rationale or basic concept of the meaning of support that can say you support the troops and be honest when you say it.

  16. Saying that one does “not support the troops” simply because one disagrees with a particular mission is sleazy, stupid, mean-spirited, and wrong. Period. It’s just plain lowly and it should be benaeth any decent human being.

    JMJ

  17. Oh, and I have the perfect example – lots of American rightwingers disagreed with the American involvement in Kosovo. So, by your way of thinking, those rightwingers therefore did not “support the troops,” right?

    Idiocy.

    JMJ

  18. Micky 2 says:

    Saying that one does “not support the troops” simply because one disagrees with a particular mission is sleazy, stupid, mean-spirited, and wrong. Period. It’s just plain lowly and it should be benaeth any decent human being.”

    You did not say you disagree with the mission.
    You have said horrible things about the war and why it is being fought.
    Please, I have a memory.
    Would you like me to dig up all the horrendous things that you have said about the war ?

    The list is endless. You have (off the top of my head) said that it was a colonialist occupation,

    “one of the stupidest reasons to go to war in history”

    Here is where you are calling the soldiers stupid for fighting a war they believe is not stupid

    “That the war was based on lies”
    This is where you say that the troops are fighting a lie and are not aware of it because all they do is follow orders

    “This la-la land “eagle” approach sounds all well and fine but has only rhetorical value.” (you said this about the surge)

    You discredited all the work our soldiers have done by affording the credit to the Iraqi people.

    “an evil colonial oil war, ill planned and executed, profiteered and corrupt and I believe intentionally so”

    Why don’t you tell the soldiers that they are supporting an evil colonial oil war, ill planned and executed, profiteered and corrupt, and I believe intentionally so ?
    Do you call that support ?
    You are saying that our troops are fighting for these reasons.

    “the war was stupid”
    So the men who volunteered ( all 82% of them) are fighting and volunteered for a stupid war ? They believe in it so you are also calling them stupid.

    “misbegotten mission and this sorry excuse for an administration is one and the same, and the beneficiaries of the argument are all but the administration.”

    So, the troops volunteered to fight a “misbegotten mission” and they are fighting only to benefit the administration ?

    JMJ;
    “You can no more blame a soldier for a bad mission
    February 2, 2008 at 5:25 am

    But you have to admit, they volunteered and have said to everyone that they believe the mission is “GOOD”
    They believe their mission is good and you are telling them its not.

    “Micky, I can say that those 600,000 guards did NOT sign up for THIS mission.”

    You can say it, but its not true.
    They knew what they were signing up for if it was after 2003.
    If you say they didn’t know what they are signing up for you are calling them stupid.

    “And if this war were truly just ”

    You are saying that our troops volunteered to fight an unjust war.

    “the Bush administration will be remembered as the sleaziest and most cowardly of all wartime administrations.”

    You are telling the troops that the man who’s mission they support and believe in is a coward and that they support cowardice.

    Jersey McJones said,January 21, 2008 at 7:02 am
    “I think the war is a complete failure and disaster overall.”

    You are telling our troops that their efforts have been a “COMPLETE” failure and disaster.
    Complete is a word that encompasses everything. The troops are part of that everything.

    January 24, 2008 at 6:37 am
    ” a convenient post-9/11 excuse to rape the taxpayers and consumers for the profit of the administrations well-known-to-be close friends in the Military Sector and Big Oil.”

    You are saying that our troops support an effort to steal from Americans and contribute to the profit of military elite and the oil cartels.

    Jersey McJones said,
    January 24, 2008 at 9:13 am ” Given the extent of contracting and the effect this has had on Big Oil, if firmly believe this war was initiated to raid the public coffers for the profit of MIC and Big Oil.”

    ” George Bush is a failure. his supporters just can’t find it in themselves to be man enough to admit it.’

    You are saying that our troops are not men because they wont admit to your conception of Bush.
    And that they are not able to find their manhood.

    ” I have not and I think I will never understand the popular rationale for this stupid war. ”

    Jersey McJones said,
    January 24, 2008 at 7:49 pm
    ” Sorry Micky, I don’t buy it. Iraq wasn’t worth it.”

    You are saying that the lives sacrificed were for nothing

    Jersey McJones said,
    January 18, 2008 at 4:53 pm
    “We” don’t fight anybody. Instead we take advantage of reserves and guards, destroy them and their families,

    You demean the intelligence of our troops by saying that they were taken advantage of when the truth is they volunteered with the mission clearly in focus

    ” If you support the Bush administration, then not only do you not “support the troops,” you use them, abuse them, and throw them away.”

    ” This war was a mistake and anyone who thinks otherwise is imply unable to admit they were wrong.
    THE 82% THAT SUPPORT THE WAR ARE WRONG, because jersey said so.

    You cant win.
    What you’re doing is wrong.
    You are not all that educated.
    You are doing this only for a paycheck.
    You are fighting for the wrong reasons.
    You are taking orders from a stupid evil man.
    You are not fighting for what you believe you are fighting for.
    ———————————————————————————–

    So don’t try to pass this garbage off on me that all you do is “disagree”.

    You ardent fooling anyone Jersey.
    You do not support the troops. Anything you say to try and justify your BS is just more of an insult to them.

    The president and the troops are in this together and no amount of your ridiculous dribble will change the fact that it obvious you cannot possibly support them with all the things you have said about the war, the president and the troops.

    You lose.

    Big time.

  19. I’m done with this juvenile conversation. I don’t care if you’re a vet, a general, a politician, or a guy from Hawaii – to you say that one does not support the troops because they do not support the governement’s decision to engage in a particular war is sleazy, underhanded, disinegnuous, lowly, punkish, juvenile, and just plain creepy.

    Period.

    JMJ

  20. Micky 2 says:

    Yes, you are done, I could stick a fork in you.

    Our troops suppoort the governments decision when they get in line at the recriuters offics and say “sign me up”
    I have heard about this war and I want to support our countries efforts and the men their fighting now because I believe like they believe that our government and George W Bush are doing the right thing.

    You can bend it, twist it and come up withh all the ridiculous ways to phrase and apply it that you want.
    Nothing can change the fact that you do not support our troops when they choose to fight for the exact same reasons as those who decided on this war in the first place.
    And those who are fighting now are doing it for the exact same reasons that the government is doing it.

    These men are smart enough to know what they are getting into and why.
    And the statistics and facts show this.

    You are wrong as the day is long.
    And not just by my standards. But by the standard of fact.

    It is a fact that you cannot say only one man is wrong out of two that believe in the exact same thing without being a humungous hypocrite.

    JMJ;
    “sleazy, underhanded, disinegnuous, lowly, punkish, juvenile, and just plain creepy.”

    I have refrained my best from name calling only to describe your actions and deceptive grammar/linguistics/semantic as disengenuous but the above list is just a small portion some of the things I have to say to guys of your kind.

    Anyone who reads this and has any sense of common logic will see you and the left exposed for the less than desirable people that they are when they say they support the troops.

    And especially me.
    I take very personally that anyone would think I would be so stupid as to swallow that line considering all the other sentiments you and the left have attached to it by virtue of all the past rhetoric that has come out of your mouths

  21. Charlene Martel says:

    Jersey,

    Thank a soldier today (and every day) for your right to spout anything you like about the soldiers and and their Commander-in-Chief. Everything you said (at GREAT length) comes down to the fact that you think George Bush is an idiot. It’s nice you didn’t get in any digs about how he stole the election.

    Supporting the troops means supporting OUR country and OUR President. Write to the President and your congressman how you feel about the war, but spouting dissent on every available forum only encourages those who hate us.

    I feel disgusted and used every time I hear Maliki quoted on how much he wants sharia law, and his latest on how he can hardly wait for our troops to get out of his country. I suspect that arabs are no more ready for democracy than a pack of hyenas. I wish we were less high-minded about spreading democracy. The adage about leading a horse to water seems to apply here. Afghanistan is looking like a similar mess in the making.

    There is no good way to disengage from either of those hellholes. The people we want to liberate embrace their chains.

  22. Eagle 6 says:

    Micky and Jersey – glad to see you two are still offering great viewing entertainment…also am still impressed with Eric’s commentary. I punched out a couple weeks ago because we have been involved in the recent “cleansing” around the Diyala, Kirkuk, Tikrit areas into a central pocket – and when I say “we”, I’m talking Iraqis in the lead, front, and back. I looked for a majority of US Soldiers – those under-20 white males and saw what I thought was one a few days ago, but it turned out to be female with really short hair…the under-20 Soldiers are more likely to vote Democrat because they are still inexperience in matters of finance and common sense.

    I wrote to a friend a few days ago and essentially said the same thing that has been addressed here: I’m a volunteer, and you can’t support me without supporting my mission and commander in chief. His response was as follows, “You and I also both know that a weak, ineffectual Congress was browbeaten into that resolution authorizing force, and before the NOV ’02 elections, at that…. force that was deemed capable of overwheming a weakened Iraq, in one bold stroke — more because the timing was right in the view of the war’s proponents, and the political capital was there after 9-11, than for any other reason. The last two points are almost one in the same…It’s for precisely that reason that I for one can applaud you, but not the elected and appointed leadership that put our troops there to start, in the processing weakening the US and opening up a pandora’s box. ”

    Let me say this: I do not agree with his basic premises, and I have argued those points in the past (violations of resolutions and sanctions to include torture, developing WMD, hosting terrorist camps, displacing hundreds of thousands of people, et al – things revisionists have ignored for 5 years), but because HE believes what he believes, I honor his opinion and his regard for Soldiers’ service. Likewise, Jersey, I don’t agree with most of your arguments, but given the consistency of your beliefs, I understand where you are coming from and respect your thoughts on the matter.

    Interesting tidbit: I had lunch in Chemical Ali’s house outside Kirkuk yesterday… although I eat most afternoon meals with the Iraqis, I had my first “yogurt, water, and salt” drink…in the US we call it “spoiled milk”…but it doesn’t give one flatulence that the latter does… :>)

  23. Eagle 6 says:

    Charlene, Because Iraq has an infrastructure – potential revenues from oil, cows, sheep, goats, manufacturing, and services industries, they have a shot – they may embrace their chains because people, by nature, are creatures of habit and like to be taken care of…they are afraid of change… that’s why there are so many communists, monarchs, despots, and so few democracies and republics – and one of the reasons our nation is leaning so far left toward socialism – we want Uncle Sugar to take care of us… as a fall back. We like to talk about freedom, but we want the government to set the conditions for our employment, provide free health care, free education, flush toilets, AC, a car, cell phones, internet access, and iPods, but we seem reluctant to make the necessary sacrifices to have these things.

    I’m not sure Afghanistan is “winnable”, and the Arab state has a ways to go… the Kurds are ready now… but that leads to an entirely different discussion! Great comments –

  24. Jenn Sierra says:

    Have a wonderful time, Eric! We want to see lots of pics. 🙂

  25. Thunder_Run says:

    The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the – Web Reconnaissance for 08/06/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day…so check back often.

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