h1

Are we winning in Iraq?

April 30, 2007

One of the hardest things I find in trying to answer that question is squaring what I see and read in the all-is-lost-can’t-you-see-it MSM with missives like this one:

‘I’m Tired’

Two weeks ago, as I was starting my sixth month of duty in Iraq, I was forced to return to the USA for surgery for an injury I sustained prior to my deployment. With luck, I’ll return to Iraq to finish my tour.

I left Baghdad and a war that has every indication that we are winning, t o return to a demoralized country much like the one I returned to in 1971 after my tour in Vietnam. Maybe it’s because I’ll turn 60 years old in just four months, but I’m tired:

I’m tired of spineless politicians, both Democrat and Republican who lack the courage, fortitude, and character to see these difficult tasks through.

I’m tired of the hypocrisy of politicians who want to rewrite history when the going gets tough.

I’m tired of the disingenuous clamor from those that claim they ‘Support the Troops’ by wanting them to ‘Cut and Run’ before victory is achieved.

I’m tired of a mainstream media that can only focus on car bombs and casualty reports because they are too afraid to leave the safety of their hotels to report on the courage and success our brave men and women are having on the battlefield.

I’m tired that so many Americans think you can rebuild a dictatorship into a democracy over night.

I’m tired that so many ignore the bravery of the Iraqi people to go to the voting booth and freely elect a Const itution and soon a permanent Parliament.

I’m tired of the so called ‘Elite Left’ that prolongs this war by giving aid and comfort to our enemy, just as they did during the Vietnam War.

I’m tired of antiwar protesters showing up at the funerals of our fallen soldiers. A family who’s loved ones gave their life in a just and noble cause, only to be cruelly tormented on the funeral day by cowardly protesters is beyond shameful.

I’m tired that my generation, the Baby Boom — Vietnam generation, who have such a weak backbone that they can’t stomach seeing the difficult tasks through to victory.

I’m tired that some are more concerned about the treatment of captives than they are the slaughter and beheading of our citizens and allies.

I’m tired that when we find mass graves it is seldom reported by the press, but mistreat a prisoner and it is front page news.

Mostly, I’m tired that the people of this great nation didn’t learn from history that there is no substitute for Victory.

Sincerely,
Joe Repya,
Lieutenant Colonel, U. S. Army
101st Airborne Division

(Via Maverick News Media.)

Which is closer to the truth?

One thing is for sure, I think. If the abandonment of Vietnam was bad, defeat in Iraq will be much worse. So I tip towards LTCOL Repya’s perspective on things: stay on for the long haul, weather the storm, and build for the best possible chance for a reasonable future for Iraq.

But there are no good stories in that. And it’s the stories that count in the courts of public and Congressional opinion.

At this stage I really fear the worst. I think Congress will force termination of the engagement in Iraq, the US will withdraw with its allies, Iraq will implode, and immeasurable loss of life will follow. But no-one, apart from the Iraqis, will care, because once the US is out, the newsworthiness of what happens in Iraq will reduce to all-but-zero — except for an initial spasm of horror-reporting blaming (naturally) the US for the carnage. The TV crews will pull out, the journalists we care about will all go home, and the inevitable slaughter will be, oh well, just another Darfur. Vaguely terrible and all, but nothing we can do about it.

I’d be happy for events to prove me wrong, of course.

Advertisements

5 comments

  1. Perhaps some help in answering your question might come from knowing that Lt. Col. Repya’s piece addresses the situation as he saw it in November 2005, when his passionate prose was first published on the Powerline blog. It might help to review what has happened in Iraq since then to see if the conditions he describes are still an accurate description of the country.

    There’s one in his list that made me wonder what he’s talking about. He writes about antiwar protesters showing up at funerals for fallen heroes. The only funeral protestors I have heard about are members of Fred Phelps congregation, who outrageously claim that troop deaths are part of God’s revenge against the USA for being pro-homosexual. These jerks have been condemned by everybody.


  2. Spike, I still see the same kind of message from milbloggers from all over Iraq, though. The commonest message I read (maybe I read the wrong blogs) is that the troops deployed to Iraq do not even recognise the country they are fighting in from the descriptions the MSM give of it.

    It’s very hard to know what the truth of the situation is at the tactical level; but I think the strategic picture is clear enough.


  3. Rob

    I cannot see how our continued presence in Iraq is achieving anything. The insurgency will not stop because of a new ‘surge’ (the British casualty rate is actually going up not down). Reluctantly i feel we must call time on this disastrous episode in our history and let the civil war take its own course.


  4. pommy, I’d come to your side of the net if I were convinced that the war really is lost. But I’m still having great difficulty reconciling the relative optimism from the troops on the ground with the doom-saying of the political commentariat. So much of the latter is keyed to a political agenda, as was the rhetoric for withdrawal and defeat towards the end of the Vietnam War.

    Maybe colour me agnostic.


  5. I’m sick of misinformation. This is my original letter.

    “I’m Tired”
    Two weeks ago, as I was starting my sixth month of duty in Iraq, I was forced to return to the USA for surgery for an injury I sustained while in Iraq. When I recuperate they will want me to return to Iraq to finish my tour. I left Baghdad and a war that has every indication that we are losing, to return to a demoralized country much like the one I returned to in 1971 after my tour in Vietnam. Maybe it’s because I’ll turn 60 years old in just four months, but I’m tired:

    I’m tired of spineless politicians, both Democrat and Republican who lack the courage, fortitude, and character to see anything but shallow solutions that are based on waging war.

    I’m tired of the hypocrisy of politicians who want to rewrite history by rushing to war when the going gets tough.

    I’m tired of the disingenuous clamor from those that claim they ‘Support the Troops’ by forcing them to re-enlist while not supporting them when they return home.

    I’m tired of a mainstream media that can only focus on car bombs and casualty reports because they are too afraid to show the real story of civilian deaths and atrocities at the hands of our military.

    I’m tired that so many Americans think you can enforce democracy through war.

    I’m tired that so many ignore the bravery of the Iraqi people to go about their daily lives.

    I’m tired of the so called ‘Elite Right’ that prolongs this war by justifying it with lies.

    I’m tired that my generation, the Baby Boom-Vietnam generation, have such a weak backbone that they can’t or won’t stand up and protest war as a course they no longer support.

    Mostly, I’m tired that the people of this great nation didn’t learn from history that war does not solve problems, it creates problems.

    Sincerely,

    Dave Rapya,
    Lieutenant Colonel, U. S. Army
    101st Airborne Division



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: