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Handing Iraq back to Al Qaeda: How do our Iraq war vets feel about that?

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by Little-Acorn, Jun 13, 2014.

  1. Little-Acorn

    Little-Acorn Well-Known Member

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    How do our Iraq War veterans, who fought and bled to free Iraq from Saddam Hussein and his terrorist training camps, feel about Obama pulling our troops out and handing the country back to Al Qaeda?

    According to antiwar.com, 4,489 of them are "not available for comment", having given their lives to free the country in the first place.

    Recent headlines:

    BAGHDAD FALLING: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...e-after-seizing-mosul-and-tikrit-9530899.html
    MOSUL OVERRUN BY AL QAEDA: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...could-still-get-worse-here-are-5-reasons-why/
    AL QAEDA ALLIES SIEZE TIKRIT: http://time.com/#2857751/iraq-tikrit-baghdad-isis-mosul/
    TERRORISTS "FULL-BLOWN ARMY": http://www.thedailybeast.com/articl...errorists-are-becoming-a-full-blown-army.html#

    Election have consequences. Especially when you elect liberal fanatics to be the Commander in Chief, and give them majorities in Congress... as we did after defeating most terrorists in Iraq.

    --------------------------------------

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/cong...ts-helplessly-watch-their-gains-lost-20140611

    Congress's Iraq Vets Helplessly Watch Their Gains Lost

    By Clara Ritger
    June 11, 2014

    Americans are tired of war. For the 17 members of Congress who served in Iraq, that means watching helplessly as the cities they fought for fall once more to extremists.

    Three Republican congressmen who served in Iraq—Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Doug Collins of Georgia, and Brad Wenstrup of Ohio—said it feels like the progress they made has been thrown away.

    "Going out across the desert I remember the feelings that you have, wondering if you're going to make it out alive," Perry said. "Right now I wonder what that was all about. What was the point of all of that?"

    "We have an enemy today that senses weakness, knows how to find it, and then goes after it," Wenstrup said. "I came home from Iraq feeling that we liberated 25 million people."

    "I think at this point the administration made a choice to cut and run," Collins said. "When Fallujah fell again, we knew this foreign policy had consequences.
     
  2. GBFan

    GBFan Well-Known Member

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    One word .... Pissed.
     
  3. Walter

    Walter Administrator Staff Member

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    I found an interesting thread:
    http://www.houseofpolitics.com/threads/al-queda-in-iraq-and-syria.16894/

    where OldTrapper said:

    So what do you think is the right thing to do?
    Stay longer? Fight harder (=more troops, more money)?
     
  4. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    Let's not forget in all of this that the Iraqi government basically told us to leave by refusing to come to any agreement with a new Status of Forces Agreement that President Obama did try to negotiate. To some extent, the current Iraqi government is reaping what they sowed.

    Realistically at this point, the only real practical option in my viewpoint is to conduct some airstrikes against ISIS. This would seriously diminish them for the time being, but of course does nothing to address the real underlying problems still very prevalent in Iraq which brings these things about to begin with.

    That said, I do not support sending any large force of soldiers back into Iraq. There currently is no clear game plan for what that mission would entail. At this time, the most I would get behind personally is some form of limited air campaign. I empathize with the soldiers who feel betrayed and wonder what the point of being there was - but at the same time, you must have a clear mission and a clear point for the new soldiers or what is the point of sending them over?

    This all said, take a look around the world and see the result of a weak American foreign policy.
     
  5. Little-Acorn

    Little-Acorn Well-Known Member

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    http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/20...sts-islamic-state-war-veteran-bay-area-obama/
    War Veterans Watch In Horror As Iraqi Towns They Fought For Fall To ISIS Terrorists
    by Brandon Mercer
    June 12, 2014 8:07 PM
    SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — “It’s like a punch in the gut,” is how one Bay Area Iraq War veteran describes news today that Mosul, Tikrit, Ninevah, and so many other Iraqi cities fell to the terrorist army known as ISIS.

    At a veterans’ event in Fort Mason, Army human resources specialist Starlyn Lara reacted to the insurgents’ success.

    “You know it’s really hard, because part of what you learn in the military is mission success, mission accomplishment and never to accept failure,” the two-time Iraq War veteran said. “It can make you feel a lot of loss was in vain.”
     
  6. GBFan

    GBFan Well-Known Member

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    If you measure war in dollars and cents, or even in lives lost, you can never make a compelling argument for war.

    However, if your argument is 'right vs. wrong', or 'freedom vs. servitude', then the discussion becomes much more compelling.

    Does anyone among us believe that our non-involvement in Iraq or Afghanistan serves their higher purpose, provides more comfort or sustenance to the Iraqis or Afghans, or ensure that the people of these two countries will live freer in the future?

    Most assuredly not.

    So, the real questions should be: Do those people deserve the opportunity to live in peace and freedom? Do they deserve the freedoms we enjoy? Do we have a greater responsibility to help them?

    The answer to all those questions is the same .... yes.

    The Declaration of Independence says "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

    It talks about ALL people - not just those in the United States, or just those who are white, or just those who live in New York - rather, ALL people, whether they are citizens of the US or not.

    Some will argue that we don't have such a responsibility, that we shouldn't be the 'world's policemen', or that it doesn't serve our personal interests what happens over there. But ... to those whom much is given, much is expected.

    If not us, who? If not now, when?

    Some complain that we wouldn't have a mission - that it would be an unending effort. Those who say that ignore both reality AND history ... we DO have a mission, and we DO have an end target.

    History tells us that helping a nation rebuild itself from a dictatorship to a democracy is a long and ugly process. It has been 70 years since we conquered Germany, but we are still there. The same applies for Japan, and 60 years for Korea. The concept that we can go into a country, kill a few opponents, and then walk away is either gross naivete or sheer stupidity. Yes - in order to build, you must first tear down what is there. We have fought the last three wars based on political convenience rather than mission completion.

    If we are ready to go in there with a firm commitment to finish the job, and clear eye on the ultimate goal, then we need to do just that. However, if we are going to use the lives - and deaths - of our soldiers as a political pawn, then we need not go at all.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2014
  7. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    It is a noble sentiment that you spell out, but I cannot express how fervently I disagree with the end result if your statements.

    This is true enough to an extent. Certainly we can support the concept that they deserve to live in a peaceful, free society....but that does not extend to launching wars anywhere there is inequality or a lack of freedom. I can list over twenty countries off the top of my head that fit this criteria. Are we to launch a war there to bring them "freedom"?

    There has to be more to it. We can support "freedom" and "peace" without going to war all over the world. There must be an additional interest at stake to necessitate true military action.

    This is a very interesting viewpoint. Basically you are saying because we are the superpower in the world we must launch wars to install stable democracies all around the world, essentially regardless of the cost - in human life or money.

    I am all for the promotion of democracy, but at the end of the day a country has to do it for themselves. Iraq will never be a peaceful, stable democracy because we will it - it will be a peaceful stable democracy because the people of Iraq take the responsibility for themselves. Certainly we can help in that process, but we cannot just wave our hands and make it happen.

    This is a absurd. How can you ask a soldier to put his life on the line and be unable to define a mission outside of "one day this will be a stable democracy".

    Your point about maintaining troops in other nations is misguided. We don't maintain those bases and deployments because the host countries need them to prevent reverting to a dictatorship. We maintain them to have the ability to strike anywhere in the world and to protect our interests and status as the preeminent world power.

    The end mission to every war cannot, and should not, be the creation of a stable, pro-western democracy.
     
  8. GBFan

    GBFan Well-Known Member

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    I gather this means you oppose freedom for all ... or that you just disagree with having to be inconvenienced into helping them.

    Interesting --- you profess commitment to freedom for all, but are unwilling to expend any of your resources for it. "We got ours ... let them get theirs.' seems to sum up your position.

    Of course, I don't have to cite all the historical realities that led to our 'getting ours' .. assistance from France, etc. But, somehow, you seem to believe we deserved that assistance, but nobody else does.

    I do notice, however, the verbal sleight of hand. We are not going to 'launch a war' to 'bring them freedom'. The war is already on -- ISIS started it. We are not going to give them the gift of freedom ... we are going to help them find their own freedom.

    Sometimes, things are so simple they can't be seen ... you can't support 'freedom' and 'peace' without being willing to put some skin in the game. What do you propose? Copies of the Constitution delivered by UN planes for every resident of Iraq? It's easy to say 'there has to be more to it', but there isn't. You have to be willing to pay whatever price is necessary.

    We went into the European theater in WWII with nothing to gain -- nothing, nil, nada. We were not threatened ... we were not attacked. We went because our friends were being overrun by a tyrant. Why is this any different? Iraq has been asking for assistance since April - and our President is 'surprised' by what's going on? No -- he's afraid of what's going on.

    Again - linguistic gymnastics. I do not propose that we 'launch wars' or 'install democracies'. Rather, I propose that we have a moral and ethical responsibility to support and assist those who want freedom and democracy. We don't do this because we are the superpower in the world - we do this because that's who we are - or who we should be - and, frankly, because we are the only ones who can do it. We are the example - we are the receivers of this gift - and, with that, we have the responsibility to help those who want it. "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

    It's pretty easy for some to sit in their comfortable little home, with their 2 year old car, 3 tv's, and a refrigerator full of food to pontificate about how they have to do it themselves. They ARE trying - but it's not a fair fight. They need help - they asked us for it. You want to turn them away - simply because you don't want to be bothered with it.

    Self-righteous indignation, now?

    I don't know what your background might be - but I can assure you my background enables me to talk with full authority about soldiers and their commitment. I did not say that I couldn't define the mission - I said that it needs to be defined. Tell me - what was the mission of the troops sent to Europe during WWII, or those to the Pacific?

    The cold reality is very simple - our leadership does not have the balls - and neither does a large portion of our citizenry - to go to war with the full intent to fight to the finish. In Viet Nam, we won the war militarily - and gave it away at the bargaining table. In Desert Shield, we defeated their military at every point, but stopped at the border for fear of offending the liberal doves back home.

    Because of our refusal to finish the job, we had to go back during Desert Storm. We completely defeated all elements of the tyranny, and assisted the Iraqi population to put in motion the underpinnings of self government. But ... again, due to political exigency, we left before the job was done. We are seeing the results of that today.

    Now, we propose to do the same thing in Afghanistan. In fact, the President has announced that whether it's done or not, we're leaving --- another job left undone.

    Again, let us look at history - and, to keep it simple, we'll restrict it to the last 70 years.

    First, Germany - we were the occupying force in Germany until 1955 - that means, we were the controlling government, and we helped them to construct their own government. Even with us assisting, it took Germany 6 years to write their own Constitution. Their government faced no opposition - because we had defeated them. We continued our military presence after 1955 because of the proximity to Soviet-backed East Germany.

    Now, Japan - we were the occupying force in Japan until 1952. Their constitution was approved in 1947, and we helped to put their economy back on its feet before we left. Their government faced no opposition - because we had defeated them.

    Oh, by the way - it took us 5 years to write our OWN constitution - what the heck makes you think Iraq or Afghanistan can do it any faster? Why would we even pretend to believe that NOT defeating their opponents would facilitate their democratization process? Frankly - we promised a lot, and delivered nothing - and we left them to swing in the wind.

    As a military man, let me assure you how the military feels - there is NO other reason to go to war.
     
  9. Lagboltz

    Lagboltz Well-Known Member

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    According to a poll by the Washington Post and ABC news, 78 percent of respondents supported the decision to withdraw all U.S. Troops from Iraq.

    You are entitled to your opinion about our citizenry, but let's not forget that in our democracy, the government is by the people, and the people have spoken. If our government goes against the voice of our people in critical matters like multi-billion dollar wars, we are no longer a democracy.
    Fortunately, the US government is not run by military men. At least in principle, it is run by the people who vote.
     
  10. Dennis Smith

    Dennis Smith New Member

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    I cannot stomach Obama. Having said this I have to say I lay this situation in Iraq at goofy Bush's feet as I predicted what's happening today in 2003. This is not Germany or Japan. This is the Middle East with a totally different mind set. We lost thousands of lives and uncounted wounded and billions of dollars which mostly went to Halliburton and Cheney. If we send troops back in it will be deja vu all over again in a few years.Whatever you thought about Saddam,if he was still there al queda would not be. Do people really think al queda or the taliban or this so-called ISIS or mullahbulla or fartchoma or whatever the terrorist group is calling themselves, is going to sign a surrender document on The USS Missouri? Obama just turned loose 5 of the very worst. Has anyone heard that one of the RINOs is drawing up impeachment papers? Am I a dove? No, I'm a totally disabled veteran who sees the world as it is. Let's drop a 7 megaton H-bomb on Riyadh if you really want to take out the source of all this.
     
  11. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Exactly right.
    No, I missed that. Who is drawing up impeachment papers, and on what basis?

    I'm pretty sure this part is satire.
    If we're going to bomb Riyadh, we'd better find an alternative to oil first.
     
  12. GBFan

    GBFan Well-Known Member

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    Actually, the truth is ... the people have said what they were told to say.
     
  13. GBFan

    GBFan Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, Dennis .... I assume you've missed something.

    Al Qaeda was actively supported, and funded, by the Hussein regime. Twenty one training camps were closed during the first days of Desert Storm. Perhaps you didn't hear about Saddam paying the families of suicide bombers.

    You're right ... we lost 'thousands of lives and uncounted wounded and billions of dollars ' for no good result... but, that's not because the goal was bad, or the mission was poorly executed. It is simply because our leaders at the end of the battle lost sight of the goal, and succumbed to political expediency, and quit the battlefield before the fight was over. Now, we do it again in Afghanistan.

    You are also exactly right --- ISIS, or any of the others, won't sign a surrender document --- so, simply, they must be eliminated. But, our leadership doesn't have the guts to tell the American people that's what it's going to take ... so, instead, they say 'we'll just provide air cover' or 'we'll train their security troops'. Then, when that drags out, and no progress seems to be made, the American people get disillusioned - not with the military - but with the failure of leadership to give them a definable, definitive end goal.

    Then, along comes the left - no war no way. Just stop - walk out - sacrifice all those people on the altar of dictatorship. Suddenly, the POLITICAL climate doesn't allow us to finish the battle. Rather, we have to turn table and run (and, frankly, we're getting damn good at THAT).

    BTW - your Halliburton and Cheney comment is clearly indicative of just how influenced you have been by leftist drivel.
     
  14. dogtowner

    dogtowner Moderator Staff Member

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    This blood is on Obama's hands and his alone. Not that he cares. He got the money back for domestic fraud which was the goal.

    Notice spending did nit decrease as a result if discontinued efforts in iraq.

    Obama may yet wind up with as much blood in his hands as Lincoln.

    Thats enough to make one sick.
     
  15. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    It means it is entirely impractical to assume we can wave our magic wand and freedom will reign around the world.

    I am not willing to send people to war in essentially every corner of the globe for the sole notion of "spreading freedom" - that is absolutely correct.

    If you think France helped us because of a desire to spread freedom and democracy then I might suggest picking up a history book.

    I have already stated I support international action to further our own interests, an idea I regularly comment on in these threads. But simply stating "spreading democracy" is not sufficient.

    The "war" is already on in countless nations all over the world. Are you as enthusiastic about demanding boots on the ground there? Why is Iraq different? And you might note I already stated I would fully back airstrikes to degrade ISIS.

    As already noted, I'd be in favor of airstrikes in this case. Just because you "support freedom" doesn't mean you blindly charge ahead and ignore realities on the ground. If we want to have any real success, we must strategically engage based on the realities on the ground - not the reality we wish was on the ground.

    Germany declared war on us actually. And in terms of Iraq, we "helped" them for over a decade at a major cost, and guess what - their ELECTED GOVERNMENT ASKED US TO LEAVE, when they proved unable to agree on a new status of forces agreement.

    Not to mention, as I already stated, I'd support airstrikes in this case - which is all the help that they realistically need.

    The goal was total victory - but I hardly think you can realistically disregard the differences between the world today and the world at that time - and differences between the nature of our enemy in these conflicts.

    Sometimes true leadership is knowing how to set limited, incremental objectives and accepting the reality of our time. Not every war equates to a decade long occupation that fundamentally changes a population.

    You cannot wish away political realities or the realities that any large coalition faces. Like it or not, politics matters.

    And we spent over a decade in Iraq and were then asked to leave. Let's face it, the government if Iraq currently has been horrible about cracking down on various sectarian elements. I'm sure to some government officials, the Sunni population is their enemy. That doesn't make it legitimate, and it doesn't mean the US military is at their call to further their own political ambitions. There are more realities than just "supporting freedom".

    I'm glad this is your opinion, but you don't speak for the whole military.
     
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