Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Iraq: a Marine’s view

The Washington Post runs this piece by a Marine officer about to deploy to Iraq for the third time. Here’s a taste:

We know the streets, the people and the insurgents far better than any armchair academic or talking head. As military professionals, we are trained to gauge the chances of success and failure, to calculate risk and reward. We have little to gain from our optimism and quite a bit to lose as we leave our families over and over again to face danger and deprivation for an increasingly unpopular cause. We know that there are no guarantees in war, and that we may well fail in the long run. We also know that if we follow our current plan we can, over time, leave behind a stable and unified country that might help to anchor a better future for the Middle East.

Godspeed, Major Connable! We’re grateful for your service.

Discussions - 12 Comments

The strength in these words is awe inspiring. I am always amazed at the ability of our soldieers to be both optomistic and realistic. I think thats what keeps them going back. Our country should be proud we can raise young men such as this, in spite of the written word that lines our birdcages. I hear so many negative voices stating that we’ve already lost. As long as we have men such as this in our military, we’ve already won.

Well hey, frankr, if "we’ve already won" then I guess the time has come for you and the rest of the Bush-war cheerleaders to tell the troops that they can stop digging and come on home, right?

Sometimes I do miss the draft. We could scoop up smartalecks like ol’ Chris here and get his ass shot off instead of a patriot’s.

G.I Joe, Chris L has certainly redefined the term a**hole.

My late father, a career armyman, had a saying about individuals like Chris L. It went something to the effect that "He doesn’t know s*** from shinola."

Quite frankly I am quite fed up with the constant harping from defeatist cretins like Chris L.

Geez, fellas! All I was saying that if we’ve already won this thing, as frankr said, then there’s no point in keeping our boys over there. Am I right, or am I right? Or are you in favor of keeping troops in place even after it’s "Mission Accomplished"?

Well why not keep a certain sizable force in Iraq at the behest of their government.

I mean we have had troops in germany for over 60 years and in korea for 50+. And the threat there is less than in Iraq. We should stay until the Iraqi’s ask us to leave and not Howard dean or other DNcfeatists.


Somewhere in Vermont the DNC is searching for the idiot who left his village.

It’s funny that you mentioned Vermont. Vermont has a lot of folks who have left their villages, but I’m not sure you’d want to call them idiots, jesse fan.

"Vermont’s National Guard and reserve units have the second-highest mobilization rate per capita, trailing only Hawaii’s. And, with seven active-duty service members and four Guard members who have died in Iraq, it has lost more residents as a percentage of its population than any other state." (Feb. ’05 article)

That’s nearly 1,400 reservists serving (again, as of Feb.)

To #7:

You must have missed it. The idiot I referred to is the DNC head honcho, Howie Dean, you know of foot in the mouth fame?

If anyone has contact information for Major Connable, please pass this on to us ASAP. The Major has exactly what it takes to be a successful "reporter" for us in Iraq. He could write these stories of the sentiments of the Iraqi "street" (this is a key term to use to create an aura of credibility; using quasi-beatnik lingo gives a hip "vibe" to the PR!), we get them translated into Arabic, and insert them into tv and print stories across Iraq, and -voila!- the Iraqi people suddenly come to realize that all of their neighbors believe that things are getting better (even if their husbands/wives/children might have been killed or had their legs/arms blown off by terrorists -aka their neighbor across the street- or Coalition forces) and a brighter day of Democracy and Freedom (and maybe a jug of clean water) is "just around the corner." So, THEY should believe this too! I liked that Major Connable spoke derisively (nearly in a Rove-ian fashion!) of sundry polls that show American support dropping for his mission (which is, of course, to actually defend America) but that he spoke reverently of the numbers from another unspecified poll that show significant grunt support of the mission to deliver Democracy to the Iraqis, and that he didn’t mention at all the very recent Brookings Institution poll that showed the percentage of Iraqis who are optimistic about their future falling from 65% in ’03 to 49% today.

But most of all, I found his skills to be most adept when he slapped the naysayers by twisting the popular phrase "armchair generals" into "armchair academics." Typically the "armchair" slur is aimed at those who aspire to be "the real thing" but instead settle for merely posing as it (think Coke vs. other colas!). Armchair academics would thus have to be those outside of the academic elite posing as the academic elite. But as we can see, the academic elite here at NoLeftTurns contains plenty of pro-war armchair GENERALS. So Connable is really slamming non-elite citizens who appreciate the war skeptics in the academic professions. Thus, Connable brilliantly and firmly takes sides with one faction of the academic elite (the armchair generals) but creates the appearance of being a salt-of-the-earth Democracy-lover who despises the nasty, know-it-all elites above all else! Now if he can maneuver like this on the battlefield, we might actually defeat those "terrorists" (I think he should consider using the phrase "terrorists" instead of "insurgents" though to make people think of 9/11 rather than anyone fighting against forces that occupy a country based on false premises. But this is a small quibble!). But what am I saying?? We ALREADY ARE defeating the 9/11-style terrorists in Iraq! Clearly, this MAN has what it takes! So, if he’s interested in making some serious money, he can work for us in "reporting" to the Iraqis that all is really well and only getting better by the minute, and that if they think otherwise, they might need to see a Coalition "counselor" in a private meeting at the Abu Ghraib Help & Relief Center.

Gee, my eyes are watering from all the sarcasm and pseudo-scientific ’evidence’ in that last posts. Mr. Purity there would be another candidate for the draft, IMHO.

G.I. Joe - What exactly are you endorsing in comment 3? So, people who don’t support a war should be sent off to fight it, while the real, true "patriots" (who do, of course, support the war) be kept safe at home, out of harm’s way? I won’t even start on the moral aspects of it, but it also just sounds like a guaranteed way to lose a war. Why sabotage a war that you start, and presumably want to win, by sending in battalions comprised strictly of unenthusiastic troops who are opposed to what they have been sent to do? Think about this the next time you’re stimulating yourself with your action figures.

And regarding comment 10, who cries from sarcasm and evidence? That is a bizarre emotional response, isn’t it?

Watering eyes can come from laughter as well, Einstein.

The system works like this...the traitors are put in the front lines and the enemy wastes bullets on them. Then the patriots come right behind them (they are needed to get the traitors to act like men) and the enemy, fresh out of bullets or lulled into a sense of complacency by the "turkey shoot" is overwhelmed. We win, the patriots live, and losers such as yourself have served a far nobler purpose than any they would have chosen for themselves. Perfect.

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