A Letter From Iraq

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by numediaman, Apr 8, 2004.

  1. numediaman macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    This is from the blog "A View from the Classroom":

    A Letter From Iraq

    This is a note my friend Scott sent to his wife the day after the four contractors were killed in Fallujah. Scott was in the Armed Forces for years and is now working in Iraq as a contractor helping to rebuild Iraq while his wife and kids are in Flordia. He has a ground-level view, and his words are chilling and scary and powerful.

    Letter:
    I know about the news. We need Colin Powell back in charge. Discipline is slipping in the forces and it reminds one of the Viet-Nam pictures of old. Instead of a professional military outfit here we have a bunch of cowboys and vigilantes running wild in the streets. The ugly American has never been so evident.

    Someone in charge needs to drop the hammer on this lack of discipline, especially that which is being shown by the Special Forces, security contractors, and "other government agencies". We won the war but that doesn't mean we can treat the people of this country with contempt and disregard with no thought to the consequences.

    Those contractors, just like the last ones who were killed, were out running free with no military escort. Armed or not, that is a breach of protocol and a severe security risk. While I grieve for the families of those persons I would like to see the person who decided that it was alright for them to convoy out there without the military brought up on charges, unless of course that person was in the convoy, in which case at least he won't be getting anyone else killed.

    I'm angry about how we're treating peope here. I know it's not the entire military, in fact it is a very small, select group that believes they are somehow above the law of not only this land but also the law of the military and those laws we hold dear in our own country. If someone were to try to treat our fellow Americans the way some of these people are treating the Iraquis the courts would certainly lock them away. I would phrase that last line harsher, but in light of recent events that would be cruel. Discipline is needed here, and I'm not certain that our current administration is prepared to take the steps necessary to crack down on all of this. In order for discipline to be restored I do believe Donald Rumsfield would have to admit that perhaps Powell's rules of war were in fact valid.

    Please feel free to send my comments to any Senator, Member of the House, Governor, President, or Secretary of Defense that you would like.


    I don't know how to contexualize these words. I'm embarrassed to be an American because of the acts of the few that he speaks of, but I remain of my country because I am proud to know Americans like Scott who have served our nation in ways I can't imagine doing. I am angry that he is there, away from his wife and kids, seeing what he is seeing. I am angry that this job was the best thing he could find after giving the Army many years of service. I am angry that this administration has created this situation, that now seems more dire by the day.​

    I've corrected some spelling, otherwise, this is the post from today.
    http://www.beaconschool.org/~clehmann/MT/archives/001766.php
     
  2. Thanatoast macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

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    #2
    too bad you'll never hear about this on the mainstream media, where it might do some good...
     
  3. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #3
    thanks for posting it
     
  4. numediaman thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Thinking this over this morning, I am now concerned that this situation may turn out even worse than I originally feared.

    It is a basic tenet of Republican thought that the reason we lost in Vietnam was due to the government not allowing the military to use all force necessary. It is, of course, one of the most ridiculous arguments ever put forward.

    Now we have Iraq. Do you really think Rumseld, Cheney and Bush will allow a non-military solution to Iraq to happen? I see nothing but blood.

    A famous story about post-war Vietnam is where a former North Vietnamese general is talking to a U.S. general several years later. The U.S. general says "you never beat us on the battlefield" -- and the Vietnamese general says "you're right, and its irrelevant".

    Will we "win" if we defeat the insurgents in Iraq? I doubt it. We can kill as many Iraqis as we want -- but just as in Vietnam, who will be on "our side"?

    Here's an article somewhat related:
    Now it is America that desperately needs rescuing
    By Martin Woollacott, The Guardian, April 9, 2004

    . . . The formative years of the men who have shaped the foreign policy of George Bush's administration were influenced by the humiliation of defeat in Vietnam, and by the idea that if only the country's military power had been properly exerted, without condition or obstacle, Vietnam could have been won.

    Iraq has become a test case for this concept of untrammelled military power, and it is proving a difficult one. With the excitement of the armoured race to Baghdad now a distant memory, the Bush administration finds itself face to face, perhaps even more than its predecessors in Vietnam, with what could be called the essential meagreness of the military instrument. It can be a key that opens the door for other kinds of action, but it cannot substitute for them. George Bernard Shaw observed that any political arrangement that depends on soldiers is not likely to continue long. The truth in Iraq has, from the start, been that the American "occupation", like most occupations, has never meant any kind of close military control of Iraqi society. Even if close control was desirable, American and other coalition troops are not present in sufficient numbers - nor do they have the language and other skills that would enable them to exercise it . . .
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,3858,4898656-103550,00.html
     
  5. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #5
    very much reminds me of the kind of situations i frequently encountered when consulting (big s/w systems). i'd tell management: "you're looking for a technological solution to a managerial problem"
     
  6. kuyu macrumors 6502a

    kuyu

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    Louisville
    #6
    A friend of mine just got back from Iraq about 1 month ago. He's 101st Airborne out of Fort Campbell KY. His take on the war is excellent.

    One, he said that Iraq totally sucks. It's a crappy country gripped by fear. He also said that Kuwait was the nicest place he'd ever seen.

    Two, the Iraqi's distrust us. His speculation was that it stems from the Gulf War when Bush 1 told the people to rise up, and then let them be killed.

    Three, It's not Iraqi's who keep attacking us. He says that the roadside bombings are too well executed to be untrained militia. Thus, he thinks it's foreign anti-US zealots who've come to take advantage of the situation there.

    Four, our soldiers there are not trained to keep guard. They're a little out of their element.

    Finally, he doesn't want to go back. It's way to hot, and there's nothing to do. The stars in charge won't let them shoot at people without being given an order. The soldiers' hands are tied.

    He did say that the original fighting was fun (he's a bit of a psychopath), and that Saddam's palace (the one he saw) was rediculously opulant.
     
  7. numediaman thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Sorry to hear about that. He should consider moving to L.A. He can shoot anytime he likes and no one will complain. The bad part is that they shoot back -- and they are better shots than the Iraqis (one reason I moved up to the Bay Area).
     

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