High Morale Reported Among Soviet Troops in Afghanistan Too

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During the Soviet war with Afghanistan, which Zbig Brzezinski once commented he helped lead the USSR into — helping in his view to end the Cold War with the minor cost of riling up some Muslims — morale among Russian troops was always reported to be high.
Read this piece from the Armed Forces Press Service:

U.S. Colonel Says Troop Morale ‘Absolutely Tremendous’
By Kathleen T. Rhem
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 26, 2006 — The morale of U.S. soldiers in Baghdad is “absolutely tremendous,” a U.S. Army commander there said today.
“When I talk to my soldiers on the ground, they’re absolutely committed to what we’re doing here,” Army Col. Michael Beech, commander of 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, told Pentagon reporters via teleconference from Forward Operating Base Prosperity in central Baghdad.
He said this high morale is reflected in his unit’s re-enlistment rate — 116 percent of goal for first-term soldiers.
“They volunteered knowing they were coming to Iraq,” he said. “A hundred and sixteen percent of the soldiers that we needed to re-enlist have now re-enlisted and elected to stay in the Army. That’s a tremendous thing, given that we are now in Iraq, in Baghdad, in a pretty tough fight. So I think the morale of our forces is great.”
The colonel also used his news briefing as an opportunity to share his unit’s appreciation for their families in the United States.
“I’d like to thank all of our friends, family members back home, the family members of our soldiers,” he said. “Of course, we couldn’t do this without their love and support during this time period.
“And they’re all our heroes,” he added.

Those who are on the front lines fighting in Iraq were sent there by Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, and a complacent Congress.
Contriving some “big lie” about high morale among troops in an increasingly no-win situation where American objectives in the war have been forgotten worsens the crime of those at the top.
– Steve Clemons

Comments

69 comments on “High Morale Reported Among Soviet Troops in Afghanistan Too

  1. MK says:

    A Norwegian point of view: The really sad and miserable part of the whole Iraq-invasion is that under different circumstances, the US might have led a humanitarian intervention into Iraq AND been greeted as liberators. If Cheney/Bush wasnt who they were. If the motivation had been humanitarian and not eco-political. If there had been a coordinated plan wich involved peacekeeping nations from other countries, like Pakistan, India, Russia and China to step in *immediately* after the invasion. If the US Army had taken the bother to actually learn a few phrases of the language of the people they were supposed to be liberating. Etc.
    Instead, parts of the US. Army has come across as it always does, as a bunch of rude gung-ho, unproffesional killers who are willing to kill each and every goddamn foreigner who for some reason does not immediately succumb to the US commands (never mind that they dont understand them). Norway, where I come from, kept the peace along the Libanon-border for over twenty years, and has several generations of peacekeepers to draw competence from. All norwegian veterans I know view the US Army with disdain, as a bunch of uneducated mach goons with little or no civility and humbleness. The US is loosing in Iraq because you are killing civilians almost daily, generating bloodfeuds. You are loosing because you are treating a nation of warveterans as if they were untermensch. The US is proving once more that fascism always creates opposition. Its a shame that Iraq is being given to the mullahs of Iran, but in the end, the Iraqi people might be better off than under the current occupational regime.
    My solution? Give it all to the chinese. Now.

    Reply

  2. Kathleen says:

    P.S. Americablog has the most haunting war photo I’ve ever seen. I first saw it in the LA Times around the time that the first flag draped coffin photos were leaked to the press and have been kicking myself for not saving it. This one is a tiny little barefoot girl, screaming and splattered in blood, standing next to the legs and boots of a G.I. with his gun. Her parents had just been shot right in front of her. I don’t know how people who claim to believe in God and call themselves “Christians” can square this kind of stuff with their religion. is this what we went to Iraq to do???

    Reply

  3. Kathleen says:

    Carroll,
    If the Iraqis requested the UN for assistance, they would come, provided there was a cease fire first. Also, instead of spending billions every few weeks to blow people to bits, we could make a contribution to UN Special Advisory Services and earmark it for Iraqi technical assistance. The UN afterall did not support the use of force in Iraq and I’m sure would be more than glad to help bring peace and stability there. The stumbling block is not the UN, but Busholini and the Project for a New American Century folks.
    POA, talking of violence I’m sure would get us dragged off to one of those cute detention camps Halliburton is creating. I used to wonder how on earth an educated country like Germany could have allowed Nazism to grow there and take hold. I’m seeing with my own eyes right here. It’s inch by inch in hundreds of subtle little “legal” ways.
    In the meantime, to relieve my frustration, I am praying to Kuan Yin, Goddess of Mercy to take pity on the world and rid us of these NeoNutzis by whatever merciful way she can.

    Reply

  4. parrot says:

    I’m guessing that post was just to get this blog banned from the Internet in Iraq. In that sense, the moral of the troops there will not suffer directly from the commentary on this blog. Of course, the Iraqi people and the troops will continue to suffer…just without any morale dipping info available from the USA.
    One good thing? Well, if the White House Gang can’t control Iraq, they don’t have a snowball’s chance in heck of controlling the US much longer. They may beat the drums of war again against Iran but they’ll find pretty quick that there is no stomach for more war and significant stomach for removing this cancer from our body politic ASAP.

    Reply

  5. Pissed Off American says:

    When the inevitable effort is made to shut us up, the effort will be waged by agents masquerading as patriots, enticing us into advocating and abetting illegal acts. Make no mistake, the advocation of armed or violent insurrection against these treasonous bastards in the White House will undoubtedly be prosecuted, PARTICULARLY if they feel that such a sentiment or advocation is gaining momentum within the general populace. Such an insurrection, to succeed, would require the participation of the MAJORITY of American citizens, and the SUPPORT of a number of key figures in our military. You can’t fight a modern army with Model 94 Winchesters. I do not know what the method is to pry these monsters out of our capital, but advocating violent insurrection is certainly, at this point, self defeating.
    One thing is for sure, it is REALLY interesting to live in this time period, because the next decade could very well make or break man’s destiny on the planet Earth. And we get to watch.

    Reply

  6. The Patriot says:

    You misuse your free speech for sedition and treason. Fortunately it is difficult to erase your comments.

    Reply

  7. Kathleen says:

    Stavrogin,
    More and more people are beginning to think that reasonng is not going to work and watching people being blown to bits every damned day makes one want to fight fire with fire. There are times when that is one’s duty. I wonder if the NeoCons who seem so uncomfortable with us, have children or grandchildren in Iraq and don’t mind feeding them to a war machine, so Cheney and his daughter can tell us to go “F” ourselves and Georgie Porgeis can give us the finger and his daughter can stick her tongue out at us and the world? Any objections from the right on that lewd behavior? Probably not.

    Reply

  8. stavrogin says:

    I vote for my post to be removed. I’m gettin’ a little scared of what I said, like maybe its gonna come back to haunt me and I was just foolin’, honest, just foolin’ Is anybody out there! I was just foolin’ honest; playin’ around with those rabid folk upthread; thought it would get a laugh, but now see you all are takin’ me seriously, and you’ll all blame me for what you do. POA probably out there right now .. if ya know what I mean .. and I don’t mean lookin’ for job like he should be …. but I didn’t mean it honest and would rather you all just grin and bear your circumstances and take it like a man and not do some cowardly thing to upset the apple cart; you’ll not be looked upon as a hero; the media will ensure that, and we’ll be painted black, and that’ll be the end of outward expressions of bile on blogs, and God how I would hate to death venomous lathering drool that too happen. Maybe we couldn’t even hate Bush to our very souls anymore. Maybe it’d be illegal or better yet futile.
    Jesus save meeeeeeeeeee! [crumpled into a heap upon keyboard LOWahupt’vm 0gm94tgyu4a(P^W){W# tm99y^Q)# M(p39pq%^M BVyp
    )yu4w700 y6Y

    Reply

  9. Yoda says:

    Righteous anger is underrated. Leave Stavrogin alone.

    Reply

  10. farmgirl says:

    stavrogin — take that sh*t somewhere else.
    STEVE CLEMONS: I request you consider removing stavrogin’s post. Calls for violent insurrection, however sarcastic, do no one any favors.

    Reply

  11. Hoplite says:

    Henry Rhea: With constant negativity such as found here by this blogger and his band of loyalists, utterly oblivious to the real threat of Islam and the meaning of this war, morale of the troops who are actually fighting it is bound to suffer.
    Negativity?
    FACT: Iran is the chief beneficiary due to the democratic electing of the Al Dawa and the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution of Iraq.
    Please be constructive and show how one can one be positive about the fathering of a burgeoning democratic Islamic republic with extremely close ties to Iran in direct response to the horrific attacks of 9/11.
    Do you know about Al Dawa and the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution of Iraq?
    You seem utterly oblivious to the real threat of fundamentalist Islam. The first group suicide bombed the US Embassy in Kuwait in 1983; it then executed two Americans after having hijacked a plane.
    Morale of the troops?
    You are not helping their morale by making them make sacrifices of life and of limb for Al Dawa and the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution of Iraq.
    How many more people need to be maimed, tortured, drowned, raped, malnutritioned, killed, etc. for the sake of a burgeoning Islamic democratic republic with long standing and extremely close ties to Iran, a so called `axis of evil’?
    How many more hundreds of billions of dollars must be spent for the sake of a burgeoning Islamic democratic republic with long standing and extremely close ties to Iran, a so called `axis of evil’?

    Reply

  12. stavrogin says:

    Carroll, Kathaleen, POA,
    Let’s get some guns, and do some homegrown righteous wrath. Whaddya say? My hatred is maniacly great too that I feel that the only recourse is violence. Let’s it together and do ‘em up as true American Patriots. Make a list and we’ll compare notes. No more of this mental masturbating on these blog that dissipate our righteous wrath. Let’s concentrate it all into one final fit of reducing the evil in our land. Let’s do it! Hoplite you can come too.
    Hey, ya know, it just occurred to me that it would clean up this blog too, ya know, we being on the run and all that.

    Reply

  13. Henry Rhea says:

    With constant negativity such as found here by this blogger and his band of loyalists, utterly oblivious to the real threat of Islam and the meaning of this war, morale of the troops who are actually fighting it is bound to suffer.
    Henry

    Reply

  14. Carroll says:

    Pissedoff….
    I think you are dead on right about Sistani being the one factor that really derailed the neo’s cakewalk.
    One very interesting thing related to Sistani …the troops who were politically astute knew who he was and followed his statements with interest thinking he might be the key to some sort of workable plan. I was staying in touch with a friend who went over as a reservist in Jan.’04, he was in better shape to contend with Iraq than most reservist and more experienced since he was a DEA agent here and a former Gulf War vet. I got a letter from him asking me to look up and send all the information I could find about Sistani and any articles in the international papers and intelligence reports about him and what was going on with Sistani and the US, if anything. He seemed to think there could have been something worked out in Iraq at the time Sistani was speaking out if the US had really wanted to work anything out.
    He was sent to the Kuwait border his last 6 months there to run convoys being manned mainly by reservist, that ran from Kuwait to the camps scattered around Iraq..it was a nighmare. The trucks were pieces of shit, unexperienced troops who had never been in combat were freaking out and refusing to man the trips..
    The press and brass can say whatever they please…the guys who are there know how f***ed up this deal is.

    Reply

  15. Carroll says:

    Kathleen…yes I think you and I agreed about the UN previously. But I don’t know that they would go back. And I don’t mind admitting I have no idea what can be done, if anything right now, for the Iraqis or Iraq except maybe getting some other Arab countries involved that can talk to the various fractions. I read Juan Cole fairly regularly and he is the “expert” on the region, and I think even he is at a lost as to what can be done now.
    I wouldn’t let the US and their “interest” in my dog house as long as this adm is in control…the entire adm is made up of greed driven “profiteers”…and we have seen already what they have done to Iraq.
    It is so frustrating!…besides the killing that is going on, we have totally destroyed and scattered to the winds all the ancient records and history of Iraq which was the known as the cradle of civilizaion. It’s beyond disgusting.
    Murder, theft, debauchry…that’s what the US neo’s have wrought. They should hang. I volunteer to join the mob as soon as we get a leader for the revolution.

    Reply

  16. Pissed Off American says:

    Section9, better crawl back into your straight jacket, your foaming at the mouth.
    Posted by Kathleen
    Thats not foam, its Gannon’s Journalism Degree.

    Reply

  17. Pissed Off American says:

    POA & Carroll,
    “Just read the Harper’s piece , Baghdad Year Zero. I’ve known all along what we were doing in Iraq and why, and joked about us “Piratizing” Iraq, but knowing all the nitty-gritty details is a really stunning kick in the head. Now if only we could get the damned Dems to read this, we might get somewhere, like the Hell out of there.”
    Posted by Kathleen
    Like I said, EVERY AMERICAN should read Klein’s piece. I encourage you to mention it often, and email it out to your associates. I truly believe that it was in the early period, when Sistani picked up the cards is when Bush’s less nefarious plans for Iraq were derailed. He simply planned on LOOTING the place, and installing a puppet government to the benefit of his global corporate pimps and whores. But now, it is only through utter chaos, civil war, and regional unrest that the theft can resumed with impunity. And the upside for Israel is the deaths of a few hundred thousand Muslims, (if not faaaaaar more), and the continued loss of OUR BLOOOD and OUR TREASURE to serve that end. This shit has just begun, you ain’t seen NUTHIN’ yet.
    Meanwhile, Afghanistan, another Bush “mission accomplished”, is on the verge of degenerating into total anarchy. Well done, eh??
    These bastards in the White House should swing from the nearest yardarm. But, they have placed all their people, such as Gonzales, in the positions that make such a event impossible. The deaths to come will not only be Muslim’s, but will be Anerican citizens attempting to wrest control back from these criminals. The fact that Blackwater had free rein in New Orleans should send chills down every American’s spine. It was a dry run, and it went perfectly for them. We are in deep shit.

    Reply

  18. koreyel says:

    The resigning bonuses are about $30,000 for a short stint
    and $150,000 for a long stint…in the Air Force.
    No further comment on reenlistment rates is necessary.
    So at what point does an all volunteer army
    morph by definition into an army of mercenaries?

    Reply

  19. Hoplite says:

    Section9,
    How is installing Al Dawa good for the USA in the fight against terrorism?
    How is a fundamentalist Islamic republic better than a secular republic under SH? (HINT: Israel is now more in jeopardy)
    How is spreading democratically elected fundamentalist Islamic govenrments good for the USA?
    How is installing terrorists who have actually attacked Americans (1983, 1984) good for the USA?

    Reply

  20. Kathleen says:

    Carroll,
    I noticed that Boxer said she was calling for withdrawal, similar to Murtha’s call. It’s not enough though. Iraq needs help now that we destroyed everything. I wish the US Senate would call for a cease fire and technical assistance from UN Special Advisory Services and greater particpation by the Arab League. Then Iraqis might feel they can trust the ultimate gov’t they form. It’s what they want and if we want them to freely form their own gov’t, what is the objection?
    Section9, better crawl back into your straight jacket, your foaming at the mouth.

    Reply

  21. section9 says:

    Jesus, just when I was about to start taking Democrats seriously on National Security after the big hullabaloo about Beinart’s book, I come here and Steve Clemons applies the sure tonic of moonbat nonsense by comparing our armed forces to the polyglot draftees who were sent to Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation.
    It’s sad to watch liberals so filled with loathing of George Bush that they actually make up historical parallels in the hopes of see ing us lose this war.

    Reply

  22. Carroll says:

    kathleen…..
    I get e-mails from all the dems and their little organizations and got one from Boxer today…she says…
    “That’s why I’ll be introducing a resolution when the Senate returns to Washington next week, calling for U.S. forces to be redeployed from Iraq within 6 months or earlier, if practicable. My resolution also calls for a quick-reaction U.S. force and an over-the-horizon Marine presence to be deployed in the region”
    I don’t take anything they say at face value…I will be looking up her resolution as soon as she presents it and it hits Thomas or GovTrack…most especially I will be looking to see why and where she want to deploy “over the horizion rapid response team” and “where” in the region” she suggest doing it…that will tell exactly what she is up to..good or bad.
    Some of the dems, most of them in fact,are as eaten up with neo’s vision as the repubs were…
    They have been TOLD a THOUSAND TIMES…that what they are letting Israel get away with in Palestine is 90% of the problem in the Arab street anti-Americanism..but the craven TRAITORS keep right on selling out America to AIPAC…little Ms Boxer voted for the idiotic Anti-Terrorist Palestine Bill..as far as I am concerned she can eat dirt and die..
    DO not trust the dems to save the country..pray someone else comes along….

    Reply

  23. Rob W says:

    Yes, but it is also irrelevant.

    Reply

  24. sublime33 says:

    Re-enlistment rates were “116% of goal”. What, exactly was the goal? By not saying a specific number like “41% re-enlisted”, it sounds like the goal was backdated and lowered.

    Reply

  25. Chris says:

    Clemons, you assert that morale is not high — whereas the general asserts that it is.
    The truth content of either contention is nihl. This is not debate, it’s farce.

    Reply

  26. Richard Dittbenner, J. D. says:

    During the past year I have met several students who were in the US Army in Iraq. They were not the “gung-ho” types Colonel Beech reports inhabit his unit. These students all pointed out that right after the invasion, they were invited into the homes of local Iraqis and they had many friends among the local population. That changed as insurgents began to target GI’s and their Iraqi friends. Finally, they had no social intercourse with these local Iraqis at all. That was a reflection of a deeper truth about which this admininstration steadfastly denies.
    This was captured best in a comment relayed to me by one of Europe’s leading businessmen who is regular participant in the World Economic Forum and routinely meets with the major economic players in the world. He commented that an Israeli parlamentarian told him that if there was anything “positive” (which the Israeli spoke with sad sarcasm) about the US engagement in Iraq, it was the those who wanted to attack Israel as America’s proxy in the region, could go to Iraq and attack Americans directly.
    Colonel Beech is just one in a long line of military officers who do corrupt things like these cynical press conferences to please their superiors as they seek their next rank. In the former Soviet Union too, it was the junior enlisted who provided the bodies upon which these officers could advance their careers!

    Reply

  27. Kathleen says:

    POA & Carroll,
    Just read the Harper’s piece , Baghdad Year Zero. I’ve known all along what we were doing in Iraq and why, and joked about us “Piratizing” Iraq, but knowing all the nitty-gritty details is a really stunning kick in the head. Now if only we could get the damned Dems to read this, we might get somewhere, like the Hell out of there.

    Reply

  28. Green Beret says:

    Copied again from above so it doesn’t get lost on anyone; clear, concise, cogent.
    Posted by steve at May 31, 2006 09:09 AM
    “Being a ‘hero’ in the armed forces used to be taking actions ‘above and beyond the call of duty,’ not just following orders. That said, these soldiers who have re-enlisted for Iraq multiple times are heroes for going back and continuing to fight on in support of their comrades in arms, their buddies, and keeping their particular units together with experienced soldiers. And they do all of this full well knowing that the country was deceived into an unnecessary, illegal and immoral war entered into under false pretenses that has greatly diminished our country’s power and prestige worldwide; in short the greatest strategic blunder in American history layered upon all the unneccessary loss of life and maiming.
    “The soldiers over there are GREAT, and I hope their morale is as high as their commander says it is. They are doing the very best they can, and after all that can be done is done, and they are home, I hope they can step back and call for criminal trials for those who lied their beloved country and comrades into an unnecessary war. Their love of country is what gives me hope for this final outcome.”

    Reply

  29. Carroll says:

    Pissedoff….
    thanks for the link!
    http://www.harpers.org/BaghdadYearZero.html
    …that is indeed the best I have seen on the underbelly of the US/Neo plan for Iraq..
    For me it also reinforces my belief that a lot of the illogical and unexplainable killings in Iraq were done by “certain foreign interest”, either US or Israeli, to get to their “capitalist” control utopia in Iraq.

    Reply

  30. Carroll says:

    Hoplite….
    How do they feel?…Not good. The ones who came back were very wised up and pissed off 90 to 1.
    You want to know why Iraqis had less elec. immediately after the invasion than they had to begin with?…from the horses mouth…it was used as a tool to control the population…the CPA ordered it off and on at will.
    Also from the horses mouth..Iraq is totally disorganized from the top…no logistical planning from the commanders who won’t set foot outside their A/C offices, they totally ignore and don’t listen to any request or info from actual troops actively involved in combat areas…lousy equipment and even lousier replacement, supply lines totally screwed up, reserve troops totally untrained and unprepared for combat or even the hazards of being in convoy supply…it is totally Fucked Up Beyond Repair as far as command in Iraq…the most disorganized, undisciplined ever caused soley by the fact that the command in this operation is totally incompent and is carrying out “political” interest and US “business” interest ..not working to secure the country..PERIOD…so the troops are left to carry out raids on any uprising without any plan as to how to secure anything..they are purely in “react” mode .. defend themselves from attack and counter attack for each attack.
    But let me add that most I have talked to have sympathy for the Iraqis and are severly torn and have conflicting emotions about what they see there and want to do something about it, which adds to their frustration….but most will say in private they don’t see any way that staying there can help the Iraqis…because THERE IS NO PLAN…unless the plan is to let Iraq blow up.

    Reply

  31. Hoplite says:

    neil,
    Al Dawa is now holding the reins of power in Iraq.
    Al Dawa is a well-known terrorist group with direct and long standing ties to Iran.
    A `suicider’ from the Al-Dawa party bombed the US embassy in Kuwait in 1983.
    In 1984, four men from Al Dawa highjacked a Kuwait airbus travelling from Kuwait to Pakistan.
    They held the plane for six days. During this time, these four men from Al Dawa shot and killed two Americans: Mr Charles Hegna and Mr William Stanford.
    With regard to your 5 points:
    How is installing Al Dawa good for the USA in the fight against terrorism?
    How is a fundamentalist Islamic republic better than a secular republic under SH? (HINT: Israel is now more in jeopardy)
    How is spreading democratically elected fundamentalist Islamic govenrments good for the USA?
    How is installing terrorists who have actually attacked Americans (1983, 1984) good for the USA?

    Reply

  32. GWB says:

    FREEDOM IS ON THE MARCH! That’s why we’re going to drop nukes on Iran in September.

    Reply

  33. Sally says:

    Colonel Beech is eyeing that star, too, and happy talk won’t hurt him with the star-bestowers. So many officer promotions; so many wounded and dead Americans and Iraqis. For those serving in Iraq, the evidence around them should fly in the face of what they are told–and seem to believe–as to why they are there.

    Reply

  34. neil says:

    I disagree that the American objectives have been forgotten.
    Let’s see. 1-Fight Terrorism 2-world is better place w/o Saddamm 3-Spread Democracy in Middle East (modified to create democracy in Iraq) 4- Fight them there instead of here 5-We were attacked
    Add your excuse here__________

    Reply

  35. serial catowner says:

    “Forward Operating Base Prosperity”
    Pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?

    Reply

  36. Maude says:

    Today, 2 Iraqi women were shot at a checkpoint. One was pregnant and it was reported that they were trying to rush to the hospital.
    Iraq is in civil a war, the US troops have no clear mission, but why worry?
    I read here yesterday the Mr. Rosen said that the US should stay.
    I disagree. No matter when the troops leave, it will “blow up”.
    It is not in the interest of the US to keep troops in Iraq.
    Maude

    Reply

  37. Kathleen says:

    You can’t be a “War President” and create a police state at home without a war. When you consider the amount of deceit employed by BushCo to justify invading Iraq, all of which was exposed as the bogus untruth it always was, it seems to me the objective was to have a continuing military presence in the Middle East and to use Iraq to foment wall to wall war with Iraq’s neighbors. Peace is not profitable to Defense Companies, and then there’s that buggaboo of Iraq thinking their oil is theirs to sell to whomever at whatever pace they choose. How dare they? This administration doesn’t give a good goddamn about democtacy in Iraq or even at home. If our purpose was really to bring democracy to Iraqis, we would have accepted Saddam Husseins offer, through the Egyptian gov’t, to pay the US $2 billion dollars to let him and his two sons go into exile. We’ve let all kinds of other scoundrels do just that. Had we accepted the offer, we could have used that $2 billion to help Iaqis form a new gov’t without a drop of blood being shed, but our gov’t is being run by a cowardly bunch of armchair warriors who don’t mind sending our children, not theirs, off to kill and be killed for capitalaism, not democracy.

    Reply

  38. parrot says:

    The resigning bonuses are about $30,000 for a short stint and $150,000 for a long stint…in the Air Force. No further comment on reenlistment rates is necessary.
    And hell yeah! morale is high! Something or somebody is high anyways…

    Reply

  39. Hoplite says:

    White House answers girl’s letter
    By ALAN CROWELL
    “Democracy is on the march in Iraq …. ” wrote the president.
    CORRECTION:
    A fundamentalist Islamic democracy is on the march in Iraq.
    A fundamentalist Islamic democracy with extremely close and long standing ties to Iran is on the march in Iraq.
    A fundamentalist Islamic democracy is on the march in Iraq as a direct response to the horrific attacks of 9/11.

    Reply

  40. Steve A says:

    If the morale is so good, why are the suicide numbers so high?

    Reply

  41. Hoplite says:

    Carroll = Sword of Truth
    If I may, how do some of the Marines from Camp Lejuene actually feel about losing their eyes, limbs, and lives ULTIMATELY for the sake of a burgeoning fundamentalist Islamic republic?
    How do some of the Marines from Camp Lejuene feel about being exploited by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Christian Right, Likud party, Boeing, Ratheon, Exxon, etc?

    Reply

  42. ManagedChaos says:

    Was Iraq starting to sell their oil in Euros as opposed to dollars? Is Iran opening an oil market that will make all transactions in Euros? What will the dollar be worth if you can’t buy oil with it? Many countries are starting to thin out their dollar reserves for obvious reasons. Are we going to invade all of them too? China, Russia? I scarcely ever see mention of this motivation among others as the reason we are in Iraq. Yes, it’s about oil, but more so about how that oil is sold and the protection of the almighty dollar.

    Reply

  43. Shaneekwa says:

    It’s time to stop playing croquet, folks.
    1) Donate to Democrats in swing states.
    http://www.dccc.org/
    2) Win back the House.
    3) IMPEACH!

    Reply

  44. james says:

    if you believe what glynt starkly has to say, i have a bridge in brooklyn to sell ya too… the usa will use any excuse to make war on others soil… have to put that huge military complex to work somehow, and it it can help secure oil profits for oil companies, well that is just a coincidence that bush and gang have connections to big oil… wake up, geez!!

    Reply

  45. checkmate says:

    Bravo Glynt Starkly. Clear, concise, cogent.

    Reply

  46. Carroll says:

    I can’t believe people have forgotten the purpose of invading Iraq.
    For Bush is was and always has been about ego and false macho vanity.
    For the zionist it has always been about using the US for restructuring the military and economic powers in the ME for the benefit of Israel.
    For Cheney and Rummy is has always been about being “masters of the universe”.
    And Bush is meeting this week with the Iranain journalist/activist who wrote the false story about Jews having to wear yellow stars in Iran, a story circulated in the states by one Ms. Bandar of NY, speaking agent for Feith, Perle, Ledden, Pipes and a stable of neos and published in several US papers. As long as Americans remain this stupid these stupid tricks will work again and again.
    Wake up America and smell the treason…you are about to take your second ride on the “Clean Break” express.
    And as far as the guys who re-uped for Iraq, I suggest you talk to some of them as I do, since I live in the middle of 10,000 Marines from Camp Lejuene,and also talk to some vets from the Vietnam era who know what the shit going on in Iraq is all about…they will tell you this war is rotten to the core.
    Bring the Marines home, the terrorist are in Washington.

    Reply

  47. vachon says:

    For a moment, I thought you said “Those who are on the front lines fighting in Iraq are Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith…”
    Gotta tweak those meds down.

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  48. Hoplite says:

    Another failed objective but not forgotten objective is the absolute failure to stabilize Iraq so that oil prices could never be used as a weapon against the US.
    By invading Iraq and deposing Hussein, Bush and his supporters have enabled oil to be used as a weapon against the US by the Iranians and their loyalists in the Al Dawa and the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution of Iraq.
    Again, the end result of the invading of Iraq is having precisely the OPPOSITE effect desired.
    See:
    Strategic Energy Policy Challenges for the 21st Century
    e. Review policies toward Iraq with the aim to lowering antiAmericanism in the Middle East and elsewhere, and set the groundwork to eventually ease Iraqi oil-field investment restrictions.
    Iraq remains a destabilizing influence to U.S. allies in the Middle East,as well as to regional and global order,and to the flow of oil to international markets from the Middle East.
    Saddam Hussein has also demonstrated a willingness to threaten to use the oil weapon and to use his own export program to manipulate oil markets.
    This would display his personal power,enhance his image as a “Pan-Arab” leader supporting the Palestinians against Israel,and pressure others for a lifting of economic sanctions against his regime.
    The United States should conduct an immediate policy review toward Iraq,including military,energy,economic,and political/diplomatic assessments.
    The United States should then develop an integrated strategy with key allies in Europe and Asia and with key countries in the Middle East to restate the goals with respect to Iraqi policy and to restore a cohesive coalition of key allies.
    Goals should be designed in a realistic fashion,and they should be clearly and consistently stated and defended to revive U.S.credibility on this issue.
    Actions and policies to promote these goals should endeavor to enhance the well-being of the Iraqi people.
    Sanctions that are not effective should be phased out and replaced with highly focused and enforced sanctions that target the regime’s ability to maintain and acquire weapons of mass destruction.

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  49. Silver Warrior says:

    Bravo Steve. Clear, concise, cogent.

    Reply

  50. Nare Roberts says:

    Speaking of historical parallels, I just rented Errol Morris’s “Fog of War” on DVD (from Netflix)…
    For those who haven’t seen this film (about the life of Robert McNamara and esp. Vietnam), I’d highly recommend it. I won’t ruin the experience by giving away the details, but it is uncanny how even identical words and phrases (i.e. official justifications, deceptions, back-channel justifications of deceptions, etc.) from that period match what we are hearing today.
    With historical comparisons, of course, some bright person will always stand up and say “but the two really aren’t the same at all, because…” And they will be right… by definition. Because the whole purpose of comparing X and Y is not to say X=Y (what would be the point of comparing something with itself?) but to identify instructive parallels and learn from them.
    What amazes me more than the fact that many in the establishment didn’t learn from the disaster of Vietnam is that they haven’t even bothered to learned new words and phrases to use when attempting hide the mess they have gotten themselves (and us) into.

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  51. Marika says:

    Pertaining to the “forgotten objectives–the objectives have not been forgotten. The real objective was to establish American hegemony, “re-do” the middle east, establish American corporate control of the distribution of oil, this prized commodity, and to use Iraq as a permanent military base.
    The construction of the new Diocletion like embassy speaks for itself.
    They can no longer run fluttering like little bridesmaids scattering “freedom and democracy” behind the bride because she is in tatters and snarling at the groom–but forget they do not! The sweet smell of oil is there.

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  52. Jim Ramsey says:

    Steve,
    I’m cynical enough to believe that the objective of the Iraq war was, in fact, achieved. The Republicans beat the Democrats in the mid-term election.
    Now we have another mid-term election coming and guess what? We have another war coming soon, with Iran.
    I see a pattern here. Does anyone else?

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  53. cryptic says:

    Stopa,
    Elaborate on your hearsay; don’t know what you’re taliking about.

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  54. Jon Stopa says:

    “After the first objective was successfully completed, it neccessarily fell to us to usher in a new viable and stable government for all Iraq. Mission still ongoing.
    [(shreiking)- "But We Were Lied Into War !!!"]
    Shut up, loser.
    Posted by: Glynt Starkl”
    I heard tell that we’re sending in the reserves and that Anbar is becoming an “oil spot” for the other side. You know, “liberated” from our control. Hmm. Sending in the reserves. Not a good sign.
    I wonder who’s losing?

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  55. curly curls says:

    Glynt, there it is in a nutshell.

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  56. Glynt Starkly says:

    Objective: Removal of Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Saddam and his sons were the Weapons of Mass Destruction. They have been removed. Mission accomplished.
    After the first objective was successfully completed, it neccessarily fell to us to usher in a new viable and stable government for all Iraq. Mission still ongoing.
    [(shreiking)- "But We Were Lied Into War !!!"]
    Shut up, loser.

    Reply

  57. linda says:

    yeah, right. cause we all know how free troops feel to reveal their true feelings. here’s an latimes article that provides another perspective:
    Amid War, Troops See Safety in Reenlisting
    The military offers steady wages, housing and a health plan — benefits that many service members find scarce in civilian life.
    By Faye Fiore, Times Staff Writer
    TACOMA, Wash. — The first time Staff Sgt. Matthew Kruger came home from Iraq, he and his wife, Maggie, went straight into marriage counseling. The second time, she threatened to divorce him if he didn’t get out of the Army. The separations were tearing them apart. So in July, to save his seven-year marriage, Kruger quit the service.
    Then he looked around the job market, and it didn’t take long to figure out that leaving the Army held its own perils. Nothing offered him the financial security of his military job — especially the generous health coverage for his wife and three small children.
    And so, 29 years old and with no other place to turn, Kruger spent his first full day of freedom at a military processing center, signing up for four more years.
    http://www.latimes.com/classified/jobs/news/la-na-enlist21may21,1,3922112.story?coll=la-class-employ-jobnews

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  58. Marika says:

    No, they have no sense of decency.
    The only thing I could add to your comment is the name of Condelezza Rice, Alberto Gonzales,Richard Addington John Yoo and don’t forget Richard Perle and the “great” commentator William Kristol. And as an after thought, the MSM always ready to lend a helping hand.
    Your “complacent Congress” is kind–perhaps cowardly Congress is closer to the bull’s eye. What is the fate of a soldier who pretends to sleep on his guard duty?

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  59. hank says:

    Commentor steve, yeah but, what if the soldiers come back from Iraq having accomplished all the democratizing and freedom giving objectives that the administration has set for goals in Iraq. Then, all’s well that end’s well, and trials for deception into war will be unthinkable especially in victory. When all turns out for the best in Iraq the lie into war will be gracefully forgotten and papered over in the history books, although there will be many disgruntled, muttering Americans still clinging on to “but, but, but ..” in the midst of ticker tape parades. You’ll see.

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  60. John B. says:

    What are the objectives? What were they 3 years ago? Does anybody know? They never told us the truth about what the objectives are or were, IMO.
    All I know is we have a huge military prescence in the middle of the Gulf States and are building multiple military bases and a huge fucking embassy that nobody is talking about in the press.
    I ask again: What are our objectives in Iraq?

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  61. Pissed Off American says:

    “Steve: American objectives in the war have been forgotten”
    “I disagree.”
    “The American objectives have not been forgotten Steve………”
    The objectives were neither forgotten, nor derailed. They have, however, been misrepresented. The only failure of attaining an objective,, thus far, was Bremer’s failure to hoodwink Sistani and the Shiite majority into the privatization and sell off of the Iraqi national assets. Other than that, this nefarious tragedy is proceeding exactly as Israel and the Bush camp prefer, if you accept the premise that they have embarked on a journey towards the “final solution” to the “Muslim problem”, as I do.
    Once again, I must suggest that EVERY American read Naomi Klein’s “Bagdad Year Zero”. She should have recieved a Pulitzer for the piece…
    http://www.harpers.org/BaghdadYearZero.html

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  62. steve says:

    Being a “hero” in the armed forces used to be taking actions “above and beyond the call of duty,” not just following orders. That said, these soldiers who have re-enlisted for Iraq multiple times are heroes for going back and continuing to fight on in support of their comrades in arms, their buddies, and keeping their particular units together with experienced soldiers. And they do all of this full well knowing that the country was deceived into an unnecessary, illegal and immoral war entered into under false pretenses that has greatly diminished our country’s power and prestige worldwide; in short the greatest strategic blunder in American history layered upon all the unneccessary loss of life and maiming.
    The soldiers over there are GREAT, and I hope their morale is as high as their commander says it is. They are doing the very best they can, and after all that can be done is done, and they are home, I hope they can step back and call for criminal trials for those who lied their beloved country and comrades into an unnecessary war. Their love of country is what gives me hope for this final outcome.

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  63. Punchy says:

    Does anyone have any idea how the Colonel got that percentage? That’s amazing, if true. I suspect that the Army offered an incredible amount of $$ as a signing bonus as a huge lure.
    I would be stunned if 116% of his soliders re-enlisted sans huge bonus and after being told they’d be fighting in Iraq.

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  64. Steve Clemons says:

    Hoplite — I guess I find myself agreeing with you. I should have written that American objectives in the war were never clear, never honest, and are now — to most — forgotten, even if they ever knew them.
    best,
    Steve

    Reply

  65. Hoplite says:

    Steve: American objectives in the war have been forgotten
    I disagree.
    The American objectives have not been forgotten Steve.
    The American objectives have been OVERPOWERED by the Al Dawa and the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution of Iraq which have been moving with speed and force toward making Iraq an Islamic republic for over twenty years.
    By invading and occupying Iraq, Bush and his supporters enabled the installing of a democratically elected fundamentalist Islamic republic with extremely close and long standing ties to Iran, a so-called `axis of evil’.
    Remember: The burgeoning fundamentalist Islamic republic in Iraq is actually Bush’s response to 9/11.
    WTF?
    Where’s the outrage?

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  66. clem says:

    OK. Let’s set aside questions we might have about why soldiers who surrounded by a sullen and hostile population exhibit behavior that a colonel interprets as high morale.
    Let’s say their morale remains high and that they continue to represent the best that the United States has to offer.
    Do we really want to keep them in Iraq until their morale (and morals) start to fall?

    Reply

  67. tom says:

    I knew a Russian special forces guy who fought in Afghanistan, he didn’t think we’d win in Iraq or Afghanistan. I suppose that’s an understandable opinion considering his experience.

    Reply

  68. Pissed Off American says:

    Brought to you by the same lying SOBs that produced and released the Jessica Lynch fiction and the Tillman cover-up……..

    Reply

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