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June 25, 2007

What The Troops Think

Not that the anti-war crowd really gives a damn what the troops think, but it might be useful to hear what they have to day. Somehow, though, I doubt that "supporting the troops" will include following the advice of those who know the war best.

A deadline for withdrawal is an incentive for Iraqi political compromise. Levin thinks we ought to pressure Iraq's government with a warning tantamount to saying: "You better fix the situation before we leave and your country descends into chaos." He should consider the more likely result: an American exit date crushing any incentive for Iraqi leaders to cooperate and instead prompting rival factions to position themselves to capitalize on the looming power void.

My experience in Iraq bore this out. Only after my unit established a meaningful relationship with the president of the Samarra city council -- built on tangible security improvements and a commitment to cooperation -- did political progress occur. Our relationship fostered unforeseen political opportunities and encouraged leaders, even ones from rival tribes, to side with American and Iraqi forces against local insurgents and foreign fighters.

We can bring the war to a "responsible end" but still conduct counterterrorism operations. The problem with this argument is what a "responsible end" would mean. What is "responsible" about the large-scale bloodshed that would surely occur if we left the Iraqis behind with insufficient security forces? What is "responsible" about proving al-Qaeda's thesis that America can be defeated anywhere with enough suicide bombings?

The senator also seems to believe that America will have success fighting terrorists in Iraq with a minimal troop presence, despite the fact that 150,000 troops have their hands full right now doing precisely that.

We are "supporting the troops" by demanding an immediate withdrawal from Iraq. Levin says that "our troops should hear an unequivocal message from Congress that we support them." He explains his vote to fund and "support" the troops while simultaneously trying to legislate the war's end. But what kind of "support" and "unequivocal message" do the troops hear from leaders in Congress who call their commanders "incompetent" or declare the war "lost"?

Such statements provide nearly instant enemy propaganda to every mud hut with a satellite dish in Iraq and throughout the Arab world. These messages do not spell support, no matter how you spin them. And they could inspire insurgents, making the situation more dangerous for our soldiers and Marines.

Veterans know firsthand that numerous mistakes have been made in the war. But that does not change the unfortunate reality: Iraq today is the front line of a global jihad being waged against America and its allies. Both Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri have said so.

Those who seek withdrawal from Iraq are really proposing a policy of surrender that devalues every sacrifice made by the troops fighting against the forces of Islamofascist terrorism. Far from supporting the troops, such anti-war activists who back such a policy spit in the face of men and women in uniform just as surely as they did during the Vietnam war.





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Comments on What The Troops Think

Vets for Freedom is a front organization run by a GOP PR firm dedicated to defeating candidates who want to end the war in Iraq.

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Vets_for_Freedom

1st Lt Pete Hegseth's real day job is as a conservative think tanker at the very conservative Manhattan Institute
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Pete_Hegseth

Every view should be heard, but you should have revealed his real day job and his professional political ties should have been made known to your listeners. Pete is only a very part-time soldier who fools around a little bit in the Army NG. I honor his service. I even honor his opinion, but this organization Lt. Hegseth fronts is really kind of a GOP Swift Boating in reverse.

Please check the credentials of people who present that "just folks" facade while fronting causes.

http://mouseherder.blogspot.com/search/label/The%20Maze

|| Posted by rick kennerly, June 27, 2007 06:17 AM ||

So, Ric, i guess your argument is that an Iraq vet doesn't count as an Iraq vet if he is active in support of the war. Your dismissing him as "a very part-time soldier who fools around a little bit in the Army NG" puts the lie to your claim of honoring his service.

Be ashamed, Ric -- be very ashamed.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, June 27, 2007 07:42 AM ||
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