THE BLOG
01/19/2008 09:00 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

If I Had Sent Kids to Die or Be Wounded in Iraq I Would have Apologized to America, and Resigned

"As I remember, in the Broadway musical 1776, a dispatch from George Washington is delivered to the Continental Congress by an exhausted courier. Following that John Adams sings a lament on a darkened stage.

Is anybody there?
Does anybody care?
Does anybody see what I see?"

I WANT TO JUMP UP AND DOWN ABOUT THE WAR IN IRAQ, AND HOW WE JUST GO ABOUT OUR BUSINESS AND LIFE AND OUR KIDS CONTINUE TO DIE AND BE BLOWN APART FAR FROM HOME ACCOMPLISHING EXACTLY WHAT?

I AM MOSTLY CONCERNED ABOUT THE GIANTS PLAYOFF GAME AGAINST THE GREEN BAY PACKERS ON SUNDAY, AS WELL AS WONDERING IF TIM RUSSERT FINALY SUCCEEDS IN A "GOTCHA GAME" WITH HILARY CLINTON, OR ANYONE ELSE.

SHAME ON ME AND SHAME ON THE ELECTRONIC MEDIA FOR NOT REPORTING THIS WAR EVERY DAY IN DETAIL, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY SHAME ON OUR PRESIDENT AND HIS ADMINISTRATION FOR LETTING THIS WAR GO ON AND ON!

The quote is from The Wall Street Journal. The full text of the article is available on line, but my "smart ass" comments are here alone, and nowhere else.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL January 14, 2008;
"THE LESSONS OF IRAQ" by Erik Swabb:

"While the improved security situation in Iraq is changing views about the chances for success there, one common belief has remained unchanged: that the war is eroding U.S. military capabilities.

It is true that repeated deployments have caused considerable strain on service members, equipment and our ability to respond to other contingencies. These problems, however, only tell half the story. The Iraq war is also dramatically improving the military's understanding, training and capabilities in irregular warfare. Since this is the preferred method of Islamic extremists, the experience in Iraq is transforming the military into the force required to help win the Long War.

The blunders of the early years are well-known. Trained for conventional warfare, the Army and Marine Corps were unprepared for the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq. Commanders emphasized killing or capturing insurgents, not securing the population as counterinsurgency doctrine emphasizes. U.S. units were stationed on large bases and didn't develop the critical relationships with local leaders that only come from living among the people..."

By itself Swabb makes some good points. HOWEVER, without an overall "context," it seems somehow discordant, and sounds like the song lyric "It seems that I have heard this song before, it's from an old familiar score..."

A friend commenting on the Swabb article sent me an interesting context for all of this "stuff."

"I am now reading David Halberstam's book "The Best and the Brightest." The many similarities between this and Iraq disclose the problem. In Viet Nam our officers developed a new counterinsurgency manual. If you recall, they decided to get close with the native population, secure it, and to do so created "strategic hamlets" that would provide security so that the South Vietnamese, whom we purported to be protecting, would feel more secure to go about their lives and would perforce ally with us. What was not recognized was that the very presence of alien U.S. troops was a galvanizing force for the opposition Viet Minh, who had been fighting colonial imperialism for the preceding thirty years. The problem was that the government that we were supporting had no relationship with the people we were trying to protect and bring to our side. The hamlets we created were safe during daylight, but in the night would revert to their original alliance with the very forces we were fighting.

That is where we are now in Iraq. We have imposed a new government - but it is not responsive to a homogeneous population. We have altered our military tactics so that it appears more aligned with the people, but the people remain torn by the ethnic rivalries that existed before. It has not made us our friends and allies. Instead it has merely made them temporarily less hostile to us and each other. The government we have installed is no more aligned with the overall population than the government we deposed. Given this situation, General Petreus' changes have done nothing more than establish a temporary "time out" and the moment we leave the old rivalries will erupt and the instability will return. We continue to delude ourselves about the situation we face. Petreus' temporary surge was imposed for the specific purpose of allowing the establishment of a responsive government. We have already gone through the exercise of cutting off the head of the snake (Hussein,) yet we now have a new snake and it will not behave any more positively than last snake. Unless we alter it we shall be in a perpetual state of developing new counterinsurgency manuals that the military will ignore until it has no viable alternative."

When I was going to "spin" something in order to sell it to someone, I would have a tendency to leave out a few MINOR details. That is what many who sell things do.

Had I been "selling" this war and its aftermath, I would have difficulty "spinning" the sale because I would know the "minor details that I would be omitting such as:

The DEATH of 4000 of our boys and girls

The WOUNDING of 29,000 of our boys and girls

$2,400,000, 000,000 (2.4 Trillion dollars and counting)

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi casualties

The displacement of millions

Our reputation in the world

Our reputation with Liberals like me.

Did our President ever happen to study and take notice what went on in Vietnam more then forty years ago, or bother to inquire about the history of the Middle
East???????????

It is not possible for me to look past this needless war that we unilaterally started (please no 9/11 here) and say "whoopee, lets spend more and perhaps provoke another (but more noble war) with Iran."

NO ONE is taking responsibility for our past transgressions, but rather the President is now beating the War drums incessantly, and trying to convince America that when the itsy bitsy Iranian Boats attacked our most powerful warships, that the Iranians did in fact want to attack us. This is not a good thing.

Did the President consult with the spirit of Lyndon Johnson, and try and re-create the Gulf of Tonkin many years later.

I do "support our troops" but not the administration that sent them off to fight a non enemy and mislead, and continues to mislead ALL OF AMERICA.

As and until SOEONE like the President tells the world that we made a horrific mistake can we move forward. We (he) screwed up big time, and he pretends it never happened.

It is hard for me to forget the faces of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, and others, on Television selling America on this war and LYING to us in so doing.

Norman Horowitz

A Sad, Depressed, Annoyed Bleeding Heart Liberal
Horrified that one Boy or Girl needed to die or be wounded because of this travesty yesterday, today, or tomorrow.