Posts Tagged ‘Iraq War

06
Jan
09

There is a better way for the Middle East, but Islam fears the path

Islam fears womens liberty

Islam fears women's liberty

Yesterday, while reading through Oliver North’s excellent book, Heroes, I suddenly felt a greatsorrow for the people of the Middle east, in particular, the women. The book has many high quality pictures, and several of them showed women smiling as they displayed purple voting fingers. Their faces, were finally able to be touched by sun light, without fear of a Taliban commissar whipping their ankles for breaching Sharia.

In so many parts of the world, Islam targets women and children, denying them education and basic freedoms. But the cat has clawed its way out of the bag. Freedom, education, and a life without crushing guilt have smashed Sharia’s bulwark.

The media got it wrong. The world is a better, if still unstable place. I don’t think Iraq will ever go back to the way it was under Saddam. They’d never take back the past in exchange for America’s absence. Liberals, either well-meaning or merely hateful, would have left the women of that sandy part of the world to a certain doom.

Islam fears children. It fears women. Mostly because the men of Islam in many cases, fear themselves, their own impulses frighten them and they grant blame to the fairer sex the way they do the the West.

09
Dec
08

Iraq is the Middle East’s last hope–and now the Dems own it.

You see, I’ve been accused of being a “Neoconservative”. Neocon, they say. Now I know humans need labels to identify things, so I won’t go on a tirade about not labeling me. No, we need labels–such as Moonbat. I like that one and plan to keep on using it.

People have accused me of being an apologist for Bush. I don’t know if that fits the bill, but what I do know is that George Bush was steam-rolled by the biggest Moonbat machine that I’ve witnessed in my life. The Iraq War simply sent the left into a blind, near-psychotic rage. It was embarrassing to watch really. First Bush facilitated the attacks on the Twin Towers. Then he lied about WMD. Then, Saddam Hussein wasn’t that bad of a guy after all. Then David Patraeus was a liar and Bush crony. Then the surge didn’t really work. Then we were building more terrorists by killing Saddam.

The Dems tried to block money that would buy the troops equipment–while deployed in a war zone and fighting the modern Barbarian Horde–Extreme Islam. They denied having voted for the war–which everyone knows they did–Hillary, Kerry, Gore–all Democratic presidential candidates that gave Bush the power to persecute the war with extreme prejudice.

So again, the Democrat party did what it’s done my whole life–stand against our own military and snuggle up to horrible dictators. They were willing to let our country lose this war, as long as it brought them votes. And it worked. But now it’s their hot potato. Be sure that they don’t want thousands of Americans slain in a 30 minutes window as happened on that clear day, back in 2001. Because for the last 8 years they’ve been trying to tell us that nothing Bush did was really working. It was all coincidence. So now Barack does the wise thing and hires on the best people for our defense. And the Moonbats are hating it. But none of these people have executive power. They merely advise the president, for the most part. And we won this war with them. And we’ll keep fighting it with them–and the Moonbats will keep doing what they do best–denying that war can be the answer.

So it’s yours Democrats. Have fun. I know I won’t blame you if no more Americans die by terrorist attacks on our soil.

Iraq is the last hope for the Arab world. The last hope for Democracy there.  The Middle East has already rejected the West. It cast the British out, but still wanted to mimic what they’d seen the British do. But the Arabs failed. Now, that part of the world only gazes at the West through jealous eyes, masking its resentment with the mythology of Western oppression. So the Democrats fought against the last hope for the Arab world to free itself–prove itself. To cast aside the yolk of totalitarian regime, genocide, hate, starvation and privation.

The Democrats ranted against hope itself, but now the ball’s in their court. Let the games begin.

08
Dec
08

Obama and Shinseki

So the “surge” didn’t work, according to Obama. But Shinseki was right in his statement that more troops were needed to control Iraq after the invasion? Hmmmm…..

11
Oct
08

Have we learned nothing?

The testing is done here, for my platoon at Ft. Huachuca. We have only a 9 day field training exercise to overcome before we move onto a short vacation and then to our duty-stations.

Last week in class we participated in a wargame called “Red Vs. Blue.” The class was split in half and one side was assigned blue (American Forces) the other, red (insurgents). The diceless wargame simulated American forces conducting stability operations in the town of Sierra Vista, where Ft. Huachuca is located.

I won’t go into needless detail abut what happened, but know that I was assigned to the American side and then assigned as the 101st Airborne targeting analyst. My job was to non-lethally or lethally target high value targets as they appeared through recon and surveillance assets. This could be done in a number of ways.

One of the students is an E-5 Sergeant. He is re-classing his MOS to become a Intel Analyst. Though I’m student class leader, the Sergeant is the actual class leader, being a permanent party member and of course, out-ranking me. We are very different kinds of people, he and I. He’s OCD in the extreme. I’m messy. He’s a liberal Democrat from New York. I’m a conservative from Maine. He’s reluctant to use force in situations that I believe it’s needed.

The final round of our wargame had commenced. As an analyst, I’ve been trained by a former Marine Captain to give my superiors my educated opinion on what needs to be done, even if I know he won’t want to hear it. In the previous turns, Red Cell had managed to assassinate a city council member and blow up Wal-Mart, while we’d managed to kill several insurgents and capture one of them for interrogation at a traffic control point. Blue Cell (us) was conducting what is called phase IV operations, or stability ops. In other words, the primary full-spectrum military assault was over and our mission was to stabilize the local government and encourage rule of law.

The insurgent controlled areas had been identified on the map and we’d narrowed the possible location of the insurgent safehouse to a 2 square kilomter area at the south-eastern portion of Sierra Vista.

I knew what had to be done this late in the game. We had to kill and capture the terrorists, not sit back and hope that we’d deployed security forces at the right locations each turn, while the terrorists picked targets of opportunity. It was only logical and in line with military doctrine of seizing the initiative–and never giving it back.

The Sergeant didn’t see things my way. He was afraid of friendly casualties. I explained to him that it was the Army’s job to fight the insurgents, and thus gain the trust of the local populace by protecting them from harm. To do this we had to place troops in harms way so that we could win the fight the only way it can be won: By inflicting more pain on the enemy than he inflicts on you.

I knew I was in for a fight not only with Red Cell, but with my Democrat Sergeant and one other analyst who didn’t get it. The other analyst advised that we place traffic control points away from the border of the insurgent controlled area of the city. Originally, I had placed them along the border of a neutral area and the insurgent’s zone. I knew that we had to gain the trust of the populace in the neutral zone–because as the saying goes in counter-insurgency ops: The populace is key terrain. By moving the TCPs away from the insurgent controlled border, we would allow the insurgents to freely move into the neutral area, bend the populace to their will and then conduct ops from their new terrain into the area that we controlled.

I argued my case, and the Sergeant reluctantly agreed to go with my plan.

Last turn: I advised that we organized a door-to-door sweep of all populated areas in the insurgent controlled zone. I pointed to the map and noted that there were only about ten small streets in the 2×2 Km area and that 2 battalions of infantry with Stryker infantry fighting vehicles and Humvees could clear each house in about 6 hours. That was 300 men, going to each house, kicking the doors if they had to and verifying the location of the terrorist safehouse.

The Sergeant really hated this. He said he wouldn’t put the soldier’s lives in danger. I argued that it had to be done, and that this kind of straight-up fight was the last thing insurgents want. They prefer hit and run tactics because of inferior training and numbers. The Sergeant said that we’d make enemies of the local populace by invading their homes. I told him that they were already our enemies, hence the insurgent controlled label the area had. We had already established marshal law, and in order to make the populace in that area ours we needed to control it. Most importantly we needed to kill or capture those conducting the attacks. We would deal with the populace’s opinion later, but for now we had to show that we were in control.

It wasn’t to be. Our team played for the tie and that’s exactly what we got in the last turn according to the game’s arbiters.

Lesson: This is exactly what happened in Iraq after the invasion and things went to hell as we allowed insurgents free reign in places like Fallujah. We were afraid of CNN and Newsweek, even as terroists continued to bomb us and the Iraqi government until the camels came home. Then came Patraeus, who knew that the war had to be fought on every level. You do hand out soccer balls and candy, but you also continue killing the enemy. Things will get broken, but as we’ve seen, it works.

The hearts and minds campaign got headlines in this war. War hasn’t changed though. There were several reasons that Patraeus’ surge worked, not the least of which was more infantry with more guns… please admit that Mr. Obama.

05
Oct
08

Army considering replacing M-4 carbine

Colt’s M-4 carbine contract with the US Army is near expiration. Since 1994 Colt has been contracted with the Army, supplying our troops in Iraq with the M-4, a cut-down version of the M-16. The M-4 also provides modular capabilities.

Recently though, as a result of some troops experiences in the dusty conditions of Iraq, the weapon’s performance has come under fire in its own right. The Army has conducted testing at its laboratory in Maryland, pitting the M-4 against newer weapons systems. All of the weapons were sprinkled with talcum powder in an attempt to simulate conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Things didn’t work out well for Colt.

The M-4 finished last in weapons jams. Its competitors were the FN Herstal SCAR, H+K 416 and the H+K XM8. The M-4 experienced more jams than all of the other weapons combined. The other weapons are comparable–or even slightly cheaper–than the M-4: About $1,500 a piece.

Brig. General Mark Brown defended Colt’s system by stating that the testing was not an exact replica of the conditions in Iraq and that soldiers need to clean their weapons regardless of the system; muzzle-loader or assault rifle.

At the risk of destroying my new career in the army, I think General Brown is ignoring an obvious problem. While 89% of polled troops in Iraq stated that the M-4 performed adequately, 19% percent of 2600 troops that were veterans of firefights said that their M-4 jammed during the shooting. This is a horrible ratio of good performance to weapon’s failure. Nearly 1 in 5 of troops involved in shooting their weapon at enemy forces can expect their weapon to fail them, if only until they can conduct clearing measures.

Anecdotally, I can say that the M-16’s performance is far below what I would expect from my weapon in combat. Even in training, I’ve experienced numerous stoppages, as has every soldier I work with. Some can only fire one or two rounds at a time before clearing a jam and continuing, only to have to repeat the process a few rounds later. This is from weapons right out of the armory–not new–but nonetheless very clean.

One of the problems that I see is the weapon’s breach. It’s called a “star chamber.” It is shaped like a star and is designed to funnel a 5.56 round up and into the barrel. The star chamber has grooves that, when slightly dirty, can grab rounds before they are seated in the barrel. Not good. More reliable assault rifles, such as the AK-47, merely have a polished chrome ramp that rides the bullet to its home.

The M-4 does have some excellent qualities. It’s super light, compact and accurate. It’s modular rail system allow soldiers and operators to modify the weapon to their immediate preferences and needs. The Army wants a rifle with an effective range of about 600 meters. The M-4 is about 500.

With all of the good qualities noted, it’s a shame that none of them matter if the weapon doesn’t work when it’s most needed. The Army has already been through this in Vietnam, when the first generation M-16 cost American lives by repeatedly failing in the muddy, wet conditions of Indo-China.

The Army has changed a lot in the years since the Iraq War began. New body armor, up-armored HMVVs, new tactics and technology for defeating IEDs and insurgents. It would be a shame if we deny our warriors their most important asset: a reliable personal weapon.

22
Jul
08

McCain’s rejected op-ed; Obama’s ignorance of matters military

I wonder what would have happened if McCain’s recent write-up, sent to the op-ed grave yard by New York Times editors, along with hundreds of high school student’s essay submissions about world peace, would have been about the horrors of Gitmo, or unstable and murderous soldiers returning from Iraq. Pretty sure it would have made the cut.

Check out his article, submitted to CNN by McCain’s campaign: http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/07/21/mccain.op.ed/index.html

He’s dead on in his analysis. And nothing that Barak Obama sees in Baghdad will change his mind about America’s near-future role there. The left will go on for decades about what the current administration has done wrong, and to them, any answer that involves the military is wrong. Mr. Obama and his wife have been nicely insulated from every form of reality. This is not really a slam so much as a fact. Big, liberal colleges are the perfect place to find refuge from reality. Theory, theory, theory. Theory is so much fun. Reality hurts, and it hurts more when you’re not accustomed to it.

Obama spouts the same Democrat line. How is he different? He’s Jimmy Carter in boxer shorts.

The Democratic candidate does have a skill, though it’s a cheap skill, easily honed, or at least too easily appreciated. He has the ability to make people believe that there are easy answers, and that things can get done without any pain at all. And people so want to hear that. Anyone can fall victim to the “take a pill and make it go away” syndrome. Certainly no one wants to hear that sometimes you may have to bludgeon entire cultures into pulp and rubble in order to make them stop attacking your own culture. But sometimes you do.

Fortunately, most of the NCOs in the military are closely associated with reality. Maybe a little too so–I wish they’d relax a little. But better that, than an entire country dance away to Byzantium, only to watch thousands of innocents perish in a flash.

Sorry, but Obama’s way is the lazy and easy way. The way to get cheap votes from those people who are outraged by the terrorist’s only friend: The TV camera.

There’s no cheap way out of this. We should learn from our war in 1993 with Iraq: Pay now and up front, or pay later and in spades.

13
Jul
08

Considerations on relationships

Yesterday I was at the mall and stopped into the bookstore. One of the new releases is a book by Oliver North documenting the Iraq War and his visits there. It’s a hard-cover book with many high-quality photos.

As I flipped through the pages, one photo struck me, reminding me of others like it that I’ve seen. It showed a soldier sitting on his couch with his beautiful wife. The soldier had suffered severe burns from an explosion while on deployment. His mouth appeared stretched to a permanent smile and his skin was pink and mottled. His arms too had suffered severe damage; scaly and reddened.

At first I felt sad for the soldier. I thought of the numerous times that he must have heard how dangerous his tour would be, all of the stories he’d heard about other soldiers being killed or maimed. What did he think of his chances when he was deployed? When the heat and force of that explosion rocked his convoy or foot patrol, what went though his mind as the dust settled and the screams of his comrades slowly gathered into coherant voices.

But that sadness was replaced by a greater one. As I stared at the photo, the juxtaposition of the burned soldier and the very pretty wife hit me. She was smiling an unforced smile and she sat very close to her husband, holding his arm and looking very comfortable.

She loved her husband despite his viscious injuries and freightening appearance.

It saddened me, because it now seems second nature for me to assume people won’t stay together. People will split apart because of the slightest problems, or because they think they can do better–their own vanities grabbing them and carrying them down terrible roads.

But here was a couple who had stayed together, through an ordeal which would shake anyone. Yes, they may split in the future, but as I said, the woman’s body language showed nothing but love for her husband.




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