The War in Iraq?

Marauder06

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Forgive me if this seems a little rant-ish. I read this article today in the Post and it started me thinking.

Like many of you, I served my country by deploying to Iraq. I spent a total of three tours there, the first during the Sadr insurgency in 2004, then again in what I considered the nadir of our efforts there in 2007, and one more (perhaps the last time) when things started looking a little better in 2008.

Things did not look good during my first two tours. Counterinsurgencies are always messy, and we hadn't done this kind of thing for a while. There was a lot of learning-and re-learning- things I thought we already knew. Progress was slow and the war was hard, but that didn't really bother me.

What bothered me was what I was hearing from back home. During my second tour, I began to believe that not only were some of our political leaders not going to allow us to win, they genuinely didn't want us to win, because they had pinned their political credibility on bashing the "unwinable" war in Iraq. Comments like Sen. Reid's were terrible for the morale of the fighting men and women whom I served alongside. I also felt that they undermined our dealings with our foreign partners, and encouraged our enemy to keep up the fight.

Video:
My last trip in 2008, things looked a lot better. Largely due to the planning and foresight of individuals like GEN Petraeus and then-LTG McChrystal, things began to turn around. COIN and the surge began to bear fruit. Iraqis got tired of seeing their sisters married off to foreign fighters and seeing their neighbors getting their heads sawn off or blown up by car bombs, so with the help of the U.S. (and our money), they began to rise up. By the end of my tour in 2008, it seemed like the unit I was supporting was running out of bad guys to kill. In my opinion, AQ got an unmitigated ass whipping in Iraq, and truth to be told, I infinitely prefer to fight it out with AQ in Iraq than in the U.S., which is where we'd be fighting if we weren't getting after the terrorists overseas.

So lately, I've been wondering why we haven't been hearing very much about the war in Iraq. The news lately is dominated by mid-term elections, college football, and Katy Perry's escapades with Elmo. There was recently even a large-scale troop withdrawal from Iraq. This is all good news, right?

So what's the deal, have we "won" in Iraq? What does "winning" look like for us now? We established that there were no WMDs in Iraq, and Saddam Hussein was removed from power and hanged years ago.

Now that things seem to have stabilized somewhat, it seems like the pendulum has swung the other way, and the bandwagon jumpers are coming back on board, riding the coattails of successes achieved by our diplomats, aid workers, allies, and fighting men and women in Iraq. That REALLY bothers me. Desperate to save his job, it seems like Sen. Reid is trying to pull off some revisionist history. In his , he unconvincingly backpedaled on the issue.

If you want to talk smack about the war, that's OK; my rifle guarantees you that freedom. But don't come back after the fact trying to tell me that you're "for" me, now that you need me again; some of us have very long memories and know how to use YouTube. :mad:

/rant off
 

Diamondback 2/2

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I could care less about what some scum-bag political retard has to lie about, anyone with common sense can see right through Reids bullshit.
So what's the deal, have we "won" in Iraq? What does "winning" look like for us now? We established that there were no WMDs in Iraq, and Saddam Hussein was removed from power and hanged years ago.

Now that things seem to have stabilized somewhat,

I hope you don’t take offense to this….

I don’t think there was ever a win/lose option. We invaded concurred and removed the government of Iraq, so in that we won a “war” however the crazy operations that have taken place afterwards are not and will not ever be winnable. Iraq is still a shit hole and will always be a shit hole. And to think that what is taking place in Iraq right now (and it isn’t all sunshine and happy days) is a mark of success, well that’s just fucking crazy IMHO.

The reality is that Iraq is going down a road of civil war yet again, and the surge did nothing but postpone it long enough to withdraw our troops. The same way as Afghanistan fell of the media map during the spike of OIF, Iraq has done the same. However, just like in Afghanistan, Iraq is still having VBIED’s, indirect fire, suicide IED attacks daily.

So where is the success? Where is the “win”? Did the surge make everything look all good? Yep, I also remember rolling down RT Mobil in 2008 being told not to shoot back when we took SA. It’s all based on perceptions and opinions, mine says that we bugged out b/c there was no winning.
 

LimaOscarSierraTango

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Success will only come when politicians, lawyers, and the media allow the troops to do what they are trained to do. Politicians have their heads in the clouds. Lawyers have their heads in their asses. The media has their own, uneducated opinions that don't tell the real story unless it suits them, Unfortunately, there has been too much interference by all of the above. We did some good things, but it will not have changed things in the end, unfortunately. Whether this was a real benefit of going into Iraq, the best thing that happened, was that we kept the fight off of our soil. I consider that a success.

I think it all depends on if you want to be an optimist or pessimist to base your decision. There was no clear cut victory and no clear cut defeat IMO.
 

car

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I agree with several of the things said above.

I was there for the planning of "the surge," and had a part in that planning. Moved several teams around for that purpose. Some to the good, some, well, not so much.

Have we won? In my time in a green suit, I've never seen us "conquer" anyone. It's not what we do. If we have to kick out some delinquent leader, then so be it. But we've always been about returning to staus quo ante, not conquering.

So we destroyed the Iraqi army, hanged whatshisname, and have tried to train a new Iraqi army. IMO, we screwed up by throwing the old Soldiers to the dogs, then went back and begged them to come back, because "we had a better way." We did/do, indeed have a better way, but we alienated them.....thank you, Mr. Rumsfeld.

As for "did we win?" Yeah, I think so, because we did what we always do......regime change.....that's a whole 'nother discussion.

But let's ask those who are over there right now - How is it?
 

Diamondback 2/2

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So we destroyed the Iraqi army, hanged whatshisname, and have tried to train a new Iraqi army. IMO, we screwed up by throwing the old Soldiers to the dogs, then went back and begged them to come back, because "we had a better way." We did/do, indeed have a better way, but we alienated them.....thank you, Mr. Rumsfeld.

As for "did we win?" Yeah, I think so, because we did what we always do......regime change.....that's a whole 'nother discussion.

But let's ask those who are over there right now - How is it?

I agree with you that dropping the old IA/IP's was a big time bad idea, I think that was the direct cause of must of the problems we saw in 04 to 07. As for the asking who is there now, I would agree here is a well. I have been getting my info from a few buds running PSD on the IC side in Bdad, but I would like to here what the Army is doing there, from what I here it's mainly SOF thats working. I am sure RK is stay busy as well...
 

HOLLiS

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Did we win? Yes

The battle now is for the Iraqi people to win. Will they win? I don't know. We handed them a gift and I guess we will see.

"the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray" by Burns
 

AWP

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Remember that the goal of OIF was to remove Saddam and turn over the working of the government and country to the Iraqi people. We kind of became bogged down on that last "tiny" point thanks in part to Wonder Boy Rumsfeld....
 

pardus

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We established that there were no WMDs in Iraq

There was a thread here, I may have even started it, that showed that we did find some WMDs.
The Pentagon was not openly telling the world because they didn't want the insurgents to find out.
Some Senator found out and tried to release the info but no one listened.

It was certainly not the stockpile the Bush administration was talking about, it was a much smaller quantity.

I'll have a look later and see if I can find it.
 

Gypsy

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There was a thread here, I may have even started it, that showed that we did find some WMDs.
The Pentagon was not openly telling the world because they didn't want the insurgents to find out.
Some Senator found out and tried to release the info but no one listened.

It was certainly not the stockpile the Bush administration was talking about, it was a much smaller quantity.

I'll have a look later and see if I can find it.


Yep, I remembered this as well. Here you go.

The MSM couldn't report on it, it doesn't fit in with their agenda. :rolleyes:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,200499,00.html

Report: Hundreds of WMDs Found in Iraq
Thursday, June 22, 2006


WASHINGTON — The United States has found 500 chemical weapons in Iraq since 2003, and more weapons of mass destruction are likely to be uncovered, two Republican lawmakers said Wednesday.

"We have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, chemical weapons," Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., said in a quickly called press conference late Wednesday afternoon.

Reading from a declassified portion of a report by the National Ground Intelligence Center, a Defense Department intelligence unit, Santorum said: "Since 2003, coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent. Despite many efforts to locate and destroy Iraq's pre-Gulf War chemical munitions, filled and unfilled pre-Gulf War chemical munitions are assessed to still exist."

• Click here to read the declassified portion of the NGIC report.

He added that the report warns about the hazards that the chemical weapons could still pose to coalition troops in Iraq.

"The purity of the agents inside the munitions depends on many factors, including the manufacturing process, potential additives and environmental storage conditions. While agents degrade over time, chemical warfare agents remain hazardous and potentially lethal," Santorum read from the document.

"This says weapons have been discovered, more weapons exist and they state that Iraq was not a WMD-free zone, that there are continuing threats from the materials that are or may still be in Iraq," said Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

The weapons are thought to be manufactured before 1991 so they would not be proof of an ongoing WMD program in the 1990s. But they do show that Saddam Hussein was lying when he said all weapons had been destroyed, and it shows that years of on-again, off-again weapons inspections did not uncover these munitions.

Hoekstra said the report, completed in April but only declassified now, shows that "there is still a lot about Iraq that we don't fully understand."

Asked why the Bush administration, if it had known about the information since April or earlier, didn't advertise it, Hoekstra conjectured that the president has been forward-looking and concentrating on the development of a secure government in Iraq.

Offering the official administration response to FOX News, a senior Defense Department official pointed out that the chemical weapons were not in useable conditions.

"This does not reflect a capacity that was built up after 1991," the official said, adding the munitions "are not the WMDs this country and the rest of the world believed Iraq had, and not the WMDs for which this country went to war."

The official said the findings did raise questions about the years of weapons inspections that had not resulted in locating the fairly sizeable stash of chemical weapons. And he noted that it may say something about Hussein's intent and desire. The report does suggest that some of the weapons were likely put on the black market and may have been used outside Iraq.

He also said that the Defense Department statement shortly after the March 2003 invasion saying that "we had all known weapons facilities secured," has proven itself to be untrue.

"It turned out the whole country was an ammo dump," he said, adding that on more than one occasion, a conventional weapons site has been uncovered and chemical weapons have been discovered mixed within them.

Hoekstra and Santorum lamented that Americans were given the impression after a 16-month search conducted by the Iraq Survey Group that the evidence of continuing research and development of weapons of mass destruction was insignificant. But the National Ground Intelligence Center took up where the ISG left off when it completed its report in November 2004, and in the process of collecting intelligence for the purpose of force protection for soldiers and sailors still on the ground in Iraq, has shown that the weapons inspections were incomplete, they and others have said.

"We know it was there, in place, it just wasn't operative when inspectors got there after the war, but we know what the inspectors found from talking with the scientists in Iraq that it could have been cranked up immediately, and that's what Saddam had planned to do if the sanctions against Iraq had halted and they were certainly headed in that direction," said Fred Barnes, editor of The Weekly Standard and a FOX News contributor.

"It is significant. Perhaps, the administration just, they think they weathered the debate over WMD being found there immediately and don't want to return to it again because things are otherwise going better for them, and then, I think, there's mindless resistance to releasing any classified documents from Iraq," Barnes said.

The release of the declassified materials comes as the Senate debates Democratic proposals to create a timetable for U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq. The debate has had the effect of creating disunity among Democrats, a majority of whom shrunk Wednesday from an amendment proposed by Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts to have troops to be completely withdrawn from Iraq by the middle of next year.

At the same time, congressional Republicans have stayed highly united, rallying around a White House that has seen successes in the last couple weeks, first with the death of terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, then the completion of the formation of Iraq's Cabinet and then the announcement Tuesday that another key Al Qaeda in Iraq leader, "religious emir" Mansour Suleiman Mansour Khalifi al-Mashhadani, or Sheik Mansour, was also killed in a U.S. airstrike.

Santorum pointed out that during Wednesday's debate, several Senate Democrats said that no weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq, a claim, he said, that the declassified document proves is untrue.

"This is an incredibly — in my mind — significant finding. The idea that, as my colleagues have repeatedly said in this debate on the other side of the aisle, that there are no weapons of mass destruction, is in fact false," he said.

As a result of this new information, under the aegis of his chairmanship, Hoekstra said he is going to ask for more reporting by the various intelligence agencies about weapons of mass destruction.

"We are working on the declassification of the report. We are going to do a thorough search of what additional reports exist in the intelligence community. And we are going to put additional pressure on the Department of Defense and the folks in Iraq to more fully pursue a complete investigation of what existed in Iraq before the war," Hoekstra said.

FOX News' Jim Angle and Sharon Kehnemui Liss contributed to this report.
 

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Marauder, I sense the aggravation and appreciate your more than diplomatic way of stating your rant. It brought to mind my two grandfathers and how they might feel if they were alive to see the world in the condition it is today. See, they both served in WWII; much like most of that generation I'm sure they thought it was the end all be all to asshats in the universe. History tells us that wars will never cease, and tyrants will only get what is truly coming to them when Christ splits the sky. The main thing to take away I would think for your own sanity, is the fact that you did your part the best you could do it while others criticized from the sidelines and played armchair General.

You personally made a difference in someone's life that might not have had a shot at freedom otherwise; more than likely, many more than one. You did your part to make the world a better place whether the world wants to be a better place or not. As for the fuck ups in D.C. and the Pentagon playing to politics, perhaps that is your next station in life to do your part to make things better. As for Iraq, the people now have the tools to work their garden if they truly desire a healthy crop of liberty. If not then don't sweat it, there will always be people wanting someone de oppresso liber. Keep working your circle of influence and hope those you influence do likewise.
 

SpitfireV

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Yeah but so have guns. Everyone's got mustard gas, or had it, I bet even the Boy Scouts have got a stockpile. It just seems very week justification to me, IMO.
 

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Yeah but so have guns. Everyone's got mustard gas, or had it, I bet even the Boy Scouts have got a stockpile. It just seems very week justification to me, IMO.

Justification for what? We KNOW they have the really lethal shit you're thinking of, because we supplied them with it, asked for it back or proof it had been destroyed and what's his carcass could do neither one. It doesn't matter if they made more or any of that; he showed he was willing to use it on his own people, and that should be justification for an ass whipping by any standard of human decency.

Here's a bit about modern mustard gas.
1988: Thousands die in Halabja gas attack
Thousands of people are reported to have been killed and many others injured in a poison gas attack on a Kurdish city in northern Iraq. Up to 20 aircraft, said to include Iraqi Migs and Mirages, were seen overhead at around 1100 local time in Halabja. According to experts, the chemicals dropped by the planes may have included mustard gas, the nerve agents sarin, tabun and VX and possibly cyanide.
The attack on Halabja, which is about 150 miles (241km) north-east of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, is the latest in the Iran-Iraq war and follows its occupation by Iranian forces. .... Eyewitnesses have told of clouds of smoke billowing upward "white, black and then yellow"', rising as a column about 150 feet (46 metres)in the air.
Most of the wounded, who were taken to hospital in the Iranian capital Tehran, were suffering from mustard gas exposure. Those who escaped death have developed respiratory or visual problems from the cocktail of chemicals dropped on the city. According to some reports, up to 75% of the victims were women and children. The injured survivors seen by reporters showed the classic symptoms of mustard gas poisoning - ugly skin lesions and breathing difficulties.
Figures for the final total of dead range from 3,200 people to 5,000. Between 7,000 and 10,000 are believed to have been injured in the massacre, which became known as "Bloody Friday".
And now for the Anfal Genocide under fuckheads regime.

In the context of the campaign, Iraq became the first government to use chemical weapons against its own people.
_41522748_grave203.jpg
Numerous mass graves have been found dating back to Anfal days

It dropped mustard gas and sarin on rebel areas, with heavy loss of civilian life, as early as April 1987 - according to Human Rights Watch.

The worst incident - which did not technically come under the Anfal operations - was in Halabja, where 5,000 civilian inhabitants are thought to have died in an aerial bombardment of mustard gas and nerve agents (sarin, tabun and VX).
The military campaign proper began on 23 February 1988 - when the Iraqi army began its sweep through the "prohibited areas" - the first attack on (now Iraqi President) Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan headquarters at Sergalou-Bergalou.
Halabja was hit on 16-17 March 1988 after it was captured by Kurdish fighters supported by Iran Revolutionary Guards attempting to open up a second front to relieve the siege of Sergalou-Bergalou.
entire article here http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4877364.stm

If you need more just let me know; the image of the DEAD woman holding her DEAD BABY have been burned into my brain for more than 20 years now.
 

SpitfireV

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There's two threads on this for some reason, I'll be discussing it over in the main discussion forum if you'd not mind moving over to that one.
 
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