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September 21, 2008


Charlie (Colorado)

"When people talk about stress and strain on a force, the stress and strain that would come from having to live with a humiliating defeat would be quite staggering."



I'm no military guy, but that was my impression at that time.


Not to mention the devastating effects of such a defeat on the political power of the US and the West in general. It astonishes and dismays me that the defeatists never seem to take that into consideration. (I mean the sincere people who supported a withdrawal as being in the best interests of the country--as opposed to those who would celebrate such a defeat).


But the Democrats thought it would reflect negatively on Bush, so it would have been worth the price. Lose the war, but embarass Bush. And believe or not, that is still Obama's foreign policy.


Isn't that refreshing? A man with brains.

Charlie (Colorado)

Isn't that refreshing? A man with brains.

Mmmm. Brains.


Not mentioned in this article is the resistance to the surge in general and to Keane's involvement in particular from the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In this situation, CJCS Adm. Mike Mullen comes out looking pretty much like a peace time leader unable to recognize was is needed for winning. He may have been an okay beltway type during peace time but he was not the right guy for wartime leadership. I don't think Keane and Mullen will be exchanging Christmas cards. Too many of our GOFO's were raised in a peacetime military and failed to adjust their point of view when necessary.

Though we have the same last name, I have no idea if Gen. Keane is any direct relative. Regardless he did our family name proud and was humble about it.


Of course losing is stressful.. Ask any Vietnam vet. Only they didn't lose to the enemy in the field. They lost because of the same bunch who were screaming for cut and run in Iraq, and undermining the Commander in Chief at every turn.

I'm so proud of our service men and women.

The news from Iraq is continuing to sound good. Just hope it stays that way.

Jim Rhoads aka Vnjagvet

I think that was why many of us were so exercised about Kerry and his attempts to recreate the tactics that sabotaged our efforts in RVN, Verner.

The emotional trauma damn near killed me four years ago. But I think the VNvets made a difference then and the trauma was worth it.

Perhaps we have at least one more hurrah this year.

JM Hanes

Two things in particular amaze me about the Democratic position on Iraq.

Obama proposes bringing the general deployment in Iraq to an end. Remaining troops will be pulled back into protected positions, from which they will emerge on some sort of as needed basis, to target problems as they arise. What's stunning is that Democrats don't recognize they're touting a return the same essential approach which precipitated the spectacular pre-surge disaster in the first place.

For years, here at home, the chief complaint against the Administration has been its failure to game out worst case scenarios before launching the Iraq invasion. Detractors have been resolutely looking backwards every step of the way, endlessly revisiting past decisions -- right up to the election of a Democratic majority in Congress, at which point time apparently stood still altogether. Ironically, and irresponsibly, the one thing Democrats have most consistently refused to do is game out worst case scenarios before demanding withdrawal.

Despite Democratic 20/20 hindsight, Gen. Keane, Gen. Petraeus, President Bush and supporters of the surge appear to be the only folks who have actually learned from their mistakes.

M. Simon

Jim, Verner, et. al.,

I remember '04 so well. I put on my copy of the Doors, lit my incense and worked the comments of all the relevant blogs as hard as I could until JFnK went down. I had a wonderful time.

It wasn't stress for me. It was time to pay Kerry back for all the boat people lost at sea.

M. Simon


In war it is impossible to game out all possible scenarios.

On top of that - had we been more successful before the surge the surge wouldn't have worked.

Third - suppose gaming had shown that we needed 350,000 in country for two years. We didn't have the military for it. What Rummy meant by "You go to war with the Army you have."

We did the right thing - built up the Iraqi forces. And that started within months of Saddam's defeat.

JM Hanes

I know, M. Simon, I was just contrasting their unrelenting chorus of complaint with their own commission of the putative sin they themselves decried.

JM Hanes

AllahPundit links to this remarkable column by:

Pulitzer winner Dexter Filkins, back in the country for the first time since 2006 and relentlessly disoriented by the normalcy he finds in areas he remembers firsthand as bombed-out moonscapes.
Remarkable mostly because it appears in the New York Times, but it's a wonderful read. I found this brief glimpse of a woman who had stayed behind when her family left a violent Baghdad neighborhood especially touching:
Every other Shiite family also fled Zhrawaya; it is still largely empty. To slow the death squads, the Americans built a two-mile-long cement wall around the outskirts of her neighborhood. It’s 20 feet high and painted baby blue. It gives the neighborhood a bleak and claustrophobic feel.

In the 24 months that her sons were gone, Ms. Salman said she rarely ventured outside. The exception, she said, was when she saw American soldiers.

“Oh, I love them,” Ms. Salman said, brightening in her darkened house. “I always knew I was safe with them.”

The more I think about it, the more extraordinary that simple declaration seems. It seems to me that American soldiers are unlike any others the world has seen. If we ask them to fight, they are warriors, if we ask them to win hearts and minds, they do that too. Ms. Salman knew she was safe. They keep us all safe. They do us proud, and I'm just so grateful.


Dexter Filkins is featured in two Charlie Rose videos that I've watched. One was with John Burns.
The two I watched were very worthwhile and John Burns is always great to hear.


Good Morning to All!
The most stressful thing about losing is knowing it's your fellow countrymen, like Jane Fonda and John Kerry back in the comfort of America, that are winning it for the enemy.

M. Simon


We put them down in '04.

Now it is Soros' turn.


Hugh Hewitt posted transcripts of Jeremiah Wright sermons castigating the U.S. military. In 2003 he likened them to the Romans in Jesus' time:

these people had, in Luke 19, an occupying army living in their country. Jesus, in Verse 43, calls them their enemies. Say enemies (crowd responds). ...They were commandos trained in urban combat, and trained to kill on command. Remember, it was soldiers of the 3rd Marine Regiment of Rome who had fun with Jesus, who was mistreated as a prisoner of war, an enemy of the occupying army stationed in Jerusalem, to ensure the mopping up action of Operation Israeli Freedom. ... much more at link

And Obama told the Sun Times religion editor in an interview a year later that he faithfully attended the 11 a.m. service at TUCC.



Then Obama tried to walk back on that statement by telling Newsweek that his oldest daughter made attending church too difficult.


M Simon: In war it is impossible to game out all possible scenarios.

So true. And I wish to hell that we would start teaching our kids real history instead of the multi-culti cartoon stuff they are currently getting.

Look at Lincoln! My goodness, if he had had a "Study group" half way through the Civil War, he would NEVER had beeen re-elected, and the Northern Democrats would have had their way and negociated a truce with the South.

Roosevelt and Churchill made horrific military blunders at the cost of thousands of lives. But the people stayed behind them, including the Republicans in congress, and the good guys prevailed.

War is chaos. Looking back, yes, we should have gone in with more troops, but if we had, the democrats in congress would have been yelling and screaming that it was costing too much blah blah blah.

While mistakes were made, I honestly believe that considering how utterly broken Iraq was after thirty years of totalitarian rule and war, we have ended up with the best outcome we possibly could have. And while every American life is precious, we still haven't lost as many soldiers as we did at Gettysburg, when the population was only one thenth the size it is now.

Is history going to be kind to GW Bush? I'd put my money on it.

Besides, after we get through paying for this Democrat attempt at Socialist engineering via Fannie Mae, the Iraq War is going to look cheap.

Jim Rhoads aka Vnjagvet

I remember '04 so well. I put on my copy of the Doors, lit my incense and worked the comments of all the relevant blogs as hard as I could until JFnK went down. I had a wonderful time.

It wasn't stress for me. It was time to pay Kerry back for all the boat people lost at sea.

That is so right, MS. What nearly killed me was a cardiac arrest the day after I returned from a VN veteran's anti-Kerry rally in DC in early September, 04.

My therapy during recuperation was commenting -- as VNJAGVET -- on Roger Simon, Beldar, JOM, Althouse, Q&A, and Captain's Quarters, among others, supporting my friends who were Swifties and generally parrying the trolls who knew nothing about the history of RVN.

Like you, I believe we did make a difference.

Let's hope we can do it again.

At that time, I was still trying to practice law full time, so I didn't want to use my real name.

Jim Rhoads aka Vnjagvet

I agree with your last comment, Verner. Gaming worst case scenarios is generally not useful in war. The worst case scenario is generally defeat at the hands of the enemy, with unspeakable casualties. It takes little creativity to imagine that, and to what end.

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