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XyZspineZyX
07-02-2003, 03:41 PM
Mistrust Mixes With Misery In Heat of Baghdad Police Post
Frustrated Reservists See a Mission Impossible

By Anthony Shadid
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, July 1, 2003; Page A01

BAGHDAD, June 30 -- To Staff Sgt. Charles Pollard, the working-class suburb of Mashtal is a "very, very, very, very bad neighborhood." And he sees just one solution.

"U.S. officials need to get our [expletive] out of here," said the 43-year-old reservist from Pittsburgh, who arrived in Iraq with the 307th Military Police Company on May 24. "I say that seriously. We have no business being here. We will not change the culture they have in Iraq, in Baghdad. Baghdad is so corrupted. All we are here is potential people to be killed and sitting ducks."

To Sgt. Sami Jalil, a 14-year veteran of the local police force, the Americans are to blame. He and his colleagues have no badges, no uniforms. The soldiers don't trust them with weapons. In his eyes, his U.S. counterparts have already lost the people's trust.

"We're facing the danger. We're in the front lines. We're taking all the risks, only us," said the 33-year-old officer. "They're arrogant. They treat all the people as if they're criminals."

These are the dog days of summer in Mashtal, and tempers are flaring along a divide as wide as the temperatures are high.

Throughout the neighborhood, as in much of Baghdad, residents are almost frantic in their complaints about basic needs that have gone unmet -- enough electricity to keep food from spoiling, enough water to drink, enough security on the streets. At Mashtal's Rashad police station, where Pollard's unit is working to protect the police and get the Baath Party-era force back on its feet, the frustrations are personal and professional.

Many of the Iraqi officers despise the U.S. soldiers for what they see as unreasonable demands and a lack of respect. Many of the soldiers in Pollard's unit -- homesick, frustrated and miserable in heat that soars well into the 100s -- deem their mission to reconstitute the force impossible.

The Rashad station, where a new coat of paint has done little to conceal unmet expectations, is an example of the darker side of the mundane details of the U.S. occupation. While perhaps not representative, it offers a grim, small window on the daunting task of rebuilding a capital and how the course of that reconstruction, so far, has defied the expectations of virtually everyone involved.

"I pray every day on the roof. I pray that we make it safe, that we make it safe home," Pollard said. "The president needs to know it's in his hands, and we all need to recognize this isn't our home, America is, and we just pray that he does something about it."

Pollard is a 22-year veteran, and he had thought about retiring before his Iraq tour. Now, he says, he doesn't know when he will return to his job at the maintenance department at a community college in Pittsburgh, and that uncertainty nags at him.

Asked when he wanted to leave, he was blunt: "As soon as we can get the hell out of here."

This morning, in a dusty second-floor room with sandbags piled against the windows, helmets hung on nails over flak jackets and a sprawling map of Baghdad on the wall, Pollard's unit debated that question. Gossip swirled.

"There's a rumor going around that we'll be here for two years," Spec. Ron Beach said.

Others rolled their eyes and shook their heads. "You can put me up in a five-star hotel, and I'm not going to be here for two years," said Sgt. Jennifer Appelbaum, 26, a legal secretary from Philadelphia.

They started talking about what they lacked: hot meals, air conditioners, bathrooms a notch above plywood outhouses and something to do on their 12 hours off other than sweat. Electricity is on one hour, off five. Staff Sgt. Kenneth Kaczmarek called his flak jacket an "Iraqi weight loss system" and said he had shed at least 15 pounds. Pollard said he had lost 18.

Pollard's second granddaughter was born this month, but he hasn't been able to call home to learn her name. Kaczmarek's daughter, Isabella Jolie, was born May 28 -- eight days after he arrived in Iraq as part of an advance team.

"It makes life miserable," Pollard said. "The morale, it's hard to stay high with these problems."

Once largely undefended, Rashad police station -- 12 tiles missing from its blue sign -- has taken on the look of a bunker. Two cream-colored, armored Humvees are parked outside; another Humvee with a .50-caliber machine gun is at the side. Pollard said he wants barbed wire strung atop the cinder-block wall behind, and an engineering team is preparing to heighten the brick-and-cement wall in front. In coming days, he said, he would put sand barricades along the street outside the entrance.

Shots are fired every day at U.S. troops in Baghdad, and on Friday night, an ambush on a military convoy down the road killed one soldier and left at least one other wounded. As Pollard recalled, the blast shook the entire block. He said he suspects everyone. Two Iraqi journalists, one with a camera, visited two weeks ago, and he was convinced the men were casing the station.

He once sat at a desk outside, then moved indoors. "Let the Iraqis guard the gate," he said, next to a sandbagged window.

The way Pollard sees it, the Iraqi police should be taking the risks, not his 13 reservists at the station.

"It's not fair to our troops to build a country that's not even ours and our lives are at risk," he said. "They've got to take control. They may have to kill some of their own people to make a statement that we're back in control. No doubt."

For the most part, the Iraqi police and Pollard's soldiers say little to each other -- and even then it's done through interpreters. The Iraqis dislike Pollard, and he has little regard for them. The neighborhood is dangerous, he said, and fighting crime here might require twice the 86 police officers they still have. But of the 86, he said, at least half should be dismissed for corruption or ineptitude.

"This is a crooked cop sitting here," he said, pointing to a major who didn't understand English.

He walked through the station, leaning into a room with two officers busy at a desk. "Here's a room where they're acting like they're doing real important paperwork," he said. He walked outside to a balcony where three officers were sitting on newspapers and a green burlap sack, one with his shoes off. "This is a couple more lazy cops, sitting down when they should be outside," he said. They all greeted Pollard with cold stares, forgoing the traditional greetings that are almost obligatory in their culture.

Near an iron gate, where residents gathered in hopes of filing a complaint, Shoja Shaltak, an Iraqi lieutenant, brought a brown folder with an order from a judge to release three men. Pollard suspected a bribe.

"Tell him he can go, go, go," Pollard said to an interpreter. "I don't jump at their requests."

The lieutenant protested, insisting that the order came from a judge. The interpreter, Ziad Tarek, answered on his own. "The judge has nothing to do with this anymore," Tarek told Shaltak. He pointed to Pollard, "He's the judge now."

Jalil, the veteran Iraqi policeman, watched with disgust.

"It's embarrassing. It's embarrassing for us and for the lieutenant," he said. "We are police and they don't respect us. How is it possible for them to respect the Iraqi people?"

His complaints were aired by virtually all the station's officers: They don't receive the flak jackets the Americans wear, they have to check out rifles from the soldiers, they have no uniforms, they have no badges and they don't like Pollard.

Asked if he was afraid to go on patrol, Jalil shot back angrily, "The opposite.

"They're the ones who are scared," he said. "I'm ready to go out alone, but they should give me the equipment."

Jalil said he was so frustrated that he planned to quit in days. He said he can't support his parents, wife and 8-month-old daughter on a salary of $60 a month. He spends half of that on daily lunches and the 30-cent fares for a shared taxi to and from work.

With water in short supply or of poor quality, he buys a bottle of mineral water every two days for his daughter -- a cheap variety but still another 50 cents. Sewage floods daily into his home, where four families totaling 30 people share six rooms. And, with electricity running no more than six hours a day, Jalil worries that his daughter will become ill from the heat.

"The truth has become apparent," he said.

"The Americans painted a picture that they would come, provide good things to the Iraqi people, spread security, but regrettably" -- his voice trailed off.

"Iraqi people hate the Americans," he said.

The one thing on which everyone agrees is that Mashtal is a tough neighborhood. Gunfire crackles at night. A chop shop is down the street. Parked outside the station are six stolen cars recovered by the police. Kaczmarek called it "Chicago in the '30s" and said he saw someone the other day toting a tommy gun. Jalil called murder the easiest crime to commit. Last week in his neighborhood, an Iraqi hit his 28-year-old ex-wife with a bicycle, then, as she lay on the ground on a hot afternoon, shot her in the face with an AK-47 rifle.

"People just watched," Jalil said. "If they interfered, they would be killed, too."

Outside the police station's gate, Qassim Kadhim, a 30-year-old day laborer, had been waiting for hours to report a stolen motorcycle. On Thursday, three thieves broke into his house, a two-room shack where he lives with his wife and four children. He said he knew who they were, and when he went the next day to confront them, one of them beat him with a rifle butt. He still had a black eye.

"There's no security, there's no stability in Iraq," he said. "I swear to God, things are going to get worse."

XyZspineZyX
07-02-2003, 03:41 PM
Mistrust Mixes With Misery In Heat of Baghdad Police Post
Frustrated Reservists See a Mission Impossible

By Anthony Shadid
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, July 1, 2003; Page A01

BAGHDAD, June 30 -- To Staff Sgt. Charles Pollard, the working-class suburb of Mashtal is a "very, very, very, very bad neighborhood." And he sees just one solution.

"U.S. officials need to get our [expletive] out of here," said the 43-year-old reservist from Pittsburgh, who arrived in Iraq with the 307th Military Police Company on May 24. "I say that seriously. We have no business being here. We will not change the culture they have in Iraq, in Baghdad. Baghdad is so corrupted. All we are here is potential people to be killed and sitting ducks."

To Sgt. Sami Jalil, a 14-year veteran of the local police force, the Americans are to blame. He and his colleagues have no badges, no uniforms. The soldiers don't trust them with weapons. In his eyes, his U.S. counterparts have already lost the people's trust.

"We're facing the danger. We're in the front lines. We're taking all the risks, only us," said the 33-year-old officer. "They're arrogant. They treat all the people as if they're criminals."

These are the dog days of summer in Mashtal, and tempers are flaring along a divide as wide as the temperatures are high.

Throughout the neighborhood, as in much of Baghdad, residents are almost frantic in their complaints about basic needs that have gone unmet -- enough electricity to keep food from spoiling, enough water to drink, enough security on the streets. At Mashtal's Rashad police station, where Pollard's unit is working to protect the police and get the Baath Party-era force back on its feet, the frustrations are personal and professional.

Many of the Iraqi officers despise the U.S. soldiers for what they see as unreasonable demands and a lack of respect. Many of the soldiers in Pollard's unit -- homesick, frustrated and miserable in heat that soars well into the 100s -- deem their mission to reconstitute the force impossible.

The Rashad station, where a new coat of paint has done little to conceal unmet expectations, is an example of the darker side of the mundane details of the U.S. occupation. While perhaps not representative, it offers a grim, small window on the daunting task of rebuilding a capital and how the course of that reconstruction, so far, has defied the expectations of virtually everyone involved.

"I pray every day on the roof. I pray that we make it safe, that we make it safe home," Pollard said. "The president needs to know it's in his hands, and we all need to recognize this isn't our home, America is, and we just pray that he does something about it."

Pollard is a 22-year veteran, and he had thought about retiring before his Iraq tour. Now, he says, he doesn't know when he will return to his job at the maintenance department at a community college in Pittsburgh, and that uncertainty nags at him.

Asked when he wanted to leave, he was blunt: "As soon as we can get the hell out of here."

This morning, in a dusty second-floor room with sandbags piled against the windows, helmets hung on nails over flak jackets and a sprawling map of Baghdad on the wall, Pollard's unit debated that question. Gossip swirled.

"There's a rumor going around that we'll be here for two years," Spec. Ron Beach said.

Others rolled their eyes and shook their heads. "You can put me up in a five-star hotel, and I'm not going to be here for two years," said Sgt. Jennifer Appelbaum, 26, a legal secretary from Philadelphia.

They started talking about what they lacked: hot meals, air conditioners, bathrooms a notch above plywood outhouses and something to do on their 12 hours off other than sweat. Electricity is on one hour, off five. Staff Sgt. Kenneth Kaczmarek called his flak jacket an "Iraqi weight loss system" and said he had shed at least 15 pounds. Pollard said he had lost 18.

Pollard's second granddaughter was born this month, but he hasn't been able to call home to learn her name. Kaczmarek's daughter, Isabella Jolie, was born May 28 -- eight days after he arrived in Iraq as part of an advance team.

"It makes life miserable," Pollard said. "The morale, it's hard to stay high with these problems."

Once largely undefended, Rashad police station -- 12 tiles missing from its blue sign -- has taken on the look of a bunker. Two cream-colored, armored Humvees are parked outside; another Humvee with a .50-caliber machine gun is at the side. Pollard said he wants barbed wire strung atop the cinder-block wall behind, and an engineering team is preparing to heighten the brick-and-cement wall in front. In coming days, he said, he would put sand barricades along the street outside the entrance.

Shots are fired every day at U.S. troops in Baghdad, and on Friday night, an ambush on a military convoy down the road killed one soldier and left at least one other wounded. As Pollard recalled, the blast shook the entire block. He said he suspects everyone. Two Iraqi journalists, one with a camera, visited two weeks ago, and he was convinced the men were casing the station.

He once sat at a desk outside, then moved indoors. "Let the Iraqis guard the gate," he said, next to a sandbagged window.

The way Pollard sees it, the Iraqi police should be taking the risks, not his 13 reservists at the station.

"It's not fair to our troops to build a country that's not even ours and our lives are at risk," he said. "They've got to take control. They may have to kill some of their own people to make a statement that we're back in control. No doubt."

For the most part, the Iraqi police and Pollard's soldiers say little to each other -- and even then it's done through interpreters. The Iraqis dislike Pollard, and he has little regard for them. The neighborhood is dangerous, he said, and fighting crime here might require twice the 86 police officers they still have. But of the 86, he said, at least half should be dismissed for corruption or ineptitude.

"This is a crooked cop sitting here," he said, pointing to a major who didn't understand English.

He walked through the station, leaning into a room with two officers busy at a desk. "Here's a room where they're acting like they're doing real important paperwork," he said. He walked outside to a balcony where three officers were sitting on newspapers and a green burlap sack, one with his shoes off. "This is a couple more lazy cops, sitting down when they should be outside," he said. They all greeted Pollard with cold stares, forgoing the traditional greetings that are almost obligatory in their culture.

Near an iron gate, where residents gathered in hopes of filing a complaint, Shoja Shaltak, an Iraqi lieutenant, brought a brown folder with an order from a judge to release three men. Pollard suspected a bribe.

"Tell him he can go, go, go," Pollard said to an interpreter. "I don't jump at their requests."

The lieutenant protested, insisting that the order came from a judge. The interpreter, Ziad Tarek, answered on his own. "The judge has nothing to do with this anymore," Tarek told Shaltak. He pointed to Pollard, "He's the judge now."

Jalil, the veteran Iraqi policeman, watched with disgust.

"It's embarrassing. It's embarrassing for us and for the lieutenant," he said. "We are police and they don't respect us. How is it possible for them to respect the Iraqi people?"

His complaints were aired by virtually all the station's officers: They don't receive the flak jackets the Americans wear, they have to check out rifles from the soldiers, they have no uniforms, they have no badges and they don't like Pollard.

Asked if he was afraid to go on patrol, Jalil shot back angrily, "The opposite.

"They're the ones who are scared," he said. "I'm ready to go out alone, but they should give me the equipment."

Jalil said he was so frustrated that he planned to quit in days. He said he can't support his parents, wife and 8-month-old daughter on a salary of $60 a month. He spends half of that on daily lunches and the 30-cent fares for a shared taxi to and from work.

With water in short supply or of poor quality, he buys a bottle of mineral water every two days for his daughter -- a cheap variety but still another 50 cents. Sewage floods daily into his home, where four families totaling 30 people share six rooms. And, with electricity running no more than six hours a day, Jalil worries that his daughter will become ill from the heat.

"The truth has become apparent," he said.

"The Americans painted a picture that they would come, provide good things to the Iraqi people, spread security, but regrettably" -- his voice trailed off.

"Iraqi people hate the Americans," he said.

The one thing on which everyone agrees is that Mashtal is a tough neighborhood. Gunfire crackles at night. A chop shop is down the street. Parked outside the station are six stolen cars recovered by the police. Kaczmarek called it "Chicago in the '30s" and said he saw someone the other day toting a tommy gun. Jalil called murder the easiest crime to commit. Last week in his neighborhood, an Iraqi hit his 28-year-old ex-wife with a bicycle, then, as she lay on the ground on a hot afternoon, shot her in the face with an AK-47 rifle.

"People just watched," Jalil said. "If they interfered, they would be killed, too."

Outside the police station's gate, Qassim Kadhim, a 30-year-old day laborer, had been waiting for hours to report a stolen motorcycle. On Thursday, three thieves broke into his house, a two-room shack where he lives with his wife and four children. He said he knew who they were, and when he went the next day to confront them, one of them beat him with a rifle butt. He still had a black eye.

"There's no security, there's no stability in Iraq," he said. "I swear to God, things are going to get worse."

XyZspineZyX
07-02-2003, 06:06 PM
I don't understand. Paul Bremner said the situation was improving.

http://www.nrm.org/illustration/obrien/tyson.jpg


Where are the weapons of mass destruction?

XyZspineZyX
07-03-2003, 12:53 AM
I Wont say mission impossible, but rather Mission Difficult.

If he is in baghdad then he is mostlikely OPCONd/Attached to 1AD. The mission in the city is difficult and we are dealing with a people that will Complain about house searches only to be found with multiple weapons (AKs, RPG, Grenades etc) hidden in hollowed out walls, buried in Flour bins and other places. They complain about their women being subjected to searches while having their women carry their weapons in hopes of bypassing security. With these things happening the ROE is difficult.
Additionaly there is a level of frustration amongst the troops' tours are extended and no clear cut rotational basis has been set.
Things are improving, As Bremer states, Things are better then prewar conditions (Power, water, news, etc) Some things are worse... crime etc. But under the former regime... criminals were killed/tourtured/disapeared. We are trying to bring around a judicial system to begin handling things. It will take time.

Peace keeping ops are not easy.


"Brave Rifles!"

- Matt
"The spirit of the Cav is reason enough to fight!"

XyZspineZyX
07-03-2003, 03:43 AM
Guidon666 wrote:
- I Wont say mission impossible, but rather Mission
- Difficult.
-
- If he is in baghdad then he is mostlikely
- OPCONd/Attached to 1AD. The mission in the city is
- difficult and we are dealing with a people that will
- Complain about house searches only to be found with
- multiple weapons (AKs, RPG, Grenades etc) hidden in
- hollowed out walls, buried in Flour bins and other
- places. They complain about their women being
- subjected to searches while having their women carry
- their weapons in hopes of bypassing security.

Yes but who are we to tell them whether they can arm themselves in their own country. You are blaming the victim. The reason they hide their weapons is so we do not find them. Further, they complain about these searches whether weapons are found or not. I'm sure the French didn't like the Germans searching through their houses only to find Allied pilots hiding out.

Think about it like this. How would you feel if someone kicked down your door and had dogs roaming through your wife's things? You would probably want to put a bullet in their head too.

http://www.nrm.org/illustration/obrien/tyson.jpg


<center><marquee>******Where are the weapons of mass destruction?******Where are the weapons of mass destruction?******Where are the weapons of mass destruction?******Where are the weapons of mass destruction?******<center><marquee>

XyZspineZyX
07-03-2003, 06:14 AM
MisterNiceGuy wrote:
-
-
- Think about it like this. How would you feel if
- someone kicked down your door and had dogs roaming
- through your wife's things? You would probably want
- to put a bullet in their head too.
-
I am sure the Iraqi people liked it better when Saddam's people where roaming through their wife's things even while they still wearing them.

The only difference is we are trying to keep our troops safe and protect the Iraqi citizens and since we can not be sure who is friend and who is foe, we have to demand certain things. If it wasn't for the US and its Allies the Iraqis wouldnt even have the right to protest any of these things.

<center>
http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-4/146066/HDZUVJETRBTPXHHFKWSU-Roguefear.jpg

If I want your Opinion I'll beat it out of you.

XyZspineZyX
07-03-2003, 04:25 PM
Personally, I am still wondering where this great coalition President Bush spoke so regularly of prior to the war. I mean, apparently there were around 36 nations that supported us. However, there are only three (UK, Australia, and Poland) countries that actually sent combat personal to the conflict, and they are still the only three nations actively serving in post-war Iraq in some capacity at the moment. Surely if this much touted coalition existed in more then just words and fly-over rights, the situation on the ground in Iraq would be more secure, hence making the reconstruction process go much smoother.

Oddly enough, the President this week said Washington welcomed troop contributions from other countries but that the force there now was enough ''to make sure the situation is secure.'' Maybe he was unaware at the time, that Iraqi administrator Paul Bremer apparently put in a formal request to the Defense Secretary for more troop deployments in order to speed restoration of order and public services. In fact, as a result of the request Army General John Abizaid (future head of CENTCOM), was supposedly studying whether to add forces, reposition them or use different types of troops in Iraq.

Message Edited on 07/03/0303:09PM by V3-Dev

XyZspineZyX
07-03-2003, 05:39 PM
V3-Dev wrote:
- Personally, I am still wondering where this great
- coalition President Bush spoke so regularly of prior
- to the war. I mean, apparently there were around 36
- nations that supported us. However, there are only
- two (UK and Poland) countries that actually sent
- combat personal to the conflict, and they are still
- the only two nations actively serving in post-war
- Iraq in some capacity at the moment. Surely if this
- much touted coalition existed in more then just
- words and fly-over rights, the situation on the
- ground in Iraq would be more secure, hence making
- the reconstruction process go much smoother.
-
- Many countries helped in the war in some capacity and it wouldnt be very easy to have 36 different nations with combat personell...can you imagine the cooridination that would be needed?



<center>
http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-4/146066/HDZUVJETRBTPXHHFKWSU-Roguefear.jpg

If I want your Opinion I'll beat it out of you.

XyZspineZyX
07-03-2003, 08:16 PM
Last time I checked George Bush Sr. put together a coalition of well over 30 countries for Operation Desert Storm. About 25 of these nations contributed combat personnel to the military campaign. Therefore, I don't see coordination as being a problem Hornet, and for you to even suggest that is sort of absurd.

XyZspineZyX
07-04-2003, 01:19 AM
Hornet57 wrote:
-
- MisterNiceGuy wrote:
--
--
-- Think about it like this. How would you feel if
-- someone kicked down your door and had dogs roaming
-- through your wife's things? You would probably want
-- to put a bullet in their head too.
--
- I am sure the Iraqi people liked it better when
- Saddam's people where roaming through their wife's
- things even while they still wearing them.
-
- The only difference is we are trying to keep our
- troops safe and protect the Iraqi citizens and since
- we can not be sure who is friend and who is foe, we
- have to demand certain things. If it wasn't for the
- US and its Allies the Iraqis wouldnt even have the
- right to protest any of these things.

Unfortunately and this is saddening, many of them are complaining that they had it better under Saddam. I agree that we need to keep our troops safe but in my opinion the best way to do that is for the Administration to swallow its pride and bring them home before something really bad happens.

http://www.nrm.org/illustration/obrien/tyson.jpg


<center><marquee>******Where are the weapons of mass destruction?******Where are the weapons of mass destruction?******Where are the weapons of mass destruction?******Where are the weapons of mass destruction?******<center><marquee>

XyZspineZyX
07-08-2003, 09:04 PM
I think that the attacks will first end, when Saddam is found.

Actually the Iraqi are dumb: At each attack they kill or wound Iraqis, too!

Yours sincerely,

DumalA

XyZspineZyX
07-08-2003, 09:15 PM
MisterNiceGuy wrote:

- Unfortunately and this is saddening, many of them
- are complaining that they had it better under
- Saddam. I agree that we need to keep our troops
- safe but in my opinion the best way to do that is
- for the Administration to swallow its pride and
- bring them home before something really bad happens.

How many are complaining MNG? and there is no way we are going to retreat now. That would be even more foolish then even thinking about it.

...and what would you say then about the US's credibility in the Middle East.

and DumalA is correct. You catch Saddam and the attacks will stop.

<center>
http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-4/146066/HDZUVJETRBTPXHHFKWSU-Roguefear.jpg

If I want your Opinion I'll beat it out of you.

XyZspineZyX
07-08-2003, 09:27 PM
I do think that killing or apprehending Saddam is very important in terms of building confidence and reassuring the average Iraqi citizen that Baathist tyranny will never return to Iraq. However, the fact that many of these individuals engaging in hostilities towards US/UK forces at the moment are dead-enders who technically have no place in Iraqi society whether Saddam is captured or killed, the guerilla attacks will more or less continue to occur until the US in conjunction with the majority of law-abiding Iraqis eradicate these malicious individuals.

Message Edited on 07/08/0304:29PM by V3-Dev

pcisbest
01-15-2007, 09:32 PM
Well here we are several years later....both Saddam and Zarqawi are dead.



Any new ideas?

Demon_Mustang
01-16-2007, 05:20 AM
WOW, someone dug something up from 4 years ago, lol. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif<div class="ev_tpc_signature">

______________________________________________
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"It's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not." - Anonymous
"It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is." - William J. Clinton (1998)

SODsniper
01-16-2007, 06:15 AM
I am always amazed at the people who's solution to problems is always, "Run away."

No wonder this country is in so much trouble..<div class="ev_tpc_signature">

SODsniper http://specialopsdivision.us (http://%3CB%3E%3CI%3Ehttp://specialopsdivision.us%3C/I%3E%3C/B%3E)
Building A Better RavenShield Community......One Map At A Time....
**NOTE** Any postings made should be considered as MY interpretation, opinion or "take" on issues being discussed.
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pcisbest
01-20-2007, 01:45 AM
Sniper, I don't think anyone here is advocating that we should "run away," whatever that means anyway (immediate troop withdrawal?)



Indeed, this country is in serious trouble. The thing to bear in mind is that this trouble was entirely avoidable.

How to get out of it will take more then the rhetoric we have been getting from our leaders over the last 3 and a half years though.



It is especially irritating for people such as myself who called the shots long in advance. That is what makes it difficult to have optimistic views on the current situation.



Several years ago, during the Iraq invasion, I was just entering college. As an avid reader of history, military history in particular, I repeatedly used prior example to illustrate to people that Iraq would end up as it is currently. And I was promptly ignored of course by most.



When everyone was giddy with excitement over our rapid advance to Baghdad, we should have known the real fight would happen later, during the occupation phase, as it does in such situations. Did no one read about the German occupation of the Balkans, or Napoleon in Spain, or the British in Sudan?



Given that there was also a prevalent religious cleavage in Iraq between two factions who have historically warred on each other, and that this coincided with the other social cleavage regarding control of the old regime, it should have been glaringly obvious we were going to be in the middle of a sectarian conflict.



And then to disband the existing military/police organizations and institutions, without having an overwhelming showing of force on our own part to compensate? What was the leadership thinking?


Unfortunately, it has taken this long for the majority of people to realize what this country got itself into. Those who could predict what would happen, whether in CIA, DoD, or even the highest levels of on-site command, were ignored and often dismissed/compelled to resign.



Again, we have history as our teacher here. What has happened to regimes that fight their wars with a group think mentality? When people are appointed to high positions more on basis of partisan loyalties then on ability? When intelligence is sifted for the things that are desirable to hear versus the critical points that should shape strategic thinking?



Indeed Sniper, "running away" is not the answer. But just as true, you cannot win wars the way this government has been handling things.



The next phase in the progression is of course the discontent of the forces deployed, which we are seeing already. This is obviously going to occur when men and women who are asked to give their lives become aware of the fact that their cause is no longer relevant. When the reasons they were given for going to war are shown to be false, in many ways deliberately contorted.


The war was even cast as the "central front in the war on terror," but with the conflict serving as a spawning ground for new fanatics and a proving ground for existing ones...is this really a logical argument?



The real question is, which does not rest on any preconceptions or arguments, this: "is our current strategy working? Is it sustainable?"



Obviously it is not working, which is what I thought would be dramatically illustrated by showing that we are no further in our discussion of this topic then we were 3 1/2 years ago.



Is it sustainable? Not indefinitely, not unless a draft is enacted. And even then, does sustainment of a strategy equal success?



Does prolonging our actions equate to somehow "getting closer to the goal?" If so, how are we measuring our progress to said goal?

Where are the benchmarks?



Everyone now is banking on the idea that the Iraqi military will become capable of handling its own needs and addressing the situation. Is this possible given the sectarian feuds than run deep even within the police and military? Where the police are perpetrating in many cases as many acts destructive to the common peace as the militias? How does any amount of training by U.S. personel exorcise this? Sure, we can give them technical skills, we can show them how they *should* conduct themselves...but how do you actually ensure it? You can't, unless you change the threads of society and the past.



Just putting a man in a vest and a cap that says "police" on it no more makes him a keeper of the peace then painting a leopard's spots over makes it a lion.



Likewise, simply having people brandishing purple fingers does not equate to a free, open, democratic society when the actual mechanics of civil society we associate with democratic governance either do not exist or exist in primitive form. When secret police, snitch networks, and torture rooms still abound but the officers do it in the name of Al Maliki rather than Saddam Hussein...do the people being whisked off and interogated know the difference?

An action is itself, and only that, whatever you call it or whatever guise it goes under.



Given all of this, I ask again what new ideas we have? What suggestions would you have Sniper?

Demon_Mustang
01-20-2007, 05:27 AM
LOL, I'm still laughing at you pulling this thread from a few years ago, haha. Man someone has a chip on his shoulder... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Edit: don't know why it doubled up my signature... I didn't even edit this post...

IguanaKing
01-26-2007, 11:55 PM
Me too! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif The huge use of spacing is also very dramatic.

pcisbest, I have a broken watch, and its right too...twice a day. In all of this ranting and asking for suggestions about what we should do, I notice a distinct absense of suggestions for what we should do from you. Heh...and to bring this up 4 years after the thread was started, well, its almost like the Nostradamus groupies who say "Yeah, he predicted that too" as they analyze a Quattrain 4 years after an event and make it fit. How much do they pay you per year, and what team do you play for Mr. Monday Morning Quarterback? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Danish_viking
09-22-2007, 11:04 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by pcisbest:
Sniper, I don't think anyone here is advocating that we should "run away," whatever that means anyway (immediate troop withdrawal?)



Indeed, this country is in serious trouble. The thing to bear in mind is that this trouble was entirely avoidable.

How to get out of it will take more then the rhetoric we have been getting from our leaders over the last 3 and a half years though.



It is especially irritating for people such as myself who called the shots long in advance. That is what makes it difficult to have optimistic views on the current situation.



Several years ago, during the Iraq invasion, I was just entering college. As an avid reader of history, military history in particular, I repeatedly used prior example to illustrate to people that Iraq would end up as it is currently. And I was promptly ignored of course by most.



When everyone was giddy with excitement over our rapid advance to Baghdad, we should have known the real fight would happen later, during the occupation phase, as it does in such situations. Did no one read about the German occupation of the Balkans, or Napoleon in Spain, or the British in Sudan?



Given that there was also a prevalent religious cleavage in Iraq between two factions who have historically warred on each other, and that this coincided with the other social cleavage regarding control of the old regime, it should have been glaringly obvious we were going to be in the middle of a sectarian conflict.



And then to disband the existing military/police organizations and institutions, without having an overwhelming showing of force on our own part to compensate? What was the leadership thinking?


Unfortunately, it has taken this long for the majority of people to realize what this country got itself into. Those who could predict what would happen, whether in CIA, DoD, or even the highest levels of on-site command, were ignored and often dismissed/compelled to resign.



Again, we have history as our teacher here. What has happened to regimes that fight their wars with a group think mentality? When people are appointed to high positions more on basis of partisan loyalties then on ability? When intelligence is sifted for the things that are desirable to hear versus the critical points that should shape strategic thinking?



Indeed Sniper, "running away" is not the answer. But just as true, you cannot win wars the way this government has been handling things.



The next phase in the progression is of course the discontent of the forces deployed, which we are seeing already. This is obviously going to occur when men and women who are asked to give their lives become aware of the fact that their cause is no longer relevant. When the reasons they were given for going to war are shown to be false, in many ways deliberately contorted.


The war was even cast as the "central front in the war on terror," but with the conflict serving as a spawning ground for new fanatics and a proving ground for existing ones...is this really a logical argument?



The real question is, which does not rest on any preconceptions or arguments, this: "is our current strategy working? Is it sustainable?"



Obviously it is not working, which is what I thought would be dramatically illustrated by showing that we are no further in our discussion of this topic then we were 3 1/2 years ago.



Is it sustainable? Not indefinitely, not unless a draft is enacted. And even then, does sustainment of a strategy equal success?



Does prolonging our actions equate to somehow "getting closer to the goal?" If so, how are we measuring our progress to said goal?

Where are the benchmarks?



Everyone now is banking on the idea that the Iraqi military will become capable of handling its own needs and addressing the situation. Is this possible given the sectarian feuds than run deep even within the police and military? Where the police are perpetrating in many cases as many acts destructive to the common peace as the militias? How does any amount of training by U.S. personel exorcise this? Sure, we can give them technical skills, we can show them how they *should* conduct themselves...but how do you actually ensure it? You can't, unless you change the threads of society and the past.



Just putting a man in a vest and a cap that says "police" on it no more makes him a keeper of the peace then painting a leopard's spots over makes it a lion.



Likewise, simply having people brandishing purple fingers does not equate to a free, open, democratic society when the actual mechanics of civil society we associate with democratic governance either do not exist or exist in primitive form. When secret police, snitch networks, and torture rooms still abound but the officers do it in the name of Al Maliki rather than Saddam Hussein...do the people being whisked off and interogated know the difference?

An action is itself, and only that, whatever you call it or whatever guise it goes under.



Given all of this, I ask again what new ideas we have? What suggestions would you have Sniper? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>



Great thougts on the matter. It turned out you were right on a number of very importent matters.

Wars are fought to be won.


Semper fi, mate.

MisterNiceGuy
10-05-2007, 04:14 AM
Mission pointless really. How can you achieve an objective when it constantly changes. I remember when the the objective was WMD. What is it now?

Should be getting the hell out. A nice easy metric to measure

Demon_Mustang
10-05-2007, 08:34 PM
Oh gawd, here comes MNG's infinite wisdom. Get ready everyone...

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

MisterNiceGuy
10-11-2007, 07:07 AM
I don't think it requires infinite wisdom... just a small does of common sense. After all, since Bush has achieved his "stated" objectives - WMD and regime change he should declare victory and get out.

Of course this won't happen because as we all knew, these weren't really his objectives at all.

Demon_Mustang
10-11-2007, 10:56 AM
blah blah blah, MNG's opinions = common sense, blah blah blah, same MNG, same music. Boring, next.