We came, we saw, we went back home...
Published on July 1, 2009 By Spc Nobody Special In Pure Technology

I was listening to NPR this morning, and I once again heard the inevitable discussion of the withdrawal of combat troops in Iraq. Surprisingly enough (did you know that sarcasm comes from the greek, sarkasmos, the biting of ones lips in anger?) the interviewer suggested that the best we could do in the war was to withdraw our troops with a modicum of dignity.

However, having listened to a former Great talk about "peace with honor", (and no, really, he is not a crook!), I know that it is possible to withdraw from a war years before it seems feasible and be victorious. Hell, even Bush and Stephen Colbert both declared the war a victory (grant you, it was six years apart.....).

As a veteran of this war, I am glad to know that we are finally turning over Iraq into the competent hands of the Iraqi police and military security forces, whom I would without a doubt trust my lives to. After all, we know they're able and free of insurgents. They must be after we've arrested and purged so many of them time and time again. Friendly fire incidents do happen, but I completely understand how they could have made so many mistakes, seeing as how US forces and your common insurgent appear so much alike. I've been back in the States now for over a year, and in that time, I haven't personally seen one Iraqi detainee that has been tortured by Iraqi security forces.

Everyone knows that the majority of the funding and training for the insurgencies (which no longer exist, right?) come from outside the country anyways, (I'm looking at you, Iran, and while I'm thinking about it, you lead the world in rhinoplasties, and the entire region in other plastic surgeries, could you please do something about Ahmadinejad's ears? I mean seriously, they're messing up my broadband connection.)

And of course, without US troops present, these countries will naturally return their influence and power seeded throughout the Iraqi government, back over to the Iraqi people. Thank God their influence will finally pass, and Iraq will be able to reach the same levels of peace, dignity, and human rights as other Islamic countries, like Palestine, Pakistan, or well, Iran.

Mostly, I'm glad that I served well, and meaningfully, and I think of what the victory will mean to Iraq. Just imagine, for example, all the insurgents that will die once we've turned it over. Al-Qaeda will once again be able to slay Shia insurgents, and vice-versa. If it keeps up long enough, someday, Iraq may be as prosperous and democratic as Cambodia or Vietnam. After all, we're sending it on exactly the same road to stability.

V for victory!

Nbs


Comments (Page 1)
on Jul 02, 2009

Hey somebody special.  You still served well and honorably.  I do worry about what will happen when the U.S. troops are pulled.  Do you think we need to maintain a permanent prescence in Iraq? 

btw, the ears comment cracked me up. 

on Jul 02, 2009

What can I say but...Mission Accomplished, and thanks for your service.

 

Be well, ~Alderic

on Jul 02, 2009

Do you think we need to maintain a permanent prescence in Iraq?

Permanent no. Dear God, don't do that to our troops. It's hot as f**k over there. But as it is now, the government is largely run by the Shia insurgency and isn't just in bed with Iran, they're all the way into the ball gags and bondage stage. This is no secret. It's been reported in the news time and again. Not permanent, but six years to build a nation from scratch seems a little bit short, especially when that nation is Iraq.

And to pretend to Iraq's competency to self-govern as an expedient fiction to remove ourselves from our responsibilities there is a dangerous delusion. We took a similar route in Vietnam, and how did that work out for us?

I don't believe that removing the troops will lead to large increases in bloodshed immediately, culminating in the overthrow of the government, similarly to the memorable fall of Saigon, however the incompetence and blatant corruption of Iraqi authorities, in combination with foreign influences, will create a clusterf**k of magnificent proportions, that is sure to affect us again in major and ugly way at some point, as well as opening the way for extreme Islamic practices (do you think they could get Wapner to do Sharia Court?), a failure to properly govern, and possible further ethnic cleansing.

Failure to govern needs not be violent in order to kill. Take a look at the mass starvation in N. Korea for example, or the millions of deaths under Saddam during the economic sanctions (which of course, we did in order to avoid thousands of violent deaths by war)

If you want a perfect example of what happens when we fail to follow through, take a good look at Afghanistan, 1980 to present.

on Jul 03, 2009

  Do you think we need to maintain a permanent prescence in Iraq?

It was needed for decades in Germany, and for the same reason (meddling neighbour).

 

on Jul 04, 2009

We're still in Germany, Japan and Korea.

on Jul 06, 2009

Very oversimplified version of German postwar history - short and concise lol. But there was one huge difference, and that was that whatever happend in Germany was a cold war, and the troops also stayed to control and denazify etc the country. They didn't stay as friends directly after the war even though they became allies rather quickly. Block confrontation of east and west.. it hardly compareable to the situation in Iraq.

I think that what, a regime change? was not actually worth a war that cost so much in blood and money and that the former administration hadn't really thought about all that when they made the decision to start it. And they had no plan on what to do once they had won - which seems an incredibly stupid thing to do because why would you attack a regime if you had no plan to stick around and do something with the land you "freed"? What did the US actually gain from going to Iraq in the long run? Not awhole lot. But this is all water under the bridge anyway, so it is not really worth arguing about.

What worked in Germany after the war was the Marshal plan, and germans only started to trust the whole idea of democracy after the Wirtschaftswunder arrived in the 60ies and everybody had a job and a place to live and enough to eat and did not have to worry for security or safety. Insure all that in Iraq and you'll have a stablilzed nation. Erst das Fressen, dann die Moral (Bert Brecht). And what exactly do the US troops do in Iraq? To me it looks more like lawenforcement than war - you look for insurgents, arrest them, disable bombs, ensure saftey, look for weapons etc - all things that would normally be done by the police. So now you leave a corrupt police force behind to do much needed civilian lawenforcement.. I wonder how that'll work out.

But on the other hand, the american lawenforcement agencies and police departments will have an influx of veterans who served over there - I am glad im not a criminal in the US, id hate to piss off a cop who hunted insurgents in Iraq!

All good luck for the future

on Jul 07, 2009

I think that what, a regime change? was not actually worth a war that cost so much in blood and money and that the former administration hadn't really thought about all that when they made the decision to start it.

The violence caused by the war was considerably less than the violence in Iraq under Saddam. So why wasn't it worth it? Are fewer casualties not better than many?

 

on Jul 07, 2009

hmm, yeah, if you roll the yarn from that end, you'd be right. But the government of a nation does not swear responsibilty to the victims and casualties of foreign agression, it is their foremost job to look after their own people and interests and do whats best for them. And a decision to start a war always has to be weighed carefully in regard to its intended goals and the costs it would require. It is a selfish position, if you will. Otherwise the one nation with the most powerful military would have to attack any country that has a dictator and terrorized its people (China, NK, Sudan, Iran.. Africa has at least a dozen..), or how do you pick and chose otherwise?

 

on Jul 07, 2009

On the other hand, I didn't want to imply that doing nothing to help others because it doesn't further your own goals is the way to go, either.

But it is not enough to just dismantle a regime and then sit idly by as everything goes up in flames and tumbles into chaos only to realize that ooops, maybe we should have done something to prevent it! You need a plan as to what you want if you start a war, and if you don't have a goal bettern don't do it in the first place. I wouldn't really have a problem with Iraq if the US had pulled a Germany in regards to occupation, you know, because Germany really profited from it when everything is said and done. Secure the land, install (force) your admininstration and regulations on first and then bit by bit educate people as to the wonders of Democracy and stabilty. That might have even worked but it would have taken alot more soldiers and a whole lot of dedication and planning. But I am not a stategist so I could be way off.

on Jul 07, 2009

But the government of a nation does not swear responsibilty to the victims and casualties of foreign agression, it is their foremost job to look after their own people and interests and do whats best for them. And a decision to start a war always has to be weighed carefully in regard to its intended goals and the costs it would require. It is a selfish position, if you will. Otherwise the one nation with the most powerful military would have to attack any country that has a dictator and terrorized its people (China, NK, Sudan, Iran.. Africa has at least a dozen..), or how do you pick and chose otherwise?

I thought it was obvious:

Jim Hacker: "We should always fight for the weak against the strong."
Sir Humphrey: "Well, why don't we send troops to Afghanistan to fight the Russians?"
Jim Hacker: "The Russians are too strong."

Yes, Prime Minister ("A Victory For Democracy")

Another way is to get them early, before they become too strong. But then you have to deal with the "he wasn't a threat" crowd.

on Jul 07, 2009

I wouldn't really have a problem with Iraq if the US had pulled a Germany in regards to occupation, you know, because Germany really profited from it when everything is said and done. Secure the land, install (force) your admininstration and regulations on first and then bit by bit educate people as to the wonders of Democracy and stabilty.

Yes, I agree. And that was what I expected to happen.

I don't think anybody envisioned that a future US president would be elected who would then withdraw the troops as quickly as possible letting Iraqis fight it out among themselves.

In September last year people in Arbil told me that they feared Obama might win because he said he would withdraw troops. I still have a copy of an (English-language) Iraqi news paper with articles about the Obama issue.

http://gallery.me.com/ajbrehm#100028&bgcolor=black&view=grid

on Jul 07, 2009

You lost me there, sorry.

Always fight for the weak, that is a noble principle. So, if you do that then you should do it right from the beginning (which didn't happen in Iraq) and ensure that the people stay free (which is doubtful as well). Tell me again what the US really accomplished in Iraq that will be so radically better than life under Saddam - because I am not convinced that any and all future forms of government will be very different in the long run.

on Jul 07, 2009

Tell me again what the US really accomplished in Iraq that will be so radically better than life under Saddam

There is now less of this:

http://gallery.me.com/ajbrehm#100025&bgcolor=black&view=grid

And more of this:

http://web.mac.com/ajbrehm/Home/Blog/Entries/2008/10/9_Erbil.html

As I mentioned before I have pictures of gas attack victims as well, which I didn't publish yet (but which can be found elsewhere on the Web photographed in the same gallery).

I assume the Kurds are happy not to have to flee to the mountains every few years when Saddam's air force attacks. Those cities house millions of people and everyone in Kurdistan still remembers fleeing to the mountains and hearing of the sudden death of family members all the time.

The Shiites in the south tell similar stories. And the mass graves are still on everybody's mind, as are the regular massacres when Shiites tried to celebrate their religious holidays.

 

 

on Jul 07, 2009

But will it stay that way after Summer 2011? I am happy for all that is better, don't get me wrong. I just fear that as soon as the americans leave that there is nobody around to make sure that progress and improvements stay, and then all the lost lives and all the billions of dollars it took to get this far would have been for naught - except for exceptionally trained potential future LEO's with a ton of experience

I sill didn't get the your 3 lines of quote though.. colour me ignorant but enlighten me?

on Jul 07, 2009



But will it stay that way after Summer 2011? I am happy for all that is better, don't get me wrong. I just fear that as soon as the americans leave that there is nobody around to make sure that progress and improvements stay, and then all the lost lives and all the billions of dollars it took to get this far would have been for naught - except for exceptionally trained potential future LEO's with a ton of experience



I agree with you. I also think that there is a good chance that after the Americans withdraw, everything might be for naught. The Shia government is not nearly as strong as it thinks it is. Iranian help for that government is not based on good will. And the Sunnis and Kurds will be very unhappy with uncontrolled Shia power.

But we can hardly blame the invasion or the US forces for the problems Iraq had and will have when there are no US forces present.




I sill didn't get the your 3 lines of quote though.. colour me ignorant but enlighten me?



It's from "Yes, Minister", a satirical television show about politics from the 1980s.

The Prime Minister is an idealist who wants to act to help the wek. Sir Humphrey is a civil servant who wants to keep things going unchanged.

Sir Humphrey asked the same question as you: how can we determine where to intervene, given that there are so many places where we should.

And the Prime Minister's answer is essentially that we should intervene where we still can.

The fact that some bad guys are strong and that all of them are many shouldn't mean that we cannot take out one of them.

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