I wish you the best healthwise, jeffislouie.
The problem is insane rules of engagement, limited political support, general malaise of the american people, and a very vocal anti-war segment of the population.
How did these things lead to trouble in Iraq, exactly? What "insane rules of engagement" would you change, for instance?
BTW, I still think you owe me and other leftists an apology.
Well, thanks for the well wishing. That is kind of you.
The limited political support, malaise, and vocal anti-war segment of the population all contribute to the issues in Iraq. The men and women over there are the only ones who really know what is going on, not the bozo politicians who pretend they do.
There is a serious morale issue right now that comes directly from this anti-war, anti-soldier crap. When Kerrey implies that all troops are stupid it hurts them. When Murtha declares innocent men guilty of war crimes, that hurts them. When those soldiers are cleared of all charges and Murtha doesn't apologize, that hurts worse. It is not an easy thing for anyone to understand how someone can claim they support the troops, yet talk about them like they are blind, brainless murderers and constantly threatens to withhold funding and equipment. To a soldier, these stupid funding packages the left in this country delays and chops up into smaller bites means the potential for a lack of armor, a shortage of bullets, smaller food rations, and generally worse conditions. When the democrat side of Congress withholds funding and puts off defense spending bills, the troops start to wonder if they are going to be shot at and killed because the left doesn't care about them.
It's really that simple.
A friend of mine, an ex-marine now states attorney, just sent his kid back to Iraq for his second tour. I asked him how he is holding up with all the nastiness coming out of washington.
He said what every soldier I know would tell you:
"They have to ignore it because if they paid attention to the morons in Congress, they'd be dead. Hesitation and distraction can kill even the best soldier. They are there to do a job, so they ignore what they can and make fun of what they can't."
So the anti-war crowd pressures the democrat party to withhold funds and force a retreat while claiming it's for the soldiers while the soldier wonders when he's going to run out of bullets, get hit without armor, be riding in a vehicle that is all but scrap, etc.
Like it or not, if the left wants out of Iraq, they shouldn't be playing the game this way. Which is why I don't think the left really wants out - they just want to hurt President Bush. That's why I am not a democrat anymore. I think when politics become a game, people get hurt and not always the people being targeted.
The rules of engagement? Well, it is not terribly well known that returning fire requires a checklist.
In days of old, if you were shot at, you returned fire immediately. Naturally, this caused some fear in the enemy - if a few of them fired on a large squad of marines, they would most certainly be dead within seconds. But now? Well, now there is a checklist that all soldiers in combat must go through before they can return fire. Basically, the new ROE takes away a soldiers right to self defense by limiting how he or she can react. This causes more deaths in country than anything else.
Here's a primer from an informed source: http://www.captainsjournal.com/2006/12/13/the-ncos-speak-on-rules-of-engagement/
So yeah, I don't think our men and women should have to second guess themselves in a combat situation. Hesitation is a killer in battle.
As for an apology to people on the left? Well, I'm sorry if it upsets you that I don't agree with you.
Marxism is a fantasy that even Marx knew wasn't reasonable.
Soft socialists and soft communists go against everything the United States stands for - freedom, capitalism, individualism, and courage. Naturally, as a libertarian leaning moderate conservative, it upsets me to listen to leftists talk about utopia in the face of all the failures of marxism, communism and socialism in history.
This nation isn't marxist. It is democratic. Technically, it is a representative republic with economic capitalism.
That's what this country is. That's why marxism may attract you, but has no place in our government or social structure.
So if I have offended or upset you because of my distaste for leftist viewpoints, well I am sorry.
But just as you have the right to believe in marxism, I have the right to believe in our country and democracy.
What I hope is that you understand that what we disagree with each other about is not a reason to hate each other.
Now more than ever, people take this stuff too personally and get angry or upset over what amounts to a difference of opinion.
I believe our nation is good and well intentioned. I believe we do plenty of good in the world. I believe that our great nation, while not perfect, remains the greatest the world has ever known.
We are free to think, speak, and act. We encourage innovation.
But is there really a need to apologize for my views? They come from an individual - one who has no intention of taking away any of your rights even though your ideology limits mine....
Marxism sounds good on paper, but is too open to corruption in practice.
Marxists belive that socialism can be accomplished only through class conflict and violent revolution. Marxism strips away liberty, religion, the right to property, and free trade. Sure it SOUNDS nice to think that we are all equal and should all share, but someone has to administer government, money, trade, freedom, etc.
In the former Soviet Union, this made some higher ups very wealthy and resulted in the mostly poor population waiting for hours in a bread line. The subway systems were paved in gold, but the people who rode the subway had nothing to their names and lived in cramped apartments with their entire family.
Marxism is a complete failure as a political idea.
But you have the right to think and believe as you see fit. Maybe one day you'll change your mind. Maybe one day, you'll convince us all that we are wrong.
To be clear, moderate democrats and moderate republicans aren't that different. I have no issue with either.
The bile spewed by both extremes disgusts me (and I suspect you as well).
Abortion, for instance, is not a conservative issue. The religious right made it one. One extreme drove policy for an entire party.
The war isn't a liberal issue. The far left is working to make it one. No one likes war. I don't. You don't. My wife doesn't.
BUT, when faced with a choice of do something that may help or do nothing and let things in this world become unmanageable, I will always side with whomever thinks that being proactive might result in some real benefit.
Understand - I don't dislike you because you are a marxist or a lefty or a democrat. I disagree with you.
Only the nutbags like Julie Fern decide who is acceptable as a human being based on their perception of that persons political beliefs.
That's why Julie is so lonely. And spends so much time trying to rile up members of a law school discussion message board.
You seem like a nice enough person and I wish you no harm.
Julie Fern? Well, I don't like her very much. I'd rather she not spend so much effort making fun of a sitting President during a time of war. I'd rather she didn't talk down to people who believe in our current role in the war. I'd rather she stopped trying to classify people as this or that based on her distaste of our President.
She could probably be working a little harder at solutions rather than wasting her time here.
I especially don't like the idea that someone who has never served and knows nothing of the war could criticize others when she suspects that they've never served.
Service doesn't qualify you or disqualify you from an opinion. Julie likes to use this flawed logic as a way to demean people without realizing how hypocritical she is.
To Julie, if you haven't served but believe in the war you have no right to say what you think. BUT if you haven't served and are anti-war, well you are good to go.
If you have served and are against this war, well that gives creedence to your beliefs in a way. But not serving and being against the war? How is that any different that not serving and being for the war? It isn't. Which is why I have no respect for Julie or people like her.
Rather than telling people to serve or shut up, why not just be smart enough to listen and debate without trying to diminish other people's opinions?
Because that's no fun for Julie.
I don't think I'll be posting much on this thread anymore as I realized last night how silly it is for me to spend what limited time I have left of this planet trying to convince people who don't care enough to listen that their opinions, while well meaning, are off base.
I'd prefer to live the rest of my life thanking god for the blessings he has given me.
Best of luck to you.