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Yesterday, Rumsfeld signed the approval to extend the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team's deployment to Iraq for an additional 4 months.  They were about to complete their 365 days in combat....the maximum that they should have to serve in a single combat deployment as promised by the United States Army.  But Rummy feels that another 4 months is necessary.

These soldiers have spent the past year in the hellhole that we call Iraq.  They have done their best to complete the impossible mission that they were sent there to do.  They served proudly and valiantly, doing whatever necessary to get through the madness that was all around them.  

Today I am sad.  I am angry.  I am tired.  I am frustrated.  I am furious.  I am weeping.  I am petrified.  You see, my brother-in-law serves in the 172nd.  I cannot begin to express to you the amazing feeling that washed over me when he was able to visit home back in the Spring....the happiness that rushes over you when you can throw your arms around that loved one and know that he is still safe.....more importantly, still alive.  I had so many questions for him....so much I wanted to know.

Now, I don't want to put words in his mouth, and pretend that he is against this war, because he is not.  He loves his country, he loves being a soldier, and he truly believes that what he is doing is the right thing....that ultimately the attempt to bring peace and democracy to that region of the world is a righteous goal.  Even being staunchly anti-war, I cannot say that I disagree with him on that statement.  We exchanged views and tried to explain our positions to each other....me being a bit more timid, as I recognized that he was home on a leave, and would have to go back.  To do so, he would have to believe in what he was doing...I knew that.

But there was something that I recognized immediately.  He had no clue what was really happening in Iraq...or here for that matter.  He knew what was going on around him...in his immediate vicinity.  Things that he could see and hear with his own senses.  But he had no idea what was going on in the rest of the country.  He wasn't up to speed on the news in places like Baghdad or the attacks and deaths in the Al-Anbar province.  His information regarding the war was so limited, even though he had spent six months there.  He came home within days of the attack on the Golden Mosque, and yet never heard a word about it.  He didn't know how many soldiers had been killed over there, and frankly, didn't want to know.....he had seen a few of those deaths happen with his own eyes.

He spent two weeks here at home, all the time anxious to get back to his buddies in harm's way.  Not anxious to go back to Iraq, but ever the soldier, anxious to again be part of that band of brothers.

Last week, I received what was to be the final email of his deployment.  A notice to all of us that he would be home in the coming weeks, and that his internet access would be cut off until then.  He was looking forward to being home....requesting a lot of tickets to baseball games to go see his home team play.  You could feel the excitement flowing through the electronic message.  HE WAS COMING HOME....FOR GOOD!!  He had survived his (second) year-long deployment in Iraq, and we would once again be able to hug him, and laugh with him, and be a complete family again.....bittersweet knowing that over 2,500 families were not able to share in that kind of joy, but instead suffered through the burial of a loved one's life lost in a reckless war.

Monday night, as I munched my dinner an watched my nightly Situation Room roundup after being stuck at work all day, Wolf brought the war to my doorstep again.  "This just in" and they went to Jamie McIntyre for the story:

"Well Wolf, Pentagon officials are telling CNN that General George Casey, as he's trying to figure out how to get more troops for Baghdad in the short- term, is considering delaying the departure of at least one unit, a striker unit. That's the wheeled mobile vehicle that they use. The 172nd based out of Alaska could be extended beyond their one year, but because the Pentagon takes that so seriously, it would be have to be approved personally by Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. No final decision and no recommendation has come on that, just one of the options under consideration, delaying the departure of some troops for a short time -- Wolf."

CNN Source

The words "172nd based out of Alaska" hung in the air like a thick cloud, trying to permeate my brain.  My husband and I looked at one another....no words, just open-mouthed shock.
He's not coming home next week.
Then the second part of that cloud began to make it's way into my brain.  
BAGHDAD.
Will he come home at all?
Will we be one of those 2,500+ families?       
It took another 20 hours of the sheer hell of not knowing what was going on before the Pentagon confirmed the report, that yes, the entire 172nd Brigade would have their tours extended by up to 4 months.  Another four months of 120 degree heat.  Another four months of dodging bullets and IED's.  Another four months of combat living conditions.  Another four months of hell, only this time, all signs point to them heading into Dante's inferno itself, Baghdad.  Four more months of worry.  Four more months of care packages.  Four more months of refreshing my email screen waiting for another message.  Another Thanksgiving in a war.  Another Christmas in the desert.

I've been in touch with several other 172nd families....all of them as distraught as ours.  All of us doing the same thing....trying to distract our minds from the fear of reality, after all there are plane tickets to cancel and Welcome parties to be put on hold, even a few weddings that will be postponed.  There are care packages to make, as we haven't been able to send anything since the mail cut-off date in June, and are now anxiously awaiting a new address to send our support in a box to our beloved family members.  There are heartbroken wives and husbands, confused children, worried moms, frustrated dads and distraught siblings all trying to quell their fear of what comes next.

My question to Mr. Rumsfeld is, Where is the rest of our military, sir?  These men are being extended not by a couple of days or weeks, but 4 months!  That is 1/3 of a full combat deployment!  If more troops are needed to quell the violence in Iraq, then why not deploy fresh units?  Why grab these men, moments from stepping on that plane home, and send them back into the enemy's lair....after many had followed the orders that they were given to SEND THEIR GEAR HOME ALREADY.  Many soldiers are now having to buy new gear, as families do not even yet have an address to send their things back to them.

Did our troops lose communication home during this time prior to the final approval?  Why did our Stryker families learn of this in the media blurb instead of directly from our government?   Why did it take nearly a full day before the Pentagon would confirm this report, even to the troops and families?  

What kind of plan is this, and where is the OUTRAGE?

I feel used by my government.  I feel that the Pentagon let this leak out, waited to gauge the public response while troops and their families suffered while waiting to hear whether this measure was approved or not.  When they realized that there would be no public outcry, they went ahead with the extension, and Rummy signed their orders.

I beg of any of you who want to show your support of our troops, to call everyone you can and ask these questions.  Call your congressmen.  Call the media.  Tell them that this was handled with complete disrespect and utter disgrace.  These men have sacrificed the past year of their lives, and they spent days waiting to know if they would be coming home as planned, or heading into the heart of the battle.  That is not supporting the morale of these men...it is driving them to the breaking point.  

Today I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!!

Originally posted to Troubled on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 11:43 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for your support (188+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kimberley, Mary, fester, wozzle, claude, tsackton, Mark H, jennifer poole, matt n nyc, Buckeye BattleCry, orchid314, lipris, Nina Katarina, Rolfyboy6, TrueBlueMajority, zed, ScientistMom in NY, juls, RickWn, RAST, Shockwave, kiwifruit, histopresto, Stein, Orj ozeppi, darrelplant, jdld, mainely49, frisco, Luam, Carnacki, Matilda, pollyusa, Sandia Blanca, bumblebums, linc, Nonie3234, Predator Saint, sardonyx, shermanesq, unterhausen, joynow, PaintyKat, bronte17, worriedmom, araina, anotherCt Dem, elveta, highacidity, phillies, roses, peraspera, murphsurf, House, Fe, superba, Swordsmith, fumie, Jesterfox, arkdem, celticshel, emmasnacker, sockpuppet, missreporter, DeadB0y, gmb, ademption, cosette, Black Maned Pensator, GN1927, never forget 2000, Eddie Haskell, Liberaljentaps, 2dot, barbwires, zerelda, jesses, WV Democrat, StupidAsshole, Man Eegee, eco, DrewDown, kd texan, bibble, Marc in KS, TexH, Ted Hitler, rapala, paige, lavaughn, lcs, DianeNYS, bellevie, el dorado gal, Elise, blueyedace2, docangel, Ja of Anoroc, ek hornbeck, arnott, chuckles1, PBen, Militarytracy, offred, kamarvt, saucy monkey, Clem Yeobright, sleeplessinsarasota, kaye, juliesie, trinityfly, Heartcutter, concerned, Karmafish, RB in Pgh, sassy texan, GreyHawk, ladybug53, annefrank, Cecile, RElland, Eiron, wiscmass, sodalis, JanL, empathy, dale peters, RainyDay, cowgirl, sadair, occams hatchet, pico, keefer55, trashablanca, chicagoblueohio, blacklib, PatsBard, vigilant meerkat, rgdurst, dharmafarmer, BeadLady, SeattleChris, Capn Guts, Ellicatt, turning blue, InsultComicDog, buhdydharma, dougymi, chgriffen, anastasia p, Gasonfires, goodasgold, NBBooks, MJ via Chicago, StrayCat, Lashe, slothlax, Sonicreducr, imabluemerkin, DSPS owl, MO Blue, filmgeek83, myrealname, edgery, anniethena, hrambo16, FloridaVoter, worried dem, kidneystones, mlbx2, slksfca, illusionmajik, bear83, BeninSC, khereva, HenryM, Cronesense, Fredly, wa ma, whl, Opinionated Ed, possum, kmiddle, gloriana, vets74, silvercedes, milken, corporatewhore

    Sorry, it's so long...it's my first "real" diary, so a little slack, please!!!!

    "Reality proper has a way of insisting itself upon you." ~Al Gore

    by Troubled on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 11:37:41 AM PDT

  •  Stop Loss lets send Rumsfeld plus I wonder (15+ / 0-)

    How many of these troops are on the meds DOD is handing out like candy

  •  As I recall (36+ / 0-)

    it was when Westy came home to tell LBJ (a) he could see the light at the end of the tunnel but (b) he really needed just another 160,000 troops (or so) if he was to be able to begin the long-promised drawdowns . . . that the VN adventure sputtered to a stop.

    "We have to increase the troop level in order to decrease it" - Rumsfeld

    Whatever.

    Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction. - Pascal

    by Clem Yeobright on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 11:41:35 AM PDT

    •  Your Rumsfeld quote (17+ / 0-)

      almost forced my fist thru the screen!!!!!

      "Reality proper has a way of insisting itself upon you." ~Al Gore

      by Troubled on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 11:47:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Another Rumsfeld quote... (53+ / 0-)

        Yesterday, Rumsfeld said, and I paraphrase--although I think I pretty much have it verbatim--"Will some of them [the soldiers] be disappointed that they will be staying a little longer? Sure. But this is a professional military..."

        I about kicked my television in. "Disappointed"? Are you kidding me? Disappointed is when you don't get to go to the movies on the weekend because the inlaws are visiting. That is disappointed, Mr. Rummy.

        No, what this is, sir, is a fucking outrage. It is inexcusable. A disgrace.

        http://chroniclewest.blogspot.com/

        by Idaho Progressive on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 12:05:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  DEROS was precious and irrevocable in VN (12+ / 0-)

          I never heard of anyone being involuntarily extended there - it would have been grounds for rage.  You make a pact to accept 365 days of danger, a 366th would be intolerable.

          BTW: Anybody notice that 3 officers - all captains - have been killed 'by hostile fire' this week? Probably just a coincidence . . . after all, these are professionals (albeit many 18- and 19-yr-old professionals) who should be able to handle a little disappointment, a little incompetence at the company level . . . Doesn't rummy stand at his desk 10 hours a day in refrigerated underpants? How could patrol duty in Iraq be worse than that?

          Just wondering . . .

          Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction. - Pascal

          by Clem Yeobright on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 12:41:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Captains see a lot of action (12+ / 0-)

            Company commanders are out in the battlespace often, almost everyday.

            -5.88, -4.82 "He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he sends them wandering through a trackless waste." Job 12:24

            by slothlax on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 12:45:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  My boss's stepson (11+ / 0-)

              is a captain, currently (thank God) not in-country, who HOPEFULLY (fingers crossed) will finish up his commitment before the year is out, and be sent the hell Stateside.

              When I first read your excellent diary, slothlax, I thought maybe you were my boss's stepson, until I realized you were still in-country.

              BTW, the military's "contract" is worthless. From Troubled's diary:

              the maximum that they should have to serve in a single combat deployment as promised by the United States Army

              It's a travesty, but it's true. "Weasel-wording" is what we call it at the real-estate company where I work.

              As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. - Justice William O. Douglas

              by occams hatchet on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 03:03:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What promise was broken.... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jules too, slothlax, worried dem

                I don't believe the Army made any promises on how long the deployments will be.  Wait let me check my orders....

                PURPOSE: IN SUPPORT OF OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM
                NUMBER OF DAYS: FOR A PERIOD OF UP TO 365 DAYS OR UNTIL COMPLETION OF MISSION.  <highlighting added by me>

                Look, I will not argue that this sucks, but we don't work in corporate america or for walt disney.  When you sign your contract there is no '365 day clause'.  You sign saying you will serve and protect the constitution, follow the orders of your superiors and adhere to the UCMJ.  Comparing this to vietnam is absurd because people were drafted individually for 1 tour of 365 and they went home.  We realized this was a bad way to organize a cohesive team.  Units in WWII saw sustained combat for over 2 years.  Watch Band of Brothers.  On top of the 2 years they were fighting in some of the biggest battles in the war, they were going to be sent to the pacific after Germany fell to assist in the invasion of Japan... but the atomic bomb caused Japan to surrender.  The whole time they knew they were in it until the end.  The one year 'rule'(or more accurately 'plan') was for if things went as planned.  It was the military realizing people and units need a break from combat.  It was lengthened from 6 months originally to lessen the number of units activated and give soldiers more stability (ie more time at home between deployments, less people in transit in/out of theater, etc).  But, as anyone who has been in combat realizes:  "No plan survives the first contact with the enemy".

                Dissapointing?  Definately.  Necessary? We'll see.  I just know these generals are making difficult decisions based on things you cannot even fathom.  I find that most people, even those in the military, who question and are outraged by things like this have never been in charge of any significant amount of people and fail to see the big picture.

                So my adivce to you all is support the families, it sucks for them almost as much, sometimes more, than it sucks for us.  Help the troops out by sending letters or care packages.  Lastly try to look at this from the general's point of view.  They have a mission to accomplish and only so much resources.  Noone is sitting in their office going "Man, how can we fuck with the soldiers more... I know, lets keep them in Iraq for shits and giggles".  If they could have brought a new unit over on this short a notice they would have (and imagine the headlines if that happened "Republicans expand hopeless war for oil conflict in Iraq... 2500 soldiers head to Baghdad to kill more babies... details at 11.").  The other option would have been to let them go home and not have enough troops (again wonderful headlines "Republicans don't give military enough troops to accomplish mission... soldiers die in hopeless quagmire... details at 11.")  Whether or not we should be there is irrelevant.  We ARE here now.  Give us the support we need or pull us out.  I respect this decision more than the ones who would set us up for failure because they are against the war.

                Now I will stop my rant and go back to doing my job.  We are waiting for the word from above as we should find out soon if we have to say in country with the 172nd (supposed to be going home in a week).  

                "You can prevent defeat through defense, but to prevail requires offense" -Sun Tzu

                by Captain Infidel on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 01:43:50 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  People here want us to come home alive (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Lashe, worried dem, Captain Infidel

                  The gripe is such short notice.  I think most of the commenters here understand that the generals feel the need for more troops in Baghdad and are not trying to screw the soldiers.  They are just pointing out yet another negative impact a selective war is having on soldiers and their families.

                  btw, I agree with your first point.  My orders activated me for 545 days unless shortened or extended.  Some of the guys I knew who were scheduled to go home were worried about extension, not because of any specific rumors, but simply because they understood that it can and does happen.  Even before this we have all heard stories of units getting extended just before they got on the plane home.

                  -5.88, -4.82 "He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he sends them wandering through a trackless waste." Job 12:24

                  by slothlax on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 02:01:31 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Thanks for your post and your service, (0+ / 0-)

                  Captain Infidel.

                  A few things: First, you'll note that I was pointing out that Troubled's belief that the Army had made any promises about service was ill-founded because, as you point out and as I wrote about in my diary that I linked to, the military's enlistment document is far from a contract; it is an absolutely one-way document that provides no assurances to the enlistee signing it.

                  Second, you wrote this:

                  Lastly try to look at this from the general's point of view.  They have a mission to accomplish and only so much resources.

                  What, exactly, is that mission? If no one can define it with verifiable metrics, there is no possible way on earth to know with certainty when it is accomplished. I have yet to see those metrics defined.

                  Finally, you wrote:

                  Give us the support we need or pull us out.  I respect this decision more than the ones who would set us up for failure because they are against the war.

                  Your first sentence implies that the two are mutually exclusive. I submit that the support you need, given that the mission has not been defined, is to pull you out, and to keep you safe until that can happen, and then, upon your return, to take care of you in a manner befitting someone who has served his country the way you have.

                  Your second sentence equates "being against the war" with "setting us up for failure." That's simply a fallacy.

                  I appreciate your service. I want you and all of our troops to be safe. There is no question in my mind that most readers here at DailyKos care much more about your welfare than do those who are running this country, unfortunately.

                  As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. - Justice William O. Douglas

                  by occams hatchet on Sun Jul 30, 2006 at 10:47:28 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  True, but the grandparent post (5+ / 0-)
              alludes to a valid point.  Eventually, there will come fraggings.
  •  I worked with a unit in the 172nd (54+ / 0-)

    I had a diary up earlier describing a day with them.  I'm still in the first half of my tour, so I have a ways to go, but I feel awful for those guys.  They get sent from Mosul and a few other areas to the most dangerous place in the country just as they were getting ready to get on the plane.  They were all so happy, so ready to go home.  It will be hard for them and for you back home.  Keep strong and hopefully you can get them some mail soon.

    -5.88, -4.82 "He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he sends them wandering through a trackless waste." Job 12:24

    by slothlax on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 11:52:59 AM PDT

    •  Army Times article (12+ / 0-)

      -5.88, -4.82 "He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he sends them wandering through a trackless waste." Job 12:24

      by slothlax on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 11:55:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanx (9+ / 0-)

      for the link to your diary...I just read it...it is so very, very true.  I noticed that while he was home....no dwelling on the fears...no purpose to it.  You descibed my dear BIL to a tee!

      Thanks for taking the time to write it...and for your kind thoughts.

      They've had a shitty deployment...and this news of their extension is just heartbreaking to so many!

      "Reality proper has a way of insisting itself upon you." ~Al Gore

      by Troubled on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 11:59:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Stay safe (8+ / 0-)

      over there.  If you or your unit needs anything, just let us know.

    •  My God... (8+ / 0-)

      I feel like an idiot...STAY SAFE OVER THERE!!

      If there's one thing I can guarantee...you boys have a lot of love back home waiting for you!!

      Keep your chin up, and your head down!!!  And ANYTHING you need, just say the word!

      "Reality proper has a way of insisting itself upon you." ~Al Gore

      by Troubled on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 12:06:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I can't even imagine (13+ / 0-)

      the the magnitude of a blow like this to my morale if I'd been counting the days and gotten so close... And I can't honestly say it wouldn't show up in my performance.

      As Troubled's diary makes so poignantly clear - it isn't just our troops that count the days. Family members and friends of our troops, we all take an elbow to the gut too.

      What else it there to say? This has got to stop. Oh, and, as always, it's way past time to fire Rumsfeld.

      Stop-losses and too many deployments are hard enough to deal with. These kinds of tour extensions border on cruel and unusual punishment.

      The soul that is within me no man can degrade. - Frederick Douglass

      by Kimberley on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 12:08:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Your the one to ask (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RickWn, Swordsmith, sockpuppet

      How many of the brothers you were with where on meds for PTSD and how many do you think had PTSD. a Vet asking a vet by the way welcome home. 3rd/506th68-69

      •  I don't know of any (7+ / 0-)

        I'm a member of a four man team, civil affairs 38B, and we are not a part of the 172nd, I just work with some of the Artic Wolves.  My tour started this spring.  As far as PTSD, I can't tell you, I didn't get close enough to any of the infantry guys to be asking about that sort of thing.  I did hear a couple guys saying bad things about it, making the people who have it sound like, um, babies.  Yeah, that's the word they used <snark>.  To be clear, that was just a couple of guys, not a usual topic of conversation, but that was the only time anyone brought it up.

        -5.88, -4.82 "He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he sends them wandering through a trackless waste." Job 12:24

        by slothlax on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 12:14:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  2nd/506th 1970, here (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        worried dem, Captain Infidel

        There are many of us vets from Vietnam now active, progressive Democrats and, dare I say it, very skeptical of foreign wars for trumped up reasons.

        •  And you should be... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slothlax

          but I respect your service and I know that when you speak you have been there.

          The problems I have with todays democrats are:

          #1. The attitude that NOTHING is worth fighting for.

          #2. All the America Hating going on.  The fact that muslims hate us is not the wests fault.

          #3. Politics should not drive war.  Politics is used to decide IF to go to war.  Once that decision is made to fight, let us fight or don't send us in the first place.

          #4.  Tolerance is good... but there are things we should not tolerate.  Illegal immigration is one, frivolous lawsuits are another.  How about foreign terrorists having the same rights as american citizens... I should also not have to tolerate other peoples intolerance or the double standard that exists in the party (ie the KKK is evil hate group, but CAIR is a group fighing 'civil injustice').

          I feel caught in the middle.  The right wants to send us everywhere, all the time.  They don't understand the culture here and what drives our enemies.  There will always be muslims here who will never accept our presence here because we are not muslim.  Our lack of knowledge of their culture makes it worse.  On the other hand, The left is sitting there waiting for the Military to fail so they can say they were right (and the right was wrong) and not look weak on national defense in the process.  They also jump on everything we do wrong because they do not understand the military or what goes on over here enough.  The left does not have the stomach for war and what it takes to win.  They would rather appease our enemies than stand up to them. (see #1)  Sometimes talking is just not enough.

          What we need are some veteran democrats who understand the military and do not hate America or bash our troops (i.e. John (Jane Fonda) Kerry and Jack (cut and run) Murtha).  Hopefully these new democrats can stand up against the threats our country faces and actually lead because leadership is what the left lacks.  From what I see they don't believe in or stand for anything.  Someone stand up and say "this is what I am going to do to make our country better and safer.  Stop calling everyone who disagrees with you names and start believing in our country and that our way of life is worth defending.  When you do this and stop pandering to the radical left (the ones in bed with ANSWER/Code Pink), then you will get my vote again.

          I'm thinking mickey mouse is looking better and better as a write in this year...

          "You can prevent defeat through defense, but to prevail requires offense" -Sun Tzu

          by Captain Infidel on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 03:45:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Murtha (0+ / 0-)

            I haven't seen all his appearances, but he seems to be thinking strategically, at least more so than anyone else.  Redeploying troops to neighboring countries in the Middle East is not exactly cutting and running, more like a tactical withdrawl in preparation for the next strike.  I do agree that we need more Dem vets in office who aren't just disgruntled antiwar protesters.  There are a lot of vets running against incumbant Repubs this year, actually.  Maybe some of them can restore our military creds.

            -5.88, -4.82 "He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he sends them wandering through a trackless waste." Job 12:24

            by slothlax on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 03:54:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  RE: Murtha (0+ / 0-)

              I say if your going to bash the war (or anything) have a viable alternate solution.  Murtha's plan of hunting Zarqawi from Japan just did not make sense.
              The Zarqawi Operation: Murtha Style  To kill these people you need some boots on the ground.

              I am more upset at Murtha for convicting the Marines in the press before the investigation is even complete.  Now we get witnesses stories changing multiple times and preditor drone footage that supports the marines story.  The marines still have not been charged.  If they are guilty, they deseve what they get... but to come out so early and announce it on the news like he was a witness or somethhing is irresponsible.  Murtha wants to be house majority leader and he sold us out in an attempt to get there. (True case of what Marines call "Semper I")  I just can't respect that.  

              "You can prevent defeat through defense, but to prevail requires offense" -Sun Tzu

              by Captain Infidel on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 07:15:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Correction, Capt. Infidel (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RickWn

            The fact that muslims hate us is not the wests fault.

            The Muslims don't hate the people of the United States although they certainly hate what the US government is doing to Muslims, such as supplying the bombs for Israel's aerial bombing of Lebanon (and Palestine), the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the funding of Israel to suppress the Palestinians... These are the reasons why Muslims are enraged at the rogue regime in Washington. Bill Moyers had a man on NOW last night who was kidnapped by the United States and tortured. Perhaps someday you will see and hear what he had to say, and begin to understand where those feelings derive.

            By the way, I don't remember England being particularly fond of the aerial bombing by Germany in WW II. As I recall it was specifically unpopular. So you can understand, when one nation relates to a people by way of aerial bombing, the people will resist in every way they know how, even if it means getting killed while resisting. That is what resistance and insurgency is all about.

            We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King Jr., "Beyond Vietnam"

            by skywriter on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 04:47:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I work in medicne (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slothlax

        There are not a lot of people on PSTD meds in theater.  PTSD usually hits hardest 30-60 days after redeployment.  That is why the PSTD stats are so much higher for this war then others.  We realized that the stats when measured immediately upon redeployment were consistent with those from previous wars (Vietnam, WWII, Korea)... but if you measured them 3 months later there was a huge spike in those exhibiting symptoms.  Our psychologist says he thinks this is because initially they are so happy to be home that things don't "sink in" until much later.

        We have gotten much better at screening for PTSD and taking steps to ensure that the symptoms are recognized.  If they need meds, I say give them meds.  I'm glad they are getting treatment.  It's sure better than ignoring the problem.

        101st here as well.  I have friends in Baghdad with the 506th right now.  NOT a happy place.  

        "You can prevent defeat through defense, but to prevail requires offense" -Sun Tzu

        by Captain Infidel on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 03:52:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hey, shouldn't you be working (0+ / 0-)

          Mom and dad left for the weekend and gave me specific instructions not to go on any missions without them.  I wonder what your excuse is lazybones.

          -5.88, -4.82 "He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he sends them wandering through a trackless waste." Job 12:24

          by slothlax on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 03:58:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  We are packed up and our replacements are here... (0+ / 0-)

            wooo hoooo!  I still work a couple hrs a day doing this and that...

            You work CA?  I was a CMO (S-5) for a medical task force in Kosovo in 2001 and worked with a lot of Civil Affairs teams.  It was my favorite job in the Army.  I like being out with the people and learning their culture.  Much more dangerous here in Iraq though.  You have a tough and important job.  Stay safe.

            I wanted to get out with some of the CA teams here... but they stuck me way out in BFE and there are no teams here.  Shit, there is noone here but us and the Peshmerga.  I'd like to meet some arabs that are NOT insurgents and don't want to kill me for a change.

            "You can prevent defeat through defense, but to prevail requires offense" -Sun Tzu

            by Captain Infidel on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 07:23:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Eventually even the military is going (17+ / 0-)

    to have to see this cannot continue.  Morale is going to quickly reach 1970-vietnam levels, and things are going to get really spooky.

    Somewhere this has got to be itching in the back of some Pentagon general's head.  Somewhere.

  •  I thought the war was winding down? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slothlax, worried dem

    Edward R. Murrow:We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it.

    by digital drano on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 12:00:58 PM PDT

  •  The Artic Wolves must love 4 more months... (9+ / 0-)

    ...in 120F weather.

    http://www.wainwright.army.mil/...

    I really appreciate their service.

    I hate the fact their courage and dedication is being wasted.

    Dailykos.com; an oasis of truth. -1.75 -7.23

    by Shockwave on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 12:03:07 PM PDT

  •  Comments from other ... (7+ / 0-)

    ...family members, at StrykerNews.com

    ~A govt lobbied, campaigned and selected by corporation... is good for corporation. Bad for people.~

    by Orj ozeppi on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 12:09:40 PM PDT

  •  There are no fresh troops (21+ / 0-)

    If more troops are needed to quell the violence in Iraq, then why not deploy fresh units?

    There are no truly fresh units anymore.  My DH is scheduled to rotate into Iraq sometime soon with the 1st Cav.  This will be the second year-long deployment for the Cav.  It looks like the "battle plan" of Rummy is to overlap overspent troops.

    One of our friends at Ft. Campbell was expecting her DH home by October (his second year-long deployment as well) and now it looks like that won't happen either.  She's telling us that when he finally gets home, it may be for only six months before his unit is rotated into Afghanistan.  

    The Army passed broke about a year ago.

    DH and I are just trying to keep the faith that in 2008, things will change for the better.

    •  Yep 10 of the Div have been there twice only have (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RickWn, jules too, Swordsmith, sockpuppet, gmb

      12 div thanks to Rummy

    •  And the ones who haven't gone, (6+ / 0-)

      like my husband, have been scrambling to keep the other commitments going.   Since the beginning of the Iraq invasion, my husband has been to Afghanistan, Kosovo, Bosnia, and Central and South America -- remember that pesky little war on drugs?  That's still going on too, it's just not as sexy a news story as the Middle East...

      Proudly providing chaos since 1964

      by jules too on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 01:13:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Indeed (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kimberley, jules too, Swordsmith, gmb

        The military has been quite busy in the last fifteen years or so since the USSR fell.  Maybe even more so than during the Cold War.  I am always surprised by the variety of places fellow soldiers have been deployed.

        -5.88, -4.82 "He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he sends them wandering through a trackless waste." Job 12:24

        by slothlax on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 01:15:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Another thing (5+ / 0-)

      they are starting to scavange from the other branches.  My son is AF and works electrical power systems.  He tells me the army has done away with that military specialty.  He is concerned that as soon as he gets home from the ME from this deployment, they will "loan" him to the army and send him back for a year, which apparently is already happening with others.  Most of the people who have deployed from his base in the last year are on "loan" to the army for convoy escort duty.  A lot of the AF base gates are now guarded by rent-a-cops as many of the security forces have been sent over "on loan" to the army.

      Bushco is not just "breaking" the army, they are making sure it can never be fixed.

      •  So True (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jesterfox, StrayCat, mlbx2

        Another example would be the Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) teams.  The Army has run through their supply, and now the Air Force is having to supply EOD techs.  I know this because one of our friends is an AF EOD guy who lost his left leg in Afghanistan last year.  

        If you pay attention to the casualty lists, you'll also see that lately there are a lot of Naval Corpsmen wounded and killed.  It's because they're being deployed in place of the Army 91 Whiskeys (Combat Medics), of which the Army can't crank out of AIT fast enough.  

        DH is a medical practitioner at Ft. Sam Houston, TX (AKA BAMC).  He sees the AIT 91W's every day when they come in to his clinic.  They find out exactly what they are going to have to do (because the recruiters are lying about what they REALLY are going to do) and try and find a medical way out of the Army.  The Army won't let them out, and the drill sergeants are graduating them despite failure to meet fitness standards, or academic standards in the coursework.

        •  Navy Corpsman don't serve in Army units... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slothlax, worried dem

          If you pay attention to the casualty lists, you'll also see that lately there are a lot of Naval Corpsmen wounded and killed.  It's because they're being deployed in place of the Army 91 Whiskeys (Combat Medics), of which the Army can't crank out of AIT fast enough.  

          I train combat medics for an Army infantry division and would love to hear your source for this.  Corspmen support the Marines and the Marines have been in a lot of combat lately. (likely source of increased casualties)  I have not seen any Navy corpsmen serving in Army units in theater and I have been here 11 1/2 months.

          He sees the AIT 91W's every day when they come in to his clinic.  They find out exactly what they are going to have to do (because the recruiters are lying about what they REALLY are going to do) and try and find a medical way out of the Army.

          This is typical of EVERY basic training and AIT post in the Army and has been long before the war started.  There are lots of people who want something for nothing and when they get to the Army they realize that they will actually have to work as well as do things that are tough and unpleasant.  The "my recruiter lied to me" line is way overused and is often used as an excuse.  I had a soldier once tell me the Recruiter told her that as a medic she would not have to go to the field or deploy.  Who tells someone that?  And who actually believes that?  Until the military does away with quotas, and the intense pressure on the recruiters to meet said quotas, you will always see shit like this.  My advice to anyone considering entering the military... if it is not in your contract, don't count on it.  Sometimes it falls through because the recruiter lied on purpose and sometimes if fall through because the person who told you (ie recruiter) is not the person who is going to deliver what was promised (for example promising certain schools or assignment... common complaints). You wouldn't sign a business contract or buy a house on the salesman's word would you?

          "You can prevent defeat through defense, but to prevail requires offense" -Sun Tzu

          by Captain Infidel on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 02:05:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Captain Infidel

            I had a good recruiter, either because he was an honest guy or he knew I could see through the bullshit.  I came prepared with a certain set of expectations.  But he also was recruiting a seventeen year old female and he handled her very differently.  She ended up getting pregnant, though, and didn't end up going to basic.

            -5.88, -4.82 "He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he sends them wandering through a trackless waste." Job 12:24

            by slothlax on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 02:09:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Wonder what the Alaskan (7+ / 0-)

    congressional delegation thinks of this?  

    "One way or another, this darkness got to give"

    by wozzle on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 12:10:29 PM PDT

  •  Did the C.O. sign up for this? (0+ / 0-)

    David Brooks IS the Queen of Sheba.

    by namnick on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 12:17:29 PM PDT

  •  STRYKER::: Heavy SWAT Teams (9+ / 0-)

    Basically this Stryker unit is one of the few in Iraq that can take on the suicide-bomber safe houses 24/7.

    The mission takes aerial surveillance, locals for direct intel, armored cars like Stryker, and veteran troops with experience fighting at close quarters.

    Nothing like the Humvee units we've set up for the Iraqi national police.

    We broke Iraq. Now its ours. Like it or not.

    Bush let in the Wahhabi in 2004-2005 in Iraq. Probably thought they would replace the nasty, evil Baathists.

    Now we have a responsibility to suppress these fanatical Sunni suicide-bombers. The bombers are recruited by the Wahhabi and Muslim Brotherhood agents in countries that are nominally our allies in the WOT.

    Bush thinks these countries are our allies. He's not all that bright any more. After-effects of cocaine or alcohol ???

    Anyway, the people of Baghdad are getting murdered by the hundreds every week. If these guys with the Strykers can shut down a significant part of that slaughter, then so be it. They volunteered for the military, same as me back in the 60s.

    God and country.

    Jeffersonian Democracy is America's best answer to Bush/Cheney

    by vets74 on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 12:24:26 PM PDT

    •  Strykers are the best we have (11+ / 0-)

      I agree, this is a good move in the big picture.  The problem is morale.  Its true that it is a professional military, but that doesn't change the fact that these guys were extended less than a week before they were supposed to leave Iraq.  They will get over their dissapointment and anger and do their jobs.  But it won't be easy and they won't be happy about it.

      -5.88, -4.82 "He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he sends them wandering through a trackless waste." Job 12:24

      by slothlax on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 12:30:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely (11+ / 0-)

        I completely concur.  I also agree that they volunteered, and the military is all about DUTY and HONOR.  I have every confidence that these men (and women) will complete this, and every mission, handed to them while upholding those basic tenets.

        My argument, as slothlax points out, is the way the extension was handled.  Many of these men were already in Kuwait awaiting transport home....some are even back already and have been placed on stop-loss and awaiting the list of names that are being sent back.

        The Pentagon doesn't just "accidentally" leak this kind of information unless they are sending up a balloon to gauge feedback....meanwhile, these troops and their families were stuck not knowing what was about to happen and under a communication blackout.  That tells me that this decision was partially based on the public reaction to the possible extension...and that makes me sick to my stomach!!

        "Reality proper has a way of insisting itself upon you." ~Al Gore

        by Troubled on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 12:38:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  agree the families are taking it hard (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jules too, sockpuppet, vets74
          •  The worst thing as a wife is not knowing (9+ / 0-)

            That, and the the command not keeping the Family Readiness Groups (FRG) aprised of the situation.  FRGs are our lifeline during a deployment.

            •  Doubt there was time (5+ / 0-)

              I don't know when the decision was made, but a lot of changes have been happening over the last few weeks and I doubt there was time to tell the FRG about it.  Hearing about it on the news first, though, is not acceptable.

              -5.88, -4.82 "He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he sends them wandering through a trackless waste." Job 12:24

              by slothlax on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 12:56:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Things are moving pretty fast (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              slothlax, worried dem, vets74

              The proverbial shit has hit the fan here, especially down in Baghdad.  It wouldn't surprise me if this was a last second decision.

              They did this to 3rd ID in June 2003.  They all were in Kuwait and some planes had just taken off when they were turned around.  They landed, went and got their vehicles back... and convoyed back into Iraq when things exploded in the Anbar Province.  Very similar situation to this (large, unexpected enemy push to terrorize the government and local population).  The soldiers were upset... but the families took it the hardest.  I think that on some level soldiers understand.  All the families know is their loved one was supposed to be home, and now they are not.

              "You can prevent defeat through defense, but to prevail requires offense" -Sun Tzu

              by Captain Infidel on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 02:13:47 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I don't understand (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sockpuppet, gmb, StrayCat, vets74

          What is this commo blackout?  I know the mail got turned off, but the MWR is available.  Again, I'm not in the 172nd, but I saw some of their guys here today on the internet.

          -5.88, -4.82 "He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he sends them wandering through a trackless waste." Job 12:24

          by slothlax on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 12:43:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Blackout is being used too block all incomimg (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Swordsmith, sockpuppet, gmb, StrayCat, vets74

            Messages. Brothers vets go to va watchdog.com  Larry is a broither vet alot of info on your benefits and real time info everyday

            •  I don't have that problem (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sockpuppet, gmb, vets74

              When they want us off the net, they tell us.  It is always enforced through commands, not electronic manipulation.  That's just here in my area, I don't know about the rest of the country.  And we have had full access to the Internet while the 172nd guys were moving out.

              -5.88, -4.82 "He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he sends them wandering through a trackless waste." Job 12:24

              by slothlax on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 12:51:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not sure.. (6+ / 0-)

            it's hard for me to say, because personally, my soldier is not the greatest at keeping in touch....we hadn't heard from him since last week to tell us he'd be losing his email on Saturday......then he finally emailed on Thursday to let us know that he heard he'd be extended.  Since then, lots of people are hearing from soldiers there.

            The other families I've been in contact with said that there was no communication home during those few days before the decision.

            You would certainly know better than I...but nobody had heard from their soldiers in quite a few days when this news broke in the media.

            I could be wrong about the blackout...it was what I had heard from other families.

            "Reality proper has a way of insisting itself upon you." ~Al Gore

            by Troubled on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 12:51:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't know either (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dale peters, vets74

              The guys left here stayed for the transfer of authority, the main body left over the course of the last week or two to another base in Iraq.  I don't know what it was like there.  But unless they were banned from the MWR I don't see how they could be blocked from communicating.

              -5.88, -4.82 "He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he sends them wandering through a trackless waste." Job 12:24

              by slothlax on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 12:54:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  maybe (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                vets74

                it was just a matter of mass confusion....soldiers not knowing for sure that they'd be extended and not wanting to worry their families back home.....meanwhile...families back home hearing rumors and wondering why they haven't heard from their soldiers.

                Perhaps that's more the case than a black-out.  I should edit my diary, nonetheless.....thanks!

                "Reality proper has a way of insisting itself upon you." ~Al Gore

                by Troubled on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 01:06:12 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Don't take my word for it (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Captain Infidel, vets74

                  I don't know what the situation was once they left here.  I'm just skeptical of the idea they couldn't call.  On the other hand, I don't know why they wouldn't and since you heard it from other sources too, maybe they were told not to call.  I doubt it was designed to keep this info a secret.  I didn't know until yesterday and there are still some guys here waiting for TOA.

                  -5.88, -4.82 "He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he sends them wandering through a trackless waste." Job 12:24

                  by slothlax on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 01:10:31 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  slothlax, vets74

                  Last I checked commo 'blackouts' were only enforced after a death to ensure that the families were notifed through proper army channels rather than word of mouth or the media.  I'm sure you have less access to internet when you are in transit than if you were on your normal FOB.  

                  I'd place my money on the soldiers not knowing and wanting to wait until they heard one way or the other to call home.  I know I don't call my family everytime I hear a rumor or things change.  They change so often ("Truth has a date time group") that it would just be frustrating for them to hear a. then b. then a. again.  I tell them what most likey will happen, then as the time gets closer and decisions are made, I update.  With something like this, I would definatley wait until I heard a definate answer. Look at it this way:

                  1. you tell them and it's true = they are upset
                  1. you tell them and it is not true = they are upset

                  or

                  1. you don't tell them and it's true = they are upset
                  1. you don't tell them and it is not true = they are not upset.  In a 50-50 chance, I'll take 3 or 4 instead of 1 or 2.

                  My golden rule is if it is frustrating for me... it is 10x as frustrating for my family.  I try to shield them as much as possible from that.

                  "You can prevent defeat through defense, but to prevail requires offense" -Sun Tzu

                  by Captain Infidel on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 02:24:32 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Let us all agree, however... (7+ / 0-)

          ...That Duty, Honor and Country are two-way ethics.

          IMO, our soldiers and vets have held up their end of the bargain.

          Not so the CIC & DOD; so when does the entire equation become broken?

          [ Anyone who thinks my bark is worse than my bite, has never seen me bite. ] -6.63 | -5.38

          by dj angst on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 01:49:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Tech detail::: Too bad they don't have Achzarit (9+ / 0-)

        You look closely at the Israelis going into Lebanon and you will see converted T54/T55 tanks. These armored personnel carriers weigh ~60,000-pounds.

        They are called Achzerit, which means "bitch."

        The lighter 30,000-pound APCs were called Zelda or Zippo in 1973.

        Anyway, if Bush gave a rats behind for the troops, it takes about a week's shop-time to convert a tank hull over to an APC. Israel's Raphael had a kit for it.

        Iraq has about 1,000 usable T72 tank hulls. They would make super-achzarits. 96,000-pounds. We could set up a complete conversion shop in less than a month out at Baghdad airport. But that would interfere with Rumsfeld's $120-billion scheme called "Future Combat System." Fergetaboutit....

        **********

        It seems to me that leaving the non-Sunni civilian population of Baghdad unprotected -- to be blown to bits by our President's friends, the Saudi Wahhabi -- would be the worst single act in the history of the United States. A mass murder into the many tens of thousands of civilians.

        Jeffersonian Democracy is America's best answer to Bush/Cheney

        by vets74 on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 12:56:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I wish (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gmb, kmiddle, vets74

          I could crawl around inside your brain for 5 minutes and glean all of that information.  Military weapons-speak is so foreign to me!!

          It just makes me feel like such a, well, girl!!! ;)

          "Reality proper has a way of insisting itself upon you." ~Al Gore

          by Troubled on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 01:02:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Let me try (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sockpuppet, gmb, Captain Infidel, vets74

            It just makes me feel like such a, well, girl!!! ;)

            I hope you are one!

            I think he's saying they should convert old tanks into vehicles that can carry around infantry guys, like Strykers on steriods.  Sounds like a great idea to me.

            -5.88, -4.82 "He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he sends them wandering through a trackless waste." Job 12:24

            by slothlax on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 01:06:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Israeli Defense Force uses many hundreds... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Hiroprotag, 2dot, StrayCat, slothlax

            ....of these converted tanks, called Achzarit. Protecting troops is IDF's Priority One.

            The conversion is simple.
            -- Remove the main gun turret
            -- Install a multi-purpose light-gun + machine gun system where the big turret used to be
            -- Install a rear door, so's troops can get in and out safely
            -- Replace the internal tank gear with infantry gear
            -- Add machine guns, set up so's they can be fired without exiting the vehicle

            We can do a conversion in a week. Cost: $30,000-$75,000 depending on the setup. The guns are extra, as you might expect. The U.S. army has plenty of guns.

            The T72 version -- like using T72s from the Iraqi boneyards -- is in use every day with the Russian Red Army. They have thousands of them.

            Probably have them for sale.... Maybe cheap....

            BTW::: the poor accursed Iraqi government tried to buy some used 30,000-pound APCs from Switzerland. 180 U.S.-made M113 hulls for $10,000,000. Got stopped. So they're using Humvees and can't do any of the Heavy SWAT work.

            "Stand up" my @#$*&^%$. Thank Rumsfeld for that little piece of treason. It's all like Watergate::: FOLLOW THE MONEY.

            Jeffersonian Democracy is America's best answer to Bush/Cheney

            by vets74 on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 02:42:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  And you're ahead of Bush and Rumsfeld... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            highacidity

            ...not a joke.

            Jeffersonian Democracy is America's best answer to Bush/Cheney

            by vets74 on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 02:52:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Not the worst (6+ / 0-)

          That was during the first Gulf War, when Bush I urged the Shia to revolt, and then we completely left them in the lurch. Saddam went on to murder over 100,000 Shia, mostly innocent civilians. We even had troops on the ground in Iraq. We had troops on the ground that had to listen to the screams of people getting slaughtered and raped to death by the Republican Guard, and even let Saddam fly his helicopters around, and didn't do anything. Our troops were begging their commanders to let them intervene, but were forbidden to do so, in some cases under the threat of court martial.

          Don't think the Shia have forgotten about that.

          He who is the author of war lets loose the whole contagion of hell and opens a vein that bleeds a nation to death. - Thomas Paine 1783

          by lanshark on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 03:00:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  A lot better then we had Agree with you 100% (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sockpuppet, slothlax, vets74
  •  FUCK YOU (17+ / 0-)

    I just donated $50.01 more to Dem congressional candidates.

    FUCK YOU RUMSFELD.

    "He lives most life whoever breathes most air." Elizabeth Barrett Browning

    "We don't do fours." General Tommy Franks (on Dkos)

    by SeattleChris on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 12:54:44 PM PDT

  •  My buddy Alex drives a Stryker in the 172nd (18+ / 0-)

    I'm just still in fucking shock. My friend's wife is just beside herself.

    Ft. Wainright is about 5 minutes from my office.  Link to the local newspaper article about this bullshit

    I spoke to her yesterday, when this betrayal sudden re-deployment was still just a rumor. God knows how she's feeling today. I'll call her in a few hours, she probably just got to sleep a couple hours ago.

    This is a small town, and these are my friends....

    I could rant for awhile, maybe earn some more 4's, but it just doesn't matter.

    For now, I'm just gonna support the troops -- meaning that I will try to help my friends with time, kindness and money.

    This is fucking madness. If is wasn't for DailyKos, I would have no idea why this is happening.

    Rumsfeld is damn lucky that I'm a married man with alot to lose.  

    Look Out! Homosexuals are gonna force your guns to have abortions!

    by Predator Saint on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 01:00:52 PM PDT

    •  Which company? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sockpuppet, vets74

      Last name?  I may know him.  Of course, I understand if you don't want to tell me.

      -5.88, -4.82 "He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he sends them wandering through a trackless waste." Job 12:24

      by slothlax on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 01:02:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I should check with his wife first (7+ / 0-)

        I don't want to put more of their info out there before at least asking Alex's wife.  Suppose its alright to say he's originally from Utah.

        He's a real wise-ass.  He's hilarious be around, always keeps people laughing.  He has a gift for it.

        When he was home on leave, a bunch of us met at the gun range.  Alex and I have almost identical pistols: H&K USP compacts.  His is .40 and mine is a .357 sig.  Fortunately, we're not too fanatical about comparing the calibers.  They look the same, so sometimes the usual suspects load them both up and do some John Woo style shooting.  Video gold, I tell ya.

        I wanted to see him at least once, just to get a sense about how he was holding up.  I've got a long history of depression, so I know alot about what to look for and what to do about it.  Disclaimer: I'm not military, just a civilian in a town with lots of military. When I saw him, he seemed to be doing well.  He was social and energetic without going overboard, and was willing to share some of his experiences.

        His funniest story was about training some IP.  There was this one Iraqi, I think his name was Habib.  Habib was fucking huge, enormous muscles everywhere.  Just for the hell of it, Habib carried an RPG...everywhere....all the time.  When they had to do a roadblock or just stop traffic, Habib would just walk over and stand in the middle of the road.  No signs, no vehicles, just a 6'6", 300-lb goliath carrying an AK and an RPG on his shoulder.
        Traffic would come to a screeching halt every time.

        Alex can handle himself, but this fucking re-deployment has me really spooked.  We've already lost a number of people from the 172nd.  If they're really going to Baghdad, I think we're going to lose a bunch more.  Even if they all survive, this re-deployment is a fucking recipe for war crimes.

        "Hey we've got all these soldiers about to go home to their families and friends after a full year of war-zone deployment.  Most of them are full of rage and just want to come home."
        "I know, let's send them to an even worse place where a hundred people a day are getting killed and surround them with civilians who don't speak their language"

        "Brilliant!"

        Sorry for my mental diarrhea, I'm just a little too wound up.

        Look Out! Homosexuals are gonna force your guns to have abortions!

        by Predator Saint on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 02:12:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is a disgrace! (9+ / 0-)

    This morning, rather than think of the "tactical" implications I could only think about those poor bastards being stop-lossed. Fucking assholes in the Adminstration! They haveno clue of what it's like to be away from your family and loved ones, counting the days until you can set foot back in your own country, get a decent meal, make love to your wife, kiss the cheek of the baby that was born while you were away. Hang out with your buds and pop a cold one.
    I wondered today how those guys are feeling right now. Sure they'll do their jobs, they're pros. But it's just another example of getting screwed by the chickenhawk outfit that is running this stupid war.
    It's been over three years people!!!! We won WWII in less than 4, and yet with this one there is no end in sight.
    I know that in a few weeks I'll probably read a blurb in my newspaper that talks about some soldier who is in this group and how they died. And it will mention how sad it is because just a few weeks ago, they and their family was looking forward to their coming home. And now they are dead.
    Sure, these guys signed up. But they have been lied to at every step of the way. When they tell you it's a year, it should be a year. That's the deal.
    Bring them home NOW!!!

    All Truth is non-partisan

    by MA Liberal on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 01:02:46 PM PDT

  •  Good God (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    orchid314, gmb, dale peters, khereva

    what is is going to take to finally get rid of Rumsfeld?  I don't understand.  Bush himself said the situation over there is terrible, so what is the plan?  To keep the soldiers there longer but keep the same useless decision-makers at the top.  

    How exactly is the Bush administration supporting our troops?

  •  I remain puzzled as to why... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmb

    ...more people don't just start walking away from this war.  Yes, there's jail, but I hope folks are at least weighing this as a rational option.

    •  Civilians don't understand (10+ / 0-)

      I don't know if you're a vet, but asking a soldier to turn his back on his fellow soldiers is not something you do.  More than any grand national strategy or policy, loyalty to your buddies is what keeps a soldier ready to continue on.

      -5.88, -4.82 "He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he sends them wandering through a trackless waste." Job 12:24

      by slothlax on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 01:13:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's simple, really. (8+ / 0-)

      Because they are soldiers.  A soldier has a duty to his brothers....they fight for the men next to them...that is how they are trained, and it is necessary for a successful military.  It is why duty and honor are irrevocably linked for a soldier.

      If one stays, they all stay.  It is the code of the band of brothers.  It is that strong dedication that makes me proud of anyone I see in uniform!

      "Reality proper has a way of insisting itself upon you." ~Al Gore

      by Troubled on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 01:15:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There is another reason. (10+ / 0-)

      Money.  We have three kids -- that's three college educations to pay for.  We have two mortgages.  We have sacrificed and worked for twenty years for this military and this country (My husband is Army, I am an Army wife, and yes, I have sacrificed too).  To walk away means not only possible jail time, but sacrificing our family's security, health, home.  Sacrificing thousands of dollars a year  in retirement pay.  Losing our health coverage, as sometimes crappy as it is. Giving up everything we had worked for and planned for, and for what?  A gesture that might not make any difference at all.

      And it is pride and duty and honor.  There is a comaradarie in the Army that is very real.  We are a community -- we have an instant connection with every other Army family...our kids have soldiers coaching them, leading their scout packs and troops.  We wives get together and laugh and cry and work to make everybody's lives a little better with Christmas cookies and BBQs.  Bitching about Army life, but knowing that it is truly our way of life and we would not give it up.  

      Argh.  I am making us sound like a cult, but that's not it.  It's a good life, hard, not fair, but exciting and meaningful and fun.

      Proudly providing chaos since 1964

      by jules too on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 01:32:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Money and community are good reasons. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jules too

        And you guys are right -- I shouldn't -- can't -- advocate abandoning your buddies out there.   Better would be for the new ones to start refusing to go.

        •  Better would be for people (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slothlax, Captain Infidel

          to continue to speak out.  Joining the military and then refusing to go earns you little respect among soldiers, I think.  I understand where you are coming from...I don't want any more Americans to die in Iraq.  I don't want any more Iraqis to die in Iraq, either.  I just wish there was somebody in charge who felt the same way.

          Proudly providing chaos since 1964

          by jules too on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 04:56:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm speaking of the ones who joined before Iraq.. (0+ / 0-)

            ...most of whom are now being sent off on third and fourth tours of duty.  With no end in sight.

            When you volunteer, there is no reasonable expectation that you will be sent off on an indefinite insane, immoral war for no discernible reason, based on lies by a madman.  If that happens, I assert that reason and logic would dictate that the contract should be null and void.

            Therefore, at least morally (legality aside for the moment) there is no longer a contract as it was turned into a sham, and you are morally free to stay stateside when called.

      •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

        Argh.  I am making us sound like a cult, but that's not it.  It's a good life, hard, not fair, but exciting and meaningful and fun.

        So very true.  I once heard a quote that "soldiers join the military to serve their country... but when it comes down to it, they fight for the person in the foxhole next to them."

        I am more proud of what my company as a whole accomplished during OIF 1 than any single personal accomplishment in my lifetime.  The collective effort was truely greater than the sum of it's parts.  Those I served with will always be like brothers to me.  You don't get that working for IBM.

        "You can prevent defeat through defense, but to prevail requires offense" -Sun Tzu

        by Captain Infidel on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 04:22:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Don't forget, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RickWn, slothlax, Captain Infidel

      all these people signed up for this job. It isn't like it was in my youth when "draft" had nothing to do with door ajar.

      The great tragedy of Science, the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact. T. H. Huxley

      by realalaskan on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 07:09:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They didn't know what they were doing (0+ / 0-)

        because they were lied to by the pres. and the recruiters.

        Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

        by StrayCat on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 07:21:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Going to have (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slothlax, Captain Infidel

          to respectfully disagree. You join the military and you know that you will have to do what you are told. I don't know about the "lies" told to recruits, may be instances, but really, they all were lied to and didn't know that the military sometimes goes to war?

          Look, I don't agree with any of the crap this poor excuse for an administration is doing but you join the Army and you expect to carry a gun for a reason.

          The great tragedy of Science, the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact. T. H. Huxley

          by realalaskan on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 09:39:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  These soldiers were and are ready (0+ / 0-)

            to go to war.  But the recruiters promised training, education, real equipment, and the actual, substantial support of their country.  Overseas assignments, proper equipment, safe and healthy food and drink, theater assignments, training, schools, college money, and the actual term of enlistment are all items about which many G.I's were lied to about.  And it continues.
               This is not about the requirement to face danger, or to obey orders.  All the troops signed up for this, and 99% are good with that.  The lies are the elements of the contract that our country undertook to encourage the troops to enlist.  The Rumsfeld DOD is reneging on these in wholesale fashion.

            Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

            by StrayCat on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 05:32:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Because for all our bitching and moaning about (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slothlax

      this damned war by incompentent leadership, those who signed up, especially now, know exactly what they're getting into.
      It is the inherent immortality of youth that quickly dies in the first moment of real combat.
      (At least that was what I was told, though much less diplomatically, by my best friends Korean War vet father as I grew up.)

      A vote for GOP is a vote for WW3

      by RElland on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 10:20:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think we're screwed (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RickWn, Jesterfox, arkdem, gmb, gmhowell, vets74

    Was it Patton that said~
    No bastard ever won a war by extending his deployment by 4 months. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard extend his deployment by 4 months.

    I think the camel's back is sagging

  •  Stay strong,... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PaintyKat, jules too, gmb, StrayCat, slothlax

    ...pray, think positive, but most of all keep spreading the word; most Americans do not get a chance to hear this side of this "war". Love and prayers to your brother-in-law, may he return to give you the hug you both so richly deserve.

  •  Off subject but did you hear Spokane VA just (6+ / 0-)

    Cut urgent care from 24 hours to 8

    va watchdog.org

    •  This just makes (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gmb, saucy monkey, dale peters

      my stomach turn!  Disgusting!  I just read thru the article...I love how you MIGHT be able to be reimbursed IF you meet the five million qualifications for your emergency.  Ugh!

      Thank you for the website...I've put it in my "favorites" list.  It's pathetic and sad that such a watchdog group needs to exist, isn't it?

      "Reality proper has a way of insisting itself upon you." ~Al Gore

      by Troubled on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 01:28:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Draft (8+ / 0-)

    If they are going to continue with this madness,  they need to re-instate the draft.  They know it, but they're scared of it... as well they should be.  Heh, I wish they would try it though - I sometimes miss the joyous anarchy of the 60s and 70s.

  •  Just want to (11+ / 0-)

    say thanks to all of your for your recommendations and comments.  I actually wrote this to blow-off some steam, and never (ever) expected it to wind up on the "Recommended" list.  Your kindness is overwhelming and very much appreciated, especially after the troubling last few days.

    I have to go for a while...thanks so much for reading & recommending.  Keep fighting the good fight...and keep supporting your troops!

    Thank You!

    "Reality proper has a way of insisting itself upon you." ~Al Gore

    by Troubled on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 01:34:50 PM PDT

  •  IL NG has been told they will be there 19 mnts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vets74
    •  Maybe (0+ / 0-)

      I was activated for 545 days (18 months).  This includes mobilization and demobilization, so we expect to be in-country for a year.  They just give themselves some leeway with reserve units so they don't have to draw up a brigade's worth of extension orders when the activation period lasts an extra week.  Its easier with active duty soldiers because there's no activation/deactivation process.

      -5.88, -4.82 "He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he sends them wandering through a trackless waste." Job 12:24

      by slothlax on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 02:24:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Head up all flight home for troops canceled (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RainyDay, vets74

    Flight home for US Troops -canceled to figure out Bagdad Security plan

    http://www.kktv.com/...

  •  Are you in, or from, Alaska? (0+ / 0-)
    •  Neither (0+ / 0-)

      His family is scattered throughout the midwest, including us....but he loves Alaska where's he's been stationed for quite a few years.

      "Reality proper has a way of insisting itself upon you." ~Al Gore

      by Troubled on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 03:25:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the info (0+ / 0-)

        Alaska is in many ways mysterious to us easterners or maybe it's just me.  On the other hand, you are saddled with Stevens.  What's that all about?  I think his daughter is the governor???

        •  Murkowski (0+ / 0-)

          Murkowski is a former long time Senator and now very unpopular governor.  His daughter ran to replace him in the Senate and won, barely.

          -5.88, -4.82 "He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he sends them wandering through a trackless waste." Job 12:24

          by slothlax on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 02:26:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Who's in charge? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat

    The battalion-level commander gathered about 50 of his officers and noncommissioned officers in the unit chapel to steel their hearts and focus their minds on the mission ahead.

    From the Army Times link.

    Now, which theocracy is fighting about which democracy, Mr. Chimp-in-Chief?

    Impeach. Convict. Deport. Indict. Imprison at the Hague--Milosovic Memorial cell

    by whl on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 03:05:10 PM PDT

    •  Please (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Captain Infidel

      Its not theocracy.  A lot of people in the military, especially during deployment, take religion seriously.  Most people turn to faith in times of trouble.  Besides, maybe the chapel was the only place fifty soldiers could gather indoors at that base.

      -5.88, -4.82 "He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he sends them wandering through a trackless waste." Job 12:24

      by slothlax on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 02:29:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The USA is presently (0+ / 0-)

        theocratic, by observations of behavior & comprehension of words.  Bush XLIII is a president who hears the voice of God, according to such people as Rev. Pat Robertson & other confidantes.  He has referred to the Global War on Terror as a "crusade."

        I suppose the so-called "battalion-level commander" could possibly have chosen to use the Dining Facility to steel hearts & focus minds.  However, the proper accoutrements of the Faith would not have been present.  I think the Army Times article made the point very, very clear.  This was not a group of individual soldiers going to the chapel for their devotions.  It was an organized, command-level meeting of selected "leaders" at the chapel.  Go figure.

        Impeach. Convict. Deport. Indict. Imprison at the Hague--Milosovic Memorial cell

        by whl on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 07:43:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are seeing what you want to see (0+ / 0-)

          I see nothing wrong with religion in the military.  In fact, I encourage it.  Not any specific religion, but believing in something helps when the times get tough.  Most Army chaplains are great at giving non-denominational prayers.  I always have to ask what religion they are because they will never tell you.  Their job is to provide spiritual/emotional support no matter what your faith is.  I can't stand getting someone else's religion crammed down my throat.  I have NEVER gotten that feeling in the Army... not once.

          FYI, the DFAC is usually not used for meetings as TCN's (third country nationals) work there.  They are usually either cooking a meal, serving a meal, or cleaning up after one of the 4 meals they serve every day.  They don't have security clearances so having a meeting there is not smart.  But hey, keep on, keeping on.

          "You can prevent defeat through defense, but to prevail requires offense" -Sun Tzu

          by Captain Infidel on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 08:34:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Shifted focus (0+ / 0-)

            You've jumped off the track.  My comments about the statements in the Army Times article have nothing to do with religious beliefs by GIs or about chaplains or alternate belief systems.  Also, the chow halls at the 5 installations of my personal knowledge have/had separate rooms cordoned & curtained off expressly for meetings.  The HCNs (host country nationals) are/were kept away.

            My comments were about a senior officer (probably an 05) holding a prayer meeting with his staff, other officers & senior noncoms in the chapel--which is how I interpreted the words printed in the article.  Same old with the Chimp-in-Chief, I have read the words attributed to him & drawn some conclusions about his theocratic behavior.  I don't see what I want to see: I read what is printed, thus seeing what the writer seems to have seen & offered for my interpretation.  You should try that some times.

            Impeach. Convict. Deport. Indict. Imprison at the Hague--Milosovic Memorial cell

            by whl on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 09:01:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I have to ask... (0+ / 0-)

              What is your problem with religion?

              It was an organized, command-level meeting of selected "leaders" at the chapel.  Go figure.

              I have had FRG meetings in chapels, I have had awards cerimonies in chapels, I've even see one commander start off every command and staff meeting with a prayer from the chaplian.  I'm sorry, I just don't see what the big deal is.

              "You can prevent defeat through defense, but to prevail requires offense" -Sun Tzu

              by Captain Infidel on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 10:20:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  You do see what you want to see (0+ / 0-)

              I know people who were involved in the incident being discussed and I know who the "battalion level commander" is the article refers to.  The chapel was the only place available big enough to hold the meeting.

              -5.88, -4.82 "He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he sends them wandering through a trackless waste." Job 12:24

              by slothlax on Sun Aug 06, 2006 at 04:13:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  how can you equate that. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slothlax

      Meetings are often done in chapels when there is nowhere else to meet. (expecially since this unit is in transition and does not have offices/converence rooms)  A chapel is large and is perfect for giving presentations and getting information out.
      It does not in any way mean the military is a theocracy.

      "You can prevent defeat through defense, but to prevail requires offense" -Sun Tzu

      by Captain Infidel on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 02:29:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Who will explain (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slothlax

    to the families of these young people, if any of them are killed or maimed during their extended tour?  Who will explain why this was "necessary"?  Not the chicken-hawks who have ordered this and orchestrated this abomination from the get-go.  My son's significant other is in the Air National Guard and, yes, she has already been deployed in the Middle East.  She has seen the bodies and the wounded being flown out from the "theater of war."  It isn't pretty.  War is never pretty, but it is significantly uglier when it is a war fought at the wrong time, for the wrong reasons.  I pray for these young warriors, and for all who are deployed.  When will it end?

    "When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." -Sinclair Lewis

    by Zorba the Greek on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 03:50:48 PM PDT

    •  Chickenhawks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slothlax

      What really gets to me is that

      ** most of the guys giving these orders or formulating the "policy" (Bush, Cheney, Feith, Rumsfeld etc., etc.) have never seen combat, so they have no clue as to what they are asking of those they send; and

      ** most have kids of the same age as our soldiers, but because there's no universal draft, and certainly not one that would include women, they again have no comprehension of what's being asked of the parents of our soldiers.

      Bill Kristol, who was fulminating last week on some talk show about the need to "keep fighting; extend the war" has two daughters.  How would he feel if they were in Iraq?

      How about the Bush twins?  How about Cheney's two?

      I'd like to see these fools put their KIDS where their mouths are!! (And where they're so willing to put everyone else's kids.)

      I hope every family of the 172nd writes to their Congressperson (Rep & Senator) AND, more importantly , votes Democratic in November.

  •  Jack Cafferty on CNN has just ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clem Yeobright, vets74

    mentioned the extended situation of this unit and asked his question of the hour, "how much longer do you think US troops will be in Iraq?"

    "There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people." Howard Zinn

    by va dare on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 04:07:02 PM PDT

  •  They blame Clinton and kill our army (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat, vets74, milken

    We go to war with what we got they said. A slam at Bill Clinton. Then they take those men and women and run them into the ground with lack of body armor etc.

    CAN YOU IMAGINE? Think about it...CAN YOU IMAGINE!

    Being a soldier who joined because they were poor and wanted a better future only to have it robbed!

    Even when I say "imagine" I don't think we really can. Lost arms, limbs and minds! That's what they got from Bush Halliburton Cheney!

    They fear for their lives everyday. They lost their families here at home because they just couldn't wait for them anymore.  Have you ever been in jail overnight? Remember how that felt? Imagine what they feel.

    Can you imagine when they come home with arms and legs missing? Blindness, stuttering from brain damage? Of course you won't see it because the news will only show the few who can over come that.

    Then we'll have the soldiers who can't get over the fact that they had to kill a child.

    The repercussions of this are endless. They will be dealing with their mental status while trying to fit back in and raising a family.

    So for the right-wingers who claim that they support the troops, I say kiss my ass moron you haven't a clue! I know liberals support the troops because they fight for them every fucking day! What do you do for them moron? Please tell me!

    •  Support? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slothlax

      CAN YOU IMAGINE? Think about it...CAN YOU IMAGINE!

      I can... I lived it.

      Being a soldier who joined because they were poor and wanted a better future only to have it robbed!

      I really hate the stereotype you encourage with this statement.  Not all soldiers join because they were poor.  The military has a lot of opportunites not available elsewhere.  You learn leadership skills,  responsibility, teamwork...

      I know liberals support the troops

      I am aprehensive about going home... not because I am afraid to adjust to normal life, but because this and other websites has shown me how wide the gap between the military and the rest of society really is.  

      You say you support the troops by bashing our leadership... that is crap.  You say you support our troops by convicting them in the media before they get a full investigation or a trial... how unamerican is that.  You say you support our troops by blocking access to ROTC recruiters and vandalizing ROTC offices or recruiting centers... but don't question your patriotism.  You say you support the troops... BUT WE DON'T FEEL SUPPORTED by you.  You want to support your troops... stop playing partisan politics that force us to fight with one hand tied behind our backs. You want to support the troops... don't hang us out to dry when we make a mistake.  You want to support the troops... stop apologizing or making excuses for those that celebrate when we are killed and mutilated.  You want to support the troops... don't call me a "neocon fascist" when I side with the military (not to be confused with elected civilian officials) on an issue.  I will always side with my fellow soldiers over people who critized behind the safety of their keyboards.

      You say you support us... but I only see critisism.  Someone here says "Bush does not care about the military"... I say look in the mirror.  You care more about bashing the current government than about the soldiers.  By using us as a pawn in your political "games" you show us that the next election is more important to you than us.  Our mistake and our failures are highlighted because it helps you politically.  

      Bottom line is no one supports the troops unless it is politically beneficial to them. I'm sorry, but that disgusts me.

      "You can prevent defeat through defense, but to prevail requires offense" -Sun Tzu

      by Captain Infidel on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 10:45:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's the bottom line (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hiroprotag, dale peters, StrayCat

    Bush doesn't care about the military.

    He only cares that they toe the line, follow orders and keep their loved ones under control.

    Step out of line and you are dirt.

    Come home wounded and demand care - dirt.

    Die in action - if your parents squawk, they are dirt.

  •  200 Turkish Troops have crossed in to Iraq (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat

    Firing rockets and mortars at a small Iraqi position

    •  where (0+ / 0-)

      did you find this? am scanning news sites but can't see it anywhere...

      C'est l'histoire d'un homme en chute libre, qui se dit, "Jusqu'ici tout va bien...jusqu'ici tout va bien...jusqu'ici tout va bien..."

      by eco on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 06:50:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They are not attacking Iraqis (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slothlax

      They are attacking ethnic Kurdish rebels that are hiding out in the mountains.  Iran has been shelling a different group of them pretty regularly in Iraq too.  I like the Kurds... but you carry out terrorist attacks against a country then run accross the boarder to hide you get what you deserve. (*cough* Hezbollah/Hamas cough)

      "You can prevent defeat through defense, but to prevail requires offense" -Sun Tzu

      by Captain Infidel on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 02:39:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The PKK (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Captain Infidel

        Isn't that what they're called?  They are definately something to worry about.  The north is the quietest part of the country right now, hope it stays that way.

        -5.88, -4.82 "He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he sends them wandering through a trackless waste." Job 12:24

        by slothlax on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 02:45:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not sure (0+ / 0-)

          There is the PUK, but they are Iraqi.  The problem is ethnic "Kurdistan" is 1/3d in Iraq, 1/3d in Iran and 1/3d in Turkey.  Now that the Kurdish part of Iraq is taking their freedom and running with it (something BTW that is underreported/not reported in the news) the other kurds seem to want to have their freedom too.  This is why Turkey and Iran are so opposed to the Kurds having their own country.

          You are right, the Kurdish controlled area is very low in violence and they are building/developing like crazy.  The nice part is every time they build something nice... no one comes along the next day and blows it up.

          "You can prevent defeat through defense, but to prevail requires offense" -Sun Tzu

          by Captain Infidel on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 03:10:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think PKK is the Turkish party (0+ / 0-)

            There's also the PDU, they are also Iraqi.  The Turkish Kurds are the most aggressive and violent.  The Turkish government was opening up recently, allowing the Kurdish language to be used more freely ect., but now they are cracking down again in light of the PKK's actions.

            -5.88, -4.82 "He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he sends them wandering through a trackless waste." Job 12:24

            by slothlax on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 03:28:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Captain Infidel

          they are the PKK...there was an excellent, detailed article in Newsweek about this last week....I'll have to hunt for it.

          Anyway, the Turks have been wanting to go in and take care of this problem, but President Bush has asked them not to and to be patient.  Thus, the Turkish people are a bit pissed off at the US right now, and are now beginning to ask who is in charge of their government.  Of course, Ahmedinejad had decided to involve Iran, now telling the Turkish people that Tehran will support their efforts against the PKK, "unlike the United States."

          Turkey, not really wanting to get "in bed" so to speak with Iran, hasn't accepted that offer.  However, they are now making some noise about the US double standard....why is it OK for Israel to go after terror groups on the Lebanon border, but the same is not true for Turkey??

          I'll look for the article...it explains the situation in detail.

          "Reality proper has a way of insisting itself upon you." ~Al Gore

          by Troubled on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 07:38:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you (0+ / 0-)

            That was very informative and sounds correct.  Thank you for clarifying.  I am acronymed out.  I agree that is a double standard.  Iran is a much bigger threat to us that anyone else.  what we need more than anything else is solidarity against that threat.  I though Kosovo was complicated with the Serb, Albanians, Gypsies, etc... the Middle East is way more confusing.

            "You can prevent defeat through defense, but to prevail requires offense" -Sun Tzu

            by Captain Infidel on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 08:00:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Capt. Infidel, Iran is not a threat to us (0+ / 0-)

              Why are you buying into Bush's axis of evil bullshit?

              Iran does not have a history of attacking other countries. It fought a defensive war against Iraq in the 1980s when the U.S. armed Iraq with poison gases.

              We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King Jr., "Beyond Vietnam"

              by skywriter on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 07:51:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Here's the Link (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Captain Infidel

            for the Newsweekarticle that sheds some light on the Turkey/Kurdistan issue.

            "Reality proper has a way of insisting itself upon you." ~Al Gore

            by Troubled on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 08:22:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  here in fairbanks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    worried dem

    the news has been for weeks full of building anticipation about the return--now replaced by shock and disbelief, for example:

    http://newsminer.com/...

    and:

    http://newsminer.com/...

  •  Your brother in law is in my thoughts. (0+ / 0-)

    I hope he and his entire Brigade make it home safe.

    My future brother-in-law is in Iraq right now too. He's in the Air National Guard...so he's a bit safer than many other troops there because he spends virtually all his time on a base....of course, there are strikes on the base ALL the time...but like I said, relatively safer.

    He's supposed to be there until September. As soon as I heard the news about more troops being needed in Baghdad I wondered if they'd extend his duty until December and keep him where he is to replace the troops that are there who will likely be moving to Baghdad.

    I just want them all to come home SO badly and just right now.

    I'm crossing my fingers for your brother in law.

  •  Responsibility for Atrocities (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jesterfox, slothlax, Bhishma

    I don't exonerate from blame soldiers who commit atrocities and war crimes.

    But the responsibility should run all the way up the chain of command, and subjecting to such immense stresses young people, mostly, whose willigness to serve has been cynically and criminally betrayed by "leaders" who have inserted them into a war of aggression become a quagmire, will as night follows day result in additional atrocities.

    And great suffering and psychological and possibly physical harm to the "non-atrocity-committing" troops, the great majority of course, who should be brought home.

    Time to send the Bush twins.  

    "At the top of the hole sit the privileged few, making mock of the vermin in the lower zoo, turning beauty into greed and filth." (Sondheim, SWEENEY TODD)

    by Skin Pale Eye Odd on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 07:33:09 PM PDT

  •  The media? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    milken

    Call the media.

    The media?!!

    You mean the same media that salivated until they needed buckets at the prospect of war and all of that precious ad revenue it would generate.  The media that had war slogans long before any shot was fired?  The media that had their little war music long before the proverbial boots hit the ground?  The media that love being on their knees in front of Jorj and receiving whatever bodily fluids he deigns to excrete upon them?  The ones who never ever mention Bushies own desertion from his post and yet dwelt interminably on Bill Clinton's every zit?  THAT media?

    No, I wouldn't expect a lot of sympathy there unless you can somehow convince them that your story will sell ad revenue.  Hey if you aren't a missing white woman or a celebrity baby then you don't exist in Mediaworld.  I wouldn't look to the media for any help.

    Here in the mouth of madness one thing is terribly clear...madness does not floss

    by Thameron on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 08:21:00 PM PDT

  •  Time to have a chat with the local (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slothlax, worried dem

    chickenhawks, the ones with all the magnetic stickers, gaudy, oversized flags, and unparalleled ability to talk trash and invent reasons why they should be the last to serve. Provide them the co-ordinates of the nearest army recruitment center, and encourage 'em to shape up and ship out, or, to call for an end to the occupation.

    •  Have you been to Baghdad lately? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slothlax, worried dem

      I am in Iraq and I arrived the same time as the 172nd.  I would have to say this sucks.  They did the same thing to 3rd ID in 2003 (when I was here the first time).  It sucked then too.  If they are doing it, it is for a good reason.  In case you have not read the news recently Baghdad has exploded.  Insurgents and Militias are on an all out assault on the city.  They know we are rotating troops and the timeing is bad for us.  This was unexpected and could not be anticipated.  We need more troops NOW... not in the 60 days it would take to get them (and their equipment) here from the states.

      While I understand the feelings of the families back home, I also understand what it is like to make unpleasant decisions because the mission needs to be done.  Because unlike back home where being late or not quite having enough people means inconvience or lost $... here it means lost lives.

      The only thing worse than keeping the 172nd here would be to stretch the soldiers fighting for Baghdad too thin to be effective.

      P.S.  I'm not on the GOP payroll.  I am on the Government payroll.... meaning I serve and do my job to the best of my ability, no matter which party is in office.

      "You can prevent defeat through defense, but to prevail requires offense" -Sun Tzu

      by Captain Infidel on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 10:17:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That isn't the point (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        worried dem, Captain Infidel

        The chickenhawks who say they support the mission and are able to serve should be stepping up and doing their part.  Honestly, a lot of Kossacks are of the right age and should be joining as well.  Hearing about soldiers getting deployed three, four times or being brought out of the IRR three months before their time is up should inspire those who "support the troops" to actually support them by signing up and making sure at least one soldier who has done his job can stay home for an extra rotation.

        -5.88, -4.82 "He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he sends them wandering through a trackless waste." Job 12:24

        by slothlax on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 02:38:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree with you on that one. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slothlax, worried dem

          Honestly, a lot of Kossacks are of the right age and should be joining as well.

          I don't see that happening anytime soon.  The more I read this site the more I question my support for the Democratic Party.  There is a lot of military hating going on here at Daily Kos.  There is a big difference between supporting the troops and 'saying' you support the troops.  Murtha is a perfect example.  They can't seem to wrap their heads around the fact that we serve the elected leadership of this country.  We don't make decisions on where/when to fight a war.  When we are told, we go.  We don't have the option NOT to go.  We don't have to love the war or like killing people... but we have to support our fellow soldiers, our unit, our Army and our country when they call.  You don't like it elect someone else... but don't bash us for doing our jobs.

          Look at the politics at play here in Iraq.  I just got some dumbass briefing on escalation of force telling me how to act as a car speeds toward me and won't stop.  The timeline they had (nice, nifty powerpoint BTW) was totally unrealistic and required way too many steps in way too little time.  Things like that get people killed.  Why are they doing it?  CYA due to political pressure from the left.  It was one of those "in a perfect world" dream situations that NEVER happen here.  They tell you because it sounds good.  Unfortunatly some private is going to follow it and get themselves and others killed.  If the deomocrats (and the media) really supported the troops, rather than waiting in the wings to pounce on every mistake we make for political gain, we might be able to get things done around here instead of spinning our wheels.  When pictures from Abu Gharib are frontpage news for 3 months and no one even mentions PFC Kristian Menchaca and PFC Thomas Tucker names in the news 10 days after they are captured and mutilated, I think there is a problem.

          "You can prevent defeat through defense, but to prevail requires offense" -Sun Tzu

          by Captain Infidel on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 03:03:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  DKos is not the Democratic Party (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            worried dem, Captain Infidel

            Please don't stop supporting the party because you don't like the feel of this particular community.

            As to the rest, we get escalation of force briefings everyday and the timeline is rather long and tedious, but it is also flexible.  Bottom line, as stressed by the commanders, you do what you feel is necessary to protect yourself and fellow soldiers.  Time permitting you go through all the motions and use the least amount of force or provocation necessary, but there will always be a step left out somewhere along the way.

            The AbuG thing was over the top, the abuse that was going on was not worth the attention it recieved.  The problem now is that the Iraqi authorities release too many insurgents from AbuG after a few months and they start all over again with better contacts and training.  Kinda like scene in Blow when Jonny Deep gets his masters in cocaine dealing.

            I do think our restraint helps us.  Because we are professional in our jobs the Iraqis in my AO respect us and think more highly of us than the IA (who start randomly shooting their AKs after IEDs and small arms attacks, usually after the threat has passed).  We don't loot, steal, destroy without compensation, physically harm people, or occupy people's houses because of the left.  It does make for some silly rules, but we know how to get around them and what the real lines are that are not to be crossed.

            As far as using soldiers for political gain, that's par for the course.  Bush does it constantly and I don't really mind so much.  Some on the left piss me off with their "concern" for the troops followed by condemning their actions, always by blaming the leadership.  But their indictments of the leadership are dead on, I think.  Someone higher than a junior NCO knew what was going on at Abu G and didn't stop it.  But the only people punished were low ranking Guardsmen.  Again, overblown response, but the people there knew what they were doing was wrong.

            -5.88, -4.82 "He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he sends them wandering through a trackless waste." Job 12:24

            by slothlax on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 03:45:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Clarification (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              slothlax, worried dem

              I do think our restraint helps us.  Because we are professional in our jobs the Iraqis in my AO respect us and think more highly of us than the IA (who start randomly shooting their AKs after IEDs and small arms attacks, usually after the threat has passed).  We don't loot, steal, destroy without compensation, physically harm people, or occupy people's houses because of the left.  It does make for some silly rules, but we know how to get around them and what the real lines are that are not to be crossed.

              I was not advocating any of the above.  My biggest issue is the 'condemnation' comes from people who have never been here and never had to make life or death decisions under pressure in their entire lifetime that we expect 18y.o. privates to make 1 yr out of highschool.
              The shooting of that Italian reporter is a perfect example.  I could go on, but you get my point.  The pressure to be "perfect" and never make a mistake should not be there.  Why is it there?  Because EVERY mistake made by the soldiers is immediatly trumped up to condem Bush/Cheney/Rumsfield (who all just report to Karl Rove anyway) like it was just as heinous as those assholes from the 502nd who raped and killed that woman.  The right is just as guilty of playing politics... which is why I have little trust for any professional politician in either party.  (I'm all for congressional term limits.)  But when I hear, "I support the troops" from the left, I feel like someone is pissing on me and telling me it's raining.

              "You can prevent defeat through defense, but to prevail requires offense" -Sun Tzu

              by Captain Infidel on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 04:05:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I love that phrase (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                worried dem, Captain Infidel

                I feel like someone is pissing on me and telling me it's raining

                Anyway, I didn't mean to imply you support those sorts of actions.  What I am saying is that the scrutiny of the left helps soldiers toe the line of decency in terrible and difficult situations.  You are correct, the left can be overzealous trying to find fault with military behavior (I don't blame the media, that's what they do in all situations.  Just watch the local news and see what the most prominent stories are:  stabbings, shootings, fires, car accidents, weather disasters, ect).  But the right's tendancy to look the other way encourages those who want to rape murder and pillage and would let things like the recent atrocity you mentioned be swept under the rug.

                -5.88, -4.82 "He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he sends them wandering through a trackless waste." Job 12:24

                by slothlax on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 04:15:17 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Baghdad RECENTLY? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        worried dem

        Baghdad has been exploding for the past 6 months.  The only thing that happened "recently" is that Maliki came here and said he needed more support.  

        Part of the questioning of Bush's attitude of this war is how for the past six months, the Republican party have been saying that they could drawdown troops by the fall, as "Iraqi troops stand up."  The question is, what the hell is going on with the Iraqi troops?  They tell us they are trained and ready to go, but they're obviously not.  It seems the more we put them in places and expect them to stand up (*cough*Baghdad*cough*) the more violence erupts there.  Are they part of the problem, or the solution?????

        Now, your own military generals are questioning this move into Baghdad....they say that drawing down troops from other areas that are secure to send them to Baghdad will only increase the violence around the country.  They fear that all the work that has been done of the past 3 years to secure the vast regions of Iraq will be in vain.

        When the military is questioning the actions of your commander, there is a problem.  That problem is that there is NO PLAN!  That's what pisses me off about this extension.....Did Gen. Casey and Rumsfeld JUST REALIZE that this Stryker Brigade was about to leave???  Why the hell didn't they send them to help quell Baghdad six months ago, and get another Brigade in to take over in Mosul, which has been "relatively" (and I say this loosely) secure for some time???

        They've needed Strykers in Baghdad since this fucking war began.  If your going to send guys in, send enough to get the fuckin' job done....or don't send them at all.  They didn't do that, and that's why Iraq is in worse shape today (as far as attacks and civil war eruption) than it was 3 years ago.

        It's not the military's fault...you've completed your missions and completed them well.  It's the people planning the missions....they're not handling this war strategically....instead of taking control with a plan, we are fighting a war as a REACTIVE force.  When they attack Fallujah, we go to Fallujah.  When they attack Mosul, we go to Mosul.  When they destroy Baghdad for 2 years, we finally decide it's time to send more guys to Baghdad.  When are we planning to be one step AHEAD of the enemy??

        Go in with full force, or walk away.  Because going in half-assed, without enough men or proper equipment with a prayer and a plan to react to the enemy is just enabling their civil war and we're going to be nothing more than the collateral damage of it.

        I'm not one of those who say it's time to get out....I wholeheartedly believe it's long past time to go in with OVERWHELMING force, kick ass, throw down the gauntlet, and then get the hell out.  If they had done this in the beginning, this war would be over.  But it seems to me that rather drag it out, after all, such means more $$ for defense contractors...all that equipment needs to be replaced.....and you soldiers are paying for it with YOUR BLOOD.

        Their plan isn't about Iraq, it's about money for their pals.  They don't give a shit about the military, or they'd have gone in with the kind of force that you needed.  War is good for the economy...especially when the people that got them elected make tanks and planes and weapons!

        "Reality proper has a way of insisting itself upon you." ~Al Gore

        by Troubled on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 08:02:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My opiion. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          worried dem

          Baghdad has been getting worse in the last few weeks.  Read starts and stripes 22 July.. front page headline "Militants believed readying for all-out attack on Baghdad" "US General: Insurgents see battle for capital as 'must win'".  That is what I was talking about.  I never meant to insinuate that Baghdad was a happy town where children frollicked in lollipop fields and chocolate streams.  It is in my top 3 places in the world to never get lost in.

          Was this planning flawed... YES, YES, YES.  Did Rumsfield listen to his military experts (including 30yr veteran GEN Shinseki who said we would need more troops and was fired soon after) and did he listen to the Ex Pat Iraqi counsel put together by the state department on how to manage a post invasion iraq... NO! and NO!  Arrogance.. YES.  Groupthink... probably!  

          I think this is more about them being idealistic, ethnocentric and niave than about making money.  I believe that they thought they were doing the right thing.  I also think they were wrong, but that is just my opinion.

          "You can prevent defeat through defense, but to prevail requires offense" -Sun Tzu

          by Captain Infidel on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 08:24:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Information (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Captain Infidel

            Maybe the Pentagon should read more than just The Stars and Stripes....because a lot of us have seen this coming for a long time...and this is just from one major newspaper:

            USA Today, April 4, 2006:
            Civilians take up arms amid Iraqi violence
            It's often difficult to tell who is doing the killing. On Thursday, six Iraqis were found dead in a car in Baghdad, according to the U.S. military. All were blindfolded with their hands bound. On Friday, U.S. and Iraqi forces found the bodies of 13 executed Iraqis in western Baghdad, according to a U.S. military statement. The bodies were spread along a road.

            USA Today, March 9, 2006:
            24 bodies found in Baghdad as bloodshed persists
            Iraq was racked by violence on Mar 8, 2006 as 24 blindfolded and bound bodies were found strangled or shot in three Baghdad locations, Iraqi police and US military officials said.

            USA Today, February 24, 2006:
            From Iraq shrine's rubble, civil war threat emerges
            The violence highlights the most serious danger that has been lurking, with too little U.S. attention: sectarian divisions in Iraq's armed forces. The [Bush] administration's drumbeat has been that U.S. forces will stand down as Iraqi forces stand up. But the forces have largely divided along religious lines -- and are helping fan the flames of civil war.

            It's getting worse, yes, but for the past six months, not just the past few weeks.

            I cand completely respect your opinion that it's not about the money, but instead about "being idealistic, ethnocentric and niave"....but is that any better?

            How can you say that criticizing the administration's actions in this war is not supporting our troops, when by your own opinion, they are idealistic, ethnocentric and naive and their decisions that DIRECTLY AFFECT our military are basic on such qualities?  Is that supporting our troops?  Not listening to generals?  Ignoring sound advice from knowledgable scholars?  

            This administration isn't supporting our troops, they're exploiting our troops.  My diary doesn't ask "why does he have to fight"..it asks where the hell is the rest of the military?  Why are decisions being made in such a half-assed manner?  How can this kind of last-minute extension be good for the morale of these men, and the rest of the military in general?  How can they expect the families to continue to support the war (the war meaning administration decisions...the troops are not the same as that) when they're slapped in the face like this, and things keep getting increasingly worse over there.  

            We keep hearing that the media is at fault, because they only report the "bad things" happening over there.  They don't report the good stuff...the health care facilities being built, the schools being built....that things are going really well in Iraq.  

            If things are going so "well" as they want us to believe, then what is the need for the extension?

            I'm tired of being lied to by my President, when he has placed a dear member of my family, and more importantly, our military as a whole (who has nothing but my love and respect) in a hapless situation such as this, while ignoring the advice of seasoned commanders & generals.  More troops??  Oh, we can't do that....my approval ratings will plummet....just extend some troops, so we can call it a "temporary" increase...they're professionals...they'll get over it!!  You tell me who he cares more about!  Leave??  We can't do that...Iraq will fall into chaos....add more troops...can't do that, makes me look bad...we'll just stay the course....and get nowhere!

            The dems may be no better, but something has to change...this administration does not know how to fight this war.

            "Reality proper has a way of insisting itself upon you." ~Al Gore

            by Troubled on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 09:16:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  deployment length (0+ / 0-)

              How can you say that criticizing the administration's actions in this war is not supporting our troops

              What I mean is that by exploiting mistakes made by the military in the fog of war for political purposes is not supporting the troops.  I trust that your heart is in the right place.  You may be critizing to help us... but a majority of the far left cares more about politics than soldiers.  If they can use us to bash Bush, they will.

              I cand completely respect your opinion that it's not about the money, but instead about "being idealistic, ethnocentric and niave"....but is that any better?

              Yes I think it is.  It's like comparing someone who wrecks his car driving too fast on a slipery road to someone who is smashed and gets behind the wheel then wrecks his car.  The first is reckless... the second is criminal.  They are both wrong, just one is more wrong than the other.

              where the hell is the rest of the military?

              I can feel your frustration.  There is a brigade in the 101st that was supposed to be headed home with my unit this week after being deployed for 9 months.  Why were they going home early, because they leave for a 1 year deployment to Afghanistan 8 months after they get home.  I wonder if they are staying too?  It takes months to deploy a unit and their equipment overseas (especially heavy infantry/armor).  So, first you eliminate all units IN Iraq or Afghanistan and all those who just returned home.  Then subtract all the units who are scheduled to replace the units in theater next rotation.  You will find not many left.  Then add into training cycles, equipment readiness... there are very few rapid deployment units in the Army and they are usually small, light infantry.   We could also consider the Marines... all of which have been at least 2 times sometimes 3.

              How can this kind of last-minute extension be good for the morale of these men, and the rest of the military in general?

              It's not.  The generals know that.  They can't spin this.  If they asked for this I believe they needed it and had no other choice.  If I have to stay I will. I will not like it, but if other soldiers need us, I'm there.  Just like I know they would be for me.  That is more than I can say for the professional poliicians of both parties.

              "You can prevent defeat through defense, but to prevail requires offense" -Sun Tzu

              by Captain Infidel on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 10:59:10 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Sorry (0+ / 0-)

              The stars and stripes is the only newspaper we get here in Iraq (at least here... and it is usaully 5-10 days old).  

              Again, Baghdad has ALWAYS been dangerous and violent.  I would never dispute that.  The article says intelligence says it is about to get worse in the immediate future because the insurgents know they can't win everywhere and are concentrating all of their efforts on the Baghdad (where 20% of the population lives.  It is also the transportation hub and poltical/economic epicenter of the new government.)

              Gen Caldwell said insurgents were streaming into the capital for "an all-out assault against the Baghdad area."

              If it was bad before... I don't want to think where it is going.

              Caldwell also said "Whoever wins the Baghdad area, whoever is able to bring peace and securty to that area, is going to set the conditions to stabilize this country."

              I hope he is right...

              "You can prevent defeat through defense, but to prevail requires offense" -Sun Tzu

              by Captain Infidel on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 12:31:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  the outrage is here and so are you and so are we (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    worried dem

    We are calling.  We are writing.  We are trying to get the message out.  Personal testimony like yours is critically important.

    The sheer cruelty of doing this to people who were that close to coming home is the human interest story that might get covered if you get it to the right person.  If you have a local or regional newspaper, send a link of this diary to the copy editor that covers community news, or the TV station that does local color interviews.  Let them talk to some of the families who don't know what address the gear should go mailed back to.  Let them interview the children who thought daddy was coming home in time for their birthday, or first day of school.  Let them interview the women who got pregnant on the two weeks' leave who now know their husbands won't be home for the birth of the baby.  It can be pitched as a story about the sacrifices people make on the home front, which is true.  But even if none of the family members says anything even remotely critical about the war, the piece will still be received by the people who watch it with at least some sense of outrage and "why exactly are we putting ourselves through this?"

    As for Congress, they are going on five week recess soon.  But this is a good thing, since all the House members will be campaigning and more easily reachable at their local legislative offices and local campaign offices by angry constituents who could not afford to travel to Washington to confront them.  Senators running for re-election are similarly vulnerable.

    Maybe one of the national news outlets/magazines will pick up the human interest angle of this story.  Everyone please send a link to this diary to any media people who might get involved.

    Thanks again, Troubled, for asking the right questions and holding on to your passion.  Nice first diary.  We're in this together.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D. IMPEACH!

    by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 10:19:10 PM PDT

  •  Great diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slothlax

    Thanks.

    As for making sense of it all, I don't think it's possible.  This is a senseless war, which of course all wars are, but this one is senseless even in comparison to other wars.  The deaths of our heroic soldiers mean nothing.  Only those few who profit monetarily from this war will see any benefit.  

    It's so bad now I can't even follow the war so much.  A cult of idiots have hijacked our nation and are doing what idiots do:  fucking everything up.  Americans seem to support them, enough at least for them to remain in power.  It all is totally senseless.  Nothing in our modern culture prepares us to deal with such utter senselessness.  

    "I'm no booster of the Horse - I got off that pony a long time ago." ~ Stephen Colbert

    by Subterranean on Fri Jul 28, 2006 at 10:30:59 PM PDT

  •  I am so sorry for you and your son. (0+ / 0-)

    Normally, when one volunteers, there is no reasonable expectation that one will be sent off on an indefinite insane, immoral war for no discernible reason, based on lies by a madman.  If that happens, I assert that reason and logic would dictate that the contract should be null and void.

    Therefore, at least morally (legality aside for the moment) he shouldn't have to continue, as there is now just a sham contract and he is morally free to walk away.

    I'm not saying he should desert his comrades, but I just can't seem to find duty and honor in serving a small cadre of lying sociopaths in Washington.

  •  4 more months (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    worried dem, Captain Infidel

    Ideally combat rotations should be about 6-7 months.  Unfortunately, it doesn't seem the Army has the capability to make that happen right now.  Captain Infidel is right when he says Baghdad needs more troops.  That is an understatement.  In terms of his comment about piss and the rain I think I get that feeling from both sides.  People talk about supporting the troops, and its all just happy pappy smack to make themselves feel better while soldiers sit over here and boil.  Baghdad is a charming big city now.  Gunfire, VBIEDs, and bombs exploding in the night have a musical sound to my ear.  If only I could live here every year.  What a charming life I would lead while my wife sat home and raised my son all alone.  

    •  good comment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      worried dem

      I have read they are trying to drop it to 9 months, but have no evidence to back that up.  6 months is easy and is amost a waste (once you get set up, RIP'd and comfortable with your AO and the locals you have to deal with your almost halfway home.  I just don't think 6 is doable.  9 could be done when the total number of troops decreases (Inshalla).

      Your totally right about placing the blame on both sides of the political isle.  I said earlier that NEITHER side supports the troops unless it is politically expedient.  I just think the far left has more to gain politically by bashing the troops and undermining public support.  If the situations were reversed the far right would do the same thing.  Which is why I wish we had a viable third party sometimes.

      "You can prevent defeat through defense, but to prevail requires offense" -Sun Tzu

      by Captain Infidel on Sat Jul 29, 2006 at 08:12:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  BRINGHOME172nd.ORG (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubled

    Thank you so much for this diary.  I needed to wait a few days before I could post a Comment in reply.

    A new website gives a voice to those affected by 172nd Brigade extension in Iraq
    http://www.bringhome172nd.org

    I was not aware of your Diary when I designed, less than 3 days ago, the web site http://www.BringHome172nd.ORG .

    I encourage you to have a look at the site.  The response has been tremendous.  Your readers are probably aware of the remarkable sense of adaptation of our armed forces and their families.  Even through their expressions of frustration at the BringHome172nd.org site, this 'chin-up' resiliency is made clear.

    Nonetheless, I think every American -- especially those like me, a previously inactive 'Armchair' newswatcher -- had better pay attention to what these soldiers and their families are saying here.  We are asking these soldiers to take up arms and defend our freedoms.  It is our citizen duty to make sure they are treated with respect and fairness.  The decisions that were made during the previous week regarding the 172nd Brigade have sent chills down my spine.

    6 days ago Secretary Rumsfeld announced an extension of deployment for the 172nd Brigade ('Stryker') in Iraq.  These soldiers were just a few days away from coming home after a year of front line service when they learned that they will remain in Iraq for at least 4 more months.

    Some of the brigade had even already flown back to their home base in Alaska.  Others were in planes flying out of Kuwait; those planes turned around and disembarking men and women discovered that they had instead landed in Iraq again!  Some of the members who made it to Alaska just a few days ago are today returning to Baghdad to fight with their brothers.

    Thank you again.

    •  Thank you (0+ / 0-)

      Thank you for this website, and for your support of our guys out there.  They really need it right now!

      Still waiting for an address...still can't believe this has happened!!

      "Reality proper has a way of insisting itself upon you." ~Al Gore

      by Troubled on Tue Aug 01, 2006 at 09:19:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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