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"No Yellow Ribbons Here"

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We went to war with Saddam. He had mocked 17 UN resolutions. The goverment thought he had WMD, John Kerry on tape said Saddam had WMD. Turns out maybe he didn't.


The problem is, say we did nothing, the UN would be on like resolution 25 by now. And lets say an Atomic bomb/Anthrax/something happened on American soil and is linked back to Iraq. How many people now screaming for GW's blood because we didnt find any WMD's would be screaming for his blood for ignoring all the signs that he had WMD and was willing to work with terrorists?


Its a no win situation. GW chose action, he could just as well have chosen inaction. Inaction could have resulted in another terrorist attack on American soil, or perhaps nothing. We will never know. Back when Hitler was running roughshod over parts of Europe, Chamberlain took the apeasement route, and WWII happened. If Chamberlain would not have backed down, how different would the world be? Would the war have been shorter because Germany would not have had the stockpiles of supplies? Would the atomic bomb had been developed and used as it was? We don't know because what happned happned and anything else is speculation.


No war is just, because in any war innocent poeple will die. But, the one thing we can do is tell the men and women who put their lives on the line for us is that Damn it, we are proud and thankful and indebted to you all the days we live. If anyone is seen monkeying with whatever I adorn my car with, bought from where-ever I want, they had better know I wont be taking their vandalism as an expression of first amendment rights

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Amen, OGE! Hindsight is 20/20. Foresight on the other hand...


Still Proud to be an American and even prouder to support our guys and gals serving!!



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Ok time for me to chime in!


These are MY opinions. If you agree great, if you don't that's great too. Just don't start a "war" with my words.


Background in case you didn't know: I served 20 years in the military (Air Force) and pretty much been there and done that.


We are doing great things in Iraq. Some of you may not like us over there but we are there. I've spoken to several young soldiers returning and they give you completetly different story then our bias left sided media tells you. As one 20 year old soldier told me, "We are no longer fighting a war with Iraq, we are fighting a war in Iraq. Against people who have no reguard for freedom, or other people's rights." This kid told me about how the Americans are helping out the Iraqis kind of brought a tear to ole Sarge's eyes.


We will be out of Iraq once the Iraqis can defend themselves, and this takes time. The military has a job to do and they are doing an awesome job. ok enough of that.


As for the yellow ribbons, Display them if you want, don't if you want. Just leave people's private property alone.


God bless America, God bless our President, and God bless you.


Yours in Service


Cary P

MSgt, USAF (Ret)





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As a proud Army wife, I don't discuss politics with anyone but my husband, but I did want to share this:

Last year, about mid-deployment to Afghanistan, my Tiger Cub and I had this conversation: "Every day when I come home from school I think about Daddy." "Really, Connor, why is that?" "Because I see his bow."

Needless to say, my heart just swelled, as did the tears in my eyes (could've also been the pregnancy hormones!) I was so proud of both son and Daddy.

Isn't it funny how something as simple as a yellow bow can mean so much?

Uncle Sam definitely keeps our division busy and they are gearing up to head out again. Please keep our troops and their precious families in you prayers. And while you're at it, would you mind asking for some great Cub Scout leadership to take their places!!

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I think at this point we all agree on the essence of the thread, which is, we need to be sure that we support the troops and that they know it, regardless of what we think about the war itself.


Regards an earlier post, diplomacy does not equal inaction. Had diplomacy pretty much failed at this point? Yes, but mostly because the U.S. has lost the critical skills needed to have diplomacy work. In the past 20 years, we've chosen to let the military do our diplomacy for us. They try their best, but it's really not their job. Bless'em for the work they do for all of us.


The failure I see has nothing to do with the military, but with the President. He needlessly placed the troops at risk by not listening to his military leaders. We should remember that when the casualty figures come out each week, and be thankful everytime some of our boys make it home.

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Sorry, PS, but you will need verifiable sources for that.


A few unit commanders after the fact said they wanted more troops, but the top brass who are the professionals had everything they asked for prior to the military action. Dumping such drivel on the President is uninformed at best and deliberately misleading at worst. I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and guess that you read some op-ed piece rather than the words of the actual commanders.


The UN diplomacy was not working because many of the UN members were in financial cahoots with Saddam. It had nothing to do with US policy at all. As for WMDs, some reports have Saddam himself believing he had them, others say Saddam says he made them up to scare off Iran. Either way, we KNOW that he used them in the past he was unable or unwilling (as per UN resolutions) to produce evidence of his known WMDs being destroyed.


People like Mr. Naughton are a classic example of what is wrong in this country. People so wrapped up in ideology that they cannot see success when it stares them in the face.

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"A few unit commanders after the fact said they wanted more troops, but the top brass who are the professionals had everything they asked for prior to the military action. "


Sorry Torveaux, with all due respect, you'll need verifiable sources to support that statement as well. I recall a certain high ranking General being asked to resign shortly after testifying to Congress BEFORE the war that we would need several hundred thousand troops and likely be Iraq for several years. Other high ranking military leaders have expressed concerns regarding the level of planning and resources allocated for the war. Sorry I don't have time to search for quotes. There was clear dissagreement. in my mind, among military leadership as to what it would take to prosecute the war. Even the current administration has admitted they underestimated the strength of the current insurgency.


Is Iraq a success? Militarily you'd have to say yes, at least with respect to the initial invasion. As far as the occupation goes, it appears it's getting there. Yes our military is doing great things in Iraq and there seems to be some credence to the concept that the invasion and overthrow of Saddam is having an effect on other regimes in the area i.e. Lebanon, elections in Saudia Arabia. That's all good and hopefully Iraq will eventually have a peaceful democratice government and I'm happy for the people of Iraq.


But, it's not the reason we were told we should enter into a pre-emptive war. THERE WERE NO WMD! Period. I will provide documentation for that statement. Please read the following statements from the President's Iraq Survey Group (not a liberal op ed piece.)


"Key Findings from the Iraq Survey Group Final Report


Iraq Survey Group (ISG) discovered further evidence of the maturity and significance of the pre-1991 Iraqi Nuclear Program but found that Iraqs ability to reconstitute a nuclear weapons program progressively decayed after that date.


Saddam Husayn ended the nuclear program in 1991 following the Gulf war. ISG FOUND NO EVIDENCE TO SUGGEST CONCERTED EFFORTS TO RESTART THE PROGRAM.


Although Saddam clearly assigned a high value to the nuclear progress and talent that had been developed up to the 1991 war, the program ended and the intellectual capital decayed in the succeeding years.


While a small number of old, abandoned chemical munitions have been discovered, ISG judges that Iraq unilaterally destroyed its undeclared chemical weapons stockpile in 1991. THERE ARE NO CREDIBLE INDICATIONS THAT BAGHDAD RESUMED PRODUCTION OF CHEMICAL MUNITIONS THEREAFTER, a policy ISG attributes to Baghdads desire to see sanctions lifted, or rendered ineffectual, or its fear of force against it should WMD be discovered


IN PRACTICAL TERMS, WITH THE DESTRUCTION OF THE AL HAKAM FACILITY, IRAQ ABANDONED ITS AMBITION TO OBTAIN ADVANCED BW WEAPONS QUICKLY. ISG FOUND NO DIRECT EVIDENCE THAT IRAQ, AFTER 1996, HAD PLANS FOR A NEW BW PROGRAM or was conducting BW-specific work for military purposes. Indeed, from the mid-1990s, despite evidence of continuing interest in nuclear and chemical weapons, there appears to be a complete absence of discussion or even interest in BW at the Presidential level"


What else would it take to convince folks there were no WMD? There was no emminent threat to the US from Iraq. At best we were mis-lead, either deliberately or through incompetence, at worst we were lied to. I don't know which.


The question is under what circumstance are we as a nation willing to sacrifice sons, daughters, husbands, wives, fellow citizens? Because when we choose to go to war that's what we're asking folks to do. So far over 1,500.


So if there were no WMD, was freeing the Iraqi people worth it? If so, what's the next country to we want to liberate and how many American lives should be sacrificed for their freedom, and the country after that? Syria, North Korea? Is the purpose of our military and their lives to free the world from inhuman dictators or protect the American people?


I only agree with the author of the original article on one point and one point only. Our military deserves an apology. Other than that, I have no respect for the author's actions. Our military personnel are too good, too noble to be used they way they have been in Iraq. And I do thank them for doing what they do. Volunteering to defend us. Unfortunately we are now committed to keeping them in Iraq until that country can take care of itself. We can't just pick up and leave.



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Torveaux, sorry, I don't have time right now to go back and look up those sources, I am certain of 2 things. One, before the war started, the media was allowed to interview high ranking military leaders, and they clearly stated the need for troop levels far beyond those that were eventually deployed. Two, in the time since the war, every interview I've seen in regards to troop levels has been with the civilian defense leader, Sec. Rumsfeld, and he consistently has said that he has asked his generals if they have everything they need, and that they always reply "yes".


At this point, politics takes over. No general is going to publicly disagree with the Secretary. Just ain't gonna happen. And, for political reasons, I don't expect Sec. Rumsfeld to ever admit to error; the opposing party would have a field day. Unfortunately, the troops on the ground are the ones that bear the brunt of this political warfare. I don't consider this "drivel"; I consider it to be well-deserved criticism of an Administration not acting in the best interests of the citizens or the troops.


As far as the UN goes, while I'd question whether there were "many" that were in financial cahoots with Iraq, you are correct that at least some, and some in positions of political clout, who had a financial interest in seeing the diplomatic debate continue. I think that their motives were misguided, but on the other hand, I don't think that there was an imminent threat to the U.S., one that would lead us to have to take unilateral action. The fact that the vast majority of nations thought our actions were wrong should at least cause us to pause and think about that. Yes, the sanctions against Iraq were a complete failure as far as our aims were concerned; all we succeeded in doing was killing off an entire generation of Iraqi children (credible sources put the number at something like 500,000 deaths directly attrituable to the sactions over a 10 year period). That doesn't mean diplomacy failed; it means that that attempt had failed. We've gotten to the point over the past 20 years or so that we have fallen back to using the military as our primary method of diplomacy. Real diplomatic skills seem to have eroded just the same as our once potent intelligence skills. When your only tool is a hammer, every problem starts to look like a nail.


I'm not sure what "success" you're referring to. The initial invasion went fairly well, but it sure seems like inadequate planning for everything after that is causing us to suffer losses that could have been prevented. Wow, the Iraqi's being forced out of power are fighting back; who would woulda thunk they'd do that???


I think we'll all agree, tho, that the whole idea of going around and ripping down the yellow ribbons is just insanely stupid. You can support the troops without supporting the war.



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SecDef resently stated that the primary reason for the larger than expected insurgancy is that the 4th ID was unable to enter Iraq from the norht, through Turkey. Basically this meant that we were short one division and didn't have a credible second front. This allowed some of those that could have been taken out in the initial invasion to fade away into the northern areas and then reappear after the initial invasion.


However, there really wasn't any way to fix this problem since no matter how many troops we had sent in it still would have taken them a considerable amount of time to reach northern areas. While a large scale airborn attack would have been possible, such a thing hasn't been done since what, Market Garden in WWII? There would have been considerable risk involved in that.




As for how the war plan developed there are some really interesting details available on that now. Basically it came down to the original plan requiring a force larger than what was in any way practical. (perhaps as many as 500,000 in the ground force, plus an additional 250,000 in other roles) The Army had based this plan on worste case scenarios that included everything from insurgency to WMD attacks. The Army also knew if it asked for more than it actually needed it was likely to get what was required. After all, politics is all about compromise, and the Army plays politics (at the top levels) just like the rest of the government. The Army was also wanting a chance for a big show after it had more or less been left out of the Afgan invasion (a mission many in the Army thought could not be done, hence why the CIA's plan was used instead). So Rummy then overreacted to the Army's inflated numbers and started looking at alternative ideas being produced by some of the Army's more creative thinkers, and the ideas being put forward by the other services. In the end some maverick colonel made a proposal that suggested a much smaller force could do the job. Rummsfeld then worked with Franks at CentCom to turn that into an actual working plan. It was a plan to remove Saddam from power, it was not a plan to occupy and rebuild Iraq. Somehow DOD decided that its mission was to remove Saddam and the rest was someone elses problem.


As for the general who stated it would take several hundred thousand troops, that was the Army Chief of Staff at a Congressional hearing. The Chief of Staff was not in fact directly involved in planning the actual operation, rather he based that on the old CentCom plan that suggested half a million plus. He later paired down the estimate to about 250,000. Interestingly this same Army Chief of Staff was responsible for a good deal of the Stryker Brigade concept, you know - the new light, easily deployed, wheel based units that are supposed to allow more to be done with a smaller force... or at least that is how the Army sold the idea...


The Army Chief of Staff was already set to end his term in that post when he made those comments. Such positions are only given for a set period of time. The DOD took the further step of naming his replacement soon there after. He went on and served the remainder of his term and then retired, as understand it. He was not forced to resign or any such thing.


So, the original off the shelf plan called for about 500,000 ground troops.


Some colonel in some planning capicity proposed it could be done with about 100,000.


The Army Chief of Staff was willing to concede it could probably be done with 250,000-300,000.


The secretary of defense already thouth the Army was way to conservative and pessamistic after it basically said it would take hundreds of thousands of troops and years to win in Afganistan and the CIA came up with a plan that only used a few thousand troops and a couple of months to win the war.


So we ended up sending something like 150,000.




It all comes down to politics.


And politics is all wrapped up in money.


Everyone wanted to make certain their part of the budget was nice and safe. To do that they had to play politics to make certain things happened in a way favorable to their interests.


Everyone, including the Army brass and the secretary of defense, were playing their little political games that they have been playing all along, and this time it finally blew up in someones face. It should also be noted the other services were also in on this game. The Air Force had one set of ideas, the Navy another. The rivalry between the services is not dead, it just sometimes gets put on hold while they go blow something up.


Of coarse the problem wasn't limited to DOD. No, the CIA and the State Department got in on the action. Everyone wanted a piece of the action and wanted it done their way. After all, that is how you justify your budgets and such in Washington.


Now, in most cases the Sate Department is so hopelessly lost it is sickening. However, it turns out they had some good information and ideas about Iraq. Of coarse no one at DOD trusts State to do anything right, and for good reason because Foggy Bottom has dropped the ball one too many times in the past. Yet this time state had a point but no one listened. Though the entire thing may have been avoidable if the department of state would actually produce some results, but if we look at its record over the past decade or more it is pretty bleak actually.


(Note also that Powell and Cheney had some sort of running disagreement going all the way back before the first Gulf War [Powell was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and Cheney was Secretary of Defense]. The VP and SecDef seem to usually be on the same page, so I am sure this didn't help any.)


In any case, the military mission of removing Saddam was quite easily accomplished with the force that was used. It just turned out that their were new missions to be done after that, and for those missions more troops may have been needed.


I should also note that General Franks, the commander in chief of US Central Command, who was responsible for both Iraq and Afganistan, thought the plan was a good one and that it would work. Since it was his command that was responsible for planning the campaign and carrying it out, I think his opinion has some weight. Now after the fact he has come out and said that some of the information and intelligence was wrong, and that some of the assumptions made were wrong, but tha given what was thought before the war it was the right plan. Given what we know now, it was not the best plan.




Who do I blame for the mistakes of Iraq?




Both parties and both chambers.


Congress has control over major policy decisions, it makes the laws, it levvies taxes, it appropriates money (decides who gets what pet project in the budget), and it holds the war powers in the USA.


If it did its job most of the rest of these problems wouldn't have happened. But if they actually did their job someone might hold them accountable for mistakes that are made. So instead the pass the buck to the president, the courts, and departments, anyone who will take it. Since those other members of the goverment are just as power hungry as the Congress, they are more than happy to take the powered ceded to them. And if the Congress ever gives away too many powers and decides it needs more, well it can always take them from the states or the people, and the courts and the executive are only too happy to help them.


So begins the decline and fall of the Republic. (Actually it began decades ago, but small detail.)


Yet there is still hope.


After all, we see what our men and women in uniform are willing to do, what they are willing to sacrifice all for this country. It is clear there is still much to be hopeful about. There is a bright dawn ahead, if only we are willing to have it.

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