Sunday, August 19, 2007

Daily Kos: Joe Klein says "READ THIS NOW!"

Daily Kos: Joe Klein says "READ THIS NOW!"

As responsible infantrymen and noncommissioned officers with the 82nd Airborne Division soon heading back home, we are skeptical of recent press coverage portraying the conflict as increasingly manageable and feel it has neglected the mounting civil, political and social unrest we see every day. (Obviously, these are our personal views and should not be seen as official within our chain of command.)...
In short, we operate in a bewildering context of determined enemies and questionable allies, one where the balance of forces on the ground remains entirely unclear. (In the course of writing this article, this fact became all too clear: one of us, Staff Sergeant Murphy, an Army Ranger and reconnaissance team leader, was shot in the head during a "time-sensitive target acquisition mission" on Aug. 12; he is expected to survive and is being flown to a military hospital in the United States.) While we have the will and the resources to fight in this context, we are effectively hamstrung because realities on the ground require measures we will always refuse — namely, the widespread use of lethal and brutal force....
Political reconciliation in Iraq will occur, but not at our insistence or in ways that meet our benchmarks. It will happen on Iraqi terms when the reality on the battlefield is congruent with that in the political sphere. There will be no magnanimous solutions that please every party the way we expect, and there will be winners and losers. The choice we have left is to decide which side we will take. Trying to please every party in the conflict — as we do now — will only ensure we are hated by all in the long run....
In the end, we need to recognize that our presence may have released Iraqis from the grip of a tyrant, but that it has also robbed them of their self-respect. They will soon realize that the best way to regain dignity is to call us what we are — an army of occupation — and force our withdrawal.

There are some important points that are brought up here, and some real concerns that should be addressed. If we are in Iraq to settle the civil war, it is not going to happen, we can't stop brothers from fighting and wanting to kill each other. If we are in Iraq to stop terrorists and prevent them from taking advantage of the chaos to recruit to their ranks, train and launch attacks against the west, we must have success. I always feel like I don't want to say much about this war because I am not on the ground and I don't see the reality of the fight. I am not a general, or in the chain of command that sees the statistics that show the progress or lack thereof in the war. There are people on both sides that have their opinions, and my opinion is that now is not the time to pull our troops out of Iraq. It is true that the Iraqis are going to be ready for political change when they are ready. I personally don't believe that Iraqis want their country to descend into chaos and become a base for terrorists, and that they are taking steps to prevent that. Iraqis deserve more of our patience and more of our trust than they have been given by some on the left. It is my believe we should give them more time.

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