Is it Okay to say Viet Nam Yet?

Iraq
The war in Iraq is now the longest declared war in the last century, having surpassed WW1, WW 2 and Korea.

I remember in the early days of the Iraq incursion how a progression of administration sycophants, military analysts and elected officials hit the air waves, denying any similarities to our only armed humiliation – Viet Nam. I’d like to say that I was prescient and suspected better, but no, I was right there foolishly nodding my head and saying darned right, Iraq’s totally different, they don’t have a jungle. They have a desert and it’s hard to hide in a desert. Instaed they hide in cities.

US Soldier

Unfortunately, I and a strong majority of the country were wrong. It’s of little consolation that I started changing my view over two years ago. It is apparrent that what we have now is worse than Viet Nam. The Viet Cong at least had the support of North Viet Nam regulars and were backed and supplied by China and Russia.

In Iraq, a small disassociated ragtag group of insurgents are holding the most powerful military in the world to a stalemate and time appears to be on their side. Do they have aircraft carriers and fighter planes, bombers, helicopters, satellite reconnaissance and tanks? They don’t have a Stealth bomber or fighter but they have stealth. They are fighting us to a standstill with small weapons (AK47s), RPG’s (rocket propelled grenades), IED’s (improvised explosive devices), suicide bombers and of course fear and terror. Much of the munitions which have been turned against us, were scavenged from Iraqi ammunition dumps that were left unsecurred
by our brilliant administration.

For those who still insist that Bush’s Iraqi adventure is nothing like Viet Nam, I have drawn up a list of similarities:

1] It’s a guerrilla war
2] The enemy looks just like the civilians
3] We’re trying to beef up an unpopular government. (actually, an unfulfilled government)
4] We are trying, with poor results, to train an indigenous army.
5] The insurgents are getting help from outside sources.
6] It is a war with a dubious purpose.
7] There appears to be no exit strategy.
8] The war has left us unpopular, worldwide.

The military commanders must feel frustrated. The stated reasons for the war did not pan out, no WMD, no ties to 9/11, no free democratic Irag as an example and yet we dare not leave, abandoning the Iraqis to the chaos which would ensue such a move. How impotent they must feel, since they have all this technology and firepower which can only be used sparingly. I remember a quote by whom I ‘m not sure, which is most appropriate, it goes something like this, “Those who fail to heed the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.”

Dead Soldiers

Iraq may not truly be another Viet Nam, it’s just a ‘quagmire.

September 26, 2007. Baghdad, cakewalk, Cheney, Civil War, George W. Bush, Iraq, liberators, politics, President, President Bush, Rumsfeld, Saudi Arabia, Shiite, Sunni, Syria, Terrorism, Vice Persideny. 2 comments.

The Iraq War – A forty Day Party

As a former Reagan Republican, I cannot help but be severely disappointed by the level of incompetence of the present administration. However, it appears there is still a good deal of support among so-called Bush loyalists, a fact that amazes me. Either they are ignoring the mountain of evidence of malfeasance that has been accruing or they pay no attention to the country’s current military and financial situation. Therefore, I will occasionally post a review of one of the many books that chronicle the run-up to and the prosecution of the Iraq War. These are not Left-wing books of anti-Bush propaganda but books written by thoughtful writers, whose only purpose is to present the facts. And to any that bother to read the facts, they are disturbing.

Here is the first review,

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COBRA II by Michael Gordon and General Bernard E. Trainor

The Bottom Line:
Cobra II provides a good account of the thinking and non-thinking that propelled us into this never-ending war.

While reading Cobra II – when I wasn’t simmering – I got the impression that the strongest military in the world was being controlled and misused by a modern day version of the Keystone Kops. Not that I’m surprised. I and two thirds of the country (God help the other third) knew something was amiss, but many of the things I suspected were laid out in glaring fashion in this interesting text.

It’s like President “What me worry?” was having his arm twisted by Vice President “Darth Vader” undersecretary Darth Maul (Wolfowitz) to throw a forty day party in Baghdad. That’s right the war that has outlasted both World War I and the Korean War and is fast approaching World War II (It has now surpassed it) was expected to be a thirty to fifty day party and then we all go home with smiles on our faces. Perhaps it would have, except for two things.

First, our Defense Secretary, decided he knew more than all his generals combined. He threw out ten years of military planning for the invasion of Iraq, and proceeded to badger his generals to keep reducing planned invasion troop levels to a number he liked. I guess the secretary is into numerology. The number the generals started with was 380,000. The number the S.O.D. accepted was 140,000 – just enough to get us into Baghdad but not enough to get home.

The second thing, which some knowledgeable people foresaw, but not the myopic administration, was that the party might get crashed by some unwanted guests. Who you ask? Why, a bunch of young hot heads driving Toyotas, some wearing towels over the faces, some carrying funny objects on their shoulders or weapons in their arms and all looking for trouble. The first fatality of the war was caused, not by an Iraqi soldier but, a group of these hot heads in a Toyota Pick-up.

Commanders on the ground noticed this effective, unforeseen adversary, utilizing hit and run guerilla tactics and wanted to confront them, but the bigwigs in Cent Com ordered them to bypass these future insurgents and head straight to Baghdad, do not pass Go. Apparently they felt that once Baghdad fell everything. would fall into place. What they got when they took Baghdad was widespread looting. The authors Michael Gordon and General Bernard Trainor go on to speculate that the fediyeen, which the army was ordered to ignore and bypass on the way to Baghdad, became the backbone for the strong insurgency we now face.

Conclusion

Liberal, Conservative, independent – Right wing, Left wing, it doesn’t matter, reading this book will upset you. The book is not a liberal rag. It does not have a political bias, unless you consider a bias toward incompetence political. It just lays out the facts, often in minute detail. That, in fact is one of the books weaknesses. Cobra II reads like a play by play description of the war to date from the rationale though the planning to the prosecution of the war, with it’s attendant mis-steps. The prosecution portion of the war takes up at least two thirds of the book and unless you are a war junkie and despite some interesting parts begins, after awhile, to all sound the same.

The parts of the book I found most interesting were the initial planning stages and those portions dealing with the dissension that developed between Rumsfeld and Franks and later the turmoil between Franks and the generals in the field. The authors also point out how many of the problems that developed in the initial occupation of Baghdad and the aftermath were anticipated by various sources with suggestions, but were discounted or ignored by the administration. In short, the administration didn’t want to hear anything that might disrupt their vision of a forty day party.

Unfortunately the book only takes us through the war itself and the stirrings of the nascent insurgency. Three years later we are seeing what almost everyone agrees is a low grade civil war, verging on civil war.

Author’s Note; This review was written over a year ago. I would say things are pretty much the same, wouldn’t you?

August 17, 2007. attack, Baghdad, Books, cakewalk, Cheney, Civil War, crime, dishonest, ethics, explosions, George W. Bush, Iraq, liberators, politics, President, President Bush, Psychiatry, relationship, Rumsfeld, satire, Saudi Arabia, Shiite, slam dunk, suicide, Sunni, Syria, Terrorism, Uncategorized, Vice Persideny, war. 2 comments.

Turning Victory into Defeat

If you haven’t lost confidence in our Pretender in Chief, then shame on you. You took your eye off the President, while he took his eye off the terrorists.

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Since the atrocity of 9/11, rightly or wrongly, a majority of Americans assumed that Republicans would be more effective than Democrats in the struggle against radical Islam and the attendant terrorist threat. This even though Democratic Presidents led us to victory in both World Wars.

As a Reagan Republican I wish it were so, but I, unlike so many other Republicans, no longer think so and the reason is because of the of the ineptitude of the leader of the party – the President, his hand picked Vice President and the Cabinet.

Republican lawmakers are complicit with the Bush administration in a dismal history of mis-adventure, misjudgments, misrepresentations, mischief, misbranding, misallocation, miscalculation, mismanagement, misplanning and of course, mistake after mistake.

And now the administration’s only bonafide success – the overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan – is beginning to unravel with the recent strong resurgence of the Taliban. Thanks to the distraction of Iraqi malfeasance, the Taliban, who actually sheltered Osama bin Laden, have had over three years to reconstitute itself.

If a football coach or a baseball manager were to have such a miserable record, they wouldn’t be surprised to be replaced but what do you do with a president.

Looking back, I don’t know how anyone could think the Bush policy of error can make us safer. Can Bush ruin our country? I wouldn’t bet against it.

Vote Republican at your own risk.

August 4, 2007. attack, Baghdad, cakewalk, Cheney, Civil War, George W. Bush, politics, President, President Bush, Rumsfeld, Saudi Arabia, Shiite, suicide, Sunni, Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Career Oppurtunities

CAREER OPPURTUNITIES

Career Oppurtunities 3

Help Wanted:

Urgent; young men needed immediately to fill recent vacancies. Opportunity for education and advancement based upon ability to lead while blindly following orders. Travel around the world, admiring sights of the civilization you are committed to destroy. Meet and live among interesting people whom you despise for their dissimilarity and may be forced to kill. Learn to work with other equally committed individuals to further honorable goals. Make your family proud by killing and maiming hundreds maybe thousands and if you die, be honored as a revered Martyr. Learn to despise mainstream Muslims for their weakness and timidity.

Career Oppurities 5

Benefits

Job security; for life or until killed.
Income; Living expenses plus little or no salary.
Health care; You’re on your own.
Life Insurance; as a martyr, you will go straight to Heaven, do not pass GO.
Education; In one of our vacation camps, you will learn how to make bombs, kill other humans silently, how to use the weapons of the West against them and become pious.
Advancement; likely as confederates become incapacitated
Fame; See your name in print or mentioned on the air.(If you’re alive)

Requirements

Must be Muslim (Arabs preferred).
Must be willing to relocate.
Must swear unquestioned fealty to your leader.
Must abandon your humanity, if you have it
Must be willing to tear down of destroy a millennium of human accomplishments.
Must never question the wisdom of your orders, even if it includes sacrificing your life.
Must embrace terrorism and chaos to further our nebulous agenda–the right to kill indiscriminately.
Must hate entrenched Muslim Heads of State and their infidel backers.
Must hate progress, especially of Western origin.
Must blame Western Civilization for the plight and stagnation of Islamic society.
Must hate all secular societies and proponents of such.
Must hate all pretentious non Islamic religions even if they worship the same God.
Must hate, Must hate, Must hate, Must hate, Must hate, Hate,
Hate, Hate, Hate, Hate, Hate, Hate, Hate, Hate, Hate, Hate.

Career Oppurtunities 6

Apply to Usama bin Laden c/o Al Qaeda, General Delivery Peshawar, Pakistan.

On a Lighter note:
Here’s a funny from one of my favorites, Rodney Dangerfield.

This girl I know calls me up and says, “Nobody’s home. C’mon over.” So I go over and… nobody is home. LMAO

August 2, 2007. attack, Baghdad, cakewalk, Civil War, dishonest, ethics, explosions, George W. Bush, Iraq, liberators, lies, politics, President Bush, satire, Shiite, slam dunk, suicide, Sunni, Syria, Terrorism, Vice Persideny, war. Leave a comment.

Whopper

George Whopper Bush,

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The forty-third President of the United States is George W. Bush. Many citizens think the middle initial stands for Walker after his maternal Grandfather, as in George Walker Bush. However, I postulate that another middle name fits reality better. In my opinion W. really stands for Whopper as in George Whopper Bush. Whopper as I shall call him from here out has spun some dandies. Perhaps you are not aware of this, preferring to believe Whopper instead of your lying ears and eyes. If so, I have some gold mine stock I’d like to unl…er discuss with you.
I have taken the time to edify you to some of the Whopprisms we all have been subjected to, yet you may not be aware of.
Since the buck stops in the Oval office, I have included some of the blatant Whoppers that have been foisted upon us by his so-called advisors.

George Whopper Bush top forty-three Whoppers. (In no particular order)

1. We’ll get Osama bin Laden, dead or alive.
2. Iraq is the center in the War on Terror.
3. Brownie. You’re doing a hell of a job.
4. We’re fighting them there so we don’t have to fight them here.
5. Oil revenues will pay for the Iraqi war
6. Mission accomplished.
7. I’m not into nation building.
8. We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.
9. Saddam Hussein tried to obtain uranium from Niger.
10. Aluminum tubes the Iraqis have obtained can only be used for nuclear centrifuges.
11. You go to war with the army you have, not the one you’d like to have.
12. Muhammad Atta met an Iraqi intelligence agent in Prague
13. Iraq is known to have weapons of mass destruction.
14. We will be greeted in Iraq as liberators.
15. The damage that Katrina inflicted on New Orleans was unexpected.
16. We went into Iraq to build a democracy in the Middle East
17. Islam is a peaceful religion.
18. Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11
19. Iraq was a sponsor of Terror.
20. Abu Musab Zarqawri was an agent of Al Qaeda (not at first)
21. Iraq is a terrorist haven (now it is.)
22. We’re not facing an insurgency.
23. A few dead enders.
24. We give our military all the troops they ask for.
25. Things are not as bad in Iraq as they appear (one of those lying eyes things)
26. Today marks the end of hostilities. (over three years ago)
27. We have a plan.
28. Osama bin Laden is now insignificant.
29. We will stand down when they stand up.
30. The insurgency is in its last throes.
31. The insurgency should slow down now that Iraq has a freely elected government.
32. The insurgency should slow down now that they have a constitution.
33. The insurgency should slow down now that they have an interim government.
34. The insurgency should slow down now that Zarqawri is dead.
35. The insurgency should slow down now that Hussein is in custody.
36. Over 200,000 Iraqi troops are now trained.
37. There is no civil war in Iraq.
38. We should be out of Iraq in six months.
39. We went with the best intelligence we had. (should’ve said we could pick)
40. Congress had the same information we had.
41. We gave the UN all the time we could.
42. The war in Iraq did not distract us from the war on Terror.
43. We didn ‘t start planning the invasion of Iraq until after 9/11.
Bonus Lie: I finished my tour with the Air National Guard.
Extra Big Lie: I would still go into Iraq, knowing what I know now.

Wow, all them Whoppers, sure made me hungry. I think I’ll go to Burger King.

July 26, 2007. attack, Baghdad, cakewalk, Cheney, Civil War, dishonest, ethics, explosions, George W. Bush, Humor, Iraq, liberators, lies, politics, President, President Bush, primary, Psychiatry, Rumsfeld, slam dunk. 1 comment.

The News Keeps Getting Worse and Worse.

Dateline April 9, 2012, Baghdad, Iraq

“There is lots of news to report today but first we take you now to Beverly Watson in Baghdad where a bold new terrorist event is unfolding. Beverly?”

“Thank you Brian.”

“Starting at two PM Baghdad time, three car bombs were detonated simultaneously this morning in the middle of a celebration of the eighth anniversary of the fall of the Statue of Saddam Hussein in central Baghdad. As police and paramedics approached the scenes of the explosions, rocket propelled grenades were launched at their vehicles destroying them and killing or wounding scores more. Shortly afterwards, as if on cue, rooftop insurgents started raking the remaining bystanders with automatic rifle fire killing or wounding hundreds more and herding the onlookers to a portion of the square where four more bombs went off.”

“At this point no one has been able get to the dead and wounded to provide medical treatment or to assess the damage. Iraqi troops were sent in to confront the insurgents, but have been pinned down. Both the Iraqi soldiers and the insurgents have been taking heavy casualties. Coalition troops with heavy equipment including tanks are en-route to assist the bogged down Iraqis.”

“Of the estimated twenty-five thousand celebrants, it is feared that as many as two thousand may be dead or wounded. That would make this the third largest onslaught of Iraqi civilians since the war began. These casualties are eclipsed only by the three thousand killed and seven thousand wounded in the Baghdad soccer stadium. That was shortly before the mysterious helicopter crash which killed the President and two members of the Cabinet on their flight back from Camp David in 2008. Then there was the twenty-five thousand killed and wounded in the clash between Sunni an Shiite militias which set off the Civil War in the summer of 2007.That was shortly after then Vice President Cheney’s visit and speech to the Iraqi people after and in conjunction with the execution of Saddam Hussein and six of his most vicious henchmen.”

“Back to you Brian.”

“One Question, Beverly. Do you have any idea who or what is behind this attack?”

“No Brian, at this time no one has claimed responsibility but because it occurred during a celebration for the toppling of Saddam Hussein, it is suspected that it was the work of Ba’ath terrorists but with over two hundred active terrorist organizations, no one will know unless one of them claims responsibility.”

“Thank you Beverly.”

“To recap America’s longest declared war, it is entering it’s ninety seventh month (longer than all three declared wars in the Twentieth Century together) and to date has cost America the sum of two trillion dollars, equivalent to $60,000 per American or a quarter million for a family of four. Estimated Iraqi casualties in this this ongoing eight year war and the associated civil war are estimated to be about two million with a half million dead, about twice what Hussein was alleged to have butchered. Coalition casualties exceed sixty thousand with about twenty thousand dead, mostly American.”

“On an unrelated matter, we now take you to Bill Thomas in Caracas, Venezuela?”

“Venezuela has announced that, with the assistance of Iran and North Korea, it now has a nuclear bomb, joining them, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria and South Africa as newest members of the Nuclear Club.”

“President Hillary Clinton has been in contact with the Venezuelan President For Life, Hugo Chavez urging him to reconsider, promising substantial foreign aid and further promising to buy Venezuelan crude at two dollars a barrel over the international average price, which is currently a record one hundred and twenty-four dollars a barrel.”

“The Governors of our fifty-first state, Puerto Rico and fifty-second state Cuba as well as our President have also lodged protests with Venezuela over their alleged underground nuclear test on an uninhabited island off the coast of Venezuela, which the Venezuelans claim was nothing more than an earthquake.”

“Back to you Brian.”

“Bill you spoken with President Chavez. Did he give you any idea why his country is going the nuclear route?”

“Yes Brian, he did. He claims the reason is self defense and the country started working on nuclear weapons after the late President Bush had added Venezuela to his Axis of Evil in his 2007 State of the Union address. He said and I quote, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder and so is evil”. He goes on to point out the only member of that dubious list that has been invaded, is Iraq, which didn’t possess a nuclear deterrent and claims if we hadn‘t been bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan, we would have attacked Venezuela.”

“Thank You Bill.”

“Meanwhile, Secretary of State, Obama has been in contact with the mayors of Cleveland, St Louis and Miami where the ongoing riots seem to be petering out. The riots are still going strong in Philadelphia and Gary, Indiana. On the international scene new riots have started in Karachi, Pakistan and Birmingham, England while the violence has finally subsided in Paris where a terrorist plane had knocked off the top third of the Eiffel Tower, causing several hundred deaths last month.”

“When we return, we will discuss whether the reconstituted draft or the astronomical price of gas and oil which reached as high as $8.79 per gallon, precipitated the riots and what the present administration is prepared to do about the ongoing environmental problems, with the Secretary Obama.”

OF COURSE IT’S FICTION, like I had to tell you that, but really, so has what the present administration has been force feeding us since 9/11. Fictional rational to go to war. Inadequate planning, Totally underestimation of the enemy. No exit strategy. Stationing only enough troops to perpetuate a stalemate. Continuously overlooking all the bad news to point out the paltry good news. 3,000 plus dead since the declared end of hostilities.

Regarding my scenario, let’s hope nothing like this ever happens. Impossible you say? I say improbable but not impossible. Prepare for the long long,long haul, unless the new congress throws up their collective hands and says Enough!

I posted this for the first time over two years ago. I suppose it’s safe to say that this fictional scenario is closer to reality than the the crazy upbeat ravings of Administration officials.

July 20, 2007. attack, Baghdad, Cheney, Civil War, dishonest, explosions, fairness, Hugo Chavez, Iraq, politics, President, President Bush, Saudi Arabia, Shiite, suicide, Sunni, Syria, Terrorism, Uncategorized, Venezuela, Vice Persideny, war. Leave a comment.