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March 15, 2007

Operation Iraqi Truth

In the Washington Times, Roy Blunt waxes... downright blunt about the situation on the ground:

House Democrats had an opportunity last week to send an unambiguous message of strength and resolve to our troops in harm's way in Iraq, to our allies and enemies around the world and to Americans here at home.

Instead, they used the occasion to announce a timetable for wholesale retreat, declare their intention to hand over command-and-control authority in Iraq to 535 commanders in chief on Capitol Hill and, already on a roll, float the bizarre idea to close the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and import hundreds of the most insidious elements of the worldwide terrorist network to the United States to process like common criminals. Quite a week, I would say.

Tomorrow Democrats will attempt to follow up that performance by bringing their plan to committee for executing their slow-bleed strategy in Iraq. But what we understand of the product now is enough to tell me their plan would yield disastrous results.

As the daughter of a Navy Captain who served in Vietnam and the wife of a currently serving Marine Colonel, I am appalled. Yes, I read the newspapers. But I do not incline to the koolaid-swilling, rush blindly off the cliff brand of press gang loyalty which cannot recognize problems when they stare me right in the face.

On the other hand, I am even less friendly to the my-ears-are-shut-to-anything-that-contradicts-my-world-view brand of Bush hatred which roots its deeply philosophical opposition to this war in fevered descriptions of the President's facial tics; or, when that doesn't work, launches into paranoic rants about how cabals of Jews control the sanctum sanctorii of government, or screams (oddly, while betraying not a trace of fear) that we now live in a police state where our civil rights have been eroded beyond hope of repair.

Odd how the very people who think Amerikkka is a militaristic police state also (paradoxically) think this fascist Götterdämmerung was ushered in by Bush's puppetmasters, The Jooos. It does not seem to have figured into the logical computations of these brainiacs that not only are Jews underrespresented as a demographic in the military, but historically (arguing, as always, against self-interest) Jews have been the most hostile as a religious group to the war on terror; two small data points which might lead a rational observer to the conclusion that the Democratic party's persistent attempts to invoke the spectre of Leo Strauss and his neocon minions are little more than the ravings of vicious anti-Semites.

On the otter heiny, it could be just a clever ruse.

But how did we ever get to this pass? How did we ever get to the point where large swathes of the American public give oxymoronic responses to poll questions about the war? "We support the troops, but we don't support the war." "Bring the troops home by 2008 but don't leave until Iraq is stable." "Congress is pushing too hard but we have more confidence in Congress than the White House."

Got confusion? I know I do. Can you imagine how the troops feel over in Iraq and Afghanistan, facing sniper fire and IEDs, separated from their families for months and years at a time, watching their friends get blown to bits and cut in half? How would you feel, if you read the papers every day and saw a war you didn't recognize, a never-ending parade of gloom and doom with no acknowledgment of your successes, never a report of the things you'd accomplished? Only a one-sided feast of death and dismemberment that praised the enemy's every move and cast you as a helpless, duped victim?

I know how I'd feel. Lost. Hurt. Confused. Betrayed.

How did we get to the point where we allow Congress to say they support our troops while undercutting everything they're trying to accomplish?

Let there be no confusion on that point. That is exactly what is happening. That is exactly what we, the People, are allowing our public servants, to do in our names. Is this truly our will?

It has happened because our so-called free press have abused their freedom but We, The People have not called them to account either. The media are a business and we are the consumers of their product. If you pay for a whole car and only half, or two-thirds of a car is delivered to you, would you not be dissatisfied? Certainly you would. If you pay for a 3-bedroom house and receive only a 1-bedroom house, would you recommend that builder to your friends? What about if you paid for a brand new car, yet put up the hood and found, not a brand new engine, but an old, defective one? Would you pay for that?

Of course you wouldn't, because you wouldn't pay for shoddy goods.

So why do we make major decisions, decisions of national and even global import, based on news passed to us by national media who continue to deliver half, or one-third, of the war news to us? Why do we not call them to account when they report to us that four mosques - four entire buildings - easily verifiable information - have been destroyed and fail to correct that information for a month and a half? Why do we allow them to continue to flog old news? When they continue to report, a good two years after the fact, that Joseph Wilson discredited those 16 words in the President's State of the Union address when multiple CIA sources from the Senate Select Intelligence Committee investigation testified UNDER OATH that not only was his "investigation" NEVER REPORTED to the White House, (and therefore Wilson's claim that the White House ignored his investigation was a lie) but that rather than debunking the idea that Iraq sought (not bought) yellowcake from Niger, his trip underscored it for most CIA analysts. Why are there not a flood of letters to the editor and cancelled subscriptions each time this mendacious tale appears?

I'll tell you why: because most people don't know it's not the truth. Just as most people don't know the other half of the story on the war. Yes, the violence has been bad in Iraq, but do you know the other side of the story? Have you noticed how all of a sudden, the number of stories on Baghdad seems to have diminished to a trickle? We are told there were no "good news" stories because there were none to tell. Now there are good news stories, but oddly, few of them seem to be making the front pages. Why is that?

What did make the papers this week? The news that General Peter Pace angered gay rights groups with a remark that he thought homosexuality was immoral. Do you know what else he said during that interview? Of course you don't. It didn't get reported:

During a broad discussion about the situation in Iraq, Pace said the U.S. military would not be able to fully succeed in its plan of sending 21,500 more combat troops and up to 7,000 support troops to Iraq if the Democrats are able to pass their proposed legislation.

The Democrats' plan, which centers on the withdrawal of all U.S. combat forces by September 2008, includes requirements that until then troops spend a minimum amount of time at their home bases before being redeployed.

The required rest periods would stop the U.S. military from reaching its plan of having 20 combat brigades deployed to Iraq. And at times, it could leave as few as 14 brigades on the battlefield, Pace said.

"We would have 45-day gaps, which would mean that part of a territory would basically be vacated to the enemy and ... you would have to fight your way back in," Pace said.

The legislation would allow Bush to waive those standards, but such a move could prove politically embarrassing to the White House, which has been lambasted by the Democratic leadership and some Republicans for stretching the military too thin.

Pace said the requirements could have "enormous impact" on the troops' efforts to stamp out the violence in Iraq.

Does anyone know what happens when our troops have to "fight their way back in"? The mission doesn't 'go away'. They bleed. And die. Democrats are making political hay on the bodies of our men and women in uniform. But this wasn't newsworthy. Neither was this little item, according to the major wire services:

In a remote city of roughly 30,000 on the Euphrates River, about 150 miles northwest of Baghdad, where American Marines are ramping up their assault on al Qaeda and other terrorist networks operating in al Anbar Province, a suicide bombing that wounded several Iraqi police officers but claimed no American casualties went largely unnoticed in the past week's run of news from the war front.

But this is what one Marine saw one day last week in Rawah, from an account relayed by satellite telephone to his father, a friend of ours, back home: The bomber detonated "about 60 pounds of explosives near a popular gathering spot for IP's [Iraqi Police], wounded several IP -- no Marines were injured.''

The Marine and Iraqi police "reassembled'' the body parts of the bomber to identify him: A "20-something Sunni… not local,'' from the ''Syrian border area."

This is nothing new there. "All insurgents want chaos – so all law enforcement targeted,'' reports the Marine, who speaks at the same time about his campaign of "winning the hearts and minds'' of Iraqis in the region. "I take care of my IP's and their families… shoes, food, and 'Beanie Babies' for their kids…

"Last week, I spent $80 out of pocket to bring rice, flour, and Chai to more Bedouins west of Rawah,'' he reports. "(An) elderly grandmother said, 'God sent you. You are like my son.'''

"Lots of rebuilding'' is taking place, with "contracts for rebuilding Rawah decided by local 'Tony Soprano' type,'' notes the Marine, comparing the place to "China in the 1920s… war lords versus warlords.'' There are 16 rebuilding projects underway in Rawah, he says – ''Contracts awarded along 'tribal' lines – unfortunately $10,000 jobs become $90,000 completions.''

"All suicide bombers are outsiders,'' the Marine reports. "Rawah people want to improve their lives.''

The 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion from Camp LeJeune, N.C., has lost three Marines, with 20 wounded and 85 surviving the attacks of improvised explosive devices, rocket-propelled grenades, 81 mm rocket grenades and small arms fire. They have "killed and imprisoned large number of insurgents.''

"Each morning,'' the Marine tells his dad, "I ask God, 'What have you planned for me today Lord?'''

But according to the New York Times, the United States military is not the solution. They are the problem. And you should be afraid. Very afraid.

Because that outstretched hand is never outstretched in friendship, at least for most of the lamestream media:

Although Marines from the Camp Lejeune, N.C.-based 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion had posted security up and down the street in the city of roughly 30,000 people, ready for any situation, Maj. Sean Quinlan's hands weren't anywhere near his own weapon.

Instead, his hands were gripping those of the elderly men around him in friendly greeting. Mostly former school teachers, the Iraqi's told Quinlan, the commanding officer for the Company D "Outlaws," about exactly what he could do for them to make their city better.

During the patrol, it meant helping out a 3-year-old girl, daughter to one of the Iraqi elders.

Months back, in her innocent curiosity, she pulled a pot of boiling liquid from the stove. Marines remember ushering the family's vehicle quickly through checkpoints to get the child to a hospital to treat her severe burns. Petty Officer 3rd Class Derek Parker, a 25-year-old Navy corpsman from Morris, Okla., joined Quinlan and the rest of the group to see how he could help with the girl's constant pain.

At the time, Parker didn't have any ointment or medication that could help the girl, so Quinlan made a promise to the men. Several hours later, that promise was fulfilled when the Outlaws returned with supplies.

"Her father put his hand over his heart, looked me in the eye and shook my hand," said Parker, who has children of his own. "The family was very happy with us, they really seemed to like that we cared so much about them."

The majority of the people in Rawah don't want to hurt Marines, said Quinlan. In fact, it seems as though the vast majority of the population are good people who want to live a calm, normal life, he said.

"It's all about random acts of kindness," Quinlan reiterated to his Marines after the patrol. "It's not all about fighting the insurgents; we need to show the people that we care."

War has many faces. It can be cruel, cruel beyond reckoning. It can destroy the soul and shatter the mind. But it can uplift the spirit and challenge a man to find things within himself he never knew were there: honor, compassion, kindness, the strength to go on past all human endurance. To overcome hate and weariness and the awful numbness that comes with seeing more horror than any of us, safe in our suburban homes, will ever know. Why don't we see more of this side of the war from the mainstream media?

Perhaps its time to speak a little truth to the powerless: the American people. Operation Iraqi Freedom is in its last moments, and if we mean to really support our troops we need an offensive on the home front.

We need to demand a counteroffensive. Operation Iraqi Truth.

The whole truth. It's not too much to ask. Because a democracy can only stand if its people make informed decisions. And we've been operating in a shadow world of half-truths and delusions for far too long. We've seen a constant parade of darkness and death since 2003. It's time to let a little sunshine in.

Come on. What are you so afraid of?

Posted by Cassandra at March 15, 2007 08:37 AM

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It burns! It burns!! Aaaiiiiieeeeeeee!!!

*flapping frantically away*

Posted by: Count Murthula at March 15, 2007 11:52 AM

Getting the truth out is part of what The Victory Caucus is trying to do. If you haven't already, come join us...

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at March 15, 2007 01:41 PM

"Operation Iraqi Truth."

Now, that's playing with fire. You know how the Autorantic Virtual Moonbat explodes when you say "9/11 Truth". If any of your leftist readers are found dead of massive strokes in coming days, you could be liable for murder here.

Posted by: Grim at March 15, 2007 03:13 PM

Well, I'm not just talking out of J-Lo's butt here.

You will notice I never asked for them to stop broadcasting the bad news.

I just want them to tell the good news too, when that happens. And to correct the mistakes they make, as they demand the government should do. It's all about a little thing called accountability. If they want to be treated like a fourth branch of government, maybe it's time to start talking about a little responsibility and accountability to go along with all these privileges they keep asserting.

Posted by: Britney's.. Oh Nevermind at March 15, 2007 03:20 PM

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 03/15/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.

Posted by: David M at March 15, 2007 03:38 PM

Fair and balanced? Not on my watch, Britney.

Posted by: Bela Pelosi at March 15, 2007 07:13 PM

Cass, Grim, Miss Ladybug last years MilBlog conference left me wanting more action. Maybe we can get more interest in organizing a countervailing effort to the MSM, Kos, Huffingtom, etc.

Common messages, research sharing, shared server/net resources. Maybe I'm recommending expanding MilBlogs and/or raising money to formalize our loose arrangement(s). Just a thought.

Yeah, and I have a schedule conflict so I can not be there this year. Much easier to stir the pot when I won't be tasked.

Posted by: CoRev at March 15, 2007 07:55 PM

Well... I have a sort a 'meta-idea' around that. We should talk about it.

Posted by: Britney's.. Oh Nevermind at March 15, 2007 08:07 PM

Ahem. Gen. Pace didn't say that homosexuality was immoral, he said that homosexual acts were immoral. Small but significant difference. He compared them to out-of-wedlock sexual acts by heterosexuals. Not trying to argue for or against what he said, but clarify it.

Posted by: Deb at March 15, 2007 08:24 PM

Well I for one don't subscribe to a lot of the biased papers. I did have a subscription for the WashTimes, but there must be some serious sabotage in their subscription dept because I had to work to get it delivered and I've currently moved out of their delivery area (and no mail order copy was offered). Of course, this means I don't get much news at all.

I do appreciate the stories of the good things that do happen that I read in Military blogs and it does encourage me. It sounds as if Iraq itself is under terrorist attack - not just internal violence and strife, civil war, etc. Information like this "should" change people's thoughts regarding the war. Probably why it isn't being reported. I'm sure the MSM thinks it is probably an anomaly and therefore unimportant, which is what they think of all the data that doesn't fit their theories.

Posted by: baberuth at March 15, 2007 09:18 PM

I wish I could attend the Milblog conference, but I just can't swing it this year. The whole thing with being a new graduate without a regular job yet :-| I have accumlated frequent flyer miles (that will be expiring this year, so they'll likely be donated to Operation Hero Miles before then), but that doesn't cover hotel, meals, transportation, spending money.... I'm glad I found the milblogs, since I don't have any other ways to interact with military-type persons in my daily routine, since Daddy retired some 15-16 years ago...

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at March 15, 2007 11:55 PM

You.....have chosen wisely, Grasshopper ......um, Ladybug.


Posted by: Sly2017 at March 16, 2007 11:23 AM

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