Tommie Hu$tle: Alpha Male: From the Peanut Gallery - 08/25/2005

This is a really interesting blog post from a soldier serving in Iraq. He's quite concise and eloquent in laying out the arguments inherent in talking about the war.

To me there are so many people that are either unable to see, or willing to let slide, the fact that they and the administration are muddling their arguments. My biggest pet peeves are those that say that you must support the war to support the soldiers and those that say, in blanket statements, that the war was based on a lie and that the soldiers must come home now. It is far more complex than that.

The soldiers are there doing a job. I support them in doing it and hope they do it well. That doesn't mean I support the way the war was started, argued for on the world stage, or the way it was or is being conducted.

At the same time there are several facets to the war which this blogger has outlined well in terms of "Are we winning the war". We defeated Saddam, which was the intent. The fact that we didn't find what we said we were looking for is a separate issue.

We are also still fighting there with various factions and for several different possible "victory" scenarios. It is a quagmire and we need to determine what victory we want. Is it an end to violence or a stable government, or setting up the infrastructure to give the Iraqi's a country that isn't broken. Until then the Liberal cry of "Bring them home now!" is premature and in the end would be worse for the world then having not gone in the first place.

Mabye that should be the ultimate goal, to leave it better than we found it. If that is the case we have a long way to go for victory.

Here is the excerpt of what Tommie Hu$tle has to say in his blog.

Q:

What do the troops think of Cindy Sheehan and do you think the President should meet with her?

A:

With most things domestic the troops I know don’t care one way or the other. Her plight isn’t relevant to them. The fact of the matter is that bottom line her son and every other solider in the military today joined of their own free will. The military is ALL VOLUENTEER and it won’t change. Everyone I talk to is pretty much saying sure it's sad that her son died but, when we sign up we know the risks of this job. It’s the risk that each and every military personnel take as well as the civilian contractors.

Yes, Mom I’ll always be your baby boy but in reality these are men and women here not children. They all decided on their own to join the military. So when I die or someone else’s adult offspring die don’t go clamoring to the high heavens talking about Bush killed my son. No, he didn’t, your son or daughter choose to accept those risks. Your son or daughter may not like them but that’s how it goes. By failing to remove the President from office you accepted the policy. The president was re-elected on the promise that he would continue the polices of the last 4 years.

If you didn’t like the fact that people are here in Iraq then you should have voted for the other guy. You did? Well did you tell your friends and family to do the same? Did you convince them that the other choice was a better option; did you do the same for your state Senators and Representatives that agreed with this policy? Instead of looking at the President and blaming him look at yourself. Your failure to convince enough people to vote against him is the problem not him.
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On top of that the political statement she was initially making has become muddied with every left wing nut that has a bone to pick with the President. I think her statement and the anti-war statement would have been more effective if she stood out there alone for those five weeks. She should have made one statement "I have nothing to say until I speak with the President." and from there she shouldn’t have said another word to the media or anyone else until the President spoke with her or he left without speaking to her.

I used to think before I got here that the Administration would have to start up a draft to meet the needs of the military. But, unless we start getting invaded there will never be another draft. There is no need to have one. Who needs the negative publicity for their party or the social upheaval that a draft would cause? On top of that the military personnel don’t want draftees they would much rather have an individual who was willing to sign up over one who wasn’t.

Now then should the President meet with her? 100% absolutely not, for what? The king doesn’t sully his hands with peasants and at the end of the day that’s what you are looking at a king and a peasant.


Q.

Are we winning the war?

A:

It all depends on how you define winning. What is winning? What were/are the objectives of the US military? By my account the goal of the US military was to topple the Baathist regime that was in power in Iraq due to the fact that the regime was *cough* harboring WMD. It’s not the military’s place to question the judgment of the President it is their place to execute the President’s plan. So if you use that definition then we are winning and we won a long time ago.

Is a condition of winning the war to maintain order in Iraq (i.e. act as law enforcement) then they are starting to win that war. At the same time it was a failure of political leadership that caused the breakdown in maintaining order not a problem with the US military not being able or willing. Because the political leadership reacted slowly then military did as well, the military is only as effective as those that lead them. In that I would call it a quagmire or a stalemate. Today the military controls 99% of the area that it occupies with an iron fist. It is the areas outside of the military’s control that currently has problems but, the military’s job is to win wars not, maintain order and issue parking tickets (how many howitzers does your police department have).

Is a condition of winning the war to stop the insurgents from killing Iraqis? Well if that is the case then we are losing, right now the only thing that is going on here is that Iraqis and foreign insurgents are killing Iraqis.

You can find victory or defeat in any action in this war. I would define it as a quagmire with several issues, all political that need to be resolved before VICTORY can be declared.