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Thank A Soldier Week is NOT OVER!

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 2:25 pm - December 23, 2005.
Filed under: General

Don’t forget to do your part until Christmas Day as this is still “Thank A Soldier Week“!!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

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12 Comments

  1. Awesome picture, thank you.

    Comment by Average Gay Joe — December 23, 2005 @ 8:28 pm - December 23, 2005

  2. I know your intent is good, but I always am troubled by any depiction of our soldiers in their moments of weakness. Such pictures only embolden our enemies.

    Comment by Gumball Machine — December 24, 2005 @ 10:27 am - December 24, 2005

  3. Here’s a thought.. to really help our soldiers, enlist! Especially in MOS 11B there are real shortages. With dont ask, dont tell, your sexual bent should not be a problem.

    Before you start trashing me, I am a Liberal who DID serve, 5 years active duty as an Infantry officer. Only reason I am not back in is I am over 50 and have some physical problems that prevent service now.
    My entire immediate family served in the US ARMY, except sis… and she was in Civil Air Patrol when we were in High School. Dad was wounded in Battle of the Bulge, met mom because she was a WAC Physical Therapist who treated him, Older brother served 2 tours in Nam as an Infantry officer, and retired after 20 years, only to go on and serve as a JROTC instructor for 23 years. Younger Brother was a medic.

    Right now, my nephew is with the 2MEF in Iraq. Various sons of my cousins have/are/will serve in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    With all that, I think George Bush is the worst president in history. He could have been great, but he threw away that, and the support of most of the World, and destroyed the Atlantic Alliance (except for the Brits) for the ill considered foray into Iraq. Osama is still out there, and all he has done is creat 2 Talibans in Iraq, a Shiite religious radical party and a much smaller Sunni religious radical party. And guess what folks, THEY WON THE VOTES. And since the Shiites are 60%, they will run the country. Can you say head scarves and Burqas for women? Our secular Iraqi allies got nothin in the vote.

    So much for democracy in Iraq.. One man, one vote, one time dont make it so.. Once we are gone you will see a civil war.

    BTW, my brothers, even the older one who was a life long Goldwater Conservative, agree with me and will NEVER vote Republican again.

    I just hope my nephew and cousin’s sons dont suffer and die for this debacle.

    Comment by Jack — December 25, 2005 @ 5:00 pm - December 25, 2005

  4. Jack,
    How do you get from “And guess what folks, THEY WON THE VOTES” to “So much for democracy in Iraq”. Isn’t winning the votes the definition of democracy?

    I’m neither psychic nor an expert on Middle East religious politics, but from what I’ve seen, Iraqis want that voice and that choice. Your doom and gloom seems a little premature.

    Comment by John — December 25, 2005 @ 11:48 pm - December 25, 2005

  5. Hey, John, read some history man… Africa, when it decolonialized, was famous for the “one man, one vote, one time” scenario. Mugabe in Zimbabwa(former Rhodesia), or the current Kenyan semi dictator. And just about every other sub Saharan African Nation. South African is about the only truly democatic govt there..

    Algeria now is governed by a military junata of secularists, because the polls showed that back in the 90s the radical islamists would have won the vote and their plan was to take Algeria back to the 14th Century. So the military took over. Sure aint democracy. But is radical islamist govt like that of Iran what we want?

    That is the fear in Egypt, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. The rulers may be secular, but the people are in the hands of the radical mullahs.

    If you actually BOTHER to read the reports coming out of Iraq this week, this is EXACTLY what has happened there.. the US backed Secularists won very few votes, including Allawia and Chaliba (sp). The Shiite religious parties won the vast majority of the votes, and the Sunni radical religous parties won the votes in their proviences. Only the Kurds in the north, only 20 % of the Iraqi population, voted in a secular coalition party… Dont just believe me, read the damned articles.

    I think it is SO ironic, that the mad mullah, Muqtada al Sadr, whose forces fought the US and killed Casey Sheehan, now has more sway over the coming Iraqi Parliment than Chalibi or Alawai.. BTW, why the hell didnt we take him out? Simple.. he controlls almost 1 million young radical Islamic men in Baghdad and the rest of the Shiite areas. So the Bush administration made “an accomidation”.

    And Casey Sheehan moulders in his grave, unavenged.

    You can be a Pollayana, or you can be a realist. Realism will eventually have Iraq devolve into a civil war, once we are gone. It may not be overnight, but it will probably be like Vietnam.. We leave in 73, the North takes the South in 75. Alternative? Another iron handed dictator, like … Saddam. Wow. what options. For which we have spent 2200 lives, 15000 WIA, another 25000 evacd to the states with physical illness, or worse, PTSD and other pyschological problems from the extreme stress of combat in Iraq. 300+ billion dollars, not to mention losing the propaganda war in the Middle East because of the insane torture policies of Bush, and the loss of the respect of almost all the rest of the World.

    Yeah, great going Bushie… THE. WORST. PRESIDENT. EVER.

    BTW, a correction. My Marine Corps nephew is in the 22 MEF, not the 2nd MEF. Just deployed to Iraq, IN ANBAR PROVIENCE. Oh, Joy. He is a NCO intell anaylst with the HQ, BN Landing Team. He went in with the advanced party. They begain coordinating with the Marine unit they are relieving by going out with them and visiting the Area of Operations. Barely been there 2weeks when the BN S-3 (for you civillians, the BN Operations Officer responsible for planning and training, usually a major) asked Eli if he would like to come along on the HMMV patrol he was going on.. Eli had already been to the same area, but started to agree …. when he got a funny feeling. He begged off, saying he had some things he had to take care of at HQ. It being no big deal, the S-3 didnt have a problem with it.. Eli watched them leave, wondering why he didnt go, why the funny feeling… In less than 2 hours the Major and another Marine in his HMMV were being medivaced to the States, hit by an IED. I sure hope Eli’s sixth sense keeps him safe like this. I just hope/wish he and every other US soldier were out of that god forsaken place ASAP.

    Comment by Jack — December 26, 2005 @ 8:02 pm - December 26, 2005

  6. I surely don’t have a pollyannaish view of the situation. As I said, I am not psychic and can’t predict the outcome, but your certainty that all is lost and we have a new “Taliban” on our hands is far from realistic. The constant drumbeat of pessimism from the left is not realism.

    Iraqi Shia are Arab, Iranian Shia are Persian. The Arab Shia in Iraq have more in common with their Arab Sunni brothers and sisters than to Iranians, or to the Kurdish Sunnis in the north. You forget that the (Iraqi) Shia fought bravely against Iran in the Iran/Iraq war.

    The fact that a religious based party would be successful is not surprising either considering, that for decades under Saddam, the Shia religion was violently repressed.

    You also ignore the fact that Iraq has parliamentary system of government. They would need to win a two-thirds majority to avoid a coalition government. Just because Shiites are 60% of the population doesn’t automatically mean that 60% of the Shiites elected are members of a religious party. From this NYT interview with someone who is an expert on Middle Eastern affairs:

    There are a lot of emerging leaders, but these are going to be Iraqi choices. Far too often Americans either condemn someone with limited information and experience or find “a new hope” with equally little understanding. Nobody today can really predict which coalition is the right one or be certain which coalition will be the wrong one.

    We need to give this process of forming the government and watching how it behaves some months before we know what we’re really looking at. The deputy president of Iraq, Adel Abdul Mahdi, put it quite wisely in a conversation I had with him. He said, “How on earth do you Americans think you understand us and predict what’s going to happen when we don’t know?”

    In addition, the major religious figure of the Iraqi Shia, Ayatollah al-Sistani, has said that he is firmly against a theocracy in Iraq. From the Council on Foreign Relations:

    He(Sistani) favors an Islamic state, but not a theocracy as in neighboring Iran. Sistani has said that no law in Iraq should conflict with Islamic principles, and he wants Islam to be recognized in law as the religion of the majority of Iraqis. However, he has not promoted an official role for Islamic clerics in Iraq’s new government. Sistani supports an Islamic state that is compatible with elections, freedom of religion, and other civil liberties. And although Sistani does not favor violent confrontation with the United States, he has defied U.S. authorities when their plans conflicted with his views.

    Hey Jack, I’m a realist, not infected with BDS.

    Comment by John — December 26, 2005 @ 11:21 pm - December 26, 2005

  7. John,

    I note you CAREFULLY avoided addressing the Sadir Army situation, and the unavenged US soldiers killed by them. Sadir IS going to have some sway in Parliment… Until Parliment falls …

    My 1st take on Sistani SAYING he does not want a theocracy is that he is just telling the Americans what they want, so they leave.

    BTW, headlines tody show Chalibi and Alawi’s parties DID NOT PICK UP A SINGLE REPRESENTATIVE TO PARLIMENT. So much for the secularists.

    Yes, Shiites did fight in the Iraq-Iran war.. But I think they did it because they were drafted, and not fighting would have meant an instant death sentence at best, and a 1 way trip to Saddam’s torture prisons at worst.

    Yes, I realize there are a number of Iraqis who really would LOVE to have a secular democracy. But it appears they are outnumbered, 1st by the islamist Shiites, then by the Kurdish coalition that wants the north for Kurdistan, and then by the Sunni Bathists and the Sunni islamic insurgents.

    You also seem to forget that their culture is fragmented.. by clan, or by local religious groupings called millets. I think one of the keys for a democracy is individualism… Most Iraqis tend to identify with family/clan/millet, and follow the lead of the clan leader/ local mullah. Many if not most of them dont really understand democracy as we understand it.

    Look, I hope I will be wrong about the dark future I see for Iraq. If it would save even one american soldier to be “upbeat” and support Bush, I would. But I look at my track record so far:

    I was for going after Al Queda and the Taliban. If you remember, most of the WORLD was in favor of us doing so..

    I was against going into Iraq. But when it was obvious that Bush was going to do it, my concerned switched to the now very obvious fact THAT BECAUSE OF RUMSFELD IDIOTIC DECISIONS, TOO FEW TROOPS WERE BEING USED.

    This violation of the principal of MASS is what has been most destructive of our war aims in Iraq.
    Where do you think the IEDs some from? I’d say mostly from the 250,000 TONS of munitions that have fallen into the hands of the insurgency. We did not have the forces to secure them.

    The failure of the US to secure Baghdad and prevent the wholesale looting is the event that embolden the insurgents in the beginning.. Sure, we control the terrain and situation WHEN WE ARE THERE. But we cant be there all the time.. Marines in Anabar provience are angry that they sweep through the same villages 3 and 4 times… and the insurgents just come back . Ditto Army forces in their operational areas.

    More on the probable eventual breakup of Iraq.. we may not want it, but even our staunchest Iraqi allies, the Kurds, are preparing for it:

    Kurds in Iraqi army proclaim loyalty to militia
    By Tom Lasseter
    Knight Ridder Newspapers

    KIRKUK, Iraq – Kurdish leaders have inserted more than 10,000 of their militia members into Iraqi army divisions in northern Iraq to lay the groundwork to swarm south, seize the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and possibly half of Mosul, Iraq’s third-largest city, and secure the borders of an independent Kurdistan.
    Five days of interviews with Kurdish leaders and troops in the region suggest that U.S. plans to bring unity to Iraq before withdrawing American troops by training and equipping a national army aren’t gaining traction. Instead, some troops that are formally under U.S. and Iraqi national command are preparing to protect territory and ethnic and religious interests in the event of Iraq’s fragmentation, which many of them think is inevitable……

    See, even the Kurds, those MOST supportive of the US goal for a democratic Iraq, are taking precaustions BECAUSE THEY DONT THINK IT IS A WINNING PROPOSTION.

    Look, if Bush had gone into Iraq with the 480,000 troops that the original CENTCOM planning documents called for, we might not be facing this bleak situation.. That number of troops could have secured the munitions sites, prevented a lot of the looting around the country, and got the infrastructure back up a lot quicker. We might be looking at a totally different situation.. But we missed the chance for it. The insurgents respect us.. but know that we are going to leave wether by the Bush planned withdrawal or by another plan if Bush is removed. And they are going to keep on the pressure until we are gone… IED here, snipings there, etc. And they will continue trashing the Iraqi police and military.

    I hope I am wrong, but fear I am not..

    Comment by Jack — December 28, 2005 @ 4:37 pm - December 28, 2005

  8. I do appreciate your new found civility. It makes a serious discussion much more meaningful.

    However, your continued certainty that Iraq can’t possibly be a democratic nation or that the Iraqi people “don’t really understand democracy” is absurd and offensive.

    To address some of your points (not in order):

    Regarding the Shia and the Iran/Iraq war. If the Shia had supported Iran, why didn’t they join them in their fight against Iraq. If they had more in common with their Iranian Shia brothers, why not simply turn on their Sunni officers (which they could since they were the majority of draftees) and join the Islamic Revolutionary Army in Iran.

    Regarding the Iraq election outcome. This was the latest news I could find:

    A triad of Shiite religious parties, already at the helm since an interim government was forged last May, should take about 130 of the 275 available seats. Their allies, the Kurdish political parties, will follow as a distant second, with about 52 seats. A coalition of Sunni Islamic parties comes in third, with approximately 41. After that comes the party of secular Shiite Iyad Allawi – the former prime minister who was favored by Washington – who will have about 24 seats, down from the 40 he now enjoys. A hard-line Sunni party seen as sympathetic to the insurgency and led by Saleh Mutleq is expected to get from nine to 11 seats.

    Last time I checked, 130/275 doesn’t equal 2/3s majority. Also note that the Sunni Kurds and the Shia Arabs must form an alliance to govern under any parliamentary system. If you have differing numbers, please link them so I can take a look.

    Regarding the Kurds. The Kurds would be fools not to prepare for civil war. They have had enough freedom to know that to not do so would be risking their own prosperity. But they also are trying to work within the system to create a united Iraq. That’s realism. From today’s NYT article:

    The election developments came as Shiite and Kurdish leaders met in northern Iraq to discuss forming a government that would include representatives from all Iraq’s religious and ethnic groups. Abdul Aziz Hakim, the head of the Shiite coalition that is expected to capture the largest share of votes, met with Massoud Barzani, the leader of the Kurdish Democratic Party, and said that he had held “preliminary consultations” on the formation of a government but that talks were still in the very early stages. He indicated that the Sunnis were not yet involved.

    “We need to evaluate the previous alliance and study its weaknesses and strengths,” Mr. Hakim said at a news conference with Mr. Barzani, The Associated Press reported from Erbil in the Kurdish enclave. “Then we will try to include the others.”

    In a speech to the Kurdish parliament, Mr. Hakim emphasized the bonds between the Kurds and the Shiites, and supported the Kurdish demand to hold a referendum on the future of the ethnically divided city of Kirkuk. Still, he warned against excluding any of Iraq’s ethnic or religious groups as the country enters a period of political bargaining.

    “We and you were victims of marginalization, aggression and mass graves, and it is not logical to practice the same policies we fought and objected to in the past.”(emphasis added)

    Comment by John — December 29, 2005 @ 12:03 am - December 29, 2005

  9. John,

    Yes, I am up for a serious discussion.. But not a long one tonight, got to work this weekend, got to get some sleep at SOME point.

    1st Civility.. Just when was I NOT civil to anyone posting? Asking people to volunteer for the military is patriotic, not uncivil. If you feel threatened by my asking you to join up, then you need to look at WHY it makes you PERSONALLY feel like I am being uncivil.

    Critizizing George Bush and his policies is also not uncivil, unless I devolved into some moronic jr high scatalogical jabs. I didnt. I criticize Bush for his myriad military mistakes in going into Iraq and weakening the efforts in Afghanistan. (SEE MORE OF MY POINTS IN THE THREAD ABOVE THIS ONE ABOUT HARRY REID…) Saying he is the WORST. PRESIDENT. EVER. may be uncivil to him, but it is not being uncivil to any of the posters. And I think it is an accurate description.

    The thing is, It’s not that we COULDN”T make Iraq a Democracy. It is that the Bush Administration was not willing to PAY THE PRICE needed to do it. That should have included an invasion/occupation force of nearly 500,000, a military draft to produce the man power needed to field that Army for the several years needed to provide REAL security for Iraq, and the money to pay for it. That would have meant DRAFTING a lot of young men, and with almost no deferments in the draft regulations we have in mothballs, ready to come out, that would have meant a lot of rich kids would be going to Forts Jackson, Benning, and Leonard Wood, and not to Ivy League Colleges. Imagine how that would have gone over with Bush’s Base of the [REAL QUOTE FROM BUSH, GOOGLE IT AND CHECK OUT THE VIDEO] Haves and the Have Mores. Not to mention how even more they would have screamed when we jacked up the taxes needed to fight such a war.. Good bye Tax cuts for the richest 1% and the corporations, Hello Impeach Bush from the Norquist Crowd.

    No, my incivility with Bush is that he should have gone after Al Queda and Osama and the Taliban remnants. He should not have gone into Iraq, at least not until Osama and Al Queda were smashed. And when he went into Iraq, Bush believed idiot Rummy and not the professional generals like Shinseki, Hoar, Zinni, and Clark, instead believing neocons like Wolfowitz who said the Iraqis would greet us with flowers and candy.
    If he was going to go in, it should have been with the Powell doctrine, of overwhelming force. Gee, that worked REALLY WELL in liberating Kuwait, didnt it? The Rummy doctrine of “on a shoestring” sure hasnt turned out very well, has it, John??

    More on your other points later, got to get some sleep..

    Best to you, Happy New Year if I dont post until Sunday..

    Jack

    Comment by Jack — December 30, 2005 @ 11:43 pm - December 30, 2005

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