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Old 02-01-2007   #1
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,012
Troop increase

I don't know if this is a real letter or internet propoganda, but I gotta admit, it makes sense to me. I just wish it didn't have to be Team America World Police that had to do the job. What's the purpose of the UN again? Yeah, I know, we created the mess, we need to clean it up (or, just leave it as alot are suggesting).

From a San Angelo Mother......

Hi everyone,

I just received a message from Bryant, following the President's address on Iraq. I wanted to forward it to you all. He has settled into the job of medic over the last two months +, and though we don't hear from him near enough, he does let us know he's "good" whenever he can.


Here's the rest of his letter to us:

Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2007 00:17:06 -0800 (PST)
From: Bryant Shurley <>
Subject: My view of Iraq

Following the article I sent about Bush's national address and troop increase, I thought it was a good idea to let you all know what the perspective is over here. I'm tired of hearing the media's skewed version, the politicians squabbling over what they read in a report, and the average ill-informed American ranting about things he knows NOTHING about.?

I've been over here a couple of months now, and I've learned more about this country than a year's worth of watching CNN. I've sat in mission briefs with Colonels, talked with village elders, had tea with Shieks, played with the kids. And I agree with the President. We need more troops and we need to take greater action.?

There are 3 major factions here. The Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds. The Shiites are in the majority, but Saddam was a Sunni, so he kept the Shiites in check. Everyone hates the Kurds, who are Christian and in the vast minority. The Kurds received the brunt of Saddam's murderous tyranny. Now that Saddam is gone, the Shiites have taken control of Baghdad. The largely peaceful Sunnis are now the victims of radical Shiite terrorism. So the young Sunni men, who can no longer go to work and support their families, do what all young men would do. They join the Sunni militia and battle the Shiites. And thus the country sits on the brink of civil war.?

But this war is between them. They largely do not concern themselves with the U.S. troops. The insurgents who battle the Coalition Forces are from outside the country. And the biggest problem down here isn't the insurgents. Its the politicians. The local politicians. Even though the country is controlled by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, downtown Baghdad is controlled by radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. The Shiites follow al-Sadr and thus the Prime Minister does what al-Sadr says. Think of it as if a warlord controlled New York and blackmailed the President into diplomatic immunity.?

When 1st Cav (mainly 2/5 Cav) came here in 2004, they took downtown Baghdad (known as Sadr City) by force. It cost many lives, but after a year, we held an iron grip on the largest insurgent breeding ground in Iraq. The insurgents were afraid of the Horse People, and rightfully so. But when 1st Cav left, al-Sadr influenced the Prime Minister to kick out the Coalition forces from that area of Baghdad. He said the Iraqi military forces could hold the city. But all that happened was al-Sadr regained control of his cty, and it is now a heavily guarded fortress. A place where insurgents and terrorists can train and stockpile arms. And we cannot go back in becuase the Prime Minister won't let us. Our hands are tied.

So where does al-Sadr get his backing? From Iran and Syria. Iran supplies him with money and Syria supplies the terrorists. The insurgents that battle the Coalition Forces are from Syria, Somalia and dozens of other places outside of Iraq. Iraq is literally a terrorist breeding ground. They have terrorist and sniper schools here. Why not? They train by teaching them to attack the military forces here. And they have an endless supply of these training tools. They have factories in Sadr City to build bombs. Both Iran and Syria have openly proclaimed their number one goal in life is to destroy the great Western Devil and the little Western Devil (America and Britain). Iran wants to control Iraq to further this purpose. Al-Sadr will get to "run" the country and live like a king, but in reality Iran will pull the puppet strings. Iran will have access to thousands of radical Shiites who will do whatever al-Sadr tells them to. And Iraq will be used as a breeding ground for terrorism. Terrorism that will be targeted directly at America and Britain. The Iraq Study Group advised we should let Iran and Syria help with rebuilding? Bravo to President Bush for striking that idea down and vowing to keep those two countries out of Iraq.?

So how do the Iraqi people feel about everything? Of course they don't want the Americans here. But they would far rather have us here than the Iranians. My platoon visited an average Sunni village on a patrol a few days ago. Their only source of income was to farm, as they could not go to the city to work for fear of violence. Many of the young men had already run off to join the militia for no other reason than to feed their families. They had no school or hospital near them and the community was dying. The village elder's granddaughter was very sick and I was able to treat her. Afterwards he invited me and my Platoon Leader to sit in his house and have tea with him, and we talked about the situation.?

The people want peace. The Shiites kill the Sunnis because al-Sadr tells them to do so. The Sunnis fight back because they have no choice. They are glad Saddam is dead (Sunni or not), but do not want to replace him with another dictator in a politician's clothes (which is what al-Sadr will become). And they especially don't want Iran in charge. Many innocent Iraqis will die if this happens. These are the words that came out of the elder's mouth

"We do not want America here, and America does not want to be here. But you cannot leave because the militias controll the country. America must use the might of its giant army and sweep through, root out and destroy the militias. Then Iraq can be free and you can leave."?

What appears to have happened within our diplomatic community, is that Prime Minister finally realizes that his days are numbered. If al-Sadr remains, he will be kicked to the curb. So hopefully he is about to allow us to reenter Sadr City, root out and destroy the enemy. A dramatic troop increase will allow us to do this. And the Horse People are back and ready to finish what they started over 2 years ago.?

If leave now, it will be a failure for democracy. Iran will contolIraq and the end result will be more terrorist attacks on America. The American people don't want soldiers dying over here, but it's better than American civilians dying over there. Do NOT forget 9/11. They will do it again. The moment we loosen our grip on the noose, they will do it again. And the only way to root out the evil here is to stop beating around the bush, increase troops and destroy the insurgents once and for all. The Iraqi government cannot do this on their own. The Iraqi security forces are inadequate for this task. We are the only ones who can stop al-Sadr.?

Feel free to share this with whomever wants a real soldier's opinion about the war.?

SPC "Doc" Shurley
2/5 Cav, 1st CB

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Old 02-01-2007   #2
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Lakewood, Colorasta
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Great account. I have to agree with the soldier. We've caused this mess, its in our best interest to get it under control. As much as I'd like to see the troops brought home, I don't think it would be wise.

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Old 02-02-2007   #3
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"Bravo to presdient Bush..." Call me a cinic, but these don't sound like the words of any medics I know..regardless of what comes after the dots. I have a feeling someone else wrote this. Regardless, the number of guys with this opinion is easily offset by the number who believe the cause here is hopeless.

The explanation of what's going on out there is a bit oversimplified. The avarice between sunni and shiite is deeper than just Al Sadr.

The real issue isn't even the number of people on the ground, it's how impotent our forces are made by the rules of engagement. We never really inflict the damage we can for fear of civilian casualties and bad pr or upsetting the muslim community by destroying mosques, which is the traditional hideout of insurgency. We can't touch em and they know it. And the reprisal for doing anything wrong is so severe lots of guys are afraid to shoot because they might get in trouble.

It's a poop or get off the pot situation. If you don't ever punch your opponent he's eventually going to get you, no matter how much smaller he is. But if you lay the hammer down... I think we just need to get hard core...go medieval on their asses. Innocent people will die. Holy buildings will get trashed. It's that or we leave and the utter chaos evolves into absolute hell. We don't need bigger fists, we just need to take off the gloves.
I hope in the future Americans are thought of as a warlike, vicious people, because I bet a lot of high schools would pick "Americans" as their mascot. -Jack Handy
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Old 02-02-2007   #4
Dirt Bag USA, Colorado
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I'm with BSOE. Drop the hammer and get it done quickly then haul ass. The ROE in that country are bullshit anyway. To pull out and let utter chaos set in would IMO be a waste of the 3000+ people that had to pay the big price.
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Old 02-02-2007   #5
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War is a an evil and fickle mistress....

As much as it is tempting to call for us to haul ass out of Iraq, we really shouldn't. It would be a huge geopolitical mistake. As a vet from desert farce part 1 I can tell you the reason things are so dicy now between the various factions is that we did not finish the job last time. Part of that lies in the fact that our mandate from the UN was to remove Saddam from Kuwait. We could have forced the issue beyond that mandate, but elected not to for a variety of reasons known and unknown.

The ensuing uprising by the Iraqi Shia in the South of Iraq and by the Kurds in Northern Iraq was encouraged in word only by the Unuted States, when in fact we should have fully supported the toppling of Saddam. The media and not surprising several major politicians have largely lost those facts in the mire of war.

My unit was 100+ Km deep into Iraqi territory. The Shiites greeted us as friends and brothers. We treated them with great respect and admiration for being able to survive the brutality of Saddam. When we got our orders to stand down and bug out, we found ourselves being literally begged not to leave. We were pleaded with to stay and help them overthrow Saddam. There is no hindsight in this, we should have finished the mission. When we left, all I could think of was how many would die because our leadership lacked the courage to do what was right.

And now? Now we find ourselves add great and perilous odds with the Shiites. Little wonder why IED's are planted, snipers take their shots and people find themselves beheaded. We blew it before we invaded.

I for one do not blame President Bush for all of the current mess. I place more blame on former SecDoD Rummy. He is probably the most incompetent individual ever to hold the job outside of McNamara.
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Old 02-02-2007   #6
Golden, Colorado
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So BSOE, sounds like you'd be in favor of staying if we could take the gloves off. Any chance of that happening? Or is that never going to happen so we should just get out and cut our losses? I'm in favor of staying and getting the job done so it doesn't come back to haunt us later, but not if it's just going to be more of the same ineffective shit that we have been doing. My jaw dropped when Bush said we need to keep secure areas that we've taken hold of and we can't let a radical shiite militia leader dictate where we can and can't go. I'm glad the commander in chief is a thinker like that. Isn't that Military Strategy 101?
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Old 02-09-2007   #7
Join Date: Jun 2006
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BSOE, I've personally talked with minimum 10 soldiers who have served tours in Irag. Although they don't necessarily like being there the all echoed the same sentiment that we are doing something good which they agreed with. Your opinion seems to be in the minority of soldiers-also didn't the military vote for repubs again this election around 80%.

Quit your liberal whining bullshit and suck it up. You signed up you weren't drafted. Why did a lefty like you go into the military anyway. Also what kind of cake position do you have over there. It appears you spend endless hours in front of a computer surfing the internet...or could it be your just a poser with delusions of grandeur.
"any man who would trade freedom for security, deserves neither freedom nor security" Thomas Jefferson
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Old 02-10-2007   #8
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An ugly little troll from an ugly little troll. As much as I hate to even acknowlege your existence let alone validate you with a response, the truth is I'm bored out of my skull. So..I'll bite...since I'm stuck here I suppose I have ample time to waste -- and I do mean waste -- replying to an absolute shit-for-brains jackass like yourself.

If I had delusions of grandeur I would make up something about dropping a big cliff band or waterfall or hitting a kicker and airing over a road, not being in this shithole. There is absolutely nothing grand about Iraq and, you see, I actually participate in activities this forum was created to support. The sad truth is that I am spectacularly average at snowboarding and kayaking and currently reside in Baghdad.

You've spoken to a minimum of ten vets, huh? Well, look who's an expert all of a sudden. 1 different opinion out of 11 must look dissident to a peabrain. A scientist might tell you that your sample is a bit small and that you in fact know closer to nothing than if you hadn't even attempted the experiment. You may also consider that in 2003 and even 2005 this war was quite a bit different than it is right now.

I talk with guys out there living the shit every day, NOW..ranging from mid level officers in the teams that teach the Iraqi police and army to privates dismounted on the ground in rapid response teams to the guards in the towers. OH, and I'm here, too. I watch them come through the aid station doors all f'ed up after their humv or bradley explodes. I eat with them in the chow hall. I work out with them at the gym. They live across the hall, upstairs, nextdoor. They open up to me in the dentist chair -- that's my "cake position" btw. What it boils down to is that I'm probably just a touch more qualified to comment on the sentiments of the troops than yourself...the ten guys you know notwithstanding. It's probably more like 2 or 3 anyway, isn't it.

Of course there are different opinions about the war among the guys..they differ personally, from their exposure to what's actually going on with the nation building effort, from a standpoint of age, intelligence, education, life experience outside the army,etc. You'll find a spectrum of opinions like anything else. Some people believe what they want to believe or have to believe just to get through the day. Others just don't know enough about the big picture. The opinions that resonate with me are the ones of the guys who have higher level interactions with Iraqi authorities...and those are exclusively negative in my (much greater than your) experience.

As far as me and why I joined the army in the first place..that's a question I've been asking myself lately too. Like the bulk of the force, I believe the impetus was equal parts financial desperation and naivete. Those recruiters are pretty slick customers. I was told I would never leave the US for one. Also, my time in the Army is up. I've been "stop-lossed". So, for your information, I kind of was "back door" drafted.

Bigger than that, I guess I thought that if there ever was a war I had to participate in that it would be clearly necessary, obvioulsy something that I would be proud to participate in. If I were in Afganistan three years ago helping the guys hunting down the jitbags that blew the towers I'd be proud of what I was doing. If I was in France killing Nazis I'd get the job done. If someone invaded Colorado my mossberg would be the first barrel they looked down.

Of course, anything anyone says/types is tempered with his/her own opinion and of course I am not immune. It might be considered, however, that for the last five months my opinion has been formed by what I experience everyday...this place.

So, suck on that team america white trash. You have now joined the ranks -- previously populated only by he whose name will not be spoken -- of the idiots I will never again speek of or to as long as the buzz may exist. I think you're the same dooshbag anyway.

Afterthought -- pretty ironic signature quote considering your personal politics.
I hope in the future Americans are thought of as a warlike, vicious people, because I bet a lot of high schools would pick "Americans" as their mascot. -Jack Handy
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Old 02-10-2007   #9
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Golden, Colorado
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Here you go, teamamericawp:

Army National Guard Recruiting
(303) 933-8870
5055 S Kipling St
Littleton, CO 80127-7932

Give us a call when you get there- then you can question someone else's service to their country. That's the saddest display of "internet toughness" I've ever seen, regardless of politics.

And FYI- Here's your latest poll by the Military Times:
The highlights:

"Only 35 percent of the military members polled this year said they approve of the way President Bush is handling the war, while 42 percent said they disapproved."
"Just as telling, in this yearÂ’s poll only 41 percent of the military said the U.S. should have gone to war in Iraq in the first place, down from 65 percent in 2003. "
In other words- YOU are the minority in this country- if you believe in this war so much, get off your cake position and show us what you're made of & serve your president. If you're lucky, maybe you'll get stop-lossed too.

Officially, you're now the biggest Bag of Mayonnaise on the Buzz. Congrats.
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Old 02-15-2007   #10
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Bsoe, yes I was bored...a bit of trolling usually cures this. Great answer though.

"any man who would trade freedom for security, deserves neither freedom nor security" Thomas Jefferson
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