Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Quite often, bloggers and commentors tell us to talk to the men and women who are fighting (or have fought) in Iraq to get a sense of whether we should really be there.

Well, the Lexington Herald-Reader did.

Blake Miller, 21, was a marine for three years, and was at the battle of Fallujah.

He returned from Iraq early last year, and on November 10th was discharged - early, but honorably - after it was determined he was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. (He had gotten into an altercation with a sailor aboard the USS Iwo Jima while on Hurricane Katrina duty).

Here's what he has to say:

"When I was in the service, my opinion was whatever the commander in chief's opinion was. But after I got out, I really started thinking about it. ... The biggest question I have is how you can make war on an entire country, when a certain group from that country is practicing terrorism against you. It's as if a gang from New York went to Iraq and blew up some stuff, and Iraq started a war against us because of that. I agree with taking care of terrorism. But after terrorism was dealt with, the way it was after Fallujah, maybe that was the time for us to pull out. That's just my opinion. It blows my mind that we've continued to drag this out."

Here's the whole article.


At 2:47 PM, Blogger Jackson said...

The list of the 'mind blown' grows with every day our troops remain in Iraq.

At 3:04 PM, Blogger Tony Alva said...

Once there are fewer Fallujah's and Mosul's racked with terrorists, then we'll bring them home. There are still far to many towns under FRE and Al Quada influence.

I'm glad the guy made it home in one peice and I hope that he can recover from his PTSD. I appreciate his service to his country.

At 4:27 PM, Blogger Dave Cavalier said...

I think his view of the situation over there is a tad simplistic. Once you've toppled the government, you are obligated to provide security until a new government is established.

At 4:31 PM, Blogger Dave Cavalier said...

Isn't his analogy about faulty as well? It would be more appropriate to say that it was the Mayor or New York or the Governor, not just some "gang."

At 4:34 PM, Blogger Jackson said...

No, I think 'gang' fits.

At 5:04 PM, Blogger Dave Cavalier said...

You know of a gang in New York that controls the government and the armed forces?

At 5:19 PM, Blogger Jackson said...

Yes I do. So do you. And don't forget Dave, the 'insurgents' or 'terrorists' didn't control the government or army until we took the old one away - without a plan to prevent the rising of the current 'insurgent' or 'terrorist' government or army.

At 5:44 PM, Blogger Chrispy said...



I don't believe he controls any government or weapons.

So his analogy is faulty.

Considering this guy just got back from fighting in a war you support, Dave, perhaps you should explain his faulty logic to him. I'm sure he'll understand your views better than his own.

You Hawks are ridiculous. Go fight and then we'll talk.

At 9:38 AM, Blogger hazmat said...

So the president of Iraq's last name is Talibani. That's really unfortunate. I bet he even plays a Tele.

At 10:38 AM, Blogger Tony Alva said...



I've already been briefed on your overall position, but I have to ask: Do you really actually think that our war on the terrorists of this world is a single front war? That it's all about one guy? That Bin Laden is the one person pulling the strings in Bali and the other Pacific Rim island nation for instance?

My point is that in my opinion it's extremely short sighted to think that our pursuit of Saddam's regime was all about revenge for 911. I never thought of it that way even when there were others who might have been attempting to sell it that way. Saddam pushed the WORLD’s diplomatic solutions to his scenario to the limit to where without the threat of invasion, which he clearly thought we would NOT do, all isolation tactics that had been levied against him were meaningless. Since his buddies in Europe were getting fat on the illegal oil they were buying from him, he was actually beginning to get some sympathy for his self made plight. All the while his people suffered. I know you disagree, but invading Iraq was the only solution HE left on the table for us.

I don’t disagree with you at all on how poor our planning was beyond ousting the regime. Clearly it set the restoration effort back big time. I blame the same folks that you blame for that. You also forget that Abu niDal was living very comfortably hiding in Iraq for years as a guest of Saddam’s until his secret police off’ed him right before we invaded (more than likely to shut him up since Saddam was certain he’d have turncoated on him if he was captured according to documents found after the invasion). You may be a little young to remember niDal in the news as much as perhaps this old man does, but I can tell you he was certainly one of Bin Laden’s favorite terrorist trading cards in his collection. Saddam Hussein harbored terrorists. He may not have harbored Al Queda, but I’m sure that it was only a matter of time. You know, “OK Osama, I’ll give you a chuck of desert to run your camps as long as you don’t preach that orthodox shit to my people…”.

As for the soldier being discussed in this post, I think he’s a sad case worthy of all our sympathy. He served his country with distinction and has some residual pain that he’s going to have to work through. He’s entitled to his opinion as any other American is. Having said that, you also forget that he’s young. He’s a 21 year-old kid who went from small town USA to Iraq after hastily joining the Marines. Now I say this with the utmost best intent, but as much respect and admiration I have for him as a soldier I’m not going to cite his political opinions on foreign policy to support an argument solely. I’m not completely discounting it by any means, but merely saying that the guys knowledge of the big picture was vastly limited when he went into Iraq and might be a little naïve even now (although I’m sure he’s paying a lot more attention to what’s going on the world these days than he did when he was suiting up for high school football games). I’m 100% certain there were soldiers who second-guessed their leadership about the tactical approach of an infantry assault on the beachfront of Normandy. Hell, I would have if I had been on one of those boats! He’s probably a good kid and by the mere fact that the article begins with him saying, “My opinion on the invasions was that of my commander in chiefs while serving in the Marines…”, indicates he was a good soldier. I wish nothing but the best for him.


I’m unclear as to which terrorists are controlling what government. The current government of Iraq was elected in the country’s first free election of officials in decades. Am I missing something or are you talking about something else?

Not looking for a flame war, just discourse.

For the record, I'd fight if they'd have me.

At 2:07 PM, Blogger Jackson said...

A government didn't attack us, a gang did. And when we took out Saddam, they took over Iraq. We had no plan to deal with that. What's unclear about that?

It is funny how your attitude changes, first it's 'listen to the soldiers', then it's 'well, he's only 21'.

All I've ever said on this matter is that we f'ed up big time with invading Iraq. We never should have. In doing so we have fed the monster, and to think that we've planted seeds of democracy in Iraq is as naive as it is dangerous.

There may have been a way to promote democracy and freedom in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the whole region, but we blew that opportunity - big time.

If the US pulls out of Iraq, and let's not forget that staying there indefibately would probably be the least popular but most effective way to build stability there, it will ceratinly fall to faction infighting, civil war, and in swoops the Taliban, or something like it, bullies with zelotry spurring them on. That is EXACTLY what happened in Afghanistan as a DIRECT result of the Soviet invasion.

We are no better than the Soviets, and we'll see much of the same bloodshed, here and there.

At 4:35 PM, Blogger Tony Alva said...

I think I was pretty clear on the fact that I wasn't in anyway discounting this soldiers thoughts at all. Re-read my post.

" That is EXACTLY what happened in Afghanistan as a DIRECT result of the Soviet invasion..."

If this supports your doom and gloom future for Iraq, how do explain our current success in Afganistan, or is that country teetering on civil war too?

Civil was is NOT a forgone conclusion in Iraq in my opinion. You may think so, but I do not. I think it'll be a hard road, but Iraqis will choose peace over another decade of war ruining their country again.

I still don't get the "terrorist have taken over the Iraqi government" posit. Who in the current Iraqi government is a terrorist? I won't speak for you, but I think you mean that terrorist are prevelent in Iraq where as before they were not. If this is your mean, than I'd say perhaps.

The Iranian situation is a perfect chance for the "Doves" here (calling you that since I've been accurately labeled a "Hawk") to state your desired course of action towards the building Iranian crisis. What diplomatic processes are you guys suggesting we take towards this situation. Since the Bush administration has been fairly quiet (i.e. hasn't uttered a word) about it really, let's here what you think our policy should be before blind partisanship rears it's ugly head once the President outlines his.

Here's the situation: Iran has "elected" (mullahs nullified any candidtate that had an iota of moderate smell to him prior to the election) a combative president who has stated publically many times that the Holocaust didn't happen and that Isreal needs to wiped from the face of the earth. More pressing, he has ignored diplomatic efforts to oversee his nuclear ambitions to ensure they are for generating power and not making bombs. At this juncture, Dr. Rice has been moderately successful in allying many of the European nations to call for UN intervention with China and Russia holding out for more direct dialog. I've stated this before, so it won't come as any surprise that I think Iran will be at a war with somebody in the next five years. Who? Us? Iraq? Israel? All of us and more? Who knows for sure. I say this because I think the religious zelotry will win over rational peaceful negotiations and leave no choice but for war. So prove me wrong. How would you avoid my gloomy prediction?

The rest you'll have to research. How close is Iran to having the bomb? Are the Russians simply looking to make a buck by continuing to sell nuke tech to Iran?

What say you? The only criteria being that your propsal be somewhat realistic i.e. no "Elect Roger Waters as president of the U.S. and vote a socialist government in..."

At 6:20 PM, Blogger Jackson said...

I never said that terrorist have taken over the Iraqi Govt, just the country, and from what I can see, they don't have much of a govt. yet.

Sure, I hope I'm wrong, and that you are right, and peace will rule. I just don't think you can achieve it by blowing shit up.

The situation in Afghanistan is much better. What I said was that Iraq is now in a very similar posistion to Afghanistan's posistion just prior to the Taliban takeover.

Read the Kite Runner, you'll like it, and it will explain a lot about the situation in that region.

At 2:58 PM, Blogger Chrispy said...

I thought the Roger Waters thing was a good idea.

For those who say "But he's wasn't born in America, and the Constitution says he can't be President," I say "This is Bush's America Motherfucker, and the Constitution don't mean shit."


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