Thursday, July 12, 2007

Absurdity of the week

Rant: We have been working pretty hard this week - on the order of 14-16 hours a day. Now, this isn't a problem in and of itself, because one of the causes is that we have some good training lined up. But yesterday we were forced to endure a 90 minute status meeting that started at 1600! 90 f'in minutes for a status meeting of a team of 20 Soldiers. WTF. Anyone who has worked with me knows how much this would drive me crazy. And again today we almost missed dinner chow because a few oxygen bandits wanted to hear themselves talk.

A few choice quotes from meetings like this:

  • "I know it goes without saying, but ..." if it goes without saying, then shut the hell up!
  • "I know the Sergeant Major just said this, but I want to reiterate ..." the Sergeant Major just said it, we all heard it and clearly so did you, so shut the hell up!
  • "I don't really have anything to added to that." (but then you proceed to restate exactly the same points that the person before you just said) Shut the hell up!
  • "Yada, yada, yada", "Excuse me chief, Sergeant Hammer just covered that.","Umhhh, oh, well then can you restate what the resolution was, I wasn't paying attention"Rrrrrrrrgghhhh!
  • Ah! Yeah. It's just we're putting new coversheets on all the TPS reports before they go out now. So if you could go ahead and try to remember to do that from now on, that'd be great.OK, maybe I slipped into a daydream at this point, but PLEASE shut the hell up!

Absurdity II
"Democratic leaders engineered passage of legislation requiring the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops to begin within 120 days, and to be completed by April 1, 2008. The measure envisions a limited residual force to train Iraqis, protect U.S. assets and fight al-Qaida and other terrorists."
This is the same Congress that unanimously confirmed General Petraeus, promised to give him the support he needed, and heard him say he would need until September to report back on the progress his approach would make. For those who have never experienced it, this is called being set up for failure.

As I've written before, there are indications that progress is being made, but no one in Iraq is going to be motivated to follow through on these glimmers of hope if they see that we, America, are going to abandon them to the thugs who would terrorize them.

It is true that Iraqis want us to leave, who would want their country to be occupied? Well the Bosnians for one, and many Rawandans, and Sudanese I would guess. Many groups who were fighting US troops even last year have turned on al-Qaeda.

I was standing there with Abu Ali, with American soldiers and 1920s people milling all around. We had certainly killed a lot of his people, and the 1920s certainly had killed many American soldiers. During severe fighting with al Qaeda in April 2007, the 1920s reached out to American soldiers, and together they have been dismantling al Qaeda here in Baqubah and other places.

Al Qaeda’s ultimate failure in much of Anbar and now in parts of Diyala relates back to one of the pillars of success—or failure—in this war: Values.
-Michael Yon

Discuss amoungst yourselves.


phil said...

I think the SGT can confirm that one of my favorite tenets is consistency. It helps to be consistently correct. The absurdity lies in the fact that the American public allows our so called leadership to state a plan, and then change course completely. This is the opposite of consistency, and provides the enemy with a platform for success. That is to say that instead of working to divide and conquer I sometimes think that our enemies are just waiting for us to divide ourselves.

I don't have a clear solution to this problem, but I do work to affect actions around me and in career. Unfortunately the political climate in my neck of the woods is less than hospitable to my type of opinion. As an outsider to the military establishment I am not always familiar with the certainties of each conflict. I do however urge my fellow Americans to voice their opinion and not be afraid to discuss these matters which are the foundations of our freedoms. It is important to let the elected leadership? know that we do not appreciate their self serving rhetoric and disregard for the knowledgable leadership inside the military. The best way to send a clear message is to let your opinions be known publicly and help prevent re-election when applicable.

I think it was best put by the Indian character in a Clint Eastwood film, The Legend of Josey Wales "we endeavor to persevere".

my_angel_eyes3 said...

For whatever reasons the war started it's now to late to pull out... i believe in my heart that it would make things alot worse over there for the iraqi people if we don't stick with them... i've heard from a few in some blogs i've read that no they don't want us there but yes things will get alot worse if we up and leave now... i'm praying for you and our military to keep safe as much as you can... please know many of us are thinking of you all over there..

Paul said...

Here's the thing: President Bush and his administration had NO PLAN for securing the victory in Iraq. The blame for the situation we find ourselves in lies with them and them alone - not with any liberals we might try to hold accountable. The Bush administration sent too few troops and with the wrong equipment (thin skinned Humvees not Strykers for example). Unfortunately Iraq is now "damned if we do and damned if we don't". Many more American lives lost if we stay (and more worldwide condemnation) and perceived "victory" by the insurgents if we leave. Let's remember that the reason we are in this catastrophic situation in the first place is down to the inept President Bush and the Republicans.

@WR said...

TPS reports *snort*
Reminds me of some of the formations that have been held here at Walter Reed. "We are not down here to answer any questions, but just to let you all know that we are here to help with anything you need."

Oxygen bandit is definitely going into the lexicon