Freedom Folks

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Groundhog Day?

Source: AFP
For US troops from 9th Cavalry Regiment bumping around the dangerous streets of Baghdad in Humvees after dark on Monday, news that their deployment in Iraq could be extended fell like a hammer blow.

Their commanders had cautioned that their second one-year tour due to end in October could be prolonged while US President George W. Bush later warned troops it was too soon to "pack up and go home."

The expletives during the four-hour night patrol turned the air in the Humvee, already thick with cigarette smoke, a dark shade of blue.

"We just want to get out of here as soon as possible," said one vehicle commander in one of his few printable comments.

"It's because the Iraqi army is so scared that we have to come here to die," he added, asking not to be named.

"Ninety-five percent of Iraqis are good but five percent are bad. But the 95 percent are too weak to stand up to the five percent."

"Bush should send all the Death Row prisoners here and they can be killed fighting the terrorists. We've had enough," said another soldier, as the Humvee accelerated past a roadside car in case it exploded.

Added yet another, "Bush can come fight here. He can take my 1,000 dollars a month and I'll go home."...

"It is like the movie 'Groundhog Day'. Each day is the same and nothing ever changes," he added, referring to the 1993 movie in which the principal character is doomed to repeat the same day endlessly....

Platoon commander of the 9th Cavalry Regiment, Captain Christopher Dawson, said he understood the need for troops to stay in Iraq.

"We are starting to make a difference," he said. "The violence is dropping. We are training Iraqis to take over responsibility for their own security. We are helping them see their future ahead of them. It is in their hands."

But the lower ranks were in rebellious mood, especially after publication of a poll on Monday, commissioned by the BBC, ABC News, ARD German TV and USA Today, which showed only 18 percent of those questioned had confidence in US and coalition troops, while 78 percent opposed their presence.

"If no one wants us here we are quite ready to get out tomorrow," said the outspoken vehicle commander.

One of the few Iraqis the troops met during their night patrol -- most stay indoors once the 8pm curfew kicks in -- said he feared the day the US forces pulled out.

"They can stay for 100 years if they want," said Salam Ahmed, a security guard at a shoe warehouse on the outskirts of the city. "If they go, the bad guys will certainly come for me."
I have always acknowledged that I thought the impulse behind the war in Iraq was both noble and understandable. However, I have also always maintained that the fundamental question was completely ignored, and frankly shouted down whenever anybody tried to ask it: What if we are at war with Islam?

As Robert Spencer sez: The soldiers quoted in this article are coming up against harsh realities for which their commanders have not prepared them and which the U.S. government seems unwilling to acknowledge. "Ninety-five percent of Iraqis are good but five percent are bad. But the 95 percent are too weak to stand up to the five percent." Now, why is that? The 95 percent fear for their lives, of course, and they also can mount no effective response to the jihadist claim to represent pure Islam. That's why every day is like Groundhog Day: the 95 percent will never step up as long as the Americans are there to do it for them, because these things are not going to change.

It's the PC aspect of this that so enrages me. When we are told that certain things just aren't to be talked about, it's just not done old boy, don'cha know? And when those things directly impact the safety and prospects of our soldiers in theater?

Then PC be damned!

We need to know who and what we are fighting here, if it is actually extremists, fine, good, but if we are at war with Islam, and I remain mindful that those who speak for Islam have indicated most forcefully that the religion of Islam is at war with us, then we are fighting this war ass backwards.

We are doing the rebuilding before the destruction, and that can never work. You win wars by subduing the enemy, not tickling him and making him giggle and until we throw off this stifling PC correctness I fear the war effort will more resemble someone stumbling through a darkened room looking for the light switch than a concerted effort to defeat the enemy.

H/T Jihad Watch

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