Michael Yon wrote what I think is THE best book to analyze the war in Iraq. He called it Turning Point In Iraq, and in it he broke down what the Bush administration did to finally turn things around in that country.
Unfortunately, President Obama has never read it, but he should!
The Bush Administration, with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld at the helm, was said to be tone deaf when it came to facts on the ground in where it involved the growing insurgency that was destabilizing the country after the initial Shock and Awe Blitzkrieg. Rumsfeld deserves a lot of credit for crafting the initial push that removed Saddam Hussein and his evil boys. But he rested on his laurels for too long. He was having too much fun in the limelight poking fun at the press, and when he was finally forced to face reality, it was almost too late.
Then General Petraeus entered the picture. He and his boys wrote the book on fighting insurgencies and they taught us all how to play that game. Commanding the 82nd Airborne Division when the war first kicked off, he parked the tanks and let his light fighters battle the insurgents on foot in the neighborhoods where they lived. He continued the foot patrols long after the enemy was gone and he put an Iraqi face to the battle, lifting up the locals and working with them, building trust. When he returned as the Task Force commander for the entire Iraqi theater, he used those same principles which ultimately led to stabilizing that country.
Unfortunately, the left doesn’t learn from the past, not even the recent past. If they did, then Barack Obama would be implementing the same practices in Afghanistan that the Bush Administration put in place in Iraq. But Barack can’t give credit to the Bush administration, he can only lay blame, which is why we will eventually lose our ground so hard won in Afghanistan. He will never get that message, even if someone were to accidentally put it in his teleprompter.
The overarching policy in that country seems to be, apologize for everything. Apologize for the burning of Korans with secret messages in them. We’re so sorry. We are so sorry that we removed the corrupt war lords that were hoarding goods and services from the people. We’re sorry about that, and thankful that your President Hamid Karzai put those people right back in power the moment it was convenient. We’re sorry that we are insensitive to your wacky religion that says it’s ok to beat your women with a stick while forcing them to wear bright blue tents in public, apparently to hide the fact that you like to beat your women. We’re sorry.
We’re sorry we post photos of all the women who slighted their suitors in your country, you know, the ones who had their faces marred by acid. It is terribly insensitive for us to post those pictures as it puts your young males in a bad light. Sorry. We’re sorry we built schools for girls, and fresh water wells for everyone, and trained your army to defend your own country. We’re sorry for raising monuments to your war dead. Sorry. So, so sorry.
If you think I’m being sarcastic, then you’ve caught on to my reverse psychology scheme, but even that won’t change anything in Washington. The only thing I’m genuinely sorry for is the needless killing of 16 civilians by a U.S. soldier who has obviously been on one deployment too many. I AM sorry. Please forgive us. Truly.
Let’s not forget, in the midst of all of this apologizing , why we came to this God forsaken country in the first place ten years ago! It was to kill terrorists who destroyed our buildings and killed our people. Nobody ever apologized to us for that. No, they danced in the streets and celebrated the death of the “Great Satan” America. And then they gave out fresh baked cookies. Nice.
I’ve almost given up hope that things will change in Afghanistan. Nothing ever seems to change there. My friends have been telling me this for a long time, and I’ve held out hope because I’ve been overseas and I’ve seen firsthand, not through the captivatingly deceptive lens of the television and the main stream media. I’ve had faith in those I served with and who serve even now. But with what’s been going on now, there is only discouragement.
In a supreme act of lunacy the other day, after an insurgent blew himself up in a truck on the very airstrip where Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s plane was parked, the Sec Def himself ordered that in a conference in a tent of high ranking military officers that the coalition soldiers remove their weapons and place them outside. Excuse me, Mr. Secretary? If something were to happen on your little surprise visit, who do you think is going to defend your scrawny butt, and with what?
There should be no surprise at the Sec Def’s ineptitude! When he was still the director of the CIA he actually told a Congressional Panel he was getting all his information on the progress of the battlefield open source from CNN. Seriously Mr. Spook Chief? Don’t you have REAL spooks on the ground who can interpret all the chatter and tell you what the real truth is on the battlefield? Maybe you should talk to them, eh?
I think this last chain of events is telling. The Sec Def may be just now realizing that his ineptitude is showing and so the only logical course of action is to disarm the defenders before they frag him. There may be some truth to that.
Meanwhile I keep hoping there will emerge some warrior hero that will make it all right and change the course of this war. Like the Kevin Costner character in the movie Dances With Wolves, you know, in the opening scene where he rallies his troops with a suicidal gallup to the enemy lines. Sadly no such hero will appear. The President has seen to that, removing the only person with a record of success with insurgents and placing him in a political posting at the CIA.
I still have friends and family over there, doing the thing. I worry and I pray for their safety, every day. I guess I will have to depend on Divine Providence for the protection of our troopers, because this president and his cabinet never will.