The Real Iraq We Knew
Editorial in today’s Washington Post by “12 former Army captains”:
Five years on, the Iraq war is as undermanned and under-resourced as it was from the start. And, five years on, Iraq is in shambles.
As Army captains who served in Baghdad and beyond, we’ve seen the corruption and the sectarian division. We understand what it’s like to be stretched too thin. And we know when it’s time to get out.
Here are the 12 and the years that they served in Iraq:
Jason Blindauer, 2003 and 2005
Elizabeth Bostwick, 2004
Jeffrey Bouldin, 2006
Jason Bugajski, 2004
Anton Kemps, 2003 and 2005
Kristy (Luken) McCormick, 2003
Luis Carlos Montalván, 2003 and 2005
William Murphy, 2003 and 2005
Josh Rizzo, 2006
William “Jamie” Ruehl, 2004
Gregg Tharp, 2003 and 2005
Gary Williams, 2003
As Confederate Yankee said:
I value the writers’ service and their opinions as soldiers who have served in Iraq, but wouldn’t this editorial have meant more if the Washington Post had managed to find soldiers to write it who had actually been in in Iraq in the last year?
And here’s an interesting bit:
While our generals pursue a strategy dependent on peace breaking out, the Iraqis prepare for their war — and our servicemen and women, and their families, continue to suffer. [emphasis Murdoc’s]
Murdoc tries not to spend much time criticizing commentary from those in the military or that have previously served. After all, Murdoc hasn’t been there. But to present the situation as one of “generals pursuing a strategy dependent on peace breaking out” is simply idiotic. That sounds like uninformed anti-war parroting, not analysis by former military officers.
Speaking of anti-war parroting, they also mention this:
There is one way we might be able to succeed in Iraq. To continue an operation of this intensity and duration, we would have to abandon our volunteer military for compulsory service. Short of that, our best option is to leave Iraq immediately. [emphasis again Murdoc’s]
Get that? Either we START THE DRAFT or we GET OUT NOW.
I haven’t met anyone in the service who thinks a Draft has any chance of working at all. Nearly everyone I’ve talked to who likes the idea of a Draft likes it because they think it will give the antiwar movement the traction it needs to stop the war. Talk about pursuing a strategy dependent on peace breaking out.
Call Murdoc a dumb civilian, but he smells spokespeople for an organization of some sort. And it ain’t the Wednesday evening ladies’ quilting club. It will be interesting to learn what link these 12 former captains have to each other and how they all ended up on the editorial page of the WaPo together.
UPDATE: Here’s a comment made by Jason Blindauer in November, 2006:
Like most Americans, I have that 1968 kind of feeling.
Tell Murdoc that that isn’t some sort of talking point. Probably just a coincidence that it was made at election time.
UPDATE 2: More on this:
- Jimbo at Blackfive: Does 12 Captains trump 7 82nd ABN NCOs?
- Phil Carter: Revolt of the former captains
- Michael Goldfarb: WaPo: Iraq Was Really Bad in 2005
- Flopping Aces: Burying The Victory In Iraq
- Captain Ed: ‘Knew’ Being The Operative Word
- Jules Crittenden: 12 Captains
UPDATE 3: Much more here.