Why Iraq went wrong

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Feb 11, 2010 9:46 pm

My family and friends are centered around NYC. I have lived in this area my whole life. On 9/11 I was in Manhattan (on West 4th street). I missed the first plane, but caught the second, the jumpers and both collapses. You can’t imagine what that does in your mind. I was wondering if the city would be carpet-bombed - or if there was a nuclear device somewhere. So I hopped on a train to a friend’s house in CT. It wasn’t until I saw the F-14 fighters circling the city that I felt anything close to calm.



It turned out, I was lucky, everyone I am close to survived. I have 2 friends who survived by getting out of 1 WTC 74th floor before it collapsed, but everyone survived.



The day after I was back in the city. I wanted to volunteer with the recovery/rescue effort so I joined a group who were handing out food and drink to rescuers. NYC has over 35,000 rescue personnel, so it wasn’t necessary for me to climb on the pile - and I really am not qualified for that. I just handed out food and drink as the rescuers walked towards the west side highway to board buses to go home - I also had 2 cases of beer that I bought (a Pakistani cab driver gave me a free ride to pick up the beer); if anyone asked for a beer - they got a beer. The beer went quick.



By the evening of the 12th, everyone got moved above 14th street (away from the pile). For the next week, I went to Union Square every day and looked at the pictures which were posted of missing friends and family. I knew that at this point, anyone who was missing was most likely dead; but, whenever I was handed a flier, I would still say something positive like, “I will hold on to this and if I see him/her, I will give you a call.” There were so many people 20-35 years old walking around with fliers, banners, signs, etc. The look in their eyes is something I will never forget. Hundreds of people with pictures of their wives, husbands, brothers, sisters, friends. People who looked just like me - but had this terrible misfortune.



As the weeks went on, there were funerals…lots of funerals. I would say for a whole month, a day didn’t go by where someone I knew did not have to go to a funeral. And real sad sh*t too. A client who I worked with for a year had to cancel a meeting for his son’s funeral - two weeks earlier he was telling me about planning for his son’s wedding.



After going through this, every single ounce of my body wanted to do whatever was necessary to get back at the people who did this to us. We knew it was Bin Laden and we knew he was in Pakistan/Afghanistan. I wanted us to unleash the full fury and power of the US military on this area and bring him down. I wanted his head on a stake!



I thought everything was being handled perfectly and Bush clearly deserved more than his 90% approval rating. Then, I heard we were going to invade Iraq. I think I wouldn’t have been any more surprised if he announced we were going to the Moon. I was hoping that there was, somehow, a connection between Bin Laden and Iraq - but there just wasn’t.



And now, almost 9 years later, the person responsible for knocking down my favorite buildings is still free. And I don’t like it. So, when I say Bush failed, this is is what I really mean - and this is all that matters to me.

Feb 11, 2010 9:51 pm

Afghanistan is very difficult terrain.  By putting the “full fury” of the U.S. there, you risk more lives.  Sometimes you have to be exposed for hours on cliff faces where your entire platoon could be destroyed by al Quaeda.  In this case, less is more. 

Bin Laden got away, but we have put a hurting on terror in the past nine years.  In part because so many were killed or captured in Iraq.  The problem is public opinion and the American people are fickle. 

And also, like those who overextended on credit because they couldn’t save up to buy the TV, Americans are impatient.

Good for you for what you did.  It needs to last beyond tragedies, but good for you nonetheless.

Feb 11, 2010 10:12 pm

[quote=Moraen] Afghanistan is very difficult terrain. By putting the “full fury” of the U.S. there, you risk more lives. Sometimes you have to be exposed for hours on cliff faces where your entire platoon could be destroyed by al Quaeda. In this case, less is more. Bin Laden got away, but we have put a hurting on terror in the past nine years. In part because so many were killed or captured in Iraq. The problem is public opinion and the American people are fickle. And also, like those who overextended on credit because they couldn’t save up to buy the TV, Americans are impatient.Good for you for what you did. It needs to last beyond tragedies, but good for you nonetheless.

[/quote]



All valid points - but to me, these are the points that are expressed by people who make excuses.



I know it is difficult. Just get it done!

Feb 11, 2010 11:53 pm

I’m a veteran and I supported GW up until the last two years of his presidency. I feel that we were misled by our leaders, who proved to be incompetent. I hoped that the mission in Iraq would stabilize the Middle East. If we knew that the war would last for eight years, and still have no real resolution in sight, nobody would have supported it. And I mean no disrespect on the military and the great job they have done. The real problem is the cowboy attitude we Americans have, and our complete lack of respect for and understanding of Islamic culture. It’s too easy to start a war like the two we’re fighting, and almost impossible to stop one. If there were a draft instead of volunteers, ther would be rioting in the streets just like during the Vietnam conflict(another war that we lost).

Feb 12, 2010 12:13 am

I notice that no one refutes the points I made.  That it was right and necessary to go into Iraq.  That even MSNBC can’t hide the fact that they pulled yellowcake uranium out of Iraq.

That story has been buried.  That of course, was when the election was going on, but you sure didn’t hear anybody, Democrat or Republican pointing it out.  Democrats would not give Bush credit for a single thing, and Republicans betrayed their leader by cowering and avoiding him like the plague.

Wars are not quick.  Especially a war on an idea.  Terrorism isn’t a state that can be invaded and taken over.  It’s an idea that needs to be dealt with where it exists.  And the fight may take my lifetime or my children’s.  I would rather that it take my lifetime though.

Feb 12, 2010 2:49 pm

It is safe to say none of you were against the war at the outset. Now all of the sudden it was a terrible idea, AFTER THE FACT. Well done, be proud, I also knew the Saints would win the Super Bowl this year! That is the problem today. Everyone is a fricking Monday Morning Quarterback. Nobody has any opinion or stance, but then they hear the news, which is always critical and they pile on because that is the popular slant.

Feb 12, 2010 10:10 pm
Ron 14:

It is safe to say none of you were against the war at the outset. Now all of the sudden it was a terrible idea, AFTER THE FACT. Well done, be proud, I also knew the Saints would win the Super Bowl this year! That is the problem today. Everyone is a fricking Monday Morning Quarterback. Nobody has any opinion or stance, but then they hear the news, which is always critical and they pile on because that is the popular slant.

 

Nice story Larry, I'm sure there are 3,000 families out there who want the murderer who killed their sons, daughters, fathers, mothers and friends to finally be brought to justice.

It's disturbing how many people there are on this site who are somehow OK with a mass murderer being free. Who have forgotten about Afghanistan. Who are ok with us diverting resources from the pursuit of Bin Laden to fight a losing war in Iraq for 7 years. Sickening.   As for Ronnie! The only reason I was ok with Iraq at first was because I was told it would be over in a few weeks. I listened to this douche bag and he lied to me:       So now, you can be proud! You will believe any lie you are told, as long as the guy has a red tie. Lemming!   
Feb 13, 2010 2:55 am
Billy Mays:

[quote=Ron 14]It is safe to say none of you were against the war at the outset. Now all of the sudden it was a terrible idea, AFTER THE FACT. Well done, be proud, I also knew the Saints would win the Super Bowl this year! That is the problem today. Everyone is a fricking Monday Morning Quarterback. Nobody has any opinion or stance, but then they hear the news, which is always critical and they pile on because that is the popular slant.

 

Nice story Larry, I'm sure there are 3,000 families out there who want the murderer who killed their sons, daughters, fathers, mothers and friends to finally be brought to justice.

It's disturbing how many people there are on this site who are somehow OK with a mass murderer being free. Who have forgotten about Afghanistan. Who are ok with us diverting resources from the pursuit of Bin Laden to fight a losing war in Iraq for 7 years. Sickening.   As for Ronnie! The only reason I was ok with Iraq at first was because I was told it would be over in a few weeks. I listened to this douche bag and he lied to me:       So now, you can be proud! You will believe any lie you are told, as long as the guy has a red tie. Lemming!    [/quote]

Once again someone who doesn't know what he's talking about.
Feb 13, 2010 2:53 pm

Over in a few weeks ? Yeah, ok.  He never said that. You are so far gone it isn’t even worth arguing with you.

Feb 14, 2010 1:06 am
I was using the "Mission Accomplished" banner as proof he thought we were done. There is not a single intelligent person who did not get this impression from this event that the war was over and the rebuilding had begun. This is what I thought, this is what Bush thought. It's only people like you, who make excuses, who try to say this wasn't true.   I've added a few quotes, that I'm sure you've seen before, to further make my point. Note: I actually watched Cheney Live on Meet the Press on March 16. I believed what he said when he was lying. I thought it would be over quickly because the Bush administration told me it would be over quickly.     Feb. 7, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, to U.S. troops in Aviano, Italy: "It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months."

March 4, Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at a breakfast with reporters: "What you'd like to do is have it be a short, short conflict. . . . Iraq is much weaker than they were back in the '90s," when its forces were routed from Kuwait.

* March 11, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars: "The Iraqi people understand what this crisis is about. Like the people of France in the 1940s, they view us as their hoped-for liberator."

* March 16, Vice President Cheney, on NBC's Meet the Press: "I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators. . . . I think it will go relatively quickly, . . . (in) weeks rather than months." He predicted that regular Iraqi soldiers would not "put up such a struggle" and that even "significant elements of the Republican Guard . . . are likely to step aside."

    ...and you say I've gone too far? Pansy!
Feb 14, 2010 2:48 pm

I say you left a lot of out of that quote.  That’s how it works, haters and wishy-washy people leave words out.

And we were greeted as liberators. 

Feb 15, 2010 4:10 am
Moraen:

I say you left a lot of out of that quote.  That’s how it works, haters and wishy-washy people leave words out.
And we were greeted as liberators. 

  I'm certainly not wishy-washy. That's the mindset of you people who would sing Bush's praises as you follow him off a cliff and into 7 years of endless wars, banking collapse, housing collapse and total economic collapse and (sh*t, what's the opposite of prosperity).   Anyway, I consider Meet the Press (when Tim Russert hosted) to be one of the most valuable sources of information that you could get anywhere in journalism in '03. When someone went on his show, there was no BS -  Tim had a great way of demanding answers.   In the Cheney interview (which I TiVo'd - and watched many times), the expectation was set, by Cheney, that this would be the US coming to the aid of people in need. That the battle would be quickly won. The war would be over in weeks and we would start rebuilding soon after.   I know, your mind is hard-set on what you've been programmed to believe - but I believe the truth is, the largest army in the world can not stop the will of the people. Look at Vietnam '75, Afghanistan '87, E. Germany '90 or China '87-'89 & Present. As much as leaders and military try to control the world - it is the power and will of the individual that really decides the future. I believe this is why an American democracy is the greatest form of government in the world and I believe this is why we are losing in Iraq.   The will of the Iraqi people is they do not want the United States / GB to run their country. They want Halliburton out, they want Exxon Mobil out, they want BP out and they want Blackwater out.   It would be an easy win if the US could win the "hearts and minds" of the Iraqi people. And, this could be done if the propaganda we have been fed is the same as what we are actually doing on the ground - but it isn't. We are trying to rape their homeland for the benefit of a few (look at history - this is the reality of every war). Our mission is not noble and they know this.   You mock Obama when he extends an olive branch - but this is much better than pursuing Bush's losing strategy. (note: i'm growing tired of the US losing wars - we pay too much money to the military to be losing wars). I believe winning the "hearts and minds" is the only way we can win in Iraq. I am estatic that soldier deaths in Iraq are down 75% under Obama. Whatever he is doing, I hope this continues.     And, dude! why does your wife need to know where you are at all time??? grow a pair!
Feb 15, 2010 7:45 pm

[quote=Billy Mays]We are trying to rape their homeland for the benefit of a few (look at history - this is the reality of every war). Our mission is not noble and they know this.

 [/quote]  

There's just no way around the fact that you're an imbecile, Billy.

Feb 17, 2010 11:58 pm
Billy Mays:

[quote=Moraen]I say you left a lot of out of that quote.  That’s how it works, haters and wishy-washy people leave words out.
And we were greeted as liberators. 

  I'm certainly not wishy-washy. That's the mindset of you people who would sing Bush's praises as you follow him off a cliff and into 7 years of endless wars, banking collapse, housing collapse and total economic collapse and (sh*t, what's the opposite of prosperity).   Anyway, I consider Meet the Press (when Tim Russert hosted) to be one of the most valuable sources of information that you could get anywhere in journalism in '03. When someone went on his show, there was no BS -  Tim had a great way of demanding answers.   In the Cheney interview (which I TiVo'd - and watched many times), the expectation was set, by Cheney, that this would be the US coming to the aid of people in need. That the battle would be quickly won. The war would be over in weeks and we would start rebuilding soon after.   I know, your mind is hard-set on what you've been programmed to believe - but I believe the truth is, the largest army in the world can not stop the will of the people. Look at Vietnam '75, Afghanistan '87, E. Germany '90 or China '87-'89 & Present. As much as leaders and military try to control the world - it is the power and will of the individual that really decides the future. I believe this is why an American democracy is the greatest form of government in the world and I believe this is why we are losing in Iraq.   The will of the Iraqi people is they do not want the United States / GB to run their country. They want Halliburton out, they want Exxon Mobil out, they want BP out and they want Blackwater out.   It would be an easy win if the US could win the "hearts and minds" of the Iraqi people. And, this could be done if the propaganda we have been fed is the same as what we are actually doing on the ground - but it isn't. We are trying to rape their homeland for the benefit of a few (look at history - this is the reality of every war). Our mission is not noble and they know this.   You mock Obama when he extends an olive branch - but this is much better than pursuing Bush's losing strategy. (note: i'm growing tired of the US losing wars - we pay too much money to the military to be losing wars). I believe winning the "hearts and minds" is the only way we can win in Iraq. I am estatic that soldier deaths in Iraq are down 75% under Obama. Whatever he is doing, I hope this continues.     And, dude! why does your wife need to know where you are at all time??? grow a pair! [/quote]

Once again, you know nothing.  Look at the issue from practical stance.  People do what is in their best interests.  What happens if the U.S. pulls out of Iraq?  Do you think Maliki will be standoffish to Iran if he doesn't have the backing of the U.S. military?  Do you think it's good for us if Iran/Iraq work together. 

Your problem is you watch too much TV and don't spend enough time reading papers by people with brains.

Tim Russert is a toolbag.  "I got a thrill up my leg when I heard him speak".  WTF?! 

No one is going to change your diseased mind.  But there are some people on here who appreciate facts and not "journalism" (which in it's present form is crap).


Feb 18, 2010 5:50 pm

I agree, everyone does what is in their best interest. Obama is doing what is in his best interest right now. The reason I like him is I believe his #1 concern, over any other, is to do great things for our country. He will always be remembered as the first black president; I believe he also wants to be remembered as one of our great presidents (for him, this is his best interest). Sure, we all will disagree with some of the steps he is taking - but I will never believe he is taking these steps to cater to a constituency. I believe his only goal is greatness.

I think it is sad that the far-right; just 10-20% of our country; is doing whatever they can to tear him down at any cost. (Sadly, I'm sure between 2-10% of these people are highly motivated just because they hate blacks) These JACKASSES who showed up at town hall meetings and screamed just to create a media event - not to share and discuss alternatives or other options. I think Biden is right when he says Washington is broken.

By the way, Tim Russert's the dead guy. You are quoting Matthews with the stirring in his loins over Obama. (disturbing, in the least - and probably gay).

Russert may have had a slight left leaning (as most educated people do); but his interview style was all about getting answers - I thought he was one of the greatest.
Feb 18, 2010 6:00 pm

[quote=Billy Mays]

I agree, everyone does what is in their best interest. Obama is doing what is in his best interest right now. The reason I like him is I believe his #1 concern, over any other, is to do great things for our country. He will always be remembered as the first black president; I believe he also wants to be remembered as one of our great presidents (for him, this is his best interest). Sure, we all will disagree with some of the steps he is taking - but I will never believe he is taking these steps to cater to a constituency. I believe his only goal is greatness.

I think it is sad that the far-right; just 10-20% of our country; is doing whatever they can to tear him down at any cost. (Sadly, I'm sure between 2-10% of these people are highly motivated just because they hate blacks) These JACKASSES who showed up at town hall meetings and screamed just to create a media event - not to share and discuss alternatives or other options. I think Biden is right when he says Washington is broken.

By the way, Tim Russert's the dead guy. You are quoting Matthews with the stirring in his loins over Obama. (disturbing, in the least - and probably gay).

Russert may have had a slight left leaning (as most educated people do); but his interview style was all about getting answers - I thought he was one of the greatest. [/quote]

My apologies.  You are correct.  Tim Russert was one of the best interviewers of all time.  Investigative journalist though...no.


Feb 25, 2010 4:12 am
Moraen:

I believe Bush/Cheney used September 11 to start the war which best served their constituents; and by constituents, I mean Halliburton, etc. (note: Halliburton is the poster child, but there’s many others). Like rankstocks said, Cheney’s assets are in a blind trust.  Halliburton was one of the best equipped companies to handle the logistics of such an undertaking.

  Yeah, Halliburton is best equipped... Best equipped to provide faulty wiring so soldiers are electrocuted while taking a shower. Best equipped to build non-inhabitable buildings. and, best equipped to hire Cheney (if he survives his 5th heart attack) as a "consultant".   Just like everything else the government runs, war is a fraud. Politicians take care of the MIC because the MIC takes care of them...     note: MIC = Military Industrial Complex Eisnehower warned us - No one listened.  
Feb 25, 2010 12:53 pm
Billy Mays:

[quote=Moraen] I believe Bush/Cheney used September 11 to start the war which best served their constituents; and by constituents, I mean Halliburton, etc. (note: Halliburton is the poster child, but there’s many others). Like rankstocks said, Cheney’s assets are in a blind trust.  Halliburton was one of the best equipped companies to handle the logistics of such an undertaking.

  Yeah, Halliburton is best equipped... Best equipped to provide faulty wiring so soldiers are electrocuted while taking a shower.  Soldiers don't need help getting electrocuted - two guys in my AO got electrocuted by trying to re-wire a radio so it works on a Humvee
Best equipped to build non-inhabitable buildings.That's interesting, quite a bit of uninhabited buildings here in the US
and, best equipped to hire Cheney (if he survives his 5th heart attack) as a "consultant".  Why not hire the ex-Vice President?  Not my personal choice, but then again I wouldn't hire Al Gore either.
  Just like everything else the government runs, war is a fraud. Politicians take care of the MIC because the MIC takes care of them...     note: MIC = Military Industrial Complex Eisnehower warned us - No one listened.  [/quote]

Billy, most of us in Iraq had two jobs (soldiers are either underpaid or overpaid - in my case underpaid).  In addition to cordon and search, direct action, force protection and patrols, I was tasked with writing CERPS requests.

It is similar to grant writing.  However, you basically have to make a case to use government funds in your AO (Area of Operations).  The government funds may be used for infrastructure rebuilding, new construction, etc.  The wells, UXO that was removed, schools built, drainage created, farmland made as arable as possible, water purified, etc.  in our area was due in part to my CERPS requests.  In addition, most of it would not have been possible without Halliburton's aid.

You also leave off the fact that if it were not for Halliburton et al, soldiers would not have the amenities and the ability to connect with home like they have been.  In some areas, they get to eat four times a day (the chow hall is always open). Build coffee houses so soldiers can relax.  MWR.

Now, when I was there, a lot of these amenities were limited to the larger bases (of which we were not one).  But every now and then we got to see how the other side lived. 

And people give Blackwater a lot of crap too.  Eric Prince (I can't stand him) didn't really know anybody in the Bush Admin.  He was just a former Navy SEAL who inherited a lot of money and built a $billion company.  Or XE, whatever you want to call them.
Oct 6, 2010 7:01 am

The point is the main culprit who caused 9/11 the taliban is still at large. Sure they have brought down a few of the main players, but the organization is still flourishing. Added to that the US had no real and credible reason to attack iraq ( i am not supporting iraq) without finishing off the talliban. I mean considering the cost of the war little has been achieved. Added to the US soldiers lost in the war , it has been a single handed disaster. Without totally running Taliban into the ground, i think fighting a war simultaneously in Iraq and Afghanistan has been the main reason of the failure. But that’s just my 2 cents