Sunday, April 18, 2004

Hi Faiza,

I'm adding this comment to the beginning to clarify something. I fully
support our military, but as a nation, we had no right whatsoever to invade
Iraq and both Emperor Bremer and our military have made a terrible mess of
it since. Also, prior to the war, long prior to the war, I was expressing my
views to a select few, most of whom were gung-ho to invade. I was also
repeatedly pointing out, on WMDs, that Bush and team were making assertions,
none of which were substantiated. I also posted prior to the war that there
would be no WMD found, in addition to pointing out that there was no
planning for the aftermath of the invasion. So much for that.

On draft. Yes, there is no draft now. However, there is talk, and no doubt
at all, contingency plans well advanced, to bring it back if we continue our
screw ups as in Afghanistan and Iraq. There aren't going to be enough
volunteers, because those who would have joined are finally getting the idea
the mission of the military is not simply to send one to college and visit
the world as a tourist.

One young girl had told me a couple years ago that she was going to join. I
suggested that she not do so, and I explained to her the reality, but she
probably thought me too old to know what I was talking about.

I'm reminded as I write the above that a few years ago I was asked to speak
at local high schools to encourage the seniors to attend a particular
military school. I refused on the grounds that I would not lend my support
to women attending (which they do) and entering the profession. Unpopular
position here, but I know the profession.

Yes, the majority of US young who join are entirely naive, thinking of the
military as only a means to a college education and a chance to travel.
Extremely sad. That's the Army. The Marines, however, are very up-front
about it - no misleading advertisements there.

The Marines are excellent for combat. BUT that should only be against an
enemy combat force. Fallujah, in my view, is a disgrace for us. I feel
terrible about what we have done there. From what I read from within
Fallujah, some Marine snipers have violated what we stand for and have
lowered themselves and the honor of our nation. That simply is not what the
U.S. is supposed to be about. Unless all I read from inside Fallujah is in
error, what we have done is shameful.

I have some reason to be of the view that a part of the long delay in
operations there is for lack of fuel due to the Line of Communications (LOC)
problem, i.e., sufficient fuel's been interrupted to effect operations.
Classic strategic objective - hit the LOC.

I hope that there will not be a re-start of major operations against
Fallujah. That would be terrible. Our troops should simply stay out of
there. We've already made it a mid-East Alamo.

Also, I certainly hope that our demonstrable ignorance is not magnified
further by attacking into Najaf. What a disaster that would be for us and
any remote chance of future peace.

As I said up front, I totally support our troops, but some - and that's
multiple - throughout the chain of command appear to have bone-heads, not
able to see consequences at all. Extremely short sighted. Doesn't apply to
all by any means. But it does not take many in the chain of commands to
really screw up everything.

My apologies for the long post.

Warm regards,

Skip - U.S.

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