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Long Discussion with Friend on R&R from Iraq tonight.

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Infomaniac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-28-04 11:28 PM
Original message
Long Discussion with Friend on R&R from Iraq tonight.
My friend, a NG officer, got back into the States last night after 6 months in Iraq. He has to report back on October 13. He's fluent in an unbelievable number of languages and he's picked up enough conversational Iraqi to kibbitz with the local citizenry. His job is to protect several police stations in Bagdhad. Here are some of his observations:

Bush is seriously deluded. Iraq is nowhere near any road to democracy. The situation has deterioted more this month than any other.

The contractors are rude, condescending and better armed than some of the troops. Many in his unit wonder aloud why they are risking their lives to protect some of these contractors. I said, "It's the oil, stupid."

He hears more "this would never have happened under Saddam" than anything else. Few Iraqis believe the interim government is capable of providing security and blame the Americans, rightly or wrongly, for all the insurgent attacks.

The military is not speaking candidly about the horrible morale among the troops in Iraq. There has already been one suicide in his unit. The stress from being shot at nearly constantly takes a very heavy toll.

More American troops is not the answer. They don't hate us for our freedoms, they hate us because we're there. An international force is the best way to avoid civil war.

This all comes from a registered republican, a man I have known for years as a RINO. He said he voted for Bush in 2000, but he doubts he will ever be able to vote repuke again. The first thing he wants to do when he gets to his home in Upstate New York is change his party affiliation. I told him I could get the form and save him the trip. We spoke for about 45 minutes or rather I listened to him for about 40 minutes. He is one mad soon-to-be former repuke.
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mhr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-28-04 11:36 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thanks For The Report Confirming All Our Suspicions
eom
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otohara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-28-04 11:38 PM
Response to Original message
2. Thanks For Posting -
personal stories from people serving in Iraq are valuable
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cally Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-28-04 11:40 PM
Response to Original message
3. I hope he stays safe when he goes back
and continues to be an emissary to the Iraqi people. I admire him for maintaining his humanity under crazy circumstances.
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NEDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-28-04 11:42 PM
Response to Original message
4. Thanks for posting,
I work with 2 women who have sons serving in Iraq (Navy and Marines) and they say that their sons are saying the exact same thing.

I wish someone could convince some of them to take a chance and start talking to the press. I know they'd be fucked but I'm sure the other soldiers would appreciate it.

Thanks for the post.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-28-04 11:47 PM
Response to Original message
5. Here's a companion piece for this post.
The troops coming back tell us the stories the media won't tell us.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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NJCher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-28-04 11:51 PM
Response to Original message
6. yay
Welcome, new Democrat. :)

Thanks for the report. I always like to read these first-hand accounts.


Cher
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-29-04 04:04 AM
Response to Original message
7. Thanks for this report --
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ursacorwin Donating Member (528 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-29-04 04:26 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. my friends say the same thing
i'm an academic and know a lot of folks who've been over there since the invasion, including several iraqis and other middle easterners. the situation is, and has been for some time, utterly fubar.

your friend is a bit of a rarity, from what i understand, in that he can actually speak the languages needed to get the local perspective. i really feel sorry for our troops, most of them have no idea why they are so hated, and the BS the military constantly shoves down their throats doesn't help that at all. constant lies from officers to enlisted folks only hurts morale more, and the cognitive dissonance must be overwhelming at times.

i just posted on another thread that we've got to stop thinking that the neocons are so smart and all powerful. your friend's report only confirms that most of them live in a fantasy world. if i stopped living in reality in favor of my fantasy world, i don't doubt it would be long before my world came crashing down, and that i'd be forced to face reality in a really harsh way.

power is like a drug- it deludes and clouds clear thinking, even for the strong minded. the neocons have been drunk on power for almost four years, and given the forces at work here, i expect an ugly moment of sobriety any day now.

and let's not ever forget all the iraqis and others who have died in this useless conflict. even more than the families of our american dead, they will NEVER forget what we have done. we will pay, and pay again, for the neocon hubris, and i for one pray that kerry has the ability to at least partially repair our reputation in the region. but don't doubt for a minute that the neocons have f*cked us, in terms of safety and stability, for a very long time.
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Disturbed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-29-04 04:46 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. That must be the answer.
I have been trying to figure out how the Neo Fascists ever thought that Iraq would be a "Democracy" when the three main groups are Sunnis, Shi'ites and Kurds living in fairly distinct areas of the country. Yes, I know there are exceptions to that but the areas are mainly distinct.

At this time these groups would like, for the most part to have the US and UK leave and not colonize Iraq and dictate how the country should be run and who controls the oil. None of the groups wants to be dominated by any of the others. I don't feel that that the US and UK can solve Iraq's problems. I don't feel that the upcoming elections will be solving any problems either because they will be in favor of US Puppet Govt. that is in place now.

Many people say that J. Kerry does not have a plan for Iraq. He ahs outlined a broad agenda but not a detailed one. I am not surprised about that because how could he have a plan when it is really not his place to dictate to Iraqis what they should do with their own country.

I have no idea what any solution to the Iraq debacle should be.

Anyone here have ideas?
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ursacorwin Donating Member (528 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-29-04 04:58 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. it's not so hard, really.
fire bush.
apologize to the iraqi people.
pull out all troops, mercs, and contractors.
dedicate all the money to rebuilding what we've destroyed.
hire iraqi and local firms to do so.
support an international peacekeeping force from mostly asian and muslim nations, lead by the un.
let the un train (for real this time) iraqi security forces.
apologize some more.
do whatever a fairly elected native gov't asks to support the reconstruction of iraq.
negotiate a real settlement in the I/P matter, or at least get back to the table and start real talks.
apologize some more.
stay the hell out of syria, iran and the rest of the region except as financial supporters to peaceful groups and gov't who provide aid and assistance to the region.
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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-29-04 05:14 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. excellent suggestions!
In fact they make so much sense that I know it will never happen. I keep thinking about the embassy and those bases the US has sunk billions into. It is going to be a much longer slog before the US lets them go, no matter how impractical.
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SpaceCatMeetsMars Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-29-04 07:13 AM
Response to Original message
12. kick
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