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ARMY Sargeants In Iraq-PROVE BUSCHO IS FULL OF IT-& Do It In A Brave, Honest & Moving Way (NYT Edit)

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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 11:05 PM
Original message
ARMY Sargeants In Iraq-PROVE BUSCHO IS FULL OF IT-& Do It In A Brave, Honest & Moving Way (NYT Edit)
Edited on Sat Aug-18-07 11:37 PM by kpete
Op-Ed Contributors
The War as We Saw It

By BUDDHIKA JAYAMAHA, WESLEY D. SMITH, JEREMY ROEBUCK, OMAR MORA, EDWARD SANDMEIER, YANCE T. GRAY and JEREMY A. MURPHY
Published: August 19, 2007
Baghdad



VIEWED from Iraq at the tail end of a 15-month deployment, the political debate in Washington is indeed surreal. Counterinsurgency is, by definition, a competition between insurgents and counterinsurgents for the control and support of a population. To believe that Americans, with an occupying force that long ago outlived its reluctant welcome, can win over a recalcitrant local population and win this counterinsurgency is far-fetched. As responsible infantrymen and noncommissioned officers with the 82nd Airborne Division soon heading back home, we are skeptical of recent press coverage portraying the conflict as increasingly manageable and feel it has neglected the mounting civil, political and social unrest we see every day. (Obviously, these are our personal views and should not be seen as official within our chain of command.)

................

At the same time, the most important front in the counterinsurgency, improving basic social and economic conditions, is the one on which we have failed most miserably. Two million Iraqis are in refugee camps in bordering countries. Close to two million more are internally displaced and now fill many urban slums. Cities lack regular electricity, telephone services and sanitation. "Lucky" Iraqis live in gated communities barricaded with concrete blast walls that provide them with a sense of communal claustrophobia rather than any sense of security we would consider normal.

In a lawless environment where men with guns rule the streets, engaging in the banalities of life has become a death-defying act. Four years into our occupation, we have failed on every promise, while we have substituted Baath Party tyranny with a tyranny of Islamist, militia and criminal violence. When the primary preoccupation of average Iraqis is when and how they are likely to be killed, we can hardly feel smug as we hand out care packages. As an Iraqi man told us a few days ago with deep resignation, "We need security, not free food."

In the end, we need to recognize that our presence may have released Iraqis from the grip of a tyrant, but that it has also robbed them of their self-respect. They will soon realize that the best way to regain dignity is to call us what we are an army of occupation and force our withdrawal.

read the rest please (and remember they will need our support):

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/19/opinion/19jayamaha.ht...
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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 11:09 PM
Response to Original message
1. I hope the laws enabling enlisted men to speak freely are enforced to the max.
I've heard of numerous disturbing incidents of officers trying to exploit ignorance about Congress' regulations protecting enlisted men (as if just because we don't have a draft means that those laws are somehow null and void while they're still on the books) to intimidate people into silence. Well, this is a darn good test of the law. Retaliation must not be tolerated.
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tabasco Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 11:18 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. You think officers aren't fed up with this shit too?
Only BushCo loyal senior officers in cushy headquarters and rear echelon pogues far away from danger talk about "victory" in Iraq.

The rank and file infantry type officers going downtown every day will tell you there's nothing being accomplished.

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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 12:44 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. Officers may be fed up but they don't have a right to badmouth the Prez.
If they can't speak, because their commissions prevent them from doing so, at least let's have the enlisted men speak.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #8
29. The commissioned officer's oath, unlike the enlisted one, does NOT require blind obedience to the
President. It does, however, require that we support, protect, and DEFEND the Constitution of the United States, against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

The ENLISTED oath is the one that discusses obeying 'the orders of the President of the United States, and the orders of the officers appointed over me. '

That said, these kids were sharp--they were sure to include this: Obviously, these are our personal views and should not be seen as official within our chain of command.
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tabasco Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 11:10 PM
Response to Original message
2. These NCO's understand leadership.
They stood up to tell the truth!
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Tandalayo_Scheisskopf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 01:33 AM
Response to Reply #2
13. Well, there goes a bunch of guys...
Edited on Sun Aug-19-07 01:33 AM by Tandalayo_Scheisskop
Who would have made outstanding First Sergeants and Sergeants-Major and maybe a mustang or two. Thus leaving those positions to the truly mediocre.

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appleannie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 11:14 PM
Response to Original message
3. More need to speak out as they have had
the courage to do.
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bonito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 11:15 PM
Response to Original message
4. How many lives will it take
How many of our children's lives will our " elected ones" sacrifice to this senseless madness.
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The Vinyl Ripper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 11:29 PM
Response to Original message
6. Four million refugees, both internal and external..
For a pre war population of about 26 million..

If you translated that to the US today it would be about 46,000,000 refugees.

Imagine forty six million Americans living in tent cities.

Little food or clean water, very little to no sanitary facilities.

It is to weep with rage and frustration.
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 12:40 AM
Response to Original message
7. K&R
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w8liftinglady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 12:46 AM
Response to Original message
9. as the mom of a soldier with PTSD
it may be a long time before these soldiers speak out.They have to justify,in their hearts,the innocent lives they may have taken.I remember,during his first deployment,him telling me"we aim low with the kids"-imagine having to make that decision.In 10 years,we will hear the horrors of This war,after our soldiers receive counseling,and can come to terms with their multiple deployments.
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bbgrunt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 12:54 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. except for a few sociopaths, the shame and the
horror over all they have gone through must rest with those who ordered this, not the soldiers themselves. While that reality cannot erase their despair, perhaps it will be their only consolation. And perhaps speaking out will help them regain their humanity. It is truly unspeakable what we have asked these soldiers to do.
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ninkasi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 03:19 AM
Response to Reply #9
14. As the mom of 3 40-something kids who didn't serve...
I can only try to imagine your anguish. The horrors that this war of choice will bring forth is still to be felt. Your child may be able to speak of his fears, and acts, relatively soon, but for every act he can speak of, there must be many more he keeps silence about, because to even speak of it, or acknowledge it, would cause him to lose his sanity.

For the ones who wanted, and got this war, a million years in hell would not be enough.The enormous suffering on both sides is something I can't even be able to contemplate. The ones who have brought about hell on earth deserve a fate worse than any I can imagine. And when I think that they are now eager to attack Iran, my mind shuts down, unable to cope with the sheer evil of their intents.
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midnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #9
23. w8liftinglady you are right, it's going to take years for these
stores to come out. Unfortunately it will be soldiers like your son who will try to formulate why the hell they were put in this mess. I wonder who is telling our soldiers to aim low at the kids. It sounds like our soldiers were exterminating a couple of generations. Washington has put our soldiers in a damned if they do and damned if they don't situation. Is your son finished serving? I hope so for his sake as well as for yours, and that the healing process can begin.


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puebloknot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 01:06 AM
Response to Original message
11. Major courage! Thanks for lifting my spirits that there are those...
...willing to speak truth to power.
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tblue37 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 01:21 AM
Response to Original message
12. This paragraph jumps out, too:
A few nights ago, for example, we witnessed the death of one American soldier and the critical wounding of two others when a lethal armor-piercing explosive was detonated between an Iraqi Army checkpoint and a police one. Local Iraqis readily testified to American investigators that Iraqi police and Army officers escorted the triggermen and helped plant the bomb. These civilians highlighted their own predicament: had they informed the Americans of the bomb before the incident, the Iraqi Army, the police or the local Shiite militia would have killed their families.
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PuraVidaDreamin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 09:04 AM
Response to Reply #12
18. BIG MAJOR HIGHLIGHT!
in my opinion
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #12
31. That's the brutal truth in a nutshell. You can't win hearts and ;minds when
there's no REASON for those hearts and minds to be turned.
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Dudley_DUright Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #12
32. as did this one
In short, we operate in a bewildering context of determined enemies and questionable allies, one where the balance of forces on the ground remains entirely unclear. (In the course of writing this article, this fact became all too clear: one of us, Staff Sergeant Murphy, an Army Ranger and reconnaissance team leader, was shot in the head during a time-sensitive target acquisition mission on Aug. 12; he is expected to survive and is being flown to a military hospital in the United States.) While we have the will and the resources to fight in this context, we are effectively hamstrung because realities on the ground require measures we will always refuse namely, the widespread use of lethal and brutal force.

:cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 03:44 AM
Response to Original message
15. KnR for their tremendous courage in service to our democracy by speaking out. nt
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Mayberry Machiavelli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 03:55 AM
Response to Original message
16. k/r these soldiers have every type of courage there is.
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baby_mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 07:27 AM
Response to Original message
17. [BUSHISTAS].oO("Dignity". What's it's market value?)

....oO(What can you use it to GET...?)
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riderinthestorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 09:31 AM
Response to Original message
19. Wow! Important editorial. K & R!
I really hate that these guys just shot their careers to bits by writing this but I stand in awe of their bravery in finally speaking up. How long do you think it will be before they are accused of being cowards by the Freepster Keyboard Kommanders? Counting down 5...4...3...
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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #19
36. My fantasy - having a citizen owned tv network - these guys could be
military advisors to us in parallel to the right wing PNAC military advisors, basically paid by the corporations who are profiting.
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ptolle Donating Member (423 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 05:45 PM
Response to Reply #36
40. petraus "report"
These are the guys who ought to be writing the "report" Gen. Petraus will be submitting to the white house for editing before they start the dog and pony show with congress this September.I just wish there were some way to insure that these courageous individuals don't come in for persecution and trumped up prosecution.
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frogcycle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #19
43. They had the smarts to wait until end of the deployment
harder to call them cowards...

The degree of insightfulness and quality of writing suggest some real foreign service prospects. They MAY have shot their military careers to hell, but under another administration they could all be on the ladder up the State Dept bureacracy. A couple of the names could be mideastern, which wouldn't hurt.
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freefall Donating Member (617 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 09:48 AM
Response to Original message
20. This article should be required reading for everyone in Congress and the administration!
:kick:

Thanks for posting it kpete!
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 10:13 AM
Response to Original message
21. The Iraqui people can not 'force our withdrawal', only the American people can do that.
And we have not even begun to force the withdrawal of our troops.
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acmavm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 10:33 AM
Response to Original message
22. Who could read this and not know that its hopeless?
<snip>
As many grunts will tell you, this is a near-routine event. Reports that a majority of Iraqi Army commanders are now reliable partners can be considered only misleading rhetoric. The truth is that battalion commanders, even if well meaning, have little to no influence over the thousands of obstinate men under them, in an incoherent chain of command, who are really loyal only to their militias.

Similarly, Sunnis, who have been underrepresented in the new Iraqi armed forces, now find themselves forming militias, sometimes with our tacit support. Sunnis recognize that the best guarantee they may have against Shiite militias and the Shiite-dominated government is to form their own armed bands. We arm them to aid in our fight against Al Qaeda.

However, while creating proxies is essential in winning a counterinsurgency, it requires that the proxies are loyal to the center that we claim to support. Armed Sunni tribes have indeed become effective surrogates, but the enduring question is where their loyalties would lie in our absence. The Iraqi government finds itself working at cross purposes with us on this issue because it is justifiably fearful that Sunni militias will turn on it should the Americans leave.

In short, we operate in a bewildering context of determined enemies and questionable allies, one where the balance of forces on the ground remains entirely unclear. (In the course of writing this article, this fact became all too clear: one of us, Staff Sergeant Murphy, an Army Ranger and reconnaissance team leader, was shot in the head during a “time-sensitive target acquisition mission” on Aug. 12; he is expected to survive and is being flown to a military hospital in the United States.) While we have the will and the resources to fight in this context, we are effectively hamstrung because realities on the ground require measures we will always refuse — namely, the widespread use of lethal and brutal force.

<snip>

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Mayberry Machiavelli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 10:53 AM
Response to Original message
24. Sad to think these guys have brought the whole Rovian Swiftboat shitstorm onto themselves.
They are hitting the Bush administration where it hurts worst, and no effort will be spared to discredit them.

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Faygo Kid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. Yes, Melanie Morgan et al will flay them. They have credibility, and that can't stand.
The scum of the earth will crawl out from under their rocks, as usual, to get these guys, and the hard-core, unshakeable 25 percent Bushbots will cheer them on.

Most of America will know better, but that won't stop it.
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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #24
28. that is exactly why
their speaking out is so important.
It is messages from brave Americans like these that will bring change to this country.

Anyone who hurts them and has not been in their shoes, can be completely trashed.
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riona Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 12:10 PM
Response to Original message
25. Will we hear this on the nightly news?
Just asking
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krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #25
34. Maybe Keith will mention it
He almost certainly will...
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frogcycle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 10:43 PM
Response to Reply #34
44. I expect he will lead with it n/t
too bad he can't get them on. He'll have the VoteVets guys to comment, though. And maybe Clark.

The more pub this can get fast the better.
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Jack Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 12:12 PM
Response to Original message
26. The White House can write the Petraeus Report
This is the Real Report.
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MissWaverly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 02:16 PM
Response to Original message
30. also I have read that the Iraq gov will not touch our projects
Edited on Sun Aug-19-07 02:18 PM by MissWaverly
you know all those power plants, etc. that we are fixing up, well, when they are done
the govt. will not touch them, they fall into the hands of the locals
and then soon they are not functioning. So we are spending billions
to do what, please run this by me again. Are we hearing this,
do the American people know this? These boys deserve a lot
of credit for introducing common sense and fact into the rah-rah
spin that has passed for truth these last 4 years. Saw last
night were they were equating Iraq with FDR and the
invasion of Europe, and what if we had wimped out on WWII
like the Dems want to do in Iraq. This has nothing to
do with "wimping" out, Iraq does not equal WW II in
any way.
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barbtries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 03:37 PM
Response to Original message
33. how can i support them,
and does publishing this subject them to court martial and imprisonment?
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krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 03:43 PM
Response to Original message
35. This part is interesting and goes to the core of the problem
Washingtons insistence that the Iraqis correct the three gravest mistakes we made de-Baathification, the dismantling of the Iraqi Army and the creation of a loose federalist system of government places us at cross purposes with the government we have committed to support.


That's it in a nutshell.
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barbtries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #35
39. just reading now:
http://www.amazon.com/Assassins-Gate-America-Iraq/dp/03...

the assassins gate. in between reading DU. i mentioned to my son this morning that every dread prediction about how things would go if we invaded iraq have come true. and then some. the situation is dire and worsening and the only people who can possibly benefit are the same people who set it all up in the first place. as a poster upstream mentioned a million years in hell would not be enough for them
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bamacrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 04:09 PM
Response to Original message
37. They better be careful, or they might get Tillmaned.
Too soon?

:shrug:
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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 04:16 PM
Response to Original message
38. You know - everything, absolutely everything points to a pathetic
Edited on Sun Aug-19-07 04:18 PM by higher class
state of affairs for the country of the USA. How far down could we have fallen since 1963 and especially since 2001. And the same people are running the show - some think they are great leaders and can be trusted. When the truth is crime - crime against the citizens - 40 + years of it. And crimes against millions of people in other countries. With none of the group of these leaders doing a thing about one core issue - peace between Israel and neighbors, but instead building the United States of Corporations, allowing and easing the way of Constitution and Court rewriters, and religious nuts.

The deception is so transparent and we seem locked into immobility.
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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 08:02 PM
Response to Original message
41. K & R.
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 08:13 PM
Response to Original message
42. bush doesn't give a shit what they think.
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1776Forever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 10:58 PM
Response to Original message
45. Now this is coming right from our brave troops! Are you listening W?????????????????
Oh - its your bedtime and Condie is not at the ranch - or is she? Maybe she will read this to you for a bedtime story---------------------------------------- :banghead:
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-20-07 08:43 AM
Response to Original message
46. This paragraph stood out for me:
Speaking of the new Iraqi Shiite coalition: Their next task is to figure out how best to consolidate the gains, because reconciliation without consolidation risks losing it all. Washingtons insistence that the Iraqis correct the three gravest mistakes we made de-Baathification, the dismantling of the Iraqi Army and the creation of a loose federalist system of government places us at cross purposes with the government we have committed to support.
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Mayberry Machiavelli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-21-07 08:22 PM
Response to Original message
47. Is this article getting ANY coverage at all? I was surprised to not even see any LTTEs about it in
the NY Times letters page, unless they're saving them up for one big blowout.
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