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U.S. Army Stretched to Breaking Point

OK, here we go again. This article was posted online by the Associated Press this evening. Longtime listeners know that Tom Madsen (a Korean War combat veteran) and I have been opposed to the Iraq war since the beginning. There are consequences to our actions. Thousands of people dead. Billions of dollars spent (and wasted). For what, I ask you. For what?

So read this for yourselves — another indicator of the impact this war is having on our country.

“Stretched by frequent troop rotations to Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army has become a “thin green line” that could snap unless relief comes soon, according to a study for the Pentagon.

Andrew Krepinevich, a retired Army officer who wrote the report under a Pentagon contract, concluded that the Army cannot sustain the pace of troop deployments to Iraq long enough to break the back of the insurgency. He also suggested that the Pentagon’s decision, announced in December, to begin reducing the force in Iraq this year was driven in part by a realization that the Army was overextended.

As evidence, Krepinevich points to the Army’s 2005 recruiting slump — missing its recruiting goal for the first time since 1999 — and its decision to offer much bigger enlistment bonuses and other incentives.

“You really begin to wonder just how much stress and strain there is on the Army, how much longer it can continue,” he said in an interview. He added that the Army is still a highly effective fighting force and is implementing a plan that will expand the number of combat brigades available for rotations to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 136-page report represents a more sobering picture of the Army’s condition than military officials offer in public. While not released publicly, a copy of the report was provided in response to an Associated Press inquiry.

Illustrating his level of concern about strain on the Army, Krepinevich titled one of his report’s chapters, “The Thin Green Line.”

He wrote that the Army is “in a race against time” to adjust to the demands of war “or risk `breaking’ the force in the form of a catastrophic decline” in recruitment and re-enlistment.

Col. Lewis Boone, spokesman for Army Forces Command, which is responsible for providing troops to war commanders, said it would be “a very extreme characterization” to call the Army broken. He said his organization has been able to fulfill every request for troops that it has received from field commanders.

The Krepinevich assessment is the latest in the debate over whether the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have worn out the Army, how the strains can be eased and whether the U.S. military is too burdened to defeat other threats.

Rep. John Murtha (news, bio, voting record), the Pennsylvania Democrat and Vietnam veteran, created a political storm last fall when he called for an early exit from Iraq, arguing that the Army was “broken, worn out” and fueling the insurgency by its mere presence. Administration officials have hotly contested that view.

George Joulwan, a retired four-star Army general and former NATO commander, agrees the Army is stretched thin.

“Whether they’re broken or not, I think I would say if we don’t change the way we’re doing business, they’re in danger of being fractured and broken, and I would agree with that,” Joulwan told CNN last month.

Krepinevich did not conclude that U.S. forces should quit Iraq now, but said it may be possible to reduce troop levels below 100,000 by the end of the year. There now are about 136,000, Pentagon officials said Tuesday.

For an Army of about 500,000 soldiers — not counting the thousands of National Guard and Reserve soldiers now on active duty — the commitment of 100,000 or so to Iraq might not seem an excessive burden. But because the war has lasted longer than expected, the Army has had to regularly rotate fresh units in while maintaining its normal training efforts and reorganizing the force from top to bottom.

Krepinevich’s analysis, while consistent with the conclusions of some outside the Bush administration, is in stark contrast with the public statements of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and senior Army officials.

Army Secretary Francis Harvey, for example, opened a Pentagon news conference last week by denying the Army was in trouble. “Today’s Army is the most capable, best-trained, best-equipped and most experienced force our nation has fielded in well over a decade,” he said, adding that recruiting has picked up.

Rumsfeld has argued that the experience of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan has made the Army stronger, not weaker.

“The Army is probably as strong and capable as it ever has been in the history of this country,” he said in an appearance at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington on Dec. 5. “They are more experienced, more capable, better equipped than ever before.”

Krepinevich said in the interview that he understands why Pentagon officials do not state publicly that they are being forced to reduce troop levels in Iraq because of stress on the Army. “That gives too much encouragement to the enemy,” he said, even if a number of signs, such as a recruiting slump, point in that direction.

Krepinevich is executive director of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a nonprofit policy research institute.

He said he concluded that even Army leaders are not sure how much longer they can keep up the unusually high pace of combat tours in Iraq before they trigger an institutional crisis. Some major Army divisions are serving their second yearlong tours in Iraq, and some smaller units have served three times.

Michael O’Hanlon, a military expert at the private Brookings Institution, said in a recent interview that “it’s a judgment call” whether the risk of breaking the Army is great enough to warrant expanding its size.

“I say yes. But it’s a judgment call, because so far the Army isn’t broken,” O’Hanlon said.”

For what, I ask you. For what?

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  1. Anonymous
    January 25, 2006 at 6:13 am

    You make me sick with your leftist crap, Congalton! Why don’t we just surrender and have another 9-11 happen? Is that what you want? You and the crazy Air America/ John Kerry/ Bill Clinton bunch should just pack it up and get out of here.

    There are brave American men and women risking their lives for us and all you can do is second-guess their mission. You make me sick. The President has repeatedly said this is a long term war on terrorism and we have to stay together to support him.

    So what’s your plan, Congalton? go ahead, loudmouth. Let’s hear you do a show where you outline how we win the war on terrorism. How would you keep us safe, Dave?

    You make me sick.

  2. Osos Pete
    January 25, 2006 at 7:19 am

    Anonymous,

    You’re entitled to your opinion, but I read the posted article and it seems like Dave is merely reminding us of the obvious: (1) We rushed into the war unprepared; (2) We didn’t commit enough troops to stabilize the country and (3) We’ve been fighting this war on the cheap.

    To be honest, I don’t think anyone has a clue about what to do in Iraq — that’s what makes me sick.

  3. Bob from San Luis
    January 25, 2006 at 7:46 am

    Dear Anonymous: What a brave individual, can’t even post with a hint of your name? As for this report being leftist crap, did you even read who wrote the report, and who asked him to? As far as surrendering and having another 9/11, um, we were attacked by, let’s see, Iraqis? No, they were Saudis, operating out of Afghanistan, using not military weapons, but sneaking knives or box-cutters through lax airport security, even though some of the hijackers were on watch lists. 9/11 might not have happened if President Bush hadn’t dropped the ball, been on vacation again, or if he had paid attention to his terrorism experts working in the White House. If there is another attack, it won’t be because of what our military is or isn’t doing, it will be because someone who is supposed to be checking cargo or i.d.s slipped up and didn’t do their job right.
    There are brave American men and women risking their lives for us and all you can do is second-guess their mission. You make me sick.
    Dave asked a question, what is their mission? You didn’t answer the question. Have you ever heard Dave question our troops integrity or bravery? No, he hasn’t, he, like a lot of Americans question exactly why we are in Iraq, what is the mission that is causing our brave young men and women to die in a country that never attacked us, never had the capability to attack us, yet we invaded Iraq for what?
    There were no groups of terrorists in Iraq before we invaded, but there have been plenty who have come into Iraq since we have been there. If you are so gung ho about our “mission” in Iraq, I’m sure a military recruiter would love to talk to you. You talk the talk, can you walk the walk? Pull your head out from where the sun never shines and open your eyes, we were mislead into this “war”, and your attempt at dialog is juvenile at best, and insulting at worst.

  4. Rich from Paso
    January 27, 2006 at 1:47 am

    First, let me stand against Mr. Anonymous by saying that my dealings with Dave have been upfront, intellectually honest and open to what I and others that disagree with him have to say. Dave is a self-described liberal, he is open and honest about it and I respect his opinion and will fight to the death to protect his right to express it.

    That said… to the point of the article that the US Army is stretched to the breaking point. I categorically refuse to accept the premise that the US Army CAN be “stretched to the breaking point”. Think about what the article is saying: That the greatest military force in world history can only sustain 3 years of combat operations before it is combat ineffective. Pile on the fact that, on average, only 140,000 boots are on the ground at any point in time. That represents about 17% of our total Army forces. Folks like Jack Murtha, an honorable veteran that is a part of the House of Reps that controls the purse-strings, has either under funded and undermanned and underequipped the Army to get us to the point or he, and others like him, is just simply wrong. I say the latter not the former. We are, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the best trained, best led, and best equipped Army the world has ever known. Working with our Air Force, Marine and Navy brothers and sisters-in-arms, we can beat anyone in the world, anywhere, anytime, period. But for sake of discussion, let’s assume the premise is correct, that the Army is being stretched to the breaking point. What does that tell us? All any would-be foe in the world has to do is sustain 1000 days of combat with us and they will win because we will collapse under our own weight. This means that any foe can wait us out, perform a hit-and-run insurgency and eventually we will quit the field of battle of our own accord because we cannot sustain that level of OPTEMPO. The lone Superpower cannot be seen as that weak to anyone in the world. During WWIII, we fought 4 years of sustained combat operations involving hundreds of thousands of troops and sailors, with no rotations home, with no leave, no telephone or e-mail and we won. We were bigger, more cumbersome force that was equipped with weapons and materiel rushed through production. We had tanks built with different calibers of guns whose ammo was not interchangeable with other guns. We had troops that were freshly drafted, rushed through training at places like Camp Roberts and then sped of to fight. And we won. And will always win given the chance to win.

    That said talking about the Army stretched to the breaking point only encourages every terrorist or tin-pot dictator to thumb their noses at us and tell us to go pound sand because our military lacks the wherewithal to prosecute a war to the nth degree and achieve victory. Under this premise, if we had gone in with more forces earlier on, like many have suggested, there is no guarantee that the insurgency would have been broken sooner. Quite the contrary, if Murtha is right (I believe he is not) that the very presence of the Army is the impetus and motivation for the insurgency, it would have only created a more violent, virulent, and brutal insurgency needed to counter the higher numbers of US troops on Iraqi soil. We would have probably ha a proportionally higher number of foreign fighters than we do now. Furthermore, the casualty figure would easily be doubled, if not higher, because there would be more soldiers to shoot at. Morale is still high by the troops on the ground. They believe in what they were doing and the Iraqi people, typified by the Iraqi Kurd that spoke up at the President’s speech at Kansas State, are grateful to President Bush for freeing them from Saddam’s brutal regime. As to retention, I personally reenlisted 75% of those Soldiers eligible for reenlistment. This was the norm, not the exception. Recruitment has suffered due in most part to the propagandizing of the war by the anti-war/anti-Iraq war/anti-Bush Left. There are anti-recruiters that talk prospective Soldiers and Marines out of enlistment. In general, there is an Iraq fatigue propagated by an American media beating people down with constant negativity, on how evil our troops in Iraq are because of very isolated cases of prisoner abuse being played out as the rule not the exception, and the terrorism of Iraqi women and children as John Kerry asserted. As an aside, John Kerry is a blithering idiot if there ever was one and I would love to debate anyone on the lack of honor and integrity he has shown when it come to the military, any day of the week, twice on Sunday. You have Howard Dean telling the parents of prospective Marines, Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen that the war they may be called to fight in is unwinable. This hurts recruitment and don’t think that Dean and the anti-war/anti-Iraq war/anti-Bush Left haven’t thought about this before they say what they do.

    Pete says that no one has any idea what to do over there. I recommend that you all read the article found in the Weekly Standard about the current strategy of “Clear, hold, build”. This is where we go in, clear out the insurgency, hold the town or village with a mix of Iraqi and American Soldiers and then build up the police forces and infrastructure of the community to thwart further insurgent activity. It is a good plan and one that we in the Big Red One implemented at the brigade level in the city of Ramadi when I was there.

    Bob from San Luis says a lot of things that make me scratch my head. First he says that 9/11 happened because of lax security at airport but then says that 9/11 wouldn’t have happened if President Bush hadn’t dropped the ball and was on vacation. So, the President is responsible for everything that goes on and he can’t take a vacation? Stop your copy of Fahrenheit 9/11 on the DVD and think for a second. The lax airport security has been lax since the invention of air travel until 9/12/2001. That is an indictment on every single person that has worked airport security at every level of government, every President, every DOT secretary, everyone down the line. Furthermore, the world did not begin the day Bush was elected. Everything happens in the context of time. Clinton and Bush 41 are just a culpable as Bush 43.

    Bob says that Saudis attacked us not Iraq. True, but here (Again) are the reasons why we went to war in Iraq:

    1. He has murdered over 300,000 of his own citizenry. I would say ‘people’ but he didn’t murder many Sunnis, only Shia and Kurds. Furthermore this number is constantly being revised upward.

    2. Intelligence, as it was known in the world, was that Saddam was conspiring to build nuclear, biological, and/or chemical weapons. Saddam refused to come forward and answer the Bush Administration’s demands that he account for the weapons and materials he had at the end of the Persian Gulf War. I theorize that this was some vain, futile attempt to appear stronger than he was to keep his enemies at bay. I am willing to bet that those weapons existed and they will either be found in the desert somewhere or under Bashar Assad’s bed in Syria. Additionally, Saddam was using the kickbacks from the son of Kofi Annon’s Oil for Food program to rebuild his weapons programs. Our “allies” France, Germany and Russia were the key component providers for this buildup and hence their refusal to help us in the liberation effort.

    3. He used chemical weapons on the Kurdish and Shia segments of his population with impunity.

    4. He used chemical weapons on the Iranians during the Iran-Iraq War.

    5. He attempted the assassination of George H.W. Bush. Wrong no matter who the target was. I would want to kick Saddam’s ass if he attempted to assassinate Bill Clinton. He also fired at our Airmen policing the U.N. mandated No-Fly Zones, also an act of war.

    6. No al Qaeda in Iraq? Intelligence, as it was known at the time the war started, showed that there were al Qaeda elements in Iraq, namely Al-Zaqauri and some of his followers. To that, as I stated during my first appearance, there was an al Qaeda cell operating in Ramadi as early as Halloween 2003. They were well financed and well entrenched in the local community not some Johnny-come-latelys; they had been there a long time. So say what you will, but I have seen with my own eyes the evidence that al Qaeda was in Iraq before we went in.

    7. Saddam Hussein support terrorist causes around the world. From Hamas and Hezbollah to al Qaeda as I previously mentioned. He provided lavish training and housing to the Mujahudeen al Kalliq in Fallujah. The MEK as they are know, were Iranian dissidents that fled Iran when the mullahs came to power in 1979 (thank you Jimmy Carter). The MEK were trained to be a terrorist insurgent force to be deployed in Iran. We had to sue for a separate peace with the MEK because they are in fact Iranian citizens. Saddam also paid the families of suicide bombers in Israel stipends once the deed is done, encouraging further suicide bomber attacks.

    8. Finally, Saddam Hussein and his family enjoyed a lavish, opulent lifestyle at the expense of his people. His sons kidnapped 12 and 13 year old girls, raped them repeatedly for over the course of several weeks and then turned them back over to their

    The bottom line is this: The liberation of Iraq is the most honorable thing this country has done since the liberation of Kuwait 15 years ago. We have freed 27 million people: fact, indisputable. Me and my fellow Iraq veterans I have talked to agree that we would volunteer to go back to Iraq if it meant keeping the anti-war/anti-Iraq war/anti-Bush Left from pulling our troops out too early and causing our comrades from dying in vain. Do not deny my generation the honor and respect that was denied to the veterans of the Vietnam War by not letting us finish what we have started.

  5. Bob from San Luis
    January 27, 2006 at 8:39 am

    Rich, thank you for responding, and thank you very much for your service to the United States of America. You made some very valid points, among those about how our country pulled together during WWII, and somehow made it work. I will not question the patriotism or service of our brave military, they do the job they are told to do, and they do their job well. I do have several problems with this “war”, not the least of which is how we got into it in the first place. Rich, you say that airport security has been lax ever since air travel has been around. Has an Israel airliner ever been compromised? El Al has always practiced tight security, and I don’t believe they have ever been attacked successfully. Some of the 9/11 hijackers were on terrorist watch lists. The Clinton Administration tried to instruct and warn the incoming Bush Administration that “terrorism will be the single most important issue you deal with in protecting the U.S.”, but the Bush White House was more concerned with not doing anything remotely similar to the Clinton White House, so there were no meetings of the Terrorism Task Force that Vice President Cheney was supposed to be in charge of, and Attorney General Ashcroft was more concerned with draping the exposed breast of a statue in the Justice Building and going after pornographers then pursuing terror suspects. Are you aware that a few of the hijackers actually were roommates with an FBI agent? Yes, I blame George W. Bush for dropping the ball, it is possible that he could have prevented 9/11, but, since he never even attempted to take the threat seriously, we will never know if he could have stopped it.
    Now, as for our invasion of Iraq: The President went to Congress and informed them of intelligence that his administration had gathered that supposedly was a “slam dunk” on the evidence that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction (not weapons of mass destruction programs), but that intelligence was “gathered” with the single intention of making a case for invading Iraq. In the vote to authorize the President to use force against Iraq if necessary, the President agreed to go back to the UN, and he was to report back to Congress if he was going to use force. He did neither. President Bush told us that Saddam wouldn’t let UN inspectors in, but they were there at that time. When it is stated that President Bush lied us into a war of his choosing, that is no exaggeration, that is an undeniable fact. Are our forces making a difference in Iraq? Yes, I believe that 99.5% of our presence in Iraq is making a positive impact for those who were oppressed under Saddam. Regardless of whether or not we should have gone in, we are there now, and we need to do the right thing. Rich, you mentioned how well America did at pulling together during WWII; one of the largest problems with the situation in Iraq is the presence of “contractors” who are doing outsourced jobs that are normally performed by trained military personal. Doesn’t the military train, deploy and usually rely upon assorted support personal like truck drivers, supply clerks, cooks and other personal who are military trained and are active duty, but their primary function is not that of patrols and/or police type duty? I think that the Honorable Representative Murtha has brought up the ideal of our military being stretched to the breaking point are doing so not to question the ability of our fine military, but to point out that just maybe this administration could better by not outsourcing what should be military jobs, not allowing contractors to be in charge of detention facilities or interrogations, and get the job done right.
    The liberation of Iraq may have had the best of intentions, but I believe we could have done it better, with fewer causalities on both sides, without losing the 8.8 Billion, and we should have completed more of the rebuilding projects, restored electricity and water treatment facilities to pre-invasion status and won over the hearts of the Iraqis by accomplishing what we said we would do. For all of this I do not put the blame on the military; as I said earlier, they are doing the best they can, given what they have to work with. I place the full responsibility of any and all of the poorly planned, underfunded, undermanned and ultimately flawed operations squarely upon this administration. My opinion is that in the final examination, this whole operation is a smoke screen concocted solely to allow cronies and donors to the Bush Administration to scam, steal and make profits on the backs and off the blood of our fine American service personal. As I have stated before, I don’t hate George W. Bush or any Republican; I hate what they have done to our country, to the world, and, that they are doing it in our name.

  6. Rich from Paso
    January 27, 2006 at 8:18 pm

    Bob, thank you for the very intelligently designed response and for the very kind words. Service to my country has been and will always be a personal privilege and an honor.

    Let me respond to you point by point:

    El Al has always practiced tight security, and I don’t believe they have ever been attacked successfully.

    Liberals are caterwauling over Bush violating civil rights by listening to the conversations of terrorists or terrorist sympathizers in the U.S.; I do not think for a second that Liberals would let Bush implement the same security measures that El Al has. Flight attendants are armed on El Al flights. They shoot first and identify the body later. They don’t play. The ALCU would be filling the courts with lawsuits over those practices.

    Some of the 9/11 hijackers were on terrorist watch lists.

    Those 9/11 terrorists were on the CLINTON administration terrorist watch list, but law enforcement would never know about that if the Patriot Act hadn’t remove the intelligence-law enforcement intel sharing wall that Jaime Gorelick erected to protect the legal rights of terrorist. Want proof? In July 2000, Mohamed Atta enrolled at Huffman Aviation International in Venice, Florida. Five months later he moved to the Miami area to practice his piloting skills on a Boeing 727 flight simulator. Time Magazine reported “[Congressman Curt] Weldon says a data-mining exercise, called Able Danger, spotted Atta and other hijackers in 1999, but Pentagon lawyers in September 2000 blocked officials running the program from handing the tip to the FBI.”

    You may not accept Able Danger as fact but it is a fact that Mohamed Atta was learning his 9/11 skills on Clinton’s watch.

    The Clinton Administration tried to instruct and warn the incoming Bush Administration that “terrorism will be the single most important issue you deal with in protecting the U.S.”

    This is an amazing admission of incompetence, laziness and neglect from the 42nd President of the United States. Of course Clinton knew that terrorism would be the most important issue for Bush, HE SET HIM UP FOR IT. Let’s look at Clinton’s record when it come to his handling of terrorism and Al Qaeda, shall we?

    World Trade Center Bombing – February 1993 Clinton’s response? Prosecuted 3 men and a blind cleric did nothing to al Qaeda because of “no controlling legal authority” to do anything about it outside the United States.

    Somalia/ Black Hawk Down incident – Oct. 3, 1993. What was Clinton’s response? Pulled out U.S. troops and proved to Osama bin Laden that the U.S. (namely Clinton) was weak and would quit the field of battle if their nose got a little bloody, encouraging terrorist around the world.

    Khobar Towers bombing – June 25, 1996 Hezbollah bombs Air Force barrack in Saudi Arabia killing 19 servicemen and wounding 372. In 2004, the 9/11 Commission noted the possibility that Osama bin Laden may have helped the group, possibly by helping to obtain explosives and there is strong evidence that the government of Iran was the key sponsor of the incident. Initial reports from the scene strongly suggested an intelligence failure was to blame for the terrorist attack. Secretary of Defense William J. Perry declared, “Our commanders were trying to do right but, given the inconclusive nature of the intelligence, had a difficult task to know what to plan for.” “We will pursue this,” President Clinton pledged. “Those who did this must not go unpunished.” So who did Clinton punish? No one! He demanded and got a limp wrested apology from the Iranians. Whoop tee do!

    U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania – The bombings — which came within minutes of each other on Aug. 7, 1998 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya — killed 231 people, including 12 Americans. Al Qaeda was directly linked to the bombings and Osama bin Laden was indicted for his role in the bombings. Admiral William Crowe chaired the board the looking into the bombings and here is just one of the findings: “No recent tactical intelligence information existed to alert the embassy to the August 7 bombing. Intelligence received in 1997 about plans for vehicle bomb attacks or assassinations was carefully vetted, but by early 1998 these alleged threats had been discredited or found moot. In retrospect, the Department and the intelligence community relied too heavily on warning intelligence to measure the threat of terrorism and failed to take other factors into account in determining and confirming in 1998 that the threat of terrorism was only medium. Also, the embassy was heavily preoccupied with the critical crime level.”
    So what was Clinton’s response? He cowardly fired Tomahawk missiles at a Sudanese aspirin factory and at a long vacant al Qaeda training base in Afghanistan. Sound and thunder signifying nothing.

    U.S.S. Cole bombing – October 2000 Al Qaeda terrorist plant a bomb on the hull of the Cole blowing a gaping hole in the side of the ship and killing 39 sailors. President Bill Clinton declared, “If, as it now appears, this was an act of terrorism, it was a despicable and cowardly act. We will find out who was responsible and hold them accountable”. So who did Clinton hold accountable? No one. He left that for George W. Bush to take care of. In November 2002, the CIA killed the planner of the bombing with a Hellfire missile fired from a Predator UAV in Yemen.

    I know exactly what you are saying at this very second, “But Rich, 9/11 happened on George Bush’s watch”. All of these previously cited terrorist attacks happened on Clinton’s watch. Where was your outrage then at Clinton’s failure after failure after failure to do something, ANYTHING, about Osama bin Laden? All Clinton managed to prove is that he could get a hummer from an intern while talking to that other terrorist, Arafat. Yep, that’s quality multi-tasking. I bring up Monica Lewinski because you said that Bush was on vacation pre-9/11, but while Osama bin Laden and Kalid Sheik Mohamed were planning the greatest terrorist strike on American soil and with all of the previous al Qaeda attacks, what was Clinton’s first priority? Monica Lewinski. Nero played the lyre while Rome burned. Bush had NINE MONTHS to fix Clinton’s blunders with bin Laden, beef up airport security, and secure the borders that had existed for the entire EIGHT YEARS of Clinton’s administration. Where is your sense of fairness? If Al Gore had stole the Presidency, would you be as equally outraged? I think not. That R for Republican is all the Left needs to look at and George W. Bush is responsible for every wrong that has ever occurred in the world. Gore would have been given a pass just like you gave Clinton a pass for his eight years of sitting on his hands.

    Now, as for our invasion of Iraq: The President went to Congress and informed them of intelligence that his administration had gathered that supposedly was a “slam dunk” on the evidence that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction (not weapons of mass destruction programs), but that intelligence was “gathered” with the single intention of making a case for invading Iraq.

    I distinctly remember the Meet the Press where William Cohen, Secretary of Defense under Clinton, went on the air with a bag of flour sitting in front of him. On this show, he stated emphatically that the amount of Iraqi biological weapons equivalent to the amount of that bag, was enough to kill every man woman and child in New York or some place, and Saddam had them. Let me remind you again: my Brigade found Iraqi chemical and biological weapons. Not programs, but bona fide, honest to God, no B.S. this time, for real, I mean it this time, 155mm artillery shells and bombs that were Iraqi. They had mustard gas, nerve agent and Sarin gas canisters. I will grant you that there not the quantities to justify the administration coming out and saying “We found the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction we told you about”, but they were there none the less. As I said earlier, I think they were moved to Syria and are currently under Bashar Assad’s bed.

    One of the largest problems with the situation in Iraq is the presence of “contractors” who are doing outsourced jobs that are normally performed by trained military personal.

    You are in territory you know little about here. Every year, Congress determines exactly how many people can be in the Army, Navy and Air Force. That number is in the Defense Authorization Bill that comes out every year. This number can only be changed when the Army or whatever is under the “Stop Loss” policy and it is only for a short time per person. That said, it has been determined that the Army needs more trigger pullers than truck drivers, supply clerks, cooks, etc. So to make up for that shortfall, the DoD hires civilians to fulfill those positions. Yes, Kellogg Brown and Root, a subsidiary of Haliburton, gets a bulk of those contracts, BUT THEY ARE THE ONLY ONES THAT CAN DO THE JOB! KBR did a magnificent job building and running the chow hall I ate in for a year, building the showers I used every day, building the home-quality latrines I used every day. They provided the ground services necessary to get the plane I flew home on off the ground from Kuwait. You complain about a select few companies getting no-bid contracts; I say that was money well spent.
    So hate all you want, I don’t care. Bush has done more for this country with the least appreciation than any other President in U.S. The world is safer because there is a man of action and at the helm of this nation.

  7. Bob from San Luis
    February 3, 2006 at 8:28 am

    Rich, I’m sorry it has taken so long to respond to your latest reply. Where to begin? Most ludicrous first, RE: Gore stealing the 2000 Presidential election. Go back and do some research, if the votes in Florida were properly counted and credited to the candidates, Al Gore would have been properly elected to President. If you remember, the lawsuit filed by the Bush Campaign (you know, those evil trial lawyers) petitioned the Supreme Court to STOP the counting of the Florida ballots. The use of the talking point of Gore supposedly stealing the election is just another tired right wing example of projection.
    As for my not knowing what I am talking about when it comes to the military, you are correct, I have never been in the military, I do not pretend to know how the military works. I just remember reading about how our military has always done the job required of them, supplying everything, and although there had to have been some screw-ups, they got the job done. What I was trying to refer to is my assumption that many in the military are trained to do specific job duties such as vehicle maintenance, supply clerks, and a whole other host of job duties that are a part of being a soldier, but those who are trained for these specific jobs are supposedly not put into the role of doing patrols and front line fighting, but are always available when needed. You are correct that I am out of my area of knowledge here, so if you as a former active duty soldier say that I am wrong, I can accept that. My point about KBR doing what the military had always done for itself before, is that there have been many reports of waste, fraud, non-delivery of goods, bad water and food (occasionally, thankfully), mis-appropriations, over charging for virtually everything and in one instance, changing military policy so that they (the contrator) could save money by feeding the troops all at once when the established policy was put in place so that if there was an attack during chow, everyone wouldn’t be in the same place at the same time. I believe there was such an attack that did kill some of our military, and the number of killed and injured could have been reduced if established policy had been followed.
    Rich, you mentioned that you found some chemical weapons in Iraq: I don’t see how that could be a surprise, seeing how the U.S. sold those exact weapons to Saddam, prior to his using them on his own people. You also mentioned that there weren’t enough to qualify as “weapons as mass destruction”, and that they were “probably” moved to Syria; I don’t know if they are there, but it would seem with our technological know how we should be able to track or find something regarding a stockpile of the proportions you refer to. I do acknowledge that there is a possibility that some quantity of said weapons may exist, but I truly doubt it.
    When I mentioned that the Clinton transition team tried to warn the incoming Bush team that terrorism would be their number one priority in defending the US, you capitalized that it was a CLINTON terrorist watch list; so? You also claimed that Clinton set up the Bush Administration so that they would have to focus on terrorism. I must not be reading that correctly; how would that be possible? You claim that Clinton did nothing about terrorism; yet like many on the right, anything Clinton did after the Lewinski episode was “wagging the dog”, or a simple exercise in trying to distract the public. “No War for Monica!” was a refrain repeated again and again by Rush and others, so no matter what President Clinton did at that time, he would have been wrong in your eyes, period.
    Rich, it really boils down to a very simple question or at least a series of simple questions that haven’t been answered: How was Iraq an immediate threat to the U.S.? Why did we invade? What is our goal in Iraq? Why didn’t we have the necessary troop strength when we went in? Why weren’t the weapons dumps guarded sufficiently to prevent the theft of weapons that are being used against our troops? Why weren’t our troops outfitted with the best armor available? Why weren’t there armored vehicles available to use instead of unarmored Humvee’s?
    Rich, in looking at the situations regarding the USS Cole and in Somalia, bad military decisions were responsible for unnecessary military deaths; since Clinton was Commander in Chief during that time, he does bear the brunt of the blame: Don’t you think the same holds true for President Bush regarding the many avoidable deaths of military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan? President Bush has yet to acknowledge that he has even made a mistake, let alone bear any responsibility for any mistakes.
    Rich, many on the right really hated President Clinton during the eight years he was in office; once the Lewinski affair was uncovered you all had every right to distrust him and hate him as much as you wanted to, but after all of the subpoenas, testimony and hearings Congress held, President Clinton certainly was not the evil boogieman the right held him up to be. I will not defend every action he took or didn’t take, just as you will not defend President Bush for every action he has or hasn’t taken. Both men are human, not perfect, but the biggest difference is that while I will concede that Clinton was flawed, Bush supporters absolutely will not criticize Bush, ever. My guess is that you cannot see the hypocrisy of not being able to admit the man is human, could be wrong or mislead by advisers, and that President Bush is leading us down a path to fewer and fewer freedoms, with more laws, more government interference in our daily lives to the point that a person gets arrested for wearing a shirt with numbers on it. Where has America, the land of the free, gone?

  8. Rich from Paso
    February 3, 2006 at 7:59 pm

    nssaBob, thanks for responding. Iwas starting to worry if you had decided to take your ball and go home. Thank you for giving me opportunity after opportunity to trash popularly held myths like myth #1… Bush stole the 2000 election.

    First, I said it tongue-in-check, but I guess the printed word didn’t convey that.
    Second, if you would take the blinders off for a second and do your own homework you would have seen this article on the PBS Newshour website entitled: “Media Recount: Bush Won the 2000 Election”. In it is says the following:

    In the first full study of Florida’s ballots since the election ended, The Miami Herald and USA Today reported George W. Bush would have widened his 537-vote victory to a 1,665-vote margin if the recount ordered by the Florida Supreme Court would have been allowed to continue, using standards that would have allowed even faintly dimpled “undervotes” — ballots the voter has noticeably indented but had not punched all the way through — to be counted.

    The study, conducted by the accounting firm of BDO Seidman, counted over 60,000 votes in Florida’s 67 counties, tabulating separate vote totals in several standards categories.

    While the USA Today report focused on what would have happened had the Florida Supreme Court-ordered recount not been halted by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Herald pointed to one scenario under which Gore could have scored a narrow victory — a fresh recount in all counties using the most generous standards.

    In their reports, the newspapers assumed counts already completed when the court-ordered recount was stopped would have been included in any official count. Thus, they allowed numbers from seven counties — Palm Beach, Volusia, Broward, Hamilton, Manatee, Escambia and Madison — to stand, but applied the most inclusive standards to votes in the rest of the state. If those numbers did not stand, the Herald reported, a more generous hypothetical revisited recount would have scored the White House for Gore — but with only a 393-vote margin.

    Under most other scenarios, the papers reported, Bush would have retained his lead.

    Don’t take my word for it. Read it for yourself, if you dare, at http://www.pbs.org/newshour/media/media_watch/jan-june01/recount_4-3.html

    What galls me about the whole 2000 election is that Gore wanted only his Democrat strongholds to be recounted and the Florida Supreme Court rewrote the laws of the State of Florida from the bench by ordering another recount that clearly DID NOT EXIST IN FLORIDA LAW. While I, too, hate the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court had to step in and end the bogus recounting, the fact remains that it was Gore that was trying to steal the election from Bush. My final point: The Left and liberals had a chance to “right the wrongs” of 2000, but what did they do? They lost, big time. Gore didn’t even have the guts to run again. Instead he just bitched, moaned and whined like a little baby that didn’t get his way at the DNC, but he knew he’d lost and he knew he would never win. I wish he’d ran so that Bush could have kicked his ass for not getting bin laden to TWO times the Clinton Administration had the opportunity. They claimed “no controlling legal authority” to go get him (but Clinton could solicit campaign contributions from the Saudis in the same conversation). That “no controlling legal authority” was the theme of the Clinton Era what with Gore shaking down Buddhist monks for contributions and all.

    Myth #2 – Haliburton via its subsidiary KBR is fleecing America. You’re right, you are wrong on this. KBR did not change policy to save money. The dining hours are the dining hours. Soldiers had four opportunities per day to eat. Actually, the Army changed KBR policy in order to get that fourth feeding. Before KBR and their spacious, indoor, air conditioned chow halls, we had to eat outside, standing up with no protection at a Mobile Kitchen Trailer. No one got hurt. The only instance of anyone getting hurt at a KBR managed chow hall was the one at LSA Anaconda (Baquba) where an insurgent disguised as an Iraqi Army soldier infiltrated the camp wearing a bomb vest and blew himself up. A failure of the Army Soldiers manning the camp, not KBR. Furthermore, Haliburton has been trying for years to get rid of KBR because it is a money loser for them. Fortune Magazine reported the following in April 2005:
    “But as you’ll see, three debacles loom largest of all: the work in Iraq; a $2.5 billion construction project off the coast of Brazil; and Halliburton’s asbestos-liability problem, which ended up costing $5.1 billion and threatened to bring down the entire company. All these issues have contributed to a distinctly underwhelming bottom line: Since August 2000, when the current CEO took over, Halliburton has reported net losses of nearly $2 billion.”
    But don’t take my word for it. See for yourself at…
    http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2005/04/18/8257012/index.htm
    if you dare.

    You said the U.S. sold chemical weapons to Iraq: that is B.S! Where is your proof? I provide you web links and citation for my statements, you just make unsubstantiated accusations. Until you give me something to look at other than your word (and you already admit you are out of your element when it comes to the military and Iraq) I am going to discount that statement as delusional ravings of a blind partisan.

    Clinton and the war on terrorism – Everything he did, the missile strikes, operation Desert Fox, etc. was wagging the dog. It was style over substance; it was sound and fury signifying nothing. Clinton looked like he was doing something but he was just distracting America from his incompetence.

    Now to your list of questions:
    How was Iraq an immediate threat to the U.S.? Bush never said that Saddam or Iraq was an immediate threat. In February 2004, G. Jefferson Price III, wrote on the commondreams.org (“Breaking News and Views for the Progressive Community”)
    “A lot is being made these days about whether George J. Tenet, the director of the CIA, told President Bush that Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction posed an imminent threat to the United States – imminent enough to go to war.
    Nope, says Tenet. The CIA “never said there was an imminent threat.”
    Or whether Bush himself actually used the word “imminent” when he talked about the threat to America posed by Hussein and the need to invade, occupy and rebuild Iraq.
    Nope. He didn’t. He saw a “gathering threat.” At least that’s how it’s being put since David Kay, the former chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq, said his team could not find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that the intelligence the president acted on was wrong.”

    Again here is the link if you want to read for yourself… http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0208-07.htm

    Did Bush want everyone to perceive Iraq as a Threat? You betcha.

    Why did we invade? What is our goal in Iraq? We invaded because Saddam foolishly puffed himself up as a nuclear power and the Bush Administration wanted to neutralize him before he had the chance to give his “bomb” to a terrorist to attack either Israel or the U.S. or one of our other allies.

    Why didn’t we have the necessary troop strength when we went in? We did have the necessary troop strength to defeat the Iraqi Army, what we lacked was a sizable force to secure the rear areas after the front-line troops went through. As I said on my first appearance on Dave’s show, I felt that follow-on troops to restore order would have been wise.

    Why weren’t the weapons dumps guarded sufficiently to prevent the theft of weapons that are being used against our troops? The ammo dumps in Iraq were the size of Paso Robles and had no fenced in perimeter. The 82nd Airborne patrolled the ammo dumps in our Area of Operations with helicopters it was so big. We (the Army) destroyed hundreds of thousands of tons of munitions. Finally, Saddam Hussein spread those munitions all across the country in weapons caches for the sole purpose of equipping the insurgency that we face to day.

    Why weren’t our troops outfitted with the best armor available? We were outfitted with the best armor AVAILABLE (capitalized to show that the word is the key). We had the Interceptor Body Armor, but what we lacked was the Add-on Armor (AOA) kits. They were developed after the Chechen’s came in and taught the Iraqi insurgents how to build IEDs. I rode in a HMMWV from Kuwait to Ramadi and back (over 1000 km) without the AOA kit and nothing happened. Your faith in the AO kits is misplaced. Because of the AOA kits, Soldiers get complacent because they think they are safe from attack. In fact, when we didn’t have the kits, Soldiers did a better job of looking out for IEDs because they knew they would die if they didn’t. Soldiers in tanks thought they were safe from a 2 -155mm round IED so they didn’t look hard. But when the enemy started laying out 4 and 5 round IEDs, tanks started getting damaged and Soldiers started dying again. The bottom line is that only about 10% of all emplaced IEDs actually explode and cause damage. Almost all are discovered and destroyed before they can do any harm. Iraqis are mostly to thank for that.

    Why weren’t there armored vehicles available to use instead of unarmored Humvee’s? Congress only bought so many tanks and Bradleys. Older APCs (113s and 557s) have never been able to withstand a 155 round let alone 3 or 4.

    Don’t get me started on Mother Sheehan; I’d hurt your feelings if I told you what I think about her.

    I know that both men are human. Actually, I would have more respect for Clinton if he’d just said “Yeah, I banged her. What of it?” instead of bullshitting America that nothing happened. He blew that chance with Gennifer Flowers. Hell, he might have gotten a third term if he’d come out and said that alone. But what he did was try to say was “who are you going to believe: Me or your lying eyes.” What you can’t accept, however is that Bush might just be doing the right thing. You think you can look into the heart of Bush and what you see is an evil, power-mad man that is trying to destroy your country. Bush doesn’t see terrorist civil rights, he doesn’t agree that we need to trust dictators to play nice and leave us alone or that a terrorist or a traitor have the right to hold telephonic conversations with mass murderers, and he sure as hell isn’t going to sit on his hands and wait to get attacked again.

  9. Bob from San Luis
    February 5, 2006 at 10:01 pm

    Rich: You wanted some links for my assertions that there was “trouble” in the 2000 election, especially in Florida. Check this link here even though it is just an online article, there is actual reporting, and notice the date. Now as to your link to the NPR site, one could read that and assume that there were no problems and President Bush was rightfully appointed by the Supreme Court; there were too many instances of voter intimidation, non-working machines at mostly Democratic precincts, “felon” lists that unlawfully excluded many citizens from executing their right to cast a regular ballot and many other means by which the vote was manipulated in Florida in 2000. If it had not happened again in 2002, again in 2004 especially in Florida again and in Ohio, where the Secretary of the State of Ohio was in 2004, the same as the Secretary in Florida, both in charge of overseeing the elections and in charge of George W. Bush’s presidential campaign, I would say that Florida in 2000 was an anomaly. But, there is too much of a pattern of Democratic registered voters being threatened with arrest if they had any outstanding warrants if they showed up to vote, “official” looking mailers going out to predominately Democratic areas informing the voters who are Democrats to vote on Wednesday, November 3; too many instances of votes being counted with no independent verification, challenges to voter’s registrations, and electronic voting machines “flipping” votes from Democratic candidates to Republicans for anyone with any intellect not to conclude there was widespread fraud, and in EVERY instance, the benefitting party are Republicans. My suspicion is that Republicans do not want elections to transparent and fair. If you can prove me wrong, please do so, for the good of our country. As for Al Gore as the Democratic candidate in 2000, my biggest disappointment was his steadfast refusal as President of the Senate to allow any Congressional challenge to the Electoral Collage results, caused no doubt by a sense of integrity of which I have no doubt that if Dick Cheney had been in Al Gore’s shoes in 2000, he would have done absolutely anything to secure the election for his party.
    As far as Halliburton making money off of the backs and the blood of our soldiers, try googling “Hallibuton losing money”, there were some 508,000 hits with most of those on the first page alleging corruption on the part of Halliburton and subsidies.
    As to the US selling Saddam weapons (including chemical weapons) check this out here and do your own research.
    As for President Clinton “wagging the dog” instead of going after terrorists, check this out here and respond to the report, please.
    Now, as far as Iraq goes: We, the American public and our elected representatives, were told that Saddam HAD massive quantities of biological weapons and a whole slew of other WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION– you claim that the massive caches were moved to Syria; don’t you think that our military and spy satellites would have had a hint of massive movement of cargo such as this? The President promised to go back to the UN (no matter what you say about the effectiveness of the UN, he said he would), and he promised to go back to Congress and report to them about how all other options had been tried with no avail, before he launched an unprovoked attack on another sovereign country. Every thing that is starting to come out now points to the “plan” that Bush was determined to go to war, because he wanted to be a “War Time President”, with no regard as to the legitimacy of the reasons or intelligence suggesting that Saddam had, or was, or could obtain nuclear weapons, just so that he could give or sell them to terrorists. Here is another link for you to check out here, this was the first hit on google of about 377,000 hits under “faulty Iraqi intelligence”.
    Rich, I believe you when you say you “believe” that George W. Bush is doing the best he can to protect us; I for one think that your faith in him as a genuine, concerned, and effective leader is misplaced. Just about every action by this administration if following the plan set forth by the PNAC which a link to is here and was published in 1997. President Bush swore an oath of office with his hand on a Bible saying: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”; Rich, he has failed to follow his oath, he has subverted the Constitution and should be impeached.
    One last thing for you Rich, please check out this link here and take a look at this man’s story. If you relate to it in anyway, please take any steps you can if you need some sort of guidance or help. I am being genuine here, I want you to have a great life, take care of yourself and your family.

  10. Rich from Paso
    February 6, 2006 at 4:50 am

    Bob, your first article is a poor example of election “fraud” and in no way pointed to the Republican National Party or President Bush as a defendants in the suit. If anything, all of your anecdotes point to incompetent Florida polling workers comprised of people from both parties, and a voting system that hadn’t changed since the 50’s and 60’s. No smoking gun to de-legitimize the 2000 election. Again, Gore didn’t do what he did out of class; he knew he had lost and there was no snatching victory out of the jaws of defeat. You talk on and on about Democratic voters that were disenfranchised, you speak nothing about the 180,000 Republican members of the military whose absentee ballets were thrown out. Where is your outrage for them? To reiterate, the Miami Herald and USA Today both said Bush won and you con’t address that point at all. As for your “flipping votes” argument… Are you referring to the urban legend where Diebold machines changed Kerry’s vote for Bush’s? Total crap. The only people to be prosecuted for election malfeasance are DEMOCRATIC campaign workers in Ohio. You know, Bob, you are really persuading me to stop writing if all you have are rumor and innuendo as support for your arguments. Frankly, I don’t care about your “suspicions”. If you want your guy to win, you all need to get out more votes. Only losers complain about refs blowing calls that cost them the game. And yes, I’m saying your Democratic candidates are a bunch of losers, losers of the first order.

    As far as Halliburton making money off of the backs and the blood of our soldiers, try googling “Hallibuton losing money”, there were some 508,000 hits with most of those on the first page alleging corruption on the part of Halliburton and subsidies. (Google numbers are irrelevant!)

    Another article, related to the trouble with Haliburton, from an April 18, 2005 Fortune article.

    “The trouble with Halliburton goes way beyond its misadventure in Iraq, which is just the most visible example in a string of self-inflicted fiascos. Federal prosecutors are now investigating how the company sidestepped U.S. sanctions against doing business with Iran as well as a former KBR chairman’s alleged involvement in a Nigerian bribery scandal and possible bid-rigging overseas. There was an ugly encounter with the SEC dating back to 1998, focusing on the failure to disclose an accounting change that allowed the company to hit its quarterly earnings targets; Halliburton settled the case last year after paying a $7.5 million penalty, reflecting the SEC’s view that “unacceptable lapses” in Halliburton’s cooperation had delayed the investigation. Then there’s the company’s attempt to cut off promised health benefits for 4,000 retirees–which a federal judge has now blocked.
    But as you’ll see, three debacles loom largest of all: the work in Iraq; a $2.5 billion construction project off the coast of Brazil; and Halliburton’s asbestos-liability problem, which ended up costing $5.1 billion and threatened to bring down the entire company. All these issues have contributed to a distinctly underwhelming bottom line: Since August 2000, when the current CEO took over, Halliburton has reported net losses of nearly $2 billion.”

    So, the people running Haliburton are incompetent or doing illegal things. So what? They are losing money hand over fist and they will probably go to jail for what they have done, if it is judged to be illegal; fortunately, they do put on a mean Thanksgiving and Christmas spread. At least where I ate it was.
    Here is a quote from YOUR OWN article about chemical weapons that devastates your own argument.
    “Wheaton, Md.: I hear pro-Saddam activists often claim that Reagan supplied Hussein with chemical weapons. I’ve seen no evidence to support these claims. Is there any truth to this?
    Joyce Battle: I have not personally seen documents that indicate that the Reagan administration supplied Iraq with chemical weapons. However, the documents we recently posted on the Internet demonstrate that the administration had U.S. intelligence reports indicating that Iraq was using chemical weapons, both against Iran and against Iraqi Kurdish insurgents, in the early 1980s, at the same time that it decided to support Iraq in the war. So U.S. awareness of Iraq’s chemical warfare did not deter it from initiating the policy of providing intelligence and military assistance to Iraq. There were shipments of chemical weapons precursors from several U.S. companies to Iraq during the 1980s, but the U.S. government would deny that it was aware that these exports were intended to be used in the production of chemical weapons.”
    The United States government did not sell Iraq chemical weapons, period.
    Furthermore, Iraq was working on a nuclear bomb. From the BBC, July 7, 2004 states:

    “The US has revealed that it removed more than 1.7 metric tons (that’s 3,400 kilograms) of radioactive material from Iraq in a secret operation last month.
    “This operation was a major achievement,” said US Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham in a statement.
    He said it would keep “potentially dangerous nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists”.
    Along with 1.77 tons of enriched uranium, about 1,000 “highly radioactive sources” were also removed.
    The material was taken from a former nuclear research facility on 23 June, after being packaged by 20 experts from the US Energy Department’s secret laboratories.”

    Not good enough?
    From foxnews.com dated May 19, 2004:
    “An artillery shell recently found in Iraq that contained three to four liters of the deadly nerve agent sarin is “old and unmarked,” senior defense officials told Fox News on Wednesday.”
    and…
    “The Iraqi Survey Group confirmed today that a 155-millimeter artillery round containing sarin nerve agent had been found,” Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt the chief military spokesman in Iraq, told reporters in Baghdad. “The round had been rigged as an IED (improvised explosive device) which was discovered by a U.S. force convoy.”

    You said: don’t you think that our military and spy satellites would have had a hint of massive movement of cargo such as this [movement of chemical and biological weapons to Syria]? Actually, no. Pakistan built and tested their nuclear device in 1998 while the US had spy satellites in orbit. The Pakistanis proved that if you timed it right, you could move the Superdome and a US spy satellite wouldn’t see it. Again, you just don’t seem to know what you are talking about.

    I’m bored with this. You are obviously a pinhead. I don’t need help, you do and I resent you making such a statement. I am trying here to hold an intelligent conversation with you and your only comeback is that I need help (by the way your link didn’t work). I have blown all of your arguments away, hell, I’m even using your own material against you and you have the nerve to say I need help. You have crossed the line, my friend. I have walked the ground in Iraq and saw with my own eyes the unquestionable good that is occurring in that country every day. While you, on the other hand, have sat on your ass carping about the erosion of your “civil liberties”. The President, a huge majority of us that have served in Iraq and myself understand that this is World War III and you and your left-wing blogisphere pinheads think this is just Sunday, a day like any other. So, say whatever you want. I have no doubt that whatever you write will total ignore all of the points I’ve made, ask stupid questions that I and others have answered over and over again and then pontificate on some obscure point that is totally irrelevant concluding how I am deluded and the President should be impeached for no clear and justifiable position other than how much you really, really, hate him. All you need to say is thank you and leave it at that. Finally, you have conceded more points than you have made. Hell, you admit that on all things military, you don’t know what you’re talking about. So, as I said, say whatever you want because I done debating with pinheads that, by their own admission, have no clue what they are talking about. The floor is yours; knock yourself out.

  11. Bob from San Luis
    February 6, 2006 at 6:16 am

    Rich, here is the address for the link I was trying to imbed: http://soldierfortrhth.blogspot.com/
    I am afraid you misunderstood me; I did not mean to infer that you needed help because I didn’t like your viewpoint, your data, or any other subject we have discussed. The link is a blog that a returning Iraqi veteran wrote, up until the day he killed himself. He was suffering desperately from PTSD due to his service in Iraq: I only was trying to express my concern that if, IF, you ever had any issues about the time you spent getting shot at or any of the other sorts of hell that being in a war zone subjects you to, that you not try to macho it out and possibly take out any pent-up agression on another person. I am truly sorry if I offended you, I did not mean to question your state of mental health or well being. That fact that you chose to serve earns you a lot of respect in my book, as does anyone who has ever served in the armed forces. I did fail to mention the military votes that were not counted in 2000 and you are correct, that was a travesty that should never be allowed to happen. If anyone’s vote should count it should be the military’s since they are the ones with their persons on the line, no matter what their service is, where it is served, or no matter what the conditions under which they serve. Period.
    As to the rest of our discussion, facts, opinion, speculation and attitudes all have a way of being interpreted and presented with an inherent viewpoint. You and I could look at the very same set of facts about a situation and come to complete agreement unless, there was so sort of partisan politics involved, then we will each see the facts, statistics, the way the situation is presented and come away with totally different conclusions. That is the nature of opinion, the nature of partisanship. I really don’t care if you think I am a pinhead; I know that I am an individual who is curious about the workings of our government and not afraid to question those who are in positions of authority, especially if there is some sort of possibility that they are doing something illegal, immoral or unethical. The one thing I will absolutely refuse to do though is to denigrate or insult someone who disagrees with me, at least I do not do it purposefully and willingly. If I have offended you I apologize, and I don’t expect anything in return. If you wish to refer to me as a pinhead or any other insult, that is your right, you live your life as you see fit. In closing, we will both see the world through our own filters, both expressing amusement or outrage at the other’s viewpoint when it is so polar opposite of our own. If I ever have the opportunity to meet you in person, I will thank you for your service to our country, and given the circumstances I would shake your hand, if you would be okay with that. Respectfully, Bob from San Luis.

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