Stressed and Fatigued Troops in Iraq: The Draft is Not the Answer

From the Sunday London Observer:

Exhaustion and combat stress are besieging US troops in Iraq as they battle with a new type of warfare. Some even rely on Red Bull to get through the day. As desertions and absences increase, the military is struggling to cope with the crisis.

....[T]he exhaustion of the US army emerges most powerfully in the details of these soldiers' frayed and worn-out lives. Everywhere you go you hear the same complaints: soldiers talk about divorces, or problems with the girlfriends that they don't see, or about the children who have been born and who are growing up largely without them.

Some, including Colin Powell, say our army is just about broken:


The anecdotal evidence on the ground confirms what others - prominent among them General Colin Powell, the former US Secretary of State - have been insisting for months now: that the US army is 'about broken'. Only a third of the regular army's brigades now qualify as combat-ready. Officers educated at the elite West Point academy are leaving at a rate not seen in 30 years, with the consequence that the US army has a shortfall of 3,000 commissioned officers - and the problem is expected to worsen.

Is this just more of a prelude for Lute and his "time to reconsider the draft" comments? If so, we can't let it happen.

A draft would revive bad memories of the turmoil of the 1960s and early 1970s when tens of thousands of young men were drafted to fight and die in Vietnam. Few other policies proved as divisive in America and the memories of anti-war protesters burning their draft cards and fleeing to Canada are still vivid in the memory.

There's an alternative to the draft and it's one that would end the fatigue and reunite the soldiers with their families. It's called "End the war. Bring the troops home now." Someone has to tell Bush, "No more troops."

It's not that hard to do. Stop the funding. Announce an exit plan. Stick to it. Let the Iraqis finish fighting amongst themselves. It was never a war we should have gotten involved in to begin with.

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  • Display: Sort:
    SUPPORT THE TROOPS !!! (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by RedHead on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 12:22:25 PM EST

    I don't think there is any way it will happen (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 02:37:15 PM EST
    Jeralyn.  They'll talk about it though, they have to because a draft is the only way we can stay the Dubya/Petraeus Course.  If David Petraeus intends to win Iraq he has to have more fresh troops and as BTD has pointed out Petraeus has staked his career on looking good in Iraq.  I've said BushCo couldn't or wouldn't do things before and been WRONG...I'm not much of a prophet.  With that in mind, if they attempt it I'll do my damnedest to fight it.  It is a fight that I don't think I will feel so alone in as I sometimes do right now.  Lots of angry parents, grandparents, citizens, and college students to hang out with.

    We already have a backdoor draft (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by FightforJustice on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 03:38:01 PM EST
    Let's face it.  The US is already forcing enlistees to serve past their exit dates. No one besides some of their families gripe about that.

    So long as we continue the military commitments we have, a draft ought to be considered, and those who want to continue the commitments but don't want a draft prefer to pile on the exhausted troops who are already forced to serve past their enlistment exit date.

    Yup, and that isn't including (4.66 / 3) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 03:49:14 PM EST
    reservists being called up to serve and being notified that they may be serving a second tour in Iraq and then there is our National Guard.  Did anyone ever really think they would ever be sending their National Guard overseas to fight in a prolonged war?  It makes me furious everytime I think about it.  My National Guard is who they are when we have floods, fires, earthquakes, blizzards, they don't go fight overseas wars that were started by telling big fat lies and that keep nobody any safer.  And the National Guard always gets sold the Army's cast off old equipment, want to know how well that stuff has held up during their deployments?  There was a reason why the Army got rid of it!  It was old junky stuff but it would probably do the occassional job that the fire fighting National Guard needed to do.  I could go on for days but it's only ranting to the choir.

    Tracy (1.00 / 2) (#23)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 04:05:31 PM EST
    Uh, no. The NG was established to provide a ready source of persons when needed by the US givernment.
    That they are used by the states for other purposes is a secondary matter. The status and condition of their equipment has always been a source of contention.

    The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States;

    Jim, I have nothing to say to you (5.00 / 5) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 04:08:28 PM EST
    on this subject.  You don't seem to know what stop loss is and you don't seem to know that it is currently taking place.  You aren't a credible voice on anything military.  Please don't respond to my postings any longer.  You only eat up time and bandwidth.

    Tracy Nope (1.00 / 1) (#26)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 04:11:22 PM EST
    If you don't want to be responded to, then don't post inaccurate statements.

    Stop loss and exit dates are tossed around as if the military is doing something illegal.

    It is not.

    I would think a military wife would defend the military more than you.


    Yadda yadda blah blah (5.00 / 5) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 04:12:57 PM EST
    and it is you my friend who posts inaccurate military information.  Almost to the point that I'm convinced you get paid to do it here.

    Yes (5.00 / 5) (#32)
    by squeaky on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 04:36:28 PM EST
    I think that he works for the Ministry of Disinformation.

    Squeaky -YOU???? You want to speak of facts? (1.00 / 1) (#34)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 04:45:01 PM EST
    How delicious.

    Posted by Squeaky at September 19, 2005 11:19 PM
    Rove never needed proof for his smear machine, why should I.

    ppj does as ppj does (none / 0) (#30)
    by squeaky on Sat Mar 03, 2007 at 09:58:35 PM EST .....

    I have no problem with alleging that Rove's grandparents were Nazi's. Even if they were not, he uses Goebbels' propaganda techniques as a bible and may as well be a born and bred Nazi.

    Herr PPJ (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by squeaky on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 04:55:50 PM EST
    The only immigrants ppj seems to love: White guys with fascist roots.

    And as far as facts go you would not know one if it hit you in the face as most here have repeatedly point out.


    Good day squeak, (1.00 / 1) (#36)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 05:07:59 PM EST
    I have let you self identify yourself, again, by using your very own words.

    hahahahahhaha (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by squeaky on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 05:14:39 PM EST
    Wow, that was really convincing. All the Rove lovers and wannabe fascists (aka haters of America) are rallying behind you. I can almost hear their drooling.

    Good night squeaky (1.00 / 1) (#41)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 05:55:02 PM EST
    You have hurt yourself enough.

    Save some for tomorrow.


    Hurt? (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by squeaky on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 06:05:43 PM EST
    Your fantasy life is truly bizzare.

    Squeaky squaks (1.00 / 1) (#44)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 07:02:28 PM EST
    You know, I truly believe that you fail to understand that you have just told probably the 100,000 or so people who read this blog that you don't need proof - facts - to smear someone.

    If you were a friend, I would cry.

    Instead I laugh.


    Sorry if facts upset you. (1.00 / 1) (#33)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 04:40:30 PM EST
    Wish I could tell you that they will get better as you get older, but they won't.

    That's a disgusting statement, Jim, (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by Kitt on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 08:28:44 PM EST
    even by your standards.

    "I would think a military wife would defend the military more than you."

    Well, you've convinced me you're not even worth reading any longer.


    Tracy specializes in anti-war anti-miliatry (1.00 / 0) (#82)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 12:17:19 AM EST

    Based on those and her lack of knowledge about certain things leads me to question if she is who she claims.

    I stand by my comment. In my ten years of service I never heard 1% of the type of comments that Tracy makes.

    So sorry about that, but I call'em as I see'em.


    Quit parsing (1.00 / 1) (#21)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 03:58:16 PM EST
    The US is already forcing enlistees to serve past their exit dates.

    I know of no one who is serving past the date of their contract.


    I do, you have no idea what you're talking about (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 03:59:15 PM EST
    It's called stop loss!

    Tracy (1.00 / 0) (#25)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 04:09:37 PM EST
    Look at an enlistment contract.

    It allows the government to keep you around for x number of years past the projected active duty end date.

    I no of no one who has been extended past the time specified in the contrat they signed.


    That is called reserves Jim (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 04:15:24 PM EST
    Not stop loss.  My husband can be called up at any time for the rest of his life Jim if they feel they need him, not just X years.  You aren't as knowledgeable as you hope to come off as.

    Tracy (1.00 / 0) (#52)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 09:30:23 PM EST
    No. Not the same.

    Your husband will go into the inactive status at some point. As an officer he can always be recalled. He is a child of Congress.

    Not true with enlisted. They have a contract that has a definite end of life, unless Congress steps in.

    I repeat. Stop loss, etc. are just anti-war BS terms designed to make the military look bad, and the country.

    You should be ashamed for your anti-miliatry positions.


    Wait a sec, is my husband a child of congress (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 07:56:17 AM EST
    Jim?  Because in so many of your past postings he is no such thing and can only hope to be the puppet of a brat king and congress can kiss off.  Speaking of military things what ever happened to the military maintaining the national will Jim since your are such a military flunky?  Do you believe in that today or is that something you'll try on for size tomorrow?  The military has been working completely opposite the national will now for two years and as a military spouse I have every right and maybe even a duty to point out how bull$hit and utterly immoral that is!

    So you didn't know???? Hmmmmm (1.00 / 0) (#81)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 12:05:13 AM EST
    Important things first:

    The military has been working completely opposite the national will now for two years

    Uh, there is no such thing as far as the military is concerned. They report to the CIC, aka President.  And if you would like for the military to start respinding to what they believe is the "national will"  I refer you to the history for Rome for the result.

    Now to the trivial:

    An NCO will tell you that a Commissioned Officer is a gentleman by an act of Congress, then smile wryly. A Commissioned Officer will agree and smile smugly.

    In my nine years of military service, I served under officers and gentlemen, but never both embodied in one person. Congress can not make a gentleman. A gentleman, like a virgin, either is or is not. A gentleman puts others before self; an officer puts the mission above all else. The two are mutually exclusive traits.


    I find it amazing that you were unaware of the above, and I again have serious doubts about who you are.


    Tough (none / 0) (#80)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 11:48:15 PM EST
    Insulters get insulted. She should quit trading on the supposed fact that her husband is in the military.

    DA (1.00 / 0) (#85)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 09:08:23 AM EST
    In case you missed it, I do not care if anyone believes anything. I am here to inform and be informed by a reasoned exchange of information.

    You have provided some smaller bits of information, but mostly you wait until the exchange has almost ended and then come in with some snarky remark that is supposed to make you look good.

    Have a nice day. On vacation??


    Lobes? On vacation? (none / 0) (#89)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 03:32:27 PM EST
    Is that like when you declared that buttocks have no side?

    Troops may be less stressed (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Green26 on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 06:51:27 PM EST
    now that the surge has brought in significantly more combat troops. My impression is that some units were being stretched a bit before the surge but that things had improved somewhat in 2007. Did everyone notice the NY Times article yesterday, which said that even Democratic presidential candidates believe the US will be in Iraq for a long time, few of them actually support bringing home all troops right away, and even the most optimistic people think it would take at least a year to withdraw from Iraq? My wife and I received word this morning that our son had been injured (shrapnel and concussion) yesterday, but would likely be fine in a few weeks. Later, we received an email from our son, who enlisted when he graduated from college after 911, saying: "I consider it an honor to serve my country in combat." Thanks to all of you who truly support the troops.

    Support (none / 0) (#45)
    by Semanticleo on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 07:09:04 PM EST
    I hope your son recovers fully from his injuries.

    My son, who was wanted to be a Marine since age 8, goes to basic training in October.  He wanted to be in Infantry, much to our consternation, but finally
    decided on Intel.  That does nothing to temper my
    opposition to war in Iraq, as opposed to the war on terror.  But it does increase my anxiety over same.
    I support the outstanding individuals who make up
    our armed services.  I just don't approve of the way some squander that irreplaceable resource.


    Surge Will Increase combat stress (none / 0) (#57)
    by john horse on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 10:56:23 PM EST
    Green 26,
    First of all, I'm glad to hear that your son has recovered from his injuries in Iraq.  May he and his fellow soldiers all return safe and sound.  

    Regarding combat stress, actually there will be more combat stress not less with the surge.  This was because the increase in troops in Iraq was achieved by extending deployments and sending replacements in early.  Studies have shown that the more firefights a soldier experiences the more likely they will experience post traumatic stress disorders.  Normally in warime (such as Vietman) a soldier only has to do one tour of duty.  In Iraq there are already soldiers who have done 4 or 5 tours of duty.  In addition the period between rotations has been shortened from a year to six months.  With the policy of stop-loss soldiers have forced back into combat after their enlistment expired.  According to Salon, there is such a shortage of manpower that even those who were classified as medically unfit to fight have been sent to Iraq.


    Army Stressed Out - War Not Sustainable (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by john horse on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 09:51:54 PM EST
    I've had two diary posts about how multiple deployments and stop/loss is stressing our Army past the breaking point (Does Bush Support Our Troops? and Multiple Deployments To Iraq Breaking Our Military).  Since the risk of developing post traumatic stress disorder rises in proportion to the number of firefights a soldier experiences, there is no doubt that multiple deployments and the extension of tours is seriously stressing out our military.

    Both diary posts dealt with the toll on our soldiers and their families as a result of multiple deployments (PTSD is now over 30% for soldiers and over 40% for the deployed National Guard, increase in divorce rates, suicides, etc.)  It has also clearly affected retention and recruitment.  Finally, not only are our troops worn out by this war but our equipment is as well, as much as 40%.  

    This is why our "war czar" General Lute said recently that unless we have major changes such a military draft, the war is not sustainable beyond spring of next year.  

    Finally, a word about what supporting our military means.  Ever since this war began the only ones making any sacrifices are our soldiers and their families.  You don't see any of the sons and daughters of Bush and his neocon allies volunteering for duty in Iraq (Senator McCain being the excpetion).  You don't see Bush giving speeches in which he urges Americans to enlist to fight in his war. The wealthy aren't asked to give up their tax breaks in order to help fund Bush's war.  Bush knows that we cannot sustain a long-term war through multiple deployments and stop-loss but he doesnt have the guts to advocate a military draft.  Instead all the sacrifice is shouldered by those who the uniform.

    Our soldiers deserve to be treated better.  We can start by making sure that we never ask them to risk their lives for light and transient reasons.  Over 3600 Americans have been killed and 27,000 wounded for Bush's folly.  Isn't that enough human sacrifice?

    Why do you folks (5.00 / 4) (#58)
    by Che's Lounge on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 10:58:57 PM EST
    continue to argue with Jim? He's obviously not informed and only wants to wave his flag in your faces. He has no concept of the true motivations behind Operation Iraqi Liberation (to quote Ari Fleischer). I just stopped by to see if TL was still enabling his BS rhetoric. Sadly, they are.

    Thanks, John Horse, for the stress (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Green26 on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 11:33:21 PM EST
    information. Interesting. I would add, tho, that by having more combat troops (and the surge was largely about adding combat, as opposed to support, troops), the troops already in Iraq presumably have more help and perhaps less stress from frequent engagements and perhaps not having enough manpower. My son, a Ranger, was extended to 15 months. My impression is that the extension was a bummer for his guys. We asked our son today if his injuries would result in him coming home early. His response was that he wanted to stay with his guys, saying they came together and he wanted them to come home together. Also, I have not heard of anyone having 4 or 5 deployments to Iraq. Even for marines who have only 6-mos. deployments, that would seem unlikely. I know of some guys in their 3rd deployment to Iraq/Afghanistan, tho. Thanks, again.

    Sorry that I upset you (none / 0) (#76)
    by john horse on Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 08:10:07 PM EST
    I'm sorry that I upset you.  It was not my intention.

    Found article on the Idaho soldier (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Green26 on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 11:55:13 PM EST
    and see that he was deployed to Iraq 4 times, as was stated above. While Special Forces deployments are usually shorter and not the same length, I suppose there can be a significant toll from just being deployed over and over again. I can assure you there is also significant stress from getting a voice mail to call a certain military person about your son, and then being told that he has been wounded (with only sketchy information and details given).

    'As stated above' (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Kitt on Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 07:36:59 AM EST
    and see that he was deployed to Iraq 4 times, as was stated above

    Of course you found the news about Nick Gummersall as stated above. It was in our local paper; it was in his local paper. It was covered by the Idaho media and  area bloggers.

    You suppose "there can be a significant toll from just being deployed over and over again." I work for the Elks Rehab hospital and we are getting in area soldiers (area being Montana, Oregon, Idaho) for various reasons. All of them have been on at least two tours. Trust me, it's taking a significant toll and especially for those who have been injured and especially for those with traumatic brain injuries.


    James Robertson (1.00 / 0) (#31)
    by jarober on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 04:35:58 PM EST
    Sadly for your narrative, the rate of desertion has plummeted since 9/11.  

    Are you using the TNR approach to truthy reporting now?

    No Draft (none / 0) (#1)
    by dk2 on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 11:43:31 AM EST
    The Draft is not the way. I am totally against the draft, and the military is very over stretched, but, I am against any draft.

    Thanks for your post.

    Draft (none / 0) (#3)
    by nellieh on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 11:59:13 AM EST
    I am opposed to this war. I want a draft with NO DEFERMENTS!! Men and women! This war would end the day it was signed. When those so adamant about the war would have to sacrifice one of their own it would stop on a dime. Why not keep it going? the war profiteers are doing great and Bush can still play "War President." Unfortunately Bush wouldn't sign something that could put a member of the Walker or Bush families at risk. That may be a good thing. If they are as "courage challenged" as the President I don't think we would want an Army of cowards.

    put another way... (none / 0) (#7)
    by Sumner on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 12:18:16 PM EST
    Think of all the Napalm that was used in the  Vietnam Conflict. Think how many cars that would fuel.

    Or you could think of the current war as borrowing up to a trillion dollars, from dubious other countries, using future generations as collateral, in order to fund our schools and hospitals, but instead, putting that money into a great big pile and setting it on fire.

    But throw on about a million people to roast upon that bonfire as well.


    I used to feel that way (none / 0) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 02:45:45 PM EST
    but I've changed.  After old soldiers survived Vietnam they rebuilt our military in such a fashion that it could not sustain a prolonged war without the will of the people.  I have decided that I would rather they were rewarded for all their hard work with obvious success.  It would also be refreshing for most of us to experience some kind of government compentence too even if it is a forty year old one.

    There will be no draft, ever! (none / 0) (#4)
    by cmpnwtr on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 12:11:04 PM EST
    This issue about the draft is phony. There will be no draft. Why argue about it? Whatever party supports it will be gone. The Repugs are happy to pay poor kids to go fight their wars. And Dems don't have the courage to resist wars, so what we have is endless war. The Army is broken because of Iraq. It will not be fixed until Iraq is over. Colin Powell is a bit late. He articulated what we now call the "Powell doctrine." Then he and the rest of the Busheviks all disregarded it. His doctrine:
    -Clear military objective.
    -Achievable in a clear time frame.
    -Use overwhelming force.
    -Speedy and clear exit strategy.

    It is tragic for him and the hundreds of thousands who died, that he was willing to go before the world and speak lies, - to betray his integrity, and his good name, his military career, and the hard lessons of Vietnam for the sake of a low-life like W.

    Pavlovian Reactions (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by squeaky on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 12:25:18 PM EST
    You are right, if everything stays the same, but one thing we can be sure of is that things change.

    Why do you think that the PNAC and wingnuts are hoping for another terror attack? If Americans are afraid enough they not only will thank the party in power (GOP), for starting a draft,  but Americans will keep them in power.

    Long War=Permanent GOP reign


    The problem with the Powell Doctrine (2.00 / 2) (#10)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 01:08:02 PM EST
    is that it was never really challenged, or thought through. It sounds good, but...

    There has been and will be times in which there can be noclear military objective.

    There is no such thing as a "clear" time frame in any war.

    Overwhelming force sounds good, and we should have used force in Iraq, but the fact is that also means thousands more of dead and injured civilians. In some cases that shouldn't be done.

    There has been and will be times in which a speedy and clear exit strategy can not be known in advance.


    so in hindsight, fo you favor (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Sumner on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 01:30:41 PM EST
    Sumner (1.00 / 1) (#20)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 03:55:42 PM EST
    What good does hindsight do for the soldiers now engaged?

    Going forward I would put more troops in place and insist on more cooperation between the various political groups.


    What good do you do? (none / 0) (#78)
    by Sailor on Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 09:19:53 PM EST
    Besides constantly wishing more Americans will die for an illegal war you supported?

    [the Powell Doctrine] is that it was never really challenged, or thought through.
    No one is that stupid. Maybe drunk, illiterate or willfully ignorant, but not that stupid. THE POWELL DOCTRINE WAS WHAT BUSH THE 1ST USED TO WIN THE FIRST GULF WAR.

    Even cheney agrees regime change was a bad idea.


    Why don't you re-up Jim, Uncle Sam needs you? (5.00 / 4) (#12)
    by Aaron on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 01:32:17 PM EST
    And you better change your statement to hundreds of thousands more dead innocent Iraqis, soon to be millions.

    If you're such a big believer in the Iraq occupation, then why don't you put your money where your mouth is, the military is in desperate need of experienced soldiers, who knows perhaps your contribution could make the difference between winning and losing.

    I can see it now, Jim single-handedly unites the Sunnis and the Shia against Al Qaeda, and Rambo-like, mows them down with his SAW.

    Jim-bo our hero. When you get back, George will pin a metal on your chest.


    Aaron (1.00 / 2) (#19)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 03:52:34 PM EST
    I wouldn't walk across the street to shake your hand, much less be your hero.

    Now that we understand each other, let me answer your question.

    I spent 10 years in Naval Aviation. That means that it isn't my turn, but your turn.

    So when you have done your turn, which after all is part of the social contract, let me know and I will think better of you.


    If you had the belly for it (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Edger on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 10:06:21 PM EST
    BlackWater would find a place for a man of your extensive experience and fearless steely resolve, paint a target on your back, and laugh as they shove you quivering and peeing yourself out onto a Baghdad street in place of the wall of 20 years old dying kids you prefer to hide behind.

    Just think, if you had the guts it would give you a great chance to explain to these people why they should love you, ppj.

    If you had the belly for it.


    You talk a good show edger, (1.00 / 2) (#64)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 08:14:30 AM EST
    but you have never served.

    Why don't you join and do your rightful part instead of being a mooch and letting someone else do the job.

    Trust me. Ten years will zip right by, and a person with your talents will probably, with a little luck, make Private.


    Jim, (5.00 / 4) (#67)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 08:43:54 AM EST
    Serving ten years no combat is no comparison to serving now.  It is no comparison at all.  Secondly I knew a lot of folks like you in the Army about six years ago.  When it comes to put up or shut up most of them chose to leave ASAP for a safer civilian job of some kind.  As I travel this road further along I have come to believe that because they have spent most of their lives not knowing who they really are within themselves they sought emotional safety in military rules and tough Neocon talk.  When someone has never made that crucial step though to explore and know their real self, being snuffed from this life is way too frightening to them because they have yet to really live.  The military talk and walk that you often portray is gone from the existing military and most soldiers left in the ranks know that there won't be anything glamorous or noble in their deaths anymore.  My grandfather always told me that life is cyclic and the tough talking Neocon worshippers are broken or have deserted the military they professed to once love to death, they really did love it to death and now that everyone has visited death and found it to not be all it's cracked up to be America's military is cycling into a very different subculture.  So be it, it is the way of learning and living.  Time for you to evolve and learn some life lessons as well or begin to realize that your mindset has been phased out.  There is no safety in that old cave anymore Jim.

    P.S. they will have a job in the military (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 08:49:56 AM EST
    for edger if he wants one.  Lots of em!  I would like to pay him a bit more for his concern than he currently gets.  He seems to be a very healing person.  We have lots of broken soldiers who are going to need someone to spend lots of hours listening to them and crying with them.  It will probably require some holding them too, sometimes I'm not sure if your manliness could see its way clear to doing such a thing.

    Tracy, edger is a security mooch. (1.00 / 1) (#71)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 09:14:30 AM EST
    He doesn't want to serve and he claims to be anti-war, but in reality he is anti-THIS war because in reality, he is anti-Bush. Why, because he was convinced that the SC stole the election from Algore. He has exhibited few concerns for the military beyond claiming, as you do, that their actions are destroying them.

    The fruits of war are always suffering, hurt, destruction and dying. The only thing that comes close to justifying this is victory in a just cause.

    I believe that you and edger would tell those wounded souls that they have served an evil cause. This would just further hurt them, but you are not looking to help, you are looking for recruits.

    Please don't take advantage of those who are vulnerable. It would a shameful thing to do.

    As for tears, you have no idea. But for your information, I have attended Memorial Services and seen some tough guys shed a tear. I make no claim of being tough, and my tears are my business.

    Have a nice day.


    Jim, I am friends with Edger (5.00 / 3) (#72)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 09:34:21 AM EST
    He has never ever led me to believe that he thinks that our soldiers are evil, and a lot of our soldiers have doubts to the just cause that Bush keeps telling them they are serving - watch the news much?  Nobody has to tell our soldiers on the ground in Iraq that they have been played, they know it better than we do Jim, they know it better than Edger does.  My Uncle was a Vietnam vet.  He didn't seek enough help for himself, he tried to manage it himself but his anger at the Thanksgiving table about the lies that caused him to kill three young Vietnamese men one day in defense of his own life was palpable.  He told me once that he planned on going back to Vietnam.  I wish he could have made it.  He told me he could immediately find the exact place where the above incident took place and he wouldn't even need a map.  He had been played and nobody knew it better than he did and the soldiers who will survive Iraq will be no different.  My hope is that we provide them with better help and better care than we gave Vietnam vets, particularly since we have evidence that their PTSD is going to surpass that experienced by most Vietnam vets.  We have big big problems on our hands Jim and it isn't the neighborhood boogieman islamofacist, it is your neighborhood Iraq War vet Jim.  I have no faith though that you will GET any of this because you don't want to and when one of them has blown your head of in rage it's still too late.

    Tracy can't quite get it. (1.00 / 1) (#75)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 10:27:28 AM EST
    As usual you seem to be unable to read, or you deliberately misunderstand. You write:

    He has never ever led me to believe that he thinks that our soldiers are evil,

    What I wrote was:

    I believe that you and edger would tell those wounded souls that they have served an evil cause.

    By doing so you try and force them to turn against what they have done. In response to this they would do one of the following:

    1. Reject you and your help, but be further hurt by your false claim. Or

    2. Accept that your claim is correct, the cause was evil and thus they have done evil things.

    2a. This would further damage their souls.

    2b. It would cause them to want to join with you and protest their past actions which they now see as "evil."

    You write:

    We have big big problems on our hands Jim and it isn't the neighborhood boogieman islamofacist,

    What utter nonsense. This whole thing is due to the long history of attacks on the US, going back to 1979 when Carter decided to dump the Sha and show the radical Moslems that we were weak. Like the firsr cancer cell, everything has spread from there, although the cell was morphing before.


    As I have noted to you time and again, your personal travails are undoubtedly hurtful to you, and I give you the same sympathy I give all that have been hurt but you should understand that others have been hurt before you, and others will be after you. You are no different than anyone else. Please grow up.

    Your fear that some crazed veteran will harm you or others is irrational. Yes, it might happen. And yes, you might be struck by lightning.

    Will we give them better help than we give the Veitnam Veterans?  I hope so.

    But as of right now they are being hurt terribly by the comments made by some Leftists and some Demos.

    "The war is lost," helps the enemy. When you help the enemy you hurt the soldier.

    So if you love the soldier, and want to helo the soldier, support the war. Support the soldier.


    Tracy blathers on (1.00 / 1) (#74)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 09:48:04 AM EST
    about what others have known for years. Simpler.
    In the end, soldiers do not fight for country or causes, they fight for each other. As in many things, Shakesphere said it best.

    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
    Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
    This day shall gentle his condition;
    And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
    Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

    I spent ten years in Naval Aviation. I have friends who spent longer. I was lucky. Others were not. Some survived, others did not.

    You think you have invented the world, and that nothing went before you. You are wrong. Understanding that will come with age.


    But I could be wrong. (none / 0) (#55)
    by Edger on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 10:12:39 PM EST
    Maybe you do have the belly for it.

    The powell doctrine worked ... (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Sailor on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 04:29:11 PM EST
    ... and your fearful leader's didn't.

    bush 1 got the UN involved because it was a just cause ... bush ignored the UN, ignored his generals and invaded a country that had no WMDs, no ability to attack the US, and no connection to 9/11; all based on neoclown lies.

    Gee, '6 days, 6 weeks, I doubt 6 months'; 'we know where the WMDs are, 26 miles north of tikrit';'we will be greeted as liberators'; 'the war will pay for itself'  .... only some of the people can be fooled all of the time.


    Sailor is loving them strawmen (1.00 / 1) (#39)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 05:48:08 PM EST
    Last winter I had the flu. My doctor treated it with drugs designed for the flu.

    This summer I cut my arm rather badly. The emergancy room folks stitched me up, gave me some antibiotics and sent me home.

    Different situations require different treatments.

    I bet you think Obama was right when he said he would never use nukes....


    yet another psychotic episisode ... (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by Sailor on Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 01:14:13 AM EST
    ... of all about jim.

    Well, I have to keep it simple for you. (1.00 / 1) (#65)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 08:16:44 AM EST
    If I had just said that different situations require different actions you wouldn't have figured it out.

    Ah, I see that DA has joined us. (1.00 / 1) (#69)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 08:51:40 AM EST
    And, as usual, he comes bearing false claims and snarky comments.

    The subject was the Powell Doctrine. I have opined that it is a fine doctrine for certain situations, meaningless for others.

    Aaron, Sumner, Sailor and Edger have joined in with their ususal litany of complaints, but none have contested my central fact. I even reduced it to a rather simple explanation for Sailor's benefit, yet no one has made a comment on the correctness, or not, of my comment. Instead, each have launched ad hominem attacks with no substance.

    The reason no one of the above group, and now you, don't respond to my point is because it is so obviously correct. The Powell Doctrine is correct in some things, in others it is not. And when you face reality and admit that, you lose another Talking Point of the Left.

    Have a nice day and a super week! Study hard and maybe you can respond with an argument rather than joining the ad hominem pack attack!


    Wow, when did we employ (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 08:59:29 AM EST
    the Powell doctrine and discover all of its strengths and weaknesses Jim?  After you opined us into having to nuke Iran the other day with all of your military knowledge I don't spend much time giving your opines time.

    Tracy (1.00 / 0) (#79)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 11:45:34 PM EST
    If you can not understand that no strategy covers all situations I wonder why you expect to be taken seriously.

    I mean really... there is some basic things that you just have to know.

    You often remind me of a baseball writer that doesn't understand the infield fly rule...


    Who do you think you're kidding? (5.00 / 0) (#38)
    by Al on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 05:46:53 PM EST
    Overwhelming force sounds good, and we should have used force in Iraq, but the fact is that also means thousands more of dead and injured civilians. In some cases that shouldn't be done.

    Please. You don't give a cluster bomb about Iraqi civilians. And the claim that the military have not used force is laughable.

    You've had four years to achieve something in Iraq, and you have failed miserably, militarily and politically.


    Al understands, but must insult, (1.00 / 0) (#40)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 05:53:25 PM EST
    Why are you incapable of just accepting a sensible point. More force kills more people, especially civilians.

    What I, or anyone else, cares about said civilians has nothing to do with that point.

    BTW - The surge is starting to work. Does the idea of success bother you??


    By what criteria (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Al on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 07:53:46 PM EST
    is the surge working?

    And I didn't insult you. Don't be childish.

    And if you're going to use the argument that more force kills more civilians, of course it matters whether you care. If you don't, that would be hypocritical.


    Al - Try logic (1.00 / 1) (#48)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 08:15:56 PM EST
    Uh, tell me why noting that more force kills more civilians it matters if "you care."

    It is a simple statement of fact, like: Someday we will each die. Caring has nothing to do with it.


    answer the question (none / 0) (#77)
    by Sailor on Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 09:07:32 PM EST
    is the surge working?

    Yes, thank you, it is. (1.00 / 1) (#83)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 12:26:14 AM EST
    Does the thought of our success trouble you??

    there you have it in a nutshell (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Sailor on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 09:25:23 AM EST
    Surge is working? (none / 0) (#88)
    by Edger on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 01:10:58 PM EST
    Sure it is.....

    It's just hard to see it from the bottom of the rabbit hole.


    The solution (none / 0) (#5)
    by chemoelectric on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 12:12:04 PM EST
    The solution: battle hammocks.

    More WHBS. (none / 0) (#6)
    by Semanticleo on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 12:17:55 PM EST
    Many on the right are suggesting Lute is 'off reservation' with his floater about conscription.

    The WH is feigning a flush, but it's just a preemptive strike on a misinformation campaign that is sure to follow.  

    The only qustion is; how quickly can the House and Senate Dems capitulate?

    Is it sustainable without a draft? (none / 0) (#13)
    by JSN on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 01:46:42 PM EST
    The latest figures for Iraq casualties for US Military are 3,689 killed,
    8,163 wounded seriously enough to require air transport and 19,116 other wounded. In addition there were about 116 suicides in Iraq (there were also related suicides in this country how many I don't know). It appears that about 450,000 US military have had tours of duty in Iraq so there is a 1 in 38 chance of one of them being killed or seriously wounded and 1 chance in 38 of being less seriously wounded. It does not appear we are not in a position to increase the number of US military who are combat ready to much more than 450,000

    Those are short odds and the US military knows that if this is going to be a forever war we need more bodies. It is not a popular war so volunteers will not suffice and the only answer is a draft unless you are willing to look at other options such as a peace conference.

    It could be the military are trying to tell GWB to look at other options.

    and (none / 0) (#14)
    by Sumner on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 01:58:02 PM EST
    soldiering for Green Cards

    Death of an Army (none / 0) (#30)
    by scarshapedstar on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 04:29:34 PM EST
    In two lines.

    George W. Bush: I want you to win this war. I don't wanna hear excuses.

    Broken, bleeding soldier: Sir, yes sir.

    George Bush takes a nap. The soldier dies after his fourth injury during his fourth tour of duty.

    This is about the truth. (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Kitt on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 08:31:57 PM EST
    Last week an Idaho died less than a month before a scheduled return to home to begin college. He was on his fourth f*cking tour.

    And the 3rd ACR spent (5.00 / 0) (#73)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 09:38:29 AM EST
    28 months in Iraq in a 36 month period.  They called that two tours.........isn't that cute?