Breaking! Iraq War and Surge Supporter Declares Surge A Failure

When Iraq Debacle And Surge Supporters Ken Pollack and Michael O'Hanlon dishonestly labelled themselves war and Surge critics, their endorsement, in a NYTimes Op-Ed, of the Surge was falsely treated as big news. Now we have an Iraq War and Surge supporter declaring the Surge a failure in an Op-Ed in the NYTimes. His name is Tom Friedman:

Ditto with Iraqi surges. If it takes a Middle East expert to explain to you why it is working, it’s not working. . . . There’s only one thing at this stage that would truly impress me, and it is this: proof that there is an Iraq, proof that there is a coalition of Iraqi Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds who share our vision of a unified, multiparty, power-sharing, democratizing Iraq and who are willing to forge a social contract that will allow them to maintain such an Iraq — without U.S. troops. . . . [T]he Bush team will say the surge is a “partial” success and needs more time. But that is like your contractor telling you that your home is almost finished — the bricks are up, but there’s no cement. Thanks a lot. My answer: If I saw something with my own eyes that I hadn’t seen before — Iraq’s Shiite, Kurdish and Sunni leaders stepping forward, declaring their willingness to work out their differences by a set deadline and publicly asking us to stay until they do. That’s the only thing worth giving more time to develop. . . . Only Iraqis living in Iraq can prove otherwise. So far, I don’t see it.

Think that will get half of the coverage of the O'Pollahan dishonesties? Me neither.

See also Joe Klein, on this powerful piece by NCOs of the 82nd Airborne. Joe sez "It puts to shame--and shame is the appropriate word--all the Kristol, McCain, Lieberman, Pollack and O'Hanlon etc etc cheerleading of the past two months." Also John Cole.

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    If Tom Friedman told me (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by andgarden on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 03:07:12 PM EST
    that it was raining, I'd check for myself.

    So check (4.50 / 2) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 03:08:24 PM EST
    This time he is right.

    As it happens (none / 0) (#8)
    by andgarden on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 03:10:58 PM EST
    It is raining where I am right now. I guess the Friedman clock has stopped--or whatever that expression is supposed to be.

    Twice a day (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 03:16:40 PM EST
    I tell you waht, I think all of us should embrace the pre-debunking of the Petraeus Report.

    I am surprised you are missing seeing this chance for what it is.


    I suppose it's just difficult (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by andgarden on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 03:35:12 PM EST
    for me to believe that anyone will take the report seriously.

    You have a point, though--after all, Bush was re-elected.


    OT - related (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Edger on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 08:39:12 AM EST
    The Unseen Lies: Journalism As Propaganda
    John Pilger
    The truth about most modern journalism: You first become a career media worker, you start climbing the ladder, and then you prostitute yourself. It's as common as it's straightforward.
    For what the public did not know was that in order to be professional, journalists had to ensure that news and opinion were dominated by official sources, and that has not changed. Go through the New York Times on any day, and check the sources of the main political stories-domestic and foreign-you'll find they're dominated by government and other established interests. That is the essence of professional journalism. I am not suggesting that independent journalism was or is excluded, but it is more likely to be an honorable exception. Think of the role Judith Miller played in the New York Times in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. Yes, her work became a scandal, but only after it played a powerful role in promoting an invasion based on lies. Yet, Miller's parroting of official sources and vested interests was not all that different from the work of many famous Times reporters, such as the celebrated W.H. Lawrence, who helped cover up the true effects of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in August, 1945. "No Radioactivity in Hiroshima Ruin," was the headline on his report, and it was false.
    So, a pattern was set. Impartiality was a principle certainly: a principle to be suspended whenever the establishment was under threat. And that principle has been upheld ever since.

    Take the invasion of Iraq. There are two studies of the BBC's reporting. One shows that the BBC gave just 2 percent of its coverage of Iraq to antiwar dissent-2 percent. That is less than the antiwar coverage of ABC, NBC, and CBS. A second study by the University of Wales shows that in the buildup to the invasion, 90 percent of the BBC's references to weapons of mass destruction suggested that Saddam Hussein actually possessed them, and that by clear implication Bush and Blair were right. We now know that the BBC and other British media were used by the British secret intelligence service MI-6. In what they called Operation Mass Appeal, MI-6 agents planted stories about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction, such as weapons hidden in his palaces and in secret underground bunkers. All of these stories were fake. But that's not the point. The point is that the work of MI-6 was unnecessary, because professional journalism on its own would have produced the same result.

    One of my favorite stories about the Cold War... (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by Edger on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 11:18:43 AM EST
    ...concerns a group of Russian journalists who were touring the United States. On the final day of their visit, they were asked by the host for their impressions. "I have to tell you," said the spokesman, "that we were astonished to find after reading all the newspapers and watching TV day after day that all the opinions on all the vital issues are the same. To get that result in our country we send journalists to the gulag. We even tear out their fingernails. Here you don't have to do any of that. What is the secret?"

    The genocidal cost of the surge (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Aaron on Tue Aug 21, 2007 at 04:52:30 AM EST
    Try telling the Yazidis we're in Iraq to protect them

    Coordinated fuel truck suicide bombing.

    400 dead and counting in what appears to be a genocidal attack.

    Hundreds of orphaned children.

    Second worst terrorist attack in modern history, after 9/11.

    US doesn't have a clue as to who actually did it.

    [The next time you hear confident assurances from the White House and its supporters that the "surge" of U.S. troops in Iraq is working and that something called "victory" is now within sight, remember the Yazidis.

    The who? Before last week, you almost certainly would have asked that question -- before two villages in northern Iraq, populated by an obscure religious sect, suffered what is now officially the deadliest terrorist attack of the war, with more than 400 people confirmed dead. The final toll is expected to rise, but the coordinated suicide truck bombings in the Yazidi towns already constitute the second-worst terrorist attack of modern times, trailing only the carnage of Sept. 11, 2001.]  

    Aaron (1.00 / 1) (#48)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Aug 21, 2007 at 07:59:22 AM EST
    The attack was by other Iraqis, possibly assisted by foreign terrorists.

    The Left often makes the point that the war was over in four days.

    The problem is that the various factions within Iraq, plus the terrorists from Syria, Iran, SA, Egypt, etc., immediately started attacking each other in an attempt to seize power.

    Why the Left doesn't condemn these acts has to be the question that the Left can't answer.

    Instead you worry yourself over the US, evidently having not a clue that this act of terror will be repeated a 1000 times over if we pull out now.


    completely ignoring the fact .,. (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Sailor on Tue Aug 21, 2007 at 08:27:51 AM EST
    ... that none of it would have happened if bush hadn't attacked a country with no connection to AQ, no WMDs, no connection to 9/11 and no ability to harm the US.

    And completely ignoriong that the oine thing iraqis have in common is that they want te US out.

    remember when bush said iraq was a ssoverign country and we'd leave when they wanted us to? He lied about that too.


    You need to work on improving your intelligence (none / 0) (#49)
    by Edger on Tue Aug 21, 2007 at 08:10:49 AM EST
    January 7, 2007:
    In recent months, several Sunni and secular groups have tried to cobble together a coalition with al-Sadr's followers to oust the al-Maliki government and force an American pullout. This attempt has received prominent coverage in Iraqi, pan-Arab and Iranian media, and its main organizer, Saleh al-Mutlak, said U.S. diplomats are trying to block it.

    "The American officials have been doing everything they can to stop us because they know that would start the end of the occupation," said al-Mutlak, who is leader of the National Dialogue Front, a secular coalition that holds 11 of the 275 seats in parliament.

    On Monday, two of al-Mutlak's bodyguards were killed and two National Dialogue Front buildings were destroyed by U.S. troops in what the Americans later said was a raid on an al Qaeda safe house.

    Al-Mutlak's allies say that rather than unleashing a worsened civil war, a U.S. troop withdrawal would have a calming effect.

    "If there is a timetable for the U.S. troops to get out, if a real Iraqi government has authority to make decisions, it can reach an understanding with the groups in the Mahdi Army to solve the situation, to stop the violence, and also with the insurgent groups," said Jawad al-Khalisi, a Shiite ayatollah and seminary leader in Baghdad who has tried to reconcile the radicals under a nationalist, pro-withdrawal banner. "The Iraqi people will get rid of the extremist powers from both sides. We won't allow them to continue their violent and terrorist acts."

    Start at home, ppj. Improve your intelligence.

    Best I've seen in a while (1.00 / 2) (#1)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 02:41:34 PM EST
    If it takes a Middle East expert to explain to you why it is working, it's not working. . . .

    If it takes a Doctor to explain to you why the drug is working, it's not working...

    If it takes an engineer to explain why you can see a picture on the TV screen, you are not seeing it..


    Or (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by squeaky on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 02:45:13 PM EST
    If it takes a nuclear phycisist to explain to you why your roof is leaking.....

    Yes ppj, we realize that your imagination is limited and literary devices fly right over your head.


    Good for you Jim (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 02:46:34 PM EST
    Early exposure of your doltishness and missing the point.

    Bravo! you are an expert at what you do.


    BTD - No I understood your point. (1.00 / 0) (#18)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 06:42:55 PM EST
    You write:

    I tell you waht, I think all of us should embrace the pre-debunking of the Petraeus Report

    You actually started it about a month ago by praising him but noting that he was human and couldn't be trusted to tell the truth,


    Fun with Syntax (none / 0) (#19)
    by glanton on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 06:59:42 PM EST
    Clearly you think to be making an important, nay a righteous point here (as always, about "THE LEFT"):

    You write:

    I tell you waht, I think all of us should embrace the pre-debunking of the Petraeus Report

    So, let me guess.  You hold to the, "hey, wait a minute, let's be reasonable. Before we make up our minds let's wait and see what the General has to say" line.

    Geez, the suspense must be killing you.  But be patient.  September is almost here. ;-)


    it's not the Petraeus report (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Sailor on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 09:54:05 AM EST
    I'm sort of glad (none / 0) (#42)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 09:58:19 AM EST
    after studying that NCO write up last night and this morning I'm calling a moratorium on big words used in a military context.

    I knew that (none / 0) (#44)
    by glanton on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 10:07:31 AM EST
    But keep posting the link.  There may still be a few hapless souls out there awaiting this thing as though it mattered.

    Glanton (1.00 / 0) (#21)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 08:15:26 PM EST
    Perhaps I should have said:

    Those on the Left that BTD presumes to be leading??

    Those on the Left that BTD wants to join him in prejudging the report?

    No, I hold to the position that the General will give us a report that is accurate and honest.

    And if you think waiting for an accurate and honest report is a reasonable thing to do before making your mind up, then I guess I am a reasonable man.


    You didn't (5.00 / 0) (#22)
    by glanton on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 08:59:36 PM EST
    get what I posted at all.  Either that or you're deliberately distorting.

    There is no suspense as to what the General will report.  The White House is writing the report.  There was never a modicum of a chance that the report would be anything other than 'what we're doing is working but we still have a long way to go.'  Something to that effect, anyway.

    Am I wrong?  


    Glanton (1.00 / 0) (#23)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 09:22:22 PM EST
    If you believe that the General is a honorable man then you must also agree that he would not countenance a report that is wrong.

    Kindly point me where I said (5.00 / 0) (#24)
    by glanton on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 09:27:20 PM EST
    That the General was an honorable man?  I do not believe that he is an honorable man.

    Also, I notice you didn't respond to my question.  Is there, was there ever, even the slightest doubt that what we will hear will exactly echo the condensed scenario I articulate above?

    Again:  He will say what we are doing is working, but that we still have a long way to go.  Am I wrong?


    Glanton (1.00 / 0) (#25)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 09:45:17 PM EST
    That was a question... "If"

    Since I believe he is, then whatever the report says has his agreement.


    We knew (5.00 / 0) (#27)
    by glanton on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 10:11:33 PM EST
    what would have his "agreement" all along.  It's a shell game, and it's nothing new.

    I truly hope that despite you're pretenses here that you understand this.    


    Glanton (1.00 / 0) (#34)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 07:57:48 AM EST
    We knew..

    Is that a mouse in your pocket or do you have fleas?


    The bottom line, since you are anti-war, is that unless he announces that we should immediately withdraw you will condemn him.

    Okay. Now I understand.


    And when he says (5.00 / 0) (#35)
    by glanton on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 08:31:16 AM EST
    It exactly as we all predicted from the time his report was announced, you will swear it's just coincidence. Of yeah, and you'll probably link to and quote the report a lot, too.  

    Glanton (1.00 / 0) (#37)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 08:47:33 AM EST
    Your politics say that you can not agree with anything or anyone who says the condition is improving.

    I ask again.

    Are you anti-war, or just anti-this war.

    And under what conditions would you be willing to fight to defend the country?


    Untrue (5.00 / 0) (#43)
    by glanton on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 10:02:47 AM EST
    Your politics say that you can not agree with anything or anyone who says the condition is improving.

    This is patently false.

    And, how stunning obtuse for you to write this what I have quoted, as a criticism, even as you contendedly await an "honest" report on the state of things in Iraq from the Bush administration.  Ya think their "politics" might play, oh, a slight hand in the report that they're giving?

    Once more, with feeling: There was never the slightest chance that the General was going to say anything other than blather such as this:

    this is working but we have a long way to go, we need more time, let's don't give up on this on the home front.

    Am I wrong?


    the WH is writing the report ... (5.00 / 0) (#50)
    by Sailor on Tue Aug 21, 2007 at 08:24:17 AM EST
    ... and they are not honorable men.

    It's kinda funny ppj would take this opposite outlook about this general because all the ones that have disagreed with the WH he has had only contempt for.

    So obviously it's not that they are honorable but that they go along with bushco lies that ppj cares about.


    The only thing... (none / 0) (#4)
    by desertswine on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 02:55:25 PM EST
    the surge is doing is prolonging the inevitable at the cost of yet more human blood.

    Oh... (none / 0) (#5)
    by desertswine on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 02:56:00 PM EST
    that should be "surge."

    Nice job. (none / 0) (#11)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 04:17:54 PM EST

    Everyone should read "Iraq as We Saw It" (none / 0) (#12)
    by tnthorpe on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 04:19:39 PM EST
    in the opinion pages of the NYT and realize what a bunch of scoundrels the punditocracy can be, not to mention how cynical our current political leadership is. Those men give an unvarnished account of things far removed from Bush Administration hype, far from TF's fanciful theorizing, and so heartbreakingly honest. Support the troops by bringing them home and impeaching Bush and Cheney!

    NYT: (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 04:23:40 PM EST
    Friedman (none / 0) (#14)
    by nellieh on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 04:30:04 PM EST
    Does this mean the demise of the "Friedman Unit?"

    Friedman Unit (none / 0) (#15)
    by sphealey on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 04:56:47 PM EST



    Very little reaction (none / 0) (#16)
    by Alien Abductee on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 05:24:54 PM EST
    to the NCOs NYT op-ed in the right-wing blogs so far. You can follow reaction here.

    What response there has been has been careful and respectful. RW military blog BLACKFIVE, for example, says their experiences are no doubt true, but that basically it's above their pay grade to understand it all. Oh, and that BTW it's all Iran's fault.

    Some fascinating nuggets of RW thought appear in that BLACKFIVE piece:

    • So much for the idea the WH pushes that the Surge is supposed to open a space for political solutions to occur:

      A political solution cannot preceed the military solution.  Political solutions only arise when the losing party no longer feels that it can benefit more by continuing the struggle.  In other words, you have to win the war first.

    • That continuing the war is a punishment and ending it is a reward that should help coerce Iraqis into doing what we think they should be doing politically:

      The political process should be understood as following rather than leading the warfighting process.  It is critical to make clear to the people of Iraq that the enemies of an independent Iraqi government cannot hope to establish peace, but can only prolong the war

    • The failure to provide power, water and other civilian infrastructure in the face of insurgent attacks are proof that we are right to be trying to bring "civilization" to the benighted inhabitants of Iraq:

      I think their brutality ought to be motivating to a certain degree.  We ought not to want to say, "America and her allies can be defeated if you are prepared to be cruel enough to the weak."  I would add to your list of things we wish to accomplish a second humanitarian goal, one that applies not only to Iraq but to many places in the world:  we, the Coalition countries, need to make a stand for civilization.

    I went and read BLACKFIVE (none / 0) (#38)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 08:57:18 AM EST
    I swear to the Lord if one more geezer who never won in COIN (counterinsurgency) tells the soldiers fighting in this how to win a COIN I'm going to ....... tell them they never won a COIN so stop talking out of their large muscle regions.  You know what's really scary about professional soldiers that seem to attract BushCo and BushCo is attracted to them and why they should always have to talk the hand of the civilian?  When a dentist tries a new tooth whitening procedure probably the worst thing that can happen is someone's teeth get yellower and when a chef tries a new recipte......Malox, but when BushCo's yahoo soldiers try a new strategy on for size people just get killed and get to die.  They have no respect for human life when they are playing the Denny Hastert football game of death.

    Hey Tracy (none / 0) (#39)
    by Alien Abductee on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 09:05:40 AM EST
    Your snark detector's needed over here. Is it or isn't it - wadda ya think?

    I hope this diary gets play (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 09:46:48 AM EST
    Looking forward to others on the topic if you have them in you.

    Thanks for dropping over (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Alien Abductee on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 03:51:54 PM EST
    I haven't been posting much lately but probably will be a bit more now.

    NCO article was interesting. I suppose (none / 0) (#17)
    by Green26 on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 06:07:48 PM EST
    they may be right, or basically right. I have long wondered if the war could be won, and have felt the US will have to go to Plans B or C if it is concluded that the war cannot be won. I find it interesting that some of you can immediately conclude this article is spot-on (without knowing who the authors are or what their "methodology" was), yet last week you were concluding that Pollack/O'Hanlon were wrong because of their poor methodology (even tho no seemed interested in addressing the substance of what they said). I don't think my son, who is a sergeant and Ranger in Iraq (and was wounded last week), would agree with this article, at least in some respects, nor do I think most of his army friends would agree. At least as of earlier this year when he was home for a leave, he felt it was important that the US not pull out of Iraq prematurely, as he felt it was likely the US would eventually have to come back, probably in a big way, to try to deal with even bigger problems. I trust that you will show the same respect for my grunt as you are for the other grunts.

    Our Vision? (none / 0) (#20)
    by DanAllNews on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 08:06:54 PM EST
    ...a coalition of Iraqi Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds who share our vision of a unified, multiparty, power-sharing, democratizing Iraq...

    "Our" vision? Why does anyone think imposing "our vision" on others -- particularly those who have an intense dislike for our vision to begin with -- could ever succeed?

    Great post, (none / 0) (#26)
    by Aaron on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 10:05:45 PM EST
    I've been posting that piece from the soldiers in the 82nd airborne everywhere I can think of. I'd like to ram it down the throats of everybody over at The Weekly Standard.

    I wonder how long it'll be before their editors start slandering these guys and calling for their heads.

    Some excerpts,

    [As responsible infantrymen and noncommissioned officers with the 82nd Airborne Division soon heading back home, we are skeptical of recent press coverage portraying the conflict as increasingly manageable and feel it has neglected the mounting civil, political and social unrest we see every day. ]

    [The claim that we are increasingly in control of the battlefields in Iraq is an assessment arrived at through a flawed, American-centered framework.]

    [A few nights ago, for example, we witnessed the death of one American soldier and the critical wounding of two others when a lethal armor-piercing explosive was detonated between an Iraqi Army checkpoint and a police one. Local Iraqis readily testified to American investigators that Iraqi police and Army officers escorted the triggermen and helped plant the bomb. These civilians highlighted their own predicament: had they informed the Americans of the bomb before the incident, the Iraqi Army, the police or the local Shiite militia would have killed their families. ]

    [In short, we operate in a bewildering context of determined enemies and questionable allies, one where the balance of forces on the ground remains entirely unclear.]

    [Coupling our military strategy to an insistence that the Iraqis meet political benchmarks for reconciliation is also unhelpful.]

    [Washington's insistence that the Iraqis correct the three gravest mistakes we made - de-Baathification, the dismantling of the Iraqi Army and the creation of a loose federalist system of government - places us at cross purposes with the government we have committed to support.]

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

    [We need not talk about our morale. As committed soldiers, we will see this mission through.]

    Slandering and calling for heads (5.00 / 0) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 12:12:41 AM EST
    as soon as the rooster crows.  We could start a pool as to the exact eastern standard time.  I watched Roves spectacle on MTP, that boy spouts talking points like a ticker tape machine spouts tape.  I hope he chokes on this.....too many facts, not enough fiction.

    How big is this news really? (none / 0) (#28)
    by robrecht on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 10:14:40 PM EST
    I don't have access to this or previous columns but this seems like a fairly natural evolution:

    Dog Paddling in the Tigris
    Published: July 1, 2007

    There is no sign that the U.S. military's surge in Iraq is making Iraqi politics or security better in any appreciable way.

    Set a Date and Buy Some Leverage
    Published: December 8, 2006

    The brutally honest Baker-Hamilton assessment of the Iraq morass implies that we need to leave Iraq if the factions there don't get their act together, but it also urges a last-ditch effort to enlist the help of Syria and Iran to salvage something decent. Both are good suggestions, but they will only have a chance of being effective if we go one notch further and set a fixed date -- now -- for America to leave Iraq. ...

    Wikipedia also points to "his August 4, 2006 column ...the effort to transform Iraq by military invasion had failed, and that it was time for the United States to admit failure and disengage."


    Or was this all intended to be tongue in cheek?

    Peter Laesch is going to email (none / 0) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 11:23:51 PM EST
    the NCO's and find out how they met and what inspired their joint op ed.  I want to know how they all got together too, will share if and when I find out.

    A diarist on DK is sceptical (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 19, 2007 at 11:46:46 PM EST
    the NCO's actually wrote the article.  Apparently the diarist thought the writing was too good.  Awaiting you reaction.  

    The writing was damned good (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 12:06:50 AM EST
    I read it to my husband and he was a little taken back.  This is an amazingly well written thought out soldier account and opinion. It is sometimes shocking the education that some of our soldiers have.  Like our friend L who started out enlisted, then went to college and was a professional student for about ten years, then rejoined as an officer.  He's only a Captain but he speaks fluent Russian and has this really bizarre education.  There are enlisted soldiers out there with considerable education and skills.  Our family has bumped into a few such people.  Even the currently questioned Beauchamp who is enlisted really can't be questioned on his writing ability.  Who is the questioning diarist?  Is it an orange veteran or could it be a troll?  Peter Laesch thinks these guys hooked up on an MWR (morale, welfare, recreation) in Iraq, I was guessing a career advancement course....they obviously were chummy for a good period of time.  The peice is so current to the Iraq situation on the ground I would say Peter's guess is probably the correct one, and these soldiers are among the soldiers paying the dearest for this craziness.  My opinion, one of them is a good writer and wrote it, emailed it out for individual approval, additions, and refinements and then they all signed off on it.  They are all real soldiers, they exist in the military lookup database that soldiers have access to...they put their rank on there, if they didn't write it we'll know soon enough cuz this isn't going to go unnoticed.

    Ewww, I went and found the diary (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 12:27:40 AM EST
    Just a tad bit bigoted about the education and communication skills of America's enlisted.  Making large blanket statements about the religious beliefs, racial make up, and sexual preferences of America's military have proven to only be an example of the stater's rigid stupidity and now we can add writing abilities to that list as well ;)

    The specialist has a Masters Degree in International Affairs.  I had a nice visit with him the last time he was home.  I hope to see him again. Keep these guys, their comrades and their families in your thoughts.