After Marine's Death, Sailor Asks Why Leadership Has Become So Incompetent

Discussion in 'Politics' started by americanexpo, May 28, 2004.

  1. americanexpo
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    americanexpo Guest

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    It could be said that I closed my eyes and engaged in a leap of faith when I joined the US Navy in 2002. I had not intended to do such a thing, but the call to service for my country was too loud to ignore, and 5 years is not so much to give back to America. I had confidence in my leadership, despite some reservations about the dismissive nature of those at the top, whether it be dismissing our NATO allies offer of united struggle (economic & political, not just military, we don't need their militaries near as much as we need their money and shared responsibility) or dismissing the views of others after 9/11 who had other ideas and options on fighting terrorism.

    When Iraq was invaded, I kept any doubts silent and waved my flag, doing my best work I could for my nation. Even though my parents, retired Army (25 years in for both), began to notice serious flaws in planning and judgement on the part of the post liberation reconstruction efforts, I argued that my president knew what he was doing. The State Dept. was wrong, the Defense Dept. knew what it was doing.

    A year has passed. My best friend is dead, the finest Marine I knew, he who could run faster than anyone else, quote random passages of the Bible at request with passion and conviction, and convincingly explain molecular biology before a senior group of professors and scientists. He died in a firefight with insurgents in Fallujah, a nice name for murderers who blow up children's school buses, shoot nuns in the face, target moderate imams with lethal accuracy, slaughter the very aid workers at the UN and Red Cross trying to repair the damage of decades of oppression and war and plot even worse acts of senseless terror that will do nothing to better Iraq, only to ravage and ruin it.

    I blame these animals for his death, but I blame our nation's leaders for the circumstances that led to it. The doubts I'd ignored, the realities I'd avoided, the truth I'd hated to even acknowledge, its all here in full force. I can no longer ignore the chorus of conservative, moderate and liberal voices from military, diplomatic and political circles that ravage this adminstration for its mistakes. I don't believe you should be ravaged for mistakes, but the level of incompetence involved here is far beyond mistake, its willful and wanton stupidity.

    They liberated with a force much smaller than neccessary for the post-liberation task of reconstruction and security. In what would become a pattern of lambasting and ignoring high ranking military personnel who uttered realities they didn't like to admit, they told the Army Chief Of Staff he didn't know what he was talking about when he said he needed a much larger force than what was being envisioned. Others who commited this cardinal sin were similarily discredited and disrespected by self-proclaimed experts, the same people who said Iraqis would greet us with roses and hugs everywhere. With a small force, American troops were unable to keep a real presence in villages and cities, providing security and comfort to Iraqi civilians, the hearts and minds that must be won over to win any effort as large as this. Instead, the troops were moved to desert camps, far away from population centers that were then victimized by crime and bandits, while militias and insurgents were free to stockpile weapons and supplies for war against American troops.

    Gross Incompetence Strike 1

    They disbanded the Iraqi army without ID'ing senior personnel with specific guerrialla warfare training and leadership traits, and without offering hundreds of thousands of needy, lethally trained and humuliated young men any semblance of a future. no money, no jobs, no nothing. just give up your weapons and go home.
    Gross Incompetence Strike 2

    Dishonoring troops everywhere, the very same leaders then tried to blame a prisoner abuse scandal caused by leaders who gave entirely too much power and freedom to senior personnel and not nearly enough oversight and rule of law on junior personnel who were encouraged to use illegal tactics. Do you really believe that in a maximum security prision (or what passes for one in Iraq) that prisioners could be abused for days on end without superiors being aware? Bad policies lead to bad behavior. Bad leadership leads to bad behavior. There are no bad troops, only bad generals.

    Gross Incompetence Strike 3

    What the heck is going on in Washington?
     
  2. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Name of the letter writer or the name of the marine? Just asking.
     
  3. HGROKIT
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    HGROKIT Active Member

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    Given that the poster is from Yokuska, Japan - I am going to make a leap here and assume he wrote this. We have a naval base there. Just my humble opinion.

    :D
     
  4. americanexpo
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    its my letter, probably was a little too strident but i'm sitting here just wondering WTF is going on with our leadership. i thought we were past the bad days of incompetence when the clinton admin. left office, but i guess that's just the way of washington now.
     
  5. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    by americanexpo

    Americanexpo, thank you for your service and I'm very sorry about the loss of your friend. I and countless others WILL be thinking of all those lost since 9/11, particulary in the past year.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    While I disagree with your current conclusion, I do agree with most of your three points of what has gone wrong. The administration or DoD should have brought in more troops in the follow-up to the invasion.

    While the Iraqi military had to be halted and vetted, the leadership should not have been disbanded the way it was. Lt. Smash wrote post after post, from both Kuwait and Iraq about many of the Iraqi generals he had interviewed. He was arguing during this time that they were making a mistake of gigantic proportions: http://www.lt-smash.us/
    (he's home now and writes under 'citizen smash'.)

    On your 3rd point I have some misgivings. I'm not being trite, but rather realistic when I say 'nothing new is going on in D.C., during war or peace', it's an election year. There are so many forces at work right now that are not in our country's interests, which is unforgiveable, yet seems unavoidable with our system. It's not a perfect system, there are real systemic problems, yet I've yet to come across any better. Perhaps for wartime, a form of dictatorship is better in ways, which when you look at it is an unspoken underpinning of FDR's rationale to going for the 3rd and 4th terms. (Which brought different problems to the equation.)

    I'm sure this doesn't allieviate your pain, but you seemed to have posted a serious issue and this is my feeble reply.

    On this Memorial Day, let me again say THANKS to all who serve and PEACE to all who have lost someone in the past year, military or not.
     
  6. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    Amen.
     
  7. JohnGalt
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    My words are far too weak to express my sincere sorrow for your loss. Thank you for serving our country, and try to enjoy your Memorial weekend, however that is possible.
     
  8. Kiva
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    I am sorry for your personal loss. However, I do have a problem with your portrayal of the current Administration as incompetent.
    Please consider what has been accomplished, in such a short period of time, with loss of life that is minimal by historic standards. If you think a change in the Executive Government would make a difference while keeping our nation strong and more safe than we are please provide a little evidence. What horrifies me is what a change in the Administration would bring.Go to WinterSoldier.com, read the records, and then pray that you remain under the command of President Bush for your own good and the good of our nation.
     
  9. americanexpo
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    americanexpo Guest

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    Its really a choice for Pres. Bush... the majority view of persons from all sides of the political spectrum at is that key members of his administration are incompetent, persons like donald rumsfield, richard perle, condeleeza rice, john ashcroft, etc etc. i would hope that the 2nd term of pres. bush brings a new team to washington, one that can repair the damage done in the previous term to our nation's reputation, image, and most importantly, our military and diplomatic forces. We need better leadership, and I understand that Pres. Bush trusts his people to do their assigned jobs and carry them out per his wishes, though he gives them great freedom to complete them in the manner they see fit. I think many of them have just been doing a very poor job, and I hope that is reflected in their decision (or his) to come back or not after November.
     
  10. pegwinn
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    pegwinn Top of the Food Chain

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    AE,
    My condolances on your loss. Since he was a Marine then I feel your pain twice over, because another member of my family is gone. I served during the tenures of four presidents.
    Reagan was a light, we stepped up and he told us to be proud of what we were.
    Bush the elder said to carry on. Both of them understood the need to not micromanage or to half step.
    Clinton dishonored the country and our leaders told us to stand fast, to keep the faith, this will pass, and it did.
    Bush the younger, is doing well all things considered. His cabinet isn't perfect and politics never mixes well with military operations. His "war" doesn't have a clearly defined border. It doesn't have the full support because even though he won the electoral battle, the war was never conceded. When he wins in November, hopefully that will be put to rest.
    There are other posts on this board that will show the outstanding successes. This will not take away the pain that losing your brothers in arms brings, but will help you define the character of your future service.
    Don't forget to take a day and climb Mount Fuji.
     

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