Memo from the first Marines

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by NightTrain, Jun 26, 2004.

  1. NightTrain
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    NightTrain VIP Member

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    "Setbacks and tragedy are part and parcel of war and must be accepted on the battlefield. We can and will achieve our goals in Iraq. Waiting for war in the Saudi Arabian desert as a young corporal in 1991, I recall reading news clippings portending massive tank battles, fiery death from Saddam Hussein's 'flame trenches' and bitter defeat at the hands of the fourth-largest army in the world. My platoon was told to expect 75% casualties. Being Marines and, therefore, naturally cocky, we still felt pretty good about our abilities. The panicky predictions failed to come true... Nobody from my platoon died. Strength, ingenuity and willpower won the day. Crushing the fourth-largest army in the world in four days seemed to crush the doubts back home... In the spring of last year, I was a Marine captain, back with the division for Operation Iraqi Freedom... I was again subjected to the panicky analyses of talking heads. There weren't enough troops to do the job, the oil fields would be destroyed, we couldn't fight in urban terrain, our offensive would grind to a halt, and we should expect more than 10,000 casualties... [However,] I knew that our tempo was keeping the enemy on his heels and that our plan would lead us to victory... Mourning our losses quietly, the Marines drove to Baghdad, then to Tikrit, liberating the Iraqi people while losing fewer men than were lost in Desert Storm... Just weeks ago, I read that the supply lines were cut, ammunition and food were dwindling, the 'Sunni Triangle' was exploding, cleric Muqtada al-Sadr was leading a widespread Shiite revolt, and the country was nearing civil war. As I write this, the supply lines are open, there's plenty of ammunition and food, the Sunni Triangle is back to status quo, and Sadr is marginalized in Najaf. Once again, dire predictions of failure and disaster have been dismissed by American willpower and military professionalism. War is inherently ugly and dramatic... All we ask is that Americans stand by us by supporting not just the troops, but also the mission. We'll take care of the rest."

    Major Ben Connable
    Foreign-Area Officer and Intelligence Officer with the 1st Marine Division
    Ramadi, Iraq
     
  2. jon_forward
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    jon_forward Active Member

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    :clap: I for one am GLAD that folks such as the Major have our backs!!!
     
  3. Trinity
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    Trinity VIP Member

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