Reservist Blasts Cindy Sheehan

Discussion in 'Military' started by NATO AIR, Sep 29, 2005.

  1. NATO AIR
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    NATO AIR Senior Member

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    excellent column about a minnesota marine....

    http://www.startribune.com/stories/191/5641053.html

    Katherine Kersten: Reservist says protesters are breaking faith
    Katherine Kersten, Star Tribune
    September 29, 2005 KERSTEN0929

    Cindy Sheehan made big news at the antiwar rally in Washington last weekend. Cameras clicked as graying Vietnam-era biggies -- Joan Baez, Jesse Jackson -- relived their glory days. Seven busloads of Minnesotans joined them, drawn from groups such as the DFL Party and Women Against Military Madness.

    Sheehan set the "outside the mainstream" tone. She has called the foreign terrorists in Iraq "freedom fighters." Now -- get this -- she is demanding that America pull our troops not only out of Iraq, but also out of "occupied New Orleans."

    Back in Minnesota, Marine Col. Jeff Vold watched the protest unfold. Unlike the demonstrators, Vold knows Iraq firsthand. A Reservist from Maple Grove, he returned last March from seven months in Fallujah and Ramadi, the heart of the violent Sunni Triangle.

    Vold's view is 180 degrees different from the protesters'. For years, he says, America took a passive approach to extremist threats. We learned the hard way that this emboldened terrorists and ultimately led to Sept. 11. Abandoning our mission in Iraq now, he says, would be both ill-advised and dangerous.

    Vold knows the painful cost of aborting a mission midstream. He was in Somalia in early 1994 when America turned tail. "We abandoned the Somali people because we took 18 casualties in October 1993," he said. "It was a shameful act." That same year, he sat in frustration on a troop ship off Kenya as hundreds of thousands of people were hacked to death in Rwanda. After the first Gulf War, he says, we left the Shiites to a bloody fate. "In Iraq, we're going to stay the course against the terrorists and give the people a chance at freedom and a representative government."

    Vold ticks off the extraordinary progress underway in Iraq. In Ramadi, he witnessed ordinary Iraqis braving mortar fire to vote in the January 2005 elections. In just two weeks, on Oct. 15, he adds, these courageous people will have another historic opportunity -- a chance to vote on Iraq's new constitution.

    Across Iraq, Americans and Iraqis are working together to reclaim the country from Baathists and terrorists. They are building or refurbishing schools, hospitals, roads and sewer systems. "The battle with the terrorists left Fallujah in rubble," says Vold. "But every day, people thanked us. 'We might have to rebuild our house,' they said, 'but you gave us back our city.' "

    Do the Washington protesters know about these great strides? Vold can't say. "When I got back from Iraq, I was disappointed -- astounded, really -- to read the news. The media was saying it's all a failure, while we saw successes around us every day."

    Vold puts the continuing sporadic violence in perspective. Most of Iraq, he says, is quiet. "Baghdad is a vibrant city, the size of Chicago's metro area. A bomb goes off -- it's a bad thing, but it's like we're sitting in Eden Prairie and a bomb goes off in Andover. The police investigate, people go about their business. Rush hour is one big traffic jam."

    Antiwar demonstrators sometimes claim that their prime motivation is concern for the safety of American troops. "Support the troops," the lawn signs say, "bring them home."

    But it doesn't work that way, says Vold. "I try not to take it personally. The reason I'm a Marine is to ensure this is a free country. But I don't think the protesters know the effect they're having on the soldiers. You're always tired, cold or hot, homesick. The last thing you need is a sense that people back home say your mission is doomed, when you see good things happening all the time."

    Vold adds that antiwar rhetoric sometimes implicitly portrays soldiers as dupes on a fool's errand. "We volunteered to go to Iraq. The guys over there, who know the situation best, are re-enlisting in great numbers. Most of the guys I served with think this is the best thing America has done in our careers."

    How did the Sheehan protest play in Iraq? Yesterday, I asked Vold's friend, Lt. Col. James MacVarish, an adviser to Iraqi troops in Fallujah. He told me in an e-mail that the Iraqis he works with believe such protests and the press they generate "play directly to the strengths of our mutual enemy." Iraqis "are absolutely astounded," he adds, "that we 'allow' that to continue." A few days ago, he had to give his Iraqi colleagues an hourlong civics lesson on freedom of the press.

    MacVarish says that the terrorists can't win militarily. So their strategy is to make the U.S. and Iraqi people "bleed a little every day." They hope that the resulting media attention will turn the tide of American opinion against the war, and make the political cost of sustaining it too high. "The more play the press gives Cindy Sheehan," MacVarish concludes, "the better the terrorists' chances are of ultimately succeeding here."

    What would a terrorist victory mean? "If we leave before the new government is established and the Iraqi Army is ready," says Vold, "the people will be at the mercy of the bad guys" -- beheaders and torturers, who blow up children. MacVarish minces no words: "If the terrorists win over here, stand by. There will be no stopping them anywhere in the world."

    Katherine Kersten is at
    kkersten@startribune.com.
     
  2. Jimmyeatworld
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    Jimmyeatworld Silver Member

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    Oh, now, none of these people could possibly be right. It's obvious that fat guys from Michigan with a camara, the New York Times, and obnoxious shits on message boards with lame arguments know more about what is going on in Iraq than they do. These people were actually there, what do they know?
     
  3. Johnney
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    Johnney Senior Member

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    can someone clue cindy in as to what the role of the military is please?
     
  4. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    I know an area America has been investing in for decades, despite the cost in human lives and money to keep it in some semblance of stability. Last year alone, 373 Americans lost their lives in this brutal conflict zone, which is actually a significant drop from the year before. No area is worth holding at the expense of American lives, so I emplore President Bush, our commander and chief, to please, please...withdraw from Los Angeles. Support the cops by bringing them home.
     
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  5. no1tovote4
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    no1tovote4 VIP Member

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    You forget the brutality in Detroit and D.C.! The horrific medieval atrocities committed, never forget. We should support all our cops and remove them from every big city out there!
     
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  6. pegwinn
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    pegwinn Top of the Food Chain

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    LOL @ U & Hobbit.

    Points to all. And to all a good weekend.
     
  7. theim
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    theim Senior Member

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    A large scale Meals on Wheels program, isn't it? And I think they do some stuff with guns, too. I'm not sure.
     
  8. Hagbard Celine
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    Hagbard Celine Senior Member

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    That Cindy Sheehan is so shameful! Who does she think she is having an opinion on how and why her son died? Why doesn't she unquestioningly accept the administration's reasons for going into this war like the rest of us? Where is her patriotism? She is un-American and, speaking for her son, he hates her and is looking down on her with disgust from heaven.
     
  9. no1tovote4
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    no1tovote4 VIP Member

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    It isn't Cindy that I think is acting shameful. There is a path that people take in grief that has been stunted in her case by people using her grief for a political agenda. The lady is sick with grief and the left acts to keep her that way rather than to allow her past her grief. She needs a shrink not 'support' at this time. It is sickening to watch her very real grief process stunted by those who want to use the current step in the process for political grandstanding.
     
  10. pegwinn
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    pegwinn Top of the Food Chain

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    Awesome, glad to see that you are finally learning to think for yourself instead of listening to the media ratings scramble of the week. Your questioning technique needs work since they've all been asked and answered. But, hey, first you crawl.......
     

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