"Not the victory but the action. Not the goal but the game.
In the deed the glory."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

That Didn't Take Long

I would have thought that the incoming majority party would have waited at least a week to start demanding changes, but I was wrong. Carl Levin, the incoming chairman of the Senate Armed Service Committee, has already called for a troop withdrawal and time table for exit. The incoming Senate Majority leader, Harry Reid, has also stated that a time table needs to be set and soon.

The White House had this to say:
"I believe it is very important ... for people making suggestions to
recognize that the best military options depend upon the conditions on the
ground," he said.

The idea by itself isn't a bad one. Think back to a time you started a new job, and the person you replaced still worked in your office. How easy was it to just head over to Eileen's and ask her a question about good ol' Hyperion, instead of figuring it out yourself? Why put in an hour on a problem when you know that that person can solve it in 30 seconds? But once they are gone, and you have nobody to go to, you end up learning more than you would have otherwise. Some things may get broken in the process, but eventually you get it figured it out.

In my opinion the issue lies in the getting the timing right. We do need to step back at some point and force the Iraqis to step up, take the training wheels off so to speak. But the risk here is more than just the numbers not adding up at the end of the month. What do you think happens if we leave too early and the country disintegrates? Thousands (hundreds of thousands? millions?) of innocent Iraqis die due to widespread sectarian violence and extrajudicial killings. Or someone else Iran swoops in and fills the power void. Would that be better for America? I don't think so. Now, if we can set up Iraq to govern themselves we lessen the more radical nation's influence on the Middle East which I believe is a good thing. Which of course is the challenge in front of us. I don't think you can say we are stepping back in 4 months and have this thing work. The Commanders on the ground need to make that decision.

I guess I'm not surprised with the timing. After another brutal year of attack campaigns (one of the very few things I didn't miss about being home) it is hard to believe that the 2 parties have any common ground. I don't know what the answer is, but until our country finds a way to come together and end the incessant arguing, our problems will never get solved. Immediately after 9/11 the country was united, but along the way this spirit got lost and we are now more divided than ever.

I think part of the reason is that the general public was never really asked to do anything other than sit in longer lines at the airport. I know this isn't WWII, but where are the War Bond tours, Rosie the Riveter, and rationing of consumer goods? The American public was ready, willing, and able to support the war on terror, but instead a pretty small portion of our population, the military and their families, has been asked to do the heavy lifting over and over again. I think looking back 5 years that is probably the biggest fault of the current administration, that they failed to engage Americans to become partners to help protect our great country. Instead, most don't understand what we are doing here or how they can help, and just see the body count piling up.


Anonymous said...

Steve -

I am so sorry. We have lost our way!

I could spend days pointing the finger and playing the blame game. You know where my heart and soul lies. We desperately need to come together as a country!!!

Instead with all of our infighting and do what feels good mentality in today’s society, we let the old media off the hook and let them force some secular progressive mob mentality rule on our founding documents and our citizens.

Your right, they didn’t take long to show their true colors. “We need a change” is always an easy slogan to stand up and stump about. It offers the opportunity to never have to explain what you would do to make change and only prays on the naiveness of the general public. Because we all know that bad news for America only helps those out to exploit it for political power. Unbelievable some thing as shady as that can win elections. Shame on the intelligence of the American citizen.

We are in for a long painful world of hurt.

As you know I could go on and on and on about this, but I think I will let you spread the word...

On a more positive note…. Steve, you are my HERO!

Hey Kane - NO FEAR!

Dan W.

Brian said...


I agree with Dan, I think we are in for a long painful ride. I agree with you that the training wheels at some point do need to come off. However, the hand of strength & guidance needs to continue to grip the back of the seat should disaster approach. And, as confrontation nears in Iran, I think those training wheels are soon to be removed.
I also agree with both you and D that this countries comitment to itself in this war is sad. That I will not apologize for though, as I stand strong and proudly wave my Red, White & Blue.
Can we get engaged as a country as you say, to fight this war? Why not? Where's the problem? 9.11.01 This country was as one. Or did it just appear to be for a short period of time? Have we created our own demise by slowly allowing the "melting pot" to overflow. How can we be engaged as one America when those who come refuse to become "An American" and then request that America changes for them. I embrace pride & being proud of the land that you are from. But to live in this country, become an American and get in the fight for America. Why do I see Mexican flags everywhere I turn and even atop school buildings and why did I see more Italian flags in yards & on cars after a soccer game than I did Old Glory on Saturday for Veteran's Day? Aren't you first an American because of what Veteran's day stands for? Is it possible for the "left wingers" to engage this country to be together and get behind the attempts to finish this war? Not unless we are Americans to start with.

Here's what Teddy said.
"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."
Theodore Roosevelt 1907

Well, maybe I fell off the subject a little. But anyway, your my hero too. And believe me, I'm engaged as an American behind ya'
Stay safe.

Ole' buddy B.

Anonymous said...

Unknown Author.

A Different Christmas Srory.

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed around the room and cherished the sight.

My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.

In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't to near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.

Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing outside in the cold and dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps standing guard, huddled here in the cold.

Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, my wife and my child.

"what are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come on this moment,it's freezing out here!"

"Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve. You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts...

To the window that danced with a warm fire's light,
Then he sighed and and he said "it's really alright, i'm out here by choice. I am here every night."

"It is my duty to stand the front lines,
That seperate you from the darkest of times."

"No one had to ask, beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me."

"My Grampa died at Pearl on a day in December,
Then he sighed, "That is a day that my Grandma will always remember."

"My dad stood his watch in the jungles of Nam,
Now it is my turn and so, here I am."

"I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile."

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The Red, White and American flag.

"I can live through the cold and being alone,
Away from my family, my house and, my home."

"I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat."

"I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life for my sister and brother.

Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will never fall."

"So go back inside", he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting, I will be all right."

But is'nt there something I can do, at the least,
Give you money, I asked or prepare you a feast.

It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son.

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget."

"To fight for our rights back at home while were gone,
To stand your own watch no matter how long."

"For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled."

"Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."