Accident Off Al Asad

A couple of weeks ago our unit suffered what is known in Army Aviation as a Class A accident. This is defined as damage costs of $1,000,000 or more and/or destruction of an Army aircraft, missile or spacecraft and/or fatality or permanent total disability.

There was no loss of life, but we did lose an aircraft when it crashed attempting to land at night in very dusty conditions. Out of respect for the crew and the families at home I chose not to press forward with a publication of the accident until now. Here is my brief account of the minutes just after we learned one of our own had gone down outside of the wire...

Released from duty for the day and seeking to find a stray computer to check e-mail, I was debating whether I should take advantage of the time and go to the gym instead. I decided to stay at work, but little did I know I would soon experience the the unit's reaction to it's first major aviation incident.

I knew something was wrong when I saw the flight operations duty Sergeant running down the long hallway of the Tactical Operations Center (TOC). ( I've only ever seen this guy run once a year, for his physical fitness test.) I asked, "Anything wrong?" His reply "Yes sir, something's wrong!" as he passed. Curious, I went into the operations center and found out an aircraft had rolled over and was not recoverable. The first thoughts in my mind were when did it happen and were all of the occupants OK?

I walked down the hall to the flight planning room where standby pilots were watching a movie and e-mailing their families. I mentioned the accident to one of the crew chiefs and he confirmed that the rumors had been circulating already. Most of the battalion was on its way to learning the small amount of details we were now discussing in the room: one of our own has crashed, an event we all fear every time our aircraft takes off.

The movie stopped playing and the computers emptied as the small group migrated to the hallway, seeking information and offering help. A Downed Aircraft Recovery Team (DART) had been launched. We all just stood around with questions, "How did it happen?", "How are we going to recover the aircraft?", "Will it have to be destroyed?", but the one comment we all made almost simultaneously was:

"At this point all that matters is everyone is OK! Who cares about the aircraft?"

We stood around in a nervous pack looking at the sky waiting to hear the sound of the other aircraft still out on the mission, returning safely.

By Bert Stover |  April 12, 2006; 1:10 PM ET  | Category:  Al Asad, Iraq
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BAGHDAD, 11 April (IRIN) - Residents of the capital were not surprised by the results of a recent survey that ranked Baghdad as the worst city in the world in terms of the quality of living.

"We have to admit, this city is getting worse everyday in regard to the quality of life," said Fadia Ibraheem, a senior official at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. "As long as US troops remain, the city will continue to deteriorate."

Read More: http://www.alertnet.org/printable.htm?URL=/thenews/newsdesk/IRIN/f411eb48881e6f8647a98fadb08eda0b.htm

Posted by: Thanks to the occupation | April 12, 2006 01:41 PM

This whole misbegotten enterprise in Iraq is a plane crash that is costing us hundreds of billions of dollars.

Posted by: Andy | April 12, 2006 01:49 PM

The United States lost one more airplane. Imagine the feelings of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have lost family members as a result of the US takeover of their country.

Posted by: Uncle Sam | April 12, 2006 01:51 PM

That airplane could have been useful to the Iraqi people, or in devastated New Orleans, or elsewhere. Unfortunately, it was being used for war and also unfortunately, the antiwar majority will be forced to pay for its replacement.

Posted by: Bring them home alive | April 12, 2006 02:17 PM

I think you're a criminal. I know you didn't plan this invasion yourself, and that you are a small cog in a big machine. But the project of which you are apart is criminal.

You and your collegues went half way around the world to invade and occupy a country that posed you no threat. In doing so you broke the most important of international law (the UN charter) and set the example of 'might-is-right' for all the thugs of the world.

The Iraqis who oppose your presence are right to resist you. I would set IEDs for you if you invaded and occupied my country (Ireland) - and so would most people in most countries.

Many of us around the world had thought that the days of colonialism and imperialism were over. America has returned the world to this nightmare and people like yourself will kill and die until it returns to civility and the rule of law among nations. What a waste and what a crime.

Posted by: Anon | April 12, 2006 02:31 PM

The bomb attack on the US Humvee took place at 7.15am. Eman Waleed, a nine-year-old child, lived in a house 150 yards from the explosion. "We heard a big noise that woke us all up," she recalled later. "Then we did what we always do when there's an explosion: my father goes in to his room with the Koran and prays the family will be spared harm."

The Marines claim they heard shots coming from the direction of Waleed's house. They burst in to the house and Eman heard shots from her father's room. They then entered the living room, where the rest of the family was gathered. She said: "I couldn't see their faces very well - only their guns sticking in to the doorway. I watched them shoot my grandfather, first in the chest and then in the head. Then they killed my granny."

The US soldiers started shooting in to the corner of the room where Eman and her eight-year-old brother, Abdul Rahman, were cowering. The other adults in the room tried to protect the two children with their bodies and were all shot dead. Eman and her brother were both wounded.

"We were lying there, bleeding and it hurt so much. Afterwards some Iraqi soldiers came. They carried us in their arms. I was crying, shouting, 'why did you do this to our family?' And one Iraqi soldier tells me, 'we didn't do it. The Americans did it'."

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1174649,00.html

Posted by: Hope you crash 'em all | April 12, 2006 02:33 PM

at least your gear wasn't damaged - a friend of mine, who has 25 percent disability now from Iraq, had to pay something like $600 for his frickin body armor being damaged when they tried to kill him.

talk about insult to injury.

I convinced him to reup, though - he's going career officer from MP noncom, since he has his law degree.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | April 12, 2006 02:35 PM

"On Monday, former Secretary of State Colin Powell told me that he and
his department's top experts never believed that Iraq posed an
imminent nuclear threat, but that the President followed the
misleading advice of Vice President Dick Cheney and the CIA in making
the claim. Now he tells us."

Read Robert Scheer's weekly
column for more. http://lists.thenation.com/t?ctl=346D:59C4E

Posted by: Thousands of dead later, now he tells us | April 12, 2006 02:40 PM

What would we do to foreign invaders? That's what Iraqis do.

Posted by: Obviously | April 12, 2006 02:44 PM

One less death plane.

Posted by: Red, white, and blue. | April 12, 2006 02:46 PM

Thank God no one was hurt in this accident.
Our thoughts and prayers are with every one of the troops deployed over there. We support you 100 percent and hope you keep writing!.

A Mom

Posted by: | April 12, 2006 03:03 PM

CHENEY'S LIES CHENEY'S LIES CHENEY'S LIES


1. Al Qaeda had terrorist links to Iraq
2. Iraq had chemical and biological weapons
3. Iraq had nuclear weapons
4. The war and the occupation would be easy
5. Iraq is primed to become a model of democracy in the Middle East


BUSH'S LIES BUSH'E LIES BUSH'S LIES

Posted by: wHAT ARE WE DYING FOR? | April 12, 2006 03:07 PM

I support you 110%. Thank you for your sacrifices.


Condoleeza Rice for Chevron
Dick Cheney for Halliburton
George Bush for Budweiser

Posted by: Anon. | April 12, 2006 03:10 PM

those of us circling overhead really appreciate the hard work and sacrifices being made by the helo pilots and crews who are taking fire routinely and still go back for more

Posted by: 135 pilot | April 12, 2006 03:29 PM

...Those cowering below appreciate it rather less.

Posted by: Not in my name | April 12, 2006 03:37 PM

Good to see the pinko patrol is out in full force today. What? Are your 9/11 Consipracy Forums all down? Run out of American flags to burn? And weren't all you freaks going to move to Canada if Bush won again? What ever happened to that?

Posted by: Commie Hater | April 12, 2006 03:44 PM

Can we leave the politics out of this for once people? It is a blog about a soldier and what it is like serving in Iraq. If you want to yell at each other about politics, please take it somewhere else. Thanks.

Posted by: Middle American | April 12, 2006 03:51 PM

Glad no one was injured; iron, even expensive iron, can always be replaced. Bravest aviators in my opinion are those flying rotary wing.

Continue to serve your nation with honor. You didn't choose the ill conceived mission and it won't be lost because of tactical errors made on the ground, but strategic blunders committed by those at the top.

I cannot conceive of things in Iraq getting any better unless we do a top to bottom overhaul of our strategy. Either separate the country into three nations or side with the Shiites and wipe out the Sunnis.

Iraq was no more a nation than the former Yugoslovia. Remove the strongman from the equation and it all comes undone. Old hatreds resurface and the fight is back on.

Why this administration refused to listen to those far more knowledgeable remains unanswered as does the even bigger question, why did we go to war against Iraq? What imminent threat did Iraq pose against the U.S.?

Invading Afghanistan made sense, but why did we do it in such a half assed manner? Who in their right mind allowed Bin Laden to walk off that mountain?

Our president does you and every other American a disservice by refusing to provide a logical rationale for what we've done in the name of GWOT.

Iraq has no Hussein, but then what. It also isn't a democracy, isn't peaceful, and is no closer to not being a threat to its neighbors than before. If it was less of a threat do you think the Saudis would be building a 500 mile fence along its border?

Afghanistan has a democratically elected leader, but the mosque still calls the shots. What is freedom if a man can't worship the way he sees fit?

I really can't see what we've accomplished since 9/11. Bin Laden is free. Hussein is making a mockery of his trial. The Karzai government exists solely because of US and NATO military might. The Taliban control large parts of the country. The overall standard of living hasn't changed much as we continue to underinvest in Afghanistan.

Iraq is simply a morass. If a couple dozen people showed up dead each morning in your city you'd call it a civil war. We seem to have no plan and the Iraqis seem to thrive on chaos. They are so busy playing catch up or preventing a comeuppance they disdain progress.

We'll pull out and leave behind a very real and failed state. It might or might not pose a threat to its neighbors but I'd bet a paycheck the internecine killing that follows will rival Rwanda.

Stay safe and realize it's not the soldier, airman, marine, or sailor on the ground who lost this fight, but the general offiers who showed themselves to be real careerists by not resigning en masse because they knew what the politicians and bureaucrats was handing them was unwinnable given the game plan they had to follow.

Posted by: Robert | April 12, 2006 03:56 PM

Are you kidding? Leave the politics out of the takeover of Iraq? Incredible. Are we machines or humans?

Posted by: Unbelievable | April 12, 2006 03:57 PM

The poster named Robert above suggested genocide as a policy option:

"I cannot conceive of things in Iraq getting any better unless we do a top to bottom overhaul of our strategy. Either separate the country into three nations or side with the Shiites and wipe out the Sunnis"

HOW SICK CAN THESE RACISTS GET?

Posted by: Even more unbelievable | April 12, 2006 03:59 PM

You know you're dealing with a morally degenerate political culture when people like Robert feel free to openly suggest genocide as an option. This is beyond the racism that led to the takeover of Iraq. It's the eliminationist approach adopted by the Nazis.

Posted by: apalling | April 12, 2006 04:03 PM

Go to the pictures of the week on MSNBC
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3842331/ and pick the week of March 16 - 23. The number one image is the recovery of this Blackhawk the next day

Posted by: oldsurfer | April 12, 2006 04:13 PM

Apart from the moral degeneracy of the idea, it's amazing that anyone could suggest a genocide against the Sunnis in a larger region where the invasion and occupation has already led to greatly heightened tensions across international boundaries between the Shia and the Sunni, (not to mention the destabilization of Kurdistan) from Egypt in the West to Persia and all the way to India in the east. These idiot Americans could actually start a world war as a "strategy overhaul." Apparently they don't know anything about the geographical distribution of the different peoples? Oh yeah, that's why they blundered into this war in the first place. God save us from morons with Black Hawks.

Posted by: Anon. | April 12, 2006 04:27 PM

Good job. Be safe. And shoot first. Your service here is as greatly appreciated as that in uniform. And at least the "insurgents" have the guts to snipe at you in person, rather than online. Not that they don't need a good sucking head wound in response. I mean the "insurgents". The weasels here, oh, maybe just a swift kick as they're nuts.

Posted by: Huwah | April 12, 2006 04:37 PM

If the British and French had stop Hitler when he invaded the Rhineland. World War II would not have happened. Getting US troops in the Middle East now just might prevent a worse holy war in the future.

Posted by: paul harrington | April 12, 2006 04:44 PM

It's sad that brave people like Bert Stover are subjected to the defeatism and cowardly sniping expressed by many of the posters to this leftist paper. When Bill "Stain-The-Dress" Clinton kills people in Bosnia or Somalia, these same hypocritical moralists are completely silent because it's one of their own leading the attack. Bert, please keep up the good work and don't let these b*stards get you down.

Posted by: AE | April 12, 2006 04:46 PM

No matter what you believe about the war, or the Bushies, our folks are doing the best they can under the worst of conditions.

Posted by: CORKY | April 12, 2006 04:47 PM

"When Bill "Stain-The-Dress" Clinton kills people in Bosnia or Somalia, these same hypocritical moralists are completely silent."

AE, the interventions in Bosnia and Kosovo brought peace where there had been war.

The invasion of Iraq brought war where there had been peace.

There is just no comparison.

Posted by: Not in my name | April 12, 2006 05:15 PM

Don't worry about the war supporters piping up here. They are an embittered minority. The entire world and a majority of Americans reject our criminal misleaders.

Posted by: Anon. | April 12, 2006 05:25 PM

As much as I have serious reservations about the war, there's no excuse for some of the comments above. This should be a forum to discuss WO2 Stover's experiences, not the invasion/occupation itself.

Military equipment is often inherently dangerous simply because of what it must endure on a daily basis. The unit was lucky that only the aircraft was damaged. Having served with WO2 Stover in the Virginia Army National Guard, I wish him nothing but well and a safe return.

Posted by: FishGuyDave | April 12, 2006 05:36 PM

Are you kidding? Leave the politics out of the takeover of Iraq? Incredible. Are we machines or humans?

Posted by: Unbelievable | April 12, 2006 05:52 PM

There can be no discussion of any human experiences outside of their historical context. The historical context of Bert Stover's experiences is the violent invasion of Iraq by the United States in violation of the foundational principle of international law as expressed at Geneva and Nuremberg: the prohibition against unprovoked aggressive war and the affirmation that illegal orders have no legal standing.

Posted by: Anon. | April 12, 2006 05:57 PM

Moreover those Nuremburg principles clearly state that uniformed soldiers should not be excused when they participate in illegal acts.

That's why we hanged hundreds of uniformed soldiers after WW2.

'War crimes will be prosecuted. War criminals will be punished. And it will be no defense to say, "I was just following orders." '

G.W. Bush, addressing Iraqi military, March 17 2003

Posted by: Not in my name | April 12, 2006 06:18 PM

Dover had a C-5 go down about the same time, again no loss of life. Does get you thinking about your choice of flying as a career... Anyway, here is something to brighten this blog....which seems to have become about the war and not about the war experience.

Harry Reasoner once wrote of helicopter pilots: "The thing is, helicopters are different from planes. An airplane by its nature wants to fly, and if not interfered with too strongly by unusual events or by an incompetent pilot, it will fly.

"A helicopter does not want to fly. It is maintained in the air by a variety of forces and controls working in opposition to each other, and if there is any disturbance in this delicate balance the helicopter stops flying, immediately and disastrously. There is no such thing as a gliding helicopter.

"This is why being a helicopter pilot is so different from being an airplane pilot, and why in generality, airplane pilots are open, clear-eyed, buoyant extroverts and helicopter pilots are brooding, introspective anticipators of trouble. They know if something bad has not happened, it is about to."

Having said all this, I must admit that flying in a helicopter is one of the most satisfying and exhilarating experiences I have ever enjoyed: skimming over the tops of trees at 100 kt. is something we should all be able to do at least once. And remember the fighter pilot's rayer: "Lord, I pray for the eyes of an eagle, the heart of a lion and the balls of a combat helicopter pilot."

Dave
McGuire AFB

Posted by: Dave Martin | April 12, 2006 10:11 PM

Berto, glad everyone was ok.

Posted by: docadam | April 12, 2006 11:47 PM

Interesting to read some of the feedback directed my way.

I'm open to ideas so you tell me how we 'win' in Iraq. What many of you have forgotten is war is cruel. There are winners and losers.

We defeated the Germans and the Japanese because we crushed them. We broke their will to fight and the terms of their surrenders were unconditional.

We at least have a choice in Iraq. We can call for the dissolution of the country, but I doubt if the Sunnis will accept it as where they live has little oil. The Kurds will be overjoyed as will the Shiites, but will the Turks?

The other option is we recognize we are fighting Baathists (substitute the word Nazi) who are supported logistically by the Sunnis. Unless you crush the Sunnis and convince them to cease supporting the Baath party you'll never stop the insurgency.

Life is cruel. Where were you humanitarians when the Baathists slaughtered Shiites and Kurds by the tens of thousands? I don't have much sympathy for the Sunnis. They refuse to compromise and they are hell bent on terrorizing Kurds and Shiites when they aren't busy trying to kill coalition forces.

You can debate the merits of the invasion all you want, but if we want to win in Iraq we need to decide whether to partition the country or finish the job started three years ago and defeat the Baathists which means crushing the Sunnis.

If you have a better idea on how to win this fight speak up. One argument I don't want to hear is the short sightedness of Americans. We defeated the Japanese and Germans in a little over three years. We fought to a stalemate the North Koreans and Chinese in three years.

Americans not only expect but demand results. It's been nearly five years since 9-11 and Bin Laden's head still isn't on a spike and three years since we invaded Iraq and the country still isn't subjugated.

This administration was wrong in how it executed both campaigns. Even worse was stopping the war in Iraq early and calling it a war against Hussein and not the Iraqi people. What baloney? Hussein and the Baath party were in power because they had the support of 5 million Sunnis. Wars are against nations, not individuals. Imagine if we had used the same logic against the Nazis.

Robert

Posted by: Robert | April 13, 2006 12:35 AM

Bert,

Keep up the good work, son. Ignore the snipes here. You are doing the right thing. No one at home wants you gents to do anything but succeed. So keep at it. Iraq will be fine if you keep doing what you are doing. Death follows if we pull out.

Press on.

Subsunk

Posted by: Subsunk | April 13, 2006 08:41 AM

Bert,

I hope you are not reading this crap.

Be safe.

Posted by: Jay Cline | April 13, 2006 09:31 AM

Bert,

You have our support and we appreciate the work you are doing and the time you are giving up in your own life to be there for us. I know it's not easy there and you miss home, family and friends. So please know we are behind you and wish you well.

The people that post the crap on here have nothing better to do but that. They aren't there with you, nor would they ever be. They don't have the backbone for it. They are safe in front of their computers looking for something to complain about. If it wasn't this war it would be something else.

Stay safe, Bert. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Posted by: Cali-Girl | April 13, 2006 10:00 AM

Robert, after advocating genocide, you should never speak again. How do you have the nerve? You have posed the greatest crime known to humankind as a reasonable policy alternative. You stand in the company of Pol Pot and A. Hitler.

All decent humankind is disgusted by your shamelessness.

Posted by: Incredible | April 13, 2006 10:13 AM

"And a record high number for the Times poll, 58%, said they believed it was not worth going to war in Iraq."

So what are we dying for? Ask Dick Cheney (Halliburton, Condoleeza Rice (Chevron), and George Bush (moron).

Posted by: Nothing | April 13, 2006 10:28 AM

This is not "crap," this is "democracy."

The majority now rejects this atrocious war and sees it for the scam that it is and always was. Every day that this colossal blunder continues, our country is less safe.

This clear to anyone with eyes that see.

By the way, I suggest thirty years of silence and reflection for Robert, who advocated genocide. Seriously. That is the most offensive thing I have ever seen in print, apart from some Nazi and Klan propaganda. Shame on you.

Posted by: Crap? | April 13, 2006 10:40 AM

Bert, you all are doing an awesome job there. Dont pay any attention to the VULTURES that circle this blog and wait for a new article that they can hover on and crap on.

Posted by: military wife | April 13, 2006 10:56 AM

Why are the pro-war few so eager to insult the majority?

Posted by: curious | April 13, 2006 11:05 AM

Bert,
Keep up the good work, finish winning this phase of the GWOT, and come home safely.

Posted by: saw1 | April 13, 2006 11:26 AM

How the heck can anyone finish "winning" this war when it is an utter failure?

Posted by: | April 13, 2006 11:29 AM

"Finish winning"? Cheney has blundered the United States into its second major military defeat in thirty years. Not only did he and his cronies (Rumsfeld) take on a task they were completely unprepared for, but they turned our attention away from the threat we face from those who attacked us. It's as though we had invaded China because Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Idiots and %$#@!!!

Then to know that they have killed and injured nearly 20,000 Americans and killed nearly 40,000 Iraqi civilians!!! Shame on the American people if they are not repudiated.

Posted by: "finnish winning" this war??!! | April 13, 2006 11:41 AM

"Finish winning" this war??? Give me a break.


Fourth Former US General Calls for Rumsfeld to Go

A fourth former US army general in less than a month today called on the US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, to resign over his handling of the war in Iraq.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,1753267,00.html

Posted by: reality of defeat | April 13, 2006 11:49 AM

Cali-Girl:
The people that post the crap on here have nothing better to do but that. They aren't there with you, nor would they ever be. They don't have the backbone for it. They are safe in front of their computers looking for something to complain about. If it wasn't this war it would be something else.

Nothing better to do? If i could physically restrain Cheney and Rumsfeld from executing the war, i would but i cant.

And if we werent complaining about this war, sure, we might be complaining about other wars, or other forms of American aggression/empire. Is there a problem with that?

have you ever complained about war, the death and horror that personify it, Cali-girl?

Posted by: dave | April 13, 2006 12:05 PM

Incredible,

A little to simplistic to see me as Pol Pot; you're big on criticism but zero on solutions. Why are you under the impression I'm advocating genocide? Genocide is what will happen to the Sunnis the day after we pull out.

What I'm advocating is we wage a war against the Sunnis like we did the Japanese and Germans. You have to target the resources that support the fighters. There are no factories to target but there are population centers. Offer those who want to leave a chance; then level the towns. If we had done this to Fallujah the insurgency would have dried up overnight.

We also wouldn't be worrying about Shiite militias which have grown because of Sunni terrorism and the Iraqi government's inability to protect the Shiite community.

Since you're so big on criticism try coming up with solutions. How would you win this war and if you think walking away is an option, look what happened when the Belgian contingent pulled out of Rwanda and the 5,000 troops that did come stayed only long enough to evacuate their citizens.

If you were a Shiite or a Kurd how long would you turn the other cheek before saying I've had enough. The Sunnis are the ones hell bent on terror and then cry uncle when the majority retaliates in kind.

If you think I was for the invasion you're flat out wrong. This war never should have been fought, but that point is something Congress can debate if it develops a spine and impeaches the president and vice.

The reality is we are in Iraq. If we pull out the Shiites will slaughter the Sunnis. How do you break the will of the Sunnis to prevent this from happening? I'm open to ideas.

Posted by: Robert | April 13, 2006 12:43 PM

Why do we think that Robert advocated GENOCIDE?

Because he advocated genocide:

"Either separate the country into three nations or side with the Shiites and wipe out the Sunnis."

Robert should be ostracized from decent humanity. Robert is an advocate of genocide. Robert, be silent and reflect on your advocacy of genocide. How about the following:

Either separate Palestine into two countries or side with the Muslims and Christians and wipe out the Jews."

"Either separate India into two countries or side with the Muslims wipe out the Hindus."

Either separate the United States into two countries or side with the Protestants and Jews and wipe out the Catholics."

Robert, you are a moral degenerate. Be silent and reflect.

Posted by: Why Robert? Because you said it in plain English. | April 13, 2006 01:08 PM

Robert, after your advocacy of genocide, nothing you say is worth reading. You are the moral equivalent of Eichmann or Kissinger. Susan Sontag called it "the banality of evil."

Posted by: Andy | April 13, 2006 01:11 PM

The concept of the banality of evil came into prominence following the publication of Hannah Arendt's 1963 book Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, which was based on the trial of Adolph Eichmann in Jerusalem. Arendt's thesis was that people who carry out unspeakable crimes, like Eichmann, a top administrator in the machinery of the Nazi death camps, may not be crazy fanatics at all, but rather ordinary individuals who simply accept the premises of their state and participate in any ongoing enterprise with the energy of good bureaucrats.

LINK:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article7278.htm

Posted by: A LINK ON EVIL | April 13, 2006 01:17 PM

Arendt concluded that Eichmann was constitutively incapable of exercising the kind of judgement that would have made his victims' suffering real or apparent for him. It was not the presence of hatred that enabled Eichmann to perpetrate the genocide, but the absence of the imaginative capacities that would have made the human and moral dimensions of his activities tangible for him. Eichmann failed to exercise his capacity of thinking, of having an internal dialogue with himself, which would have permitted self-awareness of the evil nature of his deeds. This amounted to a failure to use self-reflection as a basis for judgement, the faculty that would have required Eichmann to exercise his imagination so as to contemplate the nature of his deeds from the experiential standpoint of his victims. This connection between the complicity with political evil and the failure of thinking and judgement inspired the last phase of Arendt's work, which sought to explicate the nature of these faculties and their constitutive role for politically and morally responsible choices.

Posted by: What does Robert have in common with Eichmann? | April 13, 2006 01:22 PM

This kind of offhand genocidal talk is the natural outgrowth of Empire. Is that what we want for the United States? Let's get out of Iraq and chalk this defeat up to Bush's idiocy, Cheney's greed, and Rumsfeld's psychopathology. We have some serious business to attend to. We were attacked by a criminal outfit that was very happy to see us invade Iraq and provide them with another playground. I don't think that Bert Stover and our other people in Iraq should be used as expendable bait for terrorists.

Posted by: Andy | April 13, 2006 02:12 PM

MAJ. GEN. JOHN BATISTE, U.S. ARMY (RET.): When decisions are made without taking into account sound military recommendations, sound military decision-making, sound planning, then we're bound to make mistakes. When we violate the principles of war with mass and unity at command, and unity of effort, we do that at our own peril.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: So the secretary should step down?

BATISTE: In my opinion, yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STARR: A pretty startling admission, Heidi. Of course, three other generals in the last month, retired generals -- but they did not command combat troops in Iraq -- also called for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to resign.

All of this yesterday leading the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace, to make a very public statement about all of this, saying that generals have ample opportunity to complain in private when they're on active duty. And he says he never heard any such complaints.

But I have to tell you, all of this causing a good deal of dismay in the Pentagon. A lot of speculation about who might be next to complain -- Heidi.

Posted by: SOME MORE "CRAP"? | April 13, 2006 02:52 PM

Four military recruiters hastily fled a job fair Tuesday morning at UC Santa Cruz after a raucous crowd of student protesters blocked an entrance to the building where the Army and National Guard had set up information tables.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/04/12/BAG3KI7INT1.DTL

Posted by: We don't want your war. | April 13, 2006 03:03 PM

The banality of evil is one way to describe Robert, but ‘the stupidity of evil’ might be more apt. He proves once again the truism that the guy advocating the most brutal methods is usually the dumbest and most ill-informed person in the room.

“Either separate the country into three nations or side with the Shiites and wipe out the Sunnis....”
“The other option is we recognize we are fighting Baathists (substitute the word Nazi) who are supported logistically by the Sunnis.”

So you advocate wiping out six million people from a particular religious group, then YOU call THEM Nazis?? What the hell do you think a Nazi is? Invest in a mirror, Robert. You badly need one.

“You have to target the resources that support the fighters. There are no factories to target but there are population centers. Offer those who want to leave a chance; then level the towns. If we had done this to Fallujah the insurgency would have dried up overnight.”

This is actually the stupidest thing you say. Falluja WAS flattened, dimwit. The Iraqi government estimated that 35,000 homes had been destroyed or severely damaged, 70% of the homes in the city. The US Army put the figure at 64%. Large swathes of Falluja look like Dresden or Stalingrad.

The only difference between what really happened and your bananas plan is that in reality the US did not “offer those who want to leave a chance,” but forced all of Falluja’s male inhabitants – including teenage boys – back into the city at gunpoint to face heavy artillery and aerial bombardment.

The so-called ‘evacuation of Falluja’ is a complete myth, invented so that Americans can feel good about themselves. At the time, the Army and media freely reported the truth, but Americans chose to instantly forget it in an act of national collective amnesia. Here are the actual facts as reported at the time by Fox News:

U.S. Won't Let Men Flee Fallujah
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,138376,00.html

So your recipe has already been tried, and with what result? Total failure. The insurgency grew dramatically after Falluja, an event which turned many Iraqis not only against the Americans but also against their own government. It also doomed the political career of US protege Ayad Alawi, who publicly backed the assault and has never been forgiven by Iraqis. US Army officers know the Falluja op was a total disaster, as counterproductive as Abu Ghraib abuse.

“If you think I was for the invasion you're flat out wrong. This war never should have been fought...”

I think you’re lying. Seventy-three percent of Americans supported Bush when he went into Iraq. Yet today it’s practically impossible to find anyone who’ll admit to it. Why? Because they’re embarrassed so they lie about it. About half the people in America today are lying about their original attitude to the war. You are one of them. There’s no way someone as bloodthirsty and easily-led as you wasn’t in that 73%.

“look what happened when the Belgian contingent pulled out of Rwanda and the 5,000 troops that did come stayed only long enough to evacuate their citizens...If we pull out the Shiites will slaughter the Sunnis. How do you break the will of the Sunnis to prevent this from happening? I'm open to ideas.”

Rubbish. Are you claiming that breaking the Tutsis’ will would have saved them from massacre?

You overestimate the power of massacre. Hitler wiped out nearly half the world’s Jews, and three years later the Jews had their own state for the first time in 2000 years. As for Rwanda, who runs it today? The Tutsis – the massacre victims, despite being outnumbered more than three to one since the massacre. As soon as the Hutu-led massacre began, the Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front broke through their lines and overran the entire country within weeks. They still hold power today.


Anyway, an Iraqi civil war would resemble Lebanon’s, not Rwanda.

You forget that the Sunnis were capable of dominating Iraq as 20% of the population with no help from anyone. They account for most of the educated classes and almost all of the trained army officers. The Sunnis can take care of themselves.

Indeed the only reason you want to wipe out the Sunnis is because they’ve successfully fought the US military to a standstill.


Posted by: OD | April 13, 2006 03:26 PM

Bert, I am a Canadian Veteran, haved served in 55 countries around the world myself. Many of them with US troops. I like the American people.

Plus as a truck driver have worked in all 49 States for over 32 years. Every city, every town, every village. So I know the American people VERY well. That only makes me respect and like them even better.

Some are critical of your service in Iraq, I am not one them. As a soldier, I didn't like politics and certainly didn't like war either. But duty is duty. Honour is honour. God bless you Bert, God bless your buddies, and come home safe, I'll buy you a real Canuck beer. For you are a most honourable man. Thank you guys. Thank you

Forgive the critics, for they do not understand. However some of us do.

Posted by: Hap Stokes | April 13, 2006 03:26 PM

“I cannot conceive of things in Iraq getting any better unless we do a top to bottom overhaul of our strategy. Either separate the country into three nations or side with the Shiites and wipe out the Sunnis...”

“If we pull out the Shiites will slaughter the Sunnis. How do you break the will of the Sunnis to prevent this from happening?”

So...first you advocate wiping out the Sunnis in cahoots with the Shiites. Then you say the purpose of staying in Iraq is to stop the Shiites wiping out the Sunnis. Then you say the Sunnis’ will must be broken to prevent them being massacred. Then you say that the way to achieve that is by massacring them.

You are one deeply confused little brownshirt, Robert. Maybe you should just stop invading other people’s countries. Go read a book instead.

Posted by: OD | April 13, 2006 04:34 PM

What do you understand, Bert? Honour? Duty?

So did the Wehrmacht. They also felt they were above politicians, even as they debased themselves doing those politicians' bidding.

There's nothing noble about fighting in a war that is wrong.

Spare us your sanctimony. You understand nothing. You even admit it.

You have no idea what this war is about. You just like soldiers.

Posted by: OD | April 13, 2006 04:40 PM

Oops I meant Hap Stokes.

Posted by: OD | April 13, 2006 04:40 PM

well I see the bile spewing left is in full gear here.

the american left is long on righteous indignation but short on cogent ideas.

One poster has asked for ideas about winning war repeatedly and I've seen nothing but KOSkid talking points in response.

As for the current situation it's seems quite clear to me: the elected iraqis in baghdad are so used to talking instead of acting that they are suffering from severe stage fright.

Everyday that they dither means another day of ordinary iraqis fending for themselves. At this point the problem really isn't American, its Iraqi.

but I am confident that a government will emerge and that the security situation in Iraq will improve.

As for dealing with the insurgency. Well listen up you leftist twits: there are people in the world who want you dead. the only reason you aren't dead already is because people who are smarter, stronger and braver than you are fighting for you in out of the way places like Fallujah and Ramadi.

the least you could do is listen to their POV and act a bit, you know, like, grateful and all.

but noooo, you'd rather rant and rave and show us how unbelievably courageous you are by making anonymous posts on a web site.

You guys remind me of the wanna be terrorists in Bing West's book. Kids with an AK and sense of adventure who would fire from hiding at the sound of an american truck then run like hell for the souk so they could brag about their bravery.

Take for example OD. His statement that the sunnis fought the Americans to a standstill is completely unsupported, but no doubt OD feels quite brave for having written it. he was "speaking truth to power" yeah right.

If America walked away from Iraq the Sunnis would be slaughtered wholesale. It takes zero education to operate an AK 47 and even less to engage in revenge killing of the people who raped your daughters and slaughtered your sons.

No OD, the life expectancy of the Sunnis would be rather short absent some strong willed intermediary.

Yes, the Sunni were the officers and the Shia were the conscripts. Which do you think would prevail OD? do the Math fellah, in a scene of perverse blood letting the shia wouldn't stop till they had satisfied themselves that their oppressors would never rise against them again. a handful of well trained Sunni officers would last a matter of minutes against an angry mob of shia bent on death or revenge.

The sunni have miscalculated and they are starting to realize it. You OD have confused restraint with weakness. The Americans didn't want to engage in a wholesale slaughter of kids who were whipped to a frenzy by corrupt Imams and supported by rich, evil former Ba athists.

Now the sunni are starting to see the light. Only a well trained and disciplined army stands between them and shia death squads.

And only the best military in the world stands between the madmen who want death to america and it's citizens.

find a way to say thank you you self righteous self centered egotistical idiots.

Two simple words. repeat after me:

thank you!!!

Posted by: skipsailing | April 13, 2006 05:21 PM

All of you swine out here are crap talking Bert when you have no idea who he is or what he stands for. Take your elitest and cliched anti-war crap and shove it. If you want peace in Iraq, go over there and spread your love amongst the Iraqi people and see how far it gets you. Take your rhetoric any where in the world for that matter and see how far it gets you. My guess is that you probably wouldn't run your mouth so much if you weren't sitting safely behind your keyboard in Suburbia, USA.

You people can't possibly be glad that no one died in a helicopter crash??? You are the same people who keep a running ticker at the bottom of your PC screen reminding you of the death tolls in Iraq so far. Yet you bash a man for reporting that no one died uselessly in a crash...go to hell hypocrites. If you dislike useless deaths, at least be happy that one uselessly died in that crash.

Can we start dropping the mouthy posters over the deserts of Iraq instead of Bombs?

Posted by: Goto Hell | April 13, 2006 05:24 PM

The pro-war folk are an embittered minority indeed!

Posted by: | April 13, 2006 05:32 PM

They get awful testy when they lose wars, especially against colored folk like Vietnamese and Arabs, and they certainly forget their manners!

Posted by: YOU'RE NOT KIDDING | April 13, 2006 05:36 PM

The Sunni's haven't fought the Americans to a standstill? When's the Wall Street ticker tape victory parade?


Posted by: | April 13, 2006 05:40 PM

I enjoyed reading this blog entry in a relatively low-key sorta way. But I was not ready for the comments! Wow!! You people need a blog of your own! Some of these are ESSAYS, for Gods sake. Not only that, most of the comments aren't even vaguely relevant to the blog entry. Boring boring boring.

Posted by: Andrew Lale | April 13, 2006 05:52 PM

Thanks for your Service to us, Bert.

Sorry the average contribution of a WaPo reader is so graceless.

Posted by: Mike in CT | April 13, 2006 06:32 PM

"My left is giving way; situation excellent; preparing to attack"

A little modification of Foch makes it fresh for today. Run away, lefties. We have won against the Baathists, we will win the peace. Go cry in your beds.

Good to hear everyone's alright, Bert. Copter's important, but not near as much as the crew.

Posted by: seguin | April 13, 2006 06:44 PM

Please forget these moronic, misinformed anti-liberation idiots.

I am eternally grateful for what you are doing.

Posted by: Jim Doherty | April 13, 2006 07:00 PM

This family supports the troops and everything you do each day to help the Iraqi people to freedom.

War is a tough. But sometimes it is necessary. This is one of those times - you are keeping us safe. Thank you!

The Donovan Family
Leavenworth, Kansas

Posted by: Beth Donovan | April 13, 2006 07:01 PM

I just learned of this site from another blog I frequent. Although sorely tempted, I'm not going to comment on some of the political statements above.

At this time, I just want to say "thank you" for your service in the US Armed Forces. Regardless of what one may think of the war in Iraq, I don't think that anyone can reasonably dispute that Americans' security and liberties are protected by those men and women who volunteer to place themselves in harm's way.

Posted by: malclave | April 13, 2006 07:02 PM

Trashing the very people who provide and defend your right to free speech is the most cowardly and pathetic act possible.

As an American and a veteran I say thank you, Mr. Stover.

http://crankyinsomniac.blogspot.com

Posted by: The Cranky Insomniac | April 13, 2006 07:04 PM

Godspeed Bert. Despite what you might think from reading these comments, there is an America, with Yellow Ribbons tied around trees, and where Vet's money can't buy beer, because the beer for Vets is always free.

Be safe!!

Posted by: Soldier's Dad | April 13, 2006 07:06 PM

Wow. Normally the hate-the-military comments are posted on Daily Kos or Atrios, not the Washington Post.

Posted by: anon | April 13, 2006 07:10 PM

Thank you so much for your service. My family and I are grateful to all of you for your good work there.

Be aggressive, win battles, stay safe.

Posted by: Bill Moon | April 13, 2006 07:11 PM

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For your service to this country. My family supports you and I know many others do too. Forget all the junk the Lefties are spewing....just know that the majority of this country supports what you all are doing over in Iraq.

God Bless,
Ruth

Posted by: Artbyruth | April 13, 2006 07:18 PM

Bert,

Good goin' there, and here!

*Crisp Salute* - USAF 66-70

PS - Just ignore the farty speaker noises here. You can't see the wires, but they are there just the same.

Posted by: Stephen | April 13, 2006 07:18 PM

Thank you for your service and the sacrifices you and your fellow soilders are making. What you are helping to do in Iraq will long be remembered and those who are denigrating your service will be ashamed of their views. I never heard the so called peace movement make disparaging remarks over saddam and the 100s of thousand he had butchered. Once again thank you.

Posted by: jimC | April 13, 2006 07:21 PM

Thank you for your service.Don't let the idiotic comments get to you.

America is forever in your debt for keeping us safe and secure and I know the Iraqis appreciate your service and sacrifice.


Posted by: Tara | April 13, 2006 07:21 PM

Thank you for your service to our nation and to humanity. You are truly a hero to me and my family.

Keep up the good work.

Posted by: JDB | April 13, 2006 07:22 PM

Ignore the thugs. America does support you!

Posted by: dynachrome (Free Republic.com) | April 13, 2006 07:22 PM

Dear Mr. Stover,
You have my sincere gratitude for serving our country, and hence protecting our freedoms. As for some of the nasty letters you received in response to your post, I found them shocking -- and I am not one easily shocked. Fortunately, there are not many such benighted people in this country -- especially in the heartland.

Yours, Parchellan

Posted by: Parchellan | April 13, 2006 07:22 PM

Great blog. Stay safe and thanks! Please ignore the pro-Saddam, pro-insurgency leftists posting above!

Posted by: Alex | April 13, 2006 07:23 PM

Dear Sir,

Thanks for the wonderful work you guys are doing over there, and please ignore the comments from those who don't wish to see democracy flourish in the Middle East. I feel shame that these people would spew this filth on an honorable purpose.

Best Regards,
Tom

Posted by: Tom | April 13, 2006 07:24 PM

Ignore the lefty losers here, We The People love and honor all the military does to keep us safe. Those that don't, well...when the sheet hits the fan here, they'll be wondering where THEIR protection is...

Posted by: Love America | April 13, 2006 07:28 PM

I support you 100% Bert. I, unlike the small minded, immoral and hate speech spewing lunatic irrelevancies, appreciate your committment and sacrifice. And rest assured that the vast majority of Americans want you and us to win.

Posted by: Brian Welker | April 13, 2006 07:28 PM


I love comments like these:

"It's as though we had invaded China because Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Idiots and %$#@!!!"

Do you have any knowledge of World War Two whatsoever? In December 1941, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States.

What was our first offensive moves in the Atlantic? We invaded France! Algeria in 1942 was a part of France. Morocco was a French colony. As part of Operation Torch, US forces attacked French forces and "invaded" French territory. Even though France had nothing to do with the German and Italian declarations of war.

However, our invasion of French territory put us in a very good strategic position as the Germans and Italians eventually pulled all their troops from North Africa.

Posted by: Read Your History | April 13, 2006 07:32 PM

I would check the IP address on all the moonbat comments. The writing style leads me to believe it's one person, posting under a variety of names. Majority, my ass. You're not anti-war, my friend, you're pro-war, just on the other side.

Posted by: Jimbromski | April 13, 2006 07:32 PM

The comments by the anti-war left are disgraceful, and not only are unkind, they are unwarranted, and show a lack of respect for the humanity of our men and women serving in Iraq. I am sorry that you have to be exposed to these haters of people brave enough to take up arms against evil, who wallow in their right to hate but deny others the right to love the troops.

God bless what you are doing for the Iraqi people. God bless you and all our soldiers for protecting our freedoms.

The rest of these idiots who post here who say the antiwar rhetoric, who say the garbage of i hope you crash them all, remember, these soldiers have families, too. Of course, that doesn't matter, because to these jerks, America is always wrong. You know, if America is so wrong, why not get the hell out? Why not go to Cuba, that workers paradise, or to Venezuela, or to other nations that supposedly are right and we are wrong? No, you would rather stay here and foment hate and disrespect for men and women following orders, fighting for their country. You are a joke to intelligent thought, haters of our soldiers. God bless the American men and women fighting for our freedoms.

Posted by: Mark | April 13, 2006 07:32 PM

May God bless you and those who serve with you. THANK YOU.

Posted by: Geo. Cully | April 13, 2006 07:32 PM

Thank you for your service, Bert, and thank you for bringing us your voice from Iraq, so that we can hear the news from the folks actually putting their lives on the line and not just second hand exaggerations from 'stringers'. Don't worry too much about all the squawkers here- I find it interesting that they seem to know so much more about the situation on the ground than people like you who are over there living the war. It also boggles my mind that they are actually gloating about 'losing' the war while real lives hang in the balance.

Keep up the good work, good luck, and Godspeed.

Posted by: Garrick Williams | April 13, 2006 07:36 PM

Thanks Bert. There are some of us non-Americans who appreciate what you're doing for your country, and for freedom at large. Some of us stand as your allies in the War On Terror.

It is comical watching the sections of the US anti-war Left self implode in spleen on here. I have always suspected that they would rather the war effort fail than endure a Bush victory in Iraq. If they were truly principled, truly against suffering, bloodshed, &c, they would _support_ rather than imperil the nascent Iraqi democracy being formed rather than hope for its failure - whether or not they supported the invasion in the first place.

Failure would only result in *even more* bloodshed, more instability, more violence; as the roosters of Shiite-Sunni enmity come home to roost, as it were.

But as a fair few commentators have demonstrated above, they would favour a Bush failure at the cost of military defeat. Principle? No. Politics.

The more thoughtful among us have priorities other than politics, or oil.

Posted by: only in singapore | April 13, 2006 07:36 PM

You can always count on the inane kooks on the Left to support America's enemies. Props to our troops for fighting the good fight.

Posted by: packsoldier | April 13, 2006 07:37 PM

I'm glad to hear nobody was injured. Stay safe.

Posted by: Greg | April 13, 2006 07:38 PM

I just want to encourage anyone who thinks that the U.S. is imperisalistic in Iraq to try reading the blogs, publications, and viewpoints of the other side of the debate. It will be eye opening to find that us hawks support the war because of its humanitarian and liberal-democratic merits. If we do not stand by the nascent Democracy in Iraq then where will we stand for Democracy? To all who serve and sacrifice, Thank you.

Posted by: Wm.Richert | April 13, 2006 07:39 PM

Our heartfelt thanks and a crisp salute to you, Bert, and to all the boys over there who have made such enormous sacrifices in this ultimate fight for freedom. We're praying for you everyday and will NEVER forget our duty to support and honor you.

And please ignore the mujahadeen cheering section here. They're a bunch of feminized losers, cowards and traitors sitting around smoking dope in their smelly Mao t-shirts.

Pacifists are freedom's parasites!

Posted by: Bill C. | April 13, 2006 07:42 PM

Thank you for your service. After reading some of the comments on this blog from the left they can no longer say we support the troops and get away with it. Stay safe and THANK YOU again.

Posted by: Dee | April 13, 2006 07:46 PM

Thank you for your on-the-scene reports. It's revealing how the anti-war crowd---no, let me amend that---the anti-American crowd will spew their hatred even on a non-political forum like this. So much for their "we support the troops" mantra.

Most Americans support you 100% and just wish the detractors would shut up and let you get on with winning this war. Sure would go faster without having to slog through their bile every step of the way.

God bless you and all who serve with you.

Posted by: jeanne | April 13, 2006 07:47 PM

This could be a useful debate if the critics of the war knew what they're talking about. They think that because they say something, it must be true. The war is not illegal. It was authorized by Congress. Bush didn't lie. His statements echo those of just about every Democrat who saw the intelligent. Saddam and his sons were greater threats to the Iraqi people than the present insurgents. They killed more people for no reason beyond sadism.

Here's a clue: When you think our troops are the enemy rather than people who send suicide bombers into crowds of worshippers, you've gone over to the enemy.


Posted by: AST | April 13, 2006 07:47 PM

Bert,
From a retired Navy helo pilot: You guys are doing a fantastic job!! Keep up the exceptional work. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Posted by: exhelodrvr | April 13, 2006 07:51 PM

How sad that liberals can not wish you a safe mission. The people who are posting hateful messages are the same conspiracy theorists who think we deserved to be attacked on 9-11 (or Bush planned it so Halliburton could land some Middle East contracts, or it’s the Jews fault, etc.) Or they are simply emotionally or mentally disturbed like that poor Cindy Sheahan. Don't worry, they are a very small minority of people in this country.

The majority is proud of you and thankful for your service.

Posted by: smorris | April 13, 2006 07:53 PM

Thank You for your Service.

I support my Troops with words, deeds and treasure.

Posted by: Janie | April 13, 2006 07:53 PM

Thank you for your service! May young boys stare at you in awe, true men nod in acknowledgement of your sacrifice, beautiful women swoon at your feet and your mates tip a glass upon your safe return to these shores. God bless

Posted by: LenS | April 13, 2006 07:58 PM

After reading several comments it appears as though someone has been giving Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore way too much credit for their noted historical revisionism.

Dudes, the 1960's are over.

Posted by: syn | April 13, 2006 07:59 PM

Wow, those leftists sure got blown out of the water!!! Fantastic!!!! What a bunch of losers!!!

Now if we could only subdue Iraq and start pumping our oil profits out of there. That might be a litle harder, though. Maybe we should invade Iran or Veneauela? Wherever the oil is, you know?

Posted by: Snark 23 | April 13, 2006 07:59 PM

What is with these ugly commenters only out to ruin a poor soldiers day. The only reason you idiots are able say such things is because of people like this author. The man is right. The 60's are over. Grow the "F" up.

Posted by: Chris | April 13, 2006 08:01 PM

I'm tremendously happy that nobody was hurt. I am very glad that you and the rest of the US armed forces are out there protecting our liberty.

But more than that. I know that what we *don't* know about Saddam Hussein's regime and its terrorist ties is as large as the hundreds of thousands of documents sitting unread, unanalyzed. We're just starting to get documents released like the recent revelation that an Iraqi air force base was passing out the call for suicide operation volunteers against US interests in mid-2001. The revelations that have come out so far are devastating to the anti-war propaganda of "Iraq was no threat" that is purveyed by so many on the left.

The Sunnis are giving up hope of military victory as our side's combat casualties keep dropping, the Iranian backed Shia factions (led by Sadr) are being squeezed out by some very savvy Iraqi politicians without a lot of bloodshed and if we're very lucky, the Iraqi civil war is going to be about as short-lived as the post-independence Israeli one that brought Irgun to heel (see the Altalena affair if you're curious).

The balls are up in the air, our prayers, hopes and support are with you. Victory is possible. Go get it.

God bless.

Posted by: TM Lutas | April 13, 2006 08:01 PM

Right ON!!! KILL FOR PEACE!!!

Posted by: The Fugs | April 13, 2006 08:01 PM

Hi Chief,

Thanks for writing this, and keep up the good work.

Just ignore the human garbage littering the comments section here. They didn't serve, never will serve and never even thought of serving.

Thanks again.

Posted by: EBlair | April 13, 2006 08:02 PM

This is great! To hell with those losers!!!

KILL KILL KILL

Posted by: War is Peace | April 13, 2006 08:03 PM

snark 23, you epitomise the juvenalia that has been spewed by leftists ever so succinctly. Very good parody.

Posted by: only in singapore | April 13, 2006 08:03 PM

It gets better al the time. Damn those smelly hippies. They wouldn't know love if it smacked them on the Saddam!!!


War is good business! Invest your son!!!

Posted by: Holy mackeral!!! | April 13, 2006 08:04 PM

I love our troops!!! I want one!!! Thank you guys!!!

Condoleeza (for Chevron Corp.)

Posted by: better and better | April 13, 2006 08:06 PM

Peace can only be won when we blow them all to kingdom come!!! Down with peaceniks!!!

Posted by: Hee haw | April 13, 2006 08:07 PM

"KILL FOR PEACE" and other unintentional parodies - stop being childish, please. Sometimes war has to be fought for there to be peace (its analogue is the paradox of democracy first articulated by Plato - ought we to tolerate the intolerant?).

Same as how we have police forces that employ a monopoly on violence in order to keep the peace.

Is this so hard for you to grasp? But then there is no reasoning with people who do not want to reason, only heckle.

Posted by: only in singapore | April 13, 2006 08:07 PM

Let's drop the big one. What are we waiting for? That will teach them democracy.

Posted by: Impatient | April 13, 2006 08:08 PM

Correction: unintentional SELF parodies.

Posted by: only in singapore | April 13, 2006 08:09 PM

Bush is a good, good man.

Posted by: I know it in my heart. | April 13, 2006 08:09 PM

The Iraqis are grateful to us.

Posted by: of course | April 13, 2006 08:10 PM

The Iraqis are glad we liberated them.

Posted by: no doubt | April 13, 2006 08:10 PM

The day the US invaded Afghanistan was the first time in twentyfive years that I was happy to pay federal taxes.

The day the US overthrew Saddam Hussein and his psychopath sons made me all the more satisfied that my tax money was doing something worthwhile. Keep up the good work, guys.

Nothing worthwhile can be accomplished without making mistakes. Anyone who has done anything worthwhile knows that. It's a shame that so many people who posted here don't know that.

If you don't make more mistakes, it means you aren't doing anything worthwhile. So again, Keep up the good work. You are doing something terrificly important. Thankyou to all of you in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in support elsewhere.

Posted by: Wudndux | April 13, 2006 08:11 PM

God bless and God speed. Come home safe and soon, with the mission accomplished. There may be a few here who cannot get past their politics, but the vast majority of us are grateful for what you do for us.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2006 08:11 PM

Thank you for defending us from Iraq. They almost invaded us.

Posted by: grateful | April 13, 2006 08:11 PM

Thank you for defending us. Saddam already had his New York street map.

Posted by: thank you | April 13, 2006 08:12 PM

Dear CWO Stover,

Please don't think that the leftwing traitors posting their BS here are indicative of America.

The reason all major print pubs and the 3 major networks are LOSING MONEY is that most of America supports you,supports the WOT, supports the CIC, and MOST OF AMERICA REFUSES TO READ AND WATCH THE APPEASMENT AND CUT AND RUN PROPOGANDA that is reflected in many of the comments here.

Fight hard; we thank you for killing the scum out there that would otherwise be here in the U.S., blowing up our schools and restaurants and subways like in Beslan, Bali and London and Madrid.

Some weenie will write back that "they hate us because of what we are doing in Iraq".

Garbage: islamaicists have been killing Christians and Jews (and yes, my little illiterate lefty secularists, even you) for 13 centuries. We thank you and bless you for being on the front line of this war between Judeo-Christian America and the left and islamicism.

Posted by: MM | April 13, 2006 08:12 PM

It would be nice if the Post would enforce its posting TOS. Maybe they'll get around to it.

In the meantime, thanks for fighting the good fight, Bert. The frontline reports are welcome - it's hard to get much info in the States about the average Joes and Janes in the field, at least through the usual channels.

Stay safe.

Posted by: Steve in Houston | April 13, 2006 08:13 PM

George Bush is a truly godly man.

Posted by: thank god for our president | April 13, 2006 08:13 PM

islamaicists have been killing Christians and Jews (and yes, my little illiterate lefty secularists, even you) for 13 centuries. We thank you and bless you for being on the front line of this war between Judeo-Christian America and the left and islamicism.

LETS KILL THEM FIRST

Posted by: OF COURSE | April 13, 2006 08:15 PM

Jews and Christians let's kill the Muslims.

Yeah!! World war!!!

Posted by: hahaha | April 13, 2006 08:16 PM

Muslims and Jews lets kill the christians

Posted by: | April 13, 2006 08:16 PM

kill for peace!!!

Posted by: | April 13, 2006 08:17 PM

Dave asks me: And if we werent complaining about this war, sure, we might be complaining about other wars, or other forms of American aggression/empire. Is there a problem with that?

Cali-Girl: See? You just like to complain. Why don't you move to France and make room for people that actually love living in American? You obviously will never be happy here.

Dave: have you ever complained about war, the death and horror that personify it, Cali-girl?

Cali-Girl: Yes, I do complain about it, just not on this blog where this soldier is sharing his life over there with us. I want my loved one to come home from there just like all the other families. Complaining does nothing. Supporting them does.

Goto Hell, I totally agree with everything you said. Those people that complain completely disregard the good that Bert ever writes about. "NO ONE DIED in the helicopter crash!!" These people just sit there and keep saying how many deaths there have been. Do any of them realize how many more deaths there would have been if Saddam was still in power?

Bert, You are supported and you have more people behind you than you know. (look at the last several posts) Thank you!! Stay Safe!!!

Posted by: Cali-Girl | April 13, 2006 08:17 PM

muslims and christians lets kill the jews anyway they're all hippie communists

Posted by: | April 13, 2006 08:18 PM

Thank you Bert.

Posted by: Michael | April 13, 2006 08:22 PM

Thanks for your good work, Chief.

Posted by: rhombus | April 13, 2006 08:22 PM

Once again, left wing Democrats pull off the mask and reveal that they lie when they say that they support the troops, but not the war.

In fact, they support neither. That this soldier must read this Fifth Columnist bullcrap is offensive to most Americans. Too bad Democratic leaders don't disavow this stuff.

Of course, that would be bad for fundraising....

Posted by: section9 | April 13, 2006 08:29 PM

You guys are doing a great job at a difficult, thankless task. Most of us back here in the world deeply appreciate your efforts and sacrificies. Can't believe I live in the same country (or on the same planet, for that matter) as some of the previous commenters. Please pay them no mind.

Posted by: Tom in NY | April 13, 2006 08:31 PM

Thanks for serving our country. I know that my rights only exist because of the sacrifice of our Armed Forces. Millions of Afghans and Iraqis will have the chance to live in a free society because of the selflessness and courage of people like you and our nation will be safer as well.
Thanks again and kick some terrorist a**.

Posted by: Art | April 13, 2006 08:35 PM

CWO2 Bert Stover, I am forever grateful to you and others like you. There are many, many, many like me who say thank you for what you are doing. God bless you.

Posted by: Maggie45 | April 13, 2006 08:35 PM

Hey guy, thanks for your service. You can feel free to ignore the Left. As you can see by their commentary, they really do hate you.

Posted by: milo | April 13, 2006 08:38 PM

Keep up the good work, sir.

We appreciate everything you do, and the sacrifice you and your family make.

Those who are against the war are showing their true colors. They aren't just against war, they're against the United
States. Somehow they try to twist their disrespect of our armed service as a special kind of patriotism.

You sir, are the real patriot. Protesters did not make this country possible. Newspaper writers did not make this country possible. Soldiers made this country possible.

War and violence are undesirable, but they are a fact of life. They have been with us since the beginning of history and will always be with us.

I thank the Lord that a country like ours, that doesn't seek to conquer and take, but to liberate has the greatest military might in the world.

Those navel gazers who think we should feel guilty for trying to do the right thing, and who root against their own country are of no consequence. They are small minded elitests who think it is fashionable to speak against the war, and even root for the enemy.

They are not patriotic Americans. They more they claim it, the more obvious it becomes that they don't mean it.

Posted by: tom | April 13, 2006 08:43 PM

Thank you for your service, and thank God everyone was OK.

Posted by: Tom DeGisi | April 13, 2006 08:44 PM

Don't mind the wimpy, liberal, lefty, communist comments. The conspiracy boards were taken down by the NSA tonight and they have nowhere else to go.

The majority of Americans, which re-elected our President, support and thank you for your service.

Never Forget 9/11/2001

Posted by: Tucker | April 13, 2006 08:48 PM

God bless you and all who serve our country.

Posted by: don | April 13, 2006 08:49 PM

I'm not going to bother justifying the comments made by some above. Instead, I will just say a simple "Thank You". Thank you sir for your willingness to sacrifice your blood, sweat and tears for this magnificent nation. I pray that God blesses you and the rest of our armed forces. Thank you.

Posted by: Brian Reilly | April 13, 2006 08:50 PM

Either it's still Spring Break and the kids have yet to return to school or the president of Venezula is posting comments.

Posted by: Stargazer | April 13, 2006 08:53 PM

Thanks, Bert, for all that you and your buddies are doing. May God be with all of you.
Thanks, too, for flushing out the left-wing ignorance and hypocrisy.

Posted by: F. Wilson | April 13, 2006 08:56 PM

It is the Soldier,
not the reporter, who has given us freedom of press.

It is the Soldier,
not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier,
not the campus organizer, who gives us freedom to demonstrate.

It is the Soldier
who salutes the flag,
who serves beneath the flag,
and whose coffin is draped by the flag,
who allows the protester to burn the flag.

Thank you for you service and please keep writing this blog. It's excellent.

Posted by: TB | April 13, 2006 08:58 PM

Bert,

Because of the your bravery and that of your military colleagues the nutcases and fruitcakes represented in the first few and later posts have the freedom to be morons. If, despite the best efforts of these people and their ilk (I see someone quoted Robert Sheer), Iraq becomes a stable democracy and a catalyst for long-term change in the Middle East, then America will indeed be safer and generations of their offspring will retain the freedom to make moronic statements. We will always need such people to remind us why we don't want to ever become like France.

Thank you for your service.

Posted by: Paul | April 13, 2006 08:59 PM

Thanks for your sacrifice, Bert. And please pass on my thanks to your brothers and sisters in arms. Ignore the fools who comment under the blanket of freedom that you and so many others have provided at a cost they will never understand or appreciate.

Posted by: Steve | April 13, 2006 09:01 PM

The comments by some here sicken me. Keep it up Libs - your hate gives the proper face to the Democrats.......... ugly.

Posted by: Liberals-R-Godless | April 13, 2006 09:05 PM

Bert, thank you for your service! Thanks to all of the soldiers in Afganistan and Iraq for their service! Most importantly, thank God no one got hurt!

The vast majority of people in this country support you and your mission! Don't listen to the B.S. that the media keeps trying to pump out. There is a reason why they are loosing bucket loads of money every year. Nobody is buying their garbage anymore.

I hate to hijack this thread with politics, but some of the above postings must be answered. I don't know who exactly is posting this bile, it could possibly even be a reporter from the Washington Post trying to get attention to the website. It's not like anything like that hasn't happened before (MD4BUSH and all that).

The anti war left are not "peaceniks", they are Saddam Hussein fans. There is no pacifist on the planet who could excuse shredding live human beings as a means of execution. There is no pacifist on the planet who could excuse rape rooms. There is no way that these people could ever be classified as pacifists.

Most importantly, the members of the wacko left are always anti-American. It wasn't Republicans who were spitting on returning Vietnam veterans. It wasn't Republicans who were burning ROTC buildings. It wasn't Republicans who were vandalizing recruiting tables and stations. It wasn't Republicans who were openly supporting America's enemies.

The wacko left will search for and find any excuse they possibly can for any and all of America's enemies. They will always be the first to believe the nastiest and worst lie about our soldiers.

The wacko left are scumbags, but they are also determined; very much like the Nazis' (socialists), the Communists (super socialists), and the Islamofacists (religious socialists). The problem for us is that we just have to be more determined than they are. All we have to do is stay the course, and out stubborn them.

Posted by: dbehsman | April 13, 2006 09:07 PM

My husband served in Vietnam in 1969-70...the people who know ALL about Vietnam and what we SHOULD HAVE DONE are the ones who hid on College Campuses all over this country! Same thing here, just different country, different time!!

Thank you Bert for your service, thank God no one perished in the accident,.... my son called from there this week and told me they lost several Marines in a flash flood outside the base, our prayers are with all of you!!

I wish those of you who continue to write cruel comments would stop and think how you would feel if you had a son/daughter serving in Iraq!! It's not about You!

Praying for all our Troops and their families!

Posted by: Mechanic's Mom | April 13, 2006 09:08 PM

Thank you so much for your service. My family supports you. We've been mailing care packages to troops both in Iraq and Afghanistan for the last 2 years. I grew up in a communist country where even reading a "wrong" book could land you in jail. Many Americans do NOT understand and appreciate their freedoms, including free speech.
Stay safe.

Posted by: Agnieszka O. | April 13, 2006 09:36 PM

Your story gave a good picture of what happens when tragedy strikes a unit. Too often we only get the bombing-of-day stories and we do not get any of day-to-day stories from Iraq about our troops and the people of Iraq. I will be back to read more. Keep up the good work and wish all the best to your fellow soldiers. We are praying for all of you.

Posted by: Mad Jayhawk | April 13, 2006 09:43 PM

Thank you for your work and sacrifice that allows us our freedom, and the freedom of many around the word, even morons too stupid to realize it.

Posted by: Sandan | April 13, 2006 09:48 PM

First off its notable that most of the worst sorts of comments, the hateful ones are made by people who refuse to back up their words with their name. Cowards.

Second of all this constant repetition that Saddam was no threat to the United States is simply a lie. Goebbels taught you left wing fanatics well in that a lie repeated often enough is confused with the truth by the comman man.

Saddam was a threat. From his declaration on July 25,President Saddam Hussein of Iraq summoned the United States Ambassador to Baghdad, April Glaspie If you use pressure, we will deploy pressure and force. We know that you can harm us although we do not threaten you. But we too can harm you. Everyone can cause harm according to their ability and their size. We cannot come all the way to you in the United States, but individual Arabs may reach you.

To his attempt to assasinate Former President Bush, to his "conventions of Islamic radicals" as outlined by Christopher Dickey in Newsweek: So Islamic radicals from all over the Middle East, Africa and Asia converged on Baghdad to show their solidarity with Iraq in the face of American aggression. Chechens in Persian-lamb hats, Moroccans in caftans, delegates who hailed "from Jakarta to Dakar," as one Senegalese put it, poured into Baghdad's Rashid Hotel, where Saddam's minions urged them to embrace jihad as "the one gate to Paradise." And the greatest holy warrior of all? "The mujahed Saddam Hussein, who is leading this nation against the nonbelievers," they were told. "Everyone has a task to do, which is to go against the American state," declared Saddam's deputy Ezzat Ibrahim. The Americans had colonized Lebanon; they had colonized Saudi Arabia. But the line against them would be drawn in Iraq. Believers would triumph, said Ibrahim: "Our stand now can lead us to final victory, to Paradise."

To his attempt to blow up Radio Free Europe which by itself qualified him for invasion. From the Radio Free Europes site
The Czech news media have suggested that the reason for Vulterin's dismissal was that BIS failed to inform the government that a terrorist attack was being organized by the Iraqi consul against the Prague headquarters of Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.

BIS allegedly had been aware that Iraq had requested its consul, Jabir Salim, to organize the terrorist operation against RFE/RL, apparently in retribution for the start-up last year of Radio Free Iraq.

The Czech press says Baghdad sent the consul $50,000 to organize the attack but the consul asked for more money. Baghdad allegedly sent an additional $100,000. The consul then fled to London in December, taking the money, his family and the embassy codes. The government reportedly only found out about the plans to attack RFE/RL from British intelligence

And guess who that Iraqi Counsul was? He was the very same person that met with Mohammed Atta. Indeed the reason that the Czech Foreign Service was watching Al Ani was because of his attempt to finish what Saddam wanted. To blow up Radio Free Europe.

Thank you for your service Bert. My family sleeps better at night since y'all have taken that meglomaniac out of commission. The work is not over yet but our prayers are with you and your fellow service men and women.

Posted by: Pierre Legrand | April 13, 2006 09:48 PM

Thank you for your service to our country. My family prays for you all. May God bless you and keep you safe.

I didn't know so many teenagers read the WaPO.

Posted by: jc10 | April 13, 2006 09:55 PM

I'm sorry for all the yahoo's that have been posting for all the negative comments here. But, as a blogger myself, I had to get used to it.

Posted by: http://gmroper.mu.nu | April 13, 2006 10:03 PM

Sorry, the above post got sent by accident. The rest:

More importantly, you will grow a thick skin and please know that the rest of us really appreciate what you are doing for the people of Iraq. Keep hitting that keyboard, lots of what you write will hit home for many people.

thanks again.
GM Roper
http://gmroper.mu.nu

Posted by: GM Roper | April 13, 2006 10:05 PM

Thank you for your service. Many of us do appreciate and understand what you are striving to accomplish and support your mission.

Posted by: mxdg | April 13, 2006 10:07 PM

Thanks to each and every Servicemember.

This is a righteous cause -- we know now that Saddam DID have a very active Weapons program and DID have WMDs -- which are now in Syria and Jordan.

Memories in the USA are incredibly short. and, based on the anti-American Quisling posts here, so is the level of intelligence.

Remember: American Military cannot be defeated. American Politicians can.

Posted by: freedumb2003 | April 13, 2006 10:08 PM

Looks like the creeps are out in full force. Ignore them - they never were worth anything and they never will be. What they're defending is the rape rooms and the gassings by air - that's the "peace" of Iraq that they're touting. Your service and that of those like you ended that.

Understand that the folks with all the glib words actually do wish harm on the people of Iraq for no worthier reason than that they be proven right. Do your job over there and we'll take care of the self-righteous hatemongers over here.

God bless and good luck!

Posted by: Tim | April 13, 2006 10:12 PM

Boy, what a sick bunch of America-hating leftists you all are here, posting comments that you would be planting IEDs too, suggesting genocide in Iraq.

Go look around the WWW for some of the translations of the captured Saddam documents - the proof of Saddam's collusion with the various terrorist groups is coming out.

You all who are calling our soldiers murderers are cowards. Don't you have a flag-burning or a puppet march to go to?

Sad that so many brave and patriotic Americans are fighting and dying to protect your right to be traitorous idiots.

Posted by: Commie hater #2 | April 13, 2006 10:17 PM

To those who describe me as the banality of evil, where were you in 91? I was in Kuwait.

Did you weep for the hundreds if not thousands of Kuwaitis who died on the highway leading to Basra (they were in the trunks of the cars stolen by Iraqi soldiers as they fled north, hostages to use as bargaining chips later). Did you weep for the 200 Filipino dock workers the Iraqis tied together and dumped into the port? Did you cry for the Kuwaitis tortured to death by the Iraqis?

Invading Iraq wasn't necessary, but we are there. Would you have us wave the white flag of surrender when the enemy has never once defeated us and pull out of Iraq?

Do you really think the Sunnis won't get slaughtered? If you do you give them too much credit.

I always considered myself a liberal Democrat, a distinct minority in the officer corps, and while I wish we had done things differently I'm still a patriot and I still want to see us win.

What solutions do you have to offer? As for calling me a brownshirt you have a lot of gall.

Never forget you're an American first. Protest, vote the administration out, write letters, but if you can't offer constructive criticism to support your country you're nothing but an anarchist, tearing down institutions merely because it feels good.

The Sunnis haven't fought anyone to a standstill. Those who wanted to were allowed to evacuate Fallujah and while much of the city was destroyed we've also been the ones financing its reconstruction which is impossible to do if you're being attacked.

If we want to maintain any type of credibility we do have to take sides and that is to support the legally elected government of Iraq. Those opposing the new Iraq are the ones who previously held power, Baathists.

Read in Christian Science Monitor about the man who arranged for Jill's release. He was and remains a committed Baathist. Guess what? He's also a Sunni. He's for the insurgency because he wants a return to the status quo where the minority dominated the majority.

We're not talking about a minority who did so because they are better educated or shrewder at business; they did it with guns, gas, bombs, and rape rooms. Is it so difficult to recognize a Nazi when you see one? The Baath party espouses national socialism, just like the old Nazi party.
Sunni supremacy is the only difference.

Some of you really amaze me. Do you think wars are won without targeting the civilians supporting the effort? Sherman's march through the South was to break the will of the Confederate Army. Firebombing Dresden and dozens of Japanese cities was done for the same reasons. Hell, the A-bomb was dropped on two cities that had little military importance, but killing those people saved alot of Americans and even more Germans and Japanese and because we won they are prosperous and democratic.

Never did I think in this lifetime someone would label me a brownshirt. You folks aren't liberal; you're just anti everything.

Come up with a plan and share it or if you think this fight can't be won explain why, but be prepared to defend your position.

It's still my country, right or wrong, but that doesn't mean a choice between blind obedience and advocating violent overthrow.
Never forget the overwhelming majority of those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are conducting themselves with honor.

The war they are fighting isn't the one they chose and the strategies aren't their design. They are engaged at the tactical level. What concerns me is I don't see a strategy that will bring this to a successful conclusion.

Posted by: Robert | April 13, 2006 10:17 PM

Oh, the hate mongers on this blog! Most are probably NOT Americans. And, if they are, they are a sad bunch. All they can do is try to make Americans the bad guys. That seems to be the prevailing theme these days. Yet, look at history proves them wrong. We are a Christian nation and thus try to do well by our fellow man. A prime example is our Military. They are called upon to do a dirty job, but they do it. And, they do it well. And, because of it many millions around the world are alive and free.

My family and I thank each and everyone who've made the sacifices needed to keep us free and safe.

Forget the wimps who cry foul! Keep up the good works.

Posted by: MaidinMaryland | April 13, 2006 10:19 PM

I just want to say that these leftist folks here are disgusting beyond the appropriate words. At least the "support the troops" lie is exposed for what it was, political sloganeering designed to try and fool the American public about the true beliefs of the American left.

Pity it didn't work (again) huh?

Thank you for your continued service CWO Stover.

Posted by: Ace | April 13, 2006 10:19 PM

CALI-girl,

Wow, you can organize a heck of a show when you want to. Congratulations, you really brought out the numbers (and the insults). But you guys still got beat in Iraq.

Posted by: THANK YOU | April 13, 2006 10:24 PM

Thank you for your service CWO Stover.

It is truly disturbing to see the hateful people leaving messages on this blog. Likely, the very same people who claim to be so tolerant of all other viewpoints. That's obviously not true.

Also shown to be a lie is their claim to be "anti-war". Many of the comments here are NOT anti-war, they are anti-USA and anti-US Soldier.

Posted by: Attorney in DC | April 13, 2006 10:26 PM

Not in my name:

Bill Clinton lied (specifically, looked the other way) when 800,000 Rwandans were slaughtered with machetes. 10,000 GI's would've utterly prevented it. You know that. I know that.

Just like we also remember the 3,500,000 Cambodians and Vietnamese who were slaughtered by the communists who took over after the Democratic Congress cut funding in '74.

We remember the photos of the Kurds, slaughtered by Saddam using *nerve gas*. We remember the rape rooms. The mass graves. The prison where *kids* were slaughtered.

There is no peace, no justice, in a dictatorship. You know that. So, that leaves us with one conclusion: you're emotionally, morally, complicit in the slaughter.

I'd call you a hateful (man?), but you're not. You're a spoiled, immature brat who needs to be spanked, not lectured.

Like a two-year old, the lecture will do no good.

Posted by: PSGInfinity | April 13, 2006 10:31 PM

This is interesting. actually it is illustrative of the wide gap between the embittered militarist cult that has been organized to write in here and the antiwar majority of Americans who are fed up with the lying and incompetence of those who would conquer Iraq for its oil. You military cultists should give it up. The war is lost.

Posted by: 100% American | April 13, 2006 10:38 PM

You got whupped in Vietnam too.

Posted by: 100% American | April 13, 2006 10:39 PM

THESE ANONYMOUS ANTI-MILITARY COMMENTS ARE POSTED BY THE MENTALLY ILL. The people you claim to support are religious fanatics or fascists. They would Kill You for what you believe. They are not Progressives, they don't believe in Womens Rights or Abortion or any kind of Personal Freedom or Expression. To quote Public Enemy, "Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself."

Posted by: JennMikosz@yahoo.com | April 13, 2006 10:43 PM

Anti-war majority, is a fantasy. The majority knows that we need to win in Iraq.

Soldiers are the best of our country. Anti-war pea brains are poorly educated and have no imagination of what will happen when islamofascists rule.

Posted by: gm | April 13, 2006 10:48 PM

http://casebolt.blogspot.com/2006/04/cybersquattin-it-bears-repeating.html

You are an instrument of our resolve, Bert ... and resolve is the one essential element needed to decisively end the threat of terrorism, in Iraq and worldwide.

Thank you for volunteering to serve me and our nation in this capacity.

I will do my part, as well ... by continuing to use my 23 years of electronics experience, to design some of the basic tools you use to protect me and mine.

As for the hate-America crowd (anti-war? not from what I see) that has left moonbat guano all over your place ...

... illegitimi non carborundum.

Posted by: Rich Casebolt | April 13, 2006 10:53 PM

Even the militarist cult should drum Robert out after he advocated genocide... or is that OK with you guys?

Posted by: just wondering | April 13, 2006 10:56 PM

This is what Robert said:

"Either separate the country into three nations or side with the Shiites and wipe out the Sunnis."

Is genocide a good idea?

Posted by: question | April 13, 2006 10:58 PM

CWO2 Stover - Thank you, and every other Soldier, Sailor, Airman and Marine who HAS BRAVELY VOLUNTEERED to defend me and my children from THOSE WHO WISH TO DESTROY US.

It would appear from many of the comments to this blog entry that we have a few HOME-GROWN INSURGENTS. They are citizens in name only, who sit comfortably in their darkened basement apartments wearing their Mickey Mouse PJs as they wage their sick little psychological war against the heroes who keep us all safe.

Yes, the little Americans-in-name-only will never admit that their have been ZERO attacks on American soil since PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH took the fight to the terrorists.

Saddam was good buds with terrorists as the captured (and recently translated) documents are proving.

CWO2 Stover - I thank you for protecting my freedom. God Bless you!

Posted by: Mom of Two | April 13, 2006 10:59 PM

So, you guys approve of Robert's advocacy of genocide?

Posted by: still wondering | April 13, 2006 11:08 PM

Interesting. Nobody wants to criticize Robert a little bit for advocating the nmost atrocious of all possible war crimes. why is that?

Posted by: holy cow | April 13, 2006 11:14 PM

So Robert speaks for ya'll? Suggesting genocide in the name of the GWOT?


"Either separate the country into three nations or side with the Shiites and wipe out the Sunnis." -Robert

Posted by: | April 13, 2006 11:16 PM

Thank you for your service to our country, Chief!

Don't let these repulsive America-hating moonbats bother you - remember that deep inside they are all whimpering cowards, equally afraid of death and success. Read "The Fountainhead" by Ayn Rand for an in-depth look at them.

"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived." -General George S. Patton, Jr.

Posted by: Cancer Doc | April 13, 2006 11:16 PM

The silence on Robert's advocacy of genocide is deafening. What have we here?

Posted by: | April 13, 2006 11:17 PM

I am so glad that comment forums like these can show moderates who feel they are "in the middle" can see what the anti-American Left really thinks.

They want us to lose; they want our troops to die; they want triumph for the insurgency. Who, you ask? Al Qaeda? Nope. Millions of people like these hateful posters here, like "100% American". See them for what they are.

Posted by: Keith | April 13, 2006 11:22 PM

Robert allegedly seeks genocide ...

... while his anonomyous critic, by their reference to the "militarist cult" implies that he is a member of the moonbat-lemming breed that has no problems leading Americans off the cliff to die at the hands of totalitiarians ... because, in their eyes, America deserves it -- either as payback, or simply because they have the resources to handle it.

Pot, Kettle, Black

Posted by: Rich Casebolt | April 13, 2006 11:24 PM

STILL NO PROBLEM WITH GENOCIDE...?

Posted by: | April 13, 2006 11:29 PM

LEFTISTS BAD. GWOT GOOD. Got it.

What about Robert suggesting that US enagage in genocide in Iraq? Legitimate? Worth considering?

Posted by: Sam in Alabam' | April 13, 2006 11:32 PM

"Either separate the country into three nations or side with the Shiites and wipe out the Sunnis." -Robert


Are there any limits to what the USA can or should do in Iraq?

Posted by: puzzled in pittsburgh | April 13, 2006 11:33 PM

Robert suggests not only genocide, but also enagaging in genocide in an alliance with the Iranian-allied Shiite Islamic fundamentalists. Good idea? Support the Shiite Islamic fundamentalists allied with Iran while committing the ultimate war crime in Iraq?

Posted by: can anyone stomach this suggestion? | April 13, 2006 11:37 PM

Thirty postings followed my last and still nothing constructive. Attack, attack, attack was last used by the French in World War I; it didn't work then. What changed the outcome was a shift in strategy.

If you were a Shiite in Iraq how many of your friends and family would the Sunnis have to kill before you became radicalized?

Come on and tell the rest of the viewers what you would do if you were king for a day. Just deal with the present and let Congress and the voters take care of the past.

How would you win in Iraq? What's your grand strategy? Would you return power to the Sunnis just because they whine the loudest and bomb the hardest? If you think partition is the best route, how would you deal with Turkey, Syria, and even Iran, countries that have sizable Kurdish minorities? How do you convince them an independent Kurdistan is a good idea, one that will bring them peace and stability?

What would you do? Quit calling me a warmonger, a brownshirt, an advocate for genocide and use your intellect to arrive at a solution. Share it with the rest of us. You never know, but it might just make sense.

If we pull out how would you prevent genocide which is the systematic elimination of an entire group and that is very distinct from what I'm advocating which is applying against the Sunnis the proportionate military force necessary to get them to withdraw their support of their men under arms.

What would be your plan to get them to raise the white flag of surrender?

Idiots like the ones who have been attacking me make me wonder why I still vote Democrat (for you Republicans out there I do know why (haha).

Posted by: | April 13, 2006 11:43 PM

What do you think, Cali-girl? Is genocide something we should consider? Robert thinks it's a valid option even though it is the most atrocious imaginable crime against humanity.

"Either separate the country into three nations or side with the Shiites and wipe out the Sunnis." -Robert

Posted by: hello? | April 13, 2006 11:54 PM

CWO Stover

I served in Korea a long time ago. You and your fellow soldiers have my thanks and my support.

Posted by: Mark K. Benenson | April 13, 2006 11:55 PM

Does nobody out there want to condemn Robert for suggesting genocide as a strategy of war?


War crimes had been defined for the first time in 1907 in The Hague Convention, but the crime of genocide required a separate definition as this was 'not only a crime against the rules of war, but a crime against humanity itself' affecting not just the individual or nation in question, but humanity as a whole. Raphael Lemkin was the first person to put forward the theory that genocide is not a war crime and that the immorality of a crime such as genocide should not be confused with the amorality of war.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/rwanda/reports/dsetexhe.html


"Either separate the country into three nations or side with the Shiites and wipe out the Sunnis." -Robert

Posted by: hello? | April 13, 2006 11:57 PM

....Thus, using the definitions of both Lemkin and the Convention, and placing them within the context of the larger category of crime against humanity in general, there have really only been three genuine examples of genocide during the course of the twentieth century: that of the Armenians by the Young Turks in 1915, that of the Jews and Gypsies by the Nazis and, in 1994, that of the Tutsis by the Hutu racists.

Robert suggests that the United States engage in a fourth genocide and nobody on this blog wants to criticize him.


"Either separate the country into three nations or side with the Shiites and wipe out the Sunnis." -Robert

Posted by: hello? | April 14, 2006 12:00 AM

CWO Stover, best wishes and Godspeed from a former Marine and and retired Air Force member.

As for most of the rest of you making comments, it's obvious that hatred provides meaning and enrichment to your lives. I should hope you'll one day realize that being angry, willfully ignorant, and paranoid is no way to shuffle through this mortal coil.

Posted by: Mark | April 14, 2006 12:02 AM

it is 2006 in the United states and nobody on this blog has a problem with a contributor suggesting that we engage in genocide.


Genocide is a crime on a different scale to all other crimes against humanity and implies an intention to completely exterminate the chosen group. Genocide is therefore both the gravest and the greatest of the crimes against humanity.

The definition of what constitutes a crime against humanity was established at the Nuremberg Trials. However, despite the significance of this, the jurists at Nuremberg had invented nothing new. They were simply advancing Montesquieu's ideas on international law, which he described as 'universal civil law, in the sense that all peoples are citizens of the universe.' Killing someone simply because he or she exists is a crime against humanity; it is a crime against the very essence of what it is to be human. This is not an elimination of individuals because they are political adversaries, or because they hold to what are regarded as false beliefs or dangerous theories, but a crime directed against the person as a person, against the very humanity of the individual victim. Thus it cannot be categorised as a war crime. As Alain Finkielkraut, the French philosopher, has pointed out, it is quite a different thing to be regarded as an enemy than as a particular species of vermin to be systematically wiped out.

Posted by: hello? | April 14, 2006 12:03 AM

I love reading the part about how the "polls" now show the President is being rejected. I kinda thought the only poll that mattered occurred the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. What happened the last time? Oh yeah...Bush won. Wasn't that after months of bad "polls."

Keep making yourselves feel good about what you read in the media. I hope it consoles you when the Republicans win in November......again.

BTW, to all those America-haters who are rooting for us to lose in Iraq, I no longer question your patriotism. I don't question it, because there is no question - you are not patriotic.

Posted by: Winner | April 14, 2006 12:07 AM

Evil is afoot in this land when Robert can suggest the use of genocide, the ultimate crime against humanity, and not be repudiated or even slightly criticized. We're in deeper trouble than any of us had imagined.


"Either separate the country into three nations or side with the Shiites and wipe out the Sunnis." -Robert

Posted by: saddened | April 14, 2006 12:12 AM

Does anyone have ANY principles here that transcend patriotism? What about Robert's suggestion that we engage in genocide?

"Either separate the country into three nations or side with the Shiites and wipe out the Sunnis." -Robert

Posted by: a void | April 14, 2006 12:28 AM

We can not agree that genocide is a crime against humanity? What century are we in?

Posted by: minmalism | April 14, 2006 12:30 AM

Your post began to smell like Frenchmen surrendering to Bin Laden, or his Iraqi representative, just after you opened up the comment section.

Don't take it hard, they don't call it the peanut gallery for nothing.

God Bless the US soldier and keep him safe.

Posted by: Jerry D. | April 14, 2006 12:35 AM

Bert, Thank you for the report and for being generous enough to leave home to serve your country. America is so fortunate to have men like you.

Posted by: Verity | April 14, 2006 12:46 AM

Re the one comment by "Robert" above, which a single poster here has latched upon and belabored for some time now:

No one has deigned to answer your question because it's absurd on the face of it, and a clear ploy for attention on your part. But from the same instinct that compels one to want to silence a car alarm that's been accidentally triggered, filling the air with an idiotic, droning, shrieking cacophony, permit me please to offer an answer to your question.

Genocide is bad. Really, really bad.

There, now. Happy? Please find something else bright and shiny to fixate upon now, if you don't mind.

Posted by: Khan (No, Not That One) | April 14, 2006 12:47 AM

Bert,

Here at least is one American rooting for you. Sorry you have to also get comments from individuals who seem to be determined to waste oxygen by their very existence. But some of us are on your side.

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing is worth a war, is much worse... A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other." --John Stuart Mill

Fight on!

Posted by: Erich Schwarz | April 14, 2006 12:52 AM

That's it. One person says that genocide (but not Robert's suggestion) is "really really bad." God save the USA.

Posted by: | April 14, 2006 01:05 AM

God Bless you Bert. Thank you for your service. Robert is right. The Sunnis are MOST of the problem. All of the fools here should read what he wrote. I did. It didn't sound like "genocide," which is tossed around to lightly by these ant-American numbskulls.

Posted by: Baldy | April 14, 2006 01:10 AM

Bert,
you're doing a "Class A" job over there! Keep up the good work, and we'll be praying for a safe and successful return for you and everyone else! I'm glad everyone was alright - planes are replaceable, people are not!

-Bryan

Posted by: Bryan McRoberts | April 14, 2006 01:11 AM

Thankfully, it looks like the sophomoric spammer heckling Robert finally left his computer to go buy more pot.

Posted by: In My Name | April 14, 2006 01:21 AM

No, I'm working, and you all should be ashamed of yourselves. Robert suggested the commission of the ultimate crime against humanity.

Posted by: | April 14, 2006 01:26 AM

Not genocide? This is what Robert said:

"Either separate the country into three nations or side with the Shiites and wipe out the Sunnis." -Robert

Posted by: | April 14, 2006 01:27 AM

Bert, This is a noble effort. Those that say otherwise are not and have never been there and know not of what they speak. Eyes up, head and butt down.

Posted by: Some Soldier's Mom | April 14, 2006 01:28 AM

Bert,
Thank you for your service to your country. Don't be influenced by the negative comments. Those people really don't understand how serious the situation is, and how much you are doing for all of us. I am so thankful that there are still wonderful people like yourself in this world who are willing to give of yourself to help others. I have many Middle Eastern friends who understand what you have done for them, for mankind. You are not only serving your country, and helping to protect it, but helping to right some of the wrong of the world. May God bless you. The airplane can be replaced, just money, but people like you are precious. Be safe!

Posted by: pam | April 14, 2006 01:31 AM

From Speicher 3 to Warhorse to Warrior to Diamondback - I bet I have ridden space-A with you at least once. Thanks for all you do and keep on doing it. Iraq will be free and functioning someday. And on that day, the current dictators of the neighboring countries will be nothing more than bad memories. We thank men like you and your fellow service members in advance of that day. Your work will be rewarded then as now.

Posted by: Pat | April 14, 2006 01:57 AM

A UN court yesterday sentenced a former Rwandan mayor to 15 years in prison for crimes against humanity for his role in the deaths of 1,000 people during the 1994 genocide.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda accepted a plea bargain under which Paul Bisengimana pleaded guilty to two counts of murder and extermination and the prosecution dropped eight counts.

Bisengimana, 58, was mayor of Gikoro, just outside the capital, and was involved in the slaughter of Tutsis who had sought refuge in a church. He was arrested in Mali in 2001 and transferred to the court in Tanzania in 2002.

Posted by: | April 14, 2006 02:11 AM

As someone who has worn the uniform since 1972, Active and Reserve. My prayers and thoughts are with those proudly, bravely serving in Iraq.

Jack Deth.

Posted by: Jack Deth | April 14, 2006 02:16 AM

Count me among your fellow Americans who are grateful for the job ya'll are doing over there. With what you are dealing with in Iraq, it should be no effort at all to ignore all the cowards and people filled with self-loathing that post on here and try to drag you down. You make the world more of a better place in one month than they will contribute in their entire lives. The funny thing is, deep down inside, they know it, too.

Posted by: Mitchell | April 14, 2006 02:22 AM

Thank God we didn't lose anyone. Regardless of the nasty and juvenile comments posted here, you have the support and appreciation of most of us here. You are well covered in prayer every day.

It is indeed ironic that those here spewing such venom are the first to scream for you when their butts are threatened. They are totally lost and inept when "ain't nobody doin' for them".

God bless you, and bring you home safe.

Posted by: BigFan | April 14, 2006 02:23 AM

So what about Jenna and Not-Jenna? Where are they while the troops are doing their patriotic duty for their country? Partying down in Georgetown nightspots as usual. They just can't be bothered with fighting in a war that their father started and is unable to finish. Military service? That's for the little people, the Walmart-shopping trailer trash writhing in benighted agony beneath the contempt -- beneath the notice, even -- of the ruling class, their sole function being to serve as cannon fodder for the furtherance of the Empire.

You'd think that the Bush family would be shamed by their girls' actions but apparently they are incapable of feeling embarrassment. Surprise.

Posted by: not jenna | April 14, 2006 02:26 AM

Reporter: Mr. Ghandi, what is your opinion of Western Civilization?

Mohandas K. "Mahatma" Ghandi: I think it would be a very good idea.

Posted by: | April 14, 2006 02:29 AM

Dear Bert,

I just discovered your blog, and think you are doing a great service.

The Negativity you are subjected to by allowing comments to your reports disgusts me.

I don't know if you will see this but I hope that you, or any soldier, or soldiers relative, who does, will read a poem I wrote last Christmas as a tribute, and Thank You, to the soldiers liberating Afghanistan, and Iraq, and their comrades who have given their "Last Full Measure" in this effort.

Feel free to pass the poem around to your comrades:

A Visit To Baghdad = http://www.sneakeasysjoint.com/sneakeasy/2005/12/a_visit_to_bagh.html

As for you Minions of W.A.C.K.I.E.:

Go right ahead and continue making public fools of yourselves, by exposing your ideology, and hate, for all to see.

You are just giving the rest of us the proof that Liberalism is just so... 20th Century.

Kiril Kundurazieff

Santa Ana, Ca.

Posted by: Kiril, The Mad Macedonian | April 14, 2006 02:31 AM

Dear Bert,

Thank you so very much for your service to our country. I am thankful that no one was lost in the crash. Equipment can be replaced, lives can not.

Please ignore the ignorant morons that have chosen your blog to spew their America hating, race baiting, anti-Military, hostile, hysterical, communist bilge.

The VAST MAJORITY of Americans support our Troops, their Commander-in-Chief and the mission, in spite of the attempts here to "repeat the lie often enough" to the contrary. I see this every week on a grand scale.

We honor your service and your sacrifice.
Thank you again - for everything.
You, and all of our men and women in uniform, are in my thoughts and prayers daily.

Posted by: ticked off too | April 14, 2006 02:45 AM

Dear Bert,

Just skip the comments here and keep on writing! Thank you. Thank you. Thankyou.

Posted by: JM Hanes | April 14, 2006 03:04 AM

I'm not American, but even if I were, I’d have no obligation to support the troops. Patriotism is the last refuge of the scroundrel, a place to hide from principle. Either a war is right or it’s wrong. If it’s illegitimate and unjustified, it’s wrong to support those waging it.

By the logic of the bussed-in Republican party fanatics of this evening, Germans who stopped supporting Hitler’s war were unpatriotic cowards.

You all gloat that America will never turn against your idiot war. It already has. What part of 60% against the war don't you get? It’s the same in every poll. What part of 35% approval escapes you? Do you read newspapers?

It’s true that most Americans supported the invasion. Today, most Americans deny having done so. To someone like me, who opposed it all along, the important thing is the argument is over and you lost.

Posted by: Not in my name | April 14, 2006 03:14 AM

Thank you, Warrant Officer Stover, and thanks to your brothers and sisters in arms. My family and I stand with other grateful Canadians who support your mission and understand its purpose.

Posted by: Kane Rogers | April 14, 2006 03:22 AM

PSGInfinity:
“Bill Clinton lied (specifically, looked the other way) when 800,000 Rwandans were slaughtered with machetes. 10,000 GI's would've utterly prevented it. You know that. I know that.”

No, but 30-40,000 might have. I’m not a democrat and don’t care about any Clintons. Did you call for intervention in Rwanda? The hell you did.

“Just like we also remember the 3,500,000 Cambodians and Vietnamese who were slaughtered by the communists who took over after the Democratic Congress cut funding in '74.”

I’m not much into your partisan point game but you really do violence to history with your Vietnam Dolchstoss myth. Nixon was elected on a promise to wind down US involvement. Democrat a****les like Johnson wanted to keep it going. And the US also killed astronomical numbers of Cambodians and Vietnamese.

“We remember the photos of the Kurds, slaughtered by Saddam using *nerve gas*. We remember the rape rooms. The mass graves. The prison where *kids* were slaughtered.”

You remember nothing. When Saddam gassed the Kurds at Halabja, your government spent years telling you Iran had done it. The State Department instructed its spokesmen to blame Iran. The DIA produced a report saying Iran did it. Sen John McCain blamed the Iranians in Congress. Halablja was a battle in the Iran-Iraq war and it was gassed the day after Iranian-Kurdish forces seized the town, so the story was plausible. They didn’t blame Iraq because Saddam was their ally.

Back then, you were undoubtedly parroting your government’s condemnation of Iran for gassing the Kurds. But you’ve erased that from your memory like a good 1984 citizen. We are at war with Eastasia so we’ve always been at war with Eastasia. In fact, the US didn’t start blaming Saddam for gassing the Kurds till after 1990 when he wasn’t an ally anymore. That’s the way it works with you state-worshipping propaganda victims. You hated Taliban Afghanistan, but the new Afghanistan is free, even though it persecutes Christians. It’s better even if heroin production has skyrocketed – the government says so.

“There is no peace, no justice, in a dictatorship. You know that. So, that leaves us with one conclusion: you're emotionally, morally, complicit in the slaughter.”

What slaughter? Iraq has human rights abuses and slaughter a hell of a lot worse now than it did before the invasion. What about the interior ministry death squads? These are the leading killers in Iraq. I presume you accept that you have their blood on your hands.

“I'd call you a hateful (man?), but you're not. You're a spoiled, immature brat who needs to be spanked, not lectured.”

Save your homoerotic spanking fantasies, your macho posing doesn’t impress me. I’ve never subscribed to the theory that people who call for war from behind a computer screen are braver than those who advocate peace from behind a computer screen.

Posted by: Not in my name | April 14, 2006 03:33 AM

You all gloat that America will never turn against your idiot war. It already has. What part of 60% against the war don't you get? It’s the same in every poll. What part of 35% approval escapes you? Do you read newspapers?

It’s true that most Americans supported the invasion. Today, most Americans deny having done so. To someone like me, who opposed it all along, the important thing is the argument is over and you lost.

Last year, when the war's opponents organised rallies and the war's supporters organised counter-rallies on the same day, the anti-war rallies were literally one hundred times bigger than the despondent gatherings of you dimwitted bitter-enders of the Bush cult.

And when the Pentagon organised a "Freedom Walk" and invited all you yellow-ribbon Mussolinis to attend and show your support on one big day, September 11 2005, about 4000 turned up.

‘Although the Pentagon required walkers to preregister for the event, officials did not provide a crowd estimate. Metro officials said about 4,000 people arrived at the Pentagon's Metro station yesterday morning.’
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/11/AR2005091100508.html

But when the anti-war movement called its supporters to Washington two weeks later, they got thirty to forty times as many.

‘Protest organizers estimated that 300,000 people participated, triple their original target. D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey, who walked the march route, said the protesters achieved the goal of 100,000 and probably exceeded it. Asked whether at least 150,000 showed up, the chief said, "That's as good a guess as any."’
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/24/AR2005092401701.html

...and that was just one of several large anti-war demonstrations around the country that day.

Four thousand for the Freedom Walk is truly pathetic, by the way. On Sep 11 too. Since you middle Americans can’t even shift your giant lardy asses to Washington to show your support on one day in this three-year war, I’m not surprised your New American Century of global military domination fell at the first hurdle. No wonder your Army can’t recruit enough soldiers – American nationalists are all mouth and no trousers.


Posted by: Not in my name | April 14, 2006 03:36 AM

Hey, idiots,

If you think genocide is so terrible, where were you and all your girlfriends when Saddam was writing the manual whilst torturing and murdering innocent Iraqis? And why aren't you behind the American men and women who have sacrificed what you take for granted to put a stop to it?

Posted by: Teabagger | April 14, 2006 03:46 AM

Oh yeah, one question for all you guys who "understand the mission":

What about all these generals calling for Rummy's head?

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/14/washington/14military.html?hp&ex=1145073600&en=bdbb556e9e293705&ei=5094&partner=homepage
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/13/AR2006041301238.html

Are they patriots? Cowards? Defeatists? "Brave men and women in uniform"?

Commies? "Islamofascists"? Liberal whiners?

Do you want to thank them or spank them for their service?

It must be so confusing. Maybe the whole thing is being made up by the evil "MSM".

Posted by: Not in my name | April 14, 2006 04:04 AM

Now Maj. Gen. Charles H. Swannack Jr. is at it. He just said: "I do not believe Secretary Rumsfeld is the right person to fight that (GWOT) war based on his absolute failures in managing the war against Saddam in Iraq."

So he must be a coward. Except he commanded 82nd Airborne in Iraq. So he must be a hero. Except he called for Rumsfeld's head....

bzzzt...does not compute...patriot detection circuits overheating...bzzt..

Posted by: | April 14, 2006 04:10 AM

Thank you! Be safe, keep up the good work. Keep us informed please.

Posted by: Mark | April 14, 2006 04:16 AM

Thank you, sir, for both your service and your effort to inform us about your experiences. Please keep it up.

For those here spewing their anti-military, anti-American venom (and no, criticizing Rumsfeld does not make it venom, but saying you want more copters to crash is) consider yourself exposed for what you are. Thanks for making it clear to the rest of us where you stand. We'll definitely remember it...

Posted by: Glenn Perreira | April 14, 2006 05:22 AM

Not In My Name - you say that you're not American, am I correct? So if it comes down to it, it would be difficult to conceive of any way that American actions could be "in your name," wouldn't you say? In fact, it's problematic to see how you even have a dog in this fight. Here's a thought: instead of lecturing us from the comparative safety of wherever you lurk and proffering "facts" that say more about your relative ignorance of American culture and history than anything about your ability to present a coherent argument, why don't you mind your own business? Worried about genocide? Europe's got plenty on her plate to account for in that regard, and the Oil-For-Food program makes many Europeans complicit enablers of Saddam's efforts in that respect as well. Train your laser focus on Darfur, perhaps. Use your activist instincts to call world attention to the horrors Mugabe is perpetrating. You could even hold Al Qa'ida and Hamas to account for their genocidal activities against anyone who doesn't live up to their idea of Islam. Wouldn't that be more challenging than insulting the armed forces of a country whom, if truth be told, likely provides the only real and credible defense for whatever nation you call home?

Posted by: Khan (No, Not That One) | April 14, 2006 05:30 AM

Not very bright of you Khan. Since I'm anglophone it's almost guaranteed that I'm either British, Canadian or Australian, and all of those countries do regrettably have dogs in this fight. I know it's hard for you to remember that coming from mighty America.

As a matter of fact regarding "the comparative safety of where I lurk" I come from London, so unlike you my city has seen bombs in this war. The theory of fighting them over there so they don't come here hasn't really proved out in Britain.

The US armed forces aren't protecting my freedom, they're destabilising my planet.

Posted by: OD | April 14, 2006 05:42 AM

Thanks for what you are doing. It's important and good.

Posted by: Mike Fisher | April 14, 2006 06:09 AM

Yes OD, when the IRA bombed London we should have pulled out, cowered, and surrendered immediately. After all, we couldn't stop them from coming here.

How very bright of you. How very defeatist. Good argument. You failed.

Posted by: svr | April 14, 2006 07:08 AM

Sargent;

Thanks for your military service. And special thanks for your communicaitons. We often find it hard to get full facts and context back here, and your contribution is most welcome.

John Layden
Indianapolis

Posted by: John Layden | April 14, 2006 07:52 AM

Bert,

Thank you for your sacrifice every day. Only through your efforts, and the efforts of the entire US Military, will Islamofacism be defeated. I understand the fringe left hates GWB, but to embrace and endorse a totalitarian ideology as a rebuke of an elected President is deplorable and despicable. And despite the repeated claims here, their mantra that people who support you and your noble efforts in Iraq are in the minority simply is not true. There is a clear majority of those who reject totalitarianism and the twisted philosophy of Militant Islam – these are the people who support you. Remember that.

God bless you and God bless America.

- evil Bee

Posted by: evil Bee | April 14, 2006 08:17 AM

I agree with Robert. We might should just wipe out the Sunnis once and for all. And not just in Iraq.

Posted by: Rocker Arm | April 14, 2006 08:29 AM

God bless our troops.

Some of the comments here are sickening.

I wonder how many here have ever had to make the sacrifices that our men and women in uniform make on a daily basis.

Posted by: silent_jonny | April 14, 2006 08:29 AM

Chief Stover, you and your comrades are heroes proved in liberating strife. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for what you do.

Posted by: Mr. Silverback | April 14, 2006 08:31 AM

Thank you for your service to our country, CWO Stover. You and all your fellow servicemen and women are in my prayers. You are the best of us, and I am proud of you and grateful for you. May God bless you.

Posted by: J.E. King | April 14, 2006 08:32 AM


All these "generals" asking for Rummy's head must be French. God bless the USA and God bless our Mission, which might be, as Robert said, be to rid the world of all Sunnis.

Two more retired US generals called overnight on Donald Rumsfeld to resign as US defence secretary, adding to a deepening rift within the Pentagon.

Six generals - two of whom commanded troops in Iraq - have now called on Mr Rumsfeld to stand down over his leadership of the war.

Posted by: Choke hold | April 14, 2006 08:33 AM

I agree with Robert. In fact, wiping out the Sunnis might be the final solution to our oil problems. I think the smell of burning Sunnis would be good for the appetite.

God bless our troops and God bless our President.

Posted by: Eisen | April 14, 2006 08:36 AM

Robert's got the right idea. Like in El Salvador: Kill'em all and let God sort 'em out.

Posted by: I love our President | April 14, 2006 08:40 AM

Thank you for your brave service and for your eloquence. I apologize for the ignorant cruelty and sheer rudeness of some of the other commenters in this thread. Please know that the attitudes displayed by these people are not representative of those of most of the Americans for whom you are fighting.

Posted by: Beatrix | April 14, 2006 08:40 AM

CWO2 Stover:

Thank you for your service, and for this additional frustrating, if not precisely hazardous, duty.

You and your fellow servicemen and -women have done tremendous things since 9/11: Afghanistan and Iraq are under representative governments now, and the oppressors who ruled them before you came along are imprisoned or dead. Your actions have kindled a new fire in the Middle East, one that, if we can muster the will to keep it burning until it's self-sustaining, has the power to change the entire face of that troubled region. The work is not over, and many, if not most, of us know it; changing a political milieu while preserving a cultural one, to the degree that they can coexist, is dangerous, difficult, and protracted. But Iraqis are glad that Saddam is gone and are optimistic about what their futures now hold; they continue to sit at the negotiating table in spite of all the dire warnings that at any moment civil war is about to break out. The "insurgents" have refocused on Baghdad because they can't effectively and systematically project force over the entire country; why not stick to where the cameras are? They know what their superweapon is: the sapping of American will via the cockeyed reporting of only violence. (Afghans are largely out of the news because things just aren't bad enough there to boost ratings, which we know is good news.)

In short, Chief, keep up the good work. Isolation is not a viable strategy; passivity is only an invitation, as Europe can tell us. Your mission is not certain, not easy, and not cheap, but it is the best idea to come along. I'm behind you and the CinC in this effort, and I'm joined by people of integrity and vision all over this land.

Posted by: Jamie McArdle | April 14, 2006 08:41 AM

Finally someone like Robert is not afraid to be politically incorrect. Wipe out the Sunnis and our problems are solved.

Posted by: Finally | April 14, 2006 08:41 AM

America's crime is much worse than the pain, death and destruction currently being experienced in Iraq.

By 'pre-emptivly' invading another country that posed no threat, in defiance of international law and of the wishes and opinion of the vast majority of the world, America has done vast damage to the very idea of rule-of-law and has replaced it with the regressive barbarity of 'might-is-right'.

America has taught the lesson that it doesn't matter what the rules are - as long as you have bigger guns or more thugs on your side. That's a lesson that every LA gang leader, every African dictator, every angry fundamentalist around the world has learned from America's actions. Violence is the answer - don't bother with the rules. The worst scum in the world have taken heart from America's abandonment of law.

America has reduced itelf to the level of Osama Bin Laden (who also struck a nation pre-emptively, in violation of law, although he didn't kill as many people). That is who America now shares moral authority with.

Americans - unless you have travelled internationally recently, it is difficult for you to understand how despised your country has become because of its actions in Iraq. The illegal American invasion of Iraq has done vast, vast damage that may never be repaired.

America once stood, if imperfectly, for democracy, rule-of-law, and equality. Now America is the greatest enemy of international law on the planet - and the greatest threat to peace in the world.

America will not succeed on its new path - it will fall like all the violent, self-focused thugs fall. The ideals of equal discussion, agreement and co-operation in our small, shared world will overcome the dark belief of America and others in the rightness of violence.

Posted by: anon | April 14, 2006 08:47 AM

I think George W. Bush is a great President that God has chosen to bring Freedom to the Middle East. If we follow Robert's suggestion and definitively solve the Sunni problem, all the Arabs that are left alive will welcome us with flowers. Also the Iranians will throw us flowers when we get there soon. God Bless America, God Bless our Troops, and God bless our President. Also God Bless our Vice President and God Bless the Republican Party that saved us from the Communists.

Posted by: Thank God for George W Bush | April 14, 2006 08:49 AM

One more thought before I go, CWO Stover. Please don't be discouraged if comments to most of your posts here are overwhelmingly negative. My guess is that a disproportionate number of regular readers of the Washington Post, and certainly most commenters to Wapo blogs, are opposed to the U.S. military and its mission. I myself don't read the Post and only came here through a link from Mudville Gazette. I expect your comments section will be dominated in large part by the views of the anti-military segment of the American people. Don't be deceived into thinking that because they make the most noise, they speak for all of us. Not even close.

Posted by: J.E. King | April 14, 2006 08:49 AM

No-one ever needs to question the patriotism of the American left again. It's your humanity that should be in question.

Posted by: Pat Rand | April 14, 2006 08:54 AM

I agree that there is no civil war in Iraq. Would you say that there was a civil war just because fifty dead bodies show up in your town every morning and during the day there is small arms fire, mortar fire, bombs exploding continually, foreign troops in the streets confronting the inhabitants, an occupying army putting up earthen berms around the cities and aircraft sending missles down on people?

I agree with Robert: sometimes genocide might be the best idea.

Posted by: All American | April 14, 2006 08:55 AM

I agree with just read this blog and not the news of the mainstream media that lie and hate our freedom. Don't read and just watch Fox like our Vice President also Robert might be right to just genocide the Sunnis if we have to.

Posted by: I agree | April 14, 2006 08:56 AM

Wow, good to see all the Leftists who tried to pretend to support the troops finally came out of the closet.
Let it out guys, don't hold back. War criminals? You bet! Busting into rooms and spraying bullets everywhere? Coupla' times a day. You sure got me pegged.

Posted by: Diggs | April 14, 2006 08:58 AM

Like Robert said it might be to just wipe out the Sunnis. Genocide doesn't always have to be bad if the people you gas are evildoers who IED our troops and want to keep all the oil. Anyway if you let the children grow up they will be evildoers too.

Posted by: Good riddance to bad rubbish | April 14, 2006 09:00 AM

Robert got it right about we might have to wipe out the Sunnis. Also the Jews in Israel are our allies but the Jews here always criticize our President and they own the mainstream media so we might have to wipe them out too.

God bless America.

Posted by: USA | April 14, 2006 09:04 AM

Also the Mormons because they're immoral.

Posted by: | April 14, 2006 09:05 AM

Bert,

Just wanted you to now we're still here....

Posted by: | April 14, 2006 09:05 AM

Bert,

Just wanted you to know we're still here watching your back.

Posted by: Jay Cline | April 14, 2006 09:06 AM

Please don't think that the opinions voiced against the war above (except for a few extreme ones) are only those of the 'American Left'.

Here in Ireland those would be mainstream opinions and, in my travels over the last year or two in Canada, Spain, Germany and the UK I'd say they are pretty representative of people in many countries.

Several of the pro-war people above have said that 'anti-war is anti-American'. Surely this is unintenionally ironic, because it equates 'America' with 'War' - which is the problem that most of the world has with America.

If America wants to make a fetish of violence and create a militarised society that equals the rest of the world in weapons spending, then that it its own business. But nobody voted for America to unilateraly invade where it likes. That is called imperialism and colonialism, and it is the opposite and the antithesis of freedom.

All America has going for it is its guns and its bombs. It has no respect, no moral standing, and no credibility. Those in America who articulate opposition to this crime are what is left of the America the world onced admired. As poll after poll after poll shows, and as my own experience confirms, the vast majority of the world stands with them in condemning this criminal attempt to return to imperialism.

WE, the people, are against this uneccessary and criminal war. Freedom will defeat America's attempts at unilateral imperialis and empire.

Posted by: Eamon P. | April 14, 2006 09:07 AM

What about the Shias? The Iranian Mullahs are Shias.

God Bless the USA.

Posted by: Why stop there? | April 14, 2006 09:07 AM

Robert, we might have to wipe out the Irish, too, but not the good Irish in Boston, just the bad ones in Ireland.

Posted by: | April 14, 2006 09:08 AM

CWO Stover:

Thank you for protecting us and saving an entire country from the fascist Baathists.

You and your comrades are driving on to victory--notwithstanding the attitude of the loyal opposition on display here. Sometimes their support for the troops is a little hard to make out ...

Hooah.

Posted by: Brian J. Dunn | April 14, 2006 09:17 AM

Hey Earnon,

Don't get the idea that these militarists are typical here (in the USA). This level of jingoism is the extreme leading edge. The majority has turned definitively against the war, not for very good or informed reasons, but definitely against the war and against the current political leadership.

Regards,

A friend

Posted by: John | April 14, 2006 09:18 AM

Earnon,

This is just an organized effort by the faction of military families that is willing to sacrifice their loved ones to the imperial adventure in Iraq even though it compromises our national security.

This is primarily the work of an organized cult that knows very little of the world outside their own self-referential reality. One of them (apparently not a member of the military cult) has even suggested that the US carry out a genocide in Iraq. Unfortunately, we live with this. However, there are MANY good people in the USA too.

Posted by: Harold | April 14, 2006 09:26 AM

Keep up the good work, and know that the nut jobs who are posting vile statements don't speak for the vast majority of us who are fully behind you and this mission to help the Iraqis.

Posted by: BamaBeez | April 14, 2006 09:39 AM

Thanks for blogging, Chief. Much needed. Ignore the sewage, it seems to have become a permanent part of the new landscape.

Courage.

-- ez

Posted by: ezclimber | April 14, 2006 09:43 AM

Here in Ireland those would be mainstream opinions and, in my travels over the last year or two in Canada, Spain, Germany and the UK I'd say they are pretty representative of people in many countries.

- Eamon P.

Well Eamon, you and your Eurotrash buddies better get fitted for your Burkhas. The proper color will be yellow, so that your Dhimmi status is known. You will have 1/3 of the rights of a Muslim. Unless you convert to Islam that is.

Be sure to read up on how to kill your daughters when they dishonor your family by being raped by a Muslim. I guess all tha IRA crap about fighting for freedom was just that...crap. You and all like you have surrendered before you even began fighting. Cowards.

Posted by: SGT Ted | April 14, 2006 09:48 AM

Bert, thank you for providing some reasonable, fact-based information. Thanks to Mudville Gazette, it wasn't drowned in the flood of leftist BS and caught my eye. I have bookmarked your blog and look forward to reading it regularly, and I'll make sure my son sees it, too. Don't let the hysterics get you down.

Posted by: FiremanBob | April 14, 2006 09:50 AM

Hi John and Harold,

Thanks for your responses. I've been to the US many times (although not since 9-11), and I know many Americans to be good, decent and peaceful people. I also read American media daily and realise that the pro-war sentiments are no longer representative.

However, having said that, I also think that violence has a deep and extra-ordinary role in American culture and society that is rare elewhere in the developed world.

It's not just the video games and the movies, its the 2.2 million people in prison, its the clinging to the death penalty, its the gun culture and the fetishisation of guns. It's the 'War' on Drugs, 'War' on poverty, the 'War' on this and that. Violence and the threat of violence seems to be a very prominent part of America.

Americans (less than 5% of the world's people) now spend more on weapons of war and violence than the rest of the world put together. America supplies nearly 70% of the world's guns, bombs and other weapons.

And its not just these things - its the glorification of war and violence that seem to be such a part of American culture. The ever-present military recruitment ads. I mean, the very idea of military recruiters approaching kids in a McDonalds (as they do) is unimaginable in the rest of the world.

So, when America does something like abandon the idea of rule-of-law to invade and occupy Iraq, it sort of fits with all the rhetoric and movies and gun-violence and militarism that seem to saturate America. Of course America is more than that, but I think it is fair to say that violence and the view of violence as a solution to problems is a deep part of American culture for many.

Finally, I think that the best solution to America's attachment to violence is for Americans to travel more and to communicate with people from other countries more and thus to realise how much better things can be. The wost solution would be the one Germany experienced - i.e. that Americans will commit a crime so horrific that it exposes the futility of violence to themselves (as some have advocated on this board)

Posted by: Eamon | April 14, 2006 09:51 AM

Harold, Khan, and others would rather poke a stick in someone's eye rather than pick up a hammer and do something constructive.

If you believe crushing Iraqi Sunnis is equivalent to calling for genocide, would you say the same thing about crushing Germans and Japanese in World War II?

If you switch your brain from the transmit to the receive mode you'll see I agree the invasion of Iraq shouldn't have happened.

The fact is it did happen and I'm asking for solutions on how we can successfully prosecute it.

There are three options as I see it, continue to muddle along and watch the country explode around us which it will because the government of Iraq can't protect the average citizen; partition the country into three which the Sunnis will resist as it will leave them void of resources, upset the Turks, Syrians, and Iranians who don't want to see an independent Kurdistan; or three, use whatever force is necessary against Iraqi Sunnis so they will cease their support of the insurgency.

I'm not as worried about Iranian influence because Iranians of Arab dissent have no love for the Persian majority in their country. They share religions but that's about it.

Worry about the impeachment proceedings for later. Right now, tell me how you would win the fight we're in the thick of. Is there another option I'm not seeing?

To paraphrase Rumsfeld, "You fight the war you have with what you have not with what you want to have." Like it (which I don't) or not we are at war. Now, how do we win it so all those who sacrificed so much will not have done so in vain (like Vietnam)?

If Harold, Khan, and others represent what they believe is mainstream America and if this is the mindset running the Democratic party it's no wonder the party ceased to have any national prominence.

I'm all for holding in a court of law those individuals responsible for starting this unnecessary war, but that can wait. Right now, we need a plan for success.

With all the great minds posting on this blog there has to be at least one or two people who have some ideas worth sharing. If pulling out is the only option, say so, but tell us why. Perhaps you see Iraq as being more akin to Vietnam (the dominoes didn't fall), but it could turn out to be more like Cambodia (where 1.5 million or more might have died).

Posted by: Robert | April 14, 2006 10:14 AM

The war in Iraq was just. Our effort to give the people of Iraq constitutional self-government is the right thing to do.

The acts of evil men are causing the disorder that continues. Those who bawl for withdrawal are supporting that evil.

Needless to say, it is--as always--the left that is to be found supporting evil, while castigating the good and calling it "evil."

Posted by: dsc | April 14, 2006 10:14 AM

Thank you, Sir, for serving your country.

Thank you for reporting your experiences to us.

Thank you for your patience and civility to those who have shown neither to you and the rest of the men willing to sacrifice for us.

Posted by: Beverly | April 14, 2006 10:39 AM

Yes, EVERYONE in Europe is in 100% agreement with the anti-American left. The rest of us are so heartbroken that we might weep at the very thought...were we not so busy laughing at the proposition that we should care.

Posted by: Pat Rand | April 14, 2006 10:40 AM

Chief Warrant Officer,

Thanks for the blog and all that you are doing. I am embarassed by my countrymen above who have insulted you, threatened you, or wished you harm. But the great thing about freedom of speech is that you get to see who the idiots are.

Thanks
P.Regan

Posted by: ptr | April 14, 2006 11:16 AM

Quotes from the retired generals who are calling for the ouster of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld:

---

``We went to war with a flawed plan that didn't account for the hard work to build the peace after we took down the regime. We also served under a secretary of defense who didn't understand leadership, who was abusive, who was arrogant, who didn't build a strong team.'' - Retired Army Maj. Gen. John Batiste.

---

``My sincere view is that the commitment of our forces to this fight was done with a casualness and swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions - or bury the results.'' - Retired Marine Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold.

---

``They only need the military advice when it satisfies their agenda. I think that's a mistake, and that's why I think he should resign.'' - Retired Army Maj. Gen. John Riggs.

---

``We grow up in a culture where accountability, learning to accept responsibility, admitting mistakes and learning from them was critical to us. When we don't see that happening it worries us. Poor military judgment has been used throughout this mission.'' - Retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, former chief of U.S. Central Command.

---

``I really believe that we need a new secretary of defense because Secretary Rumsfeld carries way too much baggage with him. ... I think we need senior military leaders who understand the principles of war and apply them ruthlessly, and when the time comes, they need to call it like it is.'' - Retired Army Maj. Gen. Charles Swannack.

---

``He has shown himself incompetent strategically, operationally and tactically, and is far more than anyone responsible for what has happened to our important mission in Iraq. ... Mr. Rumsfeld must step down.'' - Retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton.

Posted by: | April 14, 2006 11:23 AM

"Either separate the country into three nations or side with the Shiites and wipe out the Sunnis." -Robert

Posted by: As a matter of fact. | April 14, 2006 11:27 AM

One who supports the mission. Thank you, we're all enormously proud of what you do.

Posted by: Jim,MtnViewCA,USA | April 14, 2006 11:30 AM

It is amazing some of the comments that are full of crap and vile. The soldiers in IRAQ are doing their best given the issues involved. If the world thinks America is so bad wait until they really have someone to complain out like China's charging for the bullet after they execute someone for practising nonapproved religion. The IRAQ war has been mismanaged, no questions about that. However, we need to see it to the end so the rest of the world can draw the same conclusion they do about trying to take us head on (not an option). Stay safe and come back alive from a normally silent but very appreciative American.

Posted by: Chuck | April 14, 2006 11:35 AM

I'm so clever, I'll keep changing my name and posting so that it looks like lots of people share my twisted ideas!

Posted by: Pinhead comments | April 14, 2006 11:48 AM

Lots of people are saying the same thing so it must be true!

Posted by: Wow, that must be true | April 14, 2006 11:48 AM

I'm a single white male selling a cat. I like rainbows

Posted by: SWM | April 14, 2006 11:50 AM

I suggest that readers request that "Reporting for Duty" remain as an article/column, but the "post a comment" feature be removed.

Political rants poison what would otherwise be a non-political forum for observations of a soldier overseas.

The anti-war vitriol is as offensive here as genocidal rants would on a blog by an Iraqi resident.

Everybody take your political rants (pro or con) to an appropriate forum, or lobby to take this forum away.

Posted by: Keep "Reporting for Duty" | April 14, 2006 12:00 PM

As a liberal in Texas, I must say I'm ashamed of so many of the posters here. Whatever our thoughts might be on how we got to Iraq, why we went there or how the current administration is handling this, the soldiers over there deserve NOTHING but our heartfelt support, prayers and encouragement. These men and women are over there away from their families doing a very difficult job. Do they make mistakes? Are there bad apples there? Yes, certainly, just like there are over here. I do think we can judge these folks because we know nothing of their reality.

I want our mission there to be a success. I want our troops brought home safely and soon. I'm sure most of you do too.

If you do not support the war, then get out and DO something constructive. Sitting in front of a computer and spouting hate laced liberal or conservative talking points is not helping anything.

Posted by: Curtis, Fort Worth, TX, USA | April 14, 2006 12:04 PM

Eamon,

How glad I am that the potato famine drove my great-grandparents out of Ireland and here to America.

Last time I toured your little island (2002), smaller than most of our individual 50 States, I saw only 3 persons who were obviously not Irish or European. But due to your continent's love affair with Marxism and rejection of the Savior of Mankind, Eamon, it's just a matter of time before your spit of land is like France, England and Holland -- overrun with non-birth-control-using harems of fascist Muslim refugee from fascist Muslim countries that would as soon slit your throat as fondle a goat.

Wait until they start taking over your schools, as they have done in France, the Netherlands and Sweden. Wait until they start cutting off wagging Irish tongues for speaking freely. You may loathe America all you want, as does the rest of cowering, sterile Europe -- we know you will continue to do so until the next War, the Muslim-European War, in which Western Europe will beg for America's support to bail you out -- again.

We will take your protestations of anti-American unity into account before shedding any more of our blood. Turning Protestant, Eamon?

Go herd a few sheep and shut yer gob.

Posted by: Irish-American | April 14, 2006 12:11 PM

"The invasion of Iraq brought war where there had been peace."
-by Not In My Name

Peace in Iraq? Tell that to the Kurds and the Shiites. Oh and any Sunnis who said they didn't like the way Saddam trimmed his moustache. And while we're at it, tell that to the Kuwaitis and the Iranians.

Thanks to the writer of this blog for his brave service and his efforts to bring a REAL and lasting peace to the people of Iraq.

Posted by: Do It In My Name - Whitney Andrew | April 14, 2006 12:22 PM

Thanks for your work, Chief. Don't let the a-holes get you down.

Posted by: Granted | April 14, 2006 12:30 PM

Bert,

Thank you for your service, and thank you for writing. Ignore these morons. Stay safe, shoot straight.

Posted by: komar | April 14, 2006 12:57 PM

Good article Cheif, and glad to read that everything turned out ok.

Stop feeding the trolls people.

Posted by: Sgt d.. | April 14, 2006 12:59 PM

Thank you for everything that you and your fellow members of the armed forces are doing. Don't worry about the insane losers who are talking trash.

Posted by: ac | April 14, 2006 12:59 PM

Chief Stover,

Thank you for your service to our country. May God bless you and your fellow servicemen and women. Come home safe.

Posted by: CD | April 14, 2006 01:03 PM

CWO2, I believe in your, our, mission; make the Middle East a safer place for the whole world by introducing Democracy to Iraq. Yes, I believe that Iraq's people, and all the world's people, deserve and are capable of self-governance. This "experiment" has already been proven. I'll start by saying that we won Vietnam. Vietnam war is, perhaps, an inappropriate name for the conflict. South East Asia(SEA), I believe, puts it in a better perspective. While we engaged Communism in Vietnam our State Department inoculated the rest of SEA with democracy. Question: how many countries in SEA are not democratic now? Please look it up. When the number of countries reached a critical mass sufficient to sustain democracy, peace and contain communism we pulled out.
Lesson; none of these actions occur in a void. There are many more players active in a much bigger picture than any of us can imagine. Comments: Are the democracies in SEA the same as USA's? No. They are their own form of elected self-governance. Was communism contained? Yes, although it still tries, unsuccessfully, to break out regionally. Vietnam's form has had to ratchet back its restrictive nature to keep up with the rest of SEA's economy; trade, ownership, etc. It is no longer the communism that it once was. It has had to adapt or be left behind. Will the USA leave Iraq? Yes. Is the USA occupying or liberating Iraq? If our effort leads to self-governance, UAS is a liberator. Will there be peace when the USA leaves? Let's find out.
CWO2, thanks to you and all combined forces for your time, effort and dedication to service. Respectfully, citizen USA.

Posted by: besttoyou | April 14, 2006 01:04 PM

Wow I had no idea you had won the Vietnam war. Good job.

You should tell the pointyheads at the US Army War College, they seem convinced that America lost. Some technicality to do with North Vietnam taking over the South, I gather.

Can you apply that strategic brain of yours to explain to me how a few raggedy-arsed loons armed with nothing deadlier than RPG-7s are going to take over Western Europe and turn us all into Dhimmi slaves?

I keep hearing these dire warnings but I'm unclear on exactly how it's supposed to happen given that we outgun the Arabs about 100 to 1.

Given that all the Arab states combined, including our rich pals like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, together have a GDP smaller than Spain's.

Yet several people here have assured me that it will happen as soon as we pull out from Iraq.

I'm just a poor liberal. So can one of you manly Internet Guderians explain to me IN MILITARY TERMS how the "Islamofascists" are going to take over our societies?

I've scanned several centuries of history but strangely, I can only find examples of US taking over THEIR societies.

Posted by: OD | April 14, 2006 02:15 PM

Bert... I've never figured out how you guys are organized. When you talk about your Battalion, I can picture a battalion of infantry on parade- but what does a battalion of helicopters look like? Maybe one day you can incorporate into one of your reports how Army Aviation is organized.

Thanks to you and everbody else in your unit.

Posted by: elkgrover | April 14, 2006 02:18 PM

Oh- I forgot. Check this out Lefties... It'll probably make you feel better.

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/4F2849E8-2535-47F9-9058-7D1CDD556DC5.htm

Posted by: Elk Grover | April 14, 2006 02:44 PM

Thank you for being there and reporting the truth of what you see. My husband my 2 sons's, one of which is at Ft. Benning right now love this Country and our Brillant Military, they are the best in the world and the true PEACE KEEPERS of this insane world. God Bless You and the United States of America.

Posted by: Erin Bizon | April 14, 2006 03:31 PM

Bert,

Thanks for your service and your willingness to defend the rights of some to spew foolishness. I am a Vietnam veteran and my daughter recently returned from a year in Iraq. Knowing the truth, one appreciates those who take the time to tell it. Keep up the excellent work and please don't let the loons get to you.

Posted by: rdahlen | April 14, 2006 03:51 PM

Mr. Stover,
A combat tour in Iraq is hard duty, thank you for going. Thanks also for writing back to us about it. It is important for us to learn what is really going on over there in order to cast an informed vote this fall.

Posted by: David J. Starr | April 14, 2006 04:23 PM

The invasion of Iraq was authorized by UN Security Council Resolution 1441, which provided Hussein one last opportunity to comply with the dozen or so previous Security Council Resolutions he was flaunted. Furthermore, anyone who asserts that the invasion of Iraq was illegal because it lacked a more explicit UNSCR should then be prepared to either condemn Clinton's invasion of Kosovo as illegal (and therefore also call for his Nuremburg-like treatment as a "war criminal"), or at least be able to somehow explain why that operation was legal in the abscence of *any* UNSCR.

OD asked: "I'm just a poor liberal. So can one of you manly Internet Guderians explain to me IN MILITARY TERMS how the 'Islamofascists' are going to take over our societies?"

Sure--they are taking advantage of strategic & political weaknesses (particularly Western liberal guilt) to 1) replace population in territory they seek to control (e.g. by taking advantage of lax immigration enforcement), and 2) demand & receive special legal and quasi-legal dispensations (e.g. why it's o.k. to publish "art" that offends Christians and Jews, but not similar works that offend Muslims; and the progress that Islamistis have made in Britain and elsewhere in Europe to have Shari'a, including mysogynisitic elements concerning marital property and divorce, apply to disputes between Muslims). Any scholar of Mao will recognize such activities as characteristic of the first stage of insurgent revolution.

As for the Generals who are now looking to sell books hammering Rumsfeld. Well, whether Rusmfeld should resign is quite a different question than the legality and morality of the Iraq invasion, because it would be sufficient cause to demand his resignation if he were carrying-out a legal and moral operation, but doing it incompetently. So citing those generals to somehow indict the entire Iraq invasion (and thereby also Chief Stover for his participation in it) is simply a canard.

As for whether the Generals are right--it should be noted that a portion of the Pentagon Brass is protesting Rumsfeld's doctrinal changes. Other Brass supports it. I also find it rather disingenuous for these Generals to have waited until the natural end of their careers to leave and then protest. If Rumsfeld were that bad, they had an ethical obligation to resign (in fact, though, retire early) in protest. The fact they played out their service only to write a scathing expose afterward calls their integrity into question, frankly.

Posted by: Tanker J.D. | April 14, 2006 04:49 PM

Chief Stover,

Thank you for your service to this country, and the many sacrifices you and your unit have made. Your willingness to report your experiences in this forum is appreciated. I support your mission, and pray that you and your unit return safely home when it is over.

Posted by: Bob Arthur | April 14, 2006 04:52 PM

Eamon said: "I mean, the very idea of military recruiters approaching kids in a McDonalds (as they do) is unimaginable in the rest of the world."

Psst, Eamon... Most of the rest of the world has mandatory military service, including most of Western Europe. So... they don't need recruiters!!!!

Posted by: Tanker J.D. | April 14, 2006 04:59 PM

Btw--I think the "aircraft" that Chief Stover is refering to is a helicopter, not an airplane.

All the anti-war types that are rejoicing in the loss of a "plane" are, therefore, just showing utter ignorance of military operations. In turn, one could then conclude that the "facts" they are using to support their anti-war positions are probably born of the same ignorance.

Posted by: Tanker J.D. | April 14, 2006 05:06 PM

Tanker J.D. -- there is one other question you have to ask these generals.

Were they this frank and challenging in their comments to the previous Administration and its SECDEFs, when that Administration refused to decisively engage known terrorists -- including Saddam, which that President declared a threat -- and defeat them, when it could have been done at a lower cost in blood and treasure than what we have paid/are paying?

The answer would be quite telling ...

Posted by: Rich Casebolt | April 14, 2006 05:21 PM

"Any scholar of Mao will recognize such activities as characteristic of the first stage of insurgent revolution."

Really? And stage two?

Mao had no plan for starting an Islamic revolution in an overwhelmingly non-Islamic country.

In more than thirty years' trying, Arab Islamists have never succeeded in taking over one of their own societies, never mind anyone else's.

I find your paranoia totally unconvincing. Nor is it a military explanation at all. How are they going to overcome our armies?

As for Clinton in Kosovo, you're right it was also technically illegal. It was tolerated because:

A) UN action was blocked on Bosnia/Kosovo by a small minority, basically Russia. It was blocked in Iraq by a large majority. And indeed they were right to do so, since Iraq had already been comprehensively disarmed by UN inspectors.

B) The intervention in Bosnia/Kosovo brought peace where there had been war. The invasion of Iraq brought war where there had been peace.

C) Bosnia/Kosovo was a limited intervention carried out for purely humanitarian motives. Iraq was a PNAC plot planned long before 9/11, and designed to overturn international law and set America up as a state with a unique right to launch "preemptive" wars.

D) Bosnia/Kosovo was feasible. Iraq was doomed to failure.

Posted by: OD | April 14, 2006 05:45 PM

Thanks for your service to your country, and hang in there, guy. God bless all of you who are over there watching out for these idiots and protecting their rights to be such jerks. You know many of us are here honoring and praying for you young men and don't you forget that, either.

Posted by: vharlow | April 14, 2006 08:05 PM

Take care over there.

Posted by: Jonathan | April 14, 2006 08:49 PM

I've spent the last 2hrs reading this blog, and I don't get any of you. So can some one answer this for me. How do you win the GWOT against an enemy who, for all intent, is invisible? You can slow the progress of individual terrorist cells by busting them up, squashing the leadership, etc. But how do you win a war against an ideology, a system of thought processes corrupted by the misuse and misinterpretation of religious dogma? Is that guy and his family sneaking across our border from Mexico, or Canada a terrorist? That New York Cabbie? The guy next door? The student sitting across from you on the subway? Can any country or coalition defeat an enemy they cannot define? An enemy who does not wear a uniform? An enemy who wears no dog tag? An enemy who could be as yooung as 10 years old? Haven't we released "detainees" turned in by their neighbors in Iraq because the other family pissed them off? If anyone can answer these, please do so...

Posted by: KiesterBro | April 14, 2006 09:24 PM

Another 100 postings and still no recommendations on how to win in Iraq. What gives? Do you hate America so much that you wish harm to your fellow soldier? Come on. Throw out an idea on how we can turn this around.

You critics aren't even peaceniks. You really do hate this country and your fellow citizens. If you didn't you'd at least offer something constructive.

I'm with Curtis; makes me ashamed to be a liberal.

Posted by: Robert | April 14, 2006 10:53 PM

Keep up the good work. Fighting them there is better then fighting them here, although not nearly as good as not fighting them at all. Unfortunatly, not fighting them at all isn't one of the choices the mad mullahs have left us.
Something the looney left here isn't aware of is that between 1979 and 2000 there were over 4700 terrorist attacks on either US property or US citizens. Most (90%+) were by Islamic fundamentalists. So they have been looking for a fight for quite a while. Now that they have it, and they are losing, their shrill voices are getting louder.
Some are squealing here. Wait until we start in on Iran in July. Then they will really go ape. Nothing like a faoming at the mouth moonbat for a good laugh.
What is the funnest part is that the rabid left posting here would be among the first the Turbans take out and shoot. If that doesn't tickle your funnybone, nothing will.

Posted by: stehpinkeln | April 14, 2006 11:07 PM

Thank you for serving our country, Mr. Stover. Please do not let the vile ignorance on display here depress you. Come home alive and victorious.

Posted by: Al Jackson | April 14, 2006 11:08 PM

The solution: genocide.

"Either separate the country into three nations or side with the Shiites and wipe out the Sunnis." -Robert

Posted by: George | April 15, 2006 12:31 AM

Bert,

You aren't going to get an answer to your question. The nay-sayers are so short sighted they can't see their hand in front of their face. They have no answer. (they probably never even read you question) Do what you are doing to the best of you ability and know you have open-minded people behind you. We support you and know you are doing the best you can do. Stay Safe!

Posted by: Cali-Girl | April 15, 2006 12:39 AM

Now that most Americans no longer believe in the war, now that they no longer trust Bush and his Administration, now that the evidence of deception has become overwhelming (so overwhelming that even the major media, always late, have begun to register indignation), we might ask: How come so many people were so easily fooled?

The question is important because it might help us understand why Americans—members of the media as well as the ordinary citizen—rushed to declare their support as the President was sending troops halfway around the world to Iraq.
A small example of the innocence (or obsequiousness, to be more exact) of the press is the way it reacted to Colin Powell’s presentation in February 2003 to the Security Council, a month before the invasion, a speech which may have set a record for the number of falsehoods told in one talk. In it, Powell confidently rattled off his “evidence”: satellite photographs, audio records, reports from informants, with precise statistics on how many gallons of this and that existed for chemical warfare. The New York Times was breathless with admiration. The Washington Post editorial was titled “Irrefutable” and declared that after Powell’s talk “it is hard to imagine how anyone could doubt that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction.”

http://progressive.org/mag_zinn0406

Posted by: Clema | April 15, 2006 01:24 AM

Well, I believe in what you are doing, and wish you God speed.

Posted by: OldeForce | April 15, 2006 04:00 AM

Bert,
You have my utmost respect, admiration and gratitude.
I would shake your hand, and say THANK YOU.
You are welcomed as an honored guest in my home.

To the black hearted, self-hating, leftist minority Americans: someday you'll be ashamed of yourselves.
To the black hearted, America-hating, leftists of the world: go to hell.

Posted by: Ross McDowell in N.C. | April 15, 2006 07:23 AM

Bert, all of us back here in VA are praying for our brave 224th men and women and are proud of your service to our country. Although I miss my husband who is there with you terribly, I AM A PROUD MILITARY WIFE. If there is anything you all need let the FRG back home know, and we will get it to you. Stay safe!

Posted by: military wife | April 15, 2006 08:09 AM

How many of you posters, who told Robert he should never speak again, firmly believe in the freedom of speech? The problem with a great many of you is that your freedoms exist as self serving devices to propell your agenda. Anytime someone makes use of their freedom of speech in a manner that you dislike, you immediately call for them to be silent for "30 years" or in the case of politicians, you demand their resignation. If you want you prescious freedoms, you must take the good with the bad. If you can't tolerate hearing the opinions of those with whom you disagree, even if they may be absurd, you will have a rough going in this country. If you DEMAND that those who oppose you be slient for the duration, maybe you should align yourselves with dictatorial regimes such as Hitler's Nazis or Saddams Bathe party.

As for this forum, it is not about procliaming rightness or wrongness of polictical ideology, it is about Bert giving you a glimpse of what it is like for the soldiers to be over there. Feel free to rant and rave, but it is of no use here, you are not persuading anyone to do anything about the situation. Your words would better served in letters to your congressman or to the president. If you feel like being strong with your words and opinions, use them in a venue where they will serve some good, not in a venue where you serve yourself to make yourself feel warm and rosey in the inside for taking a stand against the machine.

Posted by: hypocrassy | April 15, 2006 08:20 AM

Bert,

I have a son at Al Asad, he is working 7 days a week, 10-12hr. days and is tired!! He has 6 more monthes of the same....work, sleep, eat....work, sleep, eat...

I agree w/the person who suggested the comments portion of this blog be removed....those of us who have sons/daughters in Iraq want to read what this young man has to say about his time there, we don't care to read the heartless comments!

I keep all the troops and their families in my prayers....hang in there, Bert...we are proud of you and THANK YOU for your service!! When my son is home and wears his uniform, many people we don't know come up and thank him for his service to his country, I share that sentiment!! Happy Easter to all of you in Iraq!! Stay focused!

In Christian Love!!

Posted by: Mechanic's Mom | April 15, 2006 10:22 AM

Hypocrassy,

Thanks for covering my back, but this forum is as good as any other for discussing the war. CW2 Stover gives us an inside look at his world and we provide him with an ongoing debate about what's happening in this country as it relates to the war.

As for having written letters I've sent out over a dozen, zero responses from any of our elected officials. I'd take part in peace rallies, but doing so advocates one solution to the mess, withdrawal.

There's a good article in the International Herald Tribune asking "Whose Side Are We On?" We never had good credibiity with the Shiites as they believe we betrayed them in 91 when they revolted against Hussein. The Sunnis boycotted the constitutional process and the elections and no big surprise, the Shiites are elected to office. We are now meddling in their electoral process telling them the individual they selected to run the country isn't a suitable choice.

I've read the criticisms from various retired generals and wish they would do two things: (1) provide us specific examples of how Rumsfeld doesn't understand the following (quoted form MGEN Swannack), ""I think we need senior military leaders who understand the principles of war and apply them ruthlessly, and when the time comes, they need to call it like it is." and, (2) tell the American public what they would do differently to either achieve victory or that it's a lost cause.

Partition has been a mixed bag, but it's not a cure all (just look at India and West and East Pakistan which later split into Pakistan and Bangladesh). You could even consider North and South Korea a form of partition, albeit along ideological grounds; they aren't at war but given the amount of weapons they have pointed at each other their peace remains tenuous.

The comments these generals make carry weight because they were intimately involved with the events leading up to the war in Iraq or the actual invasion and subsequent occupation.

I do wonder why they feel compelled to speak now and didn't when they were on active duty as it was then they saw firsthand how cocked up things were.

As much as I don't admire Secretary Rumsfeld, he is only one of the architects of this war, but they have taken pains not to paint President Bush and Vice President Cheney with the same brush. The buck stops at their respective desks, not Rumsfeld's.

Before I join others in labeling this a lost cause I want to see surface other solutions and why they will or won't work. George and others might think I'm an unfeeling advocate of genocide, but I would rather see the Sunnis trampled underfoot than 2,500 plus American lives lost and nearly 20,000 wounded for nothing but a pipe dream.

The war in 91 was so different; throughout the Arabian peninsula we were seen as the good guys by 99.9 percent of the population. We would drive into towns and be treated like long lost friends. We had done the right thing and while liberating Iraq may in the long run be good are we truly any safer?

In Afghanistan we at least have taken sides (Taliban bad, everyone else good) but in Iraq we continue to straddle the fence. The rest of the world is laughing at our indecisiveness as we are more like the prize fighter in the ring against ten, not knowing who to go after but the one within range.

If you've ever dealt with senior officers you understand their circle the wagons mentality and their passion for loyalty to those above and below. A retirement eligible general officer isn't threatened with financial insecurity if he resigns to protest the war. Why they don't it is beyond me? Can you imagine how much weight the real or threatened resignation of a General Abizaid would carry? It would spur the administration to come up with a game plan and quick rather than repeating the same plays.

Shows you how much of a hero General Billy Mitchell was.

Posted by: Robert | April 15, 2006 12:38 PM

Gunner, stay safe.

These hold-overs from the Stalinist era that are calling the US a bunch of war criminals will likely grow up when they pass the third grade, at 25, or die from their brown acid hits coming due from Woodstock.

Either way works for me.

Posted by: Brad | April 15, 2006 12:41 PM

We have an insightful political analyst among us. His name is Robert. He carefully weighs the options available to occupation forces in Iraq and he suggests that genocide might be the final solution to the Sunni problem.


"Either separate the country into three nations or side with the Shiites and wipe out the Sunnis." -Robert

Posted by: | April 15, 2006 02:52 PM

Any individual with a shred of humanity would recoil at Robert's blase suggestion that genocide may or even should be employed by an occupying power in order to solve a political-military impasse. Incrediby, he is so stupid that he keeps talking and talking and talking.

Posted by: Alan | April 15, 2006 02:59 PM

Robert proposes that the occupying power redraw the borders of the occupied state and relocate the population according to its own priorities. This is explicitly illegal under international law, an impediment that doesn't seem to concern him:

"Either separate the country into three nations or side with the Shiites and wipe out the Sunnis." -Robert

However, if the ideas of collective punishment based on religious confession and genocide don't bother him, it should not be surprising that nothing else will, either. This is the kind of pathological thinking, unrestrained by any consideration of right and wrong, from which war criminals are developed.

Posted by: Hello? Nuremberg happened. | April 15, 2006 03:38 PM

This problem is not exclusive to Robert, though his suggestion of genocide is an extreme case. Fundamentally it is the idea that hegemonic powers are entitled to determine the fate of other states and peoples. It is on the basis of this discredited and despicable principle that his proposals for redrawing the boundries of another state and assigning different categories of people to the several sectors (ethnic cleansing) are coherent. It is also characteristic that he and others consider it acceptable for hegemonic powers to contemplate activities such as ethnic cleansing and genocide that would be condemned by those same powers if conducted by other actors.

Posted by: Carl | April 15, 2006 04:21 PM

Re: This problem is not exclusive to Robert, though his suggestion of genocide is an extreme case.


...make that "his UNABASHED suggestion of genocide AS A POLICY OPTION."

Posted by: Tony in Taunton | April 15, 2006 05:16 PM

As none of you are aware, there was an injury to a crew chief, my son. I wish all the bull crap put in this blog would stop and let the people that have family and friends over there send their loved ones comments to help show our support for them and what they have to do. I'm trying to get through this ordeal also, as well as his wife and children. To all you "political analyst" go get your own crying towel blog site!!!!!

Posted by: pates mom | April 15, 2006 05:45 PM

Condolences to the loved ones of the injured service man. May he be well and may you be strong. Condolences to the families of all our brothers and sisters, Iraqi and American, who died or were injured today as a result of this unnecessary and unjustifiable war.

Posted by: George | April 15, 2006 06:08 PM

pates mom, I'm so sorry. I hope your son is okay and that his injuries weren't serious. Stay strong for him and we will send our prayers to you and your family.

Posted by: Cali-Girl | April 15, 2006 07:01 PM

Not in my name @3:33

I'm going to pray for you. You're sick, and you need help. God be with you, and hopefully, you can find yourself closer to God.

Yes, I did call for a Rwandan intervention. Pity I have no blog posts to back that up.

First, while you are correct that Nixon was elected to wind down Vietnam (promise kept, BTW), he did NOT request a zeroing-out of funds for Vietnam, Congress overrode him. That DOES count as a Dolchstoss event.

NIMN, get your facts straight, then resume whining.

Don't tell me what I don't remember, for I DO remember SADDAM using gas against the Iranian military, back during their war. had it come out, I would have believed Saddam, not Iran, nothwithstanding what State said.

MegaDittos.

So, you're Oh for Three. State- worshipping? We conservatives want a SMALLER, not larger state. Worship? 1984 citizen? It's called Projection, a nasty psychological disorder. And you've got it.

Muslims persecuting Christians is very wrong. Nice to see you can recognize that. Let's see you recognize that there are gradations of freedom, and that they're much farther along than they were. And I'd LOVE to hear your plan for dealing with drug crops.

(Mine: buy the entire crop, then destroy it).

"What slaughter? Iraq has human rights abuses and slaughter a hell of a lot worse now than it did before the invasion."

That would be the slaughter that filled some 300 Iraqi mass graves. And as for any we did (pauses for laughter), give the thread a break. Are you so deranged as to believe that the BBC and other anti - American media wouldn't trumpet that from the highest tree. You've seen what they did with Abu Gharaib. If they had anything, they'd use it.

But they don't, because they can't because nothing of the sort EVER happened.

Spanking you isn't a homoerotic fantasy (projecting again?), it's vitally important to kickstart your treatment.

PSGInfinity: SP4, USA, 1985-1989

Posted by: PSGInfinity | April 15, 2006 09:49 PM

CWO2 Stover,

Thank you...

Posted by: PSGInfinity | April 15, 2006 09:56 PM

"Let's see you recognize that there are gradations of freedom, and that they're much farther along than they were."

Ha ha. Being conquered and occupied by a foreign power so that that power can control the mineral wealth it craves is "much farther along" on the continuum of freedom.

The brain-numbing effects of racism really are impressive.

Posted by: we too would welcome foreign invaders... with lead | April 15, 2006 11:12 PM

CWO2 Stover:

Thank you, to you and your mates who are over there helping us and helping the Iraqis.

Pay no attention to the evidently unbalanced and ill-informed people ranting about 'violating international law,' 'war criminals,' and the like. I feel bad for them and hope that they will soon get the medical and psychological help they so clearly need.

Most of us back here at home know what you're doing, know that it is the right thing to do and know that it is important.

Thanks again to you and yours for everything you do.

Orion

Posted by: Orion | April 16, 2006 12:52 AM

You're absolutely right; collective punishments for those supporting an unlawful insurgency don't bother me. You guys want to see a brownshirt under every rock and you have this romantic idea of warfare where no one but armed combatants die.

What the Sunnis are doing is tantamount to treason. They are citizens of Iraq and the majority voted in a new constitution and a new government.

When you describe changing borders or dismantling a country into pieces as unlawful, did you run to Serbia and protest what the US was doing? Through our intervention Yugoslavia no longer exists; in its place are Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia Herzogovina, Croatia, and Macedonia. It's not pretty but it is working and no one got slaughtered in the process. Would this be a sensible solution for Iraq?

If you think calling me an advocate for genocide will change the way I feel about the Baath party and its logistical base you're wrong. Save your sympathies for the Shiites and Kurds.

Posted by: Robert | April 16, 2006 01:12 AM

Noted political analyst Robert bounces back to defend the mass murder of Sunni children and adults in order to "wipe them out." He proposes to make the United States in Iraq indistinguishable in practice from the Nazis in occupied Europe, fulfilling the fondest dreams of our enemies.

Presumably his program would be as follows:

Victims are identified and separated out because of their religious identity. Death lists are drawn up. Members of victim groups are forced to wear identifying symbols. They are segregated into ghettoes, forced into concentration camps, or confined to a famine-struck region and starved.

Extermination begins, and quickly becomes the mass killing legally called "genocide." It is "extermination" to the killers because they do not believe their victims to be fully human. The armed forces work with militias to do the killing. The genocide may result in revenge killings by groups against each other, creating a downward whirlpool-like cycle of bilateral genocide.

The legal precedent that explicitly prohibits Robert's proposal is contained in Article Six of the International Military Tribunal that met at Nuremberg on August 8, 1946 and for which a number of prominent Nazis were executed:

(c) Crimes against Humanity: namely, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war,or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds... whether or not in violation of domestic law of the country where perpetrated.

Robert's proposal offends God and all humanity. It would be well for all to express their revulsion. Robert's moral life is on a par with that of the greatest monsters that history has known. Like many such monsters, he also appears utterly unable to appreciate the meaning of his proposal or even to understand why humankind recoils. It is nauseating that he continues to participate in a discussion concerning the servicemembers who represent us. His kind of thinking is a cancer that endangers us all.

Posted by: Sickened | April 16, 2006 11:26 AM

Sickened,

Do you believe what we did to the Germans and the Japanese is any different?

You are hiding behind the niceties of a law that you skew to fit your interpretation.

The Nazis rounded up Jews, but it wasn't because the Jews were hell bent on overthrowing the government and committing acts of terrorism. They did it as part of their vision of national socialism, a racially pure country.

The Baathists are the same. Their supremacist views flow from the Sunni ideology.

I don't advocate rounding up anybody or forcing anyone to wear an item identifying them as belonging to a religious group. What I do advocate as one option is taking the fight to the broad logistical base that supports the Sunni fighters.

If we inflict on them a tenth of the terror they are meting on the Shiite majority they will lay down their arms.

Our approach right now is more akin to how we are fighting the drug war, never really targeting the source and not doing much of anything to stop the demand. We're taking out foot soldiers and flunkies.

I again ask you to share with us your solution. Is it to walk away? Do you see nothing good that can come from this venture?

Do you consider the firebombings and even the dropping of the atomic bomb as warcrimes? If you do you and I will never see eye to eye. What I see as something that sacrificed a great many to save millions more you can't comprehend. You would rather the U.S. lose a million or two million more men and the Japanese lose millions more.

Do you know anything about Baathist philosophy and that it is nothing more than national socialism? The Sunnis believe they are intellectually and morally superior to the Shiites; they don't wish to share power, period.

Have you ever been in the military, ever served your country (even as a Peace Corps volunteer) or are you one of those who has done nothing constructive in his life? How about Habitat for Humanity, built a house for someone who couldn't afford one, fed the hungry? Have you even marched in protest? Do you vote? Are you even registered to vote? How seriously do you take your responsibilities as a citizen of this nation?

Get a grip and come up with something constructive. If you have a plan share it with the rest of the world, but if all you can do is repetitively grind your axe about this country and people like me being morally bankrupt, calling us fascists, advocates for genocide, war mongers etc. without offering any type of solutions you are failing in your civic duties.

I almost forgot to ask if my posts strike a personal chord with you. Are you an Iraqi Sunni? Do you support Baathist ideology? Do you believe Hussein is a great man?

Again, partition the country, take the fight to the Sunnis, or unilaterally withdraw and let the strongest take all, or is there another solution?

Accusations of genocide by a man who I'd bet a paycheck on has never served his country, never suborned his personal freedoms for the good of his country I find galling.


Posted by: Robert | April 16, 2006 12:03 PM

Robert says:

"I would rather see the Sunnis trampled underfoot than 2,500 plus American lives lost and nearly 20,000 wounded..."

This is the face of the enemy, the shameless enemy of humankind. He is in fundamental agreement with Nazi war criminal Heinrich Himmler, who said:

Whether 10,000 Russian females fall down from exhaustion while digging an antitank ditch interests me only insofar as the antitank ditch for Germany is finished. We shall never be rough and heartless when it is not necessary, that is clear. We Germans who are the only people in the world who have a decent attitude towards animals will also assume a decent attitude towards these human animals. But it is a crime against our own blood to worry about them and give them ideals, thus causing our sons and grandsons to have a more difficult time with them. When somebody comes to me and says, 'I cannot dig the antitank ditch with women and children, it is inhuman, for it would kill them', then I have to say, 'You
are a murderer of your own blood because, if the antitank ditch is not dug, German soldiers will die, and they are the sons of German mothers. They are our own blood. That is what I want to instill into this SS
and what I believe have instilled into them as one of the most sacred laws of the future. Our concern, our duty is our people and our blood. It is for them that we must provide and plan, work and fight, nothing else. We can be indifferent to everything else. I wish the SS to adopt this attitude to the problem of all foreign non- Germanic peoples, especially Russians. All else is vain, fraud against our own nation and an obstacle to the early winning of the war."

Posted by: | April 16, 2006 12:52 PM

we too @ 11:12

Mineral...Wealth?

Is this about an oil pipeline (again)? Listen, Wile E., Afghanistan is so far outta the way, you couldn't keep a pipeline in the same timezone. All the oilspots have MUCH easier paths to the sea.

And as for local minerals, any mineral wealth Afghan-land has would likely have been discovered quite some time ago, so I'll believe THAT when I see the first ore train roll out...

Racism? More like Projection and Denial. On your part. I'll pray to God for your soul, because you need help.

Posted by: | April 16, 2006 03:13 PM

Robert, I feel for you. Post about cracking down - hard - on the people MOST responsible for supporting the insurgency, and the Left freaks out. Funny how they're ALL about NUANCE, but can't see shades of gray in fighting a war. It's probably the lack of first-hand (or heck, even second-hand) knowledge, combined with their own fascistic tendencies bubbling out of the cauldron of their sickened souls.

In my prayers, I'll ask God to reach out to you folks. You need it.

Oh, one more thing: "Nazi" is short for 'National SOCIALIST German WORKERS Party'. If that strikes you as a non sequiter, I'll break it down:

Leftism, Socialism, Fascism, and Communism are all on the SAME side of the ideological fence. In fact, it's only a matter of degree separating a Lefty from a Nazi, from a Commie.

And all are Evil.

Liberals, you are welcome to come over to the side of the Light. Lefty's, you need your soul repaired first.

Posted by: PSGInfinity | April 16, 2006 03:26 PM

PSGInfinity you misstated what Robert said. He did not suggest "cracking down hard" on anybody. In one post he suggested "wiping out" a religious group. In another post he stated that he would as soon see that religious group "trampled underfoot" in a context similar to that posed by Himmler in his testimony at Nuremberg. Had Robert been a German in 1933, he would have been very comfortable in the NSDAP. Do you also feel sorry for the Nazis that were executed for carrying out the program that Robert suggested? Is it supporting our troops to propose an Iraqi genocide because we're in trouble there?

Posted by: | April 16, 2006 04:13 PM

Now you say I'm Himmler's ideological twin. When will you start answering questions I posed to you? When will you provide solutions rather than finger point? Do you despise your country so much you support the deaths of those who are actually doing the fighting?

You're pathetic. When I die I can look back and know I was part of the liberation of a people (Kuwait). Can you say the same thing?

The sacrifices of our soldiers means nothing to you. You believe our cause is unjust, refusing to see that good can come of this. You would give comfort to the enemy while an American bleeds to death.

You remind me of the hostages recently freed in Iraq. Their rescuers were military. They hate the occupation so much they couldn't thank the ones who saved their lives.

You suffer from Stockholm syndrome, identifying with the real oppressors of the Iraqi people, the Baathists, and seeing as your enemy fellow Americans.

I don't know whether to pity or revile you. Find a new country to live in, but who would want you. You'll disappoint them too. I can imagine you living in Spain applauding the Madrid massacre.

Posted by: Robert | April 16, 2006 04:15 PM

Thank you to all of you, who are praying for my son and his fellow comrads. He is going to be OK, and, is on flight status again, doing his job. Bert - keep all your crewmen/women safe and sound, do the job well and let's get them home. We pray everyday. Thank you for what you do. As for the rest of the people who continue to politicize this site...SHUT UP ALREADY, on THIS site.

Posted by: Pate's Dad | April 16, 2006 09:05 PM

First the 3:13 PM post is mine...

Posted by: | April 16 @ 04:13 PM

No. You, and EVERYONE else who dumped on Robert, misunderstood HIM. He compared the situation to Yugoslavia, not Nazi Germany. He implied, and later stated, a roughly - administered (ejection)partition of the Sunni, removing the source of the problem once and for all.

I don't agree with Robert, but I understand his frustration. He does show that he's at least TRYING to come up with a solution, which is FAR more than I can say for you folks.

Oh, and one more thing: under Godwin's Law, the Robert attackers LOSE the argument.

Posted by: PSGInfinity | April 16, 2006 09:10 PM

For Pate's Mom,

Our son was one of the pilots in the Blackhawk behind your son's when it crashed. I hope Pate is recovering quickly. Our son wrote us shortly after the accident to assure us he was safe and that while there were injuries, there was no loss of life. He described the chaos of the first ten minutes and of how quickly everyone did their jobs to help the injured. I am trusting in my son's training and experience to bring him home safely and in the training and experience of everyone in the 2/224th to bring them all home safely. We share your worry and your hopes.

Posted by: Tata | April 16, 2006 09:30 PM

"Oh, and one more thing: under Godwin's Law, the Robert attackers LOSE the argument."

This aplication of Godwin's law is questionable. The law was conceived and intended to be applied where the reference to Naziism was metaphorical, in terms of a perceived authoritarianism or other characteristic. In this case, however, Robert in fact did propose a policy of eliminationism toward a religious group as a political-military-state policy. This is not metaphorical, but a direct parallel to Naziism in practice. He then went on to justify it on the same grounds as Nazi war criminal Himmler: that the lives of the victims were less valuable than the lives of "his" soldiers and therefore their deaths were justified.

Posted by: As a matter of fact | April 17, 2006 09:09 AM

Reported civilian deaths resulting from the US-led military intervention in Iraq
as of Sunday, 16th April 2006

Reported Minimum: 34,446
Reported Maximum: 38,594

Posted by: John Q. Public | April 17, 2006 09:41 AM

Why don't we just outsource this war to the Israelis? They'd probably get the job done in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost that Bert & pals are doing.

Posted by: E. Etage | April 17, 2006 11:20 AM

A couple of things before I ride off into the sunset.

If the purpose of this Blog is only for us to post comments directly relating to the day to day life of CW2 Stover and the men and women of his unit I apologize for turning it into a political forum, but also wonder why it's in the Washington Post and not somewhere else.

I'm a veteran and life in wartime is 99% routine and 1% terror or excitement (there are adrenaline junkies who do not find combat scary, but a rush).

What my time in SWA did for me is made me reflect on the bigger philosophical issues and how they often collide with gritty reality.

I don't know if those who see me as a Nazi have ever been to war. Call me an ultranationalist but I would rather see us win than to walk away with nothing but chaos in the rearview mirror to show for our efforts.

I spent three years of my life in Germany and some time in Japan and while I love what their nations and peoples have become my view of them in WW2 would be to grind them down to nothing. Their populaces supported directly and indirectly barbaric regimes who systematically killed millions.

Iraqi Sunnis may one day become more like modern day Germans and Japanese, but at present they behave like the Germans and Japanese of World War II. I have no qualms about grinding them down until they surrender, and if they want to take all five million of their brethen down in the fight so be it.

Some of my critics I guess feel the same type of sympathies for people like Tookie Williams, forgetting about the four people he murdered in cold blood. He died an easy death compared to what he put them through.

My motto: If force is all the Sunnis understand then force is what they shall have.

Posted by: Robert | April 17, 2006 11:25 AM

The question is whether the participants in this blog, people who love and support our service members in harm's way, can stomach Robert's proposal to commit genocide in Iraq by "wiping out," as he said, a religious group there in order for us to meet our political-military objectives.

If that proposal is not roundly rejected and villified, then the Iraq mission is clearly doomed to failure. The verdict seems to be that genocide is considered an acceptable option. To say the least, that is interesting to know given the history of the twentieth century. We seem to have learned nothing.

Posted by: | April 17, 2006 11:54 AM

Anonymous,

One of us doesn't haven't a clue about what genocide is or isn't and it's you. Once the Sunnis stop fighting the war against them would stop. With genocide it doesn't end until they no longer exist down to the last man, woman, and child.

I again ask you to come up with another solution, but to date you either lack the creativity to do so or despise your fellow countrymen so much to wish them nothing but failure. Then again, perhaps there's another reason. As you look for solutions you finally grasp just how cruel war is, losers really die and winners really have to kill the losers; that acknowledgement shuts you down intellectually because you can't reconcile the two, the deaths of people you call innocents who I label the logistical base for the enemy and the santicity of human life.

Ask yourself this, what fight would you be willing to lay down your life for? If you were in Auschwitz would you have chosen to stay there because the Allies were attacking not just the Nazi soldiers, but the logistical base that supported it, killing men, women, children, the infirm, the elderly?

Get real man. Life is about taking sides and both choices can be dark, but there are big differences. Good can come out of our harshness but only evil will come out of the Baathists if they return to power or prevent Iraq from moving forward.

As for the Iraqi mission it is doomed to failure if we don't change the way we're fighting it. You abhor the idea of innocents dying, but what do you think will happen if we withdraw and let them duke it out.

Partition, resume the war targeting the Baath support base, or withdraw, but do a gut check and take a stand.

Posted by: Robert | April 17, 2006 12:25 PM

No event in history has so appalled humanity as the genocides of the twentieth century, particularly the genocide conducted by Germany under National Socialism. In 1948, the bitter experience of the latter genocide birth to the Convention on Genocide in the hope that there would never be another such event. It is the responsibility of all people, simply because we are human, to explicitly repudiate suggestions such as Robert's that our country descend beyond barbarity to revert to genocide as a policy, a suggestion that if followed, would place us among the most despised criminals of all time. Robert should be taken as a negative example and we should be proud to say "We are humans and we are Americans. We are better than that. We will NEVER sink that low."


Robert: "Either separate the country into three nations or side with the Shiites and wipe out the Sunnis."


Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide

Approved and proposed for signature and ratification or accession by
General Assembly resolution 260 A (III) of 9 December 1948
entry into force 12 January 1951, in accordance with article XIII

Article 1

The Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish.

Article 2

In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

SIXTEEN ADDITIONAL ARTICLES

Posted by: | April 17, 2006 01:12 PM

To the American Soldiers in Iraq,

I believe, and support you in Canada. Have a friend fighting there and i pray and hope everyday for your safety. You are doing the right thing fighting for the choice of freedom!

Posted by: Track | April 17, 2006 01:20 PM

"As a matter of fact" @ 09:09 AM
"Anon" @ 11:54
"Anon" @ 1:12

Sorry, Godwin's Law applies: you lost.

You completely misunderstood Robert and I. Sometimes you have to take the fight to the civilians, beating them down so hard that they QUIT HELPING your opponents. That IS different than genocide, and I'm sorry that you won't (not can't: won't) see that.

"Anon" @ 1:12
"John Q. Public" @ 09:41 AM

The Geneva Convention applies more to THE TERRORISTS who are responsible for those deaths than anyone else. Mass executions should be the order of the day.

http://markhumphrys.com/iraq.html#nobody.count

Will give you a decent primer on the subject.

Recap: Most of the civilians were killed by terrorists, and the numbers are inflated by ~60,000 dead jihadis. And Saddam killed WAY MORE than both, COMBINED.

We're SAVING lives. Or can't you stomach even that?

Posted by: PSGInfinity | April 17, 2006 02:05 PM

Don't listen to most of these fools. The war is just. These are the people that failed to back Vietnam and led to its failure, but I hope that it will not happen again.

Posted by: Lance Landry | April 17, 2006 02:18 PM

Bert,

After reading the first few dozen of these, I have to say that I hope you don't take to heart some of what is said, even if the people who are saying it truly believe they are saying the right thing. It is one thing to oppose the war, but it is a monstrously different thing to attack a person who is simply serving in the middle of it. I apologize for those who have forgotten that you are a person, and instead treat you as a demon.

I'm glad that no one in your unit was hurt in the crash, and hope that no one else was hurt as a result, either. That applies both to your unit and to anyone else, including Iraqis, who were in the area.

I hope that you and all of your unit come back safely. I also hope, although I know it is impossible to expect, that your unit is spared from harming anyone else. In a perfect world all of the fighting would stop, you could accomplish quickly what our leaders set you to do, and you and the Iraqis could both return to your real lives. However long this war lasts we must all remember that the end objective is peace.

Posted by: Gardog | April 17, 2006 02:45 PM

Nice to see the Post won some Pulitzers. Surprising, given that it's primary readers don't seem able to read or comprehend.

This young man, an Army National Guard Officer has offered everyone a glimpse of the life of a soldier. Surprisingly his commentary is rather frank and insightful, and obviously not censored. So comprehend this............It's a blog about the life our our young men and women in uniform. There not "criminals", there are son's and daughters, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, doing a job they have been sent to do, whether they agree with the political issues or not (There are a lot of things people are made to do in corporate America or any civilian job, that they don't like or don't agree with). The posting totally bogus information from the people with political issues and calling our service men and women "Criminals" is rapidly approaching giving aid to the enemy. Let us all take a moment to remember Jane Fonda and the statements she made......The enemy in that war has openly admitted that the supportive words of Hanoi Jane and Scary Kerry, gave them hope and the incentive to continue to fight.

My son returns tommorrow, from Iraq, where he served as a civilian supporting a multi-service mission. He went to Iraq holding a good deal of respect for our service men and women. He is returning with total admiration of them and there dedication to their jobs. He wasn't required to, but he volunteered to fly to all parts of Iraq to support the mission and make certain vital equipment (Which saves many lives each day) functioned. He hates flying. But he flew. Every message from him told about the hard work of the service members he encountered. He has never expressed any opinion on the war. His focus is on supporting the soldiers, sailors and airmen.

So, maybe some of the armchair, safe at home, never been there or done that, wimps, who decide to place our young people in greater harm, should keep their fat little fingers off the keyboard until they can say something supportive and understand what this blog is all about....It's the servicemen and women, Stupid (To paraphrase another, never served his country liberal)

Posted by: Earl Gould, MSGT USAR and USAF ret. | April 17, 2006 04:15 PM

Thank you, Bert. I never heard those words when I came back---just the same defeatist crap that I read here. Politics aside, without men and women like Bert and my son Mike, who is presently at Al Asad, all of you armchair warriors would have no place to spew your crap. Are you not glad to be an American? Do you really think freedom is free? Have you ever said "thanks" to a vet? Try it sometime---they can use the support.

Posted by: NamVet1969 | April 17, 2006 04:41 PM

Bert
Thanks for all you do to keep us free and safe. I personally know some soldiers over there who relay the inaccurate reporting of our media. Example: when there are 430 recruits that sign up for the Iraqi Army and the news media reports 30. Unfortunately that is a true story. I thank you and all the brave soldiers and also the brave Iraqi soldiers who fight for their own freedom along side the coalition forces.
One of the soldiers I know told me of the burial service for an Iraqi Officer and an Enlisted man. He told me they can not put the name of the soldier or any identification on the grave because the terrorist will kill the families including the children of the dead soldiers.
I pray for you and all our brave soldiers.
Thanks again,
al

Posted by: al | April 17, 2006 05:01 PM

I enlisted to fight in WW 2 and so did my 2 brothers and spent 3 years in jungles for my country at war. This is my first look at your blog program and amazed at being called a left wing whimpy commie hate America wacko
coward because I believe that Bush, Cheney,
and friends lied us in to attacking Iraq instead of Al Queda who attacked us on 9/11.
As a result we have 2400 dead Americans plus
17,000 wounded, wasting one billion dollars
a week and our nation is now nine trillion
dollars in debt so think that over because
it all concerns you and your children.
Arthur S.

Posted by: arthur s. | April 17, 2006 05:31 PM

No one is attacking you Arthur S.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. I too didn't believe Iraq needed to be invaded. Hussein was contained and he had nothing to do with 9-11.

That said, we are there. Now how do we win it or do we just put our hands in the air, conclude it's a lost cause, and go home?

What's your recommendation and why?

Posted by: Robert | April 17, 2006 06:33 PM

Arthur, that Robert guy who just responded to you is the guy who supports the use of genocide as a policy tool, exactly what you fought against in world war two. We have now come to such a pass that he expresses the idea openly. See his posts above and be aware what you are dealing with.

Posted by: Andy | April 17, 2006 07:08 PM

How Robert can say that nobody is attacking Arthur is beyond ridiculous. Some of the invective:

all of you armchair warriors would have no place to spew your crap.

their fat little fingers off the keyboard until they can say something supportive

Don't listen to most of these fools

SHUT UP ALREADY

The sacrifices of our soldiers means nothing to you.

Posted by: Carl | April 17, 2006 07:15 PM

My father fought in World War II against people who just wanted to be exterminate what they were told was the foot in the door of Bolshevism in Europe: the Jews.

Robert suggests that we might have to "wipe out" the "logistical base" of Baathism in Iraq: the Sunnis. Has the United States changed sides, or is Robert just one sick individual?

Posted by: Tony in Toledo | April 17, 2006 07:23 PM

Its interesting, I've responded several times but I notice that my comments keep disappearing from the blog. Does the Post make it a point to censor comments made in opposition to the crowd of Bert bashers that post here frequently?

Posted by: Bill | April 17, 2006 08:04 PM

Who has bashed Bert?

Posted by: Sam | April 17, 2006 08:15 PM

Correct. Nobody has bashed Bert, not even once. People also claim that posters have frequently called our soldiers "criminals." That has hapened a total of once. Why invent this stuff? Thank goodness here in the United Staes we have freedom of speech. The list of insults found on this site that Carl posted above is really over the top and disturbing. I think this is partly the result of all the hate radio that people listen to.

Posted by: Sam | April 17, 2006 10:30 PM

Nobody's bashed Bert, thats who

As history teaches, war mongerers and those parading as 'patriots' will stoop to any level to brand objectors of a criminal war as traitors, commies, etc.

This blog is full of them

I think Bert's smart enough (and though enough to deal with it) to understand this... too bad the war-lovers aren't.

suit up or log off, barrel-suckers

Posted by: dave | April 18, 2006 04:41 PM

If there is any defeat, it will be "internal"! Maybe we shouldn't have gone into Iraq. We went in based on "intel" that was apparently faulty. But..who new it at the time? Remember...our Congressional Reps & our US Senators, voted for us to go in...based on that same "intel." What if Saddam really WAS in possession of WMD's, or about to be? A tough decision to make, no doubt!
The Iraq War is running tough right now, but so was our first year and a half in World War II! There are those "Americans" who continue to sarcastically mention that we "haven't even" captured Bin Laden. So what! We NEVER captured Adolf Hitler, either. But we sure won that war, anyway! The Russians "say" they dug up his badly burned body, and destroyed all remants of it. Russia's word, (especially under Stalin), could never be trusted. Good, bad, or indifferent... when OUR troops are in harms way, we must support them! They are US! The constant "put down" of our country, supposedly by Americans, will actually prolong the War in Iraq. I realize that may not sound right to some, but try to put yourself in our enemies shoes, (from any of our wars). Would we not be encouraged to read many of the sarcastic comments in this column, if we were hearing them from the insurgents? Do you think they're complaining to the local papers, that, "the Americans are overpowering us with force"... "we'll never win"... "we don't belong here"...?
Those same thoughts could apply to our war against the Nazis or Imperialistic Japan in World War II, or our own Civil War. Like it or not, ( and I don't like it now), and didn't like it three years ago either, but we are there, AND our "world wide" enemies have choosen Iraq as it's battlefield! Before you open your mouths, think what our enemy is thinking! Are we encouraging them to continue the struggle?
Why weren't these "insurgents" as active when Saddam was in power? Where were all of these "fighters" then? They were cowering in some basement, in Iraq and other countries. Because Saddam would have knocked their heads off. So don't tell me they can't be beat!

Posted by: Warren | April 19, 2006 01:03 PM

"We went in based on "intel" that was apparently faulty. But..who new it at the time?"

Virtually everybody in the world knew it at the time... except for those gullible enough to believe transparent war propaganda or too politically timid to make a stand (most Democrats, Tony Blair, other craven lackeys like Berlusconi). That's why the Security Council refused to authorize the unjustified invasion. That's why the inspectors wished to finish their work (although Bush often states that Saddam Hussein interfered with their work, or "kicked them out," those are blatent lies: check the historical record. And most importantly, that's why a wave of massive antiwar demonstrations swept the globe in January and February 2003, THE LARGEST WAVE OF POLITICAL DEMONSTRATIONS IN HUMAN HISTORY... becsuae it was obvious AT THE TIME that the "intelligence" was cooked. Again, only the gullible or cowardly believed the lies or didn't challenge them. When Bush says that "we all thought so" or "the problem was faulty intelligence" he is lying again.

As for keeping our mouths shut, no. The truth is the truth.

Posted by: | April 19, 2006 01:53 PM

"We went in based on "intel" that was apparently faulty. But..who new it at the time?"

What we knew at the time and what we know now is that when the US president and the economic or political forces behind him want a war, US pubic opinion is easily inflamed and the US Congress is easily manipulated by blatent lies.

This happened when the slaveholding cotton growers wanted more territory in Texas. The president falsely claimed that Mexican troops attacked us on our territory and he got his Mexican War.

This happened when our expansive naval power wanted to pick up the remnants of the Spanish Empire and a war was concocted with Spain based on an explosion (on the Battleship Maine) whose cause is still unkown. The Spanish-American War.

This happened in Vietnam when the lie went out that North Vietnam attacked US ships in international waters and Johnson got his war. Even the US government now admits that this never happened.

This happened in Iraq. If anyone believed the Bush gang shame on them. However, don't be fooled again.

We should support our troops by getting them out of harm's way. It is the people who lied our troops into this war who consistently betray our troops' best interests. Bring them home safely.

Posted by: Cal | April 19, 2006 02:21 PM

Bert,

You must be doing something right. My son, a civilian, spent 3 months in Bagdad and traveled throughout Iraq to fix and upgrade a vital technology system for the EOD guys. He got back last night and was full of great stories. One comment I thought you might appreciate (He did some work in your area)....."Dad, what's with those Air Force Pilots? Bright sunshine and a clear day and they are grounded 'due to weather' all the time" OUCH, that hurt, being a former Air Force guy. He went on to explain that the best tranportation he got, was always onboard an Army helicopter. OK, I felt better (I did 20 years in the USAR). He apparently went on some flights that got a bit "hairy" but couldn't go into detail (His mother and Wife were present). He does sing the praises of Army Helo pilots and the multi-service/agency EOD guys.

Keep up the good work. We look forward to your last blog posting...."Home in Virginia"

Posted by: EDG | April 19, 2006 02:46 PM

Suit up Warren!

Posted by: dave | April 19, 2006 03:20 PM

Bush said "failure is not an option in Iraq."

Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana said he was heartened by what he saw in Iraq, and said that ``everything that can be done is being done and on a daily basis'' to help protect the U.S. troops in Iraq.

I guess failure in Iraq is not an option, it's reality. All the governor can say is that everything is being done to protect our troops from the chaos that the invasion unleashed.

Posted by: Mr. Natural | April 19, 2006 04:14 PM

Great war strategy: protect our troops from the surrounding chaos. Wouldn't they be better protected at home with their families?

Posted by: Mr. Natural | April 19, 2006 04:16 PM

Or as a select few pundits call me, Genocide Bob. Call me what you will, but I need to add my nickel (way beyond two cents).

I'm compelled to answer Warren's post. The truth is Iraq wasn't an immediate threat to U.S., Europe, or even its immediate neighbors. Rightly or wrongly the administration saw it otherwise and did skew the facts to make their case.

The insurgents weren't cowering under Hussein because those same insurgents were part of the Baath hierarchy. We are fighting Baath loyalists. The Zarqawi jihadists have a different agenda, but they are being employed by the Baathists. Think of the Baath party as really an Iraqi Sunni national party. There were a few other groups that benefitted (Christians for one), but they bailed on the Baath party as soon as the Americans took over (another reason they have been targeted by the 'insurgents.'

Bottom line 99% of the people we are fighting in Iraq are the same ones we were fighting when we invaded in '03. They just took off their uniforms and faded away to fight another day.

We're in this mess for a lot of reasons. Not enough troops on the ground to maintain law and order. Refusal by the administration to call the insurgency by its correct name, Baathist insurgency not Al Qaeda. Not taking Muqtada Sadr out when we had an opportunity.

I'll explain why. We created the anarchy because we let public order break down. We fought the Mahdi Army but refused to defeat them even though we had a chance to do so. By not having enough troops on the ground we allowed Shiites and Sunnis to wage their own secret war. The resultant fear has encouraged the growth of the militias. If your government can't protect you people end up relying on the militias.

The big question is what to do now? I'll grant the war shouldn't have been fought and it did take our eye off the ball which is Bin Laden and taking him out is a much bigger deal because he (not Hussein) is responsible for 9-11. Remember, Hussein and Iraq are not connected to 9-11 (something the administration refuses to make clear).

We have 140,000 soldiers in Iraq and three groups competing for power (two of them actively fighting a diry war). We also have an elected government which is Shiite whose interests may not mirror our own, but there is no guarantee the Sunnis' comes closer.

The three groups can't form a government because the legally elected majority refuses to bend and who can blame him? Would you be willing to give up power to the people who oppressed your people?

We know who the insurgents are and we know who supports them, Iraqis who are Arab and Sunni. Without their support the insurgency dries up.

In World War 2 we engaged in total war, but the enemies were truly global threats. The Baathists aren't and it's doubtful they ever will be.

If we continue the course we're on, a couple of things will happen. More Iraqis will be killed by each side's death squads and the militias will gain more power as the government can't provide security. The hatred against us will intensify as we are seen as fence sitting or worse, helping one side against the other. A lot more Americans will die (this month we've alread lost in the first 10 days than we lost in the preceding month). We'll continue to spend money we don't have 8 to 10 billion dollars a month on Iraq.

If we pull out, I doubt if we'll lose much face but there is a possibility of an apocalyptic blood bath and a failed nation which will attract Al Qaeda types. There is a possibility that the fighting will spill over to other countries. Then again, maybe nothing bad will happen. They'll compromise or split up like Pakistan and India.

Even if you believe Hussein needed to be taken down, the deaths of those after Hussein's capture will be for nothing as the objective was earlier met.

Aside from withdrawal there are two other options: the U.S. and world community actively pursue the dissolution of Iraq into three countries (significant political hurdles here, but diplomats could make it work) or else we side with the Shiites and target the Sunnis until they surrender. I don't see it as genocide, but others do.

For those advocating withdrawal just remember all the Americans who died or were wounded in the past 3 years occupying Iraq; leaving without victory is just like Vietnam, wasted American lives for what?

Bin Laden is still free. Islamic fascism is still growing. Iraq isn't secure and its fledgling democracy won't last a year after we leave.

If it were up to me, General Zinni would be the SecDef because he is the only one who seems to really grasp how to attack the problem of radical Islam and it begins with an independent Palestine. This is the administration's third biggest failure because after unnecessarily invading Iraq and not capturing Bin Laden.

With regards to the post about Gen Myers, right on! The letter he and four others had in the Wall Street Journal made me hopping mad. To say that the generals criticizing the administration have forgotten the lessons of 9-11 and need to listen to United 93 is crap.

The generals calling for Rumsfeld's resignation are on target; they are either experts on Southwest Asia, actively planned the invasion, intimately involved in the invasion, and partook of the occupation.

There are ways to win this without walking away, but there is no political will within the upper ranks of the military or the civilian leadership (DoD, Congress, and the president).

We need a new strategy because the current one ain't working.

Posted by: Robert | April 19, 2006 06:25 PM

"But we support the troops - and never question our patriotism!"

Posted by: NIONsense | April 19, 2006 07:44 PM

Beware of the poster above who calls hmself Robert. He considers himself a realist and a clever political analyst but takes a position at odds with the Convention Against Genocide, written and adopted as a response to Nazi activities toward Jews and Gypsies before and during their occupation of Europe. By suggsting that our country consider carrying out a genocide in Iraq he essentially separates himself from civilization and human decency.


"Either separate the country into three nations or side with the Shiites and wipe out the Sunnis." - Robert


Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide


Adopted by Resolution 260 (III) A of the U.N. General Assembly on 9 December 1948.
Entry into force: 12 January 1951.


Article I: The Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish.

Article II: In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Sixteen additional articles viewable at

http://www.preventgenocide.org/law/convention/text.htm

Posted by: | April 19, 2006 08:17 PM

Robert has changed his wording but never renounced his call for genocide as a possible strategy. Anyway, who would believe him if he did? Only a morally deficient individual could have suggested following the
Nazi gameplan and wiping out a religious group in the first place... and still he wants to "explain" to us all his brilliant ideas.

Posted by: | April 19, 2006 08:28 PM

To the one who keeps posting anonymously and accusing me of advocating genocide, grow some testicles, post under one name not several, and come up with some solutions.

What you call genocide I call total war, the same strategy we employed in WWII. You have yet to answer any questions.

If taking the fight to the Sunnis isn't the way to go and neither is partition what do you advocate, withdrawal or continuation of a strategy that isn't working?

That's a damn broad brush you are painting me with. In WW2 I would have gladly (but not happily as I understand we are talking human life) killed every Japanese and German to liberate Asia and Europe. The regimes those people supported were evil and it's ditto with Iraq's Arab Sunnis. Notice I specify it's not just Sunnis as Iraq's Kurds are Sunnis. And yes, I would use whatever force is necessary to get them to surrender which would allow Iraq to move forward and for our men and women to come home, winners who can reflect on the sacrifices made as being worth it.

Quit lurking in the shadows and trolling for an argument. Are you so devoid of intelligence you cannot contribute anything meaningful?

Posted by: Robert | April 20, 2006 06:27 AM


"In WW2 I would have gladly (but not happily as I understand we are talking human life) killed every Japanese and German to liberate Asia and Europe."-Robert


Population of Japan proper in 1940: 73,114,380

Population of Germany in 1939:
80,600,000

Total number of people that Robert "would have gladly killed": 153,714,380.

If we consider that the Nazis exterminated 8,000,000 people, Robert would have "gladly killed" about 19.2 times that number. If we consider only the nominal 6,000,000 Jews customarily said to have beeen exterminated, Robert would have "gladly killed" about 25.6 times that number. I wonder how Robert would have disposed of their bodies? One of the great logistical problems for the Nazis was that the crematoria could not keep up with demand. One can easily kill thousands of people in a day, but disposing of their bodies so as to prevent the spread of disease is very demanding. Robert, did you consider this? Also, did you consider harvesting the gold from their teeth?

Posted by: | April 20, 2006 08:17 AM

Robert,

You are arguing with an idiot.

Posted by: Jay Cline | April 20, 2006 09:28 AM

Robert,

Couldn't you have liberated Europe and Asia by killing only those Germans and Japanese over the age of 12? Please explain your logic for "gladly" killing all those under 12 as well.

Posted by: | April 20, 2006 10:07 AM


"Either separate the country into three nations or side with the Shiites and wipe out the Sunnis." - Robert

Robert,

Why not side with the Sunnis and wipe out the Shias, or side with the Kurds and wipe out all the Sunnis and Shias?

Posted by: | April 20, 2006 10:58 AM

Jay Cline... no he's not... his (Robert's) argument is idiotic. Or do you agree with Robert?

Please do explain

Posted by: dave | April 20, 2006 11:11 AM

I have a great idea: let the Iraqis kill each other. Don't take sides -- just get out of Iraq and let those vermin blow each other up. Really, they are NOT worth dying over.

By the way...when is Bert ever going to comment on any of the postings to "his" blog?

Posted by: E. Etage | April 20, 2006 11:31 AM

Etage... "vermin"?

-sounds like another Nazi's in the place

You Americans broke it... you better fix it, or do you feel abandoning Iraq personifes American's toughness and strength?

Bring it on

Posted by: dave | April 20, 2006 11:53 AM

Bert,

Glad to hear that there were no fatalities/injuries in the Blackhawk accident. Having been a passenger in both Blackhawks and Chinooks in Iraq about a year ago I can't begin to tell you how much respect I have for you and your fellow pilots and crew members. Keep up the good work and stay safe.

Posted by: RetiredFirefighter | April 20, 2006 06:24 PM

>solutions

Alot of the solutions that I can think of involve the average American citizen doing things which they are unwilling to do. For example:

- drop personal partisan beliefs and participate in massive public rallies demanding presidential impeachment
- hand Iraq mission to UN and accept international condemnation, and agree to supply all security resources
- elect a new President that advocates decreased defense and increased state department budgets
- read about the Middle East and the history of western foreign policy there to understand why the non-terrorists hate you too

Bert, what can I say? You're an adult that must take responsibility for your actions, and being a soldier on the ground doesn't excuse this. Do whatever you can to save lives over there, and don't ever follow an order that you think is immoral no matter what the cost to you personally. Good luck.

Posted by: Canuck | April 20, 2006 07:37 PM

Canuck,

Who are you to lecture Bert about what he should do while deployed in Iraq. He knows what to do and needs no advice from you.

Posted by: RetiredFirefighter | April 20, 2006 08:18 PM

Bravo Canuck. Thank you!

The last part is particularly important. The bravest American deed in Vietnam was performed by Hugh Thompson, who risked his life to place himself between Charlie company and Bravo company and their victims at My Lai. A wonderful American hero and role model who knew the difference between the amorality of war and his obligation as a human being.


See
"The Heroes of My Lai" at:
http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/mylai/Myl_hero.html

Posted by: | April 20, 2006 08:47 PM

I agree with Canuck and with the other poster. Hugh Thompson and Ron Ridenhour are the heroes of My Lai who showed that the human spirit survives under the most adverse circumstances. All our troops in Iraq should be taught about them. Before he died, Hugh Thompson lectured once a year at West Point, even though he was ostracized by other soldiers after he stopped the massacre.

In those days, Colin Powell tried to prevent the My Lai investigation, Bush was driving drunk, and Cheney "had other priorities."

Posted by: Larry Green | April 20, 2006 08:55 PM

Retired Firefighter has it completely upside down. Canuck spoke very honestly, openly, and heart to heart to Bert Stover, a very human message. Some people think that our soldiers should only be venerated. In fact they are human beings like the rest of us. It's well and good to thank them, but it's more important to recognize their humanity, particularly since they have been thrust into such an inhuman and brutal situation. They are young American men and women who want to do what's right. Unfortunately, the only right thing to do would be to follow some of Canuck's suggestions, show some humility, and apologize for Bush and his gang, who represent the worst of our people.

Posted by: Alan | April 20, 2006 09:10 PM

I think we can all use some advice from the Cannucks. When was the last time Canada invaded another country?

Posted by: Barney Tobin | April 20, 2006 09:14 PM

It's important for our service members to think about moral issues in war, especially since our political leadership wouldn't know the doughnut from the hole in that department.

It would be great for all service members to refuse illegal orders to bomb cities (Tal Afar, Falluja for example), build earth berms around them, etc.

Posted by: Ricky | April 20, 2006 09:55 PM

Anonymous,

Could we have liberated Europe by only killing those Germans and Japanese over 12?

The answer is no, not even if we did it one house at a time.

Six million Jews saved for 153 million Germans and Japanese deaths. Yes. You forget to count the 18 million Russians, 6 million Poles, and 23 million Chinese, the Germans and Japanese militaries killed and I've just started to count. By the way these figures and the ones below were pulled from Encyclopedia Britannica.

In the total war we waged against Germany 4.3 million Germans died. Against Japan, 2 million Japanese perished. These figures include military and civilian casualties.

Hit the right centers of gravity in the Arab Sunni Iraqi populace and they will cave. I'm inclined to agree with Jay Cline; you are an idiot.

We killed a great many noncombatants in World War 2 and we purposely targeted them because their activities supported their countries' respective war machines.

Those Sunnis who renounce their support for the Baathist regime and wish to cross over into Kurdish or Shiites parts of the country would no longer be considered combatants. We would guarantee their safety and a stake in the future demcratic Iraq.

Those that don't we target, simple as that.

This doesn't have to be the only solution as there are others, partition for example.

With regards to Hugh Thompson, what he did was both brave and noble, but there were plenty of brave and noble acts committed by Americans in Vietnam. I lost one uncle in Vietnam and another spent two years in a hospital recovering from his wounds only to subsequently combat a morphine addiction. I consider both brave and noble. A Marine throwing himself on a hand grenade to save his comrades is just as noble and brave.

Anonymous, you sound like a pacifist and there is nothing wrong with that nor is there anything wrong with protesting this war, calling for the impeachment of the president, and taking it to the streets if that is what you believe.

If it is, just say so; that way we know what your stand is.

My only question for those who profess pacifism, what is worth fighting for? Would you have risked your life to prevent Hutus from killing Tutsis, Arab Sudanese from killing African Sudanese, Nazis from killing Jews and Gypsies, Japanese from killing Chinese, Philippine, Thai, Burmese, Malaysian, Indonesian, and Vietnamese civilians?

If you want to talk bravery and nobility, take a moment and read the following.

Desmond T. Doss (January 17, 1919 – March 23, 2006) was the first conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor (Cpl. Thomas W. Bennett, an army medic during the Vietnam War, is the only other). He was a Private First Class (at the time of his Medal of Honor heroics) in the U.S. Army assigned to the Medical Detachment, 307th Infantry, 77th Infantry Division.

Desmond Doss was a very unusual soldier in that he wanted to serve, but refused to kill, or even carry a weapon into combat, because of his personal beliefs as a Seventh-day Adventist. He thus became a medic, and by serving in the Pacific theatre of World War II helped his country by saving the lives of his comrades, while also adhering to his religious convictions.

His Medal of Honor was earned by the extreme risks he took to save the lives of many comrades.

If liberty means nothing would you have welcomed the Japanese and Germans with open arms or fought back?

Getting back to the current situation in Iraq, does a part of you wish for us to succeed or will you only be happy if we fail?


Posted by: Robert | April 20, 2006 11:20 PM

Bert,

Are you ever going to write anything else original, or are you simply going continue resting upon your "Accident Off Al Asad" laurels? You have milked the "Accident Off Al Asad" story for about three weeks. Not much value in wriring a blog if one isn't going to infuse it with orginal context now and then.

Posted by: How About Fresh Material? | April 21, 2006 09:26 AM

Yes, the Iraqis are vermin. In the three years since Saddam fell, the Iraqis have yet to show any signs they are capable of behaving like civilized people. The greatest outrage is that Americans are dead to defend that scum of the earth. Really, let the bastards kill each other -- they thrive on that.

Posted by: E. Etage | April 21, 2006 09:33 AM

To "How About Fresh Material"

CW2 Stover might not be able to post anything. Remember, he has a real job. Duty before blogging.

Posted by: Robert | April 21, 2006 09:36 AM

RetiredFirefighter,

>Who are you

I'm an ex-soldier who was active in an Canadian artillery regiment. I never went to war, but would go if I thought it was justified. I would also like to think that I would go to jail if I thought it was not. I've read alot about the history of British/American foreign policy in the middle east. I think Bush and Rumsfeld and Cheney and Rice lied to you.

>looking at the sky waiting to hear the sound of the other aircraft

I'm sure there's many Iraqi people doing that these days too. Let's hope for their sake that Bert and his fellow soldiers really are doing "good" work, and are not getting seduced by the excitement and personal glory of being an American soldier in combat.

>He knows what to do and needs no advice from you.

Does that also mean that he needs no "thanks" from you either?

Posted by: Canuck | April 21, 2006 12:34 PM

Etage "Yes, the Iraqis are vermin"

Did you adapt that line from Herman Goering?

Or is it your genuine belief?

I suspect the latter.

You should be ashamed of yourself, hiding behind a stage name posting stuff like that. You're a disgrace to your country and this blog

Posted by: dave | April 21, 2006 01:00 PM

Shifting gears, we're told invading Iraq wasn't about oil, but notice how the price rose after we invaded. Even with the lower output from Iraq supply remains the same.

The oil companies aren't the only ones making money on all this speculation. Countries like Iran are too. The Iranian leadership might be shrewder at business than we give them credit for.

It's a calculated risk to embark on the brinksmanship they are doing, but perhaps not. The U.S. is bogged down in Iraq and there is no one calling for a military solution to Iran's nuclear program (save the U.S.)

Each time they rattle the sword however the price goes up. If you have an economy dependent on one product like Iran does, why wouldn't you try to drive the price up?

Saw this quote today. Thought it was worth sharing.

I'm inclined to think it's not reached a peak yet," said Tobin Gorey, commodity strategist at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney. "We're still faced with a tight supply-demand equation against the backdrop of strong economic growth, and there's still more money to come into the market," he said. He added that the Iranian threat was responsible for adding at least $15 per barrel to the oil price.

The Iranians are putting alot of money in the bank. They produce a little less than 4 million barrels per day. In April 2004 the cost of a barrel was $35. The $40 dollar increase is worth $160 million in additional revenues each day.

The Iranians aren't the only slick ones as we know the oil companies are making huge profits and we know how much Bush and Cheney support the energy companies. They saw what happened in 72 and knew it would happen again in '03.

The price in the past few months began to dip which worries them. I wouldn't be surprised if they are encouraging this sabre rattling between Iran and the U.S. as they know it will drive up prices and put lots of money in the pockets of their families and their supporters.

The administration likes to point the finger at China, but let's get real. China ain't growing that fast and there's no way they can afford to drive their economy on $75 a barrel oil.

What we're seeing are politicians and big oil colluding to drive the price up so they can line their own pockets. Something else I've noticed is every time the price goes up the pro-drilling lobby starts calling for drilling in ANWAR which is a second strategy of the administration.

Make the price so high, but not offer any real solutions to lower our demand for gas or to find and put in place an alternative and Americans will eventually let you drill anywhere you want.

We've never got a real answer about why we went to war with Iraq. Perhaps the critics are right; it really was about oil.

No wonder Bush and Abdullah were holding hands. We all thought it was something cultural, but it's not; they're married to each other, financially.

Prior to 9-11 oil was $22 per barrel. What we've gained since then is a $53 increase per barrel, 2,500 American dead, nearly 20,000 wounded, no capture of Bin Laden, a U.S. sponsored theocracy in Afghanistan, anarchy in Iraq, a $9 trillion national debt, a completely botched response to Hurricane Katrina, and a world community who think the U.S. is an imperialistic power hungry nation.

You bet I'm going to vote Republican this fall.

Posted by: Robert | April 21, 2006 03:09 PM

Go to this to see what causes the price to rise. Peace is anathema to high oil prices.

http://www.wtrg.com/oil_graphs/oilprice1947.gif

Posted by: Robert | April 21, 2006 03:30 PM

Richard, you forgot about the 30-50000 (who knows?) dead Iraqi's.

Or was that deliberate?

Are you and Etage holding hands through this whole thing?

Posted by: dave | April 21, 2006 03:39 PM

oops, the post above is directed towards Robert

Posted by: dave | April 21, 2006 03:43 PM

Obviously you people have nothing better to do than write PAGES of comments to something you have no intention of supporting. Bert started this blog to help family members and friends of his unit see and understand what they are going through while deployed. I look forward to reading his blogs, but I deplore having to go through so many unnecessary comments to find anything remotely related to supporting our family and friends. WWII was years ago as was Vietnam. I don't need history lessons that go on and on and making no headway.
My son is over in Iraq and I hope he doesn't have to kill anyone or be killed, but I'm damn proud of him and support him 100%. That said, get over it all ready!

Posted by: PATES MOM | April 21, 2006 04:33 PM

Pate's Mom,

I enjoy reading CW2 Stover's blog, but a blog serves another purpose; it allows us to communicate with the blogger. He can see what's going on back home and how it relates to what he's doing over there.

The reason historical events are addressed here is because they are relevant. The Baath party is similar to the German Nazi party, but there are big differences. Iraq has no manufacturing capability, isn't a unified country. It's also worth noting we had to fight the Nazis, but we didn't have to fight the Iraqis.

Vietnam is also worth studying and discussing. At least with Vietnam we had some rationale as to why we were there, the Domino Theory. If Vietnam became communist the rest of Southeast Asia would follow.
Iraq wasn't on the verge of becoming an Islamic state and there was no civil war needing our intervention, so there was no reason for us to invade.

That said, how does one support the troops but not support the reasons for going to war? I feel this administration misled us and went to war for reasons we can only conjecture. At the same time I would like to see victory for our troops.

How does one reconcile the two or is it time to give up, bring our men and women home and chalk it up as another lesson learned?

With regard to my credentials I served 24 years in the military and yes I was an active participant of Operations Desert Shield/Storm. Unfortunately, the experience I had in that conflict shares almost (other than against Iraq) nothing with the current one.

Posted by: Robert | April 21, 2006 06:35 PM

Let's keep talking oil.

The U.S. produces 8.9 million barrels of oil per day, but consumes 21 million barrels of oil per day.

If the government mandated an across the board doubling of fuel economy we could be almost energy independent and doing it with a proven resource (it would also be green friendly).

Why has such a simple solution not been advocated? If we didn't rely on foreign oil we would be much less likely to get involved in foreign affairs.

The technology is out there to double fuel economy, but it means giving up large vehicles for smaller.

If you want to take it a step further, mandate geothermal units for every new house. The $7000 added cost pays for itself in under three years. EPA's website shows how utility costs go from $300 per month to $30, all by using the ground's insulation to keep the air at a constant temperature meaning it only needs to be heated or cooled a few degrees.

If it weren't for oil do you think we'd care about Southwest Asia?

Posted by: Robert | April 22, 2006 04:56 PM

Why doesn't the government mandate the doubling of fuel economy?

Lets take a second to figure it out. Our elected officials are representative of those who elect them. Most people who vote talk out one side of their mouth about wanting to fix a problem while simulataneously acting in a fashion which only harms the problem. For example, take a look at the news about people complaining about gas prices. Then count gas guzzling trucks and SUVs as you drive down the road. It doesn't add up.

Now back to the elected officials that make up our government. If those folks are just like all the rest of the folks in this country, do you really think they will mandate fuel reform that goes against the actions of their constituents?

If we really want to change the world we live in, don't wait for the govt to do it. The people served by the govt need to do it. Remember our favorite golden boy president, JFK? He said "Ask not what what my country can do for me, but what can I do for my country" Interesting that a democrat advocated personal responsibility.

When you have a gripe about an issue, find a way to combat it yourself. If you wait for someone else to do it, it won't get done.

Posted by: reality check | April 23, 2006 12:05 PM

Robert,

Instead of wasting your time on this blog you should be wiping out religions and ethnicities.

Posted by: Tom | April 23, 2006 08:46 PM

and nationalities.

Posted by: Tom | April 23, 2006 08:47 PM

Tom,

What's your solution to Iraq? Rather than waste your time falsely accusing me of genocide because you don't really understand what it means to wage war, provide some ideas of your own on how to fix the mess we're in.

Posted by: Robert | April 23, 2006 10:21 PM

Dave,

Robert made the simple observation that when you go to war, you don't take half measures. If the enemy pushes, you push back. If that means you wipe out his forces, totally, before he will surrender, then that is what you do.

Anon, twists that and accuses Robert of being in favor of genocide. Is it genocide to fight the enemy until they quit? If they don't quit, is that genocide?

Anon is trying to be clever. And he is.

He is still an idiot.

Posted by: Jay Cline | April 24, 2006 02:03 PM

Untrue. Robert said we might want to "wipe out" the Sunnis and that he would have wanted to "kill all the Germans and Japanese."

Posted by: Tom | April 24, 2006 05:02 PM

Tom,

You really see yourself as clever when all you are is a twit. You don't need to twist my comments as I stand them. To liberate the peoples of Europe and Asia I would have prosecuted the war like we did and I would have continued doing so until there were either no Germans or Japanese left to fight or they surrendered. Ditto with the Sunnis.

It's not racism, genocide, being ethnocentric or anything else; it's the brutal reality of war. The Sunnis murdered 17 Iraqi soldiers yesterday and set off a dozen car bombs today targeting Shiites and government personnel. Why we put up with this is beyond me, but if we don't stop it they will win. The militias will get more powerful and stopping the tit for tat cycle of violence will become impossible.

We can still turn this thing around, but we need to take action now and it means a drastic shift in strategy. Unfortunately, Bush is happy with the strategy we have.

Posted by: Robert | April 24, 2006 08:55 PM

Tom,

Like I asked,

Is it genocide to fight the enemy until they quit? If they don't quit, is that genocide?

Posted by: Jay Cline | April 25, 2006 10:16 AM

Bert,
Great nobody was hurt, aircraft eventually succumbs to entropy anyway. Just remember, amongst other things, you joined because you like to fly [Oh, of course it is honorable to serve, etc..] Fly hard, just don't get hurt. There is an old saying, "Eat drink and be merry, for tommorrow you may die." Well, you can't drink and get laid in Iraq, so let's modify that slogan, "Eat, Fly and be Merry, for tommorrow our country may be bankrupt and we can't afford to supply the fancy aircraft." I support you...quite a bit actually,; whether I want to or not, since I pay a heaping helping of tax money of which a lot goes into the fancy aircraft. So, if I was in your position, I may as well have fun flying. So, rip it up and get some good airtime; next flight's on me..or some of those tax dollars, anyway. Come back with lots of experience so you can do some more enjoyable flying like dropping me and my buddies off on mountain peaks with our skis. Scenery is probably better. It seems like all the 'training' those Vietnam Vet pilots that have flown for me in the past paid off.

Posted by: Mattman | April 25, 2006 09:39 PM

Mr. Stover
Have you observed a more disciplined and organized approach to attacking airborne aircraft on behalf of the other side? Previous attacks have appeared rather haphazard and generally ineffective. I would propose that an expansion of Iranian participation in the conflict would be heralded by increased and sustained losses in aircraft.

Posted by: J.D. Benoit | April 26, 2006 04:10 PM

An Open Letter to President Bush and US State Department: You Demand Hamas to Recognize Israel, But at What Land Borders?

Question: The United States is Demanding that Hamas Recognize THE STATE OF ISRAEL. What are the actual land borders of " The Israel State" that you Demand Hamas to Accept and Recognize?

Are you referring to:

A. The 1947 UN Partition Plan?

B. The 1949 Armistice Line?

C. The 1967 Green Line (borders) after there "Preemptive" Strike?

D. The Lands held at this time by the State of Israel?

E. Their latest Coveted demand for the Jordan Valley together with D above?

My first request was on February 21 and the second request was on February 28. I have also asked my Congressman If he can find the answer to this demand by Bush and His State Department. But it seems too difficult to find the answer to date? Maybe this Open Letter will ferret out an answer from the Bowls of these deep thinkers or the lobbyists who seam to give them their Marching Orders in Middle East related Affairs.

How did the USA and Britain give aid to Israel after the King David Hotel was blown up by Terrorists in 1946 (By Blood and Fire, by Thurston Clarke, G.P.Putnam's Sons, Click here: By Blood and Fire (review) ) by Menahem Begin. who later became "Prim Minister" of Israel?

Why not let Hamas make it's case regarding Palestine lands as recognized in Resolutions by the UN. And the USA at the time of the UN Votes as rightfully theirs?

And the Questions of the 1967 Preemptive Attack by the State of Israel ALSO Attacking the American NSA Ship USS. LIBERTY still has not had an open hearing Click here: USS LIBERTY Memorial forcing the Crew to resort to "File a formal Report of war Crimes committed Against U.S. Military Personnel. June 8, 1967. By elements of the Israeli military forces." Was this Attack to cover the Butchering of Egyptian prisoner of war by Israeli soldiers under orders of their Butcher commander? And as it turns out another past "Prim Minister" just inland of the Beach of the USS. Liberty and in their radio Listening Area. "And there would be coping all transmissions for review at a later time by NSA".

Hamas did not attack America or Britain. Why is their new Elected Government not given a chance to Govern and protect their people on Palestinian lands?

Maybe the True Answers will help set the USA free And bring our Finest Home.

Ronald Douglas Kennedy, CA, USA.

Posted by: Ronald Douglas Kennedy | May 1, 2006 12:39 PM

Do your duty and be proud. History is not written in blogs, it is written in blood on the battlefields. To fight and die for people to be free is honorable. Take solace in that and the health of those who are in harms way. Happy to hear no one was hurt in the crash. Semper Fi and Happy Memorial Day.

Posted by: John M.(USMC 67-70) | May 30, 2006 08:21 AM

Greetings Chief Stover Regarding Our "Finest"

Click here: Who Are They Kidding By Pillaring of Our Finest, a Poem, By Ronald Douglas Kennedy

Permission to reproduce in part or in tottal. Ronald Douglas Kennedy 760-723-4357


Who Are They Kidding By Pillaring of Our Finest

a Poem,

By Ronald Douglas Kennedy

Al-Jazeerah, June 9, 2006

Who are "They" Kidding by the Pillaring of our Finest.

They willingly Killed Thousands of Adults and Children'

Putting Sanctions in place denying shipments of Medical and Food supplies.

Saying you have "Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Launching there Air War of Shock and Awe.

On one of our Oldest City Civilization Ares in the World.

Yes they used Smart Bombs in their Knowingly Dumb War Of Deliberate Lies.

And the world is still asking Oh WHY

Where Oh Where do those "Weapons of Mass Destruction." Lie?

And now our Finest and yours in City and Village are in harms way.

Religious and Ethnic Feuds only complicating there day.

Our Finest Red White & Blue going to there Nations Cry on 911 day.

As Sworn Our Military Finest "Do not ask the question Why but do and die".

Its up to you and I to know the "THEY"

And the Political Questions of Oh Why?

There is no Ethical Legal Religious Morality in starting Wars ours or yours.

It's not a sport with Olympic Rules of Survival in the daily games of life and play.

It's one of daily fear survival kill or be killed.

And win the reasoning mind goes blank with rage to Kill & Kills.

It's time for ALL to say a Prayer and ask the Question again of Oh WHY?

Ronald Douglas Kennedy

Fallbrook CA U.S.A.

Posted by: Ronald Douglas Kennedy | June 9, 2006 01:33 PM

Loss of life, may it be an Iraqi civilian(or any civilian for that matter), or, an American soldier is abhoring. But in the case of the soldier "this is what he signed up for"(to put his life in danger), but what about the civilian?
You can't just right them off as "Colateral", can you?
This is the experience of the war in todays terms.

Posted by: An open minded Muslik | September 5, 2006 06:40 PM

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