Troop Wannabes

Idea

I had an idea to compile a bunch of the rarely-seen documentaries and videos I’ve watched about Iraq. I’d just burn them to a DVD, prepare a playlist, and distro it freely. It’d be a sort of primer for what the real issues about the war are. I want to start it with Green Day’s “Wake Me Up When September Ends”.

The “Front”

Brigadier General Michelle Malkin got back from Iraq and is positively glowing about her experience! She said she went to Iraq “pessimistic” (sure, right) but is now optimistic about things over there, after spending some time with the troops and the Iraqis who worked with the troops.

The photos she posted on Flickr look like she’s star-struck, like a little teenage girl meeting Justin Timberlake in person.

Here’s a quote:

“Here, a task force of brainy commanders, brawny patrol officers, courageous Arab-American interpreters, wizened trainers and intel gatherers, baby-faced convoy drivers, and grim-humored gunners attempts to put President Bush’s “winning hearts and minds” idealism into daily practice.”

She’s completely ga-ga for the troops! And she’s not the first, oh no! She continues a fine tradition of these soldier wannabes who go visit Iraq, get in everyone’s way, and leave a week later with a bunch of war hero photos and braggadocio stories. There I was, no shit, with my body armor on incorrectly like a dumbass!

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Here’s why Iraq is such a god damn joke right now. Everyone’s just going to Iraq now to get their street cred and act like one of the joes. It’s a political junkie’s version of a guy going to the Playboy Mansion. WAR PORN!

The problem is that they’re escorted around with high security, take up a seat on patrols and distract from the mission, and they’re only there to push some personal or political agenda. In Malkin’s case, she went to find Jamil Hussein, an Iraqi officer who may or may not exist according to Malkin’s crew and who has been a Reuters (read: lefty Communist red news source according to Malkin and her ilk) source for liberal-inspired fictional tales of sectarian violence. Then the Iraqis said the guy actually does exist, and sectarian violence still continues to be verified as happening! What investigative journalism!

There’s serious journalists and their support who are almost constantly in the field, risking their lives. In many cases they’re more experienced and seasoned than some of the joes that they meet. But beyond them, everyone else is just posing. Try going to Iraq two or three times for 13-month stints, away from your new family. Hell, I only went for 7 months. The sacrifice is being felt by a large majority of combat troops. I think a lot of them actually enjoy it to a degree, as a soldier loves to be at war instead of just training all the time. But it’s still a huge sacrifice and it takes its toll.

It’s not fucking chic to go to Iraq.

By the way, I just want to add that it’s not really worth reading much into the polls saying that the soldiers no longer support the rationale behind the war. Believe it or not, the soldiers are influenced as much by what they hear in the press and from the White House as everyone else.

In fact it’s counter-intuitive but I would wager that way over half of the soldiers in Iraq have no clue what’s going on there. Soldiers know what happens in their own little world. There are some higher-level officers and sergeants who have the bigger picture but they’re specialized in the topic. Everyone else reads the Stars and Stripes and watches TV at the DFAC. A lot of military intel people I know don’t really understand Iraq or terrorism and that’s their job!

Then there’s this quaint little article about how we shouldn’t object to the military participating in domestic wiretapping and spying. Wow, that’s fucking brilliant. I know I’m stating the obvious but there’s a pretty damn good reason most countries make a strong distinction between their domestic investigative departments and their foreign intel collection agencies. And to involve the military in domestic investigation is even worse! Let’s encourage totalitarianism and militaristic statehood!

The author is a member of the Heritage Foundation. “Heritage’s stated mission is to “formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.”” Yes, that’s right. Limited government and individual freedom.

It’s these kinds of guys who complain that anti-war types just want to pull out of Iraq and take no other measures to combat terrorism. Maybe that’s their strategy: to dumb it down into a simple talking point for the hick vote. But I don’t think most people are against counter-terrorist policy — personally I want to pull out of a lot of foreign countries and re-engage Pakistan and Afghanistan using special operations to kill Al-Qaeda…I know that’s crazy but I’m a liberal and I can’t think realistically.

Just like the crazy Dems in DC are doing in their first 42 hours of House sessions:

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They done good but will they actually put their foot down and block Bush?