1. They used to be called Operation Truth. I think it was Uncle Jimbo who wisely said that any organization claiming to corner the market on "truth" is usually full of @#$%.
2. IAVA claims to be non-partisan. You can take a look at what they claim to do and the candidates that they support. Quite frankly, I'm sure that some of their Democratic candidates are excellent choices for Congress, but let's not call ourselves non-partisan if we're pushing Democratic slates and helping the Democrats find disgruntled military members to push in front of cameras to take on the Bush Administration. There's nothing like a quote on an IAVA flyer from Gen. Wesley Clark supporting a candidate to make me think "non-partisan".../end sarcasm.
...Jonathan Morgenstein went second, and his discussion was
very negative, though he admitted up front that he did not think that
OIF was a good idea to begin with (with a nice note that soldiers have
their own opinions, but will do their job as ordered even if they
disagree). His biggest complaint was that the US did not
use enough troops, and that something like 500,000ish soldiers were
needed to fight a “real” counterinsurgency campaign. He spent his time with a Civil Affairs unit, and had nothing positive to say about what he witnessed. While
he admitted to seeing a few schools raised and some good things done,
he constantly went back to US troops creating more terrorists by
breaking down doors in the middle of the night. I
got the feeling that because he got sandbagged trying to do his CA job
(one example was not getting permission to bring an NGO group into the
city (Ramadi?) to do rebuilding work), he didn’t see any value with
anyone else’s. Morgenstein
also had nothing nice to say about the Iraqi police/military, bringing
up a picture of an Iraqi Col who he said told him that “the American’s
can (should? – didn’t catch it) leave because he could work with the
insurgents.” He then used this Col as an illustration as to why the whole Iraqi police and army were useless. He
covered a few more points, then ended by saying that he belonged to the
United States Institute of Peace…which struck me as very odd for a
Marine, but probably helps explains his slant on the war.
Smith drove trucks during OIF, and mentioned the fact that his
Humvee/Fuel truck was not armored – in fact (and he had pictures to go
with it) his Humvee didn’t have doors, and a pole in the back with a
machine gun strapped to it provided for defense. Craig supported the war initially, but has changed his mind since. He
was in a convoy that lost a truck to an RPG attack, and later on he was
in an accident where he seriously burned/cut up his left arm. However,
other than the RPG attack on his convoy (fairly early on in the war if
I understood him correctly) his unit was not attacked often. After
his injury and the difficulties in getting it treated in Iraq (he had
to argue to get medivaced to a hospital), Craig ran into problems with
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and dealing with the Army and the
VA to get help. This is where most of his critiques were – the inability for him to get help when he needed it most. I
had a major issue with Craig’s handling of a question at the end of the
over all meeting, where a girl asked about how to approach a family
member that had returned from the war recently...he warned about PTSD,
and said (as close as I can recall): “it’s the honeymoon. He’s feeling good now but in a few months he’ll blow his brains out” …Which floored me that he would say that. PTSD
is a problem, and people with it need help, but to diagnose a man with
it without ever talking to him, and then to tell a family member that
they will commit suicide? Very very bad form. (Ironically, the girl said that
her family member was going into OCS to do more time in the Army.)...
3. I'll be the first to admit that there were things that were handled badly in the invasion of Iraq. I'd ask you to show me an invasion executed flawlessly - any one during any period in the history of humanity. I'd also be the first to admit that we did better at reducing civilian casualties (at the expense of our own men and women), than any other army in history.
I'll be the first to admit that there are problems with getting up-armored humvees to troops, although now it's mostly unit-based rather than DoD based. I'll also be the first to admit that many of these problems are military and not civilian in nature (ie. the administration).
I'll be one of the first to say that the VA needs to change drastically - and I have said that here before. And there will be many, many PTSD affected veterans returning from war. Unfortunately, it's a normal reaction to the high stress of combat. We need to do everything within our power to take care of them. They took care of us. We need to return the favor.
The IAVA has a few good points to make, but most of their intent is purely partisan politics. Let's hope that their pro-military/pro-veteran stances aren't drowned out by opportunists like Gen. Clark and partisan political bull$#*!.
» The IAVA - Not Partisan? Yeah, sure. from Small Town Veteran
I'll let Blackfive explain. Click here. (Hat tip: Greyhawk) If you feel like lending some support to a veterans' organization, friend, do what you can to help Vets For Freedom. [Read More]
Tracked on Mar 21, 2006 10:35:14 PM
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In Iraq, he received the moniker of Mr. Wolf after the Harvey Kietel character in Pulp Fiction, when "challenges" arose, they called on Mr. Wolf...
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Deebow is a Staff Sergeant and a Military Police Squad Leader in the Army National Guard. In a previous life, he served in the US Navy. He has over 19 years of experience in both the Maritime and Land Warfare; including deployments to Southwest Asia, Thailand, the South Pacific, South America and Egypt. He has served as a Military Police Team Leader and Protective Services Team Leader and he has served on assignments with the US State Department, US Air Force Security Police, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He recently spent time in Afghanistan working with, training and fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and is now focused on putting his 4 year Political Science degree to work by writing about foreign policy, military security policy and politics.
McQ has 28 years active and reserve service. Retired. Infantry officer. Airborne and Ranger. Consider my 3 years with the 82nd as the most fun I ever had with my clothes on. Interests include military issues and policy and veteran's affairs.
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Twenty-three years of Active and Reserve service in the US Army in SF (18B), Infantry and SOF Signal jobs with operational deployments to Bosnia and Africa. Since retiring he's worked as Senior Defense Analyst on SOF and Irregular Warfare projects and currently ensconced in the emerging world of Cyberspace.
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Uber Pig was an Infantryman from late 1991 until early 1996, serving with Second Ranger Battalion, I Corps, and then 25th Infantry Division. At the time, the Army discriminated against enlisted soldiers who wanted use the "Green to Gold" program to become officers, so he left to attend Stanford University. There, he became expert in detecting, avoiding, and surviving L-shaped ambushes, before dropping out to be as entrepreneurial as he could be. He is now the founder of a software startup serving the insurance and construction industries, and splits time between Lake Tahoe, Boonville, and San Francisco, CA.
Uber Pig writes for Blackfive a) because he's the proud brother of an enlisted Civil Affairs Reservist who currently serves in Iraq, b) because he looks unkindly on people who make it harder for the military in general, and for his brother in particular, to succeed at their missions and come home in victory, and c) because the Blackfive readers and commenters help keep him sane.
COB6 spent 24 years in the active duty Army that included 5 combat tours with service in the 1st Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Group . COB6 was enlisted (E-7) and took the OCS route to a commission. COB6 retired a few years back as a field grade Infantry officer.
Currently COB6 has a son in the 82nd Airborne that just returned from his third tour and has a newly commissioned daughter in the 4th Infantry Division.