Skip to comments.No One Asked Us
Posted on 06/16/2004 1:07:23 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
George Bush coalesced American support behind invading Iraq, I am told, using two arguments: Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and the capability to deliver them, and Iraq was a supporter of Al-Qaeda terrorism, and may have been involved in the attacks of 9/11. Vicious words and gratuitous finger-pointing keep falling back on these points, as people insist that "we" were misled into what started as a dynamic liberation and has become a bloody counterinsurgency. Watching politicians declaim and hearing television experts expound on why we went to war and on their opinions of those running the White House and Defense Department, I have one question.
When is someone going to ask the guys who were there?
What about the opinions of those whose lives were on the line, massed on the Iraq-Kuwait border beginning in February of last year? I don't know how President Bush got the country behind him, because at the time I was living in a hole in the dirt in northern Kuwait. Why have I not heard a word from anyone who actually carried a rifle or flew a plane into bad guy country last year, and who has since had to deal with the ugly aftermath of a violent liberation? What about the guys who had the most to lose...what do they think about all this?
I was there. I am one of those guys who fought the war and helped keep the peace. I am a Major in the Marine Reserves, and during the war I was the senior American attached to the 1 Royal Irish Battlegroup, a rifle battalion of the British Army. I was commander of five U.S. Marine air/naval gunfire liaison teams, as well as the liaison officer between U.S. Marines and British Army forces. I was activated on January 14, 2003, and 17 days later I and my Marines were standing in Kuwait with all of our gear, ready to go to war.
I majored in Political Science at Duke, and I graduated with a Masters degree in government from the Kennedy School at Harvard. I understand realpolitik, geopolitical jujitsu, economics and the reality of the Arab world. I know the tension between the White House, the UN, Langley and Foggy Bottom. One of my grandfathers was a two-star Navy admiral; my other grandfather was an ambassador. I am not a pushover, blindly following whoever is in charge, and I don't kid myself that I live in a perfect world. But the war made sense then, and the occupation makes sense now.
As dawn broke on March 22, 2003, I became part of one of the largest and fastest land movements in the history of war. I went across the border alongside my brothers in the Royal Irish, following the 5th Marine Regiment from Camp Pendleton as they swept through the Ramaylah oil fields. I was one those guys you saw on TV every night- filthy, hot, exhausted. I think the NRA and their right-to-bear-arms mantra is a joke, but by God I was carrying a loaded rifle, a loaded pistol and a knife on my body at all times. My boots rested on sandbags on the floor of my Humvee, there to protect me from the blast of a land mines or IED. I killed many Iraqi soldiers, as they tried to kill me and my Marines. I did it with a radio, directing airstrikes and artillery, in concert with my British artillery officer counterpart, in combat along the Hamar Canal in southern Iraq. I saw, up close, everything the rest of you see in the newspapers: dead bodies, parts of dead bodies, helmets with bullet holes through them, handcuffed POWs sitting in the sand, oil well fires with flames reaching 100 feet into the air and a roar you could hear from over a mile away.
I stood on the bloody sand where Marine Second Lieutenant Therrel Childers was the first American killed on the ground. I pointed a loaded weapon at another man for the first time in my life. I did what I had spent 14 years training to do, and my Marines - your Marines - performed so well it still brings tears to my eyes to think about it. I was proud of what we did then, and I am proud of it now.
Along with the violence, I saw many things that lifted my heart. I saw thousands of Iraqis in cities like Qurnah and Medinah - men, women, children, grandparents carrying babies - running into the streets at the sight of us, the first Western army to arrive. I saw them screaming, crying, waving, cheering. They ran from their homes at the sound of our Humvee tires roaring in from the south, bringing bread and tea and cigarettes and photos of their children. They chattered at us in Arabic, and we spoke to them in English, and neither understood the other. The entire time I was in Iraq, I had one impression from the civilians I met: Thank God, finally someone has arrived with bigger men and bigger guns to be, at last, on our side.
Let there be no mistake, those of you who don't believe in this war: the Ba'ath regime were the Nazis of the second half of the 20th century. I saw what the murderous, brutal regime of Saddam Hussein wrought on that country through his party and their Fedayeen henchmen. They raped, murdered, tortured, extorted and terrorized those in that country for 35 years. There are mass graves throughout Iraq only now being discovered. 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, out of Camp Pendleton, liberated a prison in Iraq populated entirely by children. The Ba'athists brutalized the weakest among them, and killed the strongest.
I saw in the eyes of the people how a generation of fear reflects in the human soul.
The Ba'ath Party, like the Nazis before them, kept power by spreading out, placing their officials in every city and every village to keep the people under their boot. Everywhere we went we found rifles, ammunition, RPG rounds, mortar shells, rocket launchers, and artillery. When we took over the southern city of Ramaylah, our battalion commander tore down the Ba'ath signs and commandeered the former regime headquarters in town (which, by the way, was 20 feet from the local school.) My commander himself took over the office of the local Ba'ath leader, and in opening the desk of that thug found a set of brass knuckles and a gun. These are the people who are now in prison, and that is where they deserve to be.
The analogy is simple. For years, you have watched the same large, violent man come home every night, and you have listened to his yelling and the crying and the screams of children and the noise of breaking glass, and you have always known that he was beating his wife and his children. Everyone on the block has known it. You ask, cajole, threaten and beg him to stop, on behalf of the rest of the neighborhood. Nothing works. After listening to it for 13 years, you finally gather up the biggest, meanest guys you can find, you go over to his house, and you kick the door down. You punch him in the face and drag him away. The house is a mess, the family poor and abused...but now there is hope. You did the right thing.
I can speak with authority on the opinions of both British and American infantry in that place and at that time. Let me make this clear: at no time did anyone say or imply to any of us that we were invading Iraq to rid the country of weapons of mass destruction, nor were we there to avenge 9/11. We knew we were there for one reason: to rid the world of a tyrant, and to give Iraq back to Iraqis.
None of us had even heard those arguments for going to war until we returned, and we still don't understand the confusion. To us, it was simple. The world needed to be rid of a man who committed mass murder of an entire people, and our country was the only one that could project that much power that far and with that kind of precision. We don't make policy decisions: we carry them out. And none of us had the slightest doubt about how right and good our actions were.
The war was the right thing to do then, and in hindsight it was still the right thing to do. We can't overthrow every murderous tyrant in the world, but when we can, we should. Take it from someone who was there, and who stood to lose everything. We must, and will, stay the course. We owe it to the Iraqis, and to the world.
Stan Coerr is a SuperCobra attack helicopter pilot and Forward Air Controller, and was recently selected for Lieutenant Colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve. He lives in San Diego.
wow...great thread....thanks for the posting.
What we this guy know? He isn't on CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, or a member in good standing with the DNC. He was only there. What kind of qualification is that?
I salute him and all who serve in the US Military. God Bless them all and God Bless America.
What WOULD this guy know? He isn't on CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, or a member in good standing with the DNC. He was only there. What kind of qualification is that?
I salute him and all who serve in the US Military. God Bless them all and God Bless America.
yeah yeah. sorry, what about the 12 years? of UN resolutions and yadda yadda yadda? And since when does a super grunt get asked anything, MAJOR???
2nd Air and Naval Gunfire Liason Company, 1974-75.
Semper Fi, SIR. Respectfully read.
My eyes locked on that too. This was fairly well written, but the good Major could have used an editor.
Good post. First the world has to hear (and those with the mighty pens are allied with the tyrants), ping!
So who do we send this to in order to get some publicity? Any ideas?
I hope that's not true. If it is, then Bush had no legitimate reason for the War. No US president should put troops in harms way for any reason except the direct security of the USA.
Brother, it suits the Democrats to cause this confusion so they can attack President Bush and defeat him for re-election. Democrats can never be underestimated. They willl stoop to anything to gain power. They are no longer Americans, in my book. As one who knows: Iraq did have weapons to massively poison and kill and they would have used them. Iraq was a supporter of Al Qaeda and supportive of both attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. Iraq did try to assassinate President Bush Senior. Saddam had to be removed. Notice, Iraq was not destroyed by the US military.....the target was only Saddam and sons.
It means he has not read the Constitution he swore to uphold.
The Lamestream media dosen't care.
He notes, however, that even though he is there with the big guns, he, himself, is making use of a rifle, a pistol and a knife!
It's a way of saying the belief isn't as naive as he had imagined earlier ~ before he went into combat.
Thanks for posting this.
Tyrants are always ultimately a danger to the security of the United States and the safety of our people.
Thanks for the ping!
Not always. But I believe Saddam was a threat to us, and that we were right to take him out.
But I don't believe our military should have been told that the primary purpose of the mission was to free the Iraqis.
That result is a by-product. But the purpose and justice of the mission was to eliminate a threat to the US.
That is the only legitimate justifcation for our invasion.
.So who do we send this to in order to get some publicity? Any ideas?
Well, we all can send to our entire email lists. That would be pretty powerful in getting the truth out.
After 9/11, it became clear to those of us who love America that something needed to be done about the Middle East, a festering swamp of incompetently run dictatorships that generate terrorists capable of flying airplanes into American buildings. Iraq, a known mass-murdering dictatorship and open supporter of terror and Islamic radicalism, was the logical place to start.
George Bush made one miscalculation, but it wasn't WMDs or links to al Qaeda. How could he have anticipated that the Left, both here and in Old Europe, would align itself so completely with the terrorists? That the Western news media would go so far out of their way to spin every day as a disaster for the coalition?
This is a keeper.
Neal Boortz and Glenn Reynolds.
Does the author of this article believe everything he's told? Hopefully not.
The two arguments listed are not correct. First, the Congressional resolution that authorized President Bush to use force of arms if necessary to remove the Hussein regime stated that Iraq had the "capacity to possess" weapons of mass destruction, not that he possessed WMD. The capacity to possess would include the research & development, manufacturing, and delivery systems components, all of which have been found, according to the Iraq Survey Group.
Secondly, never once has the Bush administration issued any formal announcement stating a connection between Hussein's regime and al-Qaeda's 9/11 attacks. Officials have suggested a relationship between the two, which again has been proven by recovered Iraqi documents as well as various intelligence services.
So, just because "everyone knows" something, or someone tells you something, doesn't make it true. The Big Lie theory has been employed regarding our reasons for invading Iraq ever since public debate began, and unfortunately millions have fallen for it.
Henry Lee II
"Leftists are crazed and violent people,
with the blood of millions on their hands.
On certain aspect of your article I do disagree with you, respectfully as a wife of my husband in Iraq. First, when call came in on February at 2:30 for my husband to get ready to be for action soon, only thing he told me : Americans are ready, Saddam is finished and so are terrorist, Americans want to rebuild Iraq and create democracy, so other countries in Middle East will fall from their tyranny and accept democracy. As he said, Americans want to put stick in a heart of terrorist by taking off Saddam and killing other bugs.
This war was also plan to see who are true friend of America. As I said, I respectfully disagree on some points, but I give you my whole respect and thank you.
I am afraid the U.N. is primarily interested in being in the loop on setting up resolutions that they, individual members of the security council, can then break and deal under the table for extreme profits. Same as they were doing with the Oil for Food program.
Corrupt. And makes you wonder why the big push from liberals to have the U.N. determine when America can defend herself.
Bin Laden's rallying cry, his 1998 jihad statement blaming the US for Saddam's atrocities, has now been exposed as the big lie it always was - thanks to our troops, and our war in Iraq.
Will the world hear the truth from our free press?
Allies around the world are finding, and sharing the truth - often from the troops reporting from the war zones.
When do you choose to pack up and quit fighting those who do plot and promote and carry out our destruction in a post-911 world?
Thanks to our CinC, our DoD, our troops - the terrorists are being drawn to Iraq and Afghanistan where brave men and women face and take them out - by the thousands, exposing the true character of these enemies in public - as anti-American terrorists send children - strapped with dynamite, raised on hate - to die in their place, and use women as human shields...even as our troops risk their lives and save the children of strangers.
Because the bad guys are busy assuring their own deaths at the hands of our far mightier military in Iraq and Afghanistan - for almost 3 years post-911 we have never had a major attack on the homefront, or any day with mass-US casualties in Iraq or Afghanistan, in spite of press reports implying otherwise, and thanks to the skill and courage of our awesome troops under the protection and direction of their unseen, ever-present, Almighty *Commander-In-Chief.*
I sent it off to Jim Quinn at warroom.com
He has a lot of these kind of soldiers on his show, and he'd love this Marine.
OK. I just did.
Always. No exceptions. Even if they can't do anything about us, there's the threat they will try.
Thanks for the ping
" Along with the violence, I saw many things that lifted my heart.
I saw thousands of Iraqis in cities like Qurnah and Medinah - men, women, children, grandparents carrying babies - running into the streets at the sight of us, the first Western army to arrive.
I saw them screaming, crying, waving, cheering.
They ran from their homes at the sound of our Humvee tires roaring in from the south, bringing bread and tea and cigarettes and photos of their children.
They chattered at us in Arabic, and we spoke to them in English, and neither understood the other.
The entire time I was in Iraq, I had one impression from the civilians I met:
Thank God, finally someone has arrived with bigger men and bigger guns to be, at last, on our side. "
Every Democrat who has spouted the falsehood that " Cheney lied when he told us that the troops would be welcomed with flowers " needs to be called on their deception.
First to mind-Carville, Begala, Kerry and McAuliffe.
These dirtbags knew the truth and yet continued to smear the troops on a daily basis.
I don't believe that Milosevic was ever a threat to us, and I think Clinton's 78-day bombing of Belgrade was a war crime.
We do not always need to go to war to toss a dictator.
More here: http://www.patriotwatch.com/dale.htm
I'm sending to EIB tonight!
!#^# you, traitor.
You thought the news told you everything? Wait until you hear about it first hand.
Sid Heal has spoken to us before and is an expert on "Less Than Lethal Weapons" in the USA. He is currently a Commander with LA County Sheriff. Before his recall he was the commanding officer of the LASD SWAT Team.
Stan Coerr attended Duke University on a Navy ROTC scholarship and graduated in 1989. While on active duty in the Marine Corps, he flew the AH-1Whiskey SuperCobra attack helicopter, served as the Air Officer to both a 1000-man infantry battalion and to 1st Force Reconnaissance Company, and introduced non-lethal weapons into the Marine Corps' deploying forces.
Stan currently serves with 3d Air/ Naval Gunfire Liaison Company in Long Beach. He was activated for Operation Iraqi Freedom in January of last year, and was assigned as senior American and Team Commander to the 1 Royal Irish, a light infantry unit of the British Army. During active combat in southern Iraq, Stan was responsible for destroying large parts of the Iraqi 148th Brigade, which was pushing out of Basrah and turning to face fast-moving British forces. Using airstrikes and both American and British artillery while his teams were under ranging rocket and artillery fire, Stan coordinated fires that held two key bridges for coalition forces' rapid northern movement. He spent six months overseas, including more than two months in country in Iraq, before returning home at the end of June.
That said, I actually like the rest of this piece, but I just can't trust someone opposed to the 2nd amendment.