Skip to comments.How To Lose A War: The Sequel (Ollie North)
Posted on 11/17/2005 8:22:10 PM PST by smoothsailing
How To Lose A War: The Sequel
By Oliver North
November 18, 2005
Since October of 2001, our FOX News "War Stories" unit has been documenting the remarkable young Americans fighting the Global War on Terror. We have covered thousands of them on the decks of ships in the Persian Gulf, on combat patrols in the shadow of the Hindu Kush, in gunfights along the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates and gone to hospitals in Iraq, Germany and the U.S. with the wounded. Throughout, there has been a common bond among these "warriors of Sept. 11" -- a steadfast resolve that they could win the war. Now, for the first time since I accompanied the initial U.S. combat units heading into Kandahar, Afghanistan, I'm hearing something different -- a loss of confidence in the final outcome.
Over the course of the last ten days, I've met with scores of those I'd previously covered overseas. These soldiers, sailors, airmen, Guardsmen and Marines are now in "stateside" assignments at Camp Lejeune and Fort Bragg, N.C., at Miramar Air Station in California, at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio and here in Hawaii. Many of them expect to be back in the fight -- some of them soon. But recent reversals -- not on the battlefield but in Washington -- have caused nearly all of those I talked to on this trip to question whether we are suddenly in danger of losing the war they have been fighting.
This sudden loss of assurance in our fighting forces has nothing to do with casualty figures, troop levels, the leaders prosecuting the war in the field or new acts of terror by a ruthless enemy. Rather, the anxieties I'm now hearing from those I have covered in combat come in questions like: "Do you think that they are going to pull us out before we've finished the mission?" and "Will we abandon Iraq like we abandoned Vietnam?" Interestingly, not one of the thousands of young Americans I have covered in Iraq or Afghanistan has ever asked about or commented upon pre-war intelligence.
For more than two years the so-called mainstream media, the far left and some in Congress have been making trite comparisons between Vietnam and Iraq. Having spent a significant amount of time in both conflicts, about the only parallels I have seen in the two wars have been that bullets still wound and kill, and spilled blood is still red. But another common thread now ties the two hostilities together -- political cowardice in Washington, D.C.
On Tuesday this week, with the Commander in Chief traveling in Asia, the Democrat leadership in the U.S. Senate introduced a proposal that would have set a fixed date for withdrawing American troops from Iraq. The measure was defeated 58 to 40, but an amended version, setting 2006 as a "period of significant transition creating conditions for the phased redeployment of United States forces from Iraq," passed by an overwhelming 79-19 margin.
Though the White House and some Republican lawmakers sounded the trumpets of victory for defeating the Democrats' hard-and-fast timetable, the message to the troops is clear: No matter where we stand in the war on terror -- if the Senate has its way, we're "pulling out" in 2006. Abu Musab al Zarqawi's "al Qaeda in Iraq" terrorist organization immediately claimed victory and exhorted his followers to "hold on." Officials in Iraq's interim government, intent on providing a secure election on Dec. 15, were publicly muted in response to the votes, expressing hopes in an official statement that "Iraqi security forces are becoming increasingly effective." Americans in uniform -- both in-theatre and at home -- were stunned.
Major General William Webster, commanding the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division in Iraq said that "setting a date would mean that the 221 soldiers I've lost this year, that their lives will have been lost in vain." A U.S. Marine colonel, recently returned from Iraq, called it "a formula for disaster." And universally those I have met with here in Hawaii, from the U.S. Army's 25th Infantry Division to the 1st Marine Brigade, to the sailors of the fleet, to the wounded at Tripler Army Hospital -- all expressed anger and frustration with statements like:
"We've fought well." "We're helping to create a democracy." "Don't they want us to win?"
That's a valid question. Even Senate Republicans don't seem to know what they want. As the "World's Greatest Deliberative Body" was exploring how to set a "date certain" for withdrawing troops without setting a certain date, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said, "Americans do not cut and run, Americans do not abandon their commitments and Americans do not abandon their friends." But he voted for the measure anyway.
About the only ones in Washington who seem to know what they want are the leaders of the Democrat party. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who voted for war in 2002, waited until President Bush was overseas meeting with the Prime Minister of Japan to proclaim that, "Democrats and Republicans acknowledged that staying the course is not the way to go." He then summed it all up by adding, "This is a vote of no confidence on the Bush-administration policy in Iraq."
William Jefferson Blythe Clinton knows what this is all about. Though the Clinton administration had advocated the overthrow of Saddam in 1998, he told a university audience in Dubai this week that the Iraq war was "a big mistake." Like former President Jimmy Carter, Mr. Clinton apparently no longer feels bound by the affront to our troops or the traditional protocols that once governed political discourse while overseas.
In the House, Pennsylvania's John Murtha, an influential Democrat who voted in favor of Iraq war in 2002, called for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops saying, "it is evident that continued military action in Iraq is not in the best interests of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf region."
The GOP leadership, senior administration officials and the president need to dramatically alter the debate. They need to go to Iraq -- talk to the troops and reassure them that we will stay there long enough to get the job done and not one second longer. Notwithstanding the "peace in our time" appeasement sentiment sweeping through our capital, it's not too late. Republicans need to realize that wining the war in Iraq is the only issue that really matters right now. It is more important than Medicare, the next Supreme Court justice, foreign trade deals or tax reform. If we lose the war -- and we could -- none of these things will matter.
COPYRIGHT 2005 CREATORS SYNDICATE INC.
You may want to ping your Iraq ping list -- it breaks your heart how dedicated our troops are and what traitors the MSM and Dems are.
"This sudden loss of assurance in our fighting forces has nothing to do with casualty figures, troop levels, the leaders prosecuting the war in the field or new acts of terror by a ruthless enemy. Rather, the anxieties I'm now hearing from those I have covered in combat come in questions like: "Do you think that they are going to pull us out before we've finished the mission?" and "Will we abandon Iraq like we abandoned Vietnam?" Interestingly, not one of the thousands of young Americans I have covered in Iraq or Afghanistan has ever asked about or commented upon pre-war intelligence. "
WE WILL NOT REWRITE HISTORY & WE WILL NOT REPEAT HISTORY!
Thanks to the anti-American propaganda from leftists in this country, I bet the enlistment and reenlistment of soldiers drops dramatically.
Military effectiveness will go to hell and who will the voters blame? Remember, 49% voted for Kerry. That means 49% do not care!
The current strategy of cordon, clear, hold with Iraqi forces is a formula for success.
It makes perfect sense when seen in the context of 90% of the Iraqi provinces being calm.
That prospect of an elected government and a military success is really troubling some people. They don't want us to get there. That will ensure conservative domination for years. Therefore, they need to pull out all stops to prevent it. If they can't, they'll pull out all stops to redefine it.
Try to explain that to a liberal. He won't agree because he won't get it. The matter between his ears is NOT gray....
The enemy within TED KENNEDY is...
trying to do to Iraq what...
he did to Vietnam 30 years ago =
Pictures of a vietnamese Re-Education Camp
And if they succeed, we will need to go to ground because WWIII will be brought to our front doors in Anytown, USA.
Those people are insane if they believe otherwise.
Not this time.
I was going to college on the GI Bill,after returning from Vietnam,when the Democrats cut off funding to our war effort then.
It wasn't the military that lost that war, it was the Democrat Party.
The President,the miltary and still some Republicans are steadfast today.All of us have to support them and not let them down.
I know you will,xzins, but I just had to rant a little bit.
Col. North is exactly right.
Unfortunately many of our GOP
leaders... office holders are only interested in matching, with different verbage, the Democrat position in an election year.
I am through with the bastards.
I really wish the Bush Administration had a maverick thinker who could find new ways to reach the American people. They coasted so long-- some people thay can't reach anymore.
Agreed. Maybe it's time for another March for Justice???
I started college, too, in 1974, the year Nixon resigned and the final year in Vietnam. I had just gotten out of the army on my first ets in order to do college and seminary.
It was such a demoralizing time. I remember the news showing helicopters laden with people fleeing. Then the curtain fell. Then there were sporadic reports of the mass murders, boat people, and inability for the hypocrites to report on the events. (No free press at that time and place.)
I hate our socialist MSM and our socialist politicians. From my guts, I despise them, detest them, wish them the worst. May they be accursed. Hell is too good for them.
(Ben Kingsley in The Confession)
Now is the time. This is the issue. This is the fight. We must stand up to these bastards and take it to them. The traitors in our midst must be driven off the stage and the jihadis must be eliminated from the gene pool.
I totally understand what you're saying because I'm doing exactly the same thing lately. I do read and post, but I'm trying to ignore most of the drip drip drip of the Vietnam sounding cacophony from the left.
My B/P stays under control that way.
But I just cannot understand what they're doing to us - again. They must hate our country.
The nation,although scarred,survived.
This time is different.
Thanks for the ping!
JOHN KERRY came back from Vietnam to call us American Soldiers fighting for Freedom there...
...rapists & terrorists...
...instead of the ones we were fighting.
MEL GIBSON came back from filming our real Vietnam War story titled -WE WERE SOLDIERS-...
inspired to finally make his long planned ultimate story of LOVE & Sacrifice:
MEL's -PASSION- sparked by -WE WERE SOLDIERS-
What can the individual American do by himself?? When I voted for the republicans, I listened to what they had to say, 'promise'. They said what I wanted to hear. Now they are in office and what do they do, they ignore the wish of the people that voted them in. I always thought the politicians were there to represent me and vote for what the majority wanted, not what the special interests want or what's best for the party.
Can someone tell me, advise me, what I can do?? As a simpleton fly over person, what can be done?? What will happen to the United States if the democrats (communists) win the next election??
Whoa! If we don't stop the abortion slaughter, democracy in Iraq won't matter.
This whole debacle that we are witnessing makes me sick, and this article made me cry.
I thought that the Republicans would stand with our President. I guess not. It really makes me think, and I hope no one from the RNC asks me for money any time soon.
I find myself wondering how it would be today if Flight 93 had reached its intended destination.
Damn all spineless Republicans and treacherous RINO's & Dems.
I issue this warning. They allow the Iraqi's to meet the fate of the Vietnamese...if they allow those troops to meet the same fate of my father...
I will make sure they are sent packing from Washington just as surely as they've set back Freedom in an entire region of the world and endangered the safety of this country.
GROW UP COWARDS! Fulfill your oath, tear up the NYT's, and start doing what's right for a change before consultation of a poll.
RENOUNCE that damn resolution, withdraw it, vote to stay the coarse, support the war, support the troops no matter cost and time until Victory. Sign your names to a resolution that condemns the terrorists to Hell before you condemn the Iraqi's, Americans and your own damn empty shells there. Renounce the lies told about this administration, Be something other than an opportunistic political fair weather shell of useful service to bin ladin and Zarquawi.
Ollie North is a great man. This was one of the most striking of his comments:
"...No matter where we stand in the war on terror -- if the Senate has its way, we're "pulling out" in 2006. Abu Musab al Zarqawi's "al Qaeda in Iraq" terrorist organization immediately claimed victory and exhorted his followers to "hold on."
LOOK WHAT THE SENATE IS DOING TO THIS COUNTRY!! They are a bunch of political cowards! Disgust does not even begin to measure my feeling tonight...I am in tears at this point. I am old enough to remember the end of Vietnam, our family lost a member (MIA), who was only returned to us in 1999 and buried at Arlington National Cemetary with full military honors..six white horses pulling the cassion, bagpipes playing Amazing Grace and a fly over of F-18's set in the missing man formation. He was finally laid to rest, 33 years and 24 days, since he went missing over the skies of Vietnam in 1966.
The War the politicians lost in Washington, not our brave men in Vietnam.
These politicians speak a good game, but in the end, it is only their own backsides they contemplate deep into the night. Not our soldiers,not our country, not even their own constituency. They contemplate POLLS..they contemplate losing their power..they contemplate their own selfish interests. This is a sad day in America!
Tonight, while looking for a unit to adopt during the holidays at AnySoldier.com, I ran across this message from Sgt. Brian Horn, which he ended by saying:
"The Any Soldier Campaign has seen tears from some, given hope to most, and has been inspirational to us all. Your relentless support has provided the simple reminder that any one of us would proudly die for a grateful nation in our ongoing fight against terrorism."
Our soldiers have not given up the fight, but sadly, our Congress has.
If we pull out before the Iraqi military is strong enough to defend itself from Iran, the Iranian Mullahs will invade and topple Iraq. If this occurs while a dimwit is President, it will go uncontested. Then the Iranian Mullahs will invade and topple Jordon. This will put them on Israel's border. In a nut shell, we will be forcing Israel to nuke the Iranian mullah hordes before Iran destroys Israel. The only way Saddam could stop the mullah hordes was with chemical WMD. Either Israel nukes or Israel faces invasion from the Iranian Mullahs. So the deaths of millions of Iranians and/or Israeli's will be on the hands of the Roman Senator Reid and ilk. But hey, they will have gotten their prize. A Democratic President in exchange for millions of Middle Eastern lives. 'Deja Vu all over again'. They got their Democratic President (Carter) in exchange for hundreds of thousands of Asian lives.
well said soulseeker!
It makes me sick to think what the Clinton's likely think about that....(IF flight 93 had made it...to its "destination.")
PLEASE put that in an editorial letter to the NEW YORK TIMES, BOSTON GLOBE, WASHINGTON POST and WA TIMES....LA TIMES, etc.....Please!
I had to restrain myself from unloading on a bunch of a$$holes at work today.
It was about bj clinton. It was just about sex!
What I wanted to say:
My father lost his eye in the Phillipines and his father was gassed in france. My great uncle died at Normandy. My Uncle Rip started the first MASH hospitals and flew the Hump. I wore his brother-in-law's AAF jacket while camping in Boy Scouts. Men have fought in this family since the Revolution.
They fought for this country. The beacon of FREEDOM AND LIBERTY in the world. They fought so these a$$holes could have the freedom of speech.
What I said: Good Night. I'll see you tomorrow.
We"ll see what tomorrow brings.
And we will remember, I can assure you.
Honestly, is it really best to sell out your country for a few measly votes?
Shouldn't we learn from our mistakes from the past and not keep repeating them because it might be the popular thing to do?
"We"ll see what tomorrow brings."
Tomorrow will bring the same cool, calm and rational carriage that you showed them today. Stay the course and don't let them get to you..u have us(wink). We are going to get through this..let's just support our troops and Free Republic. Nobody else is getting my money or my time anytime soon. Hang in there.
I agree... the SEDITIONISTS must be stopped.
God help me if I'm wrong, but I believe if the Democrats pull this off there will be Civil War in the U.S. The people of the United States will not abide another Viet Nam brought about by spineless politicians. Mark my words, this is very serious business when the people in charge put their interest above our posterity. This will not stand a second time.
If our Roman Senate decides to back stab our troops and remove their funding, perhaps we the people can fund the troops ourselves. Heck, we might even get some contributions from the Jordanians, Kurds and Israeli's. Perhaps our military needs a paypal account. Here is a good paypal email address for em, firstname.lastname@example.org .
Thanks. You know how much that helps.
There is a time when the peasants need to march on the castle with pitchforks and torches.
Thanks for the ping!