May 26, 2004
Tom Clancy on Iraq
So, you know that Tom Clancy is the coauthor with Gen. Anthony Zinni of the new book "Battle Ready", in which Gen. Zinni is highly critical of the Bush administration for its invasion and occupation of Iraq. Here's what Clancy has to say about one of the main architects of this miserable failure:
In discussing the Iraq war, both Clancy and Zinni singled out the Department of Defense for criticism. Clancy recalled a prewar encounter in Washington during which he "almost came to blows" with Richard Perle, a Pentagon adviser at the time and a longtime advocate of the invasion.
"He was saying how (Secretary of State) Colin Powell was being a wuss because he was overly concerned with the lives of the troops," Clancy said. "And I said, 'Look, he's supposed to think that way!' And Perle didn't agree with me on that. People like that worry me."
"Overly concerned with the lives of the troops". Put that
on one of those "We support President Bush and the troops" yard signs and smoke it.
More for the Anecdotal Evidence of Republican Disenchantment With Bush Department:
Both Clancy and Zinni praised President Bush but would not commit to voting for him. Clancy said that voting for Sen. John Kerry, the Democrats' presumptive nominee, would be "a stretch for me," but wouldn't say that he was supporting Bush.
Zinni, a registered Republican who voted for Bush in 2000, said he could not support the president's re-election "if the current strategists in the Defense Department are going to be carried over."
As Big Media Matt
notes, while the reluctance of Bush's wavering base to actually take the last step and embrace Kerry is a problem, just getting them to sit it out would still be a win.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 26, 2004 to Iraq attack
Lonely and slightly confused Right Winger seeks intelligent but gentle Left Winger for meaningful discussion of today’s issues. Show me the error of my ways, PLEASE.
Hmm - if they support Kerry, do they vote party line otherwise? Maybe getting them to stay home is a better bet than changing their minds.
I don't like that thought very much, but I have to admit that, given my limited attention, it doesn't seem that they Kerry campaign is doing much to help other democrats.
I have been serving in Iraq for over five months now as a soldier in the 2nd Battalion of the 503rd Airborne Infantry Regiment, otherwise known as the "ROCK."
We entered the country at midnight on the 26th of March; one thousand of my fellow soldiers and I parachuted from 10 jumbo jets (known as C-17s) onto a cold, muddy field in Bashur, Northern Iraq. This parachute operation was the U.S. Army's only combat jump of the war and opened up the northern front.
Things have changed tremendously for our battalion since those first cold, wet weeks spent in the mountain city of Bashur. On April 10 our battalion conducted an attack south into the oil-rich town of Kirkuk, the city that has since become our home away from home and the focus of our security and development efforts.
Kirkuk is a hot and dusty city of just over a million people. The majority of the city has welcomed our presence with open arms. After nearly five months here, the people still come running from their homes, in the 110-degree heat, waving to us as our troops drive by on daily patrols of the city. Children smile and run up to shake hands, in their broken English shouting "Thank you, mister."
The people of Kirkuk are all trying to find their way in this new democratic environment. Some major steps have been made in these last three months. A big reason for our steady progress is that our soldiers are living among the people of the city and getting to know their neighbors and the needs of their neighborhoods.
We also have been instrumental in building a new police force. Kirkuk now has 1,700 police officers. The police are now, ethnically, a fair representation of the community as a whole. So far, we have spent more than $500,000 from the former Iraqi regime to repair each of the stations' electricity and plumbing, to paint each station and make it a functional place for the police to work.
The battalion also has assisted in re-establishing Kirkuk's fire department, which is now even more effective than before the war. New water treatment and sewage plants are being constructed and the distribution of oil and gas are steadily improving.
All of these functions were started by our soldiers here in this northern city and are now slowly being turned over to the newly elected city government. Laws are being rewritten to reflect democratic principles and a functioning judicial system was recently established to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the rule of law.
The quality of life and security for the citizens has been largely restored and we are a large part of why that has happened.
The fruits of all our soldiers' efforts are clearly visible in the streets of Kirkuk today. There is very little trash in the streets, there are many more people in the markets and shops and children have returned to school.
This is all evidence that the work we are doing as a battalion and as American soldiers is bettering the lives of Kirkuk's citizens. I am proud of the work we are doing here in Iraq and I hope all of your readers are as well.
Lt. Col. Dominic Caraccilo
"Die dulci fruimini!"