Friday, May 11, 2007

Interesting Survey Questions

Dear Readers,

One of our soldiers has a cousin that is involved with an online discussion group about the war here -- she (the soldier’s cousin) asked for feedback on the questions below. After it was mentioned to a few of us, I thought it would be interesting to see what my readers think, so I'm posting the questions with my answers for all of you to read. If you have the time (and interest) please feel free to answer the questions and sent your responses to me. I am very interested in your feedback and thoughts on this one.

1.) After having been there now for a while, why do you think we are there? And has your feeling/understanding changed at all about why we are there?
If nothing else, to help the Iraqi people move forward in order for them to insure a positive solid future for themselves, their families and their countries. This will insure at least one more ally in the Middle East for future joint endeavors. My feelings on the reason why I was deployed have not changed one bit.

2.) Do most of your comrades want to be there?
Yes and no, "Yes" for the same reason stated in question number one and no because none of us enjoy being away from our families. But we do the job anyway because we are compelled to do so.

3.) Do most of you think you are doing a good thing there?
Yes! Since we (Coalition Forces) have been here, they have had democratic free elections, appointed a mixed governing body, been allowed to freely express their thoughts and ideas through television, radio & newspapers, have started to genuinely rebuild their infrastructure (water, electricity, health care, etc) and the first generation of "Free Iraqis" has been born. These are things that a lot of Americans have taken for granted.

4.) Do you think people can support the troops, but not the war? Do you find it contradictory?
People can support the troops but not the war is the same asinine ideology of "I smoked but didn't inhale". How can you support me but not what I do? My job is not one that many people can (or won't) do. I do my job to the best of my abilities and the people here that have experienced the suffering from Saddam's regime see us as their liberators. They also understand that it took decades for the country to get to this state and the recovery is not going to be overnight. The American public (as a whole) enjoys instant gratification and this is something that is being sold to them by politicians. Now that the war hasn't been "short", they are all jumping on the bandwagon in order to insure their future reelection employment while under the guise of "support the troops". It would be the same if I were to say that I support firemen but not what they do because they speed through traffic and break things to get the job done. Or I support the police but not the fact that they will arrest me when I break the law. You can't have it both ways.

5.) What would you tell someone who thinks it is ONLY about oil?
Give up your life in comfort, time with your family, civilian career, freedom and sanity. Enlist, then do a year-long tour over here, then come and talk to me about the oil. Or stay faithfully married to one of our soldiers, raise the children while we're gone, take care of everything at home for us, and pray every night that we've survived to see another sunrise. Until you've done all of that, you haven't EARNED the right to express any opinion on what is going on over here.

6.) If you had ten minutes on CNN, what would you find most important to convey to the American people about Iraq?
I wouldn't trust CNN to get me a slurpee at 7-11, much less with anything as important as reliable news. They tote themselves as being "The Most Trusted News Source" on the air. If you believe that, send me all of your money now so I can invest it on beachfront property for you here. If you want the truth, talk face to face with a veteran that has just returned from here.

7.) Do you feel you have the support of most Americans?
Yes I do, I just feel sorry for all of the Americans that are following the "Sheep" mentality and believing the politicians who haven't bothered to change their course of idealism (bordering on fantasy) about what being at war means or to fight for the principles and freedoms they wield without any forethought to the outcome as long as they remain elected. As you're reading my answers, stop and think to yourself, "What did I feel on September 11th as we were being attacked?" Always remember this because politicians seem to have forgotten it in favor of popularity and election results.

The additional questions I have for all of you are these:

1)Do you honestly think that we are “losing” the war as politicians say?

2)Do you think that a complete American troop withdrawal is the solution to what is going on here?

3)What do you propose as a reliable plan for “ending” the war?

4)Do you think that the US should put pressure on other coalition forces and the UN to “step up” and be more proactive about their roles here?

5)Do you support us (the troops) but not the war, and why?

6)Should reporters be embedded or allowed access to soldiers and operations as they are now, or should they be “reigned in” like in WWII and other wars? Why?

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

FIRST LET ME SAY VERY WELL SAID. HERE IS SOME OF MY THOUGHTS....

1)Do you honestly think that we are “losing” the war as politicians say? NOT FOR A MINUTE IF YOU CONSTITUTE LOOSING AS GIVING IRAQI CHILDREN A CHANCE AT A REAL LIFE THEN I GUESS WE ARE LOOSING THE WAR

2)Do you think that a complete American troop withdrawal is the solution to what is going on here? ABSOLUTELY NOT IF WE PULL OUT EVERYTHING WE HAVE AND ARE DOING WILL BE A COMPLETE LOSS NOT TO MENTION WE ARE DISHONORING THOSE WHO HAVE DIED FOR THE FREEDOM OF US AND OTHERS.

3)What do you propose as a reliable plan for “ending” the war? I DONT THINK WE ARE GOING TO COMPLETELY GET RID OF TERRORISM BUT HOPEFULLY IN DUE TIME WE WILL LESSEN THEIR COURAGE ENOUGH TO STOP ATTACKS SO ENDING THE WAR IS GOING TO BE HARD I PERSONALLY BELIEVE IT WILL TURN INTO GERMANY WE WILL BE THERE FOR GENERATIONS HELPING TO SECURE BUT NOT FIGHT THE BATTLES.

4)Do you think that the US should put pressure on other coalition forces and the UN to “step up” and be more proactive about their roles here? THEY SHOULD PULL THEIR WEIGHT SO WE DON'T WEAR OUT OUR TROOPS FOR THE SAKE OF SAFETY TO ALL UN COUNTRIES.

5)Do you support us (the troops) but not the war, and why? I SUPPORT THE TROOPS AND THE WAR JUST DON'T LIKE HOW THEY ARE TRYING TO TURN THE WAR INTO A POLITICAL BATTLE GIVE IT UP AND LET YOU DO YOUR JOB WHEN YOU ALL SAY ITS DONE THEN GOOD LETS COME HOME.

6)Should reporters be embedded or allowed access to soldiers and operations as they are now, or should they be “reigned in” like in WWII and other wars? Why? I BELIEVE REPORTERS BEING EMBEDDED IS A GOOD THING (CHRIS WEST FROM GX MAGAZINE) BUT ONLY IF THEY REPORT THE GOOD WITH THE BAD. IT WOULD HELP BRING OUR COUNTRY TOGETHER LIKE AFTER 9-11 AGAIN.

7:38 AM  
Blogger Jennine said...

They say that integrity is what you do when you thik no one else is looking. In that case, our military is oozing integrity since the behind the scene stories of courage and humanity is not being well represented in main stream media.

I can't answer these questions better than you already have. The one thing I can do is make certain that I vote for politicians who fully support the efforts of our troops.

8:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1)Do you honestly think that we are “losing” the war as politicians say?

It depends where you look. Many areas of Iraq have an acceptable level of peace, while a few of them have levels of violence that make stability seem hopeless. I think most of Iraq lies somewhere in between which means we aren't losing. It's those damn areas that lie in the violent extreme that isn't making victory easy, however.

2)Do you think that a complete American troop withdrawal is the solution to what is going on here?

If your goal is to make Iraq look like Sudan, or to start an all out middle eastern war, than withdrawing is the solution. I have no doubts that a US withdrawal will bring in Iran, Syria, and perhaps Saudi Arabia and Turkey into Iraq in an attempt to grab land, resources, and power.

3)What do you propose as a reliable plan for “ending” the war?

I feel partitioning Iraq into a Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish independent states is the best strategy. I refer to the partitioning of Pakistan and India as an example(not perfect, I know, but in the end it worked out OK). Of course, giving the Kurds an independent state may risk our relationship with Turkey, but I feel it's worth it.

4)Do you think that the US should put pressure on other coalition forces and the UN to “step up” and be more proactive about their roles here?

The UN will always be the UN and do nothing. And we can't expect our coalition partners to take a huge risk and enter the more dangerous sectors of Iraq(they should, as some are doing now, secure the Iraqi areas that are relatively peaceful so we can focus on the more violent areas). I really think it's the neighboring middle eastern countries that should "step up". If they're not doing anything, they're arming and funding the insurgents.

5)Do you support us (the troops) but not the war, and why?

I didn't support the war initially(I felt there were more important things we could have been doing), but now that we're there we have to support the troops and the mission 100%.

6)Should reporters be embedded or allowed access to soldiers and operations as they are now, or should they be “reigned in” like in WWII and other wars? Why?

Reporters should not be allowed access, but only because we gave it to them and they have used the opportunity for nothing but to undermine the troops and the war(not all, but most of the mainstream reporters). I think the best example of keeping reporters out of any war was the 2006 Israeli-Lebanese war, in which Israel was punished by the media all because they were kind enough to give them open access. They have been abusing the very countries who give them the right to a free press, and those those rights should now be restricted.

-Jay

7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a quick note: Hope you stay safe and you and everyone in your unit make it home soon.

Speaking to Q5 in your list, "Do you support us (the troops) but not the war, and why?"

In late '02 I marched in protest against the Iraq invasion, and now in '07 I'm even more convinced that it was an incredibly bad idea. So I think I'm safely in the 'not a war supporter' category.

I'm not sure I understand why it's not clear to everyone that those of us opposed to the war are opposed to a policy. That opposition does not extend to the people tasked with carrying out that policy. That's why you don't often see American protesters demanding that we withdraw troops from Afghanistan; Americans support the policies behind our actions in that country.

Again, I hope you stay safe; and I hope that our government comes to its collective senses and figures out a path forward from the horrible geopolitical mess we've created.

8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1.) After having been there now for a while, why do you think we are there? And has your feeling/understanding changed at all about why we are there?
I think we went there because Iraq continued to violate UN sanctions, they needed to face consequences for their actions, and Saddam Hussein had to be removed from power. The only thing that has changed is that I think we are still there and should still be there because now that Saddam is gone, we need to ensure that the Iraqi people have a chance at a better country. All you have to do is look at the Kurds and ask them why we are still there. If we weren't there, it would take Iran and Syria about two seconds to go in and destroy everything we've been building the past few years with the Iraqi people. We owe it to the Iraqi people and especially owe it to those who have sacrificed all to finish the job they started over there. My feelings have not changed.

2.) Do most of your comrades want to be there?
I would like my husband home, but I support and understand the job that he has to do right now. I think it is worth it to give the National Guard, the USA, and Iraq a year or two of my husband's time to possibly reduce the chance that my son or daughter will have to go back in another few decades from now to deal with an even worse problem in the Middle East - or worse - to have violence come to our country as it did on 9/11.

3.) Do most of you think you are doing a good thing there?
Hell yeah! It's not easy but as I said before - just check out Kurdistan and several other thriving regions in Iraq. Yes, there is a lot of work to do and many areas are having problems right now, but some parts of the country are MUCH better off and improving so much thanks to our troops.

4.) Do you think people can support the troops, but not the war? Do you find it contradictory?
No, they can't support the troops and not the war. I do find it contradictory and insulting. It's like saying to someone, "I like you as a person but everything you do is wrong." I find it to be a feeble attempt to save face and be politically correct because if they actually admitted that they didn't support our troops, they'd get their ass kicked by a bunch of soldiers and marines (as they should). Proof that you can't support the troops without supporting the war: Congress' action to tie funding to getting out of Iraq. To me, that showed that the Democratic majority in Congress doesn't support the war OR our troops.

5.) What would you tell someone who thinks it is ONLY about oil?
I would tell them to direct me to where I can get cheaper gas because our gas is more expensive than ever here and if we have more oil, then where the hell is our cheaper gas??? I wish it was a war for oil sometimes because then maybe we'd have cheaper gas prices here! Sheesh!

6.) If you had ten minutes on CNN, what would you find most important to convey to the American people about Iraq?
That the news - especially CNN - is full of sh*t. They cover what gets them ratings and gets the most people to check out their headlines. That's why Anna Nicole's death topped any news about the good things our soldiers are doing in Iraq. I'd also tell people to STOP thinking they know how the families of our soldiers feel. I appreciate a nice thank you now and then or someone telling me to tell my husband thanks but I could do without the people who THINK they know (and assume incorrectly) my feelings on the war.

7.) Do you feel you have the support of most Americans?
No - at least not in my home state. Too often, I get the feeling that people aren't supportive of military families but that they pity us and feel sorry for us and that's why they say they "support" us and our soldiers. That is why I am so loathe reaching out for help when I need it. (Yeah, I'm bitter but that's what happens when you get spit on by an antiwar protester at the local college when you are five months pregnant, just walking to work, and wearing a yellow ribbon.) I do think there are many who legitimately support the troops and their families but there seem to be more now who don't - at least where I am.

The additional questions I have for all of you are these:

1) Do you honestly think that we are "losing" the war as politicians say?

Hell no. I think POLITICIANS ARE CHOOSING TO LOSE THE WAR while our troops are determined to win it. I think the American people (thanks to our politicians and media) are losing their patience and that will lead us to losing the war, but it has nothing to do with the troops and what they are doing. I strongly feel that they are and will win if we give the troops the TRUE support and supplies and policies that they need to do it.

2) Do you think that a complete American troop withdrawal is the solution to what is going on here?

Another HELL NO; If we withdrawal, I fear it will lead to a few things:
a. Iran and Syria moving into Iraq and undoing/destroying everything we've tried to work for and everything our soldiers have died for over there.
b. Terrorists and Al Qaeda - as they did after we didn't do anything after Somalia and the embassy bombings and all those other events where we didn't respond - will be encouraged. They will look at our withdrawal as a victory - that the Americans do not have the courage or stomach for war. This will lead them to attack both us (like 9/11 or worse) and Israel and perhaps lead to a world war. It might not happen immediately after a withdrawal, but I fear that it is a war that will happen in my children's lifetime. That is why I support my husband being there now - for hopes that my children won't have to fight something much worse.
c. The allies we have built there will turn into our enemies for abandoning them. Whatever goodwill we had will be lost. That is what happened in parts of Iraq after we left Saddam Hussein in power and abandoned them after the 1st Gulf War. We should learn our lesson from that and finish the job we started instead of cutting and running when the job gets tough.

3) What do you propose as a reliable plan for "ending" the war?
I believe we have to change what we are doing over there and how we are fighting. We need to fight using lessons learned from Vietnam and not like we are still fighting WWII. We need to stop trying to fight with our hands tied behind our backs. We should also look at how it took decades upon decades to get both Germany and Japan stable and on their feet after WWII. We should consider the same strategy for Iraq. We still have troops in Germany, Japan, and Korea more than 50 years after those wars supposedly ended (actually the Korean War never ended, but at least the official fighting stopped). I think the American people need to realize there is no simple, quick solution. That this will take a long time and that an "end" to the war is not as simple as bringing troops home - nor should that be considered an option that would end the war. To me, bringing them home will only ensure a much worse war later - putting off the inevitable.

4) Do you think that the US should put pressure on other coalition forces and the UN to "step up" and be more proactive about their roles here?
Yes, I would put that into my plan for "ending" the war.

5) Do you support us (the troops) but not the war, and why?
I support the troops and the war (as you can probably tell). Even if I knew back then when the war started what I know now (i.e. that there were no weapons of mass destruction - or at least not as many as we thought), I would STILL support the war.

6) Should reporters be embedded or allowed access to soldiers and operations as they are now, or should they be "reigned in" like in WWII and other wars? Why?
I think they should be reigned in like WWII because of OPSEC concerns, because of risk of injury (I am sick of hearing about Bob Woodruff's "heroism" - barf), and because they are so biased in their reporting - they will take things out of context to make their story and to get headlines. To put it simply, I do not trust most of them and would not feel comfortable working with them or serving with them if I were a soldier. I think they are a security risk and distract us from the mission (at least from what I know, not having been a soldier).

2:34 AM  
Blogger Lara Croft said...

Call me simplistic but that's how I like to make sense of the world around me and of those who fill it.
At first I didn't think the war on terrorism was approached in the most effective manner however now that we have it I think everyone who believes in their freedom has to support it. The war is about everyones freedom, and I for one support this analogy, told you it was simplistic :-)

7:27 AM  
Anonymous Brad said...

Just to answer your additional questions:

1)Do you honestly think that we are “losing” the war as politicians say?

Yes, but not because our troops aren't doing their jobs or because the enemy is stronger than we are, but because this is a PR war as much as it is a military war. Every civilian death is used as a PR tool for the terrorist, yes they are terrorist, not enemy combatants, freedom fighters, insurgents, or militiamen, and it is our own media propagating the rhetoric. Dissent is a good thing, when it is about strategy on how to win the war, not an election. Politicians, mainly democrats, no longer remember 9-11 and simply feel we are creating the enemy by being in Iraq. Not true, we are just exposing them, they were there before Iraq and they will be here if we leave Iraq. And since the dems (and many Americans according to "polling") are hell bound to pull out, the enemy will have won. Until we can get people talking about how to win this war and not end it, we will continue to loose.

2)Do you think that a complete American troop withdrawal is the solution to what is going on here?

No, it will only lead to genocide.

3)What do you propose as a reliable plan for “ending” the war?

The enemy does not fear us, and the populous fears the enemy more then they benefit from our presence. Two main things need to be accomplished before victory, 1) the creation of an effective government (it does not need to be completely representative just effective) 2) The enemy must never feel safe. Doing the later will cause the locals to support the government as a better option to sure death. But the minor things that need to be done to help win are:
1) Kill al Sadar
2) Secure the Iranian and Syrian borders
3) Create jobs
4) Secure the oil and return the profits to the people
5) Return weapons supplied by Iran and Syria to their respective countries, in slightly used condition.
6) Gut the Iraqi army and police to remove corruption.

4)Do you think that the US should put pressure on other coalition forces and the UN to “step up” and be more proactive about their roles here?

No, more cooks in the kitchen are not a good thing.


5)Do you support us (the troops) but not the war, and why?

I support both. Lets get the job done and come home. Until then Semper Fi.

6)Should reporters be embedded or allowed access to soldiers and operations as they are now, or should they be “reigned in” like in WWII and other wars? Why?

War is a horrible thing, people do not need to have some poor 18 yr old kid being dragged bleeding from a humvee on their evening news. We are no better for having the media embedded, people watched the drive to Baghdad as though it were a movie, people only need to know the important things. Major operations, results, victories, and defeats are all the average civilian need to see.

3:54 AM  

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