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A Former Marine's Perspective on the War

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Old 12-28-2007, 04:22 PM   #16
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Re: A Former Marine's Perspective on the War

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Originally Posted by dmek25 View Post
this is a good read. i hope its not like the letter about health-care, that came from someones "aunt"
Oh man that was a bad one.

But no, I was there and talked to him face to face - no chain letter, no "sister of my mother's aunts daughter's dog."

Hell of a camping trip too - snowed the next morning, rainy and windy all night. Five mile hike, one-way, over slippery, mountainous terrain. Good times
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Old 12-29-2007, 08:44 PM   #17
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Re: A Former Marine's Perspective on the War

Nice post Mheisig, but I too am a former USMC (clever screen name huh?) and I kind of think Doug's opinions are somewhat misguided concerning the insurgency. First of all I thought that it was great that you listened to Doug talk about his experiences in Iraq. But, being that America is a nation that is highly civilzed and compassionate when it fights wars. The media has a way of portraying us as an evil bunch mongrels out for blood with bullets blazing. Which I feel is very far from the truth. Why don't the press go and embed themselves with the insurgents or Al Qada? That's because heads would be rolling (literally) and it wouldn't fit their agenda. We as a nation are held to a higher standard when we fight wars, and I feel that ties our hands and puts our men and women in jeopardy. War is not pretty, it's hellish. I was in Desert Storm back in 1990, so I have a little perspective on what was our reasons for going over there. First of all Saddam H. had WMD's, and the peace treaty that he signed to end the first Gulf War he was to have destroyed. Now, we had an inventory of his WMD's, and he was to have destroyed UNDER the supervision of our weapons inspectors. All the while, and over the years that passed by under a different administration at the watch, Saddam would play a little shell game with his WMD's. We never got a full accounting of his weapons programs because the UN and the rest of the free world never held Saddam accountable. So think about it, you have a list of items that Saddam had NOT disposed of properly, and he isn't cooperating and coming clean as far as their whereabouts. He had them, where are they? That one fact alone is enough to go to war, but we didn't. So then 2001 comes and we have some Islamic crazies crash airplanes into our buildings. We do our reasearch and find out where these guys are from, and what they stood for and who supported them. We knew from looking through their captured doccuments that they too pursued WMD's. Now, knowing that there were some rogue WMD's unaccounted for, kind of close by we as a freshly attacted nation felt duty bound to hunt for such items. And I for one support that. Also, I might add that we had envelopes of Anthrax circulating through our postal system at that time as well. And yes, Anthrax was considered a WMD that Saddam had not fully accounted for
Now, I may not be as smart as your friend Doug, so that might put me in the catagory as one of those "streotypical" (former) Marines, but my memory of those terrorists and Saddam's WMD's is still very clear. The war in Iraq is a little bit bigger than the insurgency and special contracts given to cronies. And unfortunately for Doug and many of his fellow Marines, they are sometimes not given the best body armor. The Marine Corps that I knew, we prided ourselves in knowing that we did more with less. But, playing with lives and the well-being of our fellow Americans should not be taken lightly, because they deserve the very best equipment we as a nation have to offer. People, this war we did not ask for, it was thrust upon us. We cannot fail, because if we do, our way of life will be forever threatened. I for one am very greatful for Doug's service, and I appreciate all that he and others like him are doing. I hope that we as a nation will not forget about our men and women overseas fighting the good fight for a good cause. Despite our political differences, let's hope and pray for a good outcome. But, I'm sorry to say that our war on terrorism will be long, and it may never end, we just need to be vigilant and brave and know that we are the good guys.
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Old 12-29-2007, 08:54 PM   #18
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Re: A Former Marine's Perspective on the War

4mrusmc,

Thanks for your insight as well.

I certainly hope there was no offense taken in saying Doug was not the "stereotypical Marine." I think there is definitely a stereotype that Marines are sort of the thickheaded jocks of the military, rarely using their brains.

My experience has been the exact opposite. I worked alongside several former Marines at the police department, none of whom fit that stereotype. One was a martial arts instructor and computer programmer and one was the quietest, most soft-spoken guy you'd ever meet.

Oddly enough the real "thickheaded jock" in my Academy class was a former Air Force TACP operator. Go figure.
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Old 12-30-2007, 01:23 AM   #19
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Re: A Former Marine's Perspective on the War

Great post. I love to hear what soldiers have to say about their experiences, especially regarding the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I have a cousin about 13 years my senior who is a lifer in the service and his insights still blow me away to this very day. When the Iraq invasion began in March '03 I was actually visiting him at his base in Europe (when I say his base I mean he literally ran the f'n thing - he was a LT. Col at the time if memory serves). He had also spent most of the 90's in the middle east doing recon and surveillance. DJ told me back in '03 that ANYONE who did recon/surveillance on Iraq after Desert Storm knew it posed no threat and had little to show for the alleged WMD programs. Specifically, DJ said Iraq's overall military capability was 10 percent of its pre-Desert Storm capability. However, even though he openly acknowledged Iraq was not a threat and all higher-ups knew it to be the case he was still completely supportive of the invasion and occupation. When I asked why he said it is important to put the military machine to work now and again. He was very gung-ho about the whole thing.

Not long after I returned to the states DJ left his base to coordinate security detail in and around Iraq. I didn't talk to him for a long time. When he finally got back on leave he was a completely different person. Only to his mom and brothers did he talk about seeing his men go home in body bags, or almost worse, missing whole portions of their bodies and/or mental faculties. He also decided he no longer wanted to serve as a soldier and began education to become a chaplain in the military. His story becomes pretty depressing after that, as he is being called back again under very lousy circumstances. My hope is that he is not there long.
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Old 12-30-2007, 01:09 PM   #20
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Re: A Former Marine's Perspective on the War

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Originally Posted by mheisig View Post
4mrusmc,

Thanks for your insight as well.

I certainly hope there was no offense taken in saying Doug was not the "stereotypical Marine." I think there is definitely a stereotype that Marines are sort of the thickheaded jocks of the military, rarely using their brains.

My experience has been the exact opposite. I worked alongside several former Marines at the police department, none of whom fit that stereotype. One was a martial arts instructor and computer programmer and one was the quietest, most soft-spoken guy you'd ever meet.

Oddly enough the real "thickheaded jock" in my Academy class was a former Air Force TACP operator. Go figure.
None taken buddy. When I was in the Corps, I spent my whole time in trying to dispell that whole perseption of how others on the "outside" viewed us. When we go in through boot camp, the drill instructors have a way of instilling pride and self-confidence in you, so I kind of get where it all comes from. I equate it to how others feel about their fraternity, and how superior or great it is. I just love my country so much, and I can't understand why some people can't see why we are in this war and how long and costly it will be. Everyday I tune into the news to see if we got that rat-bastard bin-laden. So again I say that we are good guys despite how the media portrays us. We as a country have a big task before us to try to spread freedom and democracy in a part of the world that is not so easy to do. This thing is not so clear and cut and dry to do. It will be messy, but we have to do something because we cannot sit by and wait for another 9/11. I'm glad that we can have this dialogue, and discuss things like this.
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Old 12-30-2007, 02:18 PM   #21
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Re: A Former Marine's Perspective on the War

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Our military can kick the crap out of any regular army. Fighting insurgencies is a tricky matter, just ask the French, British, etc. I have no doubt we could wipe out the insurgency overnight if we wanted to, but I don't think we could do so without compromising our values. We could do what Saddam did and simply wipe out entire cities/villages sympathetic to the insurgency, but it's not going to happen.
You're right. We failed in Vietnam for that reason, the Soviets failed in Afghanistan for that reason, and the outlook is bleak in Iraq for that reason (among others). Guerrilla tactics negate the advantage of a large fighting force like our military.
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