"...everyone is bored,and devotes himself to cultivating habits..these habits are not peculiar to our town.." Albert Camus "The Plague"

Monday, October 30, 2006

Clearly, The Issue Is Iraq (Cont.)

Marine Capt. Robert Secher

Another soldier's thoughts and suggestions.

See "Iraq Through the Eyes of a Dead Soldier" in the current issue of Newsweek. Marine Capt.Robert Secher became disillusioned with the way the war was being prosecuted but believed in doing the job. He paid with his life. The Newsweek article contains emails home provided by his family. Excerpts:

On working with the Iraqis: Anytime an American fires a weapon there has to be an investigation into why there was an escalation of force. That wouldn't have stopped us from firing, but it prevents us from just firing indiscriminately. We have to have positively identified targets. That is why I am now a big fan of having the Iraqis with us. They can fire at whatever the hell they want, we call it the "Iraqi Death Blossom." These guys receive one shot and the whole unit fires at everything in sight until the attached American unit gets them to control their fire. That's fine with me.

On the "dirty secrets" of war: Of course you've heard about two different sets of Marines being charged with murder.....

I feel bad for those guys. Bush should be ashamed of the predicament that this nation has been put in. And anyone who calls those young Marines killers should think twice. War puts perfectly ordinary young men in situations that can't be judged by laws. They are the situations of survival. The dirty little secrets of war, no one would want to know the horrible things that the "greatest generation" did to German and Japanese soldiers and civilians... ... If you really want to win a war you have to be brutal. You have to be Sherman and raze Georgia as you march to the sea.

On Iraqui military culture: The biggest lesson I have learned over 6 months here is that the Iraqi culture is incapable of maintaining a western style military. The Arabic-style military.... is distasteful to western soldiers: officers who hit their men; officers and senior enlisted men who regularly steal from their men; using leadership to openly grant yourself more food and 'standard of living' items while your men go without.

Newsweek Story

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