News from Baghdad

A small spot to describe to a certain extent what it is like for the soldiers here in Iraq. I must remain anonymous as there may be some who would view this as an "official" posting, however, it is not. Just some personal views on the politics and public views in this war that has been to oftentimes tainted by the sensationalism of the media.

Location: Home, United States

I enjoy my job to the fullest, regardless of the political climate at any particular time. My family and my soldiers are the central focal point of my existence as well as my religious viewpoints.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

6 October 2004

I just cannot understand it anymore and it is really quite irritating. Why in the name of all that is sacred, would you attempt to seal a peace agreement with a man who has repeatedly disregarded not only the US military, but also the Iraqi security forces. He has not only harmed and killed soldiers, but has also been responsible for the maiming, death and destruction of his own countrymen as well. Muqtada Al Sadr is a criminal and no one should be going around making back alley treaties with this man. Will they do the same with Zarqawi? When will they realize that the Mehdi Army (Al Sadr's thugs), will not willingly "lay down their arms" and that we cannot allow them to continue in the manner that they have without some sort of restitution or punishment? Instead of trying to "pacify" this criminal who is doing his level best to undermine the democratic progress of the Iraqi government, why don't we go and catch this "criminal" and "terrorist" who resorts to the lowest levels of violence and depravity to achieve his "goals"? If we "pacify" Muqtada Al Sadr, who will it be next? Al Sadr, Zarqawi, Bin Laden, who? As much as I detest having to be away from my family, it is my personal opinion that we gave the country over to its own rule way too early. The infrastructure is not here and what I mean by that is that the IPs (Iraqi Police) are corrupt, for they will not even investigate a crime without payment from the one initiating the complaint; the Iraq Army is not totally stood up and trained (some of them are so scared they don't even come in or have quit altogether; the educational system is pretty much defunct as the schools have very few, if any books, or any types of supplies; the country cannot even keep reliable power, garbage and sewers running and the health department...what health department? The paramedics that they have barely even know basic lifesaving fundamentals. There are many things that should have happened before June 30th (well June 28th if you look at the ACTUAL date that we handed the country over). One thing that I am sure of is cannot allow people like Al Sadr or Zarqawi to run around, do their thing and then promise them sanctuary if they "quit and start being good little boys". Unfortunately, in the world we live in today, violence MUST be met with punishment.

I was visited by one of my friends today who we helped a few months back with an issue of his son in law trying to kill him. He came to me today with a death threat. Someone is threatening to kill him if he doesn't quit working with the coalition forces. I have my suspicions of who is communicating the threat, however, we cannot jump the gun on this one. Hopefully in the next couple of days we will have a definitive answer and hopefully a permanent solution to the problem at hand. We shall see.


Blogger Mrs. White said...

Hi, Jay! I love your web site. You write excellent things. How have you been? Are you going to get to go home soon? The weather has turned freezing. Lots of rain. Not too much going on here just work. I just wanted to let you know I was still alive. Love and miss you! Laura

9:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a particular reason why there is a desire by the Iraqis to negotiate with the likes of Al Sadr. While you may not agree with the reason, it is, at least, an explanation as to the thinking.

Without getting into a whole lot of detail, the specific reason why is generational. The generations that are running Iraq right now, were involved with the Iraq/Iran crisis war. That war was so devastating to the country, the generations alive at the time made a vow to never let something like that happen again.

The generations currently running things do not want the country to get back into another devastating war -civil or external- so the only way to do that is to compromise. By compromising with the younger, energetic, and troublesome generations (Al Sadr), the older generations are able to take away some of the steam from these younger gens and are able to hold a degree of influence over them.

This thinking by the elders also extends to why they (Iraqi gov't) didn't let the US go into the likes of Fallujah and rightfully smite the terrorists there. As well, this thinking also helps to prove that there will be no civil war, nor any large uprising from the Iraqis against the US. Unless we (US) do something really horrific against the Iraqis, there will be no uprising. (So there will definately be no uprising.)

If you want to read up on the theory underpinning my argument, please visit

I hope you and everyone else there stays safe and my friends and I are all behind ya!


8:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jay, The answer to why we are negotiating with terrorists like al-Sadr and people in Tehran is because we don't have the capacity to remove them, and we don't have the capacity to deal with their activities.
The sad fact is President Bush misjudged the strength and tenacity of the enemy. He dismissed the cautions of his advisors. He planned a successful overthrow of the regime, but had no strategy to maintain peace during the reconstruction phase. He naively believed that Iraqis would cooperate eagerly with us in gratitude for toppling Saddam. He didn't heed the warnings of those who saw the necessity of much larger military force, thereby shoving our allies away in disdain, he didn't plan for the friction of differing sects freed from the repression of Saddam, and ignored the caveats from the CIA that warned of al-Qaeda's involvement should Saddam go down. He brushed aside GAO reports of the situation in Iraq, and dismisses the last NIE report. Because of his impunity, we are overwhelmed. Getting the essentials like electricity back up and running rapidly would have prolonged the Iraqi's welcome. But our efforts to do so have been totally hampered by our loss of control to feuding Sunnis and Shi-ites, and to al-Qaeda elements who have poured in from other countries, and to insurgents aided by Iran. Money is also pouring in from al-Qaeda who is enjoying a bumper crop of opium this year in Afghanistan where our control goes no farther than Kabul only. Without the essentials of everyday living like electricity for refrigerators and fans throughout the summer, our welcome wears thin even for our Iraqi supporters.
What is Bush to do? Huge swaths of Iraq has been reclaimed by insurgents and al-Qaeda. He needs to hold credible elections in a few months. Without a ceasefire, who's going to venture out to vote? He lost his chance a long time ago with Fallujah with his indecision. Same with al-Sadr. He allowed too many ceasefires, allowing al-Sadr sanctuary in Najaf. Once that happened, he had no recourse but to negotiate, thereby legitimizing this terrorist.
Bush has also negotiated with Tehran, working to lower the requirements for UN inspections of nuclear activity. He needed Tehran to stop aiding the Shi-ites.
Bush has also been trying desperately since the G-8 summit to get more help from the 'despised' UN. We were so relieved to hand over responsibility for the transition of the Bremer's provisional authority and the appointment of Allawi's government to the UN, with Bush emphatically assuring everyone that the US would stay way out of the UN's decisions, that the transition is the UN's responsibility, totally, because he "respects the UN."
He is trying to get help from NATO, to increase more trainers. We need the elections to be successful. We really could have used a third party to provide security to the UN elections committee. He had hoped for an ally to step in because American troops near the voting booths will create an outcry. He cannot chance any accusations of tampering. But a third party appears not to be. It's too late. He is doing what he can with what he has - placating the enemy. He is negotiating with anybody because we are in a predicament. And help is being given grudgingly from our allies (UN) because they no longer sympathize with America's problems, and they no longer hold his credibility in any regard. They are helping because it is in their interest to give just what is necessary for the stability of the region, and for the Iraqi people.
We are being exacted a high price for all of this. We are paying for al-Sadr's cooperation with a seat in the government (we can no longer support Israel's questioning Arafat's legitimacy because of his terrorist past.) We are paying Iran by allowing it to accelerate its nuclear program. We've been paying other countries millions for non-interference. We will be paying for all of this for a long time. We are paying for this President's tendency to dismiss everything that he doesn't want to hear, starting with the first NIE report that started it all.
It is outrageous that the White Paper he presented to Congress for a vote for war authority contained a condensed and altered version of the NIE. For example, opinion qualifiers like “we judge”, and “probably” that were used in the NIE were removed to make the statement unequivocal. Dissenting views of the US Air Force, and of other departments within the CIA were omitted. The opposing views came from their assessment that many of the government’s intelligence sources were unreliable. The following are examples of sentences in the NIE that are not found in the White Paper:
“We lack specific information on many key aspects of Iraq’sWMD program.” (p.5)
“He probably would use CBW when he perceived he irretrievably had lost control of the military and security situation, but we are unlikely to know when Saddam reaches that point.” (p.8)
“Finally, the claims of Iraqi pursuit of natural uranium in Africa are, in INR's assessment, highly dubious.” (p.84)
Congress gave him the authority to go to war without knowledge of the complete contents of the NIE.

More discrepancies pointed out by Carnegie Endowment for International Peace:

9:35 AM  
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2:33 PM  

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