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FROM IRAQ: A MARINE?S NOTES

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,251
5
0
Yet another letter from an American soldier actually in Iraq on what they see going on.
Unfortunately I have no idea who wrote this or where they are, however I found it on National Review Online, which is a reputable web site, if biased to the right.

I will point out that like my pre-Christmas thread about military blogers in Iraq this one also mentions the dissatisfaction that those who are actually in Iraq have with our media ands its portrayal of Iraq as a dismal failure. As this writer points out we are killing them at a ratio of 20-1 and yet the media would have you believe that Americans are being killed without inflicting any damage or making any progress.

I know asking you guys to avoid the Bush bashing and focus on the details of this post is hard, but try any way.
From Iraq:A Marine's Notes
FROM IRAQ: A MARINE?S NOTES
The IED: The biggest killer of all. Can be anything from old Soviet anti-armor mines to jury rigged artillery shells. ? Most were detonated by cell phone, and the explosions are enormous. You're not safe in any vehicle, even an M1 tank. Driving is by far the most dangerous thing our guys do over there. Lately, they are much more sophisticated "shape charges" (Iranian) specifically designed to penetrate armor. Fact: Most of the ready made IED's are supplied by Iran, who is also providing terrorists (Hezbollah types) to train the insurgents in their use and tactics. That's why the attacks have been so deadly lately. Their concealment methods are ingenious, the latest being shape charges, in Styrofoam containers spray painted to look like the cinderblocks that litter all Iraqi roads. We find about 40% before they detonate, and the bomb disposal guys are unsung heroes of this war.

Bad guy technology: Simple yet effective. Most communication is by cell and satellite phones, and also by email on laptops. They use handheld GPS units for navigation and "Googleearth" for overhead views of our positions. Their weapons are good, if not fancy, and prevalent. Their explosives and bomb technology is TOP OF THE LINE. Night vision is rare. They are very careless with their equipment and the captured GPS units and laptops are treasure troves of Intel when captured.

Who are the bad guys??
Most of the carnage is caused by the Zarqawi Al Qaeda group. They operate mostly in Anbar province (Fallujah and Ramadi). These are mostly "foreigners", non-Iraqi Sunni Arab Jihadists from all over the Muslim world (and Europe). Most enter Iraq through Syria (with, of course, the knowledge and complicity of the Syrian govt.), and then travel down the "rat line" which is the trail of towns along the EuphratesRiver that we've been hitting hard for the last few months. Some are virtually untrained young Jihadists that often end up as suicide bombers or in various "sacrifice squads". Most, however, are hard core terrorists from all the usual suspects (Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas etc.). These are the guys running around murdering civilians en masse and cutting heads off. The Chechens (many of whom are Caucasian), are supposedly the most ruthless and the best fighters (they have been fighting the Russians for years). In the Baghdad area and south, most of the insurgents are Iranian inspired (and led) Iraqi Shiites. The Iranian Shiia have been very adept at infiltrating the Iraqi local govt.'s, the police forces and the Army. They have had a massive spy and agitator network there since the Iran-Iraq war in the early 80's. Most of the Saddam loyalists were killed, captured or gave up long ago.

Bad Guy Tactics:
When they are engaged on an infantry level they get their asses kicked every time. Brave, but stupid. Suicidal Banzai-type charges were very common earlier in the war and still occur. They will literally sacrifice 8-10 man teams in suicide squads by sending them screaming and firing AK's and RPG's directly at our bases just to probe the defenses. They get mowed down like grass every time (see the M2 and M240 above). Jordan's base was hit like this often. When engaged, they have a tendency to flee to the same building, probably for what they think will be a glorious last stand. Instead, we call in air and that's the end of that more often than not. These hole-ups are referred to as Alpha Whiskey Romeo's (Allah's Waiting Room). We have the laser guided ground-air thing down to a science. The fast mover's, mostly Marine F-18's, are taking an ever increasing toll on the enemy. When caught out in the open, the helicopter gunships and AC-130 Spectre Gunships cut them to ribbons with cannon and rocket fire, especially at night. Interestingly, artillery is hardly used at all.

Fun fact:
The enemy death toll is supposedly between 45-50 thousand. That is why we're seeing less and less infantry attacks and more IED, suicide bomber ******. The new strategy is just simple: attrition. The insurgent tactic most frustrating is their use of civilian non-combatants as cover. They know we do all we can to avoid civilian casualties and therefore schools, hospitals and (especially) Mosques are locations where they meet, stage for attacks, cache weapons and ammo and flee to when engaged. They have absolutely no regard whatsoever for inflicting civilian casualties. They will terrorize locals and murder without hesitation anyone believed to be sympathetic to the Americans or the new Iraqi govt. Kidnapping of family members (especially children) is common to influence people they are trying to influence but can't reach, such as local govt. officials, clerics, tribal leaders, etc.).
The first thing our guys are told is "don't get captured". They know that if captured they will be tortured and beheaded on the internet.

Morale: [M]orale among our guys is very high. They not only believe that they are winning, but that they are winning decisively. They are stunned and dismayed by what they see in the American press, whom they almost universally view as against them. The embedded reporters are despised and distrusted. They are inflicting casualties at a rate of 20-1 and then see ****** like "Are we losing in Iraq" on TV and the print media. For the most part, they are satisfied with their equipment, food and leadership. Bottom line though, and they all say this, is that there are not enough guys there to drive the final stake through the heart of the insurgency, primarily because there aren't enough troops in-theater to shut down the borders with Iran and Syria. The Iranians and the Syrians just can't stand the thought of Iraq being an American ally ...
 

Steeplerot

Lifer
Mar 29, 2004
13,050
6
81
Originally posted by: jrenz
Don't worry, this will be shot down as propaganda within a few posts.
Post garbage like this and expect to be called on it:

[Cliff May] (The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies)

The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), founded shortly after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, is an organization purportedly devoted to supporting the war against terror and promoting democracy across the globe. It has become a prominent member of the web of neoconservative-aligned think tanks, a group that includes the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the Hudson Institute, and Freedom House. Like many of its neoconservative brethren, the FDD links cultural issues in the United States to the broader issue of confronting enemies abroad. It has even lambasted comic books for their supposedly corrosive impact on American youth. In an April 2003 FDD white paper titled ?The Betrayal of Captain America,? Michael Medved and Michael Lackner claimed: ?Marvel Comics and other publishers are disseminating comic books that actively promote a destructive cynicism and distrust of the United States government? (Boston Globe, August 28, 2005).

More BS extremist right wing Neoconservative think tank propaganda

Sourcewatch

The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies on rightweb
 

jrenz

Banned
Jan 11, 2006
1,788
0
0
Originally posted by: Steeplerot
Originally posted by: jrenz
Don't worry, this will be shot down as propaganda within a few posts.
Post garbage and expect to be exposed:


[Cliff May] (The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies)

The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) is a think tank that claims to conduct "research and education on international terrorism - the most serious security threat to the United States and other free, democratic nations. FDD produces independent analyses of global terrorist threats, as well as of the historical, cultural, philosophical and ideological factors that drive terrorism, and which threaten democracies and the individual freedoms guaranteed within democratic societies." Their work is closely linked with that of the National Endowment for Democracy.[1] FDD was created two days after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

More BS extremist right wing think tank propaganda

Sourcewatch

The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies on rightweb
There's plenty of garbage posted here... trolls like you seem to onliy dispute the postive stuff though :laugh: What a shill
 

BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
57,394
5,746
126
While this MAY be an actual letter from an actual Marine serving in combat, it sure sounds more like propaganda than reality.
 

Steeplerot

Lifer
Mar 29, 2004
13,050
6
81
Originally posted by: jrenz

There's plenty of garbage posted here... trolls like you seem to onliy dispute the postive stuff though :laugh: What a shill
There is no positive or even truth in it.

It is garbage from a neoconservative think-tank in DC.

Seems to me you are the shill here.
 

DealMonkey

Lifer
Nov 25, 2001
13,136
1
0
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Yet another letter from an American soldier actually in Iraq on what they see going on.
Unfortunately I have no idea who wrote this or where they are, however I found it on National Review Online, which is a reputable web site, if biased to the right.

I will point out that like my pre-Christmas thread about military blogers in Iraq this one also mentions the dissatisfaction that those who are actually in Iraq have with our media ands its portrayal of Iraq as a dismal failure. As this writer points out we are killing them at a ratio of 20-1 and yet the media would have you believe that Americans are being killed without inflicting any damage or making any progress.

I know asking you guys to avoid the Bush bashing and focus on the details of this post is hard, but try any way.
Maybe you can try harder to post actual news, rather than this crap. None of what this alleged Marine is saying is by any means "news" or anything close to it.
 

OrganizedChaos

Diamond Member
Apr 21, 2002
4,525
0
0
Originally posted by: DealMonkey
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Yet another letter from an American soldier actually in Iraq on what they see going on.
Unfortunately I have no idea who wrote this or where they are, however I found it on National Review Online, which is a reputable web site, if biased to the right.

I will point out that like my pre-Christmas thread about military blogers in Iraq this one also mentions the dissatisfaction that those who are actually in Iraq have with our media ands its portrayal of Iraq as a dismal failure. As this writer points out we are killing them at a ratio of 20-1 and yet the media would have you believe that Americans are being killed without inflicting any damage or making any progress.

I know asking you guys to avoid the Bush bashing and focus on the details of this post is hard, but try any way.
Maybe you can try harder to post actual news, rather than this crap. None of what this alleged Marine is saying is by any means "news" or anything close to it.
i certainly didn't know our guys were over there fighting the Chechens too, so its news to me.
 

Red Dawn

Elite Member
Jun 4, 2001
57,530
3
0
Originally posted by: OrganizedChaos
Originally posted by: DealMonkey
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Yet another letter from an American soldier actually in Iraq on what they see going on.
Unfortunately I have no idea who wrote this or where they are, however I found it on National Review Online, which is a reputable web site, if biased to the right.

I will point out that like my pre-Christmas thread about military blogers in Iraq this one also mentions the dissatisfaction that those who are actually in Iraq have with our media ands its portrayal of Iraq as a dismal failure. As this writer points out we are killing them at a ratio of 20-1 and yet the media would have you believe that Americans are being killed without inflicting any damage or making any progress.

I know asking you guys to avoid the Bush bashing and focus on the details of this post is hard, but try any way.
Maybe you can try harder to post actual news, rather than this crap. None of what this alleged Marine is saying is by any means "news" or anything close to it.
i certainly didn't know our guys were over there fighting the Chechens too, so its news to me.
I wonder if there is any Bosnians and Indonesians thrown in the mix?
 

Aimster

Lifer
Jan 5, 2003
16,129
2
0
The guy who wrote the note is giving his own opinion. None of the information he gives is comparable to what the pentagon releases.
 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,251
5
0
As I pointed out in the OP I to wish there was more information on where this letter came from. It would be really nice to see a link to a third party source such as a blog.
However, I have no doubt that 100% of what is including in this letter is factual. It reads very much like all the other military written letters we have seen posted on here or on other sites.
In other words, don?t blame the messenger for the message.

Dealmonkey: Did you not just create a thread about a video game? Link And yet you question the validity of this thread? For someone who's signature is all about protecting our civil liberties you sure seem to attack a lot of others for what they think or say/post.

And Steeplerot: ?More BS extremist right wing Neoconservative think tank propaganda? Are you not the person who just compared Kieth Olberman to Edward Murrow? With that world view anyone to the right of Stalin would be a extremist right winger.
 

Steeplerot

Lifer
Mar 29, 2004
13,050
6
81
Originally posted by: ProfJohn


And Steeplerot: ?More BS extremist right wing Neoconservative think tank propaganda? Are you not the person who just compared Kieth Olberman to Edward Murrow? With that world view anyone to the right of Stalin would be a extremist right winger.
Stalin was very right wing totalitarian dictator in reality, and this kind of blatant propaganda would have been right up his alley.
 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,251
5
0
Steeple, a lesson for you:
Socialism and Communism = left wing political ideologies
Nazism and Fascism = right wing political ideologies

Got it? There may be a quiz later.
 

Steeplerot

Lifer
Mar 29, 2004
13,050
6
81
Wrong, Stalin purged the party of leftist leaders and thinkers very early on, try a history book.
 

Rainsford

Lifer
Apr 25, 2001
17,515
0
0
I find it extremely difficult to believe this letter is actually from an American Marine who is well informed about what is going on in Iraq. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it's complete bullshit, and a fairly transparent variety at that. Since I don't know where the letter really came from any more than anyone else, I can't say who wrote it or what the motivations for doing so are, but as far as providing an honest look at "what's really going on in Iraq", I think we need to look elsewhere.

The first problem is that the letter blatantly contradicts some pretty basic facts about the conflict in Iraq. For one thing, the writer makes the point repeatedly that most of the violence is caused by foreign terrorist groups. But it is well covered in every media outlet, left, right and center, that the major and growing problem in Iraq is the various sectarian Sunni and Shi'ite groups going at it. Not only that, but it's well acknowledged by our military leadership that this is the problem that needs solving before there can be peace in Iraq. The idea that it is not a civil war type situation is rejected by almost everyone. Whoever this author might be, he's either misinformed or lying.

The second problem is that the language reads far more like something and internet warrior wannabe would write. I can't imagine a soldier, for example, discussing "kill ratios" using the phrase "Fun Fact". And for that matter I can't imagine a soldier thinking that winning in Iraq is accomplished by just killing enough people. The words, phrasing and general purpose of this letter sound far more like the usual crap found in right-wing blogs than anything written by someone who's actually in the field. The lack of trustworthiness of the site this came from doesn't help either.
 

Rainsford

Lifer
Apr 25, 2001
17,515
0
0
Originally posted by: jrenz
Don't worry, this will be shot down as propaganda within a few posts.
So someone posts something that supports their opinion, without any sort of facts to back it up except a link to an extremely untrustworthy, and overtly biased, website and we're NOT supposed to think it's propaganda? What planet do you live on?
 

CitizenKain

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2000
4,480
14
76
Originally posted by: Rainsford

The second problem is that the language reads far more like something and internet warrior wannabe would write. I can't imagine a soldier, for example, discussing "kill ratios" using the phrase "Fun Fact". And for that matter I can't imagine a soldier thinking that winning in Iraq is accomplished by just killing enough people.
To be fair, I've known a few that do have a dark and morbid sense of humor where they do use things like "Fun Fact" and talk about the after affect of a claymore going off.

But the rest of the letter doesn't sound all that legit.
 

maluckey

Platinum Member
Jan 31, 2003
2,933
0
71
So,

If someone on this forum were to post about experiences without "links" then it is complete BS if it contradicts CNN or Fox news? What I keep hearing is that despite actually having been there, and going back a second time in short order (Got my orders and finished with Ft. Bragg already), that if I contradict the news or the common consensus then I am wrong?

I must not understand this particular thread.

The military is composed of all kinds of people. I have met the absolute best AND worst people that I have ever known while in the military. They have viewpoints, opinions, and even political aspirations within the military if theyever want to make O-6 or CSM. They can and often do see things differently than the average Joe. They also speak about that which they shouldn't. This letter wasn't from a military released blog, and will likely cost him his job.
 

BoberFett

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
37,563
9
81
A Marine's notes? What kind of Marine has this kind of information available to them? Is this a general or a sergeant? How does your average grunt know what's contained on a laptop they capture? How does a grunt know a particular IED is Iranian? This does indeed sound like propaganda.
 

DealMonkey

Lifer
Nov 25, 2001
13,136
1
0
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Dealmonkey: Did you not just create a thread about a video game? Link And yet you question the validity of this thread? For someone who's signature is all about protecting our civil liberties you sure seem to attack a lot of others for what they think or say/post.
WTF does that have to do with anything? Are you unable to read and comprehend? You have an alleged letter from a Marine in Iraq. Totally anonymous. No name, no unit, no nothing. How is this even news? That's what I'm questioning, not your ability to post it or not. Stop being such a drama queen and think for a moment.
 

Balt

Lifer
Mar 12, 2000
12,674
482
126
will point out that like my pre-Christmas thread about military blogers in Iraq this one also mentions the dissatisfaction that those who are actually in Iraq have with our media ands its portrayal of Iraq as a dismal failure. As this writer points out we are killing them at a ratio of 20-1 and yet the media would have you believe that Americans are being killed without inflicting any damage or making any progress.
They have a practically endless supply of reinforcements over there. We do not.

They do not value life. We do.

I don't care what the ratio of kills is. Americans are still dying, and the violence is still increasing.
 

Phokus

Lifer
Nov 20, 1999
22,995
774
126
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Yet another letter from an American soldier actually in Iraq on what they see going on.
Unfortunately I have no idea who wrote this or where they are, however I found it on National Review Online, which is a reputable web site, if biased to the right.
[/quote]

No they are not 'reputable'. I read andrew sullivan's blog a lot and every time they get into a 'blog war', sullivan makes NRO look like morons. They are some of the most dishonest shills i have ever read.

 

Rainsford

Lifer
Apr 25, 2001
17,515
0
0
Originally posted by: maluckey
So,

If someone on this forum were to post about experiences without "links" then it is complete BS if it contradicts CNN or Fox news? What I keep hearing is that despite actually having been there, and going back a second time in short order (Got my orders and finished with Ft. Bragg already), that if I contradict the news or the common consensus then I am wrong?

I must not understand this particular thread.

The military is composed of all kinds of people. I have met the absolute best AND worst people that I have ever known while in the military. They have viewpoints, opinions, and even political aspirations within the military if theyever want to make O-6 or CSM. They can and often do see things differently than the average Joe. They also speak about that which they shouldn't. This letter wasn't from a military released blog, and will likely cost him his job.
Of course people in the military have valuable opinions formed from doing and seeing things the average commentator does not. But "actually having been there" is not a magic experience that gives you infinite understanding of the entire situation. Just like any individual, you are only able to form personal opinions about the things you personally experience...it would be silly to trust your view of the overall situation over that of organizations dedicated to finding out the whole picture, especially when that picture is often supported by folks in the military who ARE payed to understand the big picture (you don't happen to be a General, do you?). And I find it ESPECIALLY hard to take at face value the viewpoint of people who "have actually been there" when they have such an obvious political axe to grind.

Let's put this in other terms that avoid the semi-religious attitude people seem to take whenever we're talking about "the troops". Almost every bit of information, available from the media and the police and administrative organizations, suggest that Baltimore, Maryland is among the most dangerous cities in the country. This position is taken by the experts, the media, and the people in charge of the city, after reviewing reams of crime data and statistics. But I happen to live near Baltimore, and go into the city quite frequently (this is true). My personal experience has always been that Baltimore is pretty safe, I've never had any problems even in less than stellar parts of the city later at night (this is also true). Now, suppose I start a blog where I bitch about how people are misrepresenting the city and how the media has an anti-Baltimore bias, and write letters and op-eds where I say that my opinion is obviously the right one because I live there. Would people take me seriously? Should they? I think the answer is obvious, because even though my experience DOES shed some light on the city as a whole, one person can't possibly experience everything in the city, and can't possibly understand the big picture from their small corner of the city.
 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,251
5
0
Originally posted by: BoberFett
A Marine's notes? What kind of Marine has this kind of information available to them? Is this a general or a sergeant? How does your average grunt know what's contained on a laptop they capture? How does a grunt know a particular IED is Iranian? This does indeed sound like propaganda.
Remember the thread about "The Secret Letter from Iraq"?
The Secret Letter From Iraq
It was written by someone with a TON of rather high level information. Apparently an officer or someone working in intelligence.

You seem to think we have a bunch of morons running around in uniform, are you a friend of John Kerry's?
The fact is that many members of our military are highly intelligent and also I am sure a lot of what is learned by the brass is shared with the troops in order to give them the necessary information to stay alive.
I can see a brief where privates are told about the new IED and how they are made and what the look like. That is the kind of information that they need to stay alive.

Perhaps some of you should read new stories written by the few reporters who have been to the front lines, mostly former military personnel themselves, and see how they are written and how the soldiers act. The tone and manor of this letter is very similar to those stories.

Finally, it is amazing how you guys jump all over this and try to prove it as being propaganda. I guess you can stand the idea of anything that might disagree with the view of Iraq presented by the media. Just like Vietnam, it is not the military war we are losing, it is the political one. If we give up and leave it will not be because the military could not get their part of the job done, but because the politicians could not get their part done.
 

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