Tag Archives: Iraq

My How Things Have Changed in Places like Iraq

My how things have changed in places like Iraq.

Election of the Ethically Dead by David Donar - http://politicalgraffiti.wordpress.com

Election of the Ethically Dead by David Donar – http://politicalgraffiti.wordpress.com

It’s 2014, President Barack Obama is in charge of U.S. efforts in Iraq, and things have gotten exponentially worse than they were four years ago.

According to a BBC World News America/Harris Poll conducted Aug. 19 and 23, 2010, more than half of Americans — 57 percent to be precise — believed Iraq was better off than it was before the U.S. invasion seven years earlier.

Conversely, according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal/Annenberg poll conducted last week, a combined 68 percent of Americans say they have “very little” or “just some” confidence that Obama’s goals of degrading and eliminating the threat posed by ISIS will be achieved. [Editor's Note:  In case you didn't know, ISIS is the Islamic terror group President Obama calls "ISIL" so as not to reference the group's role in seizing large portions of Syria (the "S" in ISIS stands for Syria) and Iraq, killing thousands and threatening to export their terror attacks to the U.S. and Europe.]

Thought they don’t offer a head-to-head comparison, the poll numbers highlighted above remain telling nonetheless. So much so, in fact, that they prompted me to off a flashback to two 2007 videos featuring well-known U.S. senators:

On Jan. 30, 2007, then-Senator Obama (D-Ill.) introduced legislation calling for a phased redeployment of U.S. combat troops in Iraq (VIDEO).

On April 18, 2007, Senator Reid said, “This war is lost” during a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate (VIDEO).

Eye-opening stuff to think about as the 2014 and 2016 elections draw near.

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Same ROEs Should Apply to Military, Contractors

After reading a recent Stars and Stripes article about DoD considering the use of contractors in place of U.S. military “boots on the ground” in Iraq, I asked a long-time friend if such an approach was “do-able.” His answer caught me by surprise.

Marines like Sgt. Warren Sparks should operate under Rules of Engagement that help keep them alive (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Joseph Scanlan).

Marines like Sgt. Warren Sparks should operate under Rules of Engagement that help keep them alive (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Joseph Scanlan).

My friend, whose name I will not divulge for matters related to his personal security, is a retired Army Green Beret who’s worked several post-retirement stints as a Defense Department “hired gun” in war zones.  In answer to my question, he said, “Yes, and it’s already happening.” That, however, isn’t what surprised me.

He went on to explain that he and his fellow contractors (a.k.a., “trigger pullers”) “don’t have to call three different commanders in order to shoot back” the way their uniform-wearing U.S. military colleagues do.

That’s right! Contractors work under Rules of Engagement that make sense in combat, while U.S. military warfighters in Afghanistan and Iraq remain hamstrung by ROEs that, too often, get them killed.

Why is this allowed to happen? One expert quoted in the aforementioned article seemed to know the answer:

Employing contractors is a way to avoid deploying military forces, since contractors aren’t considered “boots on the ground” in conflict zones;

“The government always seeks to minimize boots on the ground to reduce domestic political risk;” and

“The American people and media do not consider a paid contractor to represent them in the same way that they do a soldier.”

It’s a shame we allow our nation’s top officials to get away with this politically-driven double standard that, too often, has resulted in brave young men and women being killed.

All American warfighters, military and contractor, should operate under the same ROEs — that is, the ones most likely to keep them alive! At the same time, it would help if members of the national news media would report on this double standard until it is changed.

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.