Victory and loss

By Hooah Mac Posted in Comments (73) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

Promoted from Diaries by Thomas, because it's needed.

This was written in response to another thread, but someone suggested I make it into a blog...

As I am typing this, the base here is at alarm red. For those of you who haven't had an opporunity to hang in the sandbox, that means there are incoming mortars. I think that establishes my credibility to comment on this issue.
To us, every soldier lost is a tragedy. Although it would be impossible to know every other member of the U. S. Army, we are a "brotherhood"(in quotes because I would never leave our wonderful female soldiers out of it). I believe every person in my unit was at least acquainted with someone who has been lost in Iraq. One guy that I used to sit near in the DFAC(dining facility) on a regular basis was blown up by an IED on a short trip outside the wire to chase down insurgents who had launched a mortar attack on us. He was 19.

With that said, WE believe in our mission. Lord knows I don't want to die in the God-forsaken desert. On the other hand, I accepted that possibility when I raised my right hand and swore an oath.
We are succeeding here, it is slow, it is painful, and it is costing the lives of American Soldiers. That is not the standard by which we judge. We do not count the bodies in the way that the media does, because we know they aren't numbers. Each time we hear of one falling, we bow our heads and say a prayer, or we stand at attention and render a crisp salute to their sacrifice. Our standard is victory, and although it is not as easily defined in this conflict as it was in the past, that makes it no less valuable or attainable.

We watch the news. We know what the left thinks of us. Erick has it right, the left wants us to fail, no matter the cost. The President and I want us to succeed, no matter the cost.

If you truly care about the lives of soldiers, then honor the sacrifice they make. A soldier's greatest fear is not of dying, but of having the sacrifices he or she makes rendered meaningless by surrender.

"...and each wasted evening is
a gross violation against the
natural course of your only life;"
-Charles Buckowski

Our prayers for your safety and that of everyone else in harm's way.

____
Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

has duly taken note. I would wish you success in your mission, but I'm exhausted from dancing on soldiers graves. Time is running out - godspeed.

And geography keeps me from the response that I'd prefer.
____
Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

Sarcasm has its proper time and place. You sir are sick. (I am with mbecker, I can see how protests can become riots) People like you don’t deserve the Freedom of Speech, bought with blood, you have.

A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever. -John Adams

Avoid phrases like "dancing on soldiers(sic) graves" in the future.

Thanks in advance.

-----------
We are all heroes, you and Boo and I. Hamsters and rangers everywhere, rejoice!

Took me a moment to place it.

Booooooo!
A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever. -John Adams

Hey Thomas, long time no chat....I'm still lurking though. You must be busy with something else these days, I don't see you writing as prolificly. I miss it.

Anyway, in defense of oyster, given Erick's recent submission and the closing line of this post, boots in sand or no, I think he made an appropriate retort. This whole "left rejoicing at soldier's deaths" thing is pretty highly inflammatory, and in 99.9% of every liberal I have encountered, read about, or even fathomed existing, completely inaccurate. You basically know that, and I know the drill on who can shout the loudest or drop the best fireball, but seriously, if Erick or mbecker or others really believe that, it makes it difficult to promote healthy conversation.

I am on the left, of the left, and I'm not ashamed of that for a moment. Every soldier who dies is a brother of mine as well. I want the best for both our military and our country, and if I disagree with you as to what exactly that means, it's an honest disagreement. I know the general thinking here is that the left is less civil than the right, and on the internet at least there may be some truth to that, but Erick's post (which prompted this one from the desert) about made me pen something that might have lost my posting priveleges in these here parts.

The devil take order now! I'll to the throng:
Let life be short; else shame will be too long.

It really was more in the nature of an admonition than a "retract now" moment. You know me well enough to know that if I mean "retract now," I'll say "retract now." I'm trying to be the soft option these days; that doesn't mean everyone else has given up on a knife to the throat as a dispute resolution method.

That said, good to hear from you, and the kind words are reciprocated. You still knee-deep in vomit? (As a professional matter. What you do with your private time off the board is none of my business. ;) )

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We are all heroes, you and Boo and I. Hamsters and rangers everywhere, rejoice!

It just gave me an opening to say my bit without engaging Erick head-on. It is your all's treehouse, after all.

Not sure about the vomit. When I was active here at Redstate I was a law clerk and then a public defender....since then I've gone over to prosecution, believe it or not, and love it. Probably a bit of softy for the shoot first ask questions later crowd, but yes, I'm putting away bad guys.

Kentucky politics are kind of interesting right now with 10 different slates in the field, so I've been playing around a bit there, but really, just keeping my powder dry waiting for the next big thing. I know you live in Florida but are a Texan...please tell me you're not a Donovan fan....

Apologies for threadjack.

The devil take order now! I'll to the throng:
Let life be short; else shame will be too long.

It was not appropriate at all. I say this not because liberals are, or would consider, literally, dancing on the graves of our soldiers, but because they are so detached from our common shared reality that by rhetorical device they simply do not understand that their positions and little, convenient beliefs have real world consequences. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly you can virtually anything and make about yourselves without a second thought. It is as if how you feel about something is more important than the facts, the consequences, and what it does to people who you don’t know, have never met, and show an indifference to that belies your self image as some sort of caring and introspective person. Philosophically it is little more than an extreme self-centeredness and inwardness that demolishes any slavish devotion to “diversity” in any but the most superficial of terms.

Furthermore, there are many, many things that are much more than simply not "appropriate". Maybe "liberals", which by my reckoning is mutually exclusive, believe that they can have a civil and orderly discussion about the murder of six million Jews, be it at the hands of National Socialists, or bloodthirsty, Arab fanatics. Maybe you believe that you can have a civil conversation about defeating our military politically when they have not lost on the battlefield. Maybe you think you can have a civil conversation about a great many things that are merely philosophical diversion for you and people who think like you, but for a man like me, your ruminations are offensive to the point of being evil; really, and truly evil.

Saying that our defeat will be good for us is evil, and utterly illiberal in light of exactly whom our enemy happens to be in Iraq. Perhaps blowing up women and children, attacking duly elected democratic institutions, and attempting to make life as miserable as possible, for a people who have already been through the hell of totalitarianism administered by a megalomaniac mad man, is very liberal in your opinion, but to actually put that forth to a sane person is far too much to tacitly endure.

No. We cannot have a civilized discussion about allowing unspeakable horrors to befall innocent people. We cannot have a civil discussion about stabbing our soldiers in the back, and spitting on the honor and bravery that they have been showing the world since they freed 25,000,000 people. The people on my side entertained those on yours who wanted to have a civil discussion about communism for the majority of my life, till the discussion was rendered moot by the collapse of the USSR. Did it cost your side anything? Really, I mean do you acknowledge any mistakes, or that maybe in the past sixty years the left could have made some terrible mistakes that cost people their lives?...No, which is why you wanted to have this civil discussion that continues today in spite of being totally discredited. The fact that this inhuman and inhumane ideology murdered 200,000,000 while you were having your nice little chat never crosses your minds, and I find it so terribly offensive, that I simply refuse to entertain your foolishness, insincerity, ignorance, penchant for the theoretical, and every other foppish display of selfishness and fantasy that you put forth as if it were some sort of scholarly discourse that was “good for the country”.

It’s not good. It’s poison. Entertaining your fantasies has led to a great nation turning a blind eye to the worst human catastrophes of the last century, and I’ll be damned if I am going to politely discuss throwing 25,000,000 people to the worst wolves of our age, because it doesn’t make you feel good about yourself.

It is long past time that someone called a spade a spade when it was dealt, and not in twenty years when you have moved on, and completely forgotten what your policies delivered our country when fighting against political, human bug spray. At this point you have to WANT to be ignorant to refuse to understand who we are fighting, and what the stakes are. Go somewhere else if you want your fantasies to be entertained, because I am old enough to know that wasting time debating with the likes of you causes the weak and the helpless. It costs them everything they have, and everything they’re ever going to have.

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem." - President Ronald Reagan

"a spleen is a terrible thing to waste" -Iowahawk

Ya know, I go to make some coffee and do a little work and when I get back, my political ideology has just murderd 225,000,000, if I got the body count right. I HATE it when that happens.

Was it Chesterton that said something along the lines of progressives are busy making mistakes and conservatives are busy keeping mistakes from being fixed? I'll take my lumps if you'll take yours, friend. Or really, I'll take them whether you do or don't.

Let's just leave it at in a country where our governance depends on the exchange of ideas and cooperation of folks with radically different viewpoints, I think it best to try and maintain an open link with people who maybe think differently than I do. We have more in common than perhaps you believe.

The devil take order now! I'll to the throng:
Let life be short; else shame will be too long.

And BTW, long time no see, glad to see again....

I am seeing the lefty press take DAILY pleasure, and I do mean pleasure, in reporting body counts, for the sole purpose of using soldier deaths as political ammo.

Just my opinion bro, but these people ARE rejoicing at soldiers' deaths.

It's war -- so when can we start shooting back at the enemy Democrats?

1) A sensationalist press that makes money off of bad news, particularly when stuff blows up. Extra particularly when that stuff includes our people.

2) A political environment where the administration of the country is under considerable pressure by a large number of people in this county who are dissatisfied by the state of our conflict in Iraq to one degree or another, and see losses in the field as further evidence that the administration blew it, and is continuing to blow it.

And before execretation starts working me over again, my personal position is that we can't withdraw until the country is stabilized. Put me in the Baker-Hamilton camp, of sorts.

The devil take order now! I'll to the throng:
Let life be short; else shame will be too long.

and of course you are well-known at RS by folks much more weighty than I (and that's NOT a fat joke...) as fair-minded, well-spoken, smart, and a bitch to debate with.

But as a parting shot, in my personal experience it's just a good bit more than 0.1% on the left that actually take pleasure in American military deaths. Not all, not even 'alot', but I'd put it at 15%.

It's war -- so when can we start shooting back at the enemy Democrats?

I think maybe the lefties you are referring to are the isolationist/anti-globalism subset, of which sometimes the right participates under the protectionist banner, which decries the US as world policeman/empire. While I think practically no one rejoices in American deaths, there are probably some (none of whom I know personally) that would think failure would teach ourselves a lesson. I disagree, vehmently, the stakes are far too high for such idiocy, but I do see that train of thought on the left-leaning blogs. It is not, IMHO, the dominant one.

Thanks for the kind words, BTW - I still read you guys on a regular basis, I just haven't had time to get in slugfests with Streiff and Thomas anymore.

The devil take order now! I'll to the throng:
Let life be short; else shame will be too long.

let's meet and discuss this.

Well done is better than well said. —Benjamin Franklin

but I'm deep undercover in the West Philly hood. It's not very safe to go outside, as I'm sure you've heard if you are in the area.

and will be in the area early next month.

Well done is better than well said. —Benjamin Franklin

"During my lifetime, all our problems have come from mainland Europe, and all the solutions from the English-speaking nations across the world." - Thatcher

fighting the war on the home front for exactly the same reason. I'm glad you're here (and over there), Mac. My nephew is in the Anbar kicking Syrian terrorist butts from what I gather.

But I just want to encourage you -- we're fighting the war against not just the lefty surrender monkeys but also against the treasonous drive-by media who seem bent on making our sacrifices be in vain. It IS war, and I'm in it for blood.

Thanks bro.

It's war -- so when can we start shooting back at the enemy Democrats?

So you'll be signing the enlistment papers, when exactly?

There never was a good war or a bad peace -- Benjamin Franklin

____
Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

-----------
We are all heroes, you and Boo and I. Hamsters and rangers everywhere, rejoice!

See, this is me being the hard option. I've never laid claim to any sort of subtlety.

-----------
We are all heroes, you and Boo and I. Hamsters and rangers everywhere, rejoice!

The chickenhawk theme has never been one of my favorites. I equate it with "the left celebrates the death of every soldier" as more or less fighting words with little merit :-).

The devil take order now! I'll to the throng:
Let life be short; else shame will be too long.

"chickenhawk" as a way of stifling those who support the war.

It's clear that criticism from one who is currently in harm's way stings the Left.

The Left points to US casualties as a means of reinforcing their defeatist position.

The diarist does not mention "dancing on graves" or "celebrating the deaths" of soldiers. He merely mentions that the Left wants us to lose in Iraq - which is evident by the policies now being pursued by the Democrat Congress.

We got money on this. RS 3.0 needs - really needs - to have the elapsed time on gacked accounts. It's just a matter of commerce.

Thanks.
____
Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

" in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."
Abe Lincoln

this idea that only those who support the war have a duty to help the war effort succeed is both false and illogical.

the constitution sets up a process for decisionmaking. your duties as a citizen remain the same even if the policy you don't favor is chosen by that process.

"During my lifetime, all our problems have come from mainland Europe, and all the solutions from the English-speaking nations across the world." - Thatcher

They might feel like contesting Ben's commentary.

Ciao, militarist. And for the love of God, zip up your fly.

Moe

PPS: 12:12, by the way.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC.

You're out of the pool from now on. :>(
____
Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

What is the source of the quote that you are attributing to Benjamin Franklin?

...a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right...

---Thomas Paine---

about it here, if you want to take a look:

http://www.whiskeyandgunpowder.com/Archives/2005/20050422.html

(Of course, even if Franklin believed what he wrote, it doesn't necessarily put him with today's Left. One can believe war is always bad but prefer it to the alternatives.)

"During my lifetime, all our problems have come from mainland Europe, and all the solutions from the English-speaking nations across the world." - Thatcher

The quote in context appears to be a lamentation of the economic destruction of war.

...a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right...

---Thomas Paine---

but I'm gainfully employed and was actually doing some things my employer wanted to. Didn't realized I got 'snarked' till now.

Hey, little boy. USAF, 1990-1998. Been there. Volunteered, and real dang proud to have worn the uniform. I'm 43 yrs old now, and I don't owe you any explanation about anything.

It's war -- so when can we start shooting back at the enemy Democrats?

"There never was a good war or a bad peace -- Benjamin Franklin"

Not one of Ben's more lucid moments, was it?

Democrats on Iraq: "We don't want to win. We just want to quit."
My SUVs park in the shade of AlGore's carbon big toeprint.

You are owed honor, resources, and the chance to use both in pursuit of the mission you have so bravely accepted.

You have manned up, and the least the rest of us can do is cheer you on.

Somehow "Thank you!" doesn't quite cover it.

--


See the Academy

...help you to change your mind about the Left wanting you to fail?

if you're interested in letting us know why you think the Left prefers the troops to succeed.

I hope you write it. It would be good to hear your point of view.

"During my lifetime, all our problems have come from mainland Europe, and all the solutions from the English-speaking nations across the world." - Thatcher

with no strings attached. Get yourLefty friends to quit calling Iraq a "QUAGMIRE!!!". Get your Lefty friends to quit comparing our troops to Nazis? Then I'll start to believe that the Left doesn't want him to fail.

Socialism doesn't work. It looks nice on paper, but it's been tried and it's failed miserably every time (usually accompanied by widespread death and suffering).
Proud member of the V.R.W.C.

will be the obvious result of most of the ideas being pushed by Democrats and the Left today? If they don't want us to fail, why push those ideas?

Democrats on Iraq: "We don't want to win. We just want to quit."
My SUVs park in the shade of AlGore's carbon big toeprint.

and be proud of your service. While I may disagree with the direction this mission is headed, I am always in awe of the courage and fortitude men and women like you show. The country is indebted to you.

Ford said it better than about anybody...


____
Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

Democrats on Iraq: "We don't want to win. We just want to quit."
My SUVs park in the shade of AlGore's carbon big toeprint.

that make grown men cry. Thanks you.

The gratitude and respect I am given daily. Greater men than I bought them for me with their lives and their limbs and their loves...

There are those who look on Dresden and Tokyo and Hiroshima as some of the greatest evils ever perpetrated by man. I look on them and thank the perpetrators for saving millions.

The sound of an old Marine dad whacking an Army recruiter upside the head.

When you raised your hand, your backside went on the line. While I've never met you over a beer, I respect you for your commitment to your service and to our country.

There is an old saying, I have no idea it's source, "All gave some, some gave all." Raven, you made a choice to be part of "all", the giving is out of your control. The measure of a man is his integrity among his peers and his willingness to abide his commitments. You, sir, are a good man. The respect you are shown, you've earned.

Bless you.
____
Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

Let's see how you feel about having 3 of your soldiers in the combat zone Now and 3 more scheduled to go when you have never been in theater and 2 of those second 3 are your brother in law and your wife...
Honestly, I am sending people off to possibly die and have never been in their position myself... It just doesn't feel right...

There are those who look on Dresden and Tokyo and Hiroshima as some of the greatest evils ever perpetrated by man. I look on them and thank the perpetrators for saving millions.

I'll thank you too, Becker.

Talked to mine a long time a couple of days ago; they lost a guy to an IED and he had a lot to talk about. Didn't tell his mother; just told her we were talking about "things."

In Vino Veritas

"...exactly what is it you do..." I was quietly screaming to myself "NO, NO" but he thought she really wanted to know. So he told her. In graphic detail. At the end of the conversation she said, "Oh." There was an awkward silence and he said he call again in a few days. I caught the call and told him NEVER to do that again. He said, "Yeah, I knew I screwed up."

After that he'd call home to talk to mom and call my cell phone when he needed to decompress. I told mom that we talking about "stuff".
____
Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

I'm amazed at what he doesn't have/can't get. I'm on a first name basis with every clerk at the Post Office now and am starting to feel like a combination of quartermaster and PX. Some of it is just "stuff" he wants, but I was taken aback when he asked for a foam mat since he'd been sleeping on a sheet of plywood for over a month. I wouldn't expect much when he was out in the field, but this is a big FOB that has been there quite some time.

In Vino Veritas

We found out, early on, that some Marine snipers were suffering rationing of AMMUNITION. My best friend, a competition shooter, and I, a devious old fart, shipped 5,000 rounds of competition 308.

The problem was eventually resolved, but it sure felt good to help.
____
Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

There are those who look on Dresden and Tokyo and Hiroshima as some of the greatest evils ever perpetrated by man. I look on them and thank the perpetrators for saving millions.

____
Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

You keep yourself and your brothers well, Soldier.

There are plenty of us here to keep the "lose at any cost crowd" in check. I for one believe in you and the service you provide. Once you get home then take up the battle here for our cause. But please, don't let these losers, safe and sound in their homes cause you alarm. The troops will be funded, the good guy always wins. This is America, still and forever. We that enjoy our America remember that if took the blood of good people to make and maintain this special place. If need be we will arise again before we will let them take that honor away.

lukas42

That is absolutley, the stupidest question I've hear in the last 5 years.

Hang out for a while, a drive by lefty or two will top that a couple of times a day...

And you couldn't possibly have teenagers...
____
Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

Well done is better than well said. —Benjamin Franklin

If you think that is stupid try hanging out in the faculty lounges of a left-leaning public school.

...a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right...

---Thomas Paine---

____
Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

It is in general a bit redundant. In urban areas it is extremely redundant and probably understates the leftist inclinations of the faculty. In Suburbia it is usually redundant (I attended a suburban public high school in the early 1990’s where the faculty went on strike with the stated purpose of redistributing wealth in the township). In some rural schools it is not redundant. Take for example the school that I teach in the faculty here is decidedly center-right. That said the community where the school exists is considered to be very Conservative (much more than the faculty).

...a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right...

---Thomas Paine---

It is just sick to hear the cowards and fools who want to leave Iraq at any cost. I was really pleased to hear John McCain’s speech to the VMI students. Here is one of his most impressive parts of the speech.

"Before I left for Iraq, I watched with regret as the House of Representatives voted to deny our troops the support necessary to carry out their new mission. Democratic leaders smiled and cheered as the last votes were counted. What were they celebrating? Defeat? Surrender? In Iraq, only our enemies were cheering. A defeat for the United States is a cause for mourning not celebrating. And determining how the United States can avert such a disaster should encourage the most sober, public-spirited reasoning among our elected leaders not the giddy anticipation of the next election.

Thank you John McCain, I have been waiting for someone to finally confront the Democratic leaders and expose them for what they really are self-serving short-sited opportunist that could care less for our troops or our county.

Glenn

I didn't hear the speech or see that clip, but that is appalling. You and McCain are 100% right- allowing for a moment the assumption that the D's are right, that it is time to pull the plug on Iraq, the notion that anyone would be cheering and backslapping over it, especially when many of them voted to authorize it in the first place, makes me absolutely sick. If any one of them could even muster an ounce of sincere sorrow in passing a motion for America's defeat, I would at least try to take them seriously. But its better this way, they show what their true feelings are.

All I can say is I hope Rove and the RNC were taping CSPAN that day.

I think every one here believes that no nation in history has had a finer, more honorable, more capable military. For that we can never be suffigiently appreciative.

Your thoughtful words, your willingness and ability to express what this mission means to you and those with you, your sacrifices and your progress, should give pause to all those on the left who beleive supporting the troops and undermining the mission is the same thing. They can only claim to speak for you, as long as you and everyone serving can not speak for themselves. The contest for victory, as opposed to the battle to defeat the enemy, will be fought ultimately in theater of ideas.

Your's is a very welcome voice.

Come home safe.

And please add to your blog when you can, we who beleive in you and support the mission can use the reinforcements on this front in the contest of ideas.

Support the Mission - Honor the troops
Exsolvo Orbis Terrarum

but have children fighting in Iraq and elsewhere. But with all respect, Gengis, and an unfortunate name that is, too, since it reminds me immediately of John F'n Kerry -- you may support the troops, you may even support their mission. But if you are of the left you vote for people who do not support the troops, do not support the mission, do not support this country in any shape, matter or form, and who in fact every day of their lives aid and abet this country's vilest enemies.

That is simply indisputable and I defy you to deny it. All the wailing in the world by lefties who cry they are patriotic and support the troops means zero when you vote for and support the enemies of this country and our civilization. Period.

You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.

It says everything that needs to be said.

A fellow LT of mine is heading back later in the spring with a BCT. We are winning now, it is just a question of time. Really a race between the defeatist left who can not allow a victory, and the MNF and Iraqi people who want to free themselves from AQI and the insurgency. All it takes is being steadfast and continuing with the mission. Petraeaus is running the correct strategy, and we have the best military in the world to carry it out. Too bad for our country we have such miserable cretins in the media and Congress who make our lives much more difficult.

United States Air Force
http://airforcepundit.blogspot.com

Were I allowed to, Mac. You have no idea how much I need and want to. Not after 2 years of sending people to do a job I have not done myself in a place I have not been myself...

There are those who look on Dresden and Tokyo and Hiroshima as some of the greatest evils ever perpetrated by man. I look on them and thank the perpetrators for saving millions.

 
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