Pat Dollard Blogs (almost) Live from Iraq: Entry Two - April 6, 2006

A HOLLYWOOD, INTERRUPTED EXCLUSIVE


Hollywood, Interrupted's War Correspondent Patrick Dollard asks: "Why did a Hollywood agent have to go do the job that the media should have been doing?"


Pat's Previous Entry

In this, Pat Dollard's 2nd dispatch for Hollywood, Interrupted from Iraq, Dollard rails against the mainstream media's disconnect from the truth when it comes to war coverage in Iraq.

"They [the MSM] will claim that conditions prevent them from covering the war properly, or they can't get access," Dollard tells Hollywood, Interrupted. "Bullshit. They don't have the balls to do the nasty dangerous work necessary to do the job right. But they want the glory, so they'll fake being in the know."


A typical vehicle search.

Dollard explains: "There are three levels of being in Iraq. If you're going to get to the front lines and to the Iraqi people, you have to step down through three Dante-esque layers: First, there is the Baghdad Green Zone, second are the plush camps in the rear. Then you get to the shit-hole frontline Patrol Bases and Observation Posts - the only places the real war, the real interaction with the Iraqi people is. The vast majority of U.S. forces can be found here."


OP Hurriyah (aka Horea), an Iraqi word for "Freedom", in the heart of enemy territory in downtown Ramadi. This is the hallway outside my "bedroom" - a perfect example of the difference between being in the rear where 90% of the troops are, and being on the front-lines. Hurriyah was set up just a few months ago, and turned the tide in Ramadi. It was attacked every day. Over 100 insurgents were killed from its roof in about two months. The largest single body count of insurgents in a single engagement, in the history of the war, happened from there November 17.
Abu Al Zarqawi

Dollard dispatch #2:

Ramadi is the de facto capital of the Sunni Triangle, and the de facto capital of the Iraq/Al Qaeda insurgency. The best Jihad talent in the world swarms to Ramadi to kill Americans, particularly Marines. Syria pumps them in, or simply functions as a way station. It's no happenstance that Abu Al Zarqawi came to a hospital (which I raided) for his medical treatment when he was wounded last year.

There were fewer than a handful of journalists covering Ramadi while I was there, and all for no more than a few days each. I was there for four months, and constantly out on the streets, constantly hunting and confronting the enemy, constantly in the homes of average Iraqis.

No one comes here, no one really covers what CNN and others call "the most dangerous city in the world" because they are too afraid. But a lot of Americans in suits and ties who have never been to Iraq, or who, if they have been here, have stayed in hotels and large camps in the rear, will appear on TV to tell America EXACTLY what is going on in Iraq. (The only interaction I've ever had with an Iraqi hotel was when we blew one up.)


Glass in a post just above my bedroom in Hurriyah. Enemy bullet holes.

The American Media are primarily Democrats, liberals, leftists -- choose the term yourself. But we all know what we're talking about. Don't get cute and waste my time arguing the point. The American Media, by and large, are trying to sway the next two elections to their team. The best way to do this is to damage the administration and the Republican Congress. The best way to do this is to convince the American people that Iraq is a failure. The best way to do that is to declare defeat and force a retreat. Normally, any winning political strategy is fair enough. But to employ a winning domestic political strategy without regard for the consequences to the American people, whose children will be slaughtered at the hands of ascendant Jihadists (among a series of other consequences) is not only wrong, but just plain evil.

The media have, by and large, allied with the Jihadists in the hope that the Jihadists' victory in Iraq will win their party the White House and Congress. The media simply cannot resist the temptation to test their power in the service of a domestic political agenda. The whole country is inflamed one way or another over this war. Only a drooling moron would argue that the members of the media are somehow exclusively immune to those passions.


Another of the 8 Humvees in our platoon after it was blown up by an IED.


And another one.

It's all very simple. Christiane Amanpour, Cindy Sheehan, CNN, The New York Times, Michael Moore, Newsweek, CBS et. al. are now, in huge measure, directly responsible for the ongoing death toll of Americans in Iraq. Everyone here in Iraq, the Islamic world at large, and most especially the Jihadist Movement's leadership, follow the American media closely, in order to monitor the American people's headspace, primarily with regard to whether or not we will continue the fight on to the establishment of a successful democratic, capitalistic, and modernized society here, or whether we will run in self-imposed defeat. The morale of the International Jihad Movement is almost entirely dependent on the posture of the American media. Their strategies, indeed, are primarily determined by it as well.


This is an IED blowing up a vehicle ahead of me in our typical 8 vehicle patrol convoy, on Michigan.

Christiane and company give Al Qaeda and the Sunni insurgents hope, they stoke the financial and recruitment fires of the international Jihad Machine.

The American Media are Democratic Party operatives who make W.R. Hearst look like E.R. Murrow. They are killing our young, they are killing my friends, wounding my friends. They have ripped my flesh, spilled my blood, physically impaired me for life, and are doing the same to the Iraqi people. And they are going to cause more terrorist attacks at home. That is the ultimate problem.

Americans must wake up and smell the coffee.


Ramadi is pretty simply laid out. There's one main street, Michigan - that cuts through the center of town. A warren of small streets above and below it. Michigan has been called the most dangerous street in the world. We patrolled it every day. IEDs went off on it every day. This is a typical blast hole just off Michigan.


This is the corner of Michigan and Ice Street. I made a left turn onto Ice pretty much every morning. Often an IED was there. Here's a hole from one.

The journalists I've met here have, to a man, all been Democrats, and all have railed against the Bush administration and have, with much hope in their eyes, predicted failure for America in Iraq.

These have included Michael Phillips of the Wall Street Journal (the Journal's op-ed is conservative, its news division is not, but the news divisions everywhere have taken it upon themselves to be shadow op-ed governments anyway), some chain-smoking fat-ass with an alcoholic's nose named Pat who told me he was "basically the Baghdad Bureau Chief for the L.A. Times", a dude named Casteneda who was covering Ramadi for the AP, et al. They all come here intending to shill for their party, and then they all shill for their party.

They've been showing Fahrenheit 9/11 on Al Jazeera since my arrival.




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Comments

Amazing piece, and one that needs (but will never get) real press coverage. As a soldier, I want it, but as an American, I demand it.

Posted by: B at April 6, 2006 05:48 AM

I'm curious about something. First you say:

"Then you get to the shit-hole frontline Patrol Bases and Observation Posts [...] The vast majority U.S. forces can be found here."

Then:

"[...] a perfect example of the difference between being in the rear where 90% of the troops are, and being on the front-lines."

Seems contradictory, and I'm curious as to which one is accurate.

Thanks, and keep the good stuff coming!

Rob

Posted by: Rob at April 6, 2006 08:14 AM

I respect your unique perspecitve, but to conclude that the insurgents are motivated by American media (and by your proxy, motivated by liberals and Democrats) is an undefensible, insulting stretch of imagination. They would kill regardless of what is said about them, their morale be damned.

There are those of us who are against the war not to advance a platform or political party, but because we believe that we are breeding hatred, not silencing it, that we should protect our home FROM home, and spend that money on bettering our OWN nation.

Posted by: Joe at April 6, 2006 09:43 AM

I agree that the media is hurting our cause. Often, they will give up information to insurgents that is not needed to tell the story. Plus, every time they report that we are failing, it gives a boost to the insurgency. Remember the media reaction during WWII? What ever happened to the "Loose Lips Sink Ships" train of thought? I wholeheartedly agree that the blood of many American servicemen is on the hands of the liberal media. Having spent two tours in Afghanistan and one in Iraq, I know from personal experience that what is reported in the mainstream media is biased and more importantly, blatantly wrong.

Posted by: Ryan at April 6, 2006 11:01 AM

War-Loving Pundits

by Norman Solomon

WASHINGTON (MediaMonitors.net) -- The third anniversary of the Iraq invasion is bound to attract a lot of media coverage, but scant recognition will go to the pundits who helped to make it all possible.

Continuing with long service to the Bush administration’s agenda-setting for war, prominent media commentators were very busy in the weeks before the invasion. At the Washington Post, the op-ed page’s fervor hit a new peak on Feb. 6, 2003, the day after Colin Powell’s mendacious speech to the U.N. Security Council.

Post columnist Richard Cohen explained that Powell was utterly convincing. “The evidence he presented to the United Nations -- some of it circumstantial, some of it absolutely bone-chilling in its detail -- had to prove to anyone that Iraq not only hasn’t accounted for its weapons of mass destruction but without a doubt still retains them,? Cohen wrote. “Only a fool -- or possibly a Frenchman -- could conclude otherwise.?

Meanwhile, another one of the Post’s syndicated savants, Jim Hoagland, led with this declaration: “Colin Powell did more than present the world with a convincing and detailed X-ray of Iraq’s secret weapons and terrorism programs yesterday. He also exposed the enduring bad faith of several key members of the U.N. Security Council when it comes to Iraq and its ‘web of lies,’ in Powell’s phrase.? Hoagland’s closing words banished doubt: “To continue to say that the Bush administration has not made its case, you must now believe that Colin Powell lied in the most serious statement he will ever make, or was taken in by manufactured evidence. I don’t believe that. Today, neither should you.?

Impatience grew among pundits who depicted the U.N.’s inspection process as a charade because Saddam Hussein’s regime obviously possessed weapons of mass destruction. In an essay appearing on Feb. 13, 2003, Christopher Hitchens wrote: “Those who are calling for more time in this process should be aware that they are calling for more time for Saddam’s people to complete their humiliation and subversion of the inspectors.?

A few weeks later, on March 17, President Bush prefaced the imminent invasion by claiming in a televised speech: “Should Saddam Hussein choose confrontation, the American people can know that every measure has been taken to avoid war, and every measure will be taken to win it.?

In the same speech, noting that “many Iraqis can hear me tonight in a translated radio broadcast,? Bush offered reassurance. “I have a message for them: If we must begin a military campaign, it will be directed against the lawless men who rule your country and not against you.?

The next day, Hitchens came out with an essay featuring similar assurances, telling readers that “the Defense Department has evolved highly selective and accurate munitions that can sharply reduce the need to take or receive casualties. The predictions of widespread mayhem turned out to be false last time -- when the weapons [in the Gulf War] were nothing like so accurate.? And, he added, “it can now be proposed as a practical matter that one is able to fight against a regime and not a people or a nation.?

With the full-scale attack underway, the practicalities were evident from network TV studios. “The American public knows the importance of this war,? Fox News pundit and Weekly Standard executive editor Fred Barnes proclaimed a few days after the invasion began. “They are not as casualty sensitive as the weenies in the American press are.?

And what about the punditry after the ballyhooed “victory? in Iraq? Researchers at the media watch group FAIR (where I’m an associate) have exhumed statements made by prominent media cheerleaders who were flush with triumph. Often showing elation as Baghdad fell, U.S. journalists lavished praise on the invasion and sometimes aimed derisive salvos at American opponents of the military action.

One of the most gleeful commentators on network television was MSNBC’s “Hardball? host Chris Matthews. “We’re all neo-cons now,? he crowed on April 9, 2003, hours after a Saddam Hussein statue tumbled in Baghdad.

Weeks later, Matthews was still at it, making categorical declarations: “We’re proud of our president. Americans love having a guy as president, a guy who has a little swagger, who’s physical, who’s not a complicated guy like Clinton or even like Dukakis or Mondale, all those guys, McGovern. They want a guy who’s president. Women like a guy who’s president. Check it out. The women like this war. I think we like having a hero as our president. It’s simple.?

Simplistic was more like it. And, in the rush of stateside enthusiasm for war on Iraq, centrist pundits like Matthews -- apt to sway with the prevailing wind -- were hardly inclined to buck the jingoistic storm.

Pseudo-patriotic hot air remained at gale force on Fox News Channel, still blowing strong. “Tommy Franks and the coalition forces have demonstrated the old axiom that boldness on the battlefield produces swift and relatively bloodless victory,? Tony Snow told viewers in late April. “The three-week swing through Iraq has utterly shattered skeptics’ complaints.?

What passes for liberalism on Fox also cheered and gloated. Sean Hannity’s weak debating partner, Alan Colmes, threw down a baiting challenge on April 25. “Now that the war in Iraq is all but over,? Colmes demanded, “should the people in Hollywood who opposed the president admit they were wrong??

Source: by courtesy & © 2006 Norman Solomon
(Thursday March 16 2006)

Posted by: MRE at April 6, 2006 12:04 PM

Get some Pat! Saddam Hussein and the Democrats are both hoping for the same thing, our defeat and their return to power. The only folks I saw out in the "goo" during the whole time I was there were you and WSJ's Mike Phillips. Mike may be far to the left of you and I, but I will say he put his ass on the line enough to earn my respect. At anyrate, if your finished product, Young Americans, has anywhere near the articulate passion of this rant the Dems will be putting IEDs out for you in the streets of L.A.

Posted by: Mike Fay at April 6, 2006 05:43 PM

These articles are incredible. It is quite refreshing to from someone that actually seems to know what he is talking about. I am really looking forward to further updates.

Posted by: Wofford at April 6, 2006 06:03 PM

I don't get what you're on about. The Sunnis are the majority. They are opposed to an islamofacist regime, which is why they refuse to reach a compromise. Are we to believe that the American media has been sending money to Iraq so that the Shia insurgency can be fed and paid? Is the media telling the American people to take the military out of Iraq so the mullahs can take over? Have all the journalists who've been murdered in Iraq been Democrats? And finally, did we send 500,000 American soldiers to Iraq to put the mullahs in power? It seems to me that the writer of this post wants an islamic fundamentalist government in Iraq on the blood of US soldiers. I thought this was about democracy. You are seriously deranged. Enjoy killing somebody today, man. Is this patriotism?

Posted by: Stephen Jones at April 6, 2006 08:18 PM

I liked the content and agree what you have to say. The only problem is that people might think your style is a little bit self-agrandizing, which may get in the way of the message you are trying to send. You said that you (yourself) raided Al-Zarqawi's hospital, and made a reference to "your platoon". If you use this kind of language, the left will accuse you of being subjective and brainwashed, and to Marines (and former Marines) like myself who have spent some time in Islamic shitholes, it makes you come off as a bit of a holster sniffer.

Don't get me wrong though -- what you're doing is incredible, and it's awesome that someone who has a voice is using it for something good. It would just be a shame if your message were discredited by either side for whatever reason.

Again, thanks.

Posted by: Paul at April 6, 2006 10:46 PM

You're doing a good job. Paul shouldn't have said that though. Keep telling it straight.

Posted by: brando at April 7, 2006 12:02 AM

I agree with Paul. You come off sounding like a Junior High jock sniffer who is trying to come off like he knows what he's talking about.

However, I admire what you're doing. As the Gunnery Sergeant said, you may not be smart, but you've got guts. And sometimes guts is enough.

Also, please get rid of that picture of you in the upper right corner. It makes you look like Travis Bickle.

Posted by: Jinxy at April 7, 2006 05:13 AM

Joe said: "to conclude that the insurgents are motivated by American media (and by your proxy, motivated by liberals and Democrats) is an undefensible, insulting stretch of imagination. They would kill regardless of what is said about them, their morale be damned."

Did you read the article? The insurgents aren't being motivated by what the media says about them, but rather what the media says about spineless cowards like you. They watch the stories about Americans marching through the streets cheering for an insurgent victory and are inspired to go out and kill more Americans. If we presented a united front, their will would be shattered, but people like yourself and Michael Moore find political ambition more important than winning the War on Terror. Please move to Canada, like I'm sure you promised you would when Bush was re-elected.

Posted by: Marcus at April 7, 2006 06:04 AM

Am I really reading this? Are you people fucking insane? Did you miss the part where the NYT's ombudsman blasted the paper for cupping the administration's balls without doing its own fact checking in the leadup to the war? Liberal shills my ass.

Moreover, the mischaracterizations of the anti-war movement are absurd. John Kerry was a little bitch, I hate the Democratic Party, and I still am for an end to this war. Does it boost the morale of the insurgency? Perhaps. Would there not be an insurgency if no one was talking about withdrawal? That's absolutely absurd and those of you have said so know it. I am not cheering against our troops, you dumbasses, I want all of our troops home and I want them home now, because as a realist, I believe the conflict is ultimately intractable and I am sick of people dying for it and personally also of getting shit on everytime I go abroad because the war is making America look bad.

Posted by: Nate at April 7, 2006 10:08 AM

Media be damned, if Rumsfeld doesn't put more troops into Iraq it will be a failure no matter what any assinine pundit says. It's a case of shit or get off the pot, put more troops in or fail.

Posted by: Jesse at April 7, 2006 10:57 AM

I have to say I'm with Marcus here.
Why is everything that is even remotely associated with the war and/or the GOP talked about in absolutes? Yup, ya got me, I work for a paper/mag/TV station, so I'm railing against my own country... are these people just protecting their inept & failing administration, or are they just stupid? I vote the former.
Until the media grab guns and start firing on you... well, then they're not killing our troops then are they? Duh.
And how long do you think it will take after our troops come home for Iraq to go back to religious fundamentalist rule? 6 months? A year? It has been that way in that region of the world since the BEGINNING OF TIME! We're talking MILLENIA.
You can support our troops WITHOUT supporting this administration. In fact, I support them SO much, that I want them to STOP DYING!
I'm exasperated...

Posted by: Alex at April 7, 2006 11:26 AM

So far all you have said is that you've seen people blown up up close. I hate political opportunists, but defending the war just because the people trying to push us out would win if we left is ridiculuous.

Please, give me evidence that this war is worth fighting. So far you just seem to be trying to balance out the shit vaccuum that is the left all by yourself. Two Michael Moores do not make a right.

I greatly respect what you are doing, and we need people on the front lines reporting the real facts. What we do not need is someone on the front lines, a very intense, mind affecting situation, trying to indict the rest of america with emotional rhetoric.

The funny thing is, if we stop questioning the war, if we stop being an open, democratic country, the terrorists win. If you are right about us, we have lost either way.

Posted by: Matt at April 7, 2006 05:34 PM

This is sort of all over the place, so bare with me.

In response to Alex's comments on "religious fundamentalism":

For one, religious fundamentalists and militant jihadists are two very different things. This obviously isn't intended to be PC forum, which is fine. But if you've got a problem with me being anal-retentive when it comes to matters like these, I advise you to stop reading here.

The arab/muslim world, or "that region," certainly has not been ruled by Islam since the BEGINNING OF TIME, as you insist. Until the 7th century much of Assyria, Egypt, etc. was dominantly Christian, Jewish, Zoroastrian, etc. Forget that- the idea that this conflict dates back to the beginning of time is straight-up ignorant. Stop trying to put these issues in a box and pick up a fucking history book.

Objective coverage is non-existent, period. While I may not agree with some of Dollard's beliefs, I will say that US coverage of this war has been a joke. Sit down and have a conversation with a soldier who has worked in Ramadi, Falluja, or anywhere out of the Green zone for that matter. For the horrors that our soldiers have to live with on a daily basis, I will never condone this administration or this war. The immense loss of life of innocent American soldiers and Iraqi citizens is unforgivable.

I'm sick and tired of people trying to make generalizations out of this war: they're evil, we're wrong, it's the media's fault, etc. Oversimplifications are nothing more than a way for people to (effortlessly) understand extremely complex issues. To be anti-war is NOT "anti-American". Forget the politicians (GOP and demo) who claim to have a real grasp on the realities of this war. Fuck them. And when it comes down to it I'll admit that I can't fully comprehend this war, I haven't been there. Let those whose lives are actually at risk speak for themselves.

Posted by: Alexandra Tadros at April 7, 2006 05:41 PM

LORD IN HEAVEN. Never has anyone missed the train as much as you have, my dear Stephen Jones. Sunni majority? Mullah Shia minority? What the fuck country are you talking about? Has your head been up your ass for the last 3 years? Iraq is by far a Shia majority, and was forcibly under Sunni control by the Baathists, though Saddam himself was secular.

Sunnis opposed to islamofascist regime? Really? Do you know anything about the Middle East? Can you control the flow of diarrhea from your fingers? I mean really, read a book or something, cause the entire TIDE OF ISLAMOFASCISM FOR THE LAST 25 YEARS HAS BEEN ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY FROM THE SUNNI MAJORITY! I almost couldn't believe that you were saying some of the things you were saying in that post, but here we are.

And... Shia insurgency? I have to ask... at this point are you just trying to be stupid? Or does it come naturally? The insurgency is lead almost exclusively by Sunni Baathists and ex-military baathists, with some help from more sunni radicals pouring across the Iran-Iraq border from Syria and surrounding countries. Please, please, next time you think about posting on this conflict, just stop yourself for everyone's sake. It's really not worth it.

Pat Dollard - excellent article, can't wait for the rest.

Posted by: Jahed at April 8, 2006 01:12 AM

YAWN. More reich wing bullshit complaing about the "liberal" media that does not exsist.

Posted by: Seven at April 8, 2006 12:22 PM

believe that your theory on why they are still fighting is completely wrong. Look at Isreal as a prime example. We as a society stopped caring and they are still going at it. Your liberal-bashing is unfit, kind sir. If their was a real reason to be there I'd be there myself. When the President stops covering up his bullshit as to why we're there the country might actually get behind him. Until then...its your war...you can fund it, you can fight it.

P.S. Please tell some republican congressmen to really stand for the war...by that I mean they should be willing to have their sons overseas. One senator has a son in Iraq and he's a Democrat.

Posted by: greg at April 9, 2006 05:56 PM

That's such a tired argument. People don't "send their kids to war" anymore than they "send their kids to vote" for the same person they themselves vote for. That's the beauty of having a 100% volunteer force -- no one has to go. If someone wants to join, they can, and they are responsible for their actions. If they don't want to, fine, and no one will fault them for it. That includes the children of politicians. (At least I don't fault them, and I did my time. Did you?)

Don't act like you know what's best for service members or that you have their best interests in mind. Let them speak for themselves. They volunteered, and they know the score. Anyone who pretends that they were "tricked" is a liar, a fool, or both.

"...its your war...you can fund it, you can fight it."

Nice line. I have a counter for you:

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay - and claims a halo for his dishonesty." - RA Heinlein

Posted by: paully at April 10, 2006 05:18 PM

If the Republicans can get away with lying to get us into this fuck awful mess, why should the media be held to higher standards when trying to get us out?

I don't see how posting pictures of blown up humvees and windows with bullet holes is any more enlightening than what the media currently shows. Partisan rants aren't "exposing" anything. Focus on reporting and maybe you'll earn some respect. Some people are so eager to sound "tough" that they'll agree with anything a wormonger like you has to say.

Oh, and Dollard, you seem to enjoy wearing fatigues, why not enlist? That's what I thought...

Posted by: Mike at April 10, 2006 07:18 PM

So let me get this straight? Continuing to fight to establish a government that will never last without our control saves more lives than just bringing all the troops home? Is this guy on fucking crack? Not to mention that he's a total self righteous asshole. Sure he's got balls to do what he's doing, but so did the fucks on the planes that hit the WTC. Having balls doesn't mean what you are doing is right.

Posted by: John at April 10, 2006 09:07 PM

Pat D whats going on? I hope you are ok. It looks like its crazy out there but I know your are doing a good job. Hope your legs better and you stay safe. Well I will keep checking to keep informed and stay in touch.

Posted by: Dante at April 11, 2006 09:15 AM

Bah! , this is nothing you think pictures of blown humvees and bomb holes in roads are shocking/interesting , heres some pictures that will never be seen on American t.v because they show whats really happening to the soldiers over there.
http://www.voltairenet.org/article136827.html

And i dont blame the people who are defending there homes and family from the terrorists (American soldiers). I blame the polititans and world bankers for starting a war on the pretext of a false tragedy(9/11).

And incase there are some people who think that Iraq, Iran, Afganistan are just shithole sandy desert villages, like most ignorant americans think. Take alook at what Iran looks like now (http://conflictiran.blogspot.com/2006/04/inside-iran-city-life.html) , and then see what happens when Bush blows the fuck out of it.

America has no right to be in Iraq.

Posted by: Dan at April 11, 2006 04:19 PM

As is to be expected this pro troops pro war blog has brought out the socialist vermin.

the process from here is pretty straightforward:

First the socialists anti american posters will mount a weak defense of their own indefensible positions.

when that fails they will engage in a viscious attack on the author of this blog.

When that fails they will attack the president and level whatever false charges they've heard at the student union as proof of their self righteous stupidity.

When that fails they will claim that everyone in the entire world that disagrees with the world wide socialist position on America and Iraq are just fools.

when that fails they will return to KOS and DU and regroup.

Posted by: skipsailing at April 12, 2006 07:19 AM

It's racism you know. The terrorists and insurgents in Iraq can't possibly be sophisticated enough to make decisions according to their perception of the US will to fight as portrayed by the US media. Sure, maybe *we'd* be smart enough to do that, but them? What a farce! What a pile of balony! It is to laugh. Ha!

Yet as long ago as Sun-tzu people who wage war have known that military might is only a part of it and not even the largest. Sun-tzu, in fact, goes on and on about evaulating the enemy's will to fight.

The only people who don't seem to think that this matters is the media. They exist in a special place, it seems, where encouraging the enemy doesn't make them culpable for the sustained fighting that results, or the deaths.

If you peaceniks want our troops to stop dying, make our media end their encouragment of the people killing them.

Posted by: Synova at April 12, 2006 02:39 PM

Let me get this straight, Dan. You pretend to care about what U.S. soldiers look like and then turn around and call them terrorists? Are you on the same medicine Stephen Jones is on?

Posted by: Chad Evans at April 12, 2006 04:12 PM

"If the Republicans can get away with lying to get us into this fuck awful mess, why should the media be held to higher standards when trying to get us out?"

Democrats advocate lying to you to protect you. Because they're smarter than you. Just ask them.

Posted by: Sweetie at April 12, 2006 04:33 PM

"America has no right to be in Iraq"

Says who? The elected Iraqi gov't or you?

Posted by: Sweetie at April 12, 2006 04:35 PM

Great article. Clearly you've struck a nerve, judging by the hysterical, coprolalic, cliché-ridden responses about the horrors of war, and how if you don't enlist yourself you can't support the war, and the Iraqis are only fighting to defend their country. Soooooo 2004.

All these prognostications of doom and failure remind me of what happened in 2003, when Baghdad Bob would come out and talk about how the Amerian mercenaries were committing suicide at the gates of Baghdad, and the Arabs and western socialists would gloat and cheer, and then suddenly "Poof!" Saddam was gone, the Iraqi army was utterly defeated, and all the sad Arabs and socialists were blinking back tears, squeaking, "What happened?"

Soon the Iraqis will announce their unity government, al Sadr will be dealt with, the Iraqi security forces will take over, and the Coalition troops will come home, having completed their mission successfully, and the Arabs and socialists will squeak, "What happened?"

And I'll laugh in their faces.

Posted by: Tom W. at April 12, 2006 04:42 PM

I went to anti-Vietnam-war-protests in 1969&1970..So maybe this gives me a perspective many of the "formula" protesters of today can't possess..Simply said, the enemy now CAN kill us all and they CANNOT be believed in diplomacy..

Posted by: mark singer at April 12, 2006 07:04 PM

Never before have I seen such a collection of pin-headed liberals, who are too dense to see that the media is heavily biased in favor of the insurgents. How else can you explain the media using insurgents as stringers, photographers, and reliable sources of information?... Isn't it interesting that the MSM quotes questionable native Sunni (aka, likely insurgent) sources as saying things like "only civilians were killed in the bombing", instead of relying on credentialed Western reporters? That alone shows where their allegiances lie (and it's not with US troops). When the war started, how many news sources said the US would never enter Baghdad in only weeks? (That the US was bogged down, and it was a quagmire... Reality is, that it was a very swift and successful invasion - more US troops died on D-day alone than in the entire AFG & Iraq wars. You libs would never have survived WWII). What about all of the Abu Gharab coverage (like 40+ NY Times front page stories)... How many news videos of the terrorists beheading innocents, or for that matter, of the World Trade Center being struck by planes have you seen in the past 5 years? The MSM doesn't show it - they don't want to make their partners look bad. They hate Bush so much they're willing to side with terrorists, consequences be damned...

The really funny thing is that if Islamists ever did take over, they would kill all of the gays and Britney Spears types for being impure. And of course, those awful Mohammed cartoonist, and out-of-wedlock mothers, they would deserve to die too. That would kind of put a damper on things for the media and Hollywood! Liberals are such cowards. Alex, if you're so scared about fighting for something, please move to France - it's where you belong. Boy, I'm sure glad that Bush stole the last two elections!... (at least he believes in something)...

Posted by: dave at April 12, 2006 07:15 PM

Please, give me evidence that this war is worth fighting.

How about ...

... Saddam's history of significant support for terrorism in the name of Islam ... financial, logistical, and in terms of its human resources.

... Saddam's mothballed WMD programs, documented in the Duelfer Report (anti-warriors: what was YOUR plan to keep these programs from being restarted, since you didn't even know their scope until after we went in?)

... the fact that the only real deterrent to the conventional threat Saddam posed to the Persian Gulf, was our presence there ... a presence that would be pressured to leave, as soon as Saddam squeaked by one (non-comprehensive) weapons inspection and the resultant declaration of victory by diplomats worldwide.

In the light of the above, our strike in Iraq was, to the War on Terror, the EXACT equivalent of bombing a German munitions plant in WWII.


But wait, there's more ...

... the amalgam of capricousness, brutality, and mendacity that is Saddam Huessein, demonstrated for years upon Iraqis (Sunni, Shiite, and Kurd), as well as upon Iranians and Kuwaitis ...

... demonstrated in particular by all those mass graves ...

... and so typical in the light of history. Anti-warriors: name me ONE totalitarian regime with expansionist tendencies in history, who ceased expansion and/or gave up power voluntarily, in the absence of a CREDIBLE threat of force against them.

In the light of the above, what has happened in Iraq, was the equivalent of ending the Nazi regime ... in 1934 or 1935, instead of 1945.


Still more ...

... the fact that, until Iraq has a sustainable rights-respecting government, it will be susceptible to being hijacked and exploited by another Saddam wannabe, and/or by those paragons of freedom, the Iranian mullahs.

... the fact that the oceans no longer protect us. Technology has physically and virtually interconnected our world, to the point that any significant disruption of that interconnecton is a significant threat to the whole of civilization. Someone above suggested we should "protect our home FROM home". I have two words for you: Maginot Line. If a determined enemy is left to plan in peace, he will take his time and develop effective countermeasures to any defense you devise, then attack at a time and place of his choosing. You must deny that enemy that peace, by taking the fight to him.

... 40 years of negotiation, accommodation, and the moral equivalence that treated dictator and democrat with equal deference in international forums like the UN, led those who wish to impose totalitarian rule upon us to believe that we were not going to challenge them ... and they began to act upon that knowledge, starting with the exploitation of our open societies and good-faith diplomacy to better position themselves for war.

In the light of the above, what is happening now is a common-sense correction to 40 years of Utopian lunacy, where men whose actions liberated millions were villified by the so-called "peace-loving" as reckless "cowboys", while thugs were left to grow stronger and bolder.

Why did we suffer this lunacy?

Because to many of our "sophisticated" and "enlightened", the Unpardonable Sin is having confidence enough in your principles to act in accordance with them ... even when those principles have been validated by history.

The Iraqis have the same innate humanity as we do ... a humanity that transcends religion, ethnicity, and culture ... a humanity that responds to the opportunity to exercise their inalienable rights in a nation that structurally protects those rights ... and they will do so if we sustain our effort until those protections are there.

The benefit to us? Their nation and its resources will no longer be susceptible to hijacking from within by totalitarian thugs or fanatics, to plausibly be used against us or others who cherish freedom outside their borders.

Contrary to what some generals (who seem to be wanting to fight this war like the last ones, without regard to its asymetrical nature) may be saying, numbers -- and the heavy hand derived from them -- are not what we need.

What we need is the one thing that, when we exhibited it over the last four decades, led to the retreat and defeat of the greatest threats to modern civilization ... and whenever we did not exhibit it, far weaker enemies grew stronger and bolder, to the point that this present conflict became inevitible, harder, longer, and more costly.

RESOLVE.

We must outlast these enemies ... and convince them that we are NOT going away before they do ... even while we convince those around them that we are NOT going to oppress them by a gentle-but-firm presence in their nation.

Unprincipled criticism ... much of it based on that same Utopian lunacy that let these threats grow for decades ... undermines that resolve, while strengthening the resolve of our enemies. Don't think so? Ask Vietnam's General Giap. If your enemy can't defeat you directly (and they can't), watching you question your principles, villify your statesmen, and lose your resolve to oppose them is very encouraging to them. It does make them hang on, and fight harder.

We need RESOLVE ... not more troops, not WWII-style "sacrifice" (which would be counterproductive to the war effort), but RESOLVE ...

... or we and/or our posterity WILL be defending our home, FROM home ... against a stronger, and perhaps even nuclear, enemy ... with no other friends around to help us.

Posted by: Rich Casebolt at April 12, 2006 07:28 PM

The first line of the post above, was a quote from Matt, that was meant to be italicized ... unfortunately, this site doesn't support format tags in the comments.

Preview is my friend ....

Posted by: Rich Casebolt at April 12, 2006 07:32 PM

Mark said, "I went to anti-Vietnam-war-protests in 1969&1970..So maybe this gives me a perspective many of the "formula" protesters of today can't possess..Simply said, the enemy now CAN kill us all and they CANNOT be believed in diplomacy.."

Mark, you've made the simple point - we must fight. Strategically, the President chose Iraq as the place. We stay,we win.

Posted by: Bill in St Louis at April 12, 2006 08:56 PM

Wow, what a blog. Although we may all agree that Pat Dollard is probably a self-loathing sociopath, those people who write some of these blogs are much worse off than he is. If you can’t figure it out, I am referring to those who think what we are doing in Iraq is wrong, and those who believe the media is our friend. I do not hate these people, because it is not their fault. They are too ignorant to understand what they do. I blame genetics, and a faulty education system. But mostly, I blame their parents.

Moving on.

Two quick points for the audience:
1. Pat’s words are bold indeed. But remember that he provides them via actual “on the ground experience?. I would be interested to see how many of those people who oppose Pat’s view, in support of our “other? enemy, have actually been to Iraq. I’d even accept commentary from someone who spent some time in the Green Zone; although that would severely limit the validity of their statements. For the most part, people are making comments based on information provided to them by the same perverted institution that is in discussion. Many of these comments are based on radio, television, and print journalism. That statement alone makes their opinions “crafted? by the media. It is third, fourth, and fifth-hand information. Conspiracy theories. Empty phrases. They are simply regurgitating something that they heard from someone else. And for them to make such bold, sweeping statements is absolutely comical. Pat can be considered a legitimate source because he is speaking with first hand knowledge. His opinions are valid. During my second deployment to Iraq, in Ramadi, a news crew spent an entire week with us, going on patrols, missions, etc. Not a bad bunch of guys really. But when the show aired, the entire week was compressed into a 2 minute, 30 second segment. How much of the “truth? are you really getting? I can give you a hint: Pat knows.

2. Let’s digress about how the media is fueling the war. Let’s talk about what the media is doing to our troops during, and after the they put themselves in harms way. I have had my men dig up mass grave sites. Not pleasant. We have seen intense combat with all the horrors war can produce. We have to live with this the rest of our lives. Yet we shoulder this burden without complaint. We have felt the heartfelt thanks of a grateful nation struggling to redefine itself. We have put as much effort into rebuilding stability and security as we have into full scale war-fighting. What matters to the individual man, is his own nation’s response to his actions. In order to reduce Post Traumatic Stress, and other psychological post-war conditions, the man needs to be reassured that what he did was right, and that the people he serves (that’s you and me) are grateful for his sacrifice. If the various media outlets, to include Hollywood stars that seem to attract much attention in our pop-culture crazed society, tell the world that what we are doing is wrong, it makes it much harder for the young American boy to come to terms with his actions and experiences. Imagine, an 18 year old boy, doing what most men are afraid to do in their lifetime, killing, dying, experiencing a multitude of physical and mental traumas – then coming home to a nation that tells him that what he did the wrong thing. He is a bad person, and the fact that he killed someone is murder. His friends have died for the wrong reasons. He will now suffer a similar fate to that of his Vietnam predecessors. I recommend an excellent source of reading on this subject that will explain this, and other war related psychological issues more clearly.
On Killing : The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society by Dave Grossman

I have personally experienced both positive and negative media experiences; unfortunately more bad than good. I have seen the negative effects of poor, and sometimes blatantly false and misleading reporting. The men, who have access to the internet, read these reports from this “really friendly guy who was just here week ago?, and then wonder why his story is untrue. They want to know why are the events wrong, and why are they misquoted. Why would such a “nice? guy do this to them. What’s worse is now they have to explain this to their family and friends. They have been betrayed. This basically led us to have a general distaste for the media and a complete lack of trust. And this we will not soon forget.

As for Pat Dollard, this seemingly suicidal tourist, I do not know how he has lived this long. Whether it is a self-destructive lifestyle, or running though a hail of bullets, or getting hit repeatedly by IED's, he simply will not die. I can honestly say, that although he is a faulted man, as are all of us, he is somewhat of the anti-hero. He has done what no one else is willing to do. He has risked his life in the name of truth. Hopefully Pat’s film can do the impossible, bring the American public as close to the Iraq experience as possible. His film brings hope to us who have fought this nasty little war. Hope that we can one day rest easy, knowing that someone out there is willing to tell our story.

Pat: Thank you, and please wait to die until after you finish the film.

Posted by: Lt IG at April 13, 2006 08:00 AM

Excellent Post. Keep up the good work.

Most folks don't know that the Main Stream Media types rarely leaving their hotel in the Green Zone and rely entirely on Iraqi stringers to do their work.

Complete journalistic fraud.

Posted by: Anon at April 14, 2006 10:44 AM

nate:

there are millions of people who have a far greater stake in the outcomes of iraq's movement toward a free and independant republic than concerns of whether they can get laid in a hotel bar in prague.

shame on you.

Posted by: jummy at April 14, 2006 11:40 AM

Keep up the good work.

Posted by: darkjethro at April 14, 2006 02:07 PM

My economics professor told me that "people make decisions on the margin." He explained this in economic terms and the study of how individuals/groups make decisions with the information available to them. For example, employers will hire one more person if the output from that person justifies the expense. Consumers will make a decision to buy a product, that they were already contemplating purchasing, when they receive a 10% off coupon.
Jihadis, Baathist and Iraqi nationalists are no different. They incorporate into their decision making the information available to them. Althought the situation in Iraq is complicated, we cannot discount the fact that our LLL media may give an enemy fighter that nudge to make a decision to kill on a certain day. One cannot doubt that a suicide bomber, roadside bomb builder, Jihadi sniper or any other enemy of ours may have made his decision to kill based on the impression he received from our media about our will to fight and stand firm. Sure, he may have a long list of reasons to fight. But, the "decision made on the margin" will include one last little bit of information that sways the choice.

Posted by: esteemed effendi at April 14, 2006 03:43 PM

I love Pat Dollard and what he is doing. I love our troops and am all for winning this war -- in fact, winning it is our ONLY option.

However, this week's calls by numerous generals for SECDEF Dumbsfeld's resignation is a tragic indication that the Bush/Dumbsfeld team has made more than a few missteps in this war (in fact, just about everything other than the superb invasion itself has been a mistake and/or a miscue).

I have been calling for Dumbsfeld's resignation/termination for months now, but (as Pat Buchanan and Tom Bevan point out), now that all these generals are calling for Dumbsfeld's head, Bush (paradoxically) has no choice but to KEEP Dumbsfeld on -- which is a tragedy: Bush should have used his reelection as a natural juncture in which to hire a new SECDEF. Chief among Dumbsfeld's sins (aside from scorning greater numbers of troops on the ground) is his failure to stand by his troops who have been accused of "detainee abuse."

I assert that Dumbsfeld should have stood with them and should have gone down with them. They, were, after all, working for him, and doing a mission: War is not pretty.

Like Michael Savage, I believe Dumbsfeld and his top generals have been willing to throw many a soldier overboard to mollify the artificial media feeding frenzies over the (Yawn) non-stories of Abu Ghraib and other (shock!) instances of soldiers acting like, well, SOLDIERS!

But, alas, we are now stuck with Dumbsfeld for the foreseeable: Let's hope he gets a clue (and that Bush rips him a new one and tells him to tell his generals to STOP prosecuting soldiers and to START fighting this war LIKE WE MEAN IT!) (Yes, folks, that will mean killing some people, including civilians -- but please name a war where that has not been the case.)

In the meantime, Pat, please keep exposing the MSM asshats for what they are: showboaters who don't have 1% of the cojones you show EVERY DAY.

I am with the Marine Lt: PLEASE don't die until you get your films out! Your films may play a KEY role in getting this war won where it is being lost: On the home front.

God knows the Bush/Dumbsfeld team is strangely struck dumb as far as ARTICULATELY defending this critical war to the American public is concerned. (Laurel and Hardy would hardly be less convincing.)
-- gunjam

Posted by: gunjam at April 14, 2006 06:54 PM

You know the French have been complaining for years about the war the Brits forced on them in 1935 against Germany. The war in which over 10,000 Frenchmen and about another 5,000 Brits died. Not to mention the German dead of almost 20,0000 including some 6,000 civilians.

Think of how much better off Europe would be had that war never started.

Posted by: M. Simon at April 14, 2006 07:12 PM

The best way to do this is to convince the American people that Iraq is a failure.

Iraq is a failure and has been so since the summer of 2003, as soon as Paul Bremer's request for an additional 50,000 troops was turned down.

Posted by: Steve J. at April 14, 2006 09:54 PM

“They [the MSM] will claim that conditions prevent them from covering the war properly, or they can't get access,? Dollard tells Hollywood, Interrupted. “Bullshit. They don't have the balls to do the nasty dangerous work necessary to do the job right. But they want the glory, so they'll fake being in the know.?

Uh huh. How do you account for the deaths of 67 journalists and 24 support workers? The Flu?

http://www.cpj.org/Briefings/Iraq/Iraq_danger.html

Posted by: Steve J. [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 14, 2006 10:01 PM

But to employ a winning domestic political strategy without regard for the consequences to the American people, whose children will be slaughtered at the hands of ascendant Jihadists (among a series of other consequences ) is not only wrong, but just plain evil.

Please! Even our own generals admit that our presence is making things worse. The "jihadists" are a small fraction of the insurgents and will fade away once we withdraw.

Posted by: Steve J. [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 14, 2006 10:03 PM

(The only interaction I've ever had with an Iraqi hotel was when we blew one up.)

We had to destroy the hotel in order to save it.

Sweet!

Posted by: Steve J. [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 14, 2006 10:04 PM

the establishment of a successful democratic, capitalistic, and modernized society here

You're 1 for 3 here, pal, at best. Sharia law,state control of the oil fields and universal state-sponsored health care are part of the Iraqi consititution, so forget your delusions about democracy and capitalism.

Posted by: Steve J. [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 14, 2006 10:10 PM

Soon the Iraqis will announce their unity government, al Sadr will be dealt with, the Iraqi security forces will take over, and the Coalition troops will come home, having completed their mission successfully, and the Arabs and socialists will squeak, "What happened?"

=====================================

Soom, huh? That reminds me of something:

Monday, June 20, 2005
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The insurgency in Iraq is "in the last throes," Vice President Dick Cheney says, and he predicts that the fighting will end before the Bush administration leaves office.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/05/30/cheney.iraq/

Posted by: Steve J. [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 14, 2006 10:21 PM

The US media (the MSM) never questioned the Bush administration in the march to war in Iraq. Every word from Bush, Cheney and Powell was deemed irreproachable.

Nevertheless, one could go outside of the US to fin media sources which questioned the assertions of the Bush administration, and offered different (and apparently correct) interpretations of the evidence. In the end, only those who were reading the foreign press were actually reading the TRUTH, while Americans were being spoon-fed the administration's outrageous lies.

How dare you lay the death of American soldiers at the feet of people like Moore and Sheheen who were (and are) working to shed light on the administration's lies. They are American patriots in the truest sense of the word.

Posted by: meddling kids at April 14, 2006 11:00 PM

Not online are the media sympathetic to the insurgents and praying for civil war they may well be working directly with and for them as DOCUMENTED here:
http://michellemalkin.com/archives/004976.htm

Posted by: Dean A at April 15, 2006 12:50 AM

This is no longer a choice of shit or get off the pot. That choice was whether to invade or not. We already took a shit. It’s long, excruciatingly painful, and was ill advised in the first place, but if we get up now, all we’ll be left with is a clogged toilet and diarrhea in the boxers.

During the lead up to the war, I was violently against it. I wasn't convinced that Saddam Hussein had WMDs, or even if he did, that he was stupid enough to use them. He wasn't responsible for 9/11, though I'm sure he was ecstatic when he heard. The type of Islamist terrorists who we're fighting right now didn't like Saddam Hussein because he was a secular fascist and oppressed Muslim minorities. (they liked America even less but the point is they weren't going to work with Saddam.) The issue to me is he wasn't an immediate threat nor was he the worst dictator on the planet, (Definitely the top 5, though.) I couldn't figure out why the administration was so hell bent on getting the invasion underway. I was against the war in Iraq (Afghanistan I support) on the grounds that it wasn’t worth the reputation hit or the cost. We are fighting Islamic terrorism. These are terrorists who for the last 30 years have been recruiting on the stale stories of the great Satan and fresher stories about Israel. Afghanistan wouldn’t have mattered, it’s the Albania of the Islamic world. Attacking Iraq, however, gives the Islamists a moral sledgehammer when recruiting. “It’s not terrorism. When they’re on Arab soil, it’s self defense.?

Anyway, fast forward to now. We have to stay. We can't leave. End of story. In my opinion, the Administration fucked upped royally putting us there in the first place and people who want us to leave aren't helping any. Instead of saying, the situation in Iraq sucks, they should be asking how it can be made better. Is a school opening? Cover it. Is a school being closed? Find out why. I want Bush out of office, but, if we withdraw now, we'll be blamed (somewhat rightly) for causing years of civil unrest. We leave when it's done, regardless of who does it.

I don't believe the media wants Americans to die. It does want a concrete failure that will stick to George Bush. This is hard to reconcile. For example, when things get better, I don't want the Bush administration to be praised for fixing the mess if it means they won't be held accountable for helping to begin it. I stopped watching TV news when it became apparent that they weren't reporting anything useful. Even when they went "in depth," they would state a problem or event, show some footage, state the administration's position, state position of someone else, (usually said in front of a dramatic Baghdad vista) and close. They want to prove the administration's incompetence.

The problem is something that Boyd said on how to combat guerilla war.

"Break guerillas’ moral-mental-physical hold over the population, destroy their cohesion, and bring about their collapse via political initiative that demonstrates moral legitimacy and vitality of government and by relentless military operations that emphasize stealth/fast-temp/fluidity-of-action and cohesion of overall effort.

*If you cannot realize such a political program, you might consider changing sides."

We have the relentless military operations part down. We have the most insanely competent military in the world and they do their jobs extraordinarily well under the most difficult circumstances.

At issue is our legitimacy in the eyes of Iraqis and the Islamic world. We want them to stop trying to kill us and the only way to cure the disease is to appear legitimate, justified, or what have you. Americans take our moral and political legitimacy for granted. We get insulted when people demand that we prove it. We shouldn't have to, but, unfortunately, we do if we want to win. There was a Gallup poll of 10,000 inhabitants of 9 Islamic countries. Among the conclusions were that only 18% of those surveyed believed that Arabs were responsible for 9/11, 15% said the attacks were morally justified, and only 22% had a favorable view of the United States. This poll was taken in 2002. Imagine what those numbers look right now. The symptoms of our image problem is terrorism. If we don’t fix this we’ll be like hemophiliacs, always treating the symptom but never getting any closer to a cure.

There are so many things that are perceived to be illegitimate about our presence and I don't know how to change most of these perceptions, but I have one way we could improve world opinion in general.

Open up the bidding on reconstruction contracts to companies outside of the U.S. It's true they didn't help, and they shouldn't benefit from the deaths of American soldiers, but we need them prevent the loss of further life. Corporations spend billions of dollars on lobbying and public relations. By letting foreign corporations in we make ourselves appear more altruistic/multilateral while also giving foreign corporations a vested interest in our success. They'll use their lobbying and PR firms to sway governments and influence public opinion. Right now, they're all just spiteful because we busted up the Oil for Food program. They'll probably still hate us and say we're bad people, but they'll have a vested interest in a stable Iraq with a functioning economy and will push for it.

The reason Bush doesn’t want to do it isn’t just moral. The democrats rightly get crap for being in the pocket of trial lawyers and unions. By the same token, people should remember that republicans are in the hands of defense contractors, oil companies, and big business in general. The no bid structure of a lot of rebuilding contracts means that U.S. companies can quote double what it costs to build a hospital and then pocket a difference of a couple hundred million. You can bet that there are people sitting in a boardroom right now discussing how to spend the bare minimum building a new school, after they already received their contract. From a corporate perspective, the war wasn't so much about oil as the wads of government cash too rebuild the country. Not that foreign countries won’t try to price gouge, but I’m a capitalist and capitalism works best for the consumer (Iraqi or American) with competition. Also with foreign companies, the administration will be a lot more careful about tracking the money.

Right now the war is perceived, at its most negative, as an attack on the Muslim world or as an attempt to seize all the Iraqi resources and the democracy thing is just our consolation prize to the people we're robbing. By opening up the bidding, it says that the main goal of the administration was democracy and Iraqi stability, not Americans making money off of rebuilding. No one on the ground is in it for the money, but I’m worried about whether the people above them are making sure they get the funding they need to do their jobs.

Posted by: Iguano at April 15, 2006 03:53 AM

This is no longer a choice of shit or get off the pot. That choice was whether to invade or not. We already took a shit. It’s long, excruciatingly painful, and was ill advised in the first place, but if we get up now, all we’ll be left with is a clogged toilet and diarrhea in the boxers.

During the lead up to the war, I was violently against it. I wasn't convinced that Saddam Hussein had WMDs, or even if he did, that he was stupid enough to use them. He wasn't responsible for 9/11, though I'm sure he was ecstatic when he heard. The type of Islamist terrorists who we're fighting right now didn't like Saddam Hussein because he was a secular fascist and oppressed Muslim minorities. (they liked America even less but the point is they weren't going to work with Saddam.) The issue to me is he wasn't an immediate threat nor was he the worst dictator on the planet, (Definitely the top 5, though.) I couldn't figure out why the administration was so hell bent on getting the invasion underway. I was against the war in Iraq (Afghanistan I support) on the grounds that it wasn’t worth the reputation hit or the cost. We are fighting Islamic terrorism. These are terrorists who for the last 30 years have been recruiting on the stale stories of the great Satan and fresher stories about Israel. Afghanistan wouldn’t have mattered, it’s the Albania of the Islamic world. Attacking Iraq, however, gives the Islamists a moral sledgehammer when recruiting. “It’s not terrorism. When they’re on Arab soil, it’s self defense.?

Anyway, fast forward to now. We have to stay. We can't leave. End of story. In my opinion, the Administration fucked upped royally putting us there in the first place and people who want us to leave aren't helping any. Instead of saying, the situation in Iraq sucks, they should be asking how it can be made better. Is a school opening? Cover it. Is a school being closed? Find out why. I want Bush out of office, but, if we withdraw now, we'll be blamed (somewhat rightly) for causing years of civil unrest. We leave when it's done, regardless of who does it.

I don't believe the media wants Americans to die. It does want a concrete failure that will stick to George Bush. This is hard to reconcile. For example, when things get better, I don't want the Bush administration to be praised for fixing the mess if it means they won't be held accountable for helping to begin it. I stopped watching TV news when it became apparent that they weren't reporting anything useful. Even when they went "in depth," they would state a problem or event, show some footage, state the administration's position, state position of someone else, (usually said in front of a dramatic Baghdad vista) and close. They want to prove the administration's incompetence.

The problem is something that Boyd said on how to combat guerilla war.

"Break guerillas’ moral-mental-physical hold over the population, destroy their cohesion, and bring about their collapse via political initiative that demonstrates moral legitimacy and vitality of government and by relentless military operations that emphasize stealth/fast-temp/fluidity-of-action and cohesion of overall effort.

*If you cannot realize such a political program, you might consider changing sides."

We have the relentless military operations part down. We have the most insanely competent military in the world and they do their jobs extraordinarily well under the most difficult circumstances.

At issue is our legitimacy in the eyes of Iraqis and the Islamic world. We want them to stop trying to kill us and the only way to cure the disease is to appear legitimate, justified, or what have you. Americans take our moral and political legitimacy for granted. We get insulted when people demand that we prove it. We shouldn't have to, but, unfortunately, we do if we want to win. There was a Gallup poll of 10,000 inhabitants of 9 Islamic countries. Among the conclusions were that only 18% of those surveyed believed that Arabs were responsible for 9/11, 15% said the attacks were morally justified, and only 22% had a favorable view of the United States. This poll was taken in 2002. Imagine what those numbers look right now. The symptoms of our image problem is terrorism. If we don’t fix this we’ll be like hemophiliacs, always treating the symptom but never getting any closer to a cure.

There are so many things that are perceived to be illegitimate about our presence and I don't know how to change most of these perceptions, but I have one way we could improve world opinion in general.

Open up the bidding on reconstruction contracts to companies outside of the U.S. It's true they didn't help, and they shouldn't benefit from the deaths of American soldiers, but we need them prevent the loss of further life. Corporations spend billions of dollars on lobbying and public relations. By letting foreign corporations in we make ourselves appear more altruistic/multilateral while also giving foreign corporations a vested interest in our success. They'll use their lobbying and PR firms to sway governments and influence public opinion. Right now, they're all just spiteful because we busted up the Oil for Food program. They'll probably still hate us and say we're bad people, but they'll have a vested interest in a stable Iraq with a functioning economy and will push for it.

The reason Bush doesn’t want to do it isn’t just moral. The democrats rightly get crap for being in the pocket of trial lawyers and unions. By the same token, people should remember that republicans are in the hands of defense contractors, oil companies, and big business in general. The no bid structure of a lot of rebuilding contracts means that U.S. companies can quote double what it costs to build a hospital and then pocket a difference of a couple hundred million. You can bet that there are people sitting in a boardroom right now discussing how to spend the bare minimum building a new school, after they already received their contract. From a corporate perspective, the war wasn't so much about oil as the wads of government cash too rebuild the country. Not that foreign countries won’t try to price gouge, but I’m a capitalist and capitalism works best for the consumer (Iraqi or American) with competition. Also with foreign companies, the administration will be a lot more careful about tracking the money.

Right now the war is perceived, at its most negative, as an attack on the Muslim world or as an attempt to seize all the Iraqi resources and the democracy thing is just our consolation prize to the people we're robbing. By opening up the bidding, it says that the main goal of the administration was democracy and Iraqi stability, not Americans making money off of rebuilding. No one on the ground is in it for the money, but I’m worried about whether the people above them are making sure they get the funding they need to do their jobs.

Posted by: Iguano [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 15, 2006 03:58 AM

Meddling Kids, you must be an ever-so-impressionable collegiate undergrad because you seem to have imagined that the foriegn press is better than the US press. Either that or you are using drugs...again. What kind of extensive research have you done to prove that the foriegn news gives us the "truth"?

Here is some truth for you. Not once during my seven month stay in Ramadi did we ever come across the foriegn press. One swell day in November my platoon recieves its daily ambush in Ramadi. Except that today it was extremely nasty. During our 3 hour firefight, we had the pleasure of gunning down some insurgents. Can't really explain to you how rewarding that is, so just take my word for it. One man had several still and video cameras on his body. I thought I was in luck because I have a thing for electronics. Two really amazing things happened afterwards. 1: We get a phone call from Baghdad. We just killed a reporter! Not that it bothered me mind you. He was standing next to two insurgents. One with a machine gun, and one with an RPG. I would kill my own mother if she was doing the same thing. After some investigating, it seems that this guy was a subcontracted source from the AP out of the Green Zone. No kidding. He was actually from Ramadi. We searched his house. What is really cool about this whole thing is that this guy was getting paid to provide the AP with news and video. I wonder where that money went to. I just can't stomach the notion that those dollars may have gone to a new AK, or IED, or RPG. One of my men may have died on that buck. I would guess that you could only imagine what that feels like. 2: We watched the video later and what did we see? My platoon getting ambushed! Wow, what a sensation. To watch my trucks explode with IED's and then get raked with machine gun fire. Kinda wierd sensation. The only consolation we had was that these poor bastards died; and it wasn't a pretty sight. Never is.

So, no single news source in the world, even Fox, is unobjective. Every source is biased. You see a few clips with a reporter's voice over. One news crew covered a story in Ramadi, and they used footage of an entirely unrelated event becasue they didn't have the right footage to match the story. But no one, excpet those who were there, knew that it was false. The story itself was partly true, but the images were totally wrong. And every one in America thought it was the "truth". Nope. And you would never know the difference. So, if you think the government is the only people lying to you, think again little sheep. Everyone lies to you. Everyone has an agenda. You do not know everything you think you do. If you really want the truth, go to Iraq and live it yourself.

Pat did, and he knows the truth.

Posted by: Lt IG at April 15, 2006 08:22 PM

way to tell it like it is. the left of this country and the media are trying to lose this war thinking it would be better for them politically and what not.

they have no values or pride and are openly rooting for failure. its detestable.

Posted by: bicycle bob [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 17, 2006 12:47 PM

Lt IG gets it right. Those who were/are there know the truth. They understand the context of what is going on. They understand the filters that the MSM is using. They see a more total picture. Congrats to people like Pat, Michael Yon, Bill Roggio and a mere handful of others who are getting accurate information out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thanks most of all to our brave men and women who are taking the fight to the Islamofacists who would plunge our world into the dark ages. That those on the left cannot see the evil we are facing is one of the great absurdities of our time.

Posted by: remoteman at April 18, 2006 11:00 AM

Pat, nice Humvee pic it kinda looks familar

Posted by: yellope at May 2, 2006 08:29 PM

Wellcome to the real world.

Posted by: forced sex at June 6, 2006 10:14 PM

Thank you Patrick for saying what the main stream media won't say, The Truth! You are a good American and we need more people like you to stand up to the lefty liberals.

Posted by: Michael T Gannon at July 5, 2006 08:35 PM

Umm, I don't ever remember the President of the U.S. ordering our Troops to behead anyone, hidously torture anyone as in the way our two American Soldiers were, or use such evil weapons as IED's to maim and destroy. I do know Soldiers that know a 12 year old Iraqi boy that was beheaded for accepting the gift of a soccer ball from an American Soldier. Our Troops build schools, hospitals, and roads for Iraq only to be destroyed by insurgents...who is good and who is evil?

I looked up the link http://www.voltairenet.org/article136827.html I have seen worst photos, but the pictures here were heart wrenching. It affects me deeply to see these types of photos only to know that their suffering and loss is being used and their price of sacrifice is being manipulated by the media. I have met and spent time w/the wounded and I haven't been w/one yet that hasn't said they want to go back to their unit and to serve their country as they sit disabled. Now that is loyalty and love of country. One young fine Marine said to me "Ma'am, I don't want my legs back for me, I want my legs back for my country so I can serve again". I have never heard liberals or the media have that kind of heart or loyalty to their nation, much less gratitude. And on gratitude...I am so tired of hearing the Soldiers say they are fighting for the assholes to have freedom of speech, perhaps there is truth in that, BUT I have yet to see the Democrats or the media offer, express, demonstrate a simple "thank you" for our freedom to bash you.

If it weren't for these brave souls we would have no media. Does the media not ever think if the Taliban and fanatics invade U.S. soil that they would not be the first to go? Perhaps be beheaded for their work? What would your world be w/out music, live arts, literature? What would it be to not be able to dress or do things you want to do any time, anywhere? In a discussion recently someone said they would love to see the NY Times blown up, what would they think about that? Would it change their views? I think not, it somehow would be George Bush's fault. I find that scary. Is their hate for Bush any less evil than the hate of the Islamic fundamentalists? I simply cannot understand the people that defend and support the terrorists. They are the evil ones. I guess next they will be supporting North Korea blowing us up. All I can say if you are unhappy w/this country...leave...please go find your idealist life somewhere else. I would be interested in knowing if you find it. America has it's issues for sure, but it is still the BEST country on the planet...so LOVE it or LEAVE it.

I often wonder how this war would have been different if we had been allowed to come in from the North from Turkey, to be able to sweep and define the country from top to bottom to squeeze out the evil doers. And yes, what would it have been like if we had more Troops and had used more force? But no, we were being politically correct, the nice guy. I don't think any American counted on the insurgency. That ol Saddam, he is a mad-man, but he is a smart mad-man. Terrorists are not stupid and Americans seem to forget that, they seem to forget they want us dead as a Nation and country. Me, personally, I would rather be dead than to be forced to bow down to the ass end of a Muslim. Just not my choice or style of religion or spiritual beliefs, and I thank God I live in a country where I have that Freedom....to worship or not worship whatever I want. And I thank my Americans Soldiers past and present for that gift.

Everyone had the hopes and dreams we would be welcomed and appreciated for the freeing of a people from an evil dictator....well...most of us. It's a real bummer it didn't turn out that way. I wonder what it would be like if we had the support of the UN and those lying, cheating, bastards the French, Germans, and Russians....but oh wait, they were in thick as thieves w/Saddam and the oil for food scandal and providing weapons for Iraq. Definitely not interested in the higher good for all people and the safety of the world. And folks, terrorism is a world wide issue, it's not just in Iraq.

Today I found this link, http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,199053,00.html it is what I have known for a long time, just common sense really. It's nice to see it in writing, however, it is wrong that due to the overwhelming amount of information to be filtered through, our Govt. chose not to take it on. There is much this admin. is not doing. Many thanks to R.Robison for taking the task head on.

For years I was a Democrat, until the Michael Moron's, Cindy Sheehan's, John Kerry's, Ted Kennedy's, John Murtha's and West Coast nuts came on board. I found myself wanting to not be associated w/these people. They don't represent me, aside the fact that these people are obnoxious and just plain bad Americans. I am embarrassed by them and their pathetic rhetoric. As spoken earlier in this blog, the media and Democrats want our country to fail to stick it to Bush and regain their power. To me that is evil. I would think Kerry's loss would be a clear message, true patriotic Americans do not want our country to fail. Success against this war is the only thing that can save our culture and lifestyle. The thought that Bruce Springsteen was going to get Kerry into office? Now that is desperation. I am no longer a Democrat, nor am I a Republican, I am an American. United we stand and divided we fall...no truer words have ever been spoken. In the military some Soldiers can't stand each other, but by God when the shit hits the fan, they unite and are there for each other watching their backs, it is a form of survival. Seems our Govt can't grasp this concept. In my mind our leaders are no better than the Shiite's, Kurds, and Sunni, who are we to be demonstrating how a Gov't can unite and come together for the higher good of a nation and it's people? We can't do it here at home so how do we expect them to follow our example when we can't do it ourselves?

Bill in ST. Louis...great post. You are so on the money. I just finished LTC Grossman's follow up to On Killing, On Combat. Great read. His analogy...3 types...the sheep, the sheepdog, and the wolf. Sheep i.e. civilians, and in my mind the anti-war types all want to live in denial and just graze the land in peace, but yet there is the wolf i.e. the terrorists that want the sheep dead, and then there is the sheepdog i.e. Soldiers, Policeman, the Warriors that have the drive, courage, dedication to protect the sheep from the wolf. W/out them the sheep could not live in their little world of denial safely...without the sheepdog the herds of sheep would not survive. I think it's important to see, realize this fact and to be grateful for our sheepdogs. I am grateful for people like Patrick that have the courage and guts to support our Warriors and bring us their truth.

Posted by: Ellie at July 6, 2006 01:12 PM

It seems pretty much every comment is vehement in their defence on one side of the fence or the other. What has happened to the honor inherent in honest fact-giving over the bile and venom spewed forth from every corner of the media. Both sides, nearly every network. Where the fuck is our Walter Cronkite? After reading comments and blogs and articles I can't help but believe that my country is full of nothing more than pundits and trolls of every breed. How the hell do you stop the momentum of a civil war?

Posted by: Dan P at July 11, 2006 04:04 PM

My husband served in Ramadi last year. He was part of Team Med-Fah. Gunnery Seargent Ellis. He says he met you and you had VERY little love for the Main Stream Media. Thank you for your coverage and the real story. The pics of Michigan Avenue are great. I have heard MANY MANY stories about that infamous road and yes, my husband also survived and IED explosion there. The world needs more people who are willing to take risks for the "real" story. I have just stopped watching the news and refuse to listen to crap spilling everywhere. Thanks for your take on it.

Proud USMC wife,
Amy Ellis

Posted by: mrsgyellis at August 4, 2006 07:15 AM

I'm European and I feel the same way than Pat Dollard. I think leftis are ready to make up story or exagerate the shit at everything just because their ideas don't make much sence. And like kids, they don't want to admit their mistake.

For me ( and I think it is the same for Pat) it's not about being pro-war but more about being anti-anti-war. It's not exactly the same thing

Posted by: Phil at August 4, 2006 09:07 AM

Thank you Pat, for telling what I believe is the truth. Everyone has their own "agenda" when speaking about the subject of "Iraq".
For those that posted their objections to this war, (you have your right because of those who wear the uniform of the U S Military) give credibility to what Pat is reporting. Just like those who burned churches and killed a Nun because they did not like what the Pope "quoted" in a statement he made about the Muslim Religion. They are not "reading what you are saying, and can not "separate" themselves from their own political one sided view of things. They prove that the main stream media (and others) have put it into their heads that this is a no win situation.
The people we fight today know all too well our struggle in Vietnam, and they are playing that "Vietnam Play Book" to the tee! I do not believe that we are loosing this war at all, what we are loosing is the "Propaganda War" the same war we lost in South East Asia. So, when folks say we are fighting another "Vietnam", I say this. No, we are not fighting another Vietnam in Iraq, our cause and mission there in my opinion is much different, but we are fighting another "Vietnam" at HOME! The American people that side with the "anti-war crowd" of this war are turning it into another Vietnam. Allow me to coin a few statements we hear most form those that oppose this war:
"War for Oil"
"No win situation"
"Another Vietnam"
"Bring them home now"
"Why Iraq? Get Bin Laden"
"Need more troops"
"Need fewer troops"
Does anyone not realize that our enemy knows we are divided on this war? And as long as we stay divided they will continue their fruitless attacks on our military? As long as the media "runs" to and televises a bad situation they will continue. Just imagine if we where all 100% behind this war, and the enemy, which has no other life, than what they do, will stop when they realize they are getting no where, and not gaining support right here in America. Yea, America really needs to wake up, and smell the gun powder.
I just love when I hear someone say "I support our troops but not the war" Please someone tell me how you do that? It is like saying, I support you, but what you are doing is for nothing. Great, sends a clear and decisive message to our young men and women in Iraq. Don't think they are not affected by that, they are, and know all too well what is being printed in the papers, and said in the media back home.
And just in case anyone wants to know, my son is in Ramadi right now as we speak. He is my only son, and you can bet your bottom dollar that I and my family would love nothing better than for him to come home. But he made the commitment to serve and knew the dangers that where ahead of him. We are all very proud of him and all the Marines he serves with.
I have been in support of this war from day 1, and to change that position now would be like saying; it's ok for someone else's son to go, but not mine? That would be hypocritical.
We do not get to speak to our son all that much, but when he first arrived I did ask him his thoughts compared to what he heard from the media before he left. He cut me off at the word "media" and said F*ck the Media. Enough said.
God Bless Our Troops,
Semper Fi
Proud Father of a U S Navy Corpsman
Gary G Carnevale Sr

Posted by: Gary G Carnevale Sr at September 30, 2006 08:47 AM

Gary:
You are totally right about everything....for anyone els ewho would like to know....My husband is also in Ramadi Iraq as we speak, he called me 4 hours ago and I still can't sleep! I have never been so distrought in my life, I have never had such an anger problem either, for those of you ....anyone who does not support our men and women serving....F*CK ALL OF YOU, thanks for the support....A**hole, as eminem put it a couple years back ...... Does anyone who does not support them even know what they are risking for us right now...I mean think about it yall live happy little cherry lives here all safe and warm or cool in your homes and they are over there with nothing getting shot at all day....A smart man once said "F*CK THE F*CKING F*CKERS!" Well i am quoting him and using it.....that is what I would love to shout in everyone's face who spits on what our men and women are doing!
end of transmission, PERIOD.

Posted by: Ashley Hancock at October 1, 2006 03:24 AM

It's sad how many people have posted on this site and do not get the overall message the author is trying to portray. 90% of the forces are at bases in the rear, but the vast majority of people fighting this war are in the front lines. It's rather obvious if people would stop trying to be right and start trying to listen. Many people simply want to act like they are in the know when they simply can't. It's not left or right wing issue. Its just an issue that not everything is being told to you for you to make the educated decision that you are capable of making. The majority of the decision is made for you in the editing rooms, slanting what you see for better ratings. Haveing spent 8 months of my life at the Government Center in Ramadi, it's about time Mr Dollard gets the story out. Agree or disagree folks is not the point. Just know everything before you go running off at the mouth.

Sgt Snyder
USMC OIF Vet

Posted by: Snyder at October 25, 2006 10:28 AM

Thank you for your service to this country Sgt Snyder.
God Bless
Semper Fi
Proud Father of a US Navy Corpsman, fighting alongside the best this country has to offer.
Gary G Carnevale Sr

Posted by: Gay G Carnevale Sr at October 27, 2006 10:17 PM

hey pat i cannot be grateful enough of what you are doing trying to spread the world to the american people about what iraq is like for us, i was in ramadi from june 05 to jan 06 in op trotter as part of the 1/30 infantry bulls in the 2/69 3rd infantry, i was there in patrols near hotel and south ramadi and cleaned out those hadji fuckers from the 46 to the 55 grid line, lost 2 of my brothers in 296 and hopefullly be back there soon to kill those bastards not because i am a bloodthirsty asshole but because i believe for what this country has long forgotten...the american freedom, take care pat and stay low brother, i don't know you or know where you from but you are like a brother to me because you and me have fought as brothers in the asshole of the world.

PS: well hopefully you have a rifle cause as you already know, you are going to need it and do me a favor next time you pass to 296 and see that blown out building fire a couple of shots to reminds those fuckers that america is ready to fuck them up.

Posted by: juan delgado at November 17, 2006 11:25 PM

to most of these hyppie ass comments go fuck yourself, you know why??? you haven't been to ramadi so again, fuck you, pat was there and the only men that can really talk about of this goddammed war is the guys that been there in combat and seen death personal so again to all those people that talk like they know about war and suffering, fuck you, join the infantry or join the insurgency so that way we can get rid of your liberal ass enough before this country goes to shit.
keep up the good work pat and try to stay alive bud, we need people like you around.

Posted by: juan delgado at November 17, 2006 11:36 PM

What most people seem to not recognize, is that the Islamic Terrorist have been at war with us, the US, since the 1970's, and we finally have had a President who is willing to put his presidency on the line to defend us with sending the military into harm's way.

Posted by: Gunny at February 13, 2007 06:31 PM

These men and women fighting (as unjust as it may be) are there for you and me. Not for Georgie Porgie and his pie, so all that I ask is that you respect them for that. simple. Pat, high regard brother. As for Dave 4/12/6, What did you say? I didn't get that.

Posted by: D at February 17, 2007 01:36 AM

thank you, Pat for telling it how it is, proving that media isn't always false.

Posted by: d at February 17, 2007 01:52 AM

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