February 24, 2007

Saturday 070224

Rest Day

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CrossFit Games! - CrossFit Games Prizes


"Longie's First Day Back," CrossFit Vancouver - video [wmv] [mov]


Stationed in Baghdad, "Apolloswabbie" posted three Rest Day questions regarding our continued presence in Iraq. Read post number 25 and respond in comments.

Posted by lauren at February 24, 2007 6:11 PM
Comments

Crossfit Games! Sounds fun!

Comment #1 - Posted by: Alfie at February 23, 2007 6:50 PM

I hate being in the same weight class as AFT and OPT though.

Comment #2 - Posted by: Alfie at February 23, 2007 6:53 PM

Can anyone else not view the pictures every day? Whenever I click on enlarge image it gives me a blown up view of the top left corner and I can't scroll over.

Comment #3 - Posted by: Jamison at February 23, 2007 6:56 PM

The mov/quicktime video is not working.

Jamison, try right clicking on the picutre and pick the "open image in new window" option. It worked for me.

Comment #4 - Posted by: Erica Bergstrom at February 23, 2007 7:00 PM

Jamison,
What you need to do is right-click/open in new window, and scroll to your heart's content.

Comment #5 - Posted by: Lynne Pitts at February 23, 2007 7:01 PM

Erica beat me to the post button!

Comment #6 - Posted by: Lynne Pitts at February 23, 2007 7:01 PM

What is the "Hopper"?

Comment #7 - Posted by: puma at February 23, 2007 7:23 PM

On the most recent Rest Day I noted apolloswabbie's post but couldn't remember where it was posted. On 2/8 I commented on the simple brilliance of this post. Simply put, this guy gets it.

Close observers will note that my initial post on Rest Day in March or April 2006 acknowledged my newbie status and the need to pay my dues as it were by posting WOD results and contributing to the community before it was appropriate for me to weigh in on these conversations. Thus far I have commented at length only once on the malaria issue. While I may have little else to add in the future it's time to add my .02 here.

There are two discussions running regarding Iraq. Unfortunately, many people have failed to realize this and insist on co-mingling the two. The first and most contentious is whether or not we should have entered Iraq in the first place. This is the historical/policy debate and, while fascinating, does not constitute anything useful or productive on a day to day basis. Discussing alongside the really important conversation, the tactical/policy conversation, is counter-productive, destructive, and obstructive relative to the task at hand. It represents an appalling self-indulgence in those who partake, a shameful refusal to acknowledge the fact that simply partaking in that conversation during the conflict is harmful to our own armed forces. We are in Iraq. Deal with it. It's a worthwhile conversation to have. It is WRONG to have that conversation now.

Apolloswabbie lays out what are arguably the three cogent questions that must be answered in the tactical/policy conversation. THIS is the conversation that should be taking place now. If we leave will it get worse? If we stay can we make it better? What is our obligation to the vast majority of Iraqi's who are NOT interested in killing either us or each other? Read the downstream comments from #25 as well. Note how few are able to resist the temptation to contaminate the tactical/policy issues with the historical/policy issues.

Lots of bright people here get caught up in the emotion of the discussions, in the personalities of the players, and they lose sight of the question before us. So in the spirit of the CFT, the CFBMax, and the CFST (bald-faced plugs...check out the fitness section on the Board (=: ), here's the CFRDC, the CF Rest Day challenge. Through the good graces of Coach we are posed three questions by Apolloswabbie. Can you answer them as Rx'd?

Comment #8 - Posted by: bingo at February 23, 2007 7:28 PM

In the video, two weeks ago, I was there feeling the pain of pukie riding my back after a 3.50 sec Fran. Im with you!!! 30 min after Gets Some Go Again!Q!!@!!

Comment #9 - Posted by: Auty Brooks at February 23, 2007 7:30 PM

I'll throw my opinion in. I spent only six months in Iraq as a civilian. I had Local Nationals working for me. I worked with local contractors to rebuild the country. I asked one of our local nationals what would happen if we left. He told me with a straight face that there would be anarchy. I agree that it would be a sad state of affairs if we did leave now. It becomes apparent that the majority of the populace want us there. We are standing up their economy. We are teaching them to build their infrastructure. To pull out now, after pitting one side against the other and skewing the balance of power and wealth would set the stage for another dictator to gain power. The GoI does not have the power or command presence yet to maintain order in the country. It is hard to compare their army to anyone. They are not properly outfitted or trained. They lack the discipline that is required to defend the GoI. It is not their fault that they are not capable. We are asking civilians to step into the role of soldier. They are risking their lives to better society. The people who are trying to improve the lives of their fellow countrymen are asking for our help. They are asking us to stay. Why would we abandon them when they need us most? What would we prove by leaving? The atrocities of Saddam's regime would pale in comparison to the things we would see surface if we left. We have created this situation. We need to clean it up and make things right. I want to know what a better plan is than what we are doing. To those that oppose our presence in Iraq: How do you propose that we leave without setting the stage for a civil war? How do we ensure that Iraq is left to develop without being overrun? Why should we not see our investment to fruition?

Comment #10 - Posted by: Ed at February 23, 2007 7:35 PM

Hey Longie awesome effort! Some people workout their entire life and never really reach that 100% effort bench mark. Puking is the ultimate indicator of all out effort. Congrats!!

Comment #11 - Posted by: Romad at February 23, 2007 7:35 PM

Here's my take as on our presence in Iraq and also in Afghanistan. If you ask if our involvement in WWII was necessary, most sane people would say yes. In fact, it was a matter of national survival. Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Global War on Terror, is in fact a struggle for national survival. It is not a war that we as a people and a culture are used to fighting. The enemy stategy is to win by slow attrition. They are willing to wait years and decades for victory. It is not a war of our warriors against their scum (and I mean scum). We will always win that battle. The real war is against our national will to do what is right. IMO, we are not beating on enough on the right people. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figute out that Syria, Iran, and some scattered other entities need a first rate ass kicking. Doing this will really cut, if not eliminate the insurgency problem in Iraq. These people (the scum) only understand brute and destructive force. You can't reason with them or be nice to them and expect any kind of favorable outcome. If we fail to take care of the situation overseas, trouble will come to our shores (again). Would you rather fight a war some where else or at your door?

Comment #12 - Posted by: Charlie P at February 23, 2007 7:39 PM

Just right click the pic and save it to desk top and delete if you don't want it.

Comment #13 - Posted by: dan colson at February 23, 2007 7:40 PM

Bingo:

1. I think it will get worse.
2. We have to try to make it better. We started it, we should finish it.
3. We told the Iraqi people we would give them a better life. That is our obligation.

Comment #14 - Posted by: Ed at February 23, 2007 7:45 PM

Sweeeeeeeeet CrossFit Games, that will be cool. Is 'Hopper-Style' like a rustic, outdoorsie version of a WOD?

Comment #15 - Posted by: gaucoin at February 23, 2007 7:49 PM

the profundity of our losses is difficult to measure against the measure of our mistakes to date. apolloswabbie's eloquence begins to reset the scales. i am an admitted liberal with family in Iraq who detests the predicament we're in but accept that i am a but a passive observer to the ordeal and will, for now, defer to the better judgement and heart of those over there. in it. apolloswabbie, hopefully, is a true representative sample.

partisanship is a shame in matters of life and death. yet i can't help believing that bush should not be forgiven for the blood on his hands.

lest i digress, on with the continued conversation. don't let my shame deter from apolloswabbie and coach's focus.

i usually refrain from these discussions but today i am moved by sincerity and logic. imagine that from a liberal!? obama 08 ;-)

Comment #16 - Posted by: photoman at February 23, 2007 7:51 PM

How can anyone deny that as bad as things are currently in Iraq, that they wouldn't become exponetially worse in short order if the 150K (I'm guessing) best and brightest American fighting men and women pulled out immediately. The enemy is wearing out a part of the American public with the assistance of the media far more successfully than they are fighting any type of war.
We can make things better by staying. The enemy can be made finite, if we can cut off the Syrian and Iranian influence. As has been pointed out, 99% of the people want peace and freedom. We are obligated to those 99% to finish what we started. Our great Nation's station in the world would be forever damaged if we flee now. All those who supported the coalition and GoI would be the first to be obliterated, by the cruelest means. It's unthinkable to abandon the Iraqi people now. After that country quickly deteriorated into chaos, we'd soon see those same "insurgents" on our shores bringing the fight to us.
Thanks, appolloswabie, for framing the arguement so clearly. "Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, give in." Churchill

Comment #17 - Posted by: Denver Sheepdog at February 23, 2007 7:59 PM

Coach:

The Hopper...how about max number of Pull-ups, 1 rep max full squat clean using CFT protocol (3 attempts at 1 rep), and an 800M run ( or 1000M row). Score is 2xPU+1RM clean-800M (in seconds). Classic, signature CF exercise (PU), strength/skill exercise (clean), and met-con.

Just a thought, you know, so I can be there is spirit...

Comment #18 - Posted by: bingo at February 23, 2007 8:06 PM

oh man, i just laughed out loud watching longie vomit and i'm totally jealous. when the day comes that i meet pukie, i want someone to be there videotaping it.

nothing could be more true than CF-Vancouver's statement that should Longie put in the time, etc. that that workout will become a warmup. Crossfit is just shy of brilliance. Kudos to all involved.

Comment #19 - Posted by: photoman at February 23, 2007 8:26 PM

Longie...you rock man! No offense, but I laughed and laughed at your expense; however, I was inspired to push myself as hard as you did. WAY TO GO BUDDY!

Comment #20 - Posted by: bigbluemachine at February 23, 2007 8:37 PM

Couldn't view the complete image. May I suggest allow scroll bar on the spawned window? The geek in me cannot be silenced!

Good luck to all competitors.

Comment #21 - Posted by: Adam (CrossFit Victoria) at February 23, 2007 8:45 PM

I am not sure if those 3 questions are really the questions we need to be asking as far as tactical/policy issues are concerned. It pretty inarguable what will happen to Iraq if we leave, it was pretty much set what are obligation was as soon as we invaded. Can we make it better? Or should we ask, can we win? I don't think we are fighting the war in a way that will enable us to stick around long enough to help the Iraqi people. We are doing what centuries of warfare has taught us NOT to do. You CANNOT fight guerilla warfare with rules and conventions. Our soliders are stymied by restrictions (ie the Geneva Convention)while fighting an enemy not restricted by those conventions AND there is some crazy notion that there is a moral high ground that can be taken in war, not if you want to win. Mogadishu is a good example of our troops not getting the resources they needed to get the job done right the first time around. It took numerous casulties and losses before the powers-that-be decided to give them what they should have gotten to begin with. I think that's how this war is being fought. Can we afford to lose? By lose, I am referring to the very idea that we leave prematurely. Losing would mean that we are affirming every terrorist cell's propaganda that the United States is weak. They are killing us through attrition and wearing down our economy through war. By leaving we would affirm everything they have been saying about us. The implications are far more reaching than just what will happen to the Iraqi people. What would happen to us and OUR national security?
In conclusion, I am terrible at putting my ideas into cohesive written thought and I should probably have to just stuck to posting my scores/times.

Comment #22 - Posted by: Paula at February 23, 2007 9:17 PM

And so it begins!

Comment #23 - Posted by: DJ at February 23, 2007 10:21 PM

Looks like I may finally get a chance to do the "Tire Pull" workout Dave.

Comment #24 - Posted by: DJ at February 23, 2007 10:23 PM

Yes, yes, and till the job is done.

Comment #25 - Posted by: DJ at February 23, 2007 10:32 PM

Appoloswab- If I didn't say it before, good questions for all of us to consider.

Bingo- I remember what you wrote about not wanting to put your opinion into the mix for a bit. I value your thoughts and opinions on any day.

Tonight I was dusting some books and I came to the book shelf section that holds many memories. It has our photo albums, books about our family history, and then there are the scrap books. Not the girly scrapbooks, but the magazine and newspaper article kind. I found the book that my husband had written in when he was in a country before Iraq, waiting for the go ahead, and then when he finally entered Iraq and what he expierienced.
Rereading the book jogged my memory as to the feel in the country then. It was amazing the differences between then and now. The feelings that were pervasive and how much most of our country stood behind what we were doing there. Everything changed in a relatively short time. Now I see more confusion in what people feel about what we are doing there.

If we leave within the next year, I believe that it will only be a matter of short time until we start having terrorist attacks in America again.

I believe that we need to stay longer and it will/ does make a difference to Iraqi people. A lot of good things are going on over there. Also, if the troops didn't have to deal with IED's then perhaps it would be a lot easier for them to do their jobs.

Our obligation mearly boils down to- are we a nation of our word? What we tell another that we will help with, we must. We are not shirkers of duty, we are not the kind that gets going when the going gets rough. We are strong and we are leaders. Leaders lead by setting an example even when it isn't the popular thing to do, but it is the right thing to do. It's about fulfilling our duties to mankind.

Kate

Comment #26 - Posted by: jknl at February 23, 2007 11:05 PM

Complex Dichotomy Multi-question #1 - Yes, rapid withdrawel will cause instability. Staying will cause instability. Slow withdrawel will cause instability. A national draft placing 2.5 million US men and women in Iraq will cause instability. Since "OUR VERY WAY OF LIFE!!!!" is at stake, according the howlers, I say go for the draft and put 2.5 million US citizens in Iraq. At a ratio of 1:10, it'll be the best instability for our good friend and ally the Iraqi people.

Question 2: What is US obligation to the 24.75 million Iraqis not involved in terrorism or insurgency opposed to the 250k insurgents and terrorists (hey, the questioner said 99% were good Iraqis and I can do math)? Hmm, .25 million insurgents outnumbers our presence. To do good by Iraqis, we must ask our good friend and ally the Iraqi government to draft 2.5 million of its men and women to become an anti-insurgency. That's a mere 10% of the people not taking part in terrorism or insurgency (although generic gangster tactics are possible). Such an army can help stand up to outside agression.

3. Can US presence make it "better" in Iraq: eh, depends on definition of better. If you mean provide real world experience in training the next generation of terrorists, sure it can do that. Don't see how that would be a definition of better. Real question is how much of a visible presence should the United States have?

Personally, I consider it a moot point. The US is there now at the invite of the Iraqi government. That tells me it's a civil matter. There's no more coalition. It's a matter of who wants to stay to help clean up the mess.

Luckily you're much safer now that when Bush was president for only 6 months, but you're still not safe. Keep turning the corner, cause it's hard work. Maybe someday, you can work 3 jobs just to put food on your family.

Comment #27 - Posted by: Nuke-Marine at February 23, 2007 11:11 PM

1: Will our presence ensure stability (civil and regional)? Not likely. If, after our departure, the Iranians threaten Saudi oil fields, the UN must take swift action, which they are likely to do this time, if for no other reason, out of fear that we will act unilaterally again. Does our continued presence decrease the risk of regional escalation? I don’t believe that regional conflagration is wholly tied to our presence. Our occupation of Iraq is a blip in the timeline of Shia/Sunni conflict. This is not a conflict we can solve with troop surge. It is not our place to solve it, and it never was. We are not our brothers’ keeper. We screwed up, big time, by occupying Iraq, but it seems foolish to use our acknowledged mistake as, of all things, a reason to “stay the course.”

2: Provide American support for a nation called Kurdistan. Let the rest fight it out. I know this is unrealistic, and I know that, realistically, we are stuck there for who knows how long and for who knows how many billions (what, 1.8 billion per week!?!?). We will be servicing this debt for how long? And what countries are we borrowing this money from? We cannot “solve” the problems of the Middle East with our military presence.

3: We cannot resolve the tensions that have existed for generations through our military presence. We need to get our people out. The day before yesterday. We need to have never invaded, we need to have focused on proven threats (hello, Bin Laden?), we need to hold the Bush administration accountable for manipulating the patriotic spirit of the American people (hello, Karl Rove!)... we need to stop maligning those who soberly pointed out the flaws in our hastily prepared case for the invasion of Iraq.

Safely perched in a house in suburban America, I assert that the Iraq occupation will be what erased the neocon’s grip on political ideology in the United States. It’s about time. Perhaps the troop surge really is “a rational, carefully thought out effort focused on counter insurgency 101 and on building a GoI that can self sustain.” The global community, and America, increasingly, have the thinnest of confidence in the Bush Adminstration and it’s efforts, however rational, however carefully thought out. Why should anyone trust them?

The issue was clouded with “blame, anger, frustration, and the inevitable political agenda” from day 1, from before the invasion, before the occupation. That IS the dialogue. There are individuals and groups working to envision reasonable, sane strategies for resolving both our immediate involvement in the Middle East theater and the 1000+ year old tensions there. I believe that some of these voices are coming from within our government and military, but I also believe that the Bush Administration could care less about these solutions.

I believe in a strong military and strong defense, but I also believe in a strong non-interventionist attitude in the current political milieu. Intervention has its places, but Iraq is not one of them. Neither was Guatemala, neither was Vietnam, neither was... etc. We need to reduce our demand for foreign oil to zero through aggressive investment in nuclear fuel, clean coal, and electric cars. See w/f/s http://www.teslamotors.com/index.php?js_enabled=1 for an example of what our automotive future should look like!

For those of you worried about the impact on terrorism that our occupation of Iraq has had, you should be. W/f/s http://www.motherjones.com/news/featurex/2007/03/iraq_effect_1.html

Comment #28 - Posted by: Josh K at February 24, 2007 12:15 AM

seeing that image of the crossfit games is one of the coolest things i have ever seen. The concept of the crossfit games is unreal, i think i would pay to see that more than any sporting event. Coach everything you do for fitness is highly appreciated from my end.
thx Brian T.

Comment #29 - Posted by: brian t at February 24, 2007 12:17 AM

Question 1: If we stay, there is 100% certainty that troops will die in the future. If we leave, there is less than 100% certainty that they will die in the future. So we should leave.

BTW, if Iran invaded Saudi Arabia, it would be very easy for the US to retake the Saudi oil fields.

Question 2: The US has fulfilled its obligation to the citizens of Iraq. Failure to draw the line somewhere leads to a quagmire. Time to draw the line and check out.


Question 3: Can we make it better? You have to ask yourself whether our presence is encouraging violence. Right now it seems that we are policing a problem that we are creating. It seems that we are making things worse there now. So we should leave.

Comment #30 - Posted by: Steve James at February 24, 2007 1:24 AM

I have not even had a chance to read the "rest-day" article before commenting on what I believe to be the most powerful WOD video (about Longie) that you guys have ever put up.

WOW!!!!!! IS THAT POWERFUL OR WHAT?

I cannot wait to see how he does in the future. What a great short movie. Concise, and to the point and the comment that "the stimulus produced from crossfit is greater than the couch, or golf" is so fricken hilarious. Truth, (even when it's biting), is so funny isn't it?

But the end encapsulates what the whole Team at CrossFit, in my humble opinion, has done. The still is of Longie, pointing to the CrossFit sign above the facility door which reads "The Official training facility for the Canadian Military". Very, very powerful.

Congratulations to Greg and Lauren and the whole CrossFit team. It really is an honor to be affiliated and to learn from such an organization as yours.

Comment #31 - Posted by: Matt Hunt at February 24, 2007 1:50 AM

I just can't help but think that our nation's military might would be better put to use fighting the real enemy...

Bread.

-D.

Comment #32 - Posted by: Dan Silver at February 24, 2007 2:30 AM

ahahahahahahaha...That is THE best video ever!!! No offence Longie.. but I had to crack up laughin. I'm with Romad (11) on this one.. congratulations, you have reach a level of effort where a lot of people hasn't been before.

Comment #33 - Posted by: J9 at February 24, 2007 2:52 AM

1 - Will a rapid withdrawal cause instability (civil and then regional war) such that it will increase the probability of future conflicts and deaths to US troops (as the Somalia situation seemed to have done)?

Yes, but staying in Iraq with current troop levels and with current allied support will also create instability, which many people have pointed out. I think the eventual outcome would be a Turkish invasion of the north and an Iranian invasion of at least the Shiite areas, if not of the rest of the country. That is definitely something to think about.

2 - What is the US obligation to the 99% of Iraqis who have not become part of the terrorism and insurgency, but who are suffering from the instability and vulnerable to regional power players?

The President stated that the US can't leave until a stable democracy is in place. The Iraqis didn't vote for George Bush and they didn't ask for a war. The fact must be stated that the US created a problem that we must solve. The US's intentions were good, but the execution has obviously been sub-par. So, no, in good conscience, the US can't simply get up and leave as is. That is a ludicrous plan. However, the main reason there are terrorists in Iraq is because of a foreign power occupying the country. What would any of us do if, say, China were occupying California? You'd better believe we'd fight.

3 - Do we have the ability to make it better by continued US presence in Iraq?

The US is the wealthiest country in the world. I think we do have the ability to set up at least a stable government. The term "democracy" is a wholly overused term. That requires years of education in the system and a civil society, that can't form overnight. The way to stop terrorism is to give potential terrorists a better way. If Iraq's economy functioned better and the government could provide essentials, such as electricity on a constant basis, we'd see a lot less terrorism, since the government would have more legitimacy. As it stands now, the "government" of Iraq, which can hardly be called that is limited to the Green Zone in Baghdad.

The facts are that if we stay, more terrorism, if we go, it will be even worse, meaning that Iraq will be invaded by neighboring powers, or even become a collapsed state like Somalia. That would not be to anyone's benefit, except for the invading states.

The question shouldn't be "can we make a difference if we stay," but "how can the US improve the situation for Iraqis?"

Zbigniew Brzezinski has had the best plan. The US should come to an agreement with Iraq's neighbors that they and the US agree that Iraq should maintain its present sovereign borders. Next, we should hold a donor's conference with the rest of the world to fund the Iraqi government. Next, we should agree with Muslim, Arab countries that they will supply peace keepers and military and police trainers in Iraq. This will at least take away the impetus to kill "imperialists" and "crusaders." Finally, we should set a date and withdraw.

Obviously the plan of "stay the course" has worked miserably, so a plan that at least fulfills the two goals of, 1) remove the terrorists impetus to fight--the US and 2) leaves a military force in Iraq to kill any remaining insurgents, is a plan that is workable, plausible, and desirable. Whether it will create the democratic revolution in the Middle East Bush wanted is irrelevant, as long as it creates a stable government that can protect its citizens.

Comment #34 - Posted by: LucienNicholson at February 24, 2007 2:53 AM

Whoever shot that video for CrossFit Van, do I detect an Eastern Canadian accent? I'm a Newf so I have an ear for these things...

Comment #35 - Posted by: gaucoin at February 24, 2007 2:59 AM

A-Swab, thanks for asking the right questions.
Bingo (#8) thanks for challenging us to answer as rxed. I see a few substituted the argument about whether or not we should go.

1. Withdrawing now will cause anarchy, murder, and economic collapse outside of Kurdistan, and even there it will get worse.

2. What is our obligation? To be a nation of our word and follow through with what we promised - remember how we let the Kurds get slaughtered in the wake of the Gulf War? We can't make false promises again or we show ourselves to be worthless as an ally.

3. Can we make things better? Yes BUT - see Paula's comment on #22. We need a more aggressive ROE and we have put faith too early in an undeveloped and still corrupt legal system. Even with a very good legal system it is very difficult to defeat an insurgency. The French found that out in Algeria in the '50s. If we declared martial law and put the law in the hands of local commanders I think we could wrap things up rather quickly.

100x70lb KB snatches n 6:45. Goal was 7 min.

Comment #36 - Posted by: MurphIZ at February 24, 2007 4:26 AM

#16: It is nice to see logic and commonsense.

#28: In response to not trusting Bush or his administration: your argument for his credibility is flawed. If a guy who smokes three packs a day tells you smoking is bad for you do you ignore his claim because you think his credibility is in question, or do you evaluate his claim based on it's own merit?

Also, if Kurdistan is an unreasonable idea (which it is as we would piss off one of our largest allies in the region, Turkey, to no end among other reasons) then it is unreasonable to suggest it as a solution.

We can argue all day about if it was right to go into Iraq, but the simple fact is that now it is a moot point whose only value is for accountability purposes. You are dead on that there is little discussion about the situation, but rather there is political partisanship that is detrimental to America when we are at war. I'm not suggesting that we should all toe the line and spout the party line but to disagree simply because you don't like the politics of the other person is immature and childish.

Comment #37 - Posted by: Daniel P at February 24, 2007 4:30 AM

A suggestion: the overall winner of the Crossfit games gets a WOD named after them.

Comment #38 - Posted by: Ben Shechet at February 24, 2007 5:02 AM

Loved the "Longie's First Day Back" video. Saw it just as I was heading out the door to go to the gym. I noted in the video above the door it said "Official Fitness Program of the Canadian Forces." Well I really wish it were but it is not. There are pockets of support and maybe a bridgehead here and there but we are still stuck with with good old Army Fitness Manual that was revamped about 3 years ago.

Comment #39 - Posted by: Greg at February 24, 2007 5:10 AM

Glassmans – thanks. I’m 12 month into an ‘out of nowhere assignment,’ having would up as a Pol/Mil analyst (for the last ten months) after starting with Civil Affairs training. Every day I have wrestled to understand what is happening with no end of disappointment in the miserable job the news/entertainment industry and political reps have done in telling the story. The dialogue seems completely disconnected from “what is happening, why, and what can/should be done about it.” Rather, it is all about the political fight, almost as if that matters more than the war; and to many, perhaps it does. If so, their “concern” for the troops and our nation amounts to crocodile tears. It is gratifying to get a stage from which to be heard. Again, thanks.

For what it's worth, the link below is to a well written case for 'we can't win' that even goes so far as to develop an alternative approach. I consider a position like Fearon’s ‘the noble opposition.’ Still, if one accepts his conclusions, it suggests the options to be considered with a U.S. drawdown at some point should include acceptance of the Kurdish Regional Government’s invitation for permanent basing (the Iraqi Kurds have their own baggage, but like to brag “Not one American Soldier has died in Kurdistan, not even in a car accident”). By accepting their offer, perhaps with assurances that the KRG will not strive for independence for an agreed upon period of time, and with in depth negotiations with the Turks on the PKK, we could stabilize at least one area of Iraq, maintain the ability to influence events, continue to play a buffer role between the KRG and NATO member Turkey (although this is a non-starter until after their spring elections are complete, and very possibly a no go for the Turks in any event), and continue to support the Anbar and Salah ad Din sheiks that are leading their tribes against AQ.
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2007/02/why_the_us_cant_win_iraqs_civi.html

Photoman – ‘profundity of our losses’ … yes. We see a ‘hero’ profile 3x/week here; the chaplains have the impossible job of giving a 2 min eulogy, but they do it, and I can feel the weight of the loss every single time. These Soldiers and Marines – their efforts are inspiring.

Ed, Denver, Bingo, Murph IZ, Daniel P - thanks. Kate, yes. Lucien, thanks for bringing Brzezinski’s idea to the dialogue.

Today, Camp Cupcake is quiet, hazy, humid, getting warmer, the heat’s coming, I’ll be leaving in time to avoid another round of acclimatization. Time to go work the kinks out after a day at the desk. Paul

Comment #40 - Posted by: apolloswabbie at February 24, 2007 5:58 AM

apolloswabbie,
First, thanks for your service.
Second, we must finish what we started or it will get worse. Leaving terrorists and their regimes alone did not make them leave us alone prior to 9/11, nor make their base countries any more inhabitable for "good" people.
Third, you write as though you have a college education...I thought that meant you wouldn't get stuck in the military and sent to Iraq.
Keep up the good work.

Comment #41 - Posted by: ACFD capt dan at February 24, 2007 6:21 AM

That was a fantastic video.
Loved it!
Good luck Longie!
The smile at the end says it all.

Comment #42 - Posted by: R.Fielder at February 24, 2007 7:07 AM

Many people have posted today and in the past that you can't defeat an insurgancy or gurilla warfare.

This is false...history has shown that insurgencies take 8-11 years to subside.

Just like the Werewolves in post War Germany.

Patience, people...patience. The locals have to believe we will not leave them high and dry before they will go "all in".

The only way we (coalition and Iraqis) lose is if we leave them to the wolves.

Don't buy into the propaganda.

Comment #43 - Posted by: CCTJOEY at February 24, 2007 7:19 AM

The overall level of discourse in the comments section has been improving a lot lately, and that's pretty cool. It would be cool if we could move away from labels and partisanship in general, and recognize them for the nonsense they are. Coach called me a leftist, somewhat out of the blue the other day (given that I had not participated in the day's discussion), presumably because I don't think that the best response to the threat of terrorism is purely military. I fully support the decision to go to war in Iraq as well as the US doing what is necessary to accomplish its objectives there, believe free markets are nearly inevitably better than public solutions, am against affirmative action, use every moment I have to denigrate Karl Marx, the French Revolution, Communism, and socialism to my fellow students here, and am studying Security Studies, focusing on how to best protect this country from terrorist and other attacks. It seems that anybody who supports understanding the culture, ideology, and strategy of ones enemy, and who recognizes the importance of preventing the enemy's ideology from spreading, is now a "leftist," possibly even communist, regardless of their other political views.

One major cost to staying in Iraq is the greatly increased difficulty of military action anywhere else. Given Iran, Syria, Lebanon, China, North Korea, and Sudan, that's certainly an important consequence, though perhaps not enough to justify on its own a withdrawal, given the alternative high costs of withdrawal that appolloswabbie laid out. There are no easy, painless decisions here.

Sadly, the decision about what to do in Iraq will most likely not be made by a sober-minded, logical individual with experience in the Middle East, national security, and foreign policy, but will rather be made by a few politicians anxious to follow the polls to promote their own careers. No matter what great ideas or logical arguments we come up with here or anybody comes up with anywhere else, short term politics will probably make the final determination, with unknowably large long term costs to our national security and the security of the Middle East.

The Crossfit games idea is awesome. I will be there to compete. That gym looks strangely familiar.

Comment #44 - Posted by: russ greene at February 24, 2007 7:38 AM

hey, for anyone who doesn't know what the hopper-style WOD is:

Hopper, according to wikipedia is a wide bin-like entry to feed large bulks of solid matter into a machine. It is open above, and tapers, being thinner at the bottom where it feeds into the mechanism.

so...hopper style WOD would be a WOD picked at random from a pool of all WODs.

Comment #45 - Posted by: David Aguasca at February 24, 2007 8:05 AM

G'day! I rarely comment but would like to on today's post.

1. Yes. If I'm not mistaken this is what happened in Iran (considering that I wasn't alive then I'll defer to my elders if I'm wrong). Half finishing just leaves a better trained insurgency force.

2. I think there is a better question. What is our responsibility as fellow human beings, regardless of nationality? If seeing children die in the streets because of a suicide bomber doesn't break your heart, then nothing will. Of course we have a responsibility to help the helpless, especially when we have the 'might' to help the 'right.' (In leu of saying might makes the right).

3. Yes. We (and allies) are the might making the right, but in this case the "right" that we make is pretty close to the best right that anyone can make. There have been mistakes I'm sure (no one is perfect), but the average Iraqi no longer has to worry about Sadam's henchmen stealing their daughters, raping them and then feeding them to lions. (I wish I could find the article I saw that in - it was disgusting.) Granted, things can almost only go up at that point. When I read something besides the Communist News Network (aka - CNN), I see success story after success story. This is a hard but necessary road to travel.

Comment #46 - Posted by: dan at February 24, 2007 8:19 AM

Oh yeah!! Awesome video! I feel your pain buddy -I did a workout with a SOF stud and it left me wretching my guts out!!

Comment #47 - Posted by: dan at February 24, 2007 8:27 AM

Always interesting how objections to our actions in Iraq visa vie the three questions posited by Apolloswabbie have the same disconnected thinking - "blood has been shed in vain so we must leave and to hell with the bloodshed that will occur as a result of our leaving".
1. Deaths of civilians, military, insurgents, etc. while in varying degrees are all tragic, they have also been largely either unavoidable in the macro sense or necessary in order to bring order from chaos.
2. If our Democratic political leaders succeed in abandoning the field in order to appease their constituents under the notion that Islamic radicals will busy themselves with internecine issues and that is simply their own business, the results will be tragic and the blood will be on their hands. However, that is not likely to be a story that will gain much traction. Abandonment of Vietnam was a horrible story from the point of view of the South vietnamese but that sad story is not part of the pop culture rhetoric.
3. If the GoI can get to the point where they can institute a reasonably legal title process and if the oil revenue trust idea can safely and fairly get off the ground, the country will begin to have the economic determinents necessary to create the self interest component that is part of a stable and free society. Indications are that Iraq's economy is growing very fast. With stability will come tremendous investment and that will serve things very well.

I think we need to stay the course. I was in favor of the invasion to free Iraq and while hindsight makes it easy to armchair quarterback mistakes, I think overall our intentions are honorable, our peacemakers are the best the world have ever known and history will look favorably on this action as a major catalyst for justice and peace.

Comment #48 - Posted by: Chris Schmidt at February 24, 2007 8:37 AM

Three questions...

One answer. We must stay.

Here's a salient point you might not know: it's actually our legal obligation under international law to stay.

Yep. Check out the written word of the Geneva Conventions.

Why? It's because we broke it, so we bought it. We really, really do have to stay and put up a new & viable government. We can leave when it's done. Not before.

How do I know this? I'm a JAG, and I've got a post graduate degree in this stuff. No joke.

If we leave early, here's what will happen:
1. Iran's evil grin widens, and they move in to "help" their Shiite brothers govern.
2. The Iraqis who helped the Coalition will be slaughtered in no uncertain terms.
3. The terrorists will move out of Iraq, closer and closer to the USA.

How's this not-so-fun-to-know fact: the crossed swords were torn down this last week. Yep. They were a pretty cool monument to the Iraq soldiers who died in the war against Iran. About 1mil Iraqi soldiers died defending their country against Iran. So, why in the world did the crossed swords monument have to go? Heck, they weren't just beautiful and poignant, they were a clever bit of recycling, since they were made out of melted down helmets taken from dead Iranian soldiers. Anyone who's seen it will clearly understand the massive amount of dead Iranians it took to make such a mammoth monument out of their helmets. I have a picture of my little head sticking out at the top of the hands & I look like a dust speck.

So, why did they have to go? The GoI wanted them gone because the monument stands as a reminder of the dead Iranians. The ruling Shiite majority regrets having fought with their Iranian brothers. Gag.

Oh, and the other reason (total bullspit) is that the hands were modeled after Saddam Husseins paws. Hey, in all seriousness, they just looked like hands. No way to tell whose they were. Could have been mine even, except there's no nail polish on 'em.

Given those condiditons, how about upholding our international law obligations of occupation (sure we no longer call it occupation, and the GoI is building every single day) until a viable government is in place? And, how about staying around to protect those optimistic Iraqi patriots who allied themselves to the coalition in hopes of a brighter (non-Baathist) future for Iraq? And, how about keeping the terrorists busy over there instead of meeting them here? And, how about making a stable and patriotic Iraq, instead of the People's Shiite Republican Annex of Iran?

And, another thing: yes, I do also speak from personal experience, having served my tour of duty there in 2006.

WE CAN'T LEAVE. MAYBE EVER. But make no mistake: a USA pullout does not mean the violence ends or the USA gets to put down arms & the terrorists are placated and abandon their agenda. They won't stop, just because we decide to quit.

Get tough, or get converted to militant Islam. There is no middle ground here. Get to know your enemy before you try to "negotiate" with them. You'll find there is no middle ground, where they stay there and we stay here, and we drive on alternate fuel, and everyone gets to group hug and get along. We convert to Islam, are governed by Shiria Law, and face towards Mecca, or we are targeted for death. The Islamic Militants aren't kidding around.

Sheepdogs know this and act accordingly. Sheep just get shaved and turned into mutton.

I ain't wearin' a burkah.

Comment #49 - Posted by: Spider Chick at February 24, 2007 9:25 AM

We can't pull out. I agree wholeheartedly, and am in favor of sending more troops, provided that is a sound and well-thought out policy. I don't really trust Bush, so I don't know if it is well-thought out or just a political life jacket, but hopefully his advisors have learned a thing or two.

What I don't like is the Democratic response. I think it is bad news. The Republican spin-machine (most efficient machine in our government right now), through talk radio and fox news, will now have ammunition in '08 to deflect blame for the Iraq situation. I have already seen it in rest day posts here. People blaming the Democrats for not allowing us to win, instead of blaming Bush for getting us into/mishandling this situation (history will have its harsh way with GW, thank goodness).

Winning in '06 may end up hurting the Democrats in '08...Obama '08!

Comment #50 - Posted by: bret kleefuss at February 24, 2007 10:05 AM

Greg #39,

The claim made above the door is not one made by CrossFit Inc. That being said, let me also mention that the AFM is being amended to include a Combat Fitness Program based entirely on CrossFit with full attribution to us.

But, there is a greater point to be made, and I’ll make it by analogy. The Luminox watch is “The Official Watch of the Navy SEAL’s” and yet of the hundreds of SEAL’s I know, none where it. My friends on the Teams tell me that they’ve never seen a Luminox worn by a SEAL. What they wear most often is the Casio G-Shock.

We are the G-Shock of military fitness not the Luminox, and that’s the way we want it.

Comment #51 - Posted by: Coach at February 24, 2007 10:19 AM

OHS from ystd, posted there. 105 is a PR.
Warmed up with CFST as above #18
PU (active engaged shoulders, kip) 22PR
Clean (Full squat) 95/115/125PR
800M run (TM, 0) 3:20 (200sec) adult PR

CFST=2x22 + 125 - 200 = -31

Will re-test in 3 months or so...aiming for a positive number :=)

Pretty good day for an old guy. 4 PR's.

Comment #52 - Posted by: bingo at February 24, 2007 10:24 AM

Eastern accent

You got it brother

Gaspe Quebec (Little irish hamlet) the only place in the world where we look up to newfies

Comment #53 - Posted by: Patty at February 24, 2007 10:31 AM

Tks Coach,
I did hear a few rumblings about an AFM update and I eagerly look forward to seeing the finished product. When the final product is out and blessed by the higher ups I will wholeheartedly encourage my troops to use the program. Now back to being a lurker on the comments section.
Cheers,
Greg

Comment #54 - Posted by: Greg at February 24, 2007 10:42 AM

#41/Capt Dan, Maybe my BA doesn't count, I'm neither a Yale or Harvard man ....

Comment #55 - Posted by: apolloswabbie at February 24, 2007 10:52 AM

#52, well I would have put you farther east than Quebec but it was definately a distinctive accent! Good on, ya!

Comment #56 - Posted by: gaucoin at February 24, 2007 10:53 AM

And now for something different...

Home-made footage from the coolest jobs in the military...CCT and PJ!!!

Footage brought to you by the 123rd STS.

Bandwidth furnished by SpecialTactics.com


TRAINING:
http://www.pararescue.us/123ststraining.wmv

TRAINING and OPERATIONS:
http://www.pararescue.us/123pjcctsts.wmv

RECRUITING:
http://www.pararescue.us/123recruiting.wmv

KATRINA RESPONSE:
http://www.pararescue.us/123katrina.wmv

Enjoy!

I hope this doesn't crash the site....

Forgive me TE!!!

Comment #57 - Posted by: CCTJOEY at February 24, 2007 10:54 AM

Anyone who hangs around on rest days very much knows basically how I feel...

That said I think DJ said it best...

"Yes, yes, and till the job is done."

Comment #58 - Posted by: CCTJOEY at February 24, 2007 10:58 AM

I found the maker of that video incredibly insensitive not to hold Longie's hair while he "RRRRAAAALLLLFFFFED!!!!"

Comment #59 - Posted by: CCTJOEY at February 24, 2007 11:13 AM

The Longie video was hilarious!!!!! That dude needs some consistency.

Comment #60 - Posted by: Jason at February 24, 2007 12:20 PM

wear your Colors like a MC, bring your Guidons, place them at the front of your War Camp. Be ready to do Battle.

Comment #61 - Posted by: john at February 24, 2007 12:21 PM

Funny how those who think there are no good reasons to fight are also those who say we need to take the "meanness and namecalling" out of political debate as well. Apparently, in their view, "getting along" is more important than ANY other consideration. (genocide, oppression, et al) Oh, if only puppies never died and rain never spoiled picnics....

.... It's more than wool that makes a sheep.

I for one DISlike the flavor of the hurl vid (sorry, couldn't avoid the pun)- I regularly recommend the CF site to folks, and it is normally the most well-supported, comprehensive and POSITIVE sites out there, making quick converts of everyone who visits. But this vid kindof goes across that grain.... Crossfit is intimidating enough to newbies without adding condescention to the mix. What's next? Heckle a guy while they wheel him off with Rhabdo?

Just my $.02

Comment #62 - Posted by: Duncan at February 24, 2007 12:30 PM

Treelizard-
Did you notice what was missing from the CrossFit Games poster?

Where is the barbed wire?!

Then again it might be something as a wild card thrown into the Hopper. We never know what Coach has up his sleeve...

Kate

Comment #63 - Posted by: jknl at February 24, 2007 1:01 PM

isn't it wicked awesome how we are completely stoked that this dude worked out so hard he threw up?!

only crossfitters can appreciate that.


Comment #64 - Posted by: jb at February 24, 2007 1:07 PM

Crossfit Games sound very cool!

Comment #65 - Posted by: Anthony Bainbridge at February 24, 2007 1:11 PM

CrossFit Games.

Cool.

Shoulder Press
130 X 5
130 X 5
135 X 5
135 X 5
135 X 5

Twenty minutes of:
Run 200 M
Max Pull ups
Run 200 M
Max Ring Dips

120 Pull ups
66 Ring Dips

Comment #66 - Posted by: Jeff at February 24, 2007 1:57 PM

Coach, are you operating the CrosFit Games?

Comment #67 - Posted by: dan colson at February 24, 2007 2:01 PM

Im excited about the games! Count me in. Eagerly awaiting details.

Comment #68 - Posted by: Nate Pierce at February 24, 2007 2:20 PM

Coach,#50
The G-shock is issued, if SEALs had to buy their own watches, there would be less money for them to spend on beer and cool sunglasses.

Comment #69 - Posted by: Bob Taylor at February 24, 2007 2:31 PM

I agree, we must stay and finish what we started.

My big question is, and please help me with this, why do we have to pay for it ALL?

I never hear that question asked, never.

They have oil, why don't they pay for our help. They will benefit.

Think about how many of our own people we could help with the money we are spending on the war got reimbursed to us by the Iraqi people.

How many homeless could we help?

How much faster could we help Katrina victims?

What could we do to help people without medical insurance?

The list is endless. We need those hundreds of billions of dollars to help our own.

I'd bet anything that the first candidate taking this stance will be the next president.

We all want to support the war on terror, but we have to stop being the only ones to pay.

I would not care one bit about how much the Haliburtons of the world are making off the rebuilding as long as it was paid for by the Iraqis.

Am I the only one who feels this way?

Bill Russell

Comment #70 - Posted by: Otis My Man at February 24, 2007 3:48 PM

That video of Longie reminds me of my first time puking during a workout. I puked once during a set of sit-ups, once after the workout and twice after I drove home with quivering hands on the steering wheel. Wow, was that a great time!

Duncan--

"Funny how those who think there are no good reasons to fight are also those who say we need to take the "meanness and namecalling" out of political debate as well."

I'm not sure if you are referencing the comment above about being called a "leftist," so I don't know what "namecalling" you're talking about. However, if you are, I have to say that labels like "leftist" are really not descriptive of any political ideology or policy decisions in real life. I think terms like "leftist" or "right winger" are just attack terms used to dismiss one's opponent as a fringe element, while not actually judging the argument based on its merits. Thus, those terms seem to dumb down the debate. I, for one, would like to have an informed debate based on facts, not stereotypes, when it comes to national security.

That's just my view.

Comment #71 - Posted by: LucienNicholson at February 24, 2007 4:19 PM

Where's Aromas, Calif (I know I could look it up)

Comment #72 - Posted by: Ken_Davis at February 24, 2007 4:32 PM

Neil(49) & Ellie(52)

Did a squat therapy session with Ellie today. UNBELIEVABLE! I've never seen anyone make such a dramatic improvement in such a short period of time.
Ellie has always had problems with squats, both physically and mentally(probably spiritually as well) She hated them with a vengeance, and as for OH squats, watching Ellie trying them carried a "do not watch alone" certificate.
But within 20 mins it was like watching someone else. Back squats were now perfect and even the OH squats if not perfect were heading in the right direction.

I strongly recommend you look back through the archives and download Squat Therapy. Also try in FAQ Crossfit movies, Squat Technique,and Crossfit journal #4 Squat Clinic.

The Dirty dozen continued.

Myth #11 Older people shouldn't train hard.

The prevailing wisdom is that as we get older, we need to take things easier. The science however tells us the opposite. As we age, strength and power tend to decline much more rapidly than endurance. In order to minimise these declines, the reality is that older people should be doing more intense training(the sort that builds power and strength) not less! A number of studies have also shown that a more intense training regime confers additional health benefits and is likely to keep the very elderly far more independant for longer.

To be continued.

Comment #73 - Posted by: neilfit at February 24, 2007 4:34 PM

Aromas, California is south of Santa Cruz, north of Monterey, near Watsonville and Castroville.

Comment #74 - Posted by: russ greene at February 24, 2007 4:36 PM

I'm having a difficult time with overhead squats. Just using a 45lb bar is vary challenging. Any ideas on an alternative or techniques I could use?

Comment #75 - Posted by: Ponyboy at February 24, 2007 4:42 PM

#69 Bob-- believe me the SF guys get plenty o' spending money for much needed, tactical "toys" (a small perk in comparison to the work) and they do either buy G-shock or Suunto, but you're right...they are also issued. Can't have enough big watches!

#62 Duncan-- my mom is interested in CF and is doing her research/reading. She didn't love the movie but she understands it in context...she knows I'm a little crazy like that. I personally think that anyone who can't take that vid in stride probably isn't serious enough to get into CF wholeheartedly. A warning for my Mom would have been nice...ha! Just my $0.02.

To all my sis & bros still in the fight-- keep your focus and get home safe. Give me some time and I'll tag in.

How quick some forget 9/11. I wish all those with contrary opinions would have an attitude more like #16 photoman who trusts those closest to the fight. Thanks friend. I respect your opinion, though I disagree.

DON'T live your life according to the TV "news". Talk to those who are involved. Read both sides of the story. I know it hurts, but some perspective is healthy. Only state opinions you would stake your life on. Do you know what they are? Really?

Comment #76 - Posted by: wilson at February 24, 2007 4:58 PM

Did the following with CF'ers in San Antonio this morning:

Modified CFWU x 3
10 sec x samson stretch
10 x pull-ups
10 x sit-ups

then...

3 rounds for time of:
50m Beck's Burpees
800m run

Total time = 19:09

Comment #77 - Posted by: Nicholas Burgett at February 24, 2007 5:15 PM

20 minute run

about 2.25 miles

Comment #78 - Posted by: Jross at February 24, 2007 5:18 PM

#49, Spider Chick,

Very well stated, as usual.

Comment #79 - Posted by: Hari at February 24, 2007 5:29 PM

Spider Chick: RIGHT ON!!
If we leave things do not go back to our pre-9/11 normal. Unfortunately. Although, that normal was more like an ostrich with it's head in the sand. For about the twenty years prior to 9/11 close to 2,000 men/women/children (American)died due to terrorism. Since the majority happened off US soil it wasn't an issue. This problem won't go away if we leave it will grow. It is growing as we watch our evening news. Look at Somalia, Mali, Europe, Pakistan, etc. American interests are being attacked, and those that would support those interests are attacked as well. The Iranian president meets with the leaders of central american countries, and strikes a deal that would allow up to 1000 Iranian tourists a year to visit. Well you can bet some will be militants that penetrate our porous southern border. Then where do we stand when we believe that we are safe again. Militant Islam has a plan. They train. They adapt. And they wait. One IED in America and then..... No worries they are a couple of years from that part of the plan. The enemy knows that America (Democracies) don't have the will for a prolonged and costly struggle. They have watched through the Cold War, they've seen how you can squeeze a country into submission through monetary means. They know we will give up again.
SO... where do we stand.
A media that beleives that it is reporting the truth. Yet it doesn't realize where it is manipulated, and if it does it's ok.
A govt. that is more worried about the next election than security. Both parties. Not all either, but a good and loud majority.
A military that worries about it's families at home and there safety today and the future. We fight today so they don't have to tommorrow. Just like our fathers/grandfathers/etc. All I know is that I sit here in Iraq and wonder "what if...."
A quagmire... only if we continue to do the same things with the same results. We must continue to change, adapt and move foward.
Q#1: Stay
Q#2: Obligation;to the people of the USA. This mission is essential.
Q#3: Better? what if.....?

Comment #80 - Posted by: Thunder Chief at February 24, 2007 6:22 PM

Now THAT was a Rest Day discussion.

Comment #81 - Posted by: bingo at February 24, 2007 8:29 PM

Bob #69,

Well that makes my G-Shock analogy perfect then.

Comment #82 - Posted by: Coach at February 24, 2007 11:16 PM

Coach #82,

Everyone knows that the reason Spec-Ops types have big watches is because they have small "UNITS"...

Comment #83 - Posted by: CCTJOEY at February 25, 2007 8:54 AM

Great discussion. I found the referencing of Brezinki's ideas to be really appealing. But why I respect Bush's unwavering to commitment to see this through, he is not good at rallying people to join the fight with money, diplomacy or troops. So in the short run that would fail from lack of support.
Would love to see the world find common cause in a stable Iraq but little faith. Few examples of anyone wanting to hang around for the tough stuff. Reconstruction of the South was lost the same way.
For better or worse we destabilized Irag and us being there is much less a problem then we have not been strong enough to dampen the power struggle b/w the Sunni and their backers and the shia and their Iranian backers.
So we need to stay for our credibility and it is our responsibility.
We can blame Bush and bemoan the dilemma but when I see the historical lesson it is not Vietnam it is the America of the Spanish American War. I don't arque we stay for nearly 50 (as we did) years and then keep a base their for 40 (Subic) more but we did put down a popular insurgency (4k Americans died, 16K Filipinos) and then gave some stability to the country under William H. Taft. Land reform, schools, some democratic initiatives. (Not a Vermont Town Meeting but not Saddam's Irag.)
However, we were allowed to defeat the insurgency there. It was awful, bloody, and not without criticism (Twain joked we brought 15K Filipinos to the Lord, We just had to kill them first.) but we did it and then were able to move forward. We have not really defeated the insurgency or took it to them.
So we need to take it to them and create some stability (America Haters Be Damned!) or we need to get out now.
My problem is that a lot of 20 year old kids will be doing the real work while the toughest thing I do is get my kid to eat veggies and Fight Gone Bad.
God Bless us All and especially our troops and the Iraqi's who want a stable, peaceful country.

Comment #84 - Posted by: AkronPowderhorn at February 25, 2007 10:27 AM


1. “……If you believe after a study of the issues that regional conflagration is more likely to happen if we stay, OK, fair enough, but I've yet to see an explanation for that opinion.”
Is this some sort of joke? We are currently and have been destabilizing the entire region since the 1940s. We filled the postcolonial vacuum with petty dictators and helped to suppress any popular opposition to them. We ignored the culture, religion and wishes of the majority of the population while propping up corrupt and brutal dictators that kept corporate oil flush with cash. We have supported the Shah, Saddam, and Saudi Dictators etc. etc. etc.
Our current fiasco in the region was the recent destabilizing event in the area and we created the insurgency…had we not been there would be no infidels to fight. We created the problem and now we are grinding more and more soldiers to save face and international prestige. When we pull out there will be an increase in the bloodshed this is a fact but the point is by our actions for the past 60 years this is inevitable. Let the civil war that is happening happen and be done with it. Let’s just get our boys the hell out of harms way.

2. - What is the US obligation to the 99% of Iraqis who have not become part of the terrorism and insurgency, but who are suffering from the instability and vulnerable to regional power players?
This is a play to heartstrings…rather unusual tactic of the war set but OK…..
We don’t care about the Iraqis. We care about oil and our personal interest. I am sure the soldiers who fought there do because they knew them as people but America…please. We as a whole want expanded markets, cheap oil and bad TV> When deciding our foreign or national policy we could care less. If we cared about people (human rights etc.) and were willing to back it up with force we would have been in China since the 1960’s instead we gave the favored trading status. This holds true all over the world.

3. No we are not making it better! We are prolonging the inevitable and saving face for Bush on the backs of our soldiers!

What do we do now… we learn from this. This farce needs to end …time to let it go.
ricky
Richmond

Comment #85 - Posted by: ricky at February 25, 2007 11:04 AM

I just wanted to add two things.

1) It's interesting to me how vitally important Iraqi lives were when we killed them in the course of dethroning Saddam Hussein, and creating at least the possibility of peace, and how utterly UNimportant they are now that the peaceniks feel they have sufficient public support to throw every tire iron in the spokes of our war effort they can. Why is a bloodbath in Darfur, that we had nothing to do with, more or equally important than a bloodbath in Iraq, which history shows we have the power, over some period of time, to substantially mitigate, and ultimately end?

The obvious answer: if the goal is to cast Bush in a negative light, perceptual "accomodations" have to be made, in this case by deemphasizing the very lives that two years ago were all anyone wanted to talk about.

For what it's worth, I will add that there was plenty of "baby killing" that went on AFTER we left Vietnam. That was always Leftist sloganeering anyway, a fact which was generally known, but insufficiently condemned anywhere at the time, and insufficiently since, from what I can tell.

2) I would like to define "debate" as a substantive and contemplative exchange of viewpoints supported by both facts and logic. Debates tend to formally revolve around two viewpoints, but that need not be the case. I think it is a credit to his genuine desire to address the difficulties confronting us that Apolloswabbie offered a coherent viewpoint that differed from his own.

What a debate is NOT is yelling, ad hominem, or insisting that presumptions not shared by others be accepted at face value without criticism. I also think that in cases where alleged "facts" are shown to be manifest nonsense, that the person offering them should be sufficiently humbled to reevaluate their own positions. They may reach the same conclusions, but there is no point in debating if the goal is to proselytize, and not learn. That's more accurately called "propagandizing", and that is an ignoble pursuit for a people which has been granted by History the right, and obligation, of extensive participation in their own government.

Ricky,

Can I call your post a joke? If that is the sort of input you want to make, surely that is an appropriate response?

As you know--or should know--our policy in that area was mainly concerned with containing Communism. As you should know, our goal NOW--regardless of whatever decontextualized sins you want to attribute to "us" (understood, I guess, as non-Communists)--is in fact to create a stable, peaceful, democratic regime in Iraq. What is wrong with that, other than your assertion--in lockstep with the Leftist line--that creating such a regime is impossible, presumable over ANY amount of time, up to and including the time of Earth's expiration from the expansion of the Sun?

You can say "we don't care about the Iraqis", and if you are speaking on behalf of those who want to demonize Bush, you are probably speaking the truth. However, I care about the Iraqis, and an awful lot of our soldiers and politicians do too, so manifestly you are overstating the case, which was of marginal applicability to begin with.

I don't know how old you are, but would YOU have supported an invasion of China back in the 60's? Obviously, that would have entailed the occupation and pacification of a nation, what, 10x bigger, maybe more, than Iraq, with probably 50 times more people? And because we didn't do that, we can't do the right thing now, and support human rights in the one place where we can manifestly and obviously make a difference?


Comment #86 - Posted by: barry cooper at February 25, 2007 12:14 PM

I wanted to offer some observations...

1. Is it not odd that the people doing the deed and BTDT's are almost unanimously see this Iraq situation as a potential to avoid a greater fight?

2. Is it also odd that the most vehement against this are always pointing at President Bush, NEO-CON's and Karl Rove?

Those who are the ones that are and will have to finish this are telling the country that to finish this is to buy us time and space.

The "Daily Kos/MoveOn.org" crowd wants us out of Iraq...supposedly for the troops sake. Yet, over and over it is this crowd that craps on the troops for the last half century.

Frankly, I would just rather have them assume their normal military hating (or at least disdaining) position so we can call a spade a spade.

The way I see it, when we leave Iraq because the pink-os b!tching enough, and the military goes back to 3rd-class citizen status with the funding to boot, the political left will be singing "Don't Stop Thinking about the Future....." again.

However, within a decade we will be in the Middle East with a vengeance...what is not being mentioned is the amount of Police and First Responders going to be needed here at home.

We will be outmoded, under-funded, ill-equipped, poorly-manned, and under-appreciated. Like President Carter and President Clinton all over again. Military officers serving drinks at political functions.

Pretty much, I really think the Left could give a crap about me and my brothers (and sisters) outside of making us another "victim group" for them buy votes from. That is where the "Body armor" and "Armored HMMWV" argument comes in anyway....they want us to think like UNION members and pay them accordingly like the Federal Employees Union. When they had the PEACE DIVIDEND under Clinton they did not speak up...as a matter of FACT they fought against ANY gear improvements.

The only time they cared about pay was when they could evoke victim status on us.

They wrecked the intelligence agencies...they wrecked the military in the 70's and almost did it again in the 90'save for conservatives thrust into Congress after 2 years of leftist damage.

Hell, even the meatsticks on 60 Minutes tonight were organized by a Socialist "GrassRoots" movement... Follow the money on this one boys and girls.

http://www.mudvillegazette.com/archives/007574.html
http://newsbusters.org/node/11051

Here is the truth...

Pink-Os ain't gonna fight after we pull out and have to go back into the Middle East or on our own soil. It is all mouth with these guys...they act like thugs at protests, but when you offer to make it "REAL" for them "face to face"..."one on one" they always cower...always. Weak hippies...

Pink-Os ain't gonna care about troops once they are back home. They never have before. The best I have seen is many of them dressing up half a$$ed like service members at protests (PROTESTING) only to be busted for never serving...normally right after spitting on one of us.

Pink-Os have a disdain for us "mercenaries" or "militant types", and they look down on us...Cops (pigs) as well. They think we were too stupid to do the "Important" work they do.

Pink-Os are upset for political reasons...and as public support APPEARS to shift in their favor more and more of their Anti-military and Anti-COP rhetoric can be found in all parts of the media, the "net", Hollywood, and Universities.

Pink-Os, believe that they have the American People behind them...really what they have is a poll that does not account for people pissed at the President about his open borders issues getting lumped into their movement by the Left-wing Media....you know Pink-Os... everyone other than half a dozen Talk Radio hosts and as they believe "FAUX" News. (of course MSNBC, CNN X 2, ABC, CBS, NBC, NYT, LAT, WP, BG, ATL-CON, NPR, The AP, and Reuters don't count as biased to them).

PINK-Os..do us all a favor and actually listen to the Warriors on the forum. Sure they differ by degree as to whether we needed to open the box or not....but almost "hands down" we are telling you we need to finish this.

Do us all a favor and truly care about us (for once) and let us put this baby to bed.

After all, we both know it won't be you, PINK-Os, doing it later on when the threat is much greater and it will truly be a large scale operation and sacrifice will be needed.

So keep your fake sympathy and get back to calling me names and telling me how pathetic it is that guys like me protect you from yourselves.

Get back to launching (trying to)hot coffee on me and hiding behind the law.

Get back to your little Communist Front-group driven agendas for "Human Rights", Trees, Cute Animals, "People's" Revolutions and Protests.

et back to undermining us with your Support of the Murtha "slow bleed" plan...which is somehow for our own good?!?!?

Don't worry they will eat you last....just keep on not bathing and wearing your "CHE" shirt.

Silly hippies...

*note if you are just a confused moderate, this post was not meant for you...I ask that you re-read this:

"...do us all a favor and actually listen to the Warriors on the forum. Sure they differ by degree as to whether we needed to open the box or not....but almost "hands down" we are telling you we need to finish this.

Do us all a favor and truly care about us (for once) and let us put this baby to bed."

Thanks,
Joey


Comment #87 - Posted by: CCTJOEY at February 25, 2007 9:20 PM

# 11

Puking is NOT the ultimate indicator of all out effort. I love Crossfit and preach the program to all, but if we come across as a bunch of idiots who always train until we puke, we really are going to sound retarded.

I agree with # 62.

We want to make Crossfit mainstream to imporve worldwide health and fitness and get people off the freakin' preacher curl and elipitical machines. Glamorizing puking does not help our cause. Wouldn't it be nice to have multiple official Crossfit gyms in every city rather than one if we are lucky??? I look forward to the day when Crossfit becomes as much a household name as Golds, Powerhouse or Bally's Gym.

Comment #88 - Posted by: dandny at February 26, 2007 10:51 AM

As a servicemember I find it ironic that the ones who complain the loudest about the sacrifices we are making aren't actually the ones making any type of sacrifice at all.

They think they speak for the military. They don't.
They think they speak for Iraqis. They don't.

And my only conclusion is ... it's all about hating Bush.

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