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Monday, July 9, 2007

JB Williams On Independence Day

Independence Day Message From JB Williams

Time for All Good Men

To come to the aid of their Country!

Written by JB Williams

©2007 USA

(Reprinted by permission) (I have added some emphasis to a particular entry)

So, you’ve had Enough War… Have you discussed this with the Jihadists?

Although presidential candidate John Edwards (D) recently declared the War on Terror “nothing more than a Republican campaign bumper sticker”, it appears that Jihadists around the globe have a different take on the matter.

For a change, I can agree with most Democrats in Washington DC on something. I’d like very much for this war to be over, our soldiers to be home safe and sound, for the world to be the peaceful place that we all hope it can some day be and for all the talk of terrorism and war to soon be in our past.

But then my TV screen was once again plastered with familiar images of reality from our dear friends across the pond in the UK. Within hours, our own national security teams were busy ramping up their continued efforts to secure America against similar events. Jihad continues in many parts of the world and America is indeed fortunate to have avoided new attacks since 9/11/01.

My point is this…

No matter how much we would like to call an end to this and every other war, we will not be able to do so until such time as our enemy, those engaged in Jihad all over the free world, is equally interested in peace. So far, they remain uninterested.

Based upon current terror attacks in the UK and well beyond, today does not appear to be a day for peace. Make no mistake, the goal is peace. But how we get there from here is not nearly so obvious for many so sorely inexperienced in such matters.

The question becomes what to do, as we clearly must continue forward in our international allied effort to rid the world of those who wish to advance their political or religious aims via the ongoing killing of innocent civilians? If quitting isn’t an option, that leaves only winning or losing on the table for consideration.

So long as Jihadists remain committed to war with the free world, no matter their motives, we must remain even more committed to derailing that agenda. Are there any doubts about that?

This means that quitting is off the table. I submit to you that losing such a battle for humanity is even worse than quitting. The victor is further emboldened by true victory and the long term cost of losing is easily imagined to be wholly unacceptable, no matter your political leanings.

If we can’t quit because they won’t let us and we can’t lose because the cost of losing is just too high, that leaves only one real option on the table and that option is winning.

In this regard, like it or not, the central front in this war is in Iraq today. So we must begin there. Winning in Iraq is a must. Accepting any form of defeat in Iraq is unacceptable and the reasons are too numerous to list in a column. So how do we win in Iraq?

Only about 2% of our entire population has any military experience at all. Less than that have combat experience and far less than that have war planning experience. I must start by suggestion that those with no experience in the matter learn to keep their opinions to themselves. You have a right to your opinion no matter how ill informed it might be. But ill informed opinions are of no real value to anyone, especially those who must find a way to win in battle.

Empty rhetoric, pro or con, is just that, empty rhetoric. It serves only our enemies, not our agenda for eventual peace or those who must achieve that goal.

Washington politicians, while they need very much for us to believe that they know everything, have proven repeatedly that they do not know everything. Most of them also have no military, combat or war planning experience. Many old warriors have since lost their stomach for war anyway.

Their job irreversibly changed the moment they failed to solve the problem short of military force. Once they agreed to send the military in to clean up the mess, they must allow the military experts to do just that. They too must look outside of themselves for the most informed and well experienced advice on the matter.

This leaves the only people who should ever lead a military mission - military experts and the commanders responsible for the success of the mission. This is no time for second guessing and endless negotiations. That time has passed. One must assume that congress exhausted all other options before voting to send American troops into harms way. God help them if they didn’t. Now it’s up to the military to accomplish the nation’s goal, which is military victory, for those keeping up.

The job of the Commander-in-Chief is not to micromanage military decisions on the battlefield. His job, once troops are deployed, is to do what’s necessary to provide those troops with all necessary support to complete the mission they were given, including the moral support of the people back home. Bush has failed in this regard, with a lot of help from Democrats and the press.

The time for Congress to debate military action was before they voted to authorize military action and indeed, those debates took place. Once they authorize troops into theater, their job is to provide any and all necessary support for the success of that mission and stop rehashing lost debating points that only undermine and demoralize the troops while emboldening the enemy.

Americans have become accustomed to sharing their opinions on everything, without much regard for the potentially counter-productive nature of some of those opinions. This practice must end. We must consider the consequences of our words.

As a general rule, Americans should refrain from public opinions that are anything less than supportive of our troops and their mission. The right time for second guessing will come when second guessing no longer has a direct negative effect on troops in harms way. There’s plenty of time for history to judge the quality of decisions already made.

I must share two personal stories with you in this regard.

I recently had the pleasure and honor of sitting for a few hours with several Marines returning from Iraq. The stories they told only deepened a sense of love, respect and honor that I have carried for these brave young souls all of my life. Act of pure heroism after act were recounted, always about a comrade, not themselves, all of them, nothing short of amazing.

But the most important story told, drawing an amen from each of them and a sigh of disbelief and discontent from me, was their experiences with the mountain of paperwork and questioning that followed every discharge of their firearm.

Each of them told of the countless hours spent filling out paperwork needed to explain, in fact justify, the discharge of every round. The Pentagon needs a paper trail for every round fired in combat, so that it can attempt to defend itself from misguided attacks and charges of soldier misjudgment or misconduct. This is no way to win a war my friends…

In two cases, the Marines were returning from their second tour in Iraq and had seen both horrific and heroic things. But nothing was as disturbing to them as the need to justify staying alive in the theater of combat. Both had been offered enormous cash bonuses to re-up and both declined. Neither wanted to leave Iraq and both want to return. But neither will return to a war they are not allowed to win…

The second story is told by a dear friend who had a very different experience that same week while waiting for a connecting flight in the Denver airport. She was so disturbed by the experience that she took action and then called me from her cell phone while still shaking.

A very young soldier in desert fatigues also returning from Iraq emerged alone from an incoming flight ramp in Denver, where my friend was awaiting her connection. Several others waiting for their connections noticed the young soldier as well and began their cat calls, “baby killer - murderer - scum” - they shouted at the soldier as they circled him in such an effort to intimidate, that armed airport security came to walk him through the gauntlet.

The soldier said nothing, not a word. He kept walking, eyes locked forward. My friend joined the airport guard and walked him past the crowd, took him to the airport tavern and bought him a cold drink, thanking him for his service and apologizing for the gross ignorance he had just experienced.

Once nerves settled, she asked about his experience in Iraq. It was like every report I have ever gotten directly from Iraq, amazing, heartfelt and incredibly moving. It was his first tour and there would be others. He was proud of the job he and his fellow soldiers were doing in Iraq, how attached they had become to so many of the Iraqi people, the children in particular.

And then he said, - “we know why we are there, what we are doing and what must be done and we will do it. But none of us look forward to returning home right now Miss…. We are more welcome in Iraq than in America…”

Maybe I should have cut this column down to that story alone, because what more needs to be said really?

My friend was still crying when she climbed off the plane back home. She asked me, “What has happened to my country?”

I wish I knew….

  1. To the Soldier Thank you and you are all appreciated & loved.
    I’m sorry that some people have no idea what’s at stake, thank heaven you all do.
    The democrats are doing it again and I’m tired of their retardedness. It’s NOT our Troops that are murderers it’s our enemys, with the democrats helping their efforts.
    Yes the democrats with their stupid neolib fantasies about jihadists.
    Our Troops are doing a great job and don’t deserve this. Note to dems: Shut the he!! up when it comes to our Troops.
    This war is something that we cannot afford to lose.
    Nothing is wrong with America but some of the people in it need help depicting out just who our enemy is, it sure isn’t our brave Military.
    These people that are making snide remarks don’t realize that it’s because of the Soldier that they are able to make statements like that. Can’t comprehend it.

    Comment by cassygop | July 2, 2007 | Edit