Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Pulling Out of Iraq: What the Soldiers are Saying!

Recently when asked by The Washington Post about cutting–and-running from Iraq Soldiers Said a Pullout Would Have Devastating Results

Here’s what the soldiers had to say:

Lt. Col. Mark Suich, who commands the 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment just south of Baghdad said:

”Take us out of that vacuum -- and it's on the edge now -- and boom, it would become a free-for-all… It would be a raw contention for power. That would be the bloodiest piece of this war."

Capt. Jim Modlin, 26, of Oceanport, N.J., said:

he thought the situation in Iraq had improved between his deployment in 2003 and his return this year as a liaison officer to Iraqi security forces with the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, based here on FOB Sykes outside Tall Afar.

Modlin described himself as more liberal than conservative and said he had already cast his absentee ballot in Texas. He said he believed that U.S. elected officials would lead the military in the right direction, regardless of what happens Tuesday.

"Pulling out now would be as bad or worse than going forward with no changes," Modlin said. "Sectarian violence would be rampant, democracy would cease to exist, and the rule of law would be decimated. It's not 'stay the course,' and it's not 'cut and run' or other political catchphrases. There are people's lives here. There are so many different dynamics that go on here that a simple solution just isn't possible."

Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, commander of Multinational Division North and the 25th Infantry Division.

“This is a worthwhile endeavor… Nothing that is worthwhile is usually easy, and we need to give this more time for it to all come together. We all want to come home, but we have a significant investment here, and we need to give the Iraqi army and the Iraqi people a chance to succeed”

Staff Sgt. Robert Wyper, 26, of Riverside, Calif., a squad leader with Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment said:

It's frustrating, because it's hard to get into the fight… The combat we have is on the enemy's terms," Wyper said. "You can shoot at the enemy, but how do you shoot at an IED?"

First Sgt. David Schumacher, 37, of Watertown, N.Y., is on his eighth deployment to a foreign battlefield since a tour in Somalia, and his third tour in Iraq said:

"The insurgents are more strategic this time, they're smarter," he said. "We're trying to anticipate their next move, and they're trying to anticipate ours. There's still a lot to do."

Capt. Chris Vitale, 29, of Washington, Pa said:

his unit's recent moves to the edge of this insurgent safe haven have made a major difference for residents. "If my unit left town, the insurgents would come back in and use it to stage attacks on Baghdad," he said. "I'm sure of it."

Capt. Mike Lingenfelter, 32, of Panhandle, Tex. Said:

U.S. troops have earned the trust of residents in Tall Afar over the past couple of years and that leaving now would send the wrong message. His Comanche Troop of the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment is working with Iraqi forces to give them control of the city.

"We'll pull their feet out from under them if we leave," Lingenfelter said.

"It's still fragile enough now that if the coalition were to leave, it would embolden the insurgents. A lot of people have put their trust and faith in us to see it to the end. It would be an extreme betrayal for us to leave."

Sgt. Jonathan Kirkendall, 23, of Falls City, Neb. Said:

he fears that many Americans think that building the country to viability will be "quick and easy," when he believes it could take many years.

Kirkendall, of the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division in Baghdad, is on his third deployment to Iraq and celebrated his 21st and 23rd birthdays here.

"If they say leave in six months, we'll leave in six months. If they say six years, it's six years," said Kirkendall, who is awaiting the birth of his first daughter, due next week.

"I'm just an average soldier, and I'll do what they tell me to do. I'm proud to be a part of it, either way it goes, but I'd like to see it through

Notice not one of them called for pulling out or redeployment or whatever the new buzz word of the week might happen to be in D.C.???

The Washington Post, not exactly a right wing rag, did a decent job in accurately reporting sentiment of our brave men and women in the field. The consensus being, along with being a good soldiers and doing what you’re told, that Pulling Out of Iraq Would Have Devastating Results!

I agree! My hope is that the rest of the country and Congress are listening...

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