Thursday, September 30, 2004

A Marine's Eye View

Steve Brozak is an ex-Marine Iraq war vet, who returned to face not an ungrateful nation, but a totally disengaged government and administration who he characterizes as "criminal in terms of its inept management". He was so pissed, he took on the herculean task of trying to unseat a popular Republican congressman in a particularly conservative district in New Jersey.

And he has a fighting chance.

You can read Steve's complete story at (suck it up and view the ad so you get a free view) - it's a very important story and really illustrates the true nature of the situation in Iraq, both today and during the immediate post-invasion occupation.

Most of all, what the Salon story illustrates is the absolute disdain the desk monkeys in the Pentagon have for the men and women on the ground in Iraq. Here's a short excerpt:

Meanwhile, the situation on the ground shocked him. 'The number of people there and how they were prepared in terms of equipment and training was, across the board, criminal in terms of its inept management,' he says. He saw the potential for calamity. 'What we are faced with today is our active duty force stretched to the breaking point,' he says. 'The National Guard and reserve systems are broken, possibly beyond repair. We are staring down the barrel of the draft.'

'Do the math,' he continues. 'How many people do we need going forward? How many people do we have? Where are these bodies coming from?' When Brozak returned from the Middle East to his post in Arlington, Va., he tried to alert civilians in the Defense Department to the trouble on the ground.

But, he says, they were uninterested. 'It was that same arrogant, contemptuous attitude. When I came back and said we have a problem, we need to address it right away, we are fighting for our lives, their attitude was, 'We know better than you do.' It was their contempt for the people in uniform, it was their contempt for all Americans' that finally drove him out of the Republican Party.

In fact, Brozak says, Republicans' contempt for soldiers -- coupled with their mawkish reverence for the military in the abstract -- had been bothering him for a while. He first started souring on his party when the Bush team smeared John McCain during the 2000 primaries; he was outraged by the 2002 attacks against Democratic Sen. Max Cleland, who was tarred as a traitorous ally of Osama bin Laden despite the fact that he lost three limbs serving in Vietnam...
Again, great article from someone who's actually been on the ground fighting in Iraq, and knows the true deal - not only on Iraq, but the chickenhawk bastards that put us there.