2007 September 13 Thursday
Two "The War As We Saw It" Soldiers Die In Iraq

Remember in late August 2007 when 6 sergeants and a specialist in the US Army wrote an essay in the New York Times entitled "The War As We Saw It" where they conveyed a rather more pessimistic view of developments in Iraq. Well, two of those sergeants have died in an accident in Iraq.

Two of the soldiers who wrote of their pessimism about the war in an Op-Ed article that appeared in The New York Times on Aug. 19 were killed in Baghdad on Monday. They were not killed in combat, nor on a daring mission. They died when the five-ton cargo truck in which they were riding overturned.

The victims, Staff Sgt. Yance T. Gray, 26, and Sgt. Omar Mora, 28, were among the authors of “The War as We Saw It,” in which they expressed doubts about reports of progress.

The US presence in Iraq serves no useful purpose. These lives were wasted there.

The US goal in Iraq is basically to hold back competing factions from defeating each other. That doesn't make the factions give up permanently. The conflict will even last longer because we prevent victories and defeats and because many factions are clear that they want to blow up American soldiers.

Sunni Al Qaeda terrorists won't take over Iraq if we withdraw. The powerful Shia majority oppose rule by local Sunni Arabs and even more so oppose rule by foreign Sunni Arabs. The local Sunnis don't want to be ruled by foreign Sunnis either. These basic facts about Iraq need repeating again and again. The facts just plain get ignored by war supporters who parrot the deceitful Bush Administration party line.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2007 September 13 10:12 PM  Mideast Iraq Costs

John Smith said at September 14, 2007 8:36 AM:

I'm having trouble why people don't just partition the country and get the hell out. Probably politically correct notions about democracy bringing people together and reconciling differences.

US or Them said at September 14, 2007 9:20 AM:

If weakening the ability of our jihadist enemies to do us harm is a goal, why is it not in our best interest to step aside and let these muslims duke it out. They will use up valuable military resources fighting over control and we can sit and watch their strength reduced and not have to spend an American dime to achieve this. And while they are fighting we can use our resources do address Iran and so many other problem areas where the jihad is in full swing.

Anon said at September 14, 2007 10:08 AM:

We can sell them plenty of stuff to kill each other with. Why let the Russians, Chinese and Eastern European nations make all the money? We are expending cash, resources, time and people for little or no return. The US takes all the risks and gets none of the benefits. No reason why Norinco, Izmash, Zastava and the rest should get all the business. Let's recover some of our costs and have the added benefit of less muslims around and a weak, strife-filled Middle East. If they are busy killing each other, they have less time for terrorist plots and the like.

Stephen said at September 14, 2007 7:48 PM:

John, who are these "people" to which you refer? And why should the Iraqi's take any notice of a bit of paper with some lines drawn on it by those "people"?

The point is that you can partition Iraq into knots and its not going to change anything on the ground because some group is going to get the good bits, while another group gets the bad bits, and do you think the guys who get the bad bits will actually accept it? Nope.

Stephen said at September 14, 2007 8:22 PM:

Proving that propaganda works, US or Them said: "...And while they are fighting we can use our resources do address Iran and so many other problem areas where the jihad is in full swing."

Iraq and Iran are manufactured enemies. They're both small countries barely above 3rd-world status on the other side of the planet. Step back and look at the pattern. Tease out the years-long process by which the perception of enmity and dire threat has been created by using classic propaganda techniques against a susceptible population.

Identify what it is they want you to believe, then look behind the claims, look for other motives, seek out other interpretations, identify your assumptions, challenge your beliefs, challenge your conclusions, analyse, revise.

Kenelm Digby said at September 15, 2007 6:04 AM:

Yesterday, 'The Economist' magazine published a prominent front-page editorial declaring its belief that AMerica should 'stay the course' in Iraq.

Well, that's it Randall, I'm 100% behind you in the belief that the USA should withdraw immediately and forthwith.

It has always been my experience that whenever 'The Economist' recommends something, time will tell that that the diammetrically opposite course of action would have been the wise choice.

Wolf-Dog said at September 15, 2007 1:06 PM:

From a cynical point of view, after we leave Iraq, if Iran invades Saudi Arabia, then we will be forced to launch a Bronx Project for Energy. Imagine if we start spending $100 billion per year for energy R & D in new generation nuclear power, solar, geothermal, biomass. The $100 per year figure is just the amount of money we are wasting in Iraq.

But some Peak Oil theorists believe that in a few years, the coming decline in oil production will be far more abrupt and steep than originally expected. And please note that most fertilizers are probably made from petroleum. This means that in addition to lack of fuel, people will starve in many countries. This is an apocalyptic scenario, but perhaps it is nearer than we think.

gcochran said at September 15, 2007 3:59 PM:

Since Iran won't be able to invade Saudi Arabia, why don't you shut up? They'd have to go through Kuwait, which means through us. Try looking at the map.

Nitrogen fertilizers can of course be made with coal or a nuclear power plant. Fritz Haber.

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