I was expecting something more: more powerful, more dynamic, more drastic, more … anything.
The president did not deliver. Our soldiers have done enough. They won; they took the damn country, even though there were no WMDs. The soldiers do not really care if there is democracy or tribal warfare. They took the place; it was up to the government that sent them there to do the rest. It did not.
I appreciate the president saying he is responsible for the mistakes we've made because he is. Our soldiers are more important than an Iraqi soldier is, but yet more U.S. soldiers are dying than Iraqi soldiers. That is flat wrong. Oh, and changing a few Generals and an Ambassador, without doing things like immediately arresting Sadr and going up against his militias, is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. The generals and ambassadors are only carrying out National Policy.
Iraq needs to be a success. However, that success will only be political and economic. Iraq has fallen into a Civil War and insurgency, and there is little our great soldiers can do to affect either of those things.
If Iraq will not help itself, then we need to say so and act accordingly.
Let me be clear, I do not want another soldier wounded or killed in Iraq. They have done more than they should ever have had to. We cannot abandon Iraq either and continue as we have been. The president is asking for patience, but there is none left.
My bet is that he has until April before he loses all support. It is time for political leaders to do their job. In the balance hangs the fate of Iraq and our credibility.
What FOX Fans are saying:
"Col. Hunt, It is my opinion that President Bush is prepared to fight to the death, of the last volunteer soldier at his disposal. Totally disregarding what you, Congress or the majority of the American people have to say. Considering this, do you expect a return of conscription and further escalation of the war in Iraq?" — Christine
"I couldn't agree more. It is pathetic that our brave soldiers must be on the 'receiving end' of the seemingly constant political blundering. Too often, I get the feeling that so many moves are made purely for 'show' without the necessary resolve to see this job through, with end result being either Iraq's soldiers ensuring their own new democracy, or all the damn terrorists wiped out. Seems the Iraq 'Government' and military leaders have become way too comfortable with American soldiers doing the dirty work for them. WIN, or get the heck out. The longer we stay and fight for them, they will react just as a person on the dole, who has become conditioned to think he or she does not have to work for a living -- with inaction, doing nearly nothing for themselves. Either way, I feel 21,500 troops is not the answer. Hopefully, the new 'strategy along with those troops will make the difference … but then, why do I doubt it? " — Mark
"I completely agree with you. It's high time the Iraqis picked up the ball, which they have yet to do, and I doubt they ever will. The voters tried to make a cry out to the president, but since that failed, we will have to wait until a new president comes in to try and "fix" this bumbling mess Mr. Bush has made." — Randi (Pennsylvania)
"Sir, don't you think that we have to win the war with the media, before we can win any conflict? I'm a ‘Nam vet, and I've been through this drill before. Guess we should call it, ‘how to lose a war and never lose a battle.’ I would like the president and others to call the media on the carpet for their shameful reporting and make it obvious how they aid and abet the enemy. I would pull a nostalgia piece showing how the media once helped this country raise awareness and motivate the public to do everything they can to win. I still remember some of the old newsreels and the talk of my elders about the war effort. I am absolutely dumbfounded how anybody can support defeat. We need to reeducate the public on what this country is all about. Godspeed, Sir, and thank you for your continued fight." — John
"I do not understand what you want the president to do. Do you want to pull the troops out in April? Would it be a good idea to just pull out? You are not being clear. I used to think you were a clear thinker, you could at least give the plan a chance instead of joining the Dems. Thanks for listening." — Jack, Chief Petty Officer USN Retired Vietnam Vet.
"Dear Sir: I agree with everything in your column, I believe the president acted with good intentions, but as the old saying goes "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. I do believe that if the new CG is given the authority to take out Sadr and the Mahdi army, there would be a chance to get this under control failing that we are wasting our time. I would like to ask if the surge fails, what do we do when Iraq becomes the new platform for Iran and the extremist to launch their attacks, much as they did from Afghanistan? Best regards." — John
"Dear Col. Hunt: Why exactly is an American soldier more important than an Iraqi soldier, and therefore more Iraqi soldiers should die than Americans?" — Chris (Dubai)
"Dear Col. Hunt: Thank you, sir, for speaking out. Our fighting men and women have given enough, and our nation has more than generously shared its wealth in Iraq. I believe the Bush administration does not have the courage to admit that they have placed the nation in an untenable situation, and continuing to feed American lives to the whirlpool of sectarian chaos will not fill the vortex. " — Ray
"Dear Colonel Hunt: You sir are the first person at FOX that seems to have any clarity of what the situation really is. Now if you could just educate the rest of them! My question to you is: Are we going to keep at this until we bring Iran into the war? And if so could that have been their intention all along?" — P. (Painesville, OH)
"Col. Hunt Your remark about how our soldiers are more important than Iraq soldiers are: How is it that any human being is more valuable or important than any other one? Is it because ours are American and God gave us some special value and importance others cannot achieve or possess? Or, ours has more value and importance because they are ours, and not someone else’s society? I support the war and I respect your opposition to it. But it is arrogance and folly to say we are somehow a superior race or people. It is time for you to admit your mistake and publicly apologize for such prideful and selfish thinking." — Myron
"So Col. What's your answer? Cut and run like we did it 'Nam? Betray the Iraqi people like we did the South Vietnamese? We need to win Col. Hunt…we are in this global war on terror partially because of our reputation resulting from losing the Vietnam war. P.S.- I come from a Military family…my Dad was a tank commander (M-24) in WWII and an infantryman in the Korean War. He shares my view. I served two tours in RVN …1966-67 and 1968-69." — Donald
"I read your book, it was very good. My question is: What makes people think the people in Washington can do any better with more troops, given their very bad record in the war." — Miles
"Col. Hunt, Your "Titanic analogy" hits the target. Both my kids have served over there. My daughter was on the USS Enterprise, as is my son-in-law (two tours), and my son is a Navy Seabee, served in Baghdad and Fallujah. He came back to the states in April last year ... his command will not let him take leave to come home to Wyoming. (The brass wonder why they can't get Seabees to reenlist!) Iraq is another Viet Nam. I served 3 tours there in the US Navy. Their people are like sheep, they won't stand up for themselves, Lord knows they have or can get the weapons to defend themselves had they the motivation to do so. Keep up the good fight, Col. Hunt. Lets get out of Iraq...we need you (and your thoughts) on our own borders." — Michael Greybull, WY
Colonel David Hunt has over 29 years of military experience, including extensive operational experience in Special Operations, Counter Terrorism and Intelligence Operations. You can read his complete bio here.