Patterico's Pontifications


I’ll See Your 12 2005 Former Army Captains and Raise You a 2007 Marine Corps Major

Filed under: General — WLS @ 10:59 am

Since we’ve heard from the 12 former Army Captains who haven’t been in Iraq since 2005 (with one or two exceptions), it seems appropriate to hear the thoughts of a Marine Corps Major Omar Sanchez, 1st Battalion, 12 Marine Regiment, who returned from a 7 months tour in Iraq — including Falluja and Ramadi — YESTERDAY.  Note that he was also in Iraq in 2003.

 Maj. Omar Sanchez, executive officer for the unit’s Task Force Military Police, which included several hundred Marines from outside Hawai’i, said the task force operated out of Al Asad Air Base, Fallujah, Ramadi and two locations in far western Iraq, Waleed and Trebil. 

Sanchez said four members of the task force were killed by roadside bombs. Among the losses was Lance Cpl. Robert A. Lynch, 20, from Kentucky, who was killed July 24 in Diyala province. Lynch was part of a convoy security team that was attacked.

But Sanchez, who also was in Iraq in 2003, said an alliance of sheiks that rejected al-Qaida in western Iraq has led to a safer environment for U.S. Marines.

“Ramadi used to be the wild, wild west,” Sanchez said. “Fallujah, Ramadi — you hardly hear of any significant incidents there anymore.”

I don’t know why his thoughts wouldn’t be just as significant as the WaPo 12 — after all, he has the benefit of having just been there.

19 Responses to “I’ll See Your 12 2005 Former Army Captains and Raise You a 2007 Marine Corps Major”

  1. Cue alphie stammering out some nonsense in 5…4…3…2…

    H2U (81b7bd)

  2. I don’t know why his thoughts wouldn’t be just as significant as the WaPo 12 — after all, he has the benefit of having just been there.

    It doesn’t appear Major Sanchez was offering any broad analysis or projection. The Anbar progress should be and has been publicized.

    Do we only support troops who don’t go off-script? Seven enlisted soliders who wrote “The War As We Saw It” in the NYT a few weeks ago had a lot more to say. Two of those seven died in a vehicle accident in western Baghdad shortly after their op-ed ran [Sgt. Omar Mora and Sgt. Yance T. Gray].

    steve (e452ed)

  3. The major says: “Ramadi used to be the wild, wild west,” Sanchez said. “Fallujah, Ramadi — you hardly hear of any significant incidents there anymore.

    The 12 captains actually addressed that in their colum: “Though temporary reinforcing operations in places like Fallujah, An Najaf, Tal Afar, and now Baghdad may brief well on PowerPoint presentations, in practice they just push insurgents to another spot on the map and often strengthen the insurgents’ cause by harassing locals to a point of swayed allegiances.”

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  4. And that other spot beiung in Tehran doesn’t disprove the point Sanchez was making.

    Progress is being made and thats what the Left hates. Just as in Vietnam the war was won by any measure until the Left forced an aid cutoff and sold our allies out. Even the Tet offensive was protrayed not as a desperate failure but as an amazing victory for Hanoi. The Left never changes. Same song and dance. Same traitors.

    Thomas Jackson (bf83e0)

  5. Phil, in practice these ‘twelve captains’ may not know enough about the current situation on the ground to fairly evaluate the success. My position is such that I honor their service to the country yet respectfully question their breadth of knowledge.

    Personally, I think the most accurate gauge of Iraq is found in the writings of Totten & Yon.

    H2U (81b7bd)

  6. Even our military leaders admit the “success” in al Anbar province can’t be duplicated in Baghdad, Basra and Mosul, Iraq’s three biggest cities, H2U.

    I think that’s why Patraeus’ slide show was met with skepticism.

    That, plus the fact that the methods the US military used to bring “success” to al Anbar will probably blow up on us (and the central Iraqi government) in the next few years.

    Anbar Awakening have already refused to negotiate with the Iraqi government…

    alphie (99bc18)

  7. Petraus’ slideshow was met with skepticism because our country’s civilian populace, on the whole, lacks a backbone. A few setbacks and people are screaming to give up.

    Shame on the surrender monkeys of the left & right. They and the reckless MSM have helped to foment a feeling of irreversibility that is absolutely pathetic.

    This fight is one that *can* and *will* be won. Giving up is not a reasonable solution.

    H2U (81b7bd)

  8. H2U, I’m not suggesting the captains do know specifically the current situation on the ground. Maybe they don’t.

    I’m saying that the statements in this post, by the major, do nothing to support the possibility that the captains are wrong, because the major’s claims do not contradict the captains’ assertions.

    The Major’s statements in essence agree with the captains’ point that some areas are secure, and shed no light on the captains’ assertion that generally, securing these areas just pushes the insurgents elsewhere, and we can’t secure the whole country at once.

    I’m not saying the captains are right; just that they haven’t been proven wrong by this post. It’s simple logic, that’s all.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  9. Steve and Phil:

    My point is that I don’t think either the group of Captains or Maj. Sanchez are really in a position to address the larger military and political issues of Iraq.

    But the WaPo decided to give the views of the Captains public airing in a very prominent editorial, notwithstanding the obvious questions about how authoritative and informed those views were.

    So, I put out Maj. Sanchez. I don’t know how much he knows about the “Big Picture”, but since that didn’t slow down the WaPo Editorial Page editors, I didn’t see why I should be concerned.

    WLS (bafbcb)

  10. Well, in an odd way, your major actually corroborates the captains’ editorial, since his statements basically agree with them that certain areas of Iraq have been secured from the insurgents.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  11. Like others, I don’t see any contradiction between Maj. Sanchez’ reports of localized success and others’ reports of systemic failure. For example, the Anbar experience does nothing positive (and perhaps some negative) about the problems in setting up a successful political system for Iraq as a whole. [How are they doing on that oil-revenue law, anyway?] Our new BFFs in Anbar are literally Saddam’s cousins, without even Saddam’s partiality for Western vices like women without veils. If we wanted to recruit them to fight Al Qaeda, frankly, we could have done that with Saddam fat and happy.

    Aside for Thomas “Stonebrain” Jackson: I’ve never served and even I know what NOFORN means. Most of the vets I know are more polite, and a lot better clued in about what really happened in Vietnam. (Perhaps because they served there and don’t need the Rush Limbaugh version.) But maybe you have been in Iraq and other countries. I just can’t decide if you were a homicidal sociopath for Blackwater or a trafficker in women for DynCorp.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (264fb9)

  12. Poor Andy. I guesw you must have done a google but the couldn’t find ICEBERG. But just for laughs do tell us what NOFORN means. Now once you’re through telling us about what really happened in Vietnam, based on your sandbox experiences with your GI Joes, do tell us what your bong has detailed to you.

    Do tell us about your vast experience in national security and nation defense issues and how you majored in basket weaving. Most trolls I know are infinitely more lucid than you, do not boast of their tinfoil hats, nor think saying I write screeds therefore I am constiututes intelligent discourse.

    But aside from this you are an ignorant troll with nothing to say and even less knowledge of the subject at hand. I am sure that you are a troll Andy and the only vets you ever met probably threw you ought of the VFW hall when they caught you trying to rob the charity box. or steal the waitresses tips.

    As for homocidal sociopaths, I am sure you are repeating a phrase often used in conjunction with your mdical diagnosis. Do you have shock therapy often due to the filure of your lobotomy?

    Thomas Jackson (bf83e0)

  13. 1. NOFORN means no foreign distribution, and I learned it reading about Valerie Plame. ICEBERG I don’t know. It’s useful to admit when you don’t know something; a lot better than bluffing with a lot of faux macho bluster.

    2. I majored in math, not basket weaving.

    3. Maybe, just to establish your own bona fides which a few of us doubt, you can tell us what a Section 8 discharge is.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (86a8d1)

  14. Oops I forgot to mention a review of the noted corporate expert Andy Braindead demonstrates just the parroting of extreme leftist slogans is considered by him to be a sign of intellectual ability. Blackwater evil, DynCorp bad he grunts.

    Well I can understand how being medicated and in restraints would force you to speak in such grunts Andy. That and being at the bottom of the gene pool.

    Common on and tell us bout your lengthly employment history at Blackwater and DynCorp that gives you such intimate and expert knowledge of their activities. That is if you can spare the time from cashing your welfare check oh master of bombast.

    Thomas Jackson (bf83e0)

  15. Steve, Andrew J. Lazarus, and Phil:

    I agree. In fact, I posted the same quote Phil posted in #3 over at the other “12 Captains” thread.

    I just don’t see how a 20 second interview of a soldier walking through an airport negates the points made by 12 veterans in a carefully written opinion piece.

    And by the way, I researched some of their comments about conditions in Iraq, and found them to be up to date.

    Itsme (689e6f)

  16. Crazy Andy:

    Its how the doctors diagnosed your mental condition after you did all those nasty things to the gerbil. Now that you have demonstrated your bona fides why don’t you trell us how a morally rudderling Morlock like yourself managed to be admitted to the armed forces. Oh I forgot, you served in the Red Army as a gerbil carrier.

    So waht entitles you to tell us about conditions are like in Iraq having never been there nor to the Middle East; what qualifies you to tell us about the military never having served? Exactly what are your qualifications since as a math major you can add two plus two and get four?

    Your visceral prejudices make reasoned thought on your part impossible. But I’d expect nothing less from some zit faced 17 year old.

    Thomas Jackson (bf83e0)

  17. “3. Maybe, just to establish your own bona fides which a few of us doubt, you can tell us what a Section 8 discharge is.”

    – Andrew J. Lazarus

    Shazam! In yo face, Tommy Boy!
    Seriously, though… the quality of your comments (coupled with claims of [military?] service) bespeaks the desperate nature of U.S. recruitment policy.

    Leviticus (35fbde)

  18. And by the way, I researched some of their comments about conditions in Iraq, and found them to be up to date.

    Comment by Itsme — 10/17/2007 @ 9:36 pm

    The impartiality, quality and depth of your research skills are indeed a source of great comfort to everyone here, Itsme!

    daleyrocks (906622)

  19. Levy why do you post as Crazy Andy?

    I do know that in the Leftist world such behavior is a reasonable substitute for experience, intelligence and education.

    Perhaps this explains your inability to demonstrate any evidence of substance, knowledge or reason.

    As you say Shazaam. BS isn’t really a substitute for brains, but in your case I guess blessed as you are with a 17 year old mind, zits, and a joke of an education as demonstrated by the poverty of content of your comments BS will have to serve you.

    It serves both your Levy and Crazy Andy identities poorly. Keep flipping those burgers Levy. Some Mexican is going to replace you real soon.

    Thomas Jackson (bf83e0)

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