15 December 2007

Why I Listen to other Vets on Iraq and a Letter to Andrew Sullivan

The Iraq war has been one of immense complexity. So much so, that it would be pretty difficult for one guy to foment an opinion without listening to the opinions of others. That's why I listen to other vets on VetsForFreedom and VetVoice. VetsForFreedom tends to highlight what is currently going well with our strategy (improved security, local reconciliation), while VetVoice is good at highlighting what's not going so well (uneasy Sadr ceasefire, corrupt and incompetent central government). Both are key to take into account to envision future policy in Iraq and elect and support the right people for '08.

What I haven't been impressed with is the "Anti-War" Ivy-League intelligentsia who are still yakkin about no WMD found, Cheney's big Oil conspiracy, and Neocon plans for world domination. Booorrrrrriiiinnnngg. We need to look more critically at current events and figure out a proper exit strategy that will leave Iraq a stable place and not split-up between an Al-Qaeda Caliphate and Iran part II, while balancing the resources of our military. As the surge winds down, I challenge left-leaning bloggers and pundits to come up with a valid exit strategy. The USA is not a military junta, and our policy in the military is to follow the orders of the civilians democratically elected over us. I wrote a letter to Mr. Andrew Sullivan to see if he's got any insight.

My Letter to Andrew Sullivan:

Mr. Sullivan,

I respect your opposition to the war in Iraq and you seem like a really smart guy. But, I was a little disappointed when I saw this post in that you're still bringing up the tired old "anti-war" rhetoric of "Where's the WMDs?", "Saddam didn't fly the planes on 9/11", and "No blood for oil.". Okay, we get it. But those issues are outdated and have little to do with our current situation in Iraq. I've been following HuffPost, Glen Greenwald at Salon.com, Juan Cole, and yourself since I got to Iraq 6 months ago, and I've yet to hear a good plan of how to exit Iraq and leave it in some condition of stability. All this "I told you so" doesn't change the fact that we are where we are. But where do we go from here? You're a smart and influential guy, please enlighten me. I'm very curious about what our policy should be in Iraq for 2008 and I thought you might have some answers. Thank you for your time, sir.

LT Nixon

(note: I'm NOT speaking for the United States Military and this is for my own personal education and blogging usage. I am in no way "intimidating" you, and please don't turn me into a COL Boylan like Salon.com did a few months back. I took an oath to uphold freedom of speech and will defend it to the death. All you're gonna find if you follow the IP trail is some disheveled Navy LT hanging out in a trailer. Again, thanks For Your time! )

If he says it's because "He supports the Troops" and we need an immediate withdrawal, that's swell, but I think it's not going to make a good exit strategy. Hopefully he doesn't think I'm a dumbass because I'm in the service.


themorethingschange... said...

my comments in reverse order...A)dumbass because you're in the service--NOT!...B)if AS says he supports the troops blah blah I'm gonna gag...C)Intelligentsia = oxymoron?...D) the thing I LOVE about your blog is that you consider both sides, a process I've always believed necessary to figure out the truth of a thing

Disclaimer: this poster an AF brat, Army spouse, Navy parent-- so yeah, there may be some prejudice to my opinions

LT Nixon said...


Thanks for understanding that it's important to explore solutions from both sides of the political spectrum. It seems to not be an idea gaining steam, unfortunately.

Kiyum said...

When I read that Col Boyan thing a few weeks ago I immediately suspected you of pulling shenanigans with the Salon.com. Just don't screw with the Cary Tennis, b/c I don't know what I'd do without another advice column to read.

Kiyum said...

Grr . . . Boylan.

Gage said...

Hi, LT Nixon,
Yep, there's a lot of hollow rhetoric and purely emotional appeals, neither of which are of much use, coming from both sides of the aisle. It's a tough call, but someboy's gonna have to make it.

I've never hesitated to say to you that I think we should get out of Iraq as soon as we can, and I know you feel differently. But I've never gotten the impression from you that you'd want us to stay there indefinitely the way some people seem to want. I think you're very rational about it, and that's why I talk to you about it. You have good points to offer.

On the other hand, I hope you know that I try to be rational also. My main concern about staying in Iraq is I think it is really hurting the effort toward what we set out to do in Afghanistan. I'm afraid that if we don't start setting some timelines for leaving Iraq, the Iraqis themselves will never pick up the ball, our troops will just become warn out, and the public will become so war weary that they'll just allow those 18,000 troops in Afghanistan to flounder a while and then simply withdraw them without ever finishing the job. If that happens, then, the past five years really will have been in vain. I'm not prepared for that.

Anyway, I respect your opinions.

LT Nixon said...


Thanks! I've tried to adopt a pluralistic approach on this blog to solicit all opinions to come up with some kind of solution to our foreign policy woes. I totally respect your opinion as it is based on reason and logic. I guess that's what democracy is supposed to be, not attack ads and sex scandals.