Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Thoughts on a Marine's Email

Steve Sailer has an interesting email that he has posted on his blog. The sender purports to be a Marine in Ramadi. While he cannot verify it, he believes it sounds realistic.

You probably should Read the email before reading to my thoughts on it.

While the stuff about the weapons seems good enough, I am highly suspicious of the claim that most of the insurgency is made up of foreign fighters, that the southern part of the insurgency is made up of Shiites, or that Iran is training the insurgents. This sounds like something straight out of the neocon propaganda handbook. I particularly question the veracity of this sttement:

Most enter Iraq through Syria (with, of course, the knowledge and complicity of the Syrian govt.)

This statement, on the other hand, sounds dead-on:

The Iranian Shiia have been very adept at infiltrating the Iraqi local govt.'s, the police forces and the Army.

Although it seems to me that these infiltrators are not generally interested in insurgency. In forming a sort of mafia-like control in areas like Basra, sure. In killing reporters like Steven Vincent who might be reporting on their corruption, certainly. In killing Iraqi Sunnis in revenge for the Baath Party's oppression of them in the past, of course. But most of southern Iraq has been relatively peaceful, despite the occasional incident, and we seem to be leaving them alone as long as they leave us alone.

Does this mean that I doubt the letter's authenticity? No, but I think that the writer is being fed the same lines we are, and presumably is being fed them by their superiors, not just by neocon columnists and the President.

Finally, this last paragraph sends up all kinds of red flags that we are getting propganda:

According to this Marine [apparently he is referring to himself in the third person- Glai.], morale among our guys is very high. They not only believe they are winning, but that they are winning decisively. They are stunned and dismayed by what they see in the American press, whom they almost universally view as against them. The embedded reporters are despised and distrusted. They are inflicting casualties at a rate of 20-1 and then see things like "Are we losing in Iraq" on TV and the print media. For the most part, we are satisfied with equipment, food and leadership. Bottom line though, and they all say this, there are not enough guys there to drive the final stake through the heart of the insurgency, primarily because there aren't enough troops in-theater to shut down the borders with Iran and Syria. The Iranians and the Syrians just cant stand the thought of Iraq being an American ally (with, of course, permanent US bases there).

I wonder, if the insurgency is on its last legs, why its ability to hit us and hit us hard has not decreased (indeed, one could argue that ut us stronger than ever, judging by the casualty metrics).

Also, there is the reference to Iran and Syria being the real source of the insurgency again.

Bottom line: the Marine may be authentic, but that doesn't mean he can't be drinking some of the ol' neocon Kool-Aid.

That is all.

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