July 31, 2008

Hard is not hopeless
— Purple Avenger

Maj. Smith and Col MacFarland's rundown on how the Awakening and surge worked. Its a 12 page long article in PDF form. Contrary to what the Messiah asserts, the Awakening was hardly an accidental development. It was carefully cultivated and nurtured.

...It is gratifying to see our model adapted and used elsewhere in the War on Terror. It proves once again that America’s Army is truly a learning organization. In the end, probably the most important lesson we learned in Ramadi was that, as General Petraeus said, “Hard is not hopeless.”
Ramadi was where the inkblotting of the forward posts was proven a successful strategy. This started "pre-surge" and led the locals to believe we were for real. Once they realized we were for real, partnering didn't seem so crazy a path anymore. This is why the Awakening wasn't some random event as the Messiah believes. In the Messiah's mind, hard is hopeless, and our military people are a lot dumber than they really are.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at 07:07 PM | Comments (26)
Post contains 171 words, total size 1 kb.

1 I love how the red-on-red stuff first never happened and then just was bound to happen on its very own, in the media/Democrat world.

If McCain happens to win the election - perhaps by sucking the barbed cock of Satan - then I will celebrate my new license to gloat by beating a hippie.

Posted by: Vercingetorix at August 01, 2008 12:13 AM (QaVQ6)

2 It would be nice if the press would report even a bit of this.
God bless our troops and their commitment.
Here's hoping we earn their respect as much as they've earned ours.

Posted by: Nom de Blog at August 01, 2008 12:56 AM (e321h)

3 "Instead of telling them that we would leave soon and they must assume responsibility for their own security, we told them that we would stay as long as necessary to defeat the terrorists. That was the message they had been waiting to hear. As long as they perceived us as mere interlopers, they dared not throw in their lot with ours. When they began to think of us as reliable partners, their attitudes began to change." If anyone actually wants to know if Obama's "strategy" would have worked, there's the answer.

Posted by: notropis at August 01, 2008 02:00 AM (jk5+l)

4 We can thank the Bush 41 team for making it "Hard". They saw us bug out once before, and Saddam punished them. It's hard to regain credibility, but not hopeless.

Posted by: roy at August 01, 2008 03:57 AM (cB77O)

5 Hey, according to BHO, this thing (the success) was a tribal deal. If we had just surrendered..ERRRR withdrew, the tribes would have gotten together and the violence would have quelled anyway. The U.S. military was just basically along for the ride....Gravy training, if you will.

Posted by: Crassius Maximus at August 01, 2008 04:22 AM (pX1pI)

6 Victory is racist.  And homophobic, too.  Anyway, winning the war is just a distraction from losing the war.

Posted by: Barack Hussein Obama Campaign Blog Outreach Coordinator at August 01, 2008 04:23 AM (V7sy6)

7 When does the Great Cankled Hildebeast apologize to Petraeus for the 'willing suspension of disbelief' crack?  Man, there's a lot of dumb people in this nation; unfortunately, you can't fix 'dumb.'

Posted by: apb at August 01, 2008 04:32 AM (4Ac/Q)

8 Hmmmm.

A lot of people forget that an essential component of this Awakening is the experience by Iraqis of life under the thumb of terrorist and militant groups.  Prior to that each individual province or city had a different relationship with the US Coalition, terrorist and militant groups.

So the reality is that we couldn't get to this point without the pain, and loss, of the preceding years.  The Iraqis had to experience for themselves how utterly criminal fundamentalist, terrorist and militant groups could be when in power.  And how utterly powerless the average Iraqi would be under such a regime.

I'm glad we got to this point.  It would've been really nice if the Iraqis adopted this stance, this "wide" stance as it were, in 2003 rather than 2008.  But no amount of trying to tell the Iraqis how life would be could replace the actual first hand experience.

The upside is that a lot of Iraqis have seen just how awful such people can be.  And I think a lot of Iraqis want no part of it.  If that's true, and that's still a big "if", then that's a long term benefit to everybody.

Posted by: memomachine at August 01, 2008 04:36 AM (3PLow)


"led the locals to believe we were for real"

And the Messiah is in no sense for real -- except for the damage he can do.

Posted by: Erwin Hussein O'Barry at August 01, 2008 04:37 AM (HU4xc)

10 Hmmmm.

"We can thank the Bush 41 team for making it "Hard". They saw us bug out once before, and Saddam punished them. It's hard to regain credibility, but not hopeless."

Yeah that's very very true.  Saddam killed off about 300,000 pro-America Shia'a after the first Gulf War.

That not only destroyed American credibility in the area but it wiped out a significant number of Iraqis that could have helped us advance Iraq forward into stability and democracy.

We can thank Bush 41, Colin Powell and Schwartzkopf for that.  When Saddam's senior officers asked permission to fly helicopters from Schwartzkopf and Powell, they were given that permission without any restrictions such as "unarmed only".

So Saddam's army, what was left of it, used armed helicopter gunships to slaughter Iraqis in southern Iraq even as we were negotiating a peace settlement.

What a bunch of assholes.

Posted by: memomachine at August 01, 2008 04:41 AM (3PLow)


If you read Michael Yon's book, you'd understand what happened and why Petraeus should be given a ton of credit.

But if you're Barry Obamaphenia and you use books as props, you might not get the whole picture.

If you're a Democrat, you wanted Petraeus to fail miserably.

Posted by: Rev Dr E Buzz at August 01, 2008 05:14 AM (vFeQi)

12 I could not help thinking at the end of the Gulf War, "we'll be back". Deja vu WWI / WWII. We won the war but lost the peace.

Posted by: GarandFan at August 01, 2008 05:47 AM (eJ32B)


Bush 41 and the gulf war was but a continuation:



Iran Hostage rescue

Each of these was perceived as displays of lack of resolve.

Posted by: captkidhussseiney at August 01, 2008 06:02 AM (0vXZI)

14 I think you can add the turning back of Russian POWs and kulaks to Stalin after WW2 as another shameful lack of resolve moment.  Some of them committed suicide rather than go back to torture and death.

Posted by: Captain Hate at August 01, 2008 07:03 AM (eP9wS)


War is a series of disasters resulting in victory (or defeat).

The enemy might beat you or you might beat him, but if you let the disasters beat you, you have chosen defeat and beaten yourself.

Democrats understand this concept when it comes to politics, so it is curious as to why they refuse to apply it to actual warfare.

Posted by: CavMedic at August 01, 2008 08:20 AM (rYFmu)

16 A good read of FM 3-24 will also illustrate the methodical nature of U.S. Armed Forces strategic success.

It's easy availability coupled with the apparent complete ignorance of the media and other political agents of the left explains volumes about democrat strategic failure as well.

Posted by: monkeyfan at August 01, 2008 08:29 AM (cEE8N)



While the surge has worked spectuacularly, a blogger named Alec Rawls (Error Theory) made a very good case that Rumsfeld's previous strategy did not fail.

Great quote:

"Should we have used the Petraeus strategy from the outset?

That’s a little like seeing Ali come off the ropes in the 8th round to kayo Foreman and thinking: “hey, he should have done that in round one.” Petraeus’ “clear, hold and build” strategy might have worked earlier, but it also might have altered al Qaeda’s strategy. If our troops had been more exposed, al Qaeda might have concentrated more on military targets and less on the Iraqi population, which was the key decision that determined everything. Induce al Qaeda to make a different decision, and who knows how things might have turned out?"


Posted by: Cutrmudgeon at August 01, 2008 09:13 AM (ujg0T)

18 "Hard is not hopeless."

Oh, yes, it is, if you're a Lefty.  All policies should be easy, like when Obama fixes the rising ocean by saying it should stop.  Or when you fix US poverty by throwing a few trillion dollars at a bunch of bureaucrats.

OTOH, "hard is not hopeless" if Lefties can make normal people do all the heavy lifting.  The AGW CO2 problem is hard, but it can be solved by all the normal people in the industrialized world just quitting using fossil fuels, returning to the Stone Age, and/or committing suicide.

Hard is only hopeless when it requires Lefties to do anything they don't like.

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at August 01, 2008 09:27 AM (1Sf5X)




Posted by: Tom at August 01, 2008 09:46 AM (f7A+e)


From my limited understanding, the military strategy in Iraq went through a few, necessary, evolutions.

1. Reconstruction efforts began almost immediately. US military served more as a policing  than a belligerent combat element, and study and observation of the "lay of the ground" began on what potential hostile forces might come into play.

2. Then, as the hostile elements took shape and form, the US military changed toward a hard-point defensive structure with COPs added to the already established FOBs, and aggressive patrolling was used to take the fight to those hostile elements.

Reconstruction efforts slowed way down during this phase as a necessity dictated by the developing situation.

This phase served to shred the hostile elements into disparate pieces.

3. Toward the end of phase 2, more and more Iraqis gave up on the ideals of jihad, as well as those ideals fomented by loyalists to former soviet revolutionary doctrine.  Various leadership elements within the Iraqi social structure grew closer to the US "Ameriki Tribe" as an established force for eventual peace and security.

4. Iraqi social leadership elements began to more fully support the US efforts. Some even to the point of giving up their own lives and/or the lives of their families to the predations of those hostile elements that pretended to be fighting for Iraq and the New Caliphate.

5. The Surge.

Toward the end of phase 4, elements formerly hostile to the new Iraqi gov and the US/Coalition force changed sides. Primary among these were the 1920 Revolutionary Brigade, allied with tribal leaders in the Ramadi/Anbar/Diyala areas.

It was during the Surge Phase that it became obvious that a surge had been long in the planning. Logistics build up for such a surge was, largely, already in place to support the event. The only real remaining consideration was the when, not the if, or the how.

It was the Awakening and the side change of the 1920s that signaled the time to be appropriate for the Surge Phase.


All during these various phases, efforts to recruit, train and equip  viable Iraqi military and police forces continued. This was a long hard road with no shortcuts available. The former Iraqi military and police forces had no culture of excellence, nor a workable concept of Non Commissioned Officers upon which to build from any previously existing structures. Corruption and betrayal were the predominate cultural norm. The "way it's always done" concept that needed to be demolished, along side the training of the new forces also included military and police loyalty to whomever seemed the dominate local personality/social element, rather than loyalty to a national ideal.

The US military effort, now, seems to be shifting to a new phase of polishing and fine tuning the successes of the previous phases, and is shifting toward a traditional advisory mission. This is usually the final phase of military involvement.


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