Things I Understand About Iraq

Angry Bear is not one of the big blogs. Sure, as one of the writers for Angry Bear, I’d love the ego boost of seeing the blog climb into the stratosphere of blogdom, but its not going to happen. We focus too much on Economics, which everyone knows is boring, and even among the boring Economics blogs, there are others that are more popular.

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to see a trackback in one of my posts. It wasn’t a great post, nor even about economics… just referencing an article about how some National Guard units were short on rifles, mortars, and howitzers. Anyway, the trackback led to this post at a blog called “More than Loans.”

The blogger was criticizing me as an example of the lefties looking for a way to criticize the administration for sending troops into harm’s way with inadequate equipment. OK. Guilty as charged. Now that I’m outed, I guess I have to admit that:

1. I understand that soldiers really have enough equipment. Its all sitting in Iraq, greased (when appropriate), wrapped and accounted for. So the fact that soldiers are training with rifles when they’re going to use carbines in Iraq is no big deal. (I assume they’re at least training with rifles.) Its especially not a big deal for the soldiers that will be deployed in the surge in urban areas, such as Sadr City. After all, what difference is there between a rifle and a carbine after all when it comes to house to house fighting?
2. I understand that rifles and carbines are left behind in Iraq rather than shipped back with the soldiers to whom they were assigned because of concerns about weight.
3. I understand that there are more than enough soldiers. The military is turning away recruits because so many patriotic Americans are leaping at the chance to go fight off Iraqi insurgents. I understand that the National Guard troops being sent to Iraq for the second time (or is it third) volunteered to be there. They signed up fully expecting to go to Iraq, insisting that they really would rather perform the typical National Guard-type duties. (And who wouldn’t? If only those National Guard types didn’t hog all the good spots there’d be room for some of the more patriotic folk to go to the sandbox.)
4. I understand that there are more than enough allies. And the British drawdown demonstrates yet again that we’re winning.
5. I understand that there is no history of ethnic strife in Iraq. A few dead enders and a few foreign Al Qaeda types are causing the problems.
6. I understand that the media still refuses to show pictures or the schoolhouses being painted – if they did, the American public would understand that we’re winning.
7. I understand that catching Osama is irrelevant. I understand that if he is ever caught, it won’t be irrelevant then.
8. I understand that the resurgence of the Taliban is irrelevant.
9. I understand that Pakistan is our ally. And so is Saudi Arabia.
10. I understand Iraq had everything to do with 9/11.
11. I understand American troops are well taken care of when they’re wounded.
12. I understand Bush has a plan. And its going to work. Like his other plans.

I can’t end with 12… so here’s lucky number 13…

13. I understand that its my fault.

What I don’t understand is something else on the “More than Loans” site. He has a little logo with a plane and a flag and the words “I am pro-victory.” I don’t understand what that means. I don’t know what victory in Iraq means at this point. And I wonder how that attitude differs from what the rest of us think or want. (Are the rest of us for defeat? Or a violent and warlike Iraq?) And I wonder what actions differentiate those who are pro-victory from those who are not.