"We're catching them in a lie"


Marines debate and gripe, as is their inalienable right, about America's position in Iraq. Ignore the specifics for a moment and hone in on the overall level of sophistication of their analysis.

Kinda makes you wish one of these guys was running for president.


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  1. As a former Marine, I can tell you that what they were saying is the same shit but different war.

    Which does not fill me with a warm fuzzy feeling on how this administration is executing this CF we have in Iraq.

  2. Though oddly most of them will still vote for George Bush.

  3. What a load of shit!

    You call the useless, pissed off drivel of a bunch of irate, “I ain’t gettin’ enuf trigger time”, junior jarheads and bring attention to “…the overall level of sophistication of their analysis.”

    The one thing that I was constantly struck by during my time in the Corps was how utterly stupid and un-informed the average Marine was. I would kill for them and knew that someone always had my back but I would never “…wish one of these guys was running for president.”

    What a load of propaganda hogwash. I wonder how many Marines the Post interviewed before finding the whiners to get the story they wanted, not the story that is there. Reminds me of Vietnam, where the media created a disaffection that really did not exist until the media told soldiers it di.

  4. Of course since the WashPost was a major cheerleader for Gulf War II, it seems a tad unlikely that they are suddenly trying to deliberately sabotage the war effort. Not to mention the fact that the “whiners” were all willing to give their names and hometowns, hardly something you would expect if these were fringe views.

  5. Asked if he was concerned that the Marines would be punished for speaking out, Autin responded: “We don’t give a crap. What are they going to do, send us to Iraq?”


  6. Former Jarhead is right.

    If you gots to go to war, you want Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children at yer back. But, I’m not sure I’d want many of them running for prez.

  7. There were plenty of Marines way smarter than me.

    But also, after 9/11 the prevailing wisdom amongst junior Marines was to nuke the entire middle east.

    Every time we went to the range some new guy, or group of new guys would have two suggestions that they though were new and cool: that someone invent a brass magnet to collect all the brass casings and that we be allowed to use prisoners as live targets “to add realism to the training, and save taxpayer money”.

    To add more perspective of the opinion of Marines almost every excercise I was ever on was criticized as “a total goatfuck”, by me and others. These were excercises that were often frequently repeated so the higher ranking commanders had the chance to observe past failures and iron out wrinkles.

    When I was in Iraq, I heard grumblings as I knew I would, but most of it was about officers being dicks. Some of it was about not getting more trigger time (Marines always want an oportunity to kill everything, that is why God loves us). Anyhow most the Marines that I knew were glad to be in Iraq. Even the Army guys I talked to were glad at the opportunity.

  8. Also, as Josh noted, most of them will be voting for Bush, I would like to see the statistics on that one. If I had to guess, I would guess that it would be about 80%.

    So when Kerry notes all the Generals that support him (which I don’t think is right that generals support a canditate) Bush could, if he had any debating skill, note that the large percentage of the military support him.

  9. Yeh…but how many of them get to read a newspaper other than S&S or weblogs? Or any other news source that isn’t parsed out and approved for mass distribution to the grunts by the upper brass?

  10. They can read any newspaper they want to. I never did, and don’t read any newspapers. Unless there is an article about something totally apolitical that I might be interested in. Even then I would be dissapointed.

    I saw one article in S&S about some female democrat that in my opinion did more to harm the military than anyother person I knew of at the time. And the S&S article was about what a great person she was.

    The biggest news source that I know of was probably CNN. Fox, might be getting a share now.

    The chow hall in the Green zone with the news shows had CNN on one side of the dining room and Fox on the other side.

  11. I was in the Corps from 1966-1970.
    I think kwais has it about right.
    And who can trust the Washington Bleep?
    The issue illustrated here is the shortage of personnel.
    Marines should not be placed into situations where they are not allowed to kill everything that moves.

    Having said that, a brainchild of the Corps, the Combined Action Program in Vietnam, called on them to be even more sensitive than GI’s, and the program worked well.

    I gather it’s next to impossible to have such a program in Iraq.

  12. Maybe these guys should evaluate why they went into the Marine Corps. For revenge? Are you kidding me? Why’d they join, to get paid and workout a lot?

  13. There’s an interesting piece in the new ATLANTIC by Robert Kaplan that discusses WHY most soldiers will be voting for Bush: The troops on the ground perceive most reporters and Democrats as out-of-touch elitist pricks.

    Kaplan considers the MSM’s disdainful view of the military as a socially accepted form of “class prejudice” and challenges the prevailing belief that “embedded” reporters are mere functionaries of the Pentagon.

    My older brother (who is a Kerry-hating ex-Marine) thought it was pretty spot-on.


  14. The funny thing is that these Marines are right–annihilating the enemy and all of the people in the countries from where they come would make us safer, but could we live with ourselves? Many issues are simpler (but not necessarily better) if we disregard morality.

  15. Ruthless,

    I don’t think that a combined action program would be impossible.

    The toughest thing about a combined action program in Iraq, I think, would be to know if the guys you were working with were eager to go kill because the guys they were going after were terrorists. Or are the guys you are working with trying to play off as terrorists some dudes who were merely another rival tribe.

    Anyhow, I don’t really know. All I know about a Combined Action Program is what I read about. Ruthless got out of the Corps before I was born.

    I wonder if running a CAP in Iraq would be like trying to run one on the gangs in LA.

    There are some places in Iraq that are committed enemy; Sadr City, Faluja, ect. But most the places I was at, I wondered from the looks I would get, if some of the guys were undecided enemy.

    Like Kerry, depending on the mood they were in and how they percieved things, they were our enemy, or our best friends. I mean they werent pretending to be our friends, they really thought they were our friends. And sometimes they really thought they were our enemies.

    But I don’t know. I talked to a few, and tried to get a read. But it is hard to guage what they really felt and what they were saying because they wanted something.

    Some of the girls said that if I dressed like one of them and acted unasuming and didn’t say anything, I could hang out with them and not get noticed. And I could really get a feel of what Iraq was really like on the other side.

    I never took them up on the offer. I didn’t want to be in my own video. Also if anyone found out I would have been in big trouble.

  16. hmm, seems like you marines really put a damper on the reason editorial staff’s propagation of the WaPo’s spin on what marines think about iraq

    i hate when that happens

  17. eponymous,

    this short passage isn’t containing any “propagation”:

    Marines debate and gripe, as is their inalienable right, about America’s position in Iraq. Ignore the specifics for a moment and hone in on the overall level of sophistication of their analysis.

    Kinda makes you wish one of these guys was running for president.

    Unless you count any critical reporting about the events in Iraq as propaganda, of course.

  18. What? Marines wanting to nuke ’em ’til they glow and then shoot ’em in the dark?

    What a big surprise. 🙂

  19. Just a small point: all the generals supporting Kerry have been retired generals. I think it’s normally OK for them to get involved in politics. (Washington and Eisenhower spring to mind.) The soldiers Bush uses as wallpaper for his campaign commercials are still active service, but they don’t actually speak to support him.

    And I wish you guys would head over to the post next door, where someone is arguing that the military, being well-educated, informed about the issues, etc are “fine voters”. Which is it? Either they’re fine, patriotic, educated Republican supporters or they’re whining knuckleheaded bootnecks.

  20. As is my understanding, most people in the military thought that the events at Abu Ghraib were perfectly fine, and that it’s ok to torture and humiliate unconvicted prisoners because “they shoot at our friends… or at least people who look like them do.”

    Am I the only one to find this very frightening?

  21. kwais said:
    “Some of the girls said that if I dressed like one of them and acted unasuming and didn’t say anything, I could hang out with them and not get noticed. And I could really get a feel of what Iraq was really like on the other side.”

    A wussie GI wouldn’t have given this serious consideration.

    All sensitive people forgive me in advance, but how would you know, kwais, that you wouldn’t be gettin’ a “pig in a poke”?
    Did you get any “teasers” as to content?

  22. Ruthless,

  23. Did they show you some ankle?

  24. Ruthless,
    “Did they show you some ankle?”

    You could say that.

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