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Posted: 3/30/2006 12:21:32 PM EDT
I'm glad we're doing it... Despite the US' horrible reputations in the eyes of much of the world, I got to thinking (reading the threads about contractors going over and rebuilding infrastructure), How much stuff did we break and are now rebuilding, and how much are we building brand new that they never had before?

I've googled "rebuilding Iraq" and primarily what I got back was the standard "we broke it and now we gotta fix it" junk, but I know for a fact that there are schools being built and good things being done. What's the breakdown on how much we're REbuilding and how much we are building new?

It's just something that jumped into my head. Thanks in advance.
jim
Link Posted: 3/30/2006 2:00:13 PM EDT
If a community doesn't have functional fresh water, sewer or electric power systems, it's considered to be "broke", regardless of who broke it (or even whether or not it was functional before the war started). Our standard isn't "fix what we broke", but rather "fix anything that needs to be fixed in order to keep a community from reverting back to the stone age".

Thus, barring a major shift in U.S. policy, we will probably eventually leave most parts of Iraq (not to mention Afghanistan) in better condition than they were before the GWT started.
Link Posted: 3/30/2006 2:07:47 PM EDT
We're there fixing everything, especially the stuff that Saddam let go to hell after 1992.
Link Posted: 3/30/2006 2:08:08 PM EDT
It took 10 plus years to "rebuild" Germany and Japan after WWII, 15 years for S. Korea. 10 years after that we were "fighting" all of them in the marketplace. It should take about the same amount of time for Afgan and Iraq.
Link Posted: 3/30/2006 6:53:06 PM EDT
all the cell phones and plasma TVs they had. They need some new cars too
Link Posted: 3/30/2006 9:05:15 PM EDT
Not near enough.
Link Posted: 3/30/2006 9:07:58 PM EDT
Remember that some groups over there keep rebreaking it, too.
Link Posted: 3/30/2006 9:14:54 PM EDT
Remember "Shock and Awe?" We bombed everything in Iraq worth bombing. Towards the end of the campaign, planes were returning to base without dropping bombs for lack of targets.
Link Posted: 3/30/2006 10:06:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Da_Bunny:
Remember "Shock and Awe?" We bombed everything in Iraq worth bombing.



Fortunately, most of the "items worth bombing" were military targets, and thus don't need rebuilding.

Since we aren't in the habit of destroying schools, water treatment plants or hospitals, much of the rebuilding concerns itself with items that were either neglected by Saddam's regime, damaged by insurgents, or didn't exist in the first place.
Link Posted: 3/30/2006 10:09:44 PM EDT
It took a long time to rebuild Germany and Japan and we occupied these countries for decades. Iraq & A-Stan will be the same; so don't expect us to leave for a while.

We still have forces in Germany and Japan since 1945 and in South Korea since 1950, so expect to keep contingents in Iraq and Afghanistan for a decade or two to say the least.

Let's just hope we stay the course and win.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 4:25:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/31/2006 4:25:38 AM EDT by John_Wayne777]
Bingo.

We aren't rebuilding what we destroyed.

I dare say that in MOST instances, we are building stuff that was never there. When you hear reports like "Still, there are many areas in Iraq that do not have electrical power" the reality is that those places didn't have power BEFORE the Marines showed up to kick Sadaam's chubby rear end.

We are building a civil infrastructure in Iraq that has never existed there in many areas, or that was in an advanced state of decay before our troops ever got there.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 8:30:15 AM EDT
Heh...

We broke more stuff than it would be easier to kick all immigrants out of America.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 8:43:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By tyman:
Heh...

We broke more stuff than it would be easier to kick all immigrants out of America.



Hey ...





Why don't we put all captured illegal immigrants into work camps rebuilding Iraqi infrastructure?
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 8:47:13 AM EDT
I, personally, broke a lot of shit in Iraq in '91.

I am sure today’s Soldiers and Marines are even better at breaking shit then we were.

So there is a lot of broken shit over there.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 8:54:31 AM EDT
The US Military does not tread lightly.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 10:04:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/31/2006 11:08:33 AM EDT by JDC_VA_USMC]

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:
Bingo.

We aren't rebuilding what we destroyed.

I dare say that in MOST instances, we are building stuff that was never there. When you hear reports like "Still, there are many areas in Iraq that do not have electrical power" the reality is that those places didn't have power BEFORE the Marines showed up to kick Sadaam's chubby rear end.

We are building a civil infrastructure in Iraq that has never existed there in many areas, or that was in an advanced state of decay before our troops ever got there.



+10

I was a USMC Civil Affairs Officer and supported 3rd Bn 25th Marines in the city of Hit, Al Anbar Province, Iraq from June - Sept 2005. Everything we were rebuilding in that city was due to either Saddam's neglect of every city except Baghdad for the last 25 years, or due to damage caused by the insurgency and their IEDs and mortars. Being part of a civil affairs unit, I would estimate that 90% of the stuff we are rebuilding country wide is not due to the actions of the US. Maybe even 95%. The only city we truly trashed, at least from what I saw in Al Anbar, was Fallujah, and that was because the population allowed it to become an insurgent/terrorist stronghold.

From the very beginning the US Military went out of our way to prevent collateral damage. When I was in Hit, the insurgents used to fire mortars at our firm bases in the city and/or our FOB outside the city several times a day. When we started firing mortars back to the point of origin (POO) using counter battery radar and 81mm mortars, the insurgents started shooting mortars from people's backyards inside the city, and we stopped using counter battery fire to minimize collateral damage.

The bottom line is we are dealing with decades of neglect over there. Unfortunately I never made it to Baghdad, but it is supposedly a modern first world city. It has good hospitals, clean water, good power, etc. Saddam wanted it that way because the world saw Baghdad when they saw Iraq, and Saddam was all about perception.

Hit, on the other hand, and the other parts of Al Anbar, which are Sunni and Baathist and were "supposedly" Saddam's people and supporters, had antiquated electrical substations and distribution, water purification and distribution, telecommunications, roads, schools, municipal equipment, etc. In my city council meetings, when the mayor and city council used to try to tell me that things were better under Saddam and tried to blame the poor state of the city on the Marines being in the city, I used to explain to them all the patrols and surveys I went on, where I saw decades of neglect, and ask them, "Tell me... what did Saddam do for you? You don't have clean water. You have neglected schools, You only get power 12 hours a day in the summer. Tell me how he took care of you?"... and they had absolutely no answer for me.

Power wise, the country never had enough power production capacity. In Al Anbar, most of their power comes from a dam on the Euphrates called Haditha Dam. Baghdad has priority for power from the dam. Under Saddam EVERYTHING in the country went through and was controlled by Baghdad. All the power from the dam was controlled by Baghdad, so in the summer Baghdad got the power it needed and the other cities, like the city of Haditha itself, and the city of Hit where I was, got cut down to 10-12 hours of power a day so Baghdad would have its power. And, the citizens along the Euphrates in Al Anbar knew it. So, what did they do? When their power was turned off too much, they go and tear down the power lines from the dam to Baghdad. They know that the dam's turbines are going to produce power, and the power has to go somewhere, so when Baghdad is cut off, the engineers at the dam that work for the ministry in Baghdad send the power back to the cities like Haditaha and Hit. That's just one story of many on how truly screwed up the infrastructure of that country was and is. It will take YEARS to fix the infrastructure, and more importantly to fix the "system" and decentralize control of resources by Baghdad so that the other areas don't suffer.

Regarding the damage caused by insurgent/terrorists, the dam I just mentioned just happens to be guarded by a USMC boat company and at the time a company of Azerbajainis (not sure how they got there since Bush didn't build a coalition and we went into this war on our own...) So, not only are we fixing insurgent damage, but we're obviously trying to prevent it.

Here's a picture of a road blown up by a SVBIED (suicide vehicle borne improvised explosive device) outside of the firm base I was at. It took down power lines within a 50 meter radius, busted a road, and busted a water main. Guess who's fixing it?



Same day (we had a series of complex attacks that day... it was a fun day), they blew up the only bridge in Hit over the Euphrates River. Guess who's fixing that? Here's the video:

Bridge VBIED

JDC


Link Posted: 4/1/2006 1:56:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By JDC_VA_USMC:

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:
Bingo.

We aren't rebuilding what we destroyed.

I dare say that in MOST instances, we are building stuff that was never there. When you hear reports like "Still, there are many areas in Iraq that do not have electrical power" the reality is that those places didn't have power BEFORE the Marines showed up to kick Sadaam's chubby rear end.

We are building a civil infrastructure in Iraq that has never existed there in many areas, or that was in an advanced state of decay before our troops ever got there.



+10

I was a USMC Civil Affairs Officer and supported 3rd Bn 25th Marines in the city of Hit, Al Anbar Province, Iraq from June - Sept 2005. Everything we were rebuilding in that city was due to either Saddam's neglect of every city except Baghdad for the last 25 years, or due to damage caused by the insurgency and their IEDs and mortars. Being part of a civil affairs unit, I would estimate that 90% of the stuff we are rebuilding country wide is not due to the actions of the US. Maybe even 95%. The only city we truly trashed, at least from what I saw in Al Anbar, was Fallujah, and that was because the population allowed it to become an insurgent/terrorist stronghold.

From the very beginning the US Military went out of our way to prevent collateral damage. When I was in Hit, the insurgents used to fire mortars at our firm bases in the city and/or our FOB outside the city several times a day. When we started firing mortars back to the point of origin (POO) using counter battery radar and 81mm mortars, the insurgents started shooting mortars from people's backyards inside the city, and we stopped using counter battery fire to minimize collateral damage.

The bottom line is we are dealing with decades of neglect over there. Unfortunately I never made it to Baghdad, but it is supposedly a modern first world city. It has good hospitals, clean water, good power, etc. Saddam wanted it that way because the world saw Baghdad when they saw Iraq, and Saddam was all about perception.

Hit, on the other hand, and the other parts of Al Anbar, which are Sunni and Baathist and were "supposedly" Saddam's people and supporters, had antiquated electrical substations and distribution, water purification and distribution, telecommunications, roads, schools, municipal equipment, etc. In my city council meetings, when the mayor and city council used to try to tell me that things were better under Saddam and tried to blame the poor state of the city on the Marines being in the city, I used to explain to them all the patrols and surveys I went on, where I saw decades of neglect, and ask them, "Tell me... what did Saddam do for you? You don't have clean water. You have neglected schools, You only get power 12 hours a day in the summer. Tell me how he took care of you?"... and they had absolutely no answer for me.

Power wise, the country never had enough power production capacity. In Al Anbar, most of their power comes from a dam on the Euphrates called Haditha Dam. Baghdad has priority for power from the dam. Under Saddam EVERYTHING in the country went through and was controlled by Baghdad. All the power from the dam was controlled by Baghdad, so in the summer Baghdad got the power it needed and the other cities, like the city of Haditha itself, and the city of Hit where I was, got cut down to 10-12 hours of power a day so Baghdad would have its power. And, the citizens along the Euphrates in Al Anbar knew it. So, what did they do? When their power was turned off too much, they go and tear down the power lines from the dam to Baghdad. They know that the dam's turbines are going to produce power, and the power has to go somewhere, so when Baghdad is cut off, the engineers at the dam that work for the ministry in Baghdad send the power back to the cities like Haditaha and Hit. That's just one story of many on how truly screwed up the infrastructure of that country was and is. It will take YEARS to fix the infrastructure, and more importantly to fix the "system" and decentralize control of resources by Baghdad so that the other areas don't suffer.

Regarding the damage caused by insurgent/terrorists, the dam I just mentioned just happens to be guarded by a USMC boat company and at the time a company of Azerbajainis (not sure how they got there since Bush didn't build a coalition and we went into this war on our own...) So, not only are we fixing insurgent damage, but we're obviously trying to prevent it.

Here's a picture of a road blown up by a SVBIED (suicide vehicle borne improvised explosive device) outside of the firm base I was at. It took down power lines within a 50 meter radius, busted a road, and busted a water main. Guess who's fixing it?

i48.photobucket.com/albums/f210/jdc28va/IMG_0435.jpg

Same day (we had a series of complex attacks that day... it was a fun day), they blew up the only bridge in Hit over the Euphrates River. Guess who's fixing that? Here's the video:

Bridge VBIED

JDC





Nice post Brother!
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 2:22:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By tyman:

Originally Posted By JDC_VA_USMC:

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:
Bingo.

We aren't rebuilding what we destroyed.

I dare say that in MOST instances, we are building stuff that was never there. When you hear reports like "Still, there are many areas in Iraq that do not have electrical power" the reality is that those places didn't have power BEFORE the Marines showed up to kick Sadaam's chubby rear end.

We are building a civil infrastructure in Iraq that has never existed there in many areas, or that was in an advanced state of decay before our troops ever got there.



+10

I was a USMC Civil Affairs Officer and supported 3rd Bn 25th Marines in the city of Hit, Al Anbar Province, Iraq from June - Sept 2005. Everything we were rebuilding in that city was due to either Saddam's neglect of every city except Baghdad for the last 25 years, or due to damage caused by the insurgency and their IEDs and mortars. Being part of a civil affairs unit, I would estimate that 90% of the stuff we are rebuilding country wide is not due to the actions of the US. Maybe even 95%. The only city we truly trashed, at least from what I saw in Al Anbar, was Fallujah, and that was because the population allowed it to become an insurgent/terrorist stronghold.

From the very beginning the US Military went out of our way to prevent collateral damage. When I was in Hit, the insurgents used to fire mortars at our firm bases in the city and/or our FOB outside the city several times a day. When we started firing mortars back to the point of origin (POO) using counter battery radar and 81mm mortars, the insurgents started shooting mortars from people's backyards inside the city, and we stopped using counter battery fire to minimize collateral damage.

The bottom line is we are dealing with decades of neglect over there. Unfortunately I never made it to Baghdad, but it is supposedly a modern first world city. It has good hospitals, clean water, good power, etc. Saddam wanted it that way because the world saw Baghdad when they saw Iraq, and Saddam was all about perception.

Hit, on the other hand, and the other parts of Al Anbar, which are Sunni and Baathist and were "supposedly" Saddam's people and supporters, had antiquated electrical substations and distribution, water purification and distribution, telecommunications, roads, schools, municipal equipment, etc. In my city council meetings, when the mayor and city council used to try to tell me that things were better under Saddam and tried to blame the poor state of the city on the Marines being in the city, I used to explain to them all the patrols and surveys I went on, where I saw decades of neglect, and ask them, "Tell me... what did Saddam do for you? You don't have clean water. You have neglected schools, You only get power 12 hours a day in the summer. Tell me how he took care of you?"... and they had absolutely no answer for me.

Power wise, the country never had enough power production capacity. In Al Anbar, most of their power comes from a dam on the Euphrates called Haditha Dam. Baghdad has priority for power from the dam. Under Saddam EVERYTHING in the country went through and was controlled by Baghdad. All the power from the dam was controlled by Baghdad, so in the summer Baghdad got the power it needed and the other cities, like the city of Haditha itself, and the city of Hit where I was, got cut down to 10-12 hours of power a day so Baghdad would have its power. And, the citizens along the Euphrates in Al Anbar knew it. So, what did they do? When their power was turned off too much, they go and tear down the power lines from the dam to Baghdad. They know that the dam's turbines are going to produce power, and the power has to go somewhere, so when Baghdad is cut off, the engineers at the dam that work for the ministry in Baghdad send the power back to the cities like Haditaha and Hit. That's just one story of many on how truly screwed up the infrastructure of that country was and is. It will take YEARS to fix the infrastructure, and more importantly to fix the "system" and decentralize control of resources by Baghdad so that the other areas don't suffer.

Regarding the damage caused by insurgent/terrorists, the dam I just mentioned just happens to be guarded by a USMC boat company and at the time a company of Azerbajainis (not sure how they got there since Bush didn't build a coalition and we went into this war on our own...) So, not only are we fixing insurgent damage, but we're obviously trying to prevent it.

Here's a picture of a road blown up by a SVBIED (suicide vehicle borne improvised explosive device) outside of the firm base I was at. It took down power lines within a 50 meter radius, busted a road, and busted a water main. Guess who's fixing it?

i48.photobucket.com/albums/f210/jdc28va/IMG_0435.jpg

Same day (we had a series of complex attacks that day... it was a fun day), they blew up the only bridge in Hit over the Euphrates River. Guess who's fixing that? Here's the video:

Bridge VBIED

JDC





Nice post Brother!



+1 gazillion! I was in Baghdad a few weeks back. Admittedly I didn't get to see much of the actual city since, as a contractor, I don't go outside the wire. I did see alot of atiquated and run down...well...everything is antiquated and run down. Our guys are doing a damn fine job here, (and by our guys I also mean the coalition troops as well as Americans).
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 3:10:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By s1rGr1nG0:

Originally Posted By tyman:

Originally Posted By JDC_VA_USMC:

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:
Bingo.

We aren't rebuilding what we destroyed.

I dare say that in MOST instances, we are building stuff that was never there. When you hear reports like "Still, there are many areas in Iraq that do not have electrical power" the reality is that those places didn't have power BEFORE the Marines showed up to kick Sadaam's chubby rear end.

We are building a civil infrastructure in Iraq that has never existed there in many areas, or that was in an advanced state of decay before our troops ever got there.



+10

I was a USMC Civil Affairs Officer and supported 3rd Bn 25th Marines in the city of Hit, Al Anbar Province, Iraq from June - Sept 2005. Everything we were rebuilding in that city was due to either Saddam's neglect of every city except Baghdad for the last 25 years, or due to damage caused by the insurgency and their IEDs and mortars. Being part of a civil affairs unit, I would estimate that 90% of the stuff we are rebuilding country wide is not due to the actions of the US. Maybe even 95%. The only city we truly trashed, at least from what I saw in Al Anbar, was Fallujah, and that was because the population allowed it to become an insurgent/terrorist stronghold.

From the very beginning the US Military went out of our way to prevent collateral damage. When I was in Hit, the insurgents used to fire mortars at our firm bases in the city and/or our FOB outside the city several times a day. When we started firing mortars back to the point of origin (POO) using counter battery radar and 81mm mortars, the insurgents started shooting mortars from people's backyards inside the city, and we stopped using counter battery fire to minimize collateral damage.

The bottom line is we are dealing with decades of neglect over there. Unfortunately I never made it to Baghdad, but it is supposedly a modern first world city. It has good hospitals, clean water, good power, etc. Saddam wanted it that way because the world saw Baghdad when they saw Iraq, and Saddam was all about perception.

Hit, on the other hand, and the other parts of Al Anbar, which are Sunni and Baathist and were "supposedly" Saddam's people and supporters, had antiquated electrical substations and distribution, water purification and distribution, telecommunications, roads, schools, municipal equipment, etc. In my city council meetings, when the mayor and city council used to try to tell me that things were better under Saddam and tried to blame the poor state of the city on the Marines being in the city, I used to explain to them all the patrols and surveys I went on, where I saw decades of neglect, and ask them, "Tell me... what did Saddam do for you? You don't have clean water. You have neglected schools, You only get power 12 hours a day in the summer. Tell me how he took care of you?"... and they had absolutely no answer for me.

Power wise, the country never had enough power production capacity. In Al Anbar, most of their power comes from a dam on the Euphrates called Haditha Dam. Baghdad has priority for power from the dam. Under Saddam EVERYTHING in the country went through and was controlled by Baghdad. All the power from the dam was controlled by Baghdad, so in the summer Baghdad got the power it needed and the other cities, like the city of Haditha itself, and the city of Hit where I was, got cut down to 10-12 hours of power a day so Baghdad would have its power. And, the citizens along the Euphrates in Al Anbar knew it. So, what did they do? When their power was turned off too much, they go and tear down the power lines from the dam to Baghdad. They know that the dam's turbines are going to produce power, and the power has to go somewhere, so when Baghdad is cut off, the engineers at the dam that work for the ministry in Baghdad send the power back to the cities like Haditaha and Hit. That's just one story of many on how truly screwed up the infrastructure of that country was and is. It will take YEARS to fix the infrastructure, and more importantly to fix the "system" and decentralize control of resources by Baghdad so that the other areas don't suffer.

Regarding the damage caused by insurgent/terrorists, the dam I just mentioned just happens to be guarded by a USMC boat company and at the time a company of Azerbajainis (not sure how they got there since Bush didn't build a coalition and we went into this war on our own...) So, not only are we fixing insurgent damage, but we're obviously trying to prevent it.

Here's a picture of a road blown up by a SVBIED (suicide vehicle borne improvised explosive device) outside of the firm base I was at. It took down power lines within a 50 meter radius, busted a road, and busted a water main. Guess who's fixing it?

i48.photobucket.com/albums/f210/jdc28va/IMG_0435.jpg

Same day (we had a series of complex attacks that day... it was a fun day), they blew up the only bridge in Hit over the Euphrates River. Guess who's fixing that? Here's the video:

Bridge VBIED

JDC





Nice post Brother!



+1 gazillion! I was in Baghdad a few weeks back. Admittedly I didn't get to see much of the actual city since, as a contractor, I don't go outside the wire. I did see alot of atiquated and run down...well...everything is antiquated and run down. Our guys are doing a damn fine job here, (and by our guys I also mean the coalition troops as well as Americans).



Where were ya in Baghdad?
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 8:03:30 AM EDT
JDC_VA_USMC and s1rGr1nG0 - exactly what I was hoping to hear. Thanks for your hard work and for taking the time for those posts.

I know good things are happening over there. The idiotic MSM just enjoys making it sound like the US broke everything and now we can't figure out how to fix it. The more this info gets out, the better.

Sounds like the Iraqis are getting a better nation after the war than they had for decades before the war.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 8:09:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/1/2006 8:10:45 AM EDT by John_Wayne777]

Originally Posted By JDC_VA_USMC:
+10

I was a USMC Civil Affairs Officer and supported 3rd Bn 25th Marines in the city of Hit, Al Anbar Province, Iraq from June - Sept 2005. Everything we were rebuilding in that city was due to either Saddam's neglect of every city except Baghdad for the last 25 years, or due to damage caused by the insurgency and their IEDs and mortars. Being part of a civil affairs unit, I would estimate that 90% of the stuff we are rebuilding country wide is not due to the actions of the US. Maybe even 95%. The only city we truly trashed, at least from what I saw in Al Anbar, was Fallujah, and that was because the population allowed it to become an insurgent/terrorist stronghold.

From the very beginning the US Military went out of our way to prevent collateral damage. When I was in Hit, the insurgents used to fire mortars at our firm bases in the city and/or our FOB outside the city several times a day. When we started firing mortars back to the point of origin (POO) using counter battery radar and 81mm mortars, the insurgents started shooting mortars from people's backyards inside the city, and we stopped using counter battery fire to minimize collateral damage.

The bottom line is we are dealing with decades of neglect over there. Unfortunately I never made it to Baghdad, but it is supposedly a modern first world city. It has good hospitals, clean water, good power, etc. Saddam wanted it that way because the world saw Baghdad when they saw Iraq, and Saddam was all about perception.

Hit, on the other hand, and the other parts of Al Anbar, which are Sunni and Baathist and were "supposedly" Saddam's people and supporters, had antiquated electrical substations and distribution, water purification and distribution, telecommunications, roads, schools, municipal equipment, etc. In my city council meetings, when the mayor and city council used to try to tell me that things were better under Saddam and tried to blame the poor state of the city on the Marines being in the city, I used to explain to them all the patrols and surveys I went on, where I saw decades of neglect, and ask them, "Tell me... what did Saddam do for you? You don't have clean water. You have neglected schools, You only get power 12 hours a day in the summer. Tell me how he took care of you?"... and they had absolutely no answer for me.

Power wise, the country never had enough power production capacity. In Al Anbar, most of their power comes from a dam on the Euphrates called Haditha Dam. Baghdad has priority for power from the dam. Under Saddam EVERYTHING in the country went through and was controlled by Baghdad. All the power from the dam was controlled by Baghdad, so in the summer Baghdad got the power it needed and the other cities, like the city of Haditha itself, and the city of Hit where I was, got cut down to 10-12 hours of power a day so Baghdad would have its power. And, the citizens along the Euphrates in Al Anbar knew it. So, what did they do? When their power was turned off too much, they go and tear down the power lines from the dam to Baghdad. They know that the dam's turbines are going to produce power, and the power has to go somewhere, so when Baghdad is cut off, the engineers at the dam that work for the ministry in Baghdad send the power back to the cities like Haditaha and Hit. That's just one story of many on how truly screwed up the infrastructure of that country was and is. It will take YEARS to fix the infrastructure, and more importantly to fix the "system" and decentralize control of resources by Baghdad so that the other areas don't suffer.

Regarding the damage caused by insurgent/terrorists, the dam I just mentioned just happens to be guarded by a USMC boat company and at the time a company of Azerbajainis (not sure how they got there since Bush didn't build a coalition and we went into this war on our own...) So, not only are we fixing insurgent damage, but we're obviously trying to prevent it.

Here's a picture of a road blown up by a SVBIED (suicide vehicle borne improvised explosive device) outside of the firm base I was at. It took down power lines within a 50 meter radius, busted a road, and busted a water main. Guess who's fixing it?

i48.photobucket.com/albums/f210/jdc28va/IMG_0435.jpg

Same day (we had a series of complex attacks that day... it was a fun day), they blew up the only bridge in Hit over the Euphrates River. Guess who's fixing that? Here's the video:

Bridge VBIED

JDC



See? This is what I have been talking about. This is a person who was THERE and who SAW what was going on with his own eyes.

They ought to give you a camera crew and an hour a night for a month to tell the real friggin' story. This is the kind of reporting that we need from Iraq. Think we are going to get it? No, because it doesn't fit in with the media's agenda.

I don't find it at ALL suprising to hear someone say that it was "better" under Sadaam. Lots of people stand to loose a whole lot if things were "worse" under Sadaam, even now.

I have said it before, and I will say it again: Most American troops care more about Iraq's people and future than a lot of Iraqis.

Thank you for your service, and God bless.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 10:52:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:

Originally Posted By JDC_VA_USMC:
+10

I was a USMC Civil Affairs Officer and supported 3rd Bn 25th Marines in the city of Hit, Al Anbar Province, Iraq from June - Sept 2005. Everything we were rebuilding in that city was due to either Saddam's neglect of every city except Baghdad for the last 25 years, or due to damage caused by the insurgency and their IEDs and mortars. Being part of a civil affairs unit, I would estimate that 90% of the stuff we are rebuilding country wide is not due to the actions of the US. Maybe even 95%. The only city we truly trashed, at least from what I saw in Al Anbar, was Fallujah, and that was because the population allowed it to become an insurgent/terrorist stronghold.

From the very beginning the US Military went out of our way to prevent collateral damage. When I was in Hit, the insurgents used to fire mortars at our firm bases in the city and/or our FOB outside the city several times a day. When we started firing mortars back to the point of origin (POO) using counter battery radar and 81mm mortars, the insurgents started shooting mortars from people's backyards inside the city, and we stopped using counter battery fire to minimize collateral damage.

The bottom line is we are dealing with decades of neglect over there. Unfortunately I never made it to Baghdad, but it is supposedly a modern first world city. It has good hospitals, clean water, good power, etc. Saddam wanted it that way because the world saw Baghdad when they saw Iraq, and Saddam was all about perception.

Hit, on the other hand, and the other parts of Al Anbar, which are Sunni and Baathist and were "supposedly" Saddam's people and supporters, had antiquated electrical substations and distribution, water purification and distribution, telecommunications, roads, schools, municipal equipment, etc. In my city council meetings, when the mayor and city council used to try to tell me that things were better under Saddam and tried to blame the poor state of the city on the Marines being in the city, I used to explain to them all the patrols and surveys I went on, where I saw decades of neglect, and ask them, "Tell me... what did Saddam do for you? You don't have clean water. You have neglected schools, You only get power 12 hours a day in the summer. Tell me how he took care of you?"... and they had absolutely no answer for me.

Power wise, the country never had enough power production capacity. In Al Anbar, most of their power comes from a dam on the Euphrates called Haditha Dam. Baghdad has priority for power from the dam. Under Saddam EVERYTHING in the country went through and was controlled by Baghdad. All the power from the dam was controlled by Baghdad, so in the summer Baghdad got the power it needed and the other cities, like the city of Haditha itself, and the city of Hit where I was, got cut down to 10-12 hours of power a day so Baghdad would have its power. And, the citizens along the Euphrates in Al Anbar knew it. So, what did they do? When their power was turned off too much, they go and tear down the power lines from the dam to Baghdad. They know that the dam's turbines are going to produce power, and the power has to go somewhere, so when Baghdad is cut off, the engineers at the dam that work for the ministry in Baghdad send the power back to the cities like Haditaha and Hit. That's just one story of many on how truly screwed up the infrastructure of that country was and is. It will take YEARS to fix the infrastructure, and more importantly to fix the "system" and decentralize control of resources by Baghdad so that the other areas don't suffer.

Regarding the damage caused by insurgent/terrorists, the dam I just mentioned just happens to be guarded by a USMC boat company and at the time a company of Azerbajainis (not sure how they got there since Bush didn't build a coalition and we went into this war on our own...) So, not only are we fixing insurgent damage, but we're obviously trying to prevent it.

Here's a picture of a road blown up by a SVBIED (suicide vehicle borne improvised explosive device) outside of the firm base I was at. It took down power lines within a 50 meter radius, busted a road, and busted a water main. Guess who's fixing it?

i48.photobucket.com/albums/f210/jdc28va/IMG_0435.jpg

Same day (we had a series of complex attacks that day... it was a fun day), they blew up the only bridge in Hit over the Euphrates River. Guess who's fixing that? Here's the video:

Bridge VBIED

JDC



See? This is what I have been talking about. This is a person who was THERE and who SAW what was going on with his own eyes.

They ought to give you a camera crew and an hour a night for a month to tell the real friggin' story. This is the kind of reporting that we need from Iraq. Think we are going to get it? No, because it doesn't fit in with the media's agenda.

I don't find it at ALL suprising to hear someone say that it was "better" under Sadaam. Lots of people stand to loose a whole lot if things were "worse" under Sadaam, even now.

I have said it before, and I will say it again: Most American troops care more about Iraq's people and future than a lot of Iraqis.

Thank you for your service, and God bless.



Thanks. True story:

The XO of my civil affairs detachment, Tim, has a good childhood friend who is a very talented (and liberal) writer. He does stuff for Men's Health, Vanity Fair, couple of others, and is the executive editor of a Denver city magazine, 5280. His name is Max Potter. He was against the war, doesn't think we should be there, doesn't care for Bush, etc. This is our XO's second tour in Iraq. After his first tour in OIF I, Tim came back and used to get into debates with Max about the war. Tim made Max promise him that if Tim deployed to Iraq again, Max would come do a story and see for himself what was going on in Iraq.

Fast forward 2 years, and Tim's back in Iraq with my civil affairs unit, so Max gets Vanity Fair to fund a trip to Iraq so he can do a story on Tim and USMC civil affairs in Al Anbar Province. He comes out in August 2005 to see Tim at Al Asad Airbase. Tim convinces Max to take a trip out to Hit and visit with my civil affairs team, so he can see civil affairs in action in a key city in Al Anbar. So Max gets on a convoy of AAVs and comes to spend two days in Hit. He interviews me and my team members, comes to a couple of my meetings with Imams and city leadership, and sees what's going on for himself (couldn't convince him to come on a patrol ) We got mortared that day, rocketed, etc, but he also got to see a lot of the efforts we were making to improve the city. I get to know him pretty well, and he seems like a really good guy, but we obviously have different views. But he is very respectful of me and my Marines and happy to have the opportunity to be there.

Before Max left, I asked him about the article and whether or not I was going to have to come to Denver and beat his ass when it comes out. He said "No way" and sincerely explained to me how his opinions had changed. Although he didn't agree with the reasons for going to war, he had become convinced by this trip that we were doing the right thing and doing right by the Iraqis, and that we needed to stay and finish the job and leave the country better than we found it. So, he basically told me it was going to be a very positive article.

I get back to the states, and Vanity Fair sends a photography team with the story's editor to take pics of me back in Virginia for the article, and they take a bunch of pics of my team and other members of my unit. The editor tells me how good the article is and how I'm going to enjoy it when it comes out. They've obviously spent big bucks on this story up to this point.

The article was scheduled to come out in the Feb issue of Vanity Fair. Great opportunity to get the message out to the hollywood and liberal elite, right? Wrong. Vanity Fair never ran the story. Max says the story is "on hold" because other priority stories came up, like Lindsay Lohen's eating disorders and the Oscars. But, I'm convinced that Vanity Fair was looking for a certain story on Iraq, and when they got a positive story instead, they decided not to run it.

We're so lucky to have the MSM.

JDC
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 11:30:19 AM EDT
There's a guy that shows up at our local gun shows who's son (or brother, I don't know which) was over in the sandbox and they had a few DVDs of all the good that is being done over there.

Stuff you'll never see on the MSM.

Just occurred to me that in treating the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in the slanted way they do, all the while saying "we support the troops", is the very definition of talking out of both sides of your head.
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 10:33:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/2/2006 10:39:58 AM EDT by John_Wayne777]

Originally Posted By JDC_VA_USMC:
But, I'm convinced that Vanity Fair was looking for a certain story on Iraq, and when they got a positive story instead, they decided not to run it.

We're so lucky to have the MSM.

JDC



You are probably 100% correct. Liberalism carries with it an unwarrantable frivolity that refuses to deal with objective truth. It is why liberals want to negotiate with bloodthirsty tyrants, because they cannot stop their wishful thinking.

A lot of people parroting liberal ideas are NOT truly liberals, they are just people who are unaquainted with reality. These people, like the man you mentioned, can be saved by showing the truth.

Those who would tank the article such a man would write that documents the good work being done, are not salvagable.
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 10:39:25 AM EDT

Originally Posted By macman37:
Just occurred to me that in treating the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in the slanted way they do, all the while saying "we support the troops", is the very definition of talking out of both sides of your head.



You cannot "support the troops" by derriding the mission they give themselves for.

You cannot "support the troops" by calling their presence in Iraq a "criminal occupation".

You cannot "support the troops" by demanding that we pass laws to outlaw "torture".

The whole "we support the troops!" line is absolute BULLSHIT. They DO NOT support the troops. They supported attempts to gut the US military in the 90s. They supported the policies and spending decisions that lead to equipment shortages in Iraq.

They complain that the defense budget is too big and that we are spending too much money on war WHILE OUR TROOPS ARE IN HARM'S WAY. They rail against the treatment of Iraqi citizens knowing full well that in doing so they condemn our soldiers as being the ones treating the Iraqis with cruelty.

They DO NOT support our troops. They are merely parroting a slogan designed to insulate them against being defined as modern day versions of the assclowns who screamed "BABY KILLER!" at Marines returning from Vietnam.

THIS IS THE 1960'S HIPPIE PROTEST MOVEMENT ALL OVER AGAIN.


Link Posted: 4/2/2006 10:41:33 AM EDT
so how many camels do we have to give them?
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 5:57:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:

Originally Posted By macman37:
Just occurred to me that in treating the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in the slanted way they do, all the while saying "we support the troops", is the very definition of talking out of both sides of your head.



You cannot "support the troops" by derriding the mission they give themselves for.

You cannot "support the troops" by calling their presence in Iraq a "criminal occupation".

You cannot "support the troops" by demanding that we pass laws to outlaw "torture".

The whole "we support the troops!" line is absolute BULLSHIT. They DO NOT support the troops. They supported attempts to gut the US military in the 90s. They supported the policies and spending decisions that lead to equipment shortages in Iraq.

They complain that the defense budget is too big and that we are spending too much money on war WHILE OUR TROOPS ARE IN HARM'S WAY. They rail against the treatment of Iraqi citizens knowing full well that in doing so they condemn our soldiers as being the ones treating the Iraqis with cruelty.

They DO NOT support our troops. They are merely parroting a slogan designed to insulate them against being defined as modern day versions of the assclowns who screamed "BABY KILLER!" at Marines returning from Vietnam.

THIS IS THE 1960'S HIPPIE PROTEST MOVEMENT ALL OVER AGAIN.





Right on.
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 6:12:05 PM EDT
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