Withdraw Now, or Not?

Linked in the title is the transcript between Retired Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Bernard Trainor, who is co-authoring a book on the inside story of the Iraq war, and retired Army Lt. Gen. William Odom, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute.

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With my reading about military history, (NO I HAVEN'T SERVED, OK?) I have found the Marines do some brutal front end work and the army typically cleans up and holds the ground taken. I do realize the interaction is much more complicated than that, and both services perform heroically; however this loose idea serves well here. I was having dinner and getting some PBS time only to hear this exchange on the idea of withdrawl.

So it is no surprise that the Marine in this dialogue wants to see the mission completed and the Army man wants everyone pulled back and to have groups of Marines ready to send into hot spots. Sure Odom, send the Marines into the ambush!

Odom also asserts that we have done enough. That to leave now would remove the impetus for the terrorists to attack. The Iraqi people would settle down and deal with their own insurgents and their government would self-stabilize.

I'm curious if the folks at the Hudson institute have been smoking something. He seems to think that while Iran wanted Saddam out that they won't try to influence what happens if we leave? That Al Qaeda will be run out of town if we leave? Does Odom assume the Iraqis have basic skills like literacy and computer familiarity necessary for today's armed forces to function? Clearly he has not been reading
  • MAJORK'S blog!

  • Fortunately, there was a Marine on the set to call a spade a spade. I think the fact that Lt. General Trainor was on TV is the only thing that made him bite his tongue on his real assessment of the intellectual idiot Odom's point. Trainor did say some very blunt things in a polite way that you can feel his revulsion either for the man or the man's ideas across the table from him. Check out the expression on Trainor's face in the picture above and then read it for yourself!

    To be completely fair, Odom likely does not represent the majority of thought among our Army brass and there may be a Marine General out there who would agree with Odom. Just when PBS gives these two a head-to-head opportunity and Odom seems quite ready to send in Marines it does leave a bad taste in your mouth, doesn't it?