WaPo today runs an article by 12 US Captains.. headline "The Real Iraq We Knew". Authors are as follows:
This column was written by 12 former Army captains: Jason Blindauer served in Babil and Baghdad in 2003 and 2005. Elizabeth Bostwick served in Salah Ad Din and An Najaf in 2004. Jeffrey Bouldin served in Al Anbar, Baghdad and Ninevah in 2006. Jason Bugajski served in Diyala in 2004. Anton Kemps served in Babil and Baghdad in 2003 and 2005. Kristy (Luken) McCormick served in Ninevah in 2003. Luis Carlos Montalván served in Anbar, Baghdad and Nineveh in 2003 and 2005. William Murphy served in Babil and Baghdad in 2003 and 2005. Josh Rizzo served in Baghdad in 2006. William "Jamie" Ruehl served in Nineveh in 2004. Gregg Tharp served in Babil and Baghdad in 2003 and 2005. Gary Williams served in Baghdad in 2003.
Operative word in the headline is "knew". a la past tense. Josh Rizzo is the only one who served in 2006. All others were between 2003-2005.
Timeline facts? Iraqis did not elect their permanent parliament, which then picks their VPs, President and PM, until October of 2005. They did not vote on a final Constitution until October of 2006.
In short, the criticism leveled at the Iraqi government, which is the prime reason they so enthusiastically claim defeat, was leveled at a different government that exists today.
I'm not sure what anyone can expect from a newly formed government that's less than 2 years old. Add to that, said government is comprised of denizens who've known nothing but despotic oppression for most or all of their lives.
But how about of dose of perspective and reality here. By comparison, we've been around over two centuries, and we're still battling corruption. It's not like the Iraqi electees have experience in freedom and the "spirit of partnership" like Pelosi...
Our banking systems, postal services, utility grids and interstate roadways were not created in our government's first days. And even if this country was two years old, and had advantage of today's modern technology, we *still* wouldn't have banking and postal systems, roads and utilities in place in under two years. Hang, it takes Congress a year before they can get their shit together to agree to fund body and Humvee armor, allocate the funds, and have the finished goods delivered.
I have a great deal of respect for these warriors. I am pleased they have returned, alive and well, to voice their opinions. However I believe their working knowledge of the operation as a large picture is dated and naive at best.
As for WaPo running this story... it's the headline. It's another group of warriors who are anti-Iraq. It's a gift to them, for the media of defeat needs as many voices as possible to redeem their credibility.