Home » News » The War Isn’t Lost to CPL Rock

The War Isn’t Lost to CPL Rock

by Ward Carroll on April 27, 2007

On a day when the political stars seemed aligned even stronger against Americas continued involvement in Iraq, I thought it might be a good idea to get a view of events from the front line.

A story thats making its way across the net comes from a Marine posted in Ramadi, Iraqi, who takes exception to Senate Democratic leader Harry Reids view that the war is lost.

From the New York Post:

WASHINGTON — A tough U.S. Marine stationed in one of the most hostile areas of Iraq has a message for Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid: We need to stay here and help rebuild.

In raw and emotional language from the bloody front lines, Cpl. Tyler Rock, of the 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, skewered Reid for being far removed from the patriotism and progress in Iraq.

Yeah, and I got a quote for that [expletive] Harry Reid. These families need us here, Rock vented in an e-mail to Pat Dollard, a Hollywood agent-turned-war reporter who posted the comment on his Web site, www​.patdollard​.com.

Obviously [Reid] has never been in Iraq. Or at least the area worth seeing … the parts where insurgency is rampant and the buildings are blown to pieces, Rock wrote.

Based in Camp Lejeune, N.C., Rock catalogued a series of grim daily traumas in Iraq, like getting covered in ash and sleeping under a dirty rug in an Iraqi familys house, or watching several terrorists die on the same strip of pavement.

But he says he is optimistic about the future of a country that he says has turned to complete s– — - during a bloody insurgency.

He also spoke admiringly of the risks brave Iraqi citizens take every day.

If Iraq didnt want us here then why do we have [Iraqi police] volunteering every day to rebuild their cities? he asked.

It sucks that Iraqis have more patriotism for a country that has turned to complete s– — - more than the people in America who drink Starbucks every day.

We could leave this place and say we are sorry to the terrorists. And then we could wait for 3,000 more American civilians to die before we say, Hey, thats not nice again.

And the sad thing is after we WIN this war. People like [Reid] will say he was there for us the whole time.

Rocks candid e-mail swept across the Internet after Dollard posted it on his site, and it was picked up by the Drudge Report and numerous other Web sites.

What does [Reid] know about us losing besides what he wants to believe? The truth is that we are pushing al Qaeda out and we are pushing the insurgency out. We are here to support a nation.

Hat-tip to Pat Dollard who was there with my buddy that horrible night in Ramadi. RIP Almar and Matt.

Christian

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{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

Rob April 27, 2007 at 8:42 am

And you don’t think, if you tried, that you could find dozens of impassioned arguments from other corporals that the war is, in fact, lost? You don’t think you could find anyone who appreciates Senator Reid? This doesn’t represent a form of argument…

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ajay April 27, 2007 at 8:51 am

It’s worth remembering that, in the words of Neil Sheehan, “John Vann died believing that his war could be won.” He was one of the most competent, original and imaginative soldiers of the Vietnam War. As a civilian CORDS official of equivalent two-star rank, who had spend years in the country, he was far better informed about his war than any Marine corporal.
But in believing that his war could be won, Vann was utterly wrong. In 1971 the Vietnam War was irrevocably lost. The US government had known this (as the Pentagon Papers later revealed) for years, and various courageous politicians and protestors had been saying so in public.
And now one corporal is supposed to sway our judgement? Please. (If the email, or the marine, ever existed in the first place; we’ve no way of knowing whether they were simply invented by the Pentagon as part of an information op, or by the reporter to further his own agenda. The Post isn’t exactly the BBC when it comes to journalistic standards.)

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Ward April 27, 2007 at 9:21 am

Rob:
I’m on record as being against the invasion of Iraq in 2003. I believe this particular war has been bungled at key points by the administration and others. But, I seriously doubt you’d be able to find a Marine that agrees with Senator Reid. Do you actually know any Marines? It doesn’t seem like it.
Another question I’d like an answer to is one posed by Oliver North (no, I’m not a fan) in his column at Military.com this week: If we lost, who won? I don’t ask this as a Red Stater, which I’m not, I’m just curious what the DT audience thinks.

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Jose April 27, 2007 at 9:29 am

ajay, if you read the article you’d know it wasn’t the Post that received the email. Also, no one likes a conspiracy-nut. Just because the letter doesn’t support your world view, doesn’t mean it was made up to dupe the masses.

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elizzar April 27, 2007 at 9:51 am

Re: the Marine’s comment concerning leaving and waiting until 3000 more american civilians die before doing something, i’m guessing this refers to the world trade centre? which, i think everyone knows now, was nothing to do with iraq … it was the whole reason afghanistan was invaded and the taliban / al-queda removed from power [which i personally think was a good thing]. the mess in iraq is purely of coalition making due to their bad post-invasion planning and widely optimistic ideas of what would happen. that’s not to say the american, british and other nationalities of coalition service people don’t have my greatest admiration for the job they are attempting to do in such conditions, i just think they are doomed to failure, and unfortunately iraq will have to sort itself out, with a lot of death and destruction first. therefore any plan to get the service people out and back to their homes and loved ones safely must be a good thing.

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Miguel April 27, 2007 at 10:59 am

Sometimes, when you’re too close to the trees, you see nothing but bark.

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Jim S April 27, 2007 at 11:41 am

Rock’s comments, spoken as a uniformed member of a military service, toward the civilian leadership are completely innappropriate and should not go unnoticed by his chain of command. The civilian leadership in a democratic republic, whether you like them are not, create the policy and the military executes on it. It is very important that it remains that way.
Consider examples in the 20th century when military forces became involved in politics in this fashion. Spain in the 30′s comes to mind.

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Kilroy April 27, 2007 at 11:43 am

ahhh, another political post by Christian… figures.
Real touching…
I personally couldn’t care less what Harry Reid OR President Bush has to SAY anymore… (or Christian, for that matter)
It’s all talk. Talk talk talk.
and as for CPL Rock… well, wait until he gets back stateside and gets to ‘read up’ a little… then I’d like to hear what he has to say…
But until then, I suppose you might as well keep using him as a prop in your little political sideshow.
Jackass

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Kilroy April 27, 2007 at 12:54 pm

Never declared detente, Ward. Just agreed to Christian’s request not to use four-letter words on his blog. I can dig that. He’s still a Hack either way, though.
and I think I’ve earned my first ammendment right to free speech… it aint pretty, sure.. but neither is the reality that we’re facing right now.
If he wants to ‘play politics’, he’d better damn sure be ready to get a little dose of reality thrown back in his face.
hoooa?

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Ward April 27, 2007 at 1:04 pm

As the (wise?) man once said, “Bring it on.”

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Grandjester April 27, 2007 at 1:14 pm

Ward, wasn’t that Kristen Dunst?

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Kilroy April 27, 2007 at 1:19 pm

yeah, that really helped us a whole lot.
btw, love that Les Paul man… My wife sold my axe while I was away. Makes me think I should’ve sold HER before I left.
Sorry if I’m a prick, Ward… I’m guessing you have an idea why. Either way, just don’t forget, we’re on the same side, man.

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Arthur April 27, 2007 at 1:38 pm

In the comments for the article up recently about media bias in the Israeli/Lebanon war, people were discussing how the media really does matter much. I think that Kilroy offers the perfect example of how dangerous the MSM can be. The MSM can take a specific situation, Iraq, and simplify and give a specific perspective that eventually people like Kilroy start to foam at the mouth when anyone says anything against his world view (created by the MSM).
Kilroy, are you aware that Iraq is 438,317 km

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Grandjester April 27, 2007 at 2:19 pm

Somewhere along the way certain media members and orgainisations (MSM is a dodge, lotta good being done out despite Kilroy and others rants) lost sight of the fact that their role MUST be adversarial to be effective as another balance of power in a democracy - founding fathers certainly thought so, you can look it up. Now too many engage in ball licking the powerful for that all important “access” or go the infotainment route.

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Ward April 27, 2007 at 2:25 pm

Rock on, Kilroy. A good LP will get your through a lot. I’m proving it daily these days.
And Grandjester, you’re right: It WAS Kristen Dunst. Damn, boy, you don’t miss a trick.

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Kilroy April 27, 2007 at 2:34 pm

I think you must have misunderstood me, Grandjester… to me, the Media is irrelevant…particularly when discussing the actual tactical situation in Iraq.
Now do I like their simplistic, 5-th grade approach to serious, complicated issues? NO. But I certainly do NOT blame THEM for the current state of affairs in Iraq, either…
The Media are always going to be the media.. and people will see what they want to see and believe what they want to believe… but I do agree with you that they have an obligation to report the facts on the ground as they happen…
I just don’t care for all the political punditry and simplistic conclusions told by people who have poltical agenda’s - and also ironically, usually no clue what they’re talking about as well.
Sorry if my ‘rants’ aren’t more polite. I tried to ‘take it down a notch’, as you asked…but just get pissed too quick anymore these days…
anyway, I really gotta go.. gonna be late.
Out

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Kilroy April 27, 2007 at 2:38 pm

thanks, Ward.
yeah, got my ipod and ready to rock. Anyway, I’ll try to control my temper next time.
Thanks for letting me vent, man… not to many places I can do that anymore these days…
See ya’ll next time.

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mike April 27, 2007 at 2:40 pm

Lovely, Christian, it’d bring a tear to a glass eye as a friend of mine likes to say.
But no matter how good a guy Cpl. Rock is, and no matter how big a shovel we give him, there *is no pony.*
Look, man, I appreciate that you’re trying to take things a different direction than Noah, but I’ve stopped recommending this blog to people… two out of every three posts just sound like less-unintentionally funny Michelle Malkin.

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sglover April 27, 2007 at 3:31 pm

Um, Arthur, those “other viewpoints” haven’t exactly been suppressed. As a matter of fact, those “other viewpoints” are pretty much what got us into the debacle. And if you really think Iraq’s square mileage is germane to anything, how’s about this little statistic: Something like a tenth of the Iraqi population has fled the country, and those exiles are disproportionately the educated and professional classes. Explain to us all what bright, happy future awaits any society whose most skilled and talented people have fled?
That said, I’ve got to agree with mike, and repeat what I’ve said before. If this yahoo Christian continues to provide the bulk of this site’s material, it isn’t going to be very long before it’s just not worth visiting. If I want a laugh, I can find war shill crap anywhere. Ditto for gee-whiz pieces about the latest military gadgetry. Defense Tech used to be a site where folks gave me some insight about how military institutional news affected strategy and foreign policy and politics. Christian’s turning it into something else entirely.

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John Michaels April 27, 2007 at 4:00 pm

No matter what, Iraq is lost. Let me explain. If we don’t manage to make a stable Iraq, we lose. If we do, it’ll ally itself with Iran and we’ll still lose. Either way, we lose.
We might be able to win on the tactical (local) level now that we’re finally using the ink blot strategy and possibly finally winning hearts and minds, and maybe on the operational level (Iraq)
-but that would take a lot more time, blood, and treasure, things which the American people are not willing to give much more of-
But as for the Strategic level (Middle East), we’ve already lost it. (However, if we could somehow convince Iran to atleast be neutral with us, then there might be hope)

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The other other other Max April 27, 2007 at 4:47 pm

Ward: ‘If we lost, who won?’
Obvious answer is, no one. Yet. Ask again after we leave and the inevitable ‘ethnic cleansing’ gets into high gear.
Or, put another way, no one’s won yet, and no one will win for years to come. Though barring rather significant intervention from Sunni nations, the Shia are most likely to win.

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The other other other Max April 27, 2007 at 4:47 pm

Addendum: no, I don’t know WHICH faction of the Shia will come out on top, nor do am I willing to speculate.

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C-Low April 27, 2007 at 11:59 pm

Kilroy Military hitorian…
Can you give me one comparison that says the WOT or even just the Iraq battle field aspect of it is falling short or as some claim a disaster? Of course looking for military historical comparisons were comparable goals have been acomplished with less money, less casualties, less sacrifise all around.

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C-Low April 28, 2007 at 12:00 am

Kilroy Military hitorian…
Can you give me one comparison that says the WOT or even just the Iraq battle field aspect of it is falling short or as some claim a disaster? Of course looking for military historical comparisons were comparable goals have been acomplished with less money, less casualties, less sacrifise all around.

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Jonathan April 28, 2007 at 12:35 am

It is a sickening term to call it an ‘insurgency’.
The guys who are burying your arses are not ‘terrorist insurgents’, they are resistance fighters to an illegal occupation. Your claims that you are protecting the free world is as hollow as hitler’s claim he was invading another country to protect the western world.
Don’t do it on our behalf, you started this war, you are (have) loosing the war, Go Home and lick your wounds.

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Max in Minnesota April 28, 2007 at 12:36 am

The Democrats and MSM have voluntarily allied themselves with the aims of the terrorists in a shameful attempt to grab more political power in Washington.
Here is the Wikipedia definition of a “useful idiot”: In political jargon, the term “useful idiot” was used to describe Soviet sympathizers in western countries (particularly in the United States) and the alleged attitude of the Soviet government towards them. The implication was that the person in question was na

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Max in Minnesota April 28, 2007 at 2:22 am

To “Neville” Jonathan:
Since you seem to love the Islamist head-choppers so much, why don’t you become a suicide bomber for them? Maybe you too can earn the right to the “72 virgins” promised to those who massacre the “infidels”!
I don’t know what country you are from, but you are certainly one of Bin Laden’s useful idiots.

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BT April 28, 2007 at 3:16 am

It is now apparent the US is weakest country in the world, despite spending $700B a year on ‘Defense’, and having the best of everything. It is ALL a total waste. Some Superpower we are; we are just an “Empire” wannabe. To defeat the USA, all that you have to do is kill a few soldiers a day, and blow up some stuff with car bombs then the US will quit. Every single person in all three branches of Government, and every single person in the State Department, Pentagon, and various Intel agencies should be fired for their utter incompetence. All current Presidential Candidates should quit right now because they are also clueless. Not to mention myopic, unimaginative, and OBSOLETE, like everyone else in the public sector.
Our Sun has set; US military power actually peaked around 1900. I can smell the isolationism right now. There is no such thing as a power vacuum; a new player is waiting to take our place as global cop, my favorite nation state, China. They are fast growing Capitalist nation willing to get its hands dirty in the pursuit of wealth and power. Something we and the Brits used to do. This is a good thing in the long run, painful in the interim, however. -[Sarcastic Paragraph]-
As for this Iraq, trifurcation and a proxy blood bath is the likely scenario. This will lead to a rebalance of power in the Middle East, with Iran being the big fish. Not necessarily a bad thing for the US. The Sunnis, Turks and Israelis might not like it. There are three separate strategies to “win” the Iraq war/peace; the US is not doing any of them. It requires a much larger effort in time, money, and boots. Either we can

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Arthur April 28, 2007 at 10:39 am

Jonathan, I wasn’t aware that by blowing up car bombs in packed markets full of the very people your “fighting” for constitutes you as a resistance fighter. I also wasn’t aware that shooting children in the face, blowing up bridges and suicide bombing the Iraq parliament is fighting the “illegal” occupation.

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11b Max April 28, 2007 at 12:12 pm

“Kilroy Military hitorian…
Can you give me one comparison that says the WOT or even just the Iraq battle field aspect of it is falling short or as some claim a disaster? Of course looking for military historical comparisons were comparable goals have been acomplished with less money, less casualties, less sacrifise all around.
Posted by: C-Low at April 28, 2007 12:00 AM”
Dude, don’t bother with that idiot. He’s a complete ignoramus who calls others “uninformed”.
He’s particularly good at paraphrasing Rosie O’Donnell and Harry Reid-then claiming OTHERs are quoting an idiot’s talking points.
He’s almost as dumb as Jonathan

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Arthur April 28, 2007 at 8:22 pm

LOL @ 1984. Nice try, next time can you try posting links to reputable news sources, not some conspiracy theory websites. Thanks.

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Alwaysatwar April 28, 2007 at 8:23 pm

“argument the United States destroyed WTC building 7″
So what? A lot people want answers and about half of the 9/11 families have no trust in the government version any longer. Why? Because their questions are not answered.
Besides, J. Kerry just recently said that WTC7 was destroyed in a controlled demolition. NIST still has not explained why the building collapsed.
No matter how you feel about 9/11 it still was the best event that could’ve happened to the elite. They needed that new Pearl Harbor to press the ‘go’ button for the global dominance plan. Do a deep research about PNAC if you’re unaware. See the cooperativeresearch.org link I just posted.
Ron Paul (R) has warned of a false flag gulf of Tonkin indicent to kick off the Iran war and another even more ultimate insider Brzezinski has warned for an attack that would be blamed on Iran. Another war is wanted. They didn’t kid when they said that this war will not end in our lifetimes. 9/11 is a fantastic opportunity, it will be taken.

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1984 April 28, 2007 at 8:39 pm

“LOL @ 1984. Nice try, next time can you try posting links to reputable news sources, not some conspiracy theory websites. Thanks.”
Besides, what really is a “reputable news source”?
Really, I’d like to know.
The mainstream media that scared the population with the phoney Iraq threat? The media that is now beating the war drums on Iran despite the fact that both IAEA and CIA have no evidence of a weapons program in Iran WHATSOEVER?
“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free” Goethe

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Matt Sanchez April 29, 2007 at 8:33 am

On my blog, some have complained that Cpl. Rock was out of line for addressing a senator that way. Normally, I would agree, but the comments he made were not to Senator Reid, but to his friend Pat Dollard.

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Sam April 29, 2007 at 12:37 pm
Grandjester April 29, 2007 at 12:37 pm
1984 April 29, 2007 at 3:20 pm

One final comment to Arthur:
“Operation Ajax”
Ring any bells? Do you know how many undemocratic countries USA and many western democracies support atm?
They are not few…

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1984 April 29, 2007 at 3:28 pm
Arthur April 29, 2007 at 4:36 pm

1984: “Some of course try to rebuild the country while others, 2 million have fled the country, especially the intellectuals who question the occupation…no wonder they flee because they have been especially targeted.”
Targeted by whom exactly? You seem to imply by coalition forces. You got anything to back that ridiculous claim, huh?

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Arthur April 29, 2007 at 7:02 pm

sglover, did you even read my comment(s)? Where did I deny that Iraq is losing its most prosperous and educated people? Huh? Where? Perhaps you’re referring to my comment directly under yours:
“1984: “Some of course try to rebuild the country while others, 2 million have fled the country, especially the intellectuals who question the occupation…no wonder they flee because they have been especially targeted.”
Targeted by whom exactly? You seem to imply by coalition forces. You got anything to back that ridiculous claim, huh?”
If that’s what you’re referring to, then you need to re-read that comment again. Where did I deny that over 2 million are fleeing? Rr that most of them are intellectuals? Take a closer look at 1984′s comment, I’ll highlight what my comment was referring to.
“2 million have fled the country, especially the intellectuals who question the occupation…_no wonder they flee because they have been especially targeted_”
Reading that sentence, one is pretty much led to the conclusion that what 1984 was trying to say was that they are being targeted _by_ coalition forces because they question the “occupation”. That’s why I asked him/her if that’s what he/she meant, and if so, to provide some source. So, you see, sglover, no “kneejerk, reality-denying objections” here, just you’re misunderstanding of what I said. Guess I’ll go back to inside my tool box ;)

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Springbored April 29, 2007 at 9:00 pm

Oh, I’ll get flack for this, but somebody’s gotta do it…Look Nobody-not ANYBODY-has made a case for why America has gotta “rebuild” Iraq. WHO CARES? I want my taxes spent here in the good old USA.
I want my tax money to go to me and mine. Not into what has become a dead-ender, un-American, political scam to royally screw the next administration.
Time to fix this screwup. If it means defunding, then fine by me.
Let the Iraqis, Kurds, Turks, Saudi, Iranians, Pakistan, etc., duke it out on their own. They’re going to shake it out anyway, so why not pull out and get about the sorry business of profiting off of their struggle, rather than ours.

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The other other other Max April 30, 2007 at 3:57 am

Arthur, in ’84′s defense, referencing PNAC is hardly conspiracy-theory stuff.
http://www.newamericancentury.org/iraqmiddleeast2000-1997.htm
It’s all right there in plain sight.

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Sheldon April 30, 2007 at 11:00 am

I agree completley with this article. It’s terrible to see these loses in American troops but it’s going to happen if we have a troop surge. In my opinion we don’t have near enough soldiers over there. Everybody always just blames the Bush administration for everything. That Virginia Tech incident which was a tradgedy got put on him. We have to let him and his generals solve the Iraq war. All we hear is the media side of things. The media has to stay out of the war if they haven’t been there or if they’ve only stayed in the green zone. Since the Marshall Plan, America has been the “big bandade” in foreign policy so isn’t kind of our responsibility to help out their country. Maybe we went into the war with the wrong mentality but lets finish something that we started. They obviously like democracy if they like coming to America if they get the oppurtunity. It’s just a shame that there’s radicals trying to put a damper on that. There’s hope over their, so let the soldiers fight and lets support them for doing that!!!

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Max in Minnesota May 1, 2007 at 8:33 am

Way to go “Don Bacon”! Posting a quote from a soldier who lived and died long ago as if it had any relevance at all to the war in Iraq. Reducing the war against the Jihadis to such an asinine insinuation is typical of liberal thinking. Talk about unoriginal thinking!
As for me, I am very proud of our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan and wherever they may be serving today. I served six years as a squid during the early 80′s while my ship (the USS Virginia CGN-38) was lobbing 5-inch shells on the heads of the PLO in Lebanon. Only a few days later, the Marine barracks was blown up and we went to help them. As a sailor, frankly we never had much respect for the Army or the Marines. We jeered them as jarheads, groundpounders, Beetle Baileys, etc. Of course, that is par for the course for inter-service rivalry. But the truth that we have seen lived out before us for the last 4 years, and even back to the first Gulf war, is that our soldiers and marines are without a doubt the finest fighting men and women in the world today. In spite of the fact that Rumsfeld badly mismanaged the war in so many ways, they have still managed to do a magnificent job with what few troops and equipment they have over there. May God bless each and every one of them. I hope the next time you see a serviceman or woman, that you will go over to them and shake their hand, thanking them for their service and sacrifices to our country. We owe them a lot, and may their tribe increase.

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Grandjester May 1, 2007 at 9:14 am

Max in Minn,
Perhaps if you read some of Maj Gen Butler’s writings you would see how COMPLETELY relevent his comments are to our situation today.
Instead you insult the poster and go off on a ME!ME!ME! tangent.
Don’t be a tool, learn something.

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Grandjester May 1, 2007 at 5:29 pm

Max in Minn,
Whoa now! You jumped Mr. Bacon over quoting Gen Butler. I am suggesting you read his “War is a Racket”.
Signing up means getting shoved into the meat grinder for whatever whim of the king? I respectfully disagree.
Didn’t mean to touch a nerve with the tool thing but you’re incorporation of it in your response was quite good.
As for me, I tried to get into West Point, didn’t quite make it, now I’m too old (but only just under the new standard, shit, scary to think they’d prob take me now).

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Don Bacon May 1, 2007 at 11:16 pm

Max,
Weren’t you the brave one, enjoying three hots and a cot while the USS Virginia was lobbing explosive shells on Lebanese women and children in the 80s. Did you get a medal for that, big guy?

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Don Bacon May 2, 2007 at 10:34 am

Max,
So it’s no more on General Butler’s ‘communist tripe’, now it’s Jimmy Carter made me a pot-head and the PLO ‘terrorists’ had tanks. Uh-huh.
Back on topic, Corporal Rock, a trained and motivated military soldier in the ranks, is no more qualified to judge whether the Iraq war is lost or not, or even to define what ‘winning’ is, then you were when you were a navy functionary. The point is that the current unsuccessful military occupations are being conducted for economic reasons and I wouldn’t expect Corporal Rock to understand that, although some soldiers do.

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