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This blog exists only as an archive. It is a journal that serves as a window into my life as a Marine combat veteran serving in Iraq and Afghanistan; it was written with no filter, no politics and no agenda. Please feel free to follow my journey from beginning to end. Welcome to my life.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

"The situation in Iraq is unacceptable to the American people - and it is unacceptable to me. Our troops in Iraq have fought bravely. They have done everything we have asked them to do. Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me.

It is clear that we need to change our strategy in Iraq."

So what did you think about President Bush's speech on the new direction being pursued in Iraq? Okay, so many of you probably didn't bother to turn the television on to watch it, so I'll give you a brief synopsis. We are drawing a 'help us help you' line in the sand with the Iraqi government. We are going to send 21,500 more troops over, attaching many of them to Iraqi brigades, and we are going to eliminate many of the restrictions currently placed on our ability to fight this insurgency. There will no longer be protected groups or neighborhoods. No one will be above the law any longer. "In earlier operations, political and sectarian interference prevented Iraqi and American forces from going into neighborhoods that are home to those fueling the sectarian violence. This time, Iraqi and American forces will have a green light to enter these neighborhoods - and Prime Minister Maliki has pledged that political or sectarian interference will not be tolerated."

FINALLY. It's about time that we stopped worrying about peoples feelings and started being concerned with winning the war. I don't care if Shi'a are offended or threatened when we patrol through their neighborhood, its better than allowing Shi'a death squads to form and roam freely there. I don't care if knocking on a Sunni door will spark hatred, because he's probably got an RPG under his bed and already hated me. In my opinion, we have already made all the enemies we are going to make over there, if we still have a good majority of the population on our side, and we do, four years into this war, then they are with us for good. It's about time we stopped worrying about offending the people that already hate us and get around to capturing and or killing them.

Does that sound cold? Probably. But guess what. War is a cold and brutal business to begin with, and it only gets darker the longer you dwell in it. Failing to use the extent of our force today only allows the enemy strengthen and adapt in order to attack us in even deadlier ways tomorrow. I'm sure I'll lose some friends for saying this, but perhaps its time for the United States to adopt a Machiavellian strategy in Iraq. Most people think they know Machiavelli because they can recall the saying "the end justifies the means". Congratulations. You have .005% of Machiavelli down pat. It's actually alot deeper than that. I specifically am thinking of his "cruelty well used" theory. Machiavelli never advocated cruelty for cruelty's sake, but he did recognize it as an effective tool in war and government. He believed that cruelty is inevitable in society, so it is the responsibility of the government to maximize the effectiveness and results from using it, which ultimately leads to a lower 'total cruelty'. An example:

Premise 1: thieving is bad
Premise 2: thieving causes loss/pain/grief
Premise 3: punishment is a deterrent to further thieving

Now, you are a government that, for whatever reason, is soft on crime. You catch a thief. You sentence him to ten days in jail. The thief gets out and steals again, and other citizens are emboldened to steal because of the light risk, this increases the overall suffering of the citizenry. Now you are a government that is very tough on crime. You catch a thief. You cut off his hand in a public display in the town square. The thief can no longer steal because he has no hands, and would be thieves are deterred. Maximum cruelty used in that brief window has reduced the overall pain and suffering of society.

WHERE THE HELL AM I GOING WITH THIS??? I had to remind myself that same thing, because for a while I thought I was back in school, writing that dang Political Science 502 term paper.

HERE IS MY POINT. We have been dragging this war on for four years now. Why? Because we have been led to believe that we can wage war without cruelty. I'm sorry but a war without cruelty isn't war, its DIPLOMACY, and that didn't work (or wasn't tried for my liberal friends out there). The fact is we are in war, and by not doing the necessary things, some of them cruel, to end it in a decisive faction, we are in fact increasing the pain and suffering both in Iraq and here at home. Let us go win this war.


  1. Hey Jake -

    I'm glad that you had a great time home for the holidays. I am sure that you all made the best of it.

    I don't comment often but I catch every blog. I could not agree with you more - Lets get this done and get back home.

    I got your list down and can't wait to send you a care package. The list was a great idea. I think I will repost them on my 360 page and call on my friends to help out. I send some girl scout cookies last year and that seemed to go over well - you will have to let me know what your favorite cookie is.

    Be Safe - and my thoughts are with you and your family.

  2. hola jacob,

    you have to be one of the most well-rounded chaps i know... i am very impressed with the knowledge that you display in your blogs...keep up the good work, maybe one day you can be like bill o'reilly and have your own tv show... or maybe even the president of the united states....

  3. agreed. Now if only we could toss Jack in a seabag and take him with us- patrolling would be AWESOME with that guy... oh, your blog makes me feel like Forrest Gump by the way...

  4. Sounds like you have your head screwed on with just the right amount of torque, Jake. Convey my appreciation to your parents for a job well done in raising their son.

    Cheryl (aka freevolition)