Iraq-War Vet counters Coffman’s proposal to re-deploy troops in Iraq

(A third Iraq war. What a great idea! – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Mike Coffman

Rep. Mike Coffman

To my way of thinking, Rep. Mike Coffman dropped a bombshell on KNUS' Dan Caplis show last month, when he said he "certainly" supports re-deployment of advisory troops in Iraq, if invited.

Caplis listened as Coffman said America is "suffering the consequences" of not having troops in Iraq today. This would have given the U.S. "some influence there" to help keep the country from falling apart.

The counter view, omitted on KNUS, was articulated this week on the Huffington Post by Jon Soltz, an Iraq-War Veteran and co-founder of VoteVets.org.

First, there is no such thing as "advisory, or "non-regular troops," when it comes to Iraq. As soon as an American service member enters Iraq, they are a target. If attacked, they will respond, and thus are combat troops. In a 360-degree battlefield, where any innocent looking person may actually be an insurgent, those troops must always keep a combat posture, for their own defense…

Second, Iraq is in the midst of a civil war and always has been. Interestingly, it's the same civil war that Syria is now seeing — namely, Sunni versus Shia, fought between proxies, including Iran. That was true when we were there, and is now that we've left. That was always going to be the case. What is also true is that this civil war would never end until Iraqis fought it out amongst themselves, either in a political settlement, or in battle. Our troop presence actually delayed that, and kept the cork on the bottle. But now, it is fully raging, as the radical Sunni group, the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), has taken Fallujah, and Iraq's government is poised to take the city back. To put American troops back in at this juncture, on the side of the government, makes them instant participants in Iraq's and Syria's Civil War, no matter how "advisory" we want to say they are.

Third, as with the last Iraq war, Congressman Coffman offers up no end-state, and no exit strategy. Just toss troops back in there, and see how it goes. We've been there and done that, and I think we all know how it goes. If things go badly, the answer from the right is "more troops." Ten thousand troops becomes 20,000, and 30,000. And next thing you know, we're back in conventional war, complete with the "regular troops," that Coffman says he wouldn't send.

Soltz calls Coffman's proposal a "path to a third Iraq War," and I'm sure a lot of Caplis' conservative listeners would agree with him–and Caplis should let them hear form Soltz directly. This issue doesn't divide along progressive-conservative lines. That's for sure.

35 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. bullshit!bullshit! says:

    Do you think if the media would simply report that this is what Coffman wants, really report it instead of burying it, that Coffman would have a hope in hell this November?

    I don't.

    • JBJK16 says:

      Well- ivading Iran is what he really wants.  Just like McCain and Romney and 1/2 the hawks in DC. 

      • Gray in Mountains says:

        No WMD in Iraq. Let bin Laden escape late in '01, early '02.

        Iran Must be invaded BEFORE the public has a chance to see that diplomacy works.

        • BlueCat says:

          I don't think those making hawkish noises actually believe we will invade Iraq or would have any idea how we should proceed if we did. Hawk noises traditionally go over well with their base and a few specific constituencies. It's just noise for political purposes.

            • BlueCat says:

              Wait.  Really confusing myself. Coffman says he wants to redeploy in Iraq (just advisers.. oh yeah.  Anyone old enough to remember Vietnam knows what that means) and rightie hawks in general are making bellicose noises about Iran. In both cases it's noise for political purposes . Nobody really wants to draw and then cross any line with Iran anymore than anybody really wants to get involved militarily in Syria. Nobody really wants to get close to redeploying in Iraq or plunging into full out war in Afghanistan either.  

              All of it is chicken hawk squawking for political purposes. Though the purposes get kind of confused when polling shows, as with so many issues, even their own voters aren't on board. This is what comes of letting a small group of extremists hold veto power because they're the ones who threaten to primary you.

              So they hope it's enough just to put out any message saying Obama and the Dems are wrong on fill-in-the-blank (if Obama did redeploy to Iraq they'd change their message so fast we'd see nothing but a spinning blur) to attract votes, even from those who are against more military involvement, for higher minimum wage, universal background checks etc. 

  2. dustpuppydustpuppy says:

    If Coffmann wants to go back to Iraq, just drop him off there so he can fight the war all his own. No need to waste any more taxpayer dollars.

    Anyone agree?

  3. Andrew Carnegie says:

    I think our current policy in Iraq, Syria and Iran is all crazy.

    How is that getting our hands on the Syrian gas on they crossed the red line going?

    How about letting the Iranians developing weapons grade uranium and taking off the sanctions because we trust them,too?

    With idiots in charge, our foreign policy is a disaster.

    • BlueCat says:

      Well Cheney and Bush did completely blow up and destabilize that entire part of the world and exponentially increase every threat there, especially putting every terrorist recruiting operation on steroids. It's just like in the nursery rhyme. All the King's horses and all the King's men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again. Maybe they should have thought of all that before invading Iraq for oil and just assuming everything would be OK within a week or two of installing their boy Chalabi just because said boy told them we'd be welcomed with flowers and he was just the leader the people wanted.

      Bottom line, your side blew up the world (figuratively, not literally. I'm not an idiot like Lindsey Graham) and your side blew up the economy (ditto). My side is slowly fixing the former in the face of constant opposition from your side and can't pull miracles out of its ass to fix the thoroughly screwed (by your side) latter. Your guy's left that in such a shambles a generation won't be enough no matter who's in the WH or what policies are followed.

    • roccoprahn says:

      Are you serious? Did you work this through before posting? What could you be thinking?

      Obviously no to the first two and "you're not" to the third.

      I shouldn't have to walk you through this, and it allways pisses me off when I have to explain foreign policy to military service avoiding conservative tough guys, but your post leaves me thinking it's better to rather than to read another moronic post about "US intervention".

      Bluecat's right. cheney blew up the Middle East in '02. We made enemies out of people that hated Al Qaeda. MILLIONS of them. We killed them, displaced them, rendered them without water, food, electricity, about every basic need. For nothing. Al Qaeda never entered Iraq untill we did. The invasion/occupation cost us thousands of US casualties, blew up our VA system, tanked our economy, and broke our treasury.

      For nothing!

      Iraq is an American graveyard. conservative munchers like coffman say the crap they do, to people like you, for the sake of looking "tough" VOTES! Your ilk will never protect your country, will never serve, will never see the really bad shit that exploding HBX or TNT or C3/C4, Detasheet, or any explosive causes to people and things. You hear "toughguy" shit and ignorantly confuse it with a strong foreign policy.A flawed foreign policy that kills and maims people other than you and green zone mike.

      Emphasis on "other than you".

      There's no future in a permanent presence in Iraq. The only result in Americans redeploying there is that some of our kids will die for a mission that has no end goal, no end time, no clear defined objective. 

      You chickenhawks fall for this shit EVERY TIME. Schwarznegger, Stallone, Willis, every asshole non serving movie star that glorifies war while downplaying the hell it unleashes is talking to people just like you. Video commandos.

      That's you I'm talking about.

      carnagie, whatever you call yourself, know what you're talking about next time you post.

    • Republican 36 says:

      You're kidding, right. No one here said all things were perfect when Clinton handed the baton to Bush. That is your mehtod of distracting the discussion in a different direction.

      It should be obvious invading Iraq was never necessary. There were never WMD in Iraq and Bush/Cheney knew that before they ordered our troops into that country. The Shiites and the Shias, not to mention the Kurds, have been fighting each other for nearly thierteen centuries and redeploying troops to Iraq isn't going to change that now or in the next three or four centuries. Its a fight those people will have to either fight to a finish or negotiate and end to it among themselves. We are incapapble of deciding it for them. Besides, the Iraqi government refused to allow any of our troops to remain in Iraq. So are you suggesting we redeploy for the purpose of fighting the rebels as well as the government?

      In Syria, what do you want the United States to do? You can critisize President Obama all day long but what is it you suggest the United States should do? Short of sending U.S. troops into that nation what should the United States do? Standing on the sidelines throwing bricks at this administration doesn't answer the question of what you think should have been done differently and what should be done now. I suspect you don't want to answer that quesiton because it involves sending American men and women into harms way.

      In Iran, what do you think should be done differently? The sanctions worked. The purpose was to bring Iran to the negotiating table. What's wrong with that? If they won't negotiate in good faith we will ramp up the sancitons again. Apparently, your approach is we should have just kept the sancitons going and refused to negotiate. Let's see where that would lead – to Iran armed with nuclear weapons for the simple reason we would have given them no way out. The purpose of foreign policy like the President's toward Iran has been to bring them to the table. It worked. We'll see where it goes from here. 

      Without a game plan your citicisms of Prsident Obama's foreign policy toward Iraq, Syria and Iran rings hollow.

    • JBJK16 says:

      Voters who believe you should scare the hell outta you and everyone.

      Withdrawing from Iraq was the only logical course. They either stand or fail on their own – despite a failed occupation and nation building. Independence and personal responsiblity is a glorious thing.

      Syria? We should not be invloved – except to realize that Assad, no friend of ours, is an extension of Iran into Israel's most hostile neighbor, therfore the most destabilizing influence in the region.

      Iran.

      Invading Iran is not the easy solution you and yours like to fantasize about.  World changing for sure – but maybe not the way you want.  I liked the way President Reagan broke the Soviet Union: invade Grenada and fund the B1. Trust and verify.  Except for the Carribean excurision, President Obama is following that model.

      Russia is still a majr PITA, and if in 30 years Iran is too, but the satellite states have mainstreamed a peacful, profitable approach – we'll all be happier than otherwise.

      Ohhh….I get it. You are not her to argue outcomes and ideas. Your posts are all about embarrassing the political opposition, stirring up hate and anger. My bad.

      I apologize to you and Pols' readers in general for trying to take you seriously. You are what's wrong with American politics.

  4. b trexel says:

    we had majors & portorikans – down South, but NO portorikan majors..??!!..

  5. Andrew Carnegie says:

    Rocco:

    No to what?

    You're not to what?

    Obviously no to the first two and "you're not" to the third. – See more at: http://coloradopols.com/diary/54107/votevets-org-counters-coffmans-proposal-to-re-deploy-troops-in-iraq#comment-538079

  6. Sunmusing says:

    Once again, ol Mikey proves he isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer….I would pay to see him go reconoiter the area…

    • BlueCat says:

      My conservatve/libertarian Republican Marine Reserve Colonel neighbor who served in both Afghanistan and Iraq always spoke of Coffman with contempt as nothing but an ambitious pencil pusher and not a particularly good one at that. Who knows if he has an axe to grind. Just sayin'.

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