26 August 2006

Open Challenge!

I've decided it's time to step up to the plate and publicly challenge the defeatists. Over a month ago, I published my explanation for why I believe that we're winning the war in Iraq and I now issue a challenge so listen up: prove me wrong. I'm willing to debate those who can present a logical explanation for why we're losing the war and should their explanation top mine I'm willing to admit my wrongs.

Here is my request; whenever you hear or read someone who thinks that the war in Iraq is going badly or being lost, send them to me. Put up a link to this post and tell them they better bring their "A" game.

I want this challenge to reach as many of the defeatists as possible and ask for the readers of this blog to assist me in reaching them. I haven't spent much time looking for defeatist websites (mainly because I get it shoved down my throat by the MSM), so if you know of any please send me a link so I can properly introduce them to the truth. I know that I'm making myself a target with this challenge and I'm very willing to do so because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are in fact winning this war.


Blogger devildog6771 said...

Bandit, you're my kind of guy, lol. Don't take that wrong. I am about to be 58, so I am not coming on to you, lol! I just love the way you take the "bull by the horns!"

You can bet I'll pass the word. I think I know a few good "trolls" who need a lesson in fact instead of idiocy.I'm going to start on my list asap.

I can't wait to see the responses, lol!

If they get to be too much, let me know I'll hunt them down and talk them to death, lol! If I were half the writer you are I'd do the same thinmg. I am just sick to death of these people.

Anonymous JG said...


I have extended the challenge to a site that drives me nuts - you are just the man to teach them a thing or two about the real world. Fact is most of these people will never come near your site. Lack the intestinal fortitude or other things! Great idea, however, and I laud your willingness to take on all comers.

Not only have you got the guts and the fortitude, you have truth on your side.

I will stay tuned!!

Blogger Pondering American said...

Great job I am going to highlight it tonight

Blogger Louise said...

Part of me says, no, don't do it. I come here to get the news about how things are going AND to get away from the idiots who pontificate from their armchairs in front of their TVs. Most of those idiots don't want to hear what you would have to say anyway.

However, if you really, really want them to come, I'll still read your blog. I especially like a good take-down of an idiot.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are a true American hero following in the steps of our fathers and mothers who won and kept our freedom. This new battle against evil is not just being fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, but in the world of ideas. With this blog you are a 21st Century warrior and are wielding the truth as a weapon for good. God Bless You and your fellow soldiers. Thank you for what you do from my wife, myself, and my three kids.

Blogger The Griper said...

Bandit, I commend you on your challenge to the defeatists but, ufortunately, it will serve no real purpose. the reason is that while you accept the possibility of being convinced you are wrong they will not accept the possibility of being wrong. their whole ideology in regard to this war prevents it.

their arguement will not focus on the winning or losing but on whether or not we should have invaded iraq in the first place. they believe that the only reason you are there is based on a lie told to the people by President Bush.

It is from this presupposition that they concentrate on all the negatives of the war. it is proof to them that we should never have gone there in the first place.

It is from this presupposition that they liken the situation there in iraq to viet nam; by calling it a quagmire, a war lost, and every other so called similarity.

If you notice they never use the same reasoning in regards to afghanistan which they approve of to argue their case. to them the invasion of afghanistan was justified while the invasion of iraq was unjustified.

another reason it will serve no purpose for you to try to debate the defeatists is who you are. they will see you only as a soldier brainwashed or ordered into espousing the company line. they will not see you as a man free to argue your own thoughts and beliefs.

and i'll make this a prediction also. you will get this accusation from at least one person if not every one. and you won't ba able to convince them otherwise.

another reason will be the sources you use for your arguement. they wil not accept them. they will argue that they are biased and without merit, that is, unless it supports their position.

the only possibility of convincing them otherwise, in regards to the winning of this war, is some spectacular event. and this is something that happens rarely in wars.

i'd even go as far as saying that once we decided that we could start bringing some troops home they would argue that they were right and we should have and could have done this sooner.

i know that these comments aren't very positive in regards to your challenge but they do reflect the attitude of those defeatists. you only need to listen to their comments to see this.

though i wish you all the luck in the world in debating... no... in arguing your postion with them.

Blogger The Griper said...

i see my prediction came true before i even had a chance to post my previous comments. lolol

Blogger bandit.three.six said...

Don't worry, I don't plan to let the wackos run rampant on my other posts. Much like I do with "Ask A Troop Sunday" I'll let people vent their opposition here in this post rather than all over the blog so you should still be able to avoid the pontificating idiots.

The Griper,
I thought about the points you brought up and I think I have a plan to address them. Being a Soldier I know that a plan usually is only good up until the first bullet is fired, so we'll see if it works.
I'm approaching the discussion considering the possibility that I'm wrong because from past experience I know that if I don't then those I'm debating won't either. Conversely, I expect those who I debate to extend me the same curteosy.
As for those who would try and divert the debate away from whether or not we're winning the war into a discussion about whether or not it was right for us to remove Saddam, I simply won't engage them in that discussion. That would become a debat about the decisions of our elected officials and as a troop it's not my place to do that whether or not I agree.
The fact that I'm a troop may discredit or bolster my argument, most likely it will be a discredit to those who say we're losing. The fact remains, someone needs to counter the tide of negativity and defeatism that dominates the MSM. No matter how rediculous the MSM may get, if there isn't another option provided to the mainstream, then their decision is made by default. I'm trying to provide another option.

To those of you who have posted links to this challenge, my thanks. Already I've gotten a ton of hits and so far precisely zero responses to the chalenge.

Anonymous JG said...


As I have indicated, I admire your willingness to extend this challenge and in a sense, even if the party to whom I extended it is unwilling to engage outside of the small confines of his own prejudices on his own blog, I will know this.

All the logic, the history, the well documumented arguments that I have put forth and actually ran them into the ground on, and I would point out that he himself never engaged or commented himself, he allowed his minions to do all the dirty work which included but was not restricted to defaming this nation in a thousand ways and defaming our military - was met with a stop and shift to another often totally fallacious and/or wildly outlandish claim or charge.

Now, however, when faced with someone like yourself they have shrunk away like the people they are. If I had been looking for support, I could not have chosen better had I been given a wide venue from which to garner it. The moment I read your post, I felt like reinforcements had arrived just in the nick of time. The day is saved and the enemy is gone!!! Apparantly, at least as of this writing, he is unwilling to defame America and the military on your blog as he does and allows on his own.

Many thanks and many blessings!

Anonymous Anonymous said...


First thank you for your service. I have the utmost respect for those of you who wear the uniform and fight for our freedom.

I've supported the effort from the beginning, and I do not think we are losing in Iraq, but I do think that we could be in a much better situation had things been handled differently. The first few months after the fall of Saddam, things were relatively quiet, and Iraqi's openly expressed much appreciation for being liberated. As time went on, however, without enough American troops on the ground to provide security, things started getting bloody.

We let al-Sadr build up his own militia, which we are still dealing with today. We let Falluja be overrun with terrorists, then broadcast to them and the whole world that we would sweep the city in a few weeks - what kind of strategy is that? The Marines have swept city after city only to leave and have the terrorists return. I've heard media reports of mixed Sunni/Shia neighborhoods where dividing lines have been drawn and people from one sect dare not cross into the other area. I've also heard of strict Islamic law being imposed by militias in areas where it had not been used in the past. We let those militias form by not having enough troops to control the areas. Last month's death toll of 3,500 is the result.

During August, a big security effort was made by both Iraqi and US forces in Baghdad and the deaths are down significanlty. I think this was accomplished by extending some American troops and sending them to Baghdad to get control. That proves that if we had more troops on the ground we could control the violence.

In February, 2003, Don Rumsfeld said the following about the aftermath of a war:

"After that, we have a responsibility as a country that if force were to be used and if the United States did have to go in with its coalition partners -- and there are a growing number of nations that would be participating in a coalition of the willing -- we feel an obligation to see that what is left after that regime is gone becomes a state that does not have weapons of mass destruction, and that would be part of our responsibility; that it would be a state that would not threaten its neighbors and launch Scuds into it, or use chemical weapons on their own people or their neighbors, as they have in the past; that it would be a single country and not broken into pieces; and that it would be a country that would be setting itself on a path to assure representation and respect for the various ethnic minorities in that country.

The number of people that that would take is reasonably predictable, and the only question would be what portion of that total number would be U.S. forces."


Yes, we are building schools and hospitals and the Iraqis are voting and writing a constitution, but I learned the Maslow's higherachy of needs in school, and security is second only to biogical needs like eating and breathing. We should have provided a secure environment for them, like Mr. Rumsfeld said that we would do.

Please don't think that I am some bleeding heart Cindy Sheehan type. I supported the war and still do. I sympathized with the Iraqi people suffering under Saddam and am happy we liberated them. I know what it is like to live under the control of someone who is brutally repressive, as I had to endure that during my early life. I am finally free of that situation and am glad to see the Iraqis free of Saddam and his sons. During the invasion I said that I would gladly take my chances with American soldiers over Saddam; the chance for freedom would be worth any danger posed by the war. That being the case, though, we were obilgated, as Mr. Rumsfeld said, afterwards to provide security to ensure that the ethnic minorities were respected and safe until they could take care of themselves.

As a soldier you probably can't comment on your civilian leadership, but it seems to me that Rumsfeld is just too concerned about the financial cost of war, and that has caused the bloodshed for both Iraqis and Americans to be greater than necessary.

Blogger bandit.three.six said...

You're right that because I'm a Soldier, I can't comment on the decisions of my civilian leadership. However I would like to make the comment that I don't think anyone is going to make the right decision every time. All anyone can expect of a person is to make the best decision they can given the information they have at the time. If people delay making a decision until they are 100% sure then a decision will never come.

I'm sure that years from now when this war has passed into the history books, we will all readily identify the mistakes that were made much like we do now with some of the battles of World War II. I'm aslo sure that like the historical perspective of WWII, we will look back at what we accomplished here with pride.

Blogger Marty said...

I noticed that you are stationed at the heavily fortified International Zone aka Green Zone. Do you ever go beyond those walls into the suburbs on patrols or raids?

Blogger bandit.three.six said...

Yes, in fact I do. See these posts for those stories:

On Foot
Convoy #1
Pics from that trip.
Convoy #2

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that the government waited over two years to even bother to define what "victory" is should tell you enough.

Certainly we are winning the war if we define victory in a manner which makes us winning.

I suppose the only question is how many more thousands of Iraqis will slaughter each other before one side kills enough of the other to have a "democratic" voting majority.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Elanor Clift has repeately said that 'we can't win in Iraq' Wish I knew how to get in touch with her. Be a great discussion, or lesson for her, I'm sure she hasn't really paid attention to what is happening in Iraq for a long time.

Roger Ayotte

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought victory was declared a while back on the bow of a warship with a banner saying "Mission Accomplished"
1) no WMD's, and yes the president himself has said this
2) thousands of soldiers dead, billions spent, thousands of civilians dead, thriving insurgancy
3) a refusal to change course, this includes a full withdrawl or (what would work) sending more troops so that areas could be cleared and kept secure with troops staying to protect instead of moving on to the next town only to allow threats back in the town they just cleared. or *gasp* protecting the border of iraq so that insurgents cannot cross into the country and get weapons etc inside.
if there is no change from what we are doing now we are doomed.

Blogger bandit.three.six said...

You must not be paying too close attention, Clear, Hold, Build. We are clearing towns, we are leaving troops to protect them so that the insurgents don't backfill them.

Try again.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

no response about 1 and 2? or the mission accomplished grandstanding?

Blogger bandit.three.six said...

#1 - You're right, no WMDs of significance were found. Would you rather we were wrong in the other direction? All we can expect of anyone in any situation is to make the best decision based on the information they have at the time. If we wait until there's no doubt then it's too late. Also, see this article.

#2 - 2620 of my brothers and sisters have died in Iraq, billions have been spent, thousands of civilians have died, and a dwindling insurgency ... so we give up? Wrong answer.

If all it takes is for so many thousand deaths for America to tuck tail and run then we truly are doomed.

Blogger bandit.three.six said...

Oh, and I forgot the "grandstanding".

The mission to remove Saddam had been accomplished, major combat against another state run military was over, that mission was accomplished.

Now we have a new mission:
"In partnership with the Iraqi Government, MNF-I progressively transitions the counterinsurgency campaign to the Iraqi Government and Iraqi Security Forces, while aggressively executing counterinsurgency operations to create a security environment that permits the completion of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1546 process and sustainment of political and economic development."

This is the new mission.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually no I would not rather be wrong the other way. But fact is there was information before the war that we could be wrong about him having WMD's and that he was not a large threat. I would rather have let the inspections continue and have dealt with Iran or NKorea.
When your main reason for going into war ends up being wrong it looks bad.
That with the fact we are bogged down fighting against gurilla tactics which makes our army appear weak to other nations (namely Iran) and gives them a reason to start popping off (recent threats, missile tests) because they know how to bog us down.
I do have to ask where's Osama? You know the guy that actually attacked us.

Blogger bandit.three.six said...

Ok, now you're debating the right and wrong of the decision to go to war which is not where this post is going to go. I think we can resolve our differences over decisions made in the past by agreeing that we have differing priorities and the only way to find out who would have been right is if we had a time machine.

I would rather attack than be attacked, you wouldn't. That's ok, you and I aren't the ones who make that decision.

The decision was made and now we're making it happen. So please, if you want another reply from me, focus on why you think we're losing here in Iraq.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

we have an unrealistic/unattainable goal. a stable democracy (this is our goal for this stage of the war right?). there are 3 muslim factions that have never gotten along. we cannot be so naieve as to think we can come in and in a couple years overcome hundreds of years of disagreements. we are setting up things that are fundamentally against their majority accepted religion. The best thing to do would be to setup 3 separate states but then 2 of the states will have no revinue to operate from unless you split up the oil money evenly. Then you will just start a war between the three to gain exclusive rights to the oil.
our service men and women deserve better that this. we need a realistic attainable goal. if we fail to setup something stable they will have all died in vain.

Blogger bandit.three.six said...

I disagree with your assessment that our mission is unattainable. Difficult, yes, but not impossible.

Blogger Violence Worker said...

It's up at The Violence Worker


Blogger Marty said...

Thanks for the info Bandit. I read the posts you provided.

Do you think you might have a different perspective than the grunt who pounds the pavement in harms way day in and day out?

Blogger Escape artist said...

I'll take your challenge. I'll go by what is available to me, meaning ordinary media sources. So, if that has bad info, I'll admit I'll be on poor ground logically.

First, I have huge respect for you and your fellow men at arms. Your efforts are unparallelled in peacekeeping effort. You and the US military has stepped into
lets define 'winning". "Winning" means an Iraq with an elected government that functions in terms of the security of the average person.

looking at the rise of inter religious attacks- That hardly existed at all under saddam (at a horrific price)

These people may very well lack the will to get along in a functional sense. A lack of national character.

Why did Saddam act so brutally? Was it form follows function?

Perhaps Iraq is simply not a winable situation as an intact nation. Perhaps the Shia and Sunni would rather fight to near death than co-exist as a nation.

Look to 1918 and see where Iraqs borders really came from-the British.

They selected borders good for them-not Iraq. As history has shown perhaps.

My point is that its very difficult to force an unwilling people to be a nation together. It's not a military job!

Tell me where I'm wrong.



Blogger bandit.three.six said...

I understand what you mean by a ground pounder being directly in harm's way every day, but clearly you've never survived a rocket or mortar attack.

As for having a different perspective than the guys and gals who run combat patrols on a daily basis I would have to say that I absolutely have a different perspective than they do. I think that difference is well explained by CPT Dan Sukman who blogs for FoxNews.

Here is a small excerpt from that article, but I'd recommend reading the whole thing because it does a great job explaining the situation:

John C. asked how so many people at all different levels can have such different senses of reality. The soldier who has lost everyone in his team to an IED might see this war as a complete failure. The leaders at the top might look at those casualties as a small step back, with giant leaps being made every day. The catch-22 is that both views are correct.

Thanks for the thoughtful commentary, I really appreciate it. Your definition of winning is condensed, but still accurate. Your assessment that a sense of national unity amongst the Iraqis is the largest roadblock to achieving that definition of winning is also accurate. And while the coalition military won't necessarily use it's power to generate that national unity, we most definately play a role in setting the conditions for it. This can be seen in our contribution to the security for the three national elections that were held last year and in the training of the ISF to the point where they are able to operate under the guidance and leadership of their own civilian government as has been seen in Muthanna and will be seen here shortly when the Iraqi Ground Forces Command is activated.

It's my assessment that the majority of Iraqis support national unity. In fact, recent polling data confirms that nearly 90% of Iraqis want a unity government rather than seperation based on sectarian lines. As in the US, religious extremists are in the vast minority. A vocal and violent minority to be sure, but still the minority. I also think that the efforts by PM Maliki to gain support for his National Reconcilliation program are steps in the right direction and we will only see them progress in the future.

Thanks again for your comment.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a NG Major stateside. What we are doing is good. However, our good deeds are wasted on a people who will be killing each other as soon as we leave. We lose because we cannot build a lasting peace in a tribal region where thay have been at war with each other for 3,000 years. I hate to see good men like you spill their blood for a cause that is lost on the people its intended to help. Many families in Iraq, from grandfather to infants only identity comes from their desire to kill their 'enemy' (whoever it is at the moment).

Blogger bandit.three.six said...

I agree that we (the coalition) can't build a lasting peace amongst the tribes. That's why it's not our reconcilliation program, it's an Iraqi program.

I think that if we give up trying because "that's the way it's always been" then we truly are lost. Giving up or not doing what's right because it's tough is not the right answer.

I also don't think your assessment that Iraqis are just interested in killing whoever they hate at the moment is accurate. I'm curious sir, how did you come to this conclusion?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting challenge.
I think we are losing the war in Iraq because the American people think we are losing or rather, that we cannot win. When the support erodes enough, we will lose.
The similarity to Vietnam is interesting.


Blogger bandit.three.six said...

Now that is an angle I hadn't really thought through, you may have found the soft spot.

I can't argue with your logic. In fact, it's supported by my paper. Scary...

Ladies and gentlemen, I guess victory or defeat is up to you now. So here's my new challenge:

Let us win.

How do you do that? Help people hear the truth. Speak out against those who say we're losing. As Matt points out, that is a self-fulfilling prophecy. People need to know that we're winning andthat things an going well. Help them understand.

More to come or this one. Thanks Matt.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

No worries.

I wont be taking up your second challenge though.
I feel that, just like Vietnam, it wont matter a tiny bit if we lose in Iraq.
Even if we "win", it means Iran wins. For proof, just look at the Zakawi letter you published.

I understand that because you are there putting your life on the line, you, need to feel you are doing something worthwhile. The problem is, in the end, that you will either lose for the US or win for Iran. I can't see how you will think that either of these is worthwhile. War sucks.

My advice for you is to be as safe as you can, finish your tour and then get back to enjoy your new family.

Good luck,

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bandit ~ So many do not understand that a war is made up of MANY missions. As one is accomplished another begins.

Keep up the good work. We have your backs here in the States!

PC Mom

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bandit, This place is littered with "we're losing in Iraq" moonbats:


I'd love to see you go on there and whip some moonbat arse!

Anonymous mario Pereira said...

The war as already cost $650 billion dollars. Also politically speaking US as already lost in the middle east.


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