LastDayWatchers no amount of Monday Morning Quarterbacking can revert the true realities; Johnny Come Lately's are just now figuring this out
Adam Banotai was a 21-year-old sergeant and squad leader in the Marine Corps during the 2004 invasion of Falluja, a restive insurgent-held city in Iraq. His unit — which had seven of 17 men wounded by shrapnel or bullets in the first days of the invasion
“I don’t think anyone had the grand illusion that Falluja or Ramadi was going to turn into Disneyland, but none of us thought it was going to fall back to a jihadist insurgency, it made me sick to my stomach to have that thrown in our face, everything we fought for so blatantly taken away.”
“This has been a gut punch to the morale of the Marine Corps and painful for a lot of families who are saying, ‘I thought my son died for a reason, because we lost so many Marines, and it feels like they were sacrificed for nothing.”
The fall of Falluja might finally bring home to the public what he says he and many comrades had long believed about the war.
There is a rising drumbeat of anxiety/angst among our Marines concerning the state of Falluja/Ramadi today,” one senior active duty officer wrote as part of an email chain circulating among Marine officers
“Lives were wasted, and now everyone back home sees that,” he said. “It was irresponsible to send us over there with no plan, and now to just give it all away.”
Seeing pictures this week of insurgent-held Falluja, he said, was “nauseating.”
“It’s just like, wow, thanks for dragging up all these memories I tried to forget that were controlling my life,” said Mr. Brown, 29, who now lives in Fayetteville, N.C. “For a while I lived out of a bottle trying to shut the memories off.”
Who lost Iraq? All of the above. Supported by post-9/11 bloodlust among the American people, Congress and the media, the Bush administration invaded a relatively stable country amid the volatile Middle East. Procounsel Paul Bremer almost immediately disbanded the two elements that held Iraq together—the civil service, including the police, and the army. The U.S. military first stood aside as chaos and looting engulfed the country, then responded with ever-increasing violence, as represented by the medieval siege of Fallujah.
Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero did three tours of duty in Iraq. The first time in 2003 in Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s hometown. Then during the U.S. troop surge as a key aide to Gen. David Petraeus and again from 2009 to 2011, overseeing the training of Iraqi security force