The Simple Truth About Iraq and Why We Lost: Why We Will Continue To Lose Wars Against Islamic Countries
By: Dave Gaubatz
8 Apr 2013
I was in Saudi Arabia and then went into Iraq when the war started in 2003. As many know I was a civilian U.S. Federal Agent (OSI/1811)at the time having already retired from active duty in the USAF. It is never easy to say that there were mistakes made by our country and countrymen during a time of war, but there has never been a war that mistakes were not made. Operation Iraqi Freedom was no different. The mistakes in this war were somewhat different than mistakes we have made in other wars. Our President was George Bush Jr. From my perspective from the front lines the war was not lost by our President and his senior staff, it was by a few senior leaders in the field and by a few lower level enlisted and officer personnel. By now some will be saying 'didn't we win the war in Iraq"? The answer is no.
There were three primary objectives during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The first was to remove Saddam Hussein...We accomplished this. The second was to locate WMD sites and exploit them to determine if Saddam did have WMD...We partially accomplished this. Federal Agents on the front lines like myself identified several alleged WMD sites that Iraqis from all levels and positions had informed us WMD was buried. We failed because Agents could not get the Iraqi Survey Team (ISG) led by U.S. civilian employees to travel too the alleged sites and exploit them. To this day there are sites in Iraq that U.S. Federal Agents and Iraqis put their lives on the line to identify that were never properly searched. I have never said WMD was in Iraq, I have said there are locations that were never searched and therefor no one can say if WMD was in Iraq or not. I could go on and on about this issue but if people are interested in my accounts of WMD in Iraq there have been numerous articles and TV interviews I had made in 2003/2004 that got swept under the rug by both Democratic and Republican politicians. The Democrats never wanted WMD to be found, and the Republicans were ashamed to admit the ISG had 'lied' to them about searching all suspected sites. President Bush in late 2003 had already announced 'the hunt for WMD was over' and there was no going back on this political statement.
Thus far I have mentioned two of America's objectives for fighting in Iraq. The last is the one that causes me the most stress and hardship to discuss. We were sent to Iraq to 'win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people'.
This was a complete failure. Mistakes were made from all levels of the government and by 'some' troops on the field. Our President and his staff did not understand Islam. Virtually no one from the lowest level to the highest understood or understands today that 'true Muslims' 'True versus Moderate Muslims' do not want to give their hearts and minds to Americans or to any non Islamic force. If Muslims were to do so they would no longer be Muslims, they would be apostates of Islam. At some point in the future people will come to understand that Islam is not a religion, is not peaceful, and that Islamic leaders only cooperate with non Muslims when it is beneficial for them to do so.
Now that this is said I will say we (America) could have recruited thousands of Iraqis to support us during the war and for many years afterwards if there had not been 'grave' actions by 'some' of our lower level officers and enlisted personnel on the front lines. I had the opportunity to observe these blunders on almost a daily basis and no amount of reporting them to 'higher headquarters' prevented the mistakes from being made again and again. I will give three types of blunders that our troops made that prevented us from winning in Iraq and prevents us from ever winning in Afghanistan or any Islamic controlled country.
1. I previously mentioned our senior leadership did not understand Islam, and our lowest levels truly did not (this was not their fault). I will call this section the 'Misuse of Power and Authority'. We had young 18 and 19 year old 'kids' on the front lines and as soon as we entered Iraq the Iraqi police forces, government, and military were completely shutdown. This gave U.S. troops an enormous amount of power and authority most of whom had never had or will have. I witnessed first-hand beatings by some of our young troops against innocent Iraqis, there were robberies committed by some of our troops against Iraqi shopkeepers, and what would be considered murder against some Iraqis who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time doing obvious innocent activities. There were more young troops who thought it was funny to throw adult type magazines (Playboy, Hustler, etc..) to young children on the street. These young troops knew enough about Islam to know that pornography was a major 'taboo' in Islam, but for laughs they distributed these type materials. The children would then take them to their parents and an Iraqi who may have been on our side suddenly changed sides. Do you blame them? What would you do if a foreigner did this to your child. After this happening over a time period of many months America lost the support of tens of thousands of Iraqis who at the beginning of the war supported our cause. Again I must mention 'true Muslims' will never support America, but the fact is most people who call themselves Muslim do not adhere to Sharia law. They are Apostates. These are the people we need to help during peace and war.
2. The second major blunder was not hitting the ground full force and helping the Iraqi people with medical issues. The Iraqis had beautiful hospitals and highly trained medical personnel, but they did not have medicines and related supplies. We had tons and tons of medicine and medical supplies on our installations that was supposed to go to the Iraqi hospitals, but it seldom left the compound. There were a few U.S. medical personnel who wanted to take truckloads to the Iraqis, but the installation leadership never gave authorization. I witnessed tons of medical supplies go to waste. There were a couple of times in the many months I was there that some supplies did get to the hospitals, but Iraqi medical personnel reported to us the medicines and supplies were stolen by Al Qaeda and Saddam Fedeyeen forces at night. Keep in mind we disbanded the Iraqi police and military. The U.S. troops left the cities at night and returned to the relatively safe confines of the U.S. installations. Al Qaeda, murderers, thief's, rapists, and others were allowed to roam free in Iraq. Innocent Iraqis did not have anyone to call for emergencies. Imagine you and your family living in the middle of Chicago, LA, or Detroit with no police to call if you were being robbed or your family being raped or murdered. Would you give your heart and mind to the occupying foreign forces?
3. The last blunder I will discuss is the Iraqi people who were suffering (especially the children) did not have clean water and many were starving. Again we had tons of food and after a few weeks in country we had an abundance of water. Little if any ever made its way to the Iraqi people.
I guess a lesson for our senior leadership is to understand Islam has not changed for almost 1500 years (and never will), and most importantly that in order to ever win the hearts and minds of any people regardless of religion is to first see that their basic needs are met. If they are not you are losing the war before it even begins. Read Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs'.What we must understand to win wars
Contact me for any questions...Respectfully, Dave G.