"We Were Winning When I Left"

by James Glaser
September 3, 2003

I have heard that saying from hundreds of Vietnam Veterans and I have said it myself. We had to be winning when I left Vietnam in 1969, heck almost every day and night there were Arc Light bombing runs with B- 52s. I kid you not, the earth shook with the power of those bombs, the planes were dropping. We had to have been winning as we were killing thousands of Vietnamese every day.

By the time the last American troops left that country we had killed over a million civilians, hundreds of thousands of NVA, and almost all of the VC. Still we lost, but we should have won because we killed all of those people and isn't that what war is all about?

We were in Vietnam for over a decade and we have only been in Iraq about five and a half months, but we are getting our "kills" right up there. The best reports claim we have killed over ten thousand innocent civilians and about thirty thousand soldiers, many who were young conscripts.

What about the ratio? Forty thousand Iraqi deaths to about three hundred and fifty coalition deaths. In Vietnam we were killing about 30 people in that country for every American killed. I am saying 1,750,000 Vietnamese killed verses 58,000 Americans.

In Iraq it is forty thousand Iraqis dead to just 350 Americans and British. That ratio is 114 Iraqis to each one of our people killed. The question is, are we killing enough to win? What is the magic number?

Remember in Somalia it is thought those Rangers pinned down in Mogadishu killed over a thousand while losing only eighteen. That ratio is 55 deaths to one of ours and we lost there, so is 114 enough?

If you look at the War in Iraq, most of the Iraqi deaths happened during the drive to Baghdad and since President Bush claimed the major fighting over, our ratio has fallen way down. Many weeks now we might even be on the other side of this ratio game. Americans are being killed with bombs along the side of the road that are remotely detonated as an American convoy goes by. Americans are killed with no chance for retaliation. In the last couple of months we might be at a one for one ratio, which history tells is a losing ratio for any American Army.

What will it take to get our killing ratio back up? Can America win a guerilla war against people that believe they will go to heaven if they die in battle?

We have told our troops that they are fighting to liberate the Iraqi people. The Iraqi people fighting us are fighting for their God, they are fighting for their home land, they are fighting for their wives, and they are fighting for their children. It doesn't look good, reason wise.

I am sure when these troops come home they can say, just like the troops that have already come home, "we were winning when I left."

A Few More Thoughts

John Kerry set off on a run for President today in front of an Aircraft Carrier in South Carolina. The man voted for the War with Iraq. Last Sunday he was asked about a secret society he was in with George Bush, called "Scull and Bones" All he said was. "There are many secrets in America." What kind of answer was that? Where the heck does John Kerry think the base of his party is on this war? Kerry was from a rich family and his new wife is from an even richer one, so he can throw some money away on a failed campaign. Sure hope he doesn't spend other people's money too.

Governor Dean has told potential voters that we must stay in Iraq and liberate the country. Who is telling him what to say now? The guy was antiwar and that is how he got his jump start over the Democratic field. Now he is going in the opposite direction.

Looking at the Democrats running for President today makes George Bush look like a two termer.


One Task Force Ironhorse, 4th Infantry Division Soldier drowned and two were wounded when the military vehicle they were riding in, while on routine patrol, fell into a canal in Tikrit.

A US Soldier was killed in a helicopter crash and fourteen US Soldiers were wounded over the weekend

Two US Soldiers from a military police brigade were killed in a roadside bomb attack on their convoy in southern Baghdad. The Soldiers were from the 2nd Battalion of the 20th Military Police Brigade. One other Soldier was wounded.

Found this in the Minneapolis Star Tribune Paper

I am sick and tired of Bush administration officials telling us how much better the lives of the Iraqi people are now that they're "liberated" and painting a rosy picture of the occupation of Iraq. To really know the state of the Iraqi people and their country, try reading Web logs from two intelligent and articulate Iraqi citizens: http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com and http://dearraed.blogspot.com.

These are not anti-American diatribes. The man and woman bloggers give an honest account of their day-to-day lives in a war-torn country sans political spin. For a truly "fair and balanced" look at the lives of Iraqi people, stop watching Fox News and read these blogs.

BACK to the Politics Columns.