Sorry No Links For This But
I almost forgot to mention one Seabee I spoke with a couple of months ago. He was in the first Gulf War and had just got back from Iraq a few months prior for this go-around. It was quite an amazing conversation we had with him. Many mouths dropped as he recanted his stories. After he told about some of the fighting he and his unit(s) had to do and the water treatment plant they ended up getting online, I ask him something I think he wasn't expecting.
I asked if he thought it was all worth it. He looked at me shocked that I was asking it and said "what do you mean?". I said "Do you think there are enough good Iraqis to make this all work". He shook his head up and down and said "yes, absolutely". He went on to tell us that the Iraqis loved his unit while they were there. He also reconfirmed with me that it's a very small percentage of people who they are having to fight and that most Iraqis do not support them at all.
I guess this is nothing we can verify. I suppose I could track him down, as I have the ability to do so. But you may not care or want to believe this anyway, so?
Also, my buddy's wife's cousin is in the special forces for a new Marine outfit, and he was in Iraq recently. I asked for his email address and exchanged one with him. Similar remarks, but he was a little more open about his hostility towards the bad guys.
Then there's my best friend who is in the Navy. His soon-to-be ex-wife's brother is a Captain with an armor brigade in Najaf (I think). I sent him an email too.
With all this your making me think I should get those contacts back, just to touch base. Maybe you're right and things have changed 180 degrees from what their perspectives were then.
All this happened in the last three months or so. To me these are first hand accounts. To you they might be second hand bullshit. Your prerogative I suppose.
Curious, what do you think?