I spent some time Saturday talking about Iraq with my brother-in-law, who went to both Afghanistan and then Iraq as a military intelligence officer in the 101st Airborne. He had some interesting comments:
- On the initial war phase: "3d ID [Infantry Division] could have taken Iraq by themselves."
- On the weapons question: "One of my guys found a mobile chemical weapons lab hidden in a cave near Mosul. One of the locals tipped us off, or we'd have never found it."
[I think that this may have been the mobile lab in question.]
- When they first got to Mosul, they set up in Saddam's old palace there. "People were all over the place. Before, only Saddam and his guys were even allowed on the palace grounds. But now, it was like take-your-children-to-the-park day. People were playing soccer with their kids, selling fruit, etc."
- An incident related to their arrival in Mosul: "One of my guys got proposed to." Me: "Are you serious? How long did that take?" Brother-in-law: "Oh, about 4 hours after we got to Mosul. It was a college student who spoke English, and she was looking for a ticket out of Iraq." [The guy was already married, by the way.]
- On Kerry's claim to "have a plan": "There's a saying in the Army: 'Every plan goes out the window as soon as the first bullet is fired.'"