Posts Tagged Saddam

breezespeaks | The Awful Truth

The Iraq War is Over

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The war in Iraq has drawn to an end, and the last of our troops to fight in that conflict are on their way home.  That, in and of itself, is cause for celebration, but is it too little too late?  (And what of the bases we built?  Are some troops going to stay in Iraq, but not be considered fighting forces?  I find it hard to believe we built nearly thirty bases just to give them all away.)

We lost almost 4,500 soldiers in Iraq, about 1,500 more than died on 9/11.  The rational behind the war, i.e. the weapons of mass destruction, were never found.  The ties that bound Saddam Hussein to 9/11 never existed, despite the fact Dickhead Cheney ran around telling everyone who would listen that Saddam was involved.  We have spent a trillion dollars destroying and then rebuilding Iraq at a time when that money would be of better use to us here at home.

And Iraq itself is far from settled.  Now that we are gone the Sunnis and Shiites will fight it out for control of the oil, and the Kurdish are standing by to battle with the winner.  To think Iraq is out of the woods is silly.  It could also revert to a religious theocracy, the way Egypt seems to be heading.  This would be as bad as when Saddam was in power, especially for women.  The question arises, have we really helped this country?

Still, the thing that truly gets me is the death toll for our soldiers.  I have been accused in the past of not being grateful for the sacrifice our military makes in putting their lives on the line.  But having been a trained soldier myself, I am on their side, and I have been since day one.  But let me explain . . .

Our soldiers are trained to kill.  When I went through Basic Training we learned how to shoot both the M-16 and the LAW – a light anti-tank weapon – and how to use grenades.  We were also taught how to move through different terrains while covering each other, and shooting anything that moved.  We were taught never to be caught without our weapon, because our life, and the lives of others, might depend on it.

What we were not taught was how to operate as policemen.  We were taught how to conquer a country, not how to rebuild one while fighting for our lives.  Modern soldiers are expected to think first and ask questions, then react.  We were taught to shoot first and ask questions later.  And God forbid someone is shot accidentally in this day and age.  That could lead to charges being brought against a soldier, and eventually, time in Leavenworth.  How fair is that?

Since I’m on this rant, why is it that we fight down to the level of our enemy.  We are the greatest fighting force this world has ever seen, and can wipe most countries off the face of the earth.  Yet we insist on fighting land wars.  If someone messes with us, just drop a bomb on them.  The bigger the problem, the bigger the bomb, and atomic bombs should not be off-limits.  Why have them if you’re not going to use them?  And remember, I am a liberal.  Hell, when the insurgents were beheading Americans early in the war, I would have leveled whole cities until the practice stopped.

But back to the troops.  I am happy for the ones who are coming home, but I mourn those who went to Iraq and are never coming back.  I don’t want to think their sacrifice was in vain, but how else can you look at it?  They were not fighting for our freedom, as Saddam was never a threat.  They were not fighting for 9/11, as Iraq was not involved.  We went there for oil, and anyone who thinks differently is kidding themselves.  Our soldiers did what they did for the right reasons, it was our own government that put them, wrongly, in the line of fire.  In many houses this Christmas, sadness will reign.  Their loved ones are never coming home.

As Sherman said, “War is hell.”  We should only fight when we have no alternative.  Even the loss of one life is too much.  And bring home our troops from Afghanistan.  We killed bin Laden and our mission is complete.  Bring our soldiers home today before another life is lost.

 breezespeaks | The Awful Truth.

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