From the start the initial invasion didn’t go well. Casualties were tremendous. They didn’t tell us that we lost hundreds, or perhaps thousands of soldiers in just those opening hours. It was kept a secret. The troops became confused, some lost, due to poor planning The plans that our generals had so carefully thought out seemed to fall apart right from the beginning. Then, just when it looked like we had things under control, we became bogged down, fighting an unorthodox enemy of old men and even children. Our president led us into this unpopular war. The population went along because we were reeling from being attacked and wanted to extract some vengeance. Now US servicemen were dying in a far off country that wasn’t even any kind of imminent threat to America. Sure its leader was a madman. But what right did we have to interfere. His threat was regional, and after all, we had been attacked not by him, but a whole other enemy! Shouldn’t we have devoted our resources to fighting THAT enemy? And for gosh sakes, what right did we have to get into the business of nation building? This war turned out nothing like we hoped and planned.
Thankfully our congress and country stood behind its soldiers and President, and end the end we prevailed. The world was ridded of a madman that butchered his own and a people that we misunderstood and mischaracterized we found could really be a good friend and ally. We spent a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and taxpayer dollars, but both Germany and Japan we defeated and then rebuilt. Hitler was gone, and the whole world is a better place for it. If we stick it out in Iraq we’ll prevail there too. And again, the whole world will be a better place for it. If you don’t think the stakes are also the same you’re a fool.
It took over eleven years, start to finish, before we were able to “withdraw” from Germany. Even with a legacy of troops still stationed there. Here it is fifteen years later and Britain is just now able to withdraw from Bosnia. Korea, its fifty years plus and counting. Timelines and benchmarks in Iraq are the tools of idiots who don’t have a clue as to what we are really doing there.
Even as the tide turns, with the established government there taking more and more control, and the enemy in disarray, some of the hopefuls in the next election still call for us to quit the fight… to give it all up, even with the endgame in sight. Somehow, our winning is now no part of their plan.
There is a power struggle now occurring in Iraq between the elected government and the militias. Kind of a make or break point for who is to ultimately control the country… an elected government, or a warlord like cleric and his armed force of followers. The government is attempting to force law and order, while the Shiite militants of Sadr City seeking to counter that control. At the same time Iranian backed militias are throwing much into the fight.
Prime Minister Mouri al-Maliki is walking a fine line between trying to rid Iraq of the criminal elements disrupting the country, appeasing while disarming Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army, and restoring order and services to the people of Iraq… all the while trying to meet goals and timetables set by us, here in America. In order for him to be successful we must support him in this. Not pull out.
The fight is not done, yet it is closer now than most might suspect. We never intended to stay there forever in the first place. But we can’t lose all we’ve gained by rushing a withdrawal just for the sake of withdrawing. A withdrawal that’s being called for on the campaign trail daily.
A too early withdrawal may well trigger much worse violence and death in that country than has occurred until now. Even though Iraq has come far in establishing its own security forces, and has taken over much of the fight, they aren’t completely there yet… we have to continue to train those forces and back up those that are in place now. They’ve made a lot of progress and it’s paying off bigtime, it won’t be long till they can do the job on their own. We have to support them and stand behind them until that time, or were just setting them up for failure.
John F. Kennedy, in a speech give in 1961, gave this message to the world – “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bare any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of freedom.” He wasn’t talking about freedom just here at home, but freedom as a principle, and free countries as a whole. That’s that ‘support any friend’ part. Iraq is now our friend, and we MUST support it. We’ve already paid a great price, and bared a large burden… should that all be for naught? Freedom MUST survive in Iraq.
“We will not waver; we will not tire; we will not falter; and we will not fail. Peace and freedom will prevail.” George W. Bush, 2001. Everybody cheered him way back then.
Seems as if some of these candidates now apparently weren’t among the “We” back then.