I firmly believe that what we are doing in Iraq is now essential to the future stability of the Middle-East and to U.S. credibility world-wide. I can go on and on about stability, economic development, political agreements, and national interests in the region to justify why we must be successful in Iraq. But none of these are as important as the humanitarian aspect at the local levels of Iraqi society. While I may be considered to be a cold-hearted and greedy conservative, the truth is, is that I genuinely care about the plight of others and want all people to be safe and taken care of. Now, especially in the U.S., I usually put that responisbility in the hands of that individual, I am all about self-reliance. However, I also have a huge soft spot for the neediest among us in the world, especially those who are indiscriminantly raped, killed, exploited, or simply cannot defend themselves. We Americans as “The World’s Light and Hope” should do more in the Sudan and should have done more in Rwanda and Somalia and in many other areas around the world. I understand that none of those places have any sort of national interest for us and that our resources are limited and thus, our efforts need to be prioritized, but there is always something more we can do. The situation in Iraq is much the same, except there are huge national interests there.
I write all of this because I just finished reading Michael Yon’s piece called Bless the Beasts and Children and I realized how seemingly insignificant much of what I write on here is. This article is a must read for every American. We need to see the horror that terrorist and insurgent groups in Iraq are performing against the Iraqi people. Groups like Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) are massacring entire towns and indiscriminately bombing average Iraqi people, regardless of their religious beliefs or political affiliation. I will not attempt to cover it as well as Michael Yon, I hope you all take 10 minutes today to read that piece. If our only mission over there was to protect the Iraqi people it would be a noble and worthwhile mission. Fortunately, we are trying to improve so much more and thus, I am more convinced than ever that our continued presence in Iraq is essential.
Some will come back and argue that the reason those things are happening is because we are there and if we leave they will end. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Certainly these terrible things would not be occurring at the hands of AQI if Saddam were in power, but he was doing much the same anyway. The difference is, is that there is a means to now publicize these things as opposed to when Saddam was in power. The fact is, if we leave too soon Iraq will become another Somalia. Where tribal radicals will continue to kill indiscriminately without fear of reprisal. We Americans are such worry warts and we get riled so quickly by “every wind of doctrine (or political propaganda)” that we fail to ever see the big picture. Do not any of you realize how impressive it is that only about 3,300 American soldiers have been killed in a war that has already lasted 4 years? It is incredible and says a ton about the quality of the US Soldiers, Airmen, Seamen, and Marines. This number of deaths was not uncommon in a day or a week in Vietnam and that was just 30-40 years ago. Certainly every American killed over there is a tragedy and should be mourned, but we should praise their sacrifice and our military for limiting such deaths.
When I think about Iraq, regardless of the reason for being there which is really inconsequential now, I often feel like Mugatu from Zoolander when, referring to all of Derrek’s looks being the same thing, he says, “I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.” I just don’t get why the American people are so blind, ok I do get it, but it is so frustrating and stupid; I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!
Anyway, I would rather all of you spend 10 minutes reading Michael Yon’s post and go to his site everyday, than I would have you on mine. As much as I want this site to blossom and succeed, his blog is far more important and I wish everyone would get the word out about it.