Earlier this week, I finally got the e-mail address of a close friend serving in the Gulf right now. Actually, he’s reported in the Sunni Triangle, which is one of the most dangerous locations in Iraq. We’ve known each other since college. He was always focused on the military, first ROTC and then special training when he joined the army after graduations.
Won’t name him but if you were in Alpha Phi Omega, Lambda O in the late ’90s you knew and probably liked him. Hard not too. Our emails over the last week really started me thinking about the war and how this “conflict” is very personal to many Americans.
Mainly, this thing is personal to us because about 2 1/2 years ago a large group of organised murders killed over 3,000 of our citizens using airplanes. It’s personal when we saw the buildings collapse, the people fleeing down the street and knew that those people were innocent of any wrong doing. At least the type the terrorists were convicting them of.
It’s personal because shortly after than President Bush ordered our friends, brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers into war with first Afghanistan and then Iraq in the name of fighting these people, considering my relationships, current home, and friendships this description just does not apply to Americans but all of our Allies.
A personal war with major consequences if we lose. Can America and free non-militant countries give into the demands of our enemy? No. Just like Europe could not stand by and give in to Hitler’s “requests” in the 30s and 40s or Asia give into the demands of Imperial Japan. To give in would mean death, murder and tyranny from those who won. Full stop.
The fact there are people protesting against our operations still blows my mind. How can people use economic politics (the Greens, Communists, etc) to essentially side with the people trying to kill us? Wow, democracy is complex. Fight for people who use that freedom to preach hatred for everything it allows. The interesting fact is that these people would not be allowed to say and think their counter-culture; counter-government decisions if they got their way.
The fact I think we should be fighting these thugs does not mean that I think we have made the correct decisions in Iraq. Multilateral trumps Unilateral every time. Rather have all the world fighting with us rather than everyone fighting each other and the “bad guys” coming in second. History may show the reason for our moves is that other countries — Germany and France — had reasons to side with the terrorists and their leaders, specifically Saddam Hussein.
Always figured we would find Made in France on some of the weapons found. Just a guess. Normally, when there are disagreements money and power are the reason. The fact we’ll probably have to be in Syria or Iran to see those weapons is another journal entry.
Or, and hell I don’t know but it could be the case, the reason’s President Bush went after Iraq was oil and money but the logic breaks down pretty quickly if his motives as President are thought about. I think it is in the movie, The American President that this quote and question came from:
What is it that all Presidents want? They want a second term.
So if he does want a second term, why invade Iraq to settle family issues and donor requests in the first term? Especially when he had a 75 – 85% approval rating? Why not contain Iraq while collecting information in the 1st term, turn his attention to the economy (something dad didn’t do), boast about Afghanistan, turn the dogs of war on Osama and cruise to victory in 2004. Then go after Iraq in term 2 with more evidence, no need to worry about re-election and if he screws it up the next President can distance them from the whole thing.
Oil would be lower; troops would be home right now, visits to Afghanistan’s rebuilding, rallies with Arnold in California, better relationships abroad, and a severe whooping on the Democrats this fall. It just doesn’t hold logic why he went if it was personal or donor driven.
Anyway, enough ramblings on President Bush and the Middle East. To the Allied troops, the Iraqi people who have lived difficult lives and now want freedom from tyranny – may God be with you and keep you safe.