Wednesday, August 24, 2005

A Soldier's View of Iraq

The only perspective we get on the war in Iraq is from the news media. The slideshow available on this site is a soldier's view and is a "must see" for all Americans. (VOA: Iraq: A US Soldier's Perspective). All we hear about are the negatives. The small number of insurgents in Iraq get more press time than our soldiers who are not only fighting the insurgency but are also rebuilding the infrastructure, putting up schools, providing police services, and essentially training a nation to govern itself without a totalitarian dictator pulling the strings.

To hear the media's side of the story, you would think Iraq is a total disaster. They focus on the small minority ravings of people like Cindy Sheehan, but ignore the overwhelming majority of gold star parents that are proud of their sons' dedication to our nation and who support our efforts overseas. They cite a US death toll of 1800 in a three year span as evidence of a war that is going poorly, totally forgetful of past wars that would have seen that same death total in a single day. They focus entirely on the negatives in Iraq - which are extremely few, mind you, in a country that was dismantled just three years ago - and refuse to acknowledge the many successes our military is having throughout that region.

Worst of all, they give voice to the fringe element in this country that takes pride in any setback our military experiences. They give voice to those that would like nothing more than to see our efforts in Iraq fail utterly. But then, what should we expect from a media that brought about the first military defeat in US history three decades ago?

Here's some advice to all the small but vocal anti-war crowd. If you want this war to end, then stop your protesting, stop your shouting, and let the military do its job. Stop giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Stop convincing the insurgents that all they have to do is wait us out. By your very act of protesting, you are prolonging the war, you are boosting the morale of the enemy, and you are causing more US deaths overseas.

Your time to protest was before troops were committed. Once boots hit the ground, however, there is only one acceptable course of action and that is to stand unified in our support of our military efforts overseas. Voices of dissent now only serve to bolster the enemy.

Support our troops, support our efforts in Iraq, and if we stand united the conflict will end much sooner than if we continue to give voice to the fringe element that would rather see us fail.



Alan Fraser said...

I'm glad this guy had a relatively uneventful tour in Iraq but this is still a spin piece with relatively little content and that's not at all characteristic of most of your writing. The fact is that opposition to the non-war in Iraq is growing steadily and no amount of jingoistic hoop-la is going to change that. As they say, Iraq is Arabic for Vietnam.

dancewater said...

Since you don't believe in freedom of assembly or freedom of speech, you are therefore not an American... why do you care how the USA does in this war?

Kannafoot said...

It is this type of "news" that prompted my speaking out against both the media and the anti-war crowd: ( Iraq war parents to pursue Bush). This very small but very loud group of disgruntled moms are accomplishing nothing more than aiding the enemy their sons and daughters are fighting.

The only similarity between Iraq and Vietnam is that we've cleared the mothballs off the anti-war protesters that have little use for the US and anything our government does. That's a big part of my anger, in fact. Much of their opposition is partisan politics. They were pretty quiet when 70% of the population actively supported going to war, but now with media attention on Sheehan these clowns have come out of hibernation. They even wheeled Joan Baez out the other day!

People have every right to oppose a war. But the time to do that publically is before troops are committed. Once we go to war, however, we're committed. The vocal opposition - and the disproportionate media attention it is getting - will only serve to prolong the war and embolden the enemy. There's no justification for that at all.

I know the claim is that opposition to the war is growing, but I don't believe that to be the case. Rather, opposition to our lack of action in fighting the war is growing. If I were asked today if I support the way President Bush is handling Iraq, I would answer "no". That does not mean I oppose the war, however. It means I don't like how we appear to be just sitting there as targets. As you know, I'm strongly in favor of an expansion of the war, not a pullout. But the way polls are conducted, I would be counted in the anti-war category. There's the real spin in all this.

As to Cindy Sheehan, I keep looking at my watch and wondering when the 15 minutes will be up. Her son willingly enlisted in the military. He wasn't drafted. Unfortunately, he was killed in service to his country. For that, I salute him, and I honor him for his sacrifice. What his mother is doing now, however, is disgraceful. She dishonors his memory and she endangers everyone else still fighting this war. It's time she went home.