WAR! What is it Good For?

A lot of people claim they know a lot about the war in Iraq. But at the same time, a lot of people claim to know a lot about explosives. Typically, neither is true. This is a brief article on the war in Iraq, written by a guy who has been there three times. I hope after reading this, you may have a different view on things.

Let me start off by letting you know the issues that I plan to address. First off, oil in Iraq, and whether or not that is why we are there. Second, I will be talking about the reasons we went into Iraq. Last off, I would like to address those of you who think the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines in Iraq hate it there and want nothing more to stop and come home.

I think it is stupid to say that the primary reason we stormed into Iraq and started killing everyone off is because of our want for oil. First off, most of our imported oil doesn’t come from OPEC or Iraq. Most of what we import comes in from Canada, and Mexico, and there is a good reason why we haven’t stormed into those countries to get oil. It’s because they don’t have psycho insane dictators killing people off left and right and pillaging their own cities. Secondly, if we went in to Iraq over 3 years ago for oil, where is it?? If anyone knows, please tell me, because I am really tired of paying $3.00 for a gallon of gas.

The reason that we went into Iraq, which was mainly due to intel saying that they had weapons of mass destruction, may have been bad. I think that most of America would have been happy if they were told that the main reason we went to Iraq was to dethrone a madman and try to restore some sort of peace to a broken country. Maybe the original intent was wrong, but the reason we are still there is right. There is no way we can leave now, especially if these crazy left-winged freaks who want us to leave ever expect any of that free oil. That would just be silly wouldn’t it??

The number one thing that makes me mad, as a veteran of both Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, is when some idiot that I am talking to insists that the troops in these countries want nothing more than to come home because they don’t believe in what they are fighting for. It’s infuriating!! Okay, so yes, most troops do want to come home, but it’s not because they don’t believe in why they are there, it’s because they miss their wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, or what have you. It’s not the 70’s people. This isn’t Vietnam. This is a 100% VOLUNTEER military. After 9/11 and President Bush announcements that we were going to war, recruiting stations across the country had to turn people down due to over-manning. The Air Force went through a force shaping of almost 30%, and it wasn’t just the enlisted guys that were coming in too fast, it was also college educated officers. They had too many officers coming in, VOLUNTEERING to go to Afghanistan and Iraq to fight for their country. They had to send these so called “smart” people home along with the under educated enlisted men.

I have served in three different countries, attached to three different units, and stationed with three different groups of individuals, all in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and one in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Out of those hundreds upon hundreds of people, I met maybe a handful who was either forced to be there, or upon getting there wanted to go home because they didn’t believe in what we were doing there. A perfect example is one Senior Airman whose name I will not reveal. During a routine mission around a base, this young man was hit by a 107mm howitzer shell. It ripped off both of his legs and his right arm. The young man was rushed to the hospital, and immediately treated. When presented with his Purple Heart, and Meritorious Service Award, along with his Honorable Discharge paperwork, he quickly replied “I don’t want out, let me stay in and work in personnel or finance, somewhere I can be of use.” The man had lost three of his limbs in this war that, supposedly, he didn’t want to be in, and still didn’t want to get out. He was forced out, and featured on the cover of Airman Magazine.

As for the people of Iraq not wanting us there? Let me tell you a little story. During one of my visits to Iraq, I was pulled to do convoy missions. One of the routes that we took, on a day to day basis, passed a local Iraqi schoolhouse. One day, we decided to stop in the school house and deliver some basic supplies; pens, pencils, books, paper, etc. On the way back through, one of the little boys that received the supplies stop us and told us in his best broken English, “No go, no go.” We stopped and brought the Explosive Ordinance Team forward, who promptly found an IED (improvised Explosive Device) in the middle of the road. I was also station with a young man whose parents were from Iraq. He was a practicing Muslim, spoke Arabic, and got along well with the locals. When asked why he was there, his most often response was simple “My parents don’t want other children going through want they had to endure.” So, are the people happy we are there?? You tell me.

So the next time you meet a member of the military, stop him, ask him his personal opinion of the war and what his feelings are. Ask his experiences, and compare those answers to the man who says we shouldn’t be there, or we don’t want to be in Iraq. And the next time you are thinking about how our troops want to come home so bad, and wondering how hard it must be to be over there, ask yourself this “why am I complaining about it when I didn’t volunteer??”

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