Tuesday, February 27, 2007

My Thoughts On Iraq

I don't generally like to discuss politics, because being of the hippy persuasion AND an Army brat, my views are neither black nor white.  I vehemently oppose war.  I believe there are always better ways to solve a conflict than by killing.  However, I proudly support our troops and know that when a person joins the Army (or any branch of the military) they know when they sign that contract that they will be going to war if the need arises.  Anyone who says they did not sign up for it, is either lieing or seriously needs to learn to read a contract before signing it.
  As for Iraq, it is no longer a war, but a military occupation.  Firstly, whether we were there for Osama, Sadam or oil DOESN'T MATTER!  The fact of the matter is that Sadam Hussein is no longer in power and the people of Iraq now have a president and BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS!!  Those things that we daily take for granted.  How would you feel to be sleeping at home in your bed and suddenly soldiers break down the door and abduct your family in the night?  You wouldn't like it would you?  What makes you think they did?

  People like to throw around the shear massive number of people who have been lost in Iraq.  While I agree that these deaths are tragic and avoidable, it is not near as great as it seems.  Here's how the numbers break down:
  • World War I - 53,402
  • World War II - 291,557
  • Vietnam - 47,424
  • Clinton's Presidency - 7,500 {-During a time of peace!!
  • Iraq - appx. 4000
  The only number I could find for Desert Storm was 149 soldiers killed, and I'm not sure if that was a final tally, so I didn't include it.  Anyway, that's how the numbers add up.  Whether you like it or not, more soliders were killed during Clinton's presidency while on "peace-keeping" missions <--No declared war> overseas than have been lost in Iraq.  

 On a related side-note.  You can say all you want that "GW will go down as the worst president in history", but know this.  That will not be determined for another 50 or so years.  The people in charge of that particular list make certain to put some distance between themselves and the particular president(s) they are evaluating, and rightly so.  What we think of him now is only 1/2 of the equation.  The other 1/2 is the long term effects of the presidency.

  As young Americans it is far to easy for us to just sit back and formulate opinions on something we know absolutely nothing about.  How many of us have had to contend with an all out war being fought outside of our bedroom window?  Bombs by day, abductions by night.  Regardless of how you feel about our soldiers being in Iraq, or how you feel about our president (if you didn't vote, you can't bitch), take some time to put yourself in the shoes of those who live with politically forced oppression.    For just one second forget the conspiracy theories and focus on one image:  That of the Iraqi people dragging the dismembered statue of Sadam Hussein through the town square laughing and dancing with total and complete joy.

  That's how I feel.  If you're curious as to what brought this on, I heard those numbers above mentioned on the Walton & Johnson radio show and just had to check it out for myself.

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