In Iraq for 365

About my experiences in Iraq... the frustrations, the missions and this country... and the journey home

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Should we be in Iraq?

Should we be in Iraq? Let’s analyze this.

Ask this 40-year-old terrorist captured in England if it was easier getting into Iraq or America to detonate his car bombs and suicide belts. Or we could ask any one of the thousand terrorists living in France or other parts of Europe if they’d rather attempt to enter Iraq through Syria to kill an American or would they like to make it past our airport security, which trust me won’t even let you bring a jagged penny on board.

Better yet, just look at the statistics that state most suicide bombers are Saudi and in fact that less than 20 percent are Iraqi. Let’s ask Zarqawi about these claims.

"The infidels once again are claiming that foreign fighters are responsible for initiating the attacks and an increase [in foreign fighters] is the true danger," the Zarqawi said in a May 10 Internet posting. He added, "who is the foreigner . . .? You (Americans) are the ones who came to the land of the Muslims from your distant corrupt land."

Now back to the question: Should we be in Iraq? The answer is yes.

Forget the reason of why we went. Just think about this: the war in Iraq is keeping us from another September 11. If we don’t fight these Saudis, Syrians, Euro Arabs in Iraq, then where will we fight them? On our own soil, and I’m sorry, but I could not stand to see one of our schools hit with a suicide car bomb. I have lived through the Oklahoma City bombing, September 11 and saw more dead bodies in Iraq than ever even dreamed of. Many of the bodies I saw were precious, little children who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s sad enough that these vicious terrorists will kill fellow Muslims. We cannot let them kill anymore of our civilians.

And if you don’t think the terrorists working in Iraq aren’t thinking about hitting a church, hospital or school, then think back to October when we found computer disks containing blueprints to U.S. Schools. It’s proof that Iraqi insurgents are looking into their next big hit on America. So, would you rather read about a car bomb in Iraq or on a U.S. school?

To add to this argument, I will use Zarqawi’s own words, “You are the ones who came to the land of the Muslims from your distant corrupt land.” Well if this is the case, then why haven’t they declared war on Qatar or UAE, two Muslim countries that import non-Muslim workers for manual labor and have very large Caucasian populations? The fact is, the insurgents hate Americans and will kill us anywhere. And you know what? We are also freeing a group of people who were absolutely miserable under Saddam.

As for, “when do we leave?” Well, we’ve had at least 30,000 soldiers in Korea since the Korean War and even more in Germany. We’ve also had soldiers in Saudi (not anymore) and Kuwait since Desert Storm. We must stick around and finish the job because the fight will come to our soil if we don’t take the fight to the enemy.

69 Comments:

At 1:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very well stated. And as much as I would like all of my friends in Iraq home NOW...even they say we need to stay.

 
At 2:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this war really working to deter future attacks on America? The fact that the computer disk with school blueprints was found indicates not. The war is not sending the intended message or having the intended effect, therefore the war is ineffective. I have a brother that is serving with the Wisconsin Army National Guard 1-128th Infantry Battalion near Balad....we're not doing anything over there to prevent an attack here, especially when 40% of the forces serving thousands of miles away are National (key word) Guard. Some say that we can't leave because civil war would break out..excuse me, but haven't the two major parts of always been at civil war? Us being there isnt preventing anything, its just getting our men killed and injured. Some people try to gain sympathy for the war by stating that the kids are the real reason we need to be there, but the kids are being blown up, starved, beaten and deprived even though we are there. Bottom line, we cant save the world and we can't save the Middle East. I dont really have an answer or alternative to what we're doing, but its clear that we're doing is not working.

 
At 7:36 PM, Blogger strykeraunt said...

Anon, I hope that my comments below are not taken as an attack on your position. My intent here is only to state my opinion.

It has always been my understanding that we are working to build an Iraqi security that is strong enough to defend itself. Until we reach this point (whether we like it or not) we need to stay the course. And it is working (perhaps not at the speed we would all like to see). The Iraqi Securtiy force is becoming better train and more and more involved in stopping the insurgency, terrorists, etc.

In regards to deterring future attacks on America, there will always be groups who will plan to carry out attacks on American soul. To believe anything differently would only serve to fool ourselves. However, finding out about the plans and preventing them from occuring is how we deter future attacks. I understand that having the national guard deployed is not a situation that we necessarily desire (heck, having any soldier deployed in a situation like this is tough). However, please do not discount the value they serve in protecting our country (even from thousands of miles away). Sometimes preventing attacks means that we need to take the fight to the enemy rather than waiting for them to come here.

In regards to the major groups always being in a civil war. I am not sure of the true definition of civil war. However, if you are referring to the sunni and shia, it is my understanding that there has been suppression of the shia, not an all out war (and there are more than two groups to be concerned about). The goal of Iraq having the ability to protect itself goes beyond the threat of civil war. In order to have a sovereign country there must be adequete security to also protect it from outside entities. In my opinion, there is a larger threat from outside entities who would love to build a new Al Queda stan. Or, from those inside who would love to rebuild the regime that was.

When I hear of a terrorist who intentionally blows up a bomb in front of a group of children when they could have waited until our soldiers were a safer distance away, it served to reinforce my belief that pure evil does exist on the streets of Iraq. That evil will not magically disappear if we pull out. Soldiers like Smink have seen this evil personally. It reinforces my resolve when soldiers like Smink (and he is not the only one) come away after serving a year in that place and still say we should be there.

 
At 7:15 AM, Blogger Mom said...

Smink, as much as I would love to see that face of my loved ones over in Iraq, I do agree if we don't do it there we will be doing it here. How would the MSM or all the naysayers feel then? I am thankful for you and every other Soldier who protect me and my sons. I do not want to worry about sending my sons to school. I don't want to have to fear walking out my door. I thank you for all you have given me and my children.

 
At 10:49 AM, Blogger CaliValleyGirl said...

I also believe that this war is working to deter future attacks on America. I am hoping that thru America's involvement in the Middle East there will be increased opportunities, and barriers that were built up through oppressive regimes will be knocked down.

No one can negate the progress in the Middle East since 2003. Yes, there has been much carnage, but prospects for the future are much better. And most Iraqis, although lamenting the current situation say that if they had the choice between the US invasion not happening and still living in the relative "peace" of Saddam, or the situation they have currently, they choose the latter. Because today they have something they didn't have before, and that is hope in the future. They realize that things might get worse, before they get better. But there is still a faith in the future which they didn't have before. At least this is what I have read. Many might dismiss it as neocon propaganda, but I choose to believe it's true.

Anonymous II, Although, I understand how it is a shock for many that National Guard Units get sent overseas, this isn't the first time. Many National Guards units fought in WWII, especially in the South Pacific.

 
At 11:24 AM, Anonymous AFSister said...

Damn straight, Smink! You tell 'em... we've got your back.

 
At 11:53 AM, Blogger Chris said...

I absolutely think that we should be in Iraq. The WMD meant nothing to me. The spread of democracy crap meant nothing to me. Saddam had to go. A post 9/11 world would not tolerate him. That's all the proof I needed to support the removal of Saddam.

And the removal of Saddam is exactly what we have now. We were not prepared for anything after April 2003. Because of Bush's rush to war, and his insistence that removing Saddam would aleviate all the ails facing the Middle East and the world, Iraq is in worse shape than need be.

I do agree with you Smink that we should be there. But I also agree somewhat with anonymous II. I'm not sure that Iraq is going to necessarily centralize this war on terror. Sure many Muslim extremists are going to Iraq to get a chance to kill an American, but certainly not all are taking up the opportunity.

I think we need to stay in Iraq and finish the job. Leaving now would create total chaos.

In my own personal opinion, I think creating peace between Israel and Palestine, along with the creation of a Palestinian state, would do more to stop terrorism and stop terrorism on American shores than any invasion of any country would do.

If and when peace, stability and security finally reach Iraq and we can actually call Iraq democratic-- because it is the farthest thing from a democracy right now-- and there is still no independent Palestinian state, we will have done very little in thwarting future attacks in America.

But, more to your post, I agree we should be in Iraq. I just don't think Iraq is the final, solve all step in fighting the war on terrorism. It's just one of many.

Good post. And good debate.

 
At 2:46 PM, Blogger remoteman said...

Prior to 9/11 Real Politik was the basis of our foreign policy. That meant that we would support any regime, almost without regard to their handing of internal affairs, so long as that regime would ensure near-term stability in the region.

In the Middle East Real Politik meant that we supported repressive regimes, who, in turn, became breeding grounds for Islamic terror. Some of these regimes openly sponsored terrorist groups while others promoted radical versions of Islam.

After 9/11, Bush decided to implement the Neocon policy of attempting to spread democracy in the region. The process started in Afghanistan and continues in Iraq.

Free societies are rarely a threat to one another. People do not want to be in conflict if it can be avoided. We have introduced freedom to the country that is the centerpoint of the region.

Is the job done? Of course not, but progress is being made. In the course of this progress we are killing a lot of Islamo-facists, individuals who would like nothing better than to kill every last American if they possibly could.

Democracy will take time to really have a solid foundation in Iraq, but once it does so it will serve as a juggernaught for change in the region.

The question of a Palestinian state is less relevant, in my opinion, to regional peace. Palestine is currently run by a network of what amounts to armed gangs. They are no more ready to have an independent state than a pig is to fly. Besides, the Islamo-facists who hate us will continue to do so regardless of whether Palestinians run Jerusalem or not.

What we are doing in Iraq is a fight for democracy and a fight for western civilization. We can and must persevere in this fight. Thanks to the bravery of people like Smink, we will prevail.

 
At 8:00 PM, Blogger Rogue said...

HUA...

The weak-willed will never understand the need for a few good men and women to stand against the evil that exists around this little planet.

Instead, they call us evil for "imposing" our ideals, (such as not blowing up little children.)

http://spaces.msn.com/members/tommason/

 
At 8:23 PM, Anonymous kbug said...

anonymous......just by being in Iraq, we are helping to prevent an attack here. Confronting the enemy on their own ground is always difficult, but it's better than fighting them in your own backyard. I would love nothing more than to see all of our soldiers come home......especially since my youngest son is preparing to deploy in a few months......but not before the job is done. Great post, Casanova!!!!

 
At 11:00 PM, Anonymous Zach said...

I haven't read all the other comments, so my apologies if I repeat what someone else said. On the topic of the school blueprints found on computer disks, they were found on a contractor's computer working on public works (or something to that effect). I don't have a link handy but I can try and dig one up if you'd like...

 
At 5:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm from the UK, and I am glad that my country is allied with yours but sorry, I think your reasoning is bogus. To compare the terrorists in Iraq to those of the 9/11 attacks is wrong. The people who carried out the 9/11 attacks were fluent English speakers, moneyed, and with (albeit alleged) contacts in the Saudi establishment.

The majority of the terrorists in Iraq are crude, badly educated, poor, and stick out like a sore thumb (when they're outside of Iraq). If you think that somehow they're going to travel 5000+ miles to attack the homeland, and somehow that being in Iraq will stop them, you're wrong. With no English, no money and total lack of awareness of the American way of life, they'd be caught out by their conspicuousness. The threat comes from educated, fluent English speakers, with clean cut images, establishment connections and money. Most likely to come from places like Saudi Arabia, the North African dictatorships and other allies from The War on Terror.

What Iraq has done is provide ample training grounds for the next generation of Jihadist. Much like Chechnya, except US, UK and coalition troops give a damn about the people (unlike the Russians). And care when innocent people are hurt. So Iraq is not keeping America safe. What is keeping America safe is the FBI, CIA and NSA monitoring the people that don't stick out, don't make lots of noise, who have cut their teeth in combat in places like Iraq and Chechnya. Upper middle class lads who have money and can easily travel the 5000+ miles.

Compare the average persons ideas of what a terrorist looks like to what the 9/11 attackers looked like. No beards, dockers trousers, Ralph Lauren, fluent English and money. But Iraq certainly does not keep us safer. If anything, until it is stabilized it will be a great propaganda victory for the Qutbee and Wahabist movements. And it is taking money from the CIA (MI6 in the UK), FBI (MI5 in the UK) and NSA (GCHQ in the UK) who need to monitor the people who most people don't even notice. Despite their constant underfunding and lack of appreciation for what they do.

We will win in Iraq though, because the will is there, and we must. Nevermind how stupid the leaders are. The fact that computer disks were found containing plans of schools etc. means nothing. Until very recently America lived its life online, and everything from maps to building plans was available online. What matters is the capacity of people to act on that information. The ones to worry about are the ones we don't know about and can blend in.

Iraq was not close to Afghanistan as a haven and training ground... But we will prevail in stabilizing Iraq! No matter what. I for one am glad my Prime Minister (Tony Blair) supported America. I feel like the British are the Greeks, and the Americans are the Romans :).

 
At 11:54 PM, Blogger strykeraunt said...

Anon, your PM is one of my favorite people. When he talks, I listen. When he was getting such a bad rap prior to his election, I would tell people that, in my opinion, if he did not win the election he could always come here and be welcome with open arms!

 
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