"...do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic..."

"For the good of the Air Force, for the good of the armed services and for the good of our country, I urge you to reject convention and careerism..."
- Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Maxwell AFB, April 21, 2008

"You will need to challenge conventional wisdom and call things like you see them to subordinates and superiors alike."
- Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, United States Air Force Academy, March 4, 2011

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Iraq - What a Sinful Waste of American Blood & Treasure

I remember more than a decade ago, while deployed in a middle eastern country and flying missions into Afghanistan, getting the early news that we would be going into Iraq.  My initial reaction was, "You have got to be fucking kidding me!"

It was such a blatantly stupid thing to do, based on obvious lies.  Three different reasons were peddled out for why we would invade.  Iraq was part of the attacks of 911.  When that got laughed down, it was to spread democracy and freedom in a nation ruled by a bad man.  When that didn't hold water, it was because Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and attacking them was a matter of preventive self defense.

I couldn't believe that we were going to split our forces when we hadn't even found Osama Bin Laden yet, for some asinine military action in Iraq that would only serve to make America less safe.  It would dilute the war on terror by moving resources to this new distraction and would destabilize a region by removing a secular tyrant who provided a check on both religious extremists and Iran.

It was as stupid a decision as could be made.  Yet Congress rubber stamped it and went right on along with it, and Senators Hillary Clinton and John Kerry among others voted to authorize this debacle, only to "change their mind" later on the decision when they would run for President.  The colossally unfit for office George W. Bush along with his anti-American vice President, Dick Cheney, pushed full steam ahead rolling over any obstacles presented, to include the now-deceased integrity of Colin Powell.  As usual, when our government wants to screw over the People in favor of powerful monied interests, it does so in spectacular bipartisan fashion.

Meanwhile, more than 4,000 Americans lost their lives in Iraq and many more lost their limbs and livelihoods and had marriages stressed and torn apart.

I deployed seven times to Iraq, including on the opening night.  I did the job because it was constitutional, even though it was horribly stupid and only served to make America less safe, and because the investment the American people made in me was to do their bidding so long as their bidding was legal.  I serve the American people, even when they are inexcusably wrong.

Now Iran is tightening its grip in Iraq and Al Qaeda is fighting for more control.  Both Iran and Al Qaeda would have been repelled by the secular Saddam Hussein, but we decided to take him out.  It honestly seems that those who pull the power levers of our government, are dead set on creating more threats to America than they are defeating them.  It's almost as if war is a business, and peace does not sell nor have the lobbying power to get government to do its bidding.

More than a trillion in American treasure later, and thousands of American corpses later, we now have created a threat to America in Iraq where none existed prior.  And certain people and corporations have gotten much richer in the process.

And there is no accountability to be had because Americans don't care and senators can simply say, "oops, I made a mistake" and get a mulligan on a catastrophically stupid decision.  And then we are told we must give up our freedoms and liberties, because some of our freedom must be exchanged for security.

Now Al Qaida is taking over more of Iraq while the government we helped install is seeking aid from Iran.  Figuring out the identity of the enemy is tough in Iraq these days.

It's also not completely straight forward here at home either.

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