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500 Words – Iraq is Beyond the Global War on Terror

I would like the troops to get out of Iraq. A year ago I wouldn’t have said that. Six months ago I probably wouldn’t have said that. But enough is enough.

I agree with why we went into Iraq. We took out a horrible dictator who was a sympathizer to those hostile to the U.S. We went to establish a democracy in Iraq. The Iraqis voted. The Iraqis set up a constitution. And they’re still blowing the hell out of each other and our troops.

I sat back as my sister went to Iraq twice as a Soldier. I watched the news in horror as hundreds of troops began dying. I constantly wondered if my sister was one of them. Now that she’s back in the U.S. in relative safety, I’m thankful that she’s not over there.

The Iraqis either don’t want democracy, or can’t handle it. There are too many turf wars and the U.S. forces are right in the middle of them.

I understand the consequences if we leave Iraq. We’ll have to deal with Iran being a severe threat to national security. We’ll have to deal with Iraq becoming a terrorist haven. We’ll have to deal with the terrorists proclaiming victory over the “mighty” U.S.

But are any of those consequences not already a reality? Iran is already a threat. Iraq is already a terrorist haven. And terrorists are already claiming victory. Our Soldiers over there are nothing but target practice to them.

So what will happen if we bring the troops home? Will the U.S. be targeted more by terrorists? Probably. But I don’t think the sound strategy is having a huge elephant in the middle of Iraq that the terrorists can take jabs at. I think counter-intelligence and special operations will do mountains better than what is going on in Iraq.

Iraq is beyond the Global War on Terror. I don’t see how the stuff we’re doing in Iraq is keeping the U.S. safer. However, I’m also not at the highest levels of Government and receiving intel reports detailing how many American lives are being saved as a result of Iraq. Iraq is just serving as some sick carnival game where terrorists can line up to take their best shot at Americans.

Iraq is a nation that could be great. Iraq would be invaluable as a democracy. A successful Iraq could help ease tensions with the middle-east and the West. But where is the U.S.’s return on investment? Is it oil? Is it a safe, stable Iraq? What can a safe, stable Iraq give us that we didn’t already have prior to the war?

Iraq is a tough war. It’s no Vietnam. There’s no draft. If anything, we should take a poll and ask the troops getting shot at and blown up if we should stay. But us being over there isn’t up to them. Should it be?

As much as I want the troops to come home, I don’t see it happening soon. I see us there for a long time, especially if a republican gets elected President in ’08. But Iraq shouldn’t be central in the Global War on Terror. And our troops shouldn’t be the moving box that terrorists get to throw knives at.

I hope I have to eat my words someday. I hope I’m wrong about Iraq.

That’s my 500 Words.

Writer and software engineer Ronald Huereca has been a developer at notable agencies like iThemes and 10up. His varied background has him working with WordPress since 2006, eventually creating his own plugin which, of course, lead to more. He spends quite a bit of his time volunteering with the WordPress project as a core and polyglot contributor. With all of his passions, writing has been the way Ronald expresses himself best. He has written both technical books as well as fiction. Some of his works include Project Mayhem, Mindefusement, and WordPress and Ajax. “You can only delay the inevitable” is his favorite quote. Ronald enjoys reading Stephen King and John Grisham. When he’s not writing, Ronald dreams of building websites filled with cats yawning, disclaimers his strong opinions, sings karaoke, and advocates for empathy surrounding mental health.

4 thoughts on “500 Words – Iraq is Beyond the Global War on Terror”

  1. You know it’s bad when you and I agree Jacob.

    Just to clarify: I would like the troops out of Iraq (not necessarily home). But as long as the troops are there, I will support the war effort and the troops.

    It’s not realistic to demand the troops to come home. But if the Iraqis don’t want us there, we stay at our own peril.

  2. Jacob,
    There is no need to take a poll. Service members have already answered your question. You hit the nail on the head when you said there is no draft. The fact that soldiers like myself continue to re enlist to stay in the army and other services and that Americans are still showing up to recruiters offices let you know that we believe in the cause that we fight for.

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