HMMWV in Baghdad, Iraq

After writing my previous 500 Words post, Iraq is Beyond the Global War on Terror, my friend cetroyer told me that he disagreed with my viewpoint. I knew I had crossed some line when my brother Jacob agreed with me. We never agree on politics. I urged cetroyer to write a counter-argument as a guest writer (I do allow guest writers here). However, cetroyer couldn’t find the time or motivation to write the post. He did do some of the research and passed it on to me. Since I wouldn’t be a good debater if I couldn’t argue both sides, I decided to write the counter-argument post for him using his research.

You Can’t Support the Troops Without Supporting the War

As stated in an earlier blog post about a former POW, you simply cannot support the troops in Iraq without supporting the war. As cetroyer so eloquently put it, “It is a conflicting statement to say ‘I support you, but not what you are doing'”.

One Soldier in Iraq said in this YouTube video, “If you’re going to support us, support us all the way.”

So can you support the troops and the war and still say, “I’d like to see the troops come home?” I personally still think you can want the troops to come home and still support the troops and the war. However, there’s a big difference between wanting the troops to come home (losing the war) and wanting the troops to come home only after the job has been finished.

A lot of these Soldiers just want to do their job. They don’t want some pesky American back home shouting, “Troops home now!” There’s already enough red-tape and politics in a Soldier’s life. Why add more?

In my original post calling for the troops to come home I said these words:

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.

I still think that the Iraqis are using our Soldiers as cannon fodder, but if the troops want to stay and fight, then let them fight. I’ve never been to Iraq. I don’t know what it’s like there. But if some Soldier tells me he wants to go back, I have to assume that it’s for a good reason. I still don’t think Iraq should be the central focus in the Global War on Terror, but we shouldn’t leave until either the job is finished, or the Generals say that we have done the best we could do.

Hard is Not Hopeless

Lieutenant General David Petraeus said during a Senate Armed Services committee, “This is not the fight we entered in Iraq, but it is the fight we’re in. Every one of us wishes this war were over and won. Yet it would not be like us to leave our promises unkept, our friends abandoned, and our own security at risk.”

Nobody could have expected Iraq to turn out like it is now. Americans thought we were the victor. Americans thought we were liberators. We are liberators, but not yet victors. But the ball is in Iraq’s court. The Iraqis have to want freedom and set aside their religious differences. We can’t have the bloods and crips running Iraq.

America is Weary

In a post about ten myths of the Iraq war, the author points out that since the 18th century Americans have grown weary of any war lasting longer than three years. Our involvement in Iraq has so far lasted about as long as our involvement in World War II.

It’s rather depressing to look at a map of the Middle East and see how small Iraq really is and how much trouble the country is causing for the United States.

However, we must press on. All Americans should want a free Iraq. If we turn our backs on Iraq, what country would ever trust us? America needs to take some caffeine pills and press on so that at least the troops can come home to a nation that supported them fully.

There are some in Iraq who really believe that we’re doing something noble. Once such person is Michael Yon, who wrote an incredible post about his experiences as an embedded journalist in Mosul, Iraq. He greatly admires the troops and what the troops have accomplished in Mosul. He greatly admires the Iraqis as well.

Conclusion

We must stay in Iraq until the job is finished or the Generals agree that staying in Iraq is no longer necessary. Americans should let the troops do their job. These troops have volunteered to serve their country and have re-enlisted in record numbers. We’ve been in Iraq for almost four years now. It’s been tough on us. It’s been tough on my family seeing that my sister has served two tours in Iraq.

While our troops are over there, we have to support the troops and the war.

That’s my 500 Words.