Friday, November 4, 2011

Our Failed Efforts in Iraq & Afghanistan: "This Ain't No Video Game" or 10 Reasons Why We Should Never Have Gone to War.

"My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators." –Vice President Dick Cheney, March 16, 2003, Meet the Press

First off, let me say that I love our military and believe that we have some of the finest young men fighting for us in Afghanistan and Iraq. I doubt that most Americans realize the caliber of people they have fighting for them. I am saddened because I feel that we have misused our finest and now we have very little to show for it.

Joshua Yancy, Iraq 2003
They say that hindsight is 20/20, but I questioned our reasons for going to war in Afghanistan and Iraq from the beginning. 

My son, Josh, who was 19 at the time, was about to be sent in with our troops to liberate Iraq (The 2003 invasion of Iraq (March 19–May 1, 2003). In the days leading up to the initial invasion, I remember sending an email to Tony Snow who at that time was a USA Today columnist and talk show host (he later became George Bush's press secretary).

In my email, I expressed my concerns about this being a "politically-correct" war. I was fearful of having another failed effort like the Battle of Mogadishu where 19 of our soldiers were killed (Blackhawk Down,1993). Tony Snow shot back an email assuring me that from what he was hearing, if we did go into Iraq, it would be an all-out assault sans political correctness. Sorry to say, but the late Tony Snow (a true gentleman and patriot) was wrong. 

I am thankful that both of my sons have returned home from duty in Iraq, but sadly several thousand other young men and women have not, and many thousand more have come home with broken bodies and spirits.

Here are my ten reasons why we should not have invaded Iraq or Afghanistan. 

1. Four of the five hijackers on 9-11 were from Saudi Arabia. Our supposed ally. They were trained in Afghanistan, but why was Saudi Arabia given a pass? Was it because of our dependence upon Saudi oil?

2. In our efforts to get the blessing of the UN, we basically telegraphed our plans to Saddam Hussein, announcing to the world that we would be invading on March 23, 2003. What armies in world history have ever gone to war by letting their enemy in on the date and time of their invasion? Is that insane or what?

3. We titled the war, "Operation Iraqi Freedom." I thought we were going after terrrorists, not freeing the Iraqi people from Saddam Hussein? George Bush campaigned under the premise that he was opposed to nation-building, and what are we doing in Iraq and Afghanistan? "Nation building." Our focus was wrong from day one. Saddam Hussein didn't attack us on 9-11. It was Bin Laden, and it was also Saudi Arabian homegrown terrorists. 

4. I knew we had no business going to war when during the first days of the invasion, our troops were being fired upon by Iraqi forces from mosques, and our soldiers were given orders not to return fire. Why? Because the mosque is a religious site and it would anger the Muslims in Iraq. Too bad! Bush should have immediately gone on the offensive and informed the Iraqi forces that the moment they start using a mosque to store weapons or to fire upon our troops, it ceases to be a religious site and will be blown to smithereens! When I saw this, I realized that we were NOW engaged in the FIRST POLITICALLY-CORRECT WAR in U.S. history. At that moment, we should have withdrawn our forces and headed home because we did not have the stomach or proper mindset for going to war.

5. Iraq has been a hotbed of tribal warfare being the Sunnis and Shiite Muslims for centuries. What makes us think that we can go in there and turn things around in a week, month, or even a few years? We inserted ourselves in an ongoing conflict which showed the stupidity of our State Department and our President. 

We are attempting to bring Democracy to a region which is rooted in Islam. Alexis de Tocqueville on his famous trip to America from France in 1831, observed that democracy in America was rooted in our Judeo-Christian background, and if we were to lose that, we would lose our democracy. We can't impose democracy on any nation. They have to want it and be willing to fight for it as we did during the Revolutionary War.

The Operation Red Wing Seal Team (Lone Survivor)
6. Our military leaders said that we would go to war using conventional warfare. This is George Bush's way of "playing nice." We want to be "FAIR" and we chose NOT to use all of our weaponry including nuclear capability. Unfortunately, our enemies never got the message because they have used nothing but UNCONVENTIONAL weaponry against us: IUDs, roadside bombs, suicide bombers. They have taken advantage of our stupid Rules of Engagement to lead us into death traps like the botched effort described in Lone Survivor where 19 Navy Seals lost their lives.

7. Speaking of Rules of Engagement. In Afghanistan and Iraq, our soldiers have been fighting a war with one hand tied behind their back, specifically our "rules of engagement" which is MORE political correctness descending from the Pentagon where Colonels sit in their comfortable offices and make decisions which inevitably put the lives of our soldiers in danger. ROE means that our soldiers cannot fire on the enemy unless the enemy is about to fire upon them. Our troops cannot fire on the enemy if civilians are present. Villagers are to be warned prior to searches. No night or surprise searches.

Often, rules of engagement require varying levels of approvals before action can be taken. In one case, villagers had tipped off U.S. forces of the presence of a Taliban commander who was threatening village elders.
To get permission to go after him, U.S. troops had to get 11 separate Afghan, U.S. and international forces' approval to the plan. The approval, however, did not come until well into the next day. By then, the Taliban commander had moved on, to the consternation of the villagers who had provided the tip. Observers have claimed that it can take some 96 hours to acquire all the permissions to act.

Pat Tillman (Nov. 6, 1976 - April 22, 2004)
8. Cover-ups like the death of Pat Tillman which was due to friendly fire  but was covered up by the Pentagon and commanders in the field like Gen. Stanley McChrystal. How many more cover-ups have occurred? We'll never know. But what it tells me is that our military leaders just like our government leaders will lie to us whenever it serves their purpose. Where is the integrity and righteousness that we assume our leaders to have?

9. Dick Cheney (I'm currently reading his autobiography) said on Meet the Press on March 16, 2003 that when we arrived in Baghdad, we would be greeted as liberators. Yeah, well that didn't happen. The Iraqi people were not dancing in the streets upon our arrival. We were met with mixed reactions. 

To this very day, there are many in Iraq that don't appreciate the sacrifice we have made and don't want us there. They could thank us for all that we've done by giving the U.S. a portion of their oil profits to help pay back the billions spent on their behalf. But that's not happening. There is no real gratitude. They want us out of there, and we should have left sooner rather than later.

10. Our troops are trained to break things and kill people. We are using them for this social experiment called "nation building" or in other countries, "meals on wheels." We have no business expecting trained soldiers to shift gears and become social workers. We have no clear mission, no clear goals, no clear definition of victory. And therefore, we have no business being in Iraq or Afghanistan. 

As a nation, until we throw off the shackles of political correctness and realize that we really are at war with an enemy that is deeply rooted in Islam which considers us the Great Satan, then we have no business sending our troops to fight any where, or in any way.

                                                        Video trailer from "Restrepo"

No comments:

Post a Comment