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Four Years of Death and Failure

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Today we celebrate, let me take that back; we mark, the fourth year of war on the people of Iraq. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. We were only going to take out a mass murderer, not become mass murderers ourselves. How did it come to this? What were we thinking of? Now that we are in the thick of fighting the evil we unleashed on the world, how can we contain it and get things right again?

The Iraqi’s, from all polls that have been released, are afraid. They have every right to be afraid. They are afraid if we stay, they are afraid of what will happen when we leave. Children have been killed along with their mothers and fathers. What was seen as a way for Iraqis to overthrow the chains of tyranny, is now seen as an occupation by a foreign country to destroy the nation of Iraq. Things are no better, in most categories things are worse than when Saddam Hussain administered Iraq with an iron fist.

The people in America have no desire to “stay the course”. The only people that want to do that are in the administration. Today, general grade officers told corespondents from CBS that America will have a presence of 40-70,000 troops for “decades” in Iraq. Is this what the American people want? Is this what we signed up for? Imagine how much money it will cost to field 70,000 soldiers a year in Iraq. Think of all the target practice we will be giving the Muslim radicals. Is Iraqi oil so damn important that we have to hold a nation hostage? That will be exactly what we will be doing if we follow the route the Generals laid out for Katie Couric this evening.

It’s all like a bad dream. The people want us out of Iraq. When I mention “the people” I’m talking American and Iraqi. Just for a moment, let us take into consideration the odd chance that the President is right, that the Iraqi people really want us to stay in Iraq. If that were the case, why not put it to a vote? If there were a vote on whether we stay or go, and the majority of Iraqi’s voted on us staying, hell, I have no problem with that. If they want us to stay, let them fund our military in Iraq with oil money. If we keep the volunteer Army and soldiers join up knowing they could be sent to Iraq then let at ‘em. I can say this with impunity because it will never come down to a vote by the Iraqi people.

This notion that Iraq will become another Afghanistan is patently false. Iraq is not Afghanistan. Poor Afghanistan has not been ruled effectively by a central government since Tamerlane. The British were soundly defeated in Afghanistan, then the Soviets. They don’t beat superpowers by fending them off. They win by losing at first, and then fight a guerilla war that is waged in every part of the country, backing up into the mountains for the winter. This has worked for them for centuries. Afghanistan hasn’t changed for hundreds of years. They have always behaved in this manner, and they have never been successfully occupied.

Iraq is different. It might dissolve into three autonomous states under a loose confederation if we leave, but it will never be a training ground for Al Qaeda. The simple fact is that the Iraqi’s, Sunni and Shia, and Kurd, despise Al Qaeda. Iraqi”s don’t care for foreigners in their country killing their people. Bush would have you believe that Al Qaeda is some vast world-wide empire that operates in vast underground bases throughout the world, when in reality Al Qaeda is more like a Muslim Ku Klux Klan that people give lip service too, but nobody really likes. The Egyptians and Jordanian and Saudi Arabian and other radical Muslims that call themselves Al Qaeda are basically stateless religious zealots that are hated by most Arabs and Persians. They have been kicked out of almost every country that they attempted to train in. The only nation that gave them a haven was Afghanistan because they paid them well. If we left Iraq, then Al Qaeda would probably be run out of Iraq on their collective apses. Bush has gotten more political mileage with Al Qaeda than any President since Lincoln when he used slavery as a pretext for war.

Four years have gone by, I can hardly believe it. I remember sitting on my couch in disbelief when Colin Powell gave that power point dog and pony show in the UN. Both my wife and I knew that the administration was lying through their teeth. Yet, when I went to work, everyone looked forward to the war like it was a superbowl or a world series. Well, four years later and I’m still livid. Now however, there are people that are just as angry as I am. I know I pick on the Democrats when it was the Republicans that campaigned for this war. One thing however, I will never forget the 22 Democrats that voted for the use of force in Iraq. They now posture and all but one have said they made a mistake, but that doesn’t cut it with me. I knew better, they should have known better. As far as the one that defends her vote, well she never impressed me anyway. If those 22 Democrats would have voted their conscience instead of “going along to get along”, we wouldn’t be in Iraq now.

When people are elected to high public office, they are expected to be leaders. So far, from the Democrats and the Republicans, all I have seen is underhanded, backbiting games from professional politicians. I have seen our rights trampled by attaching laws on spending bills in the wee hours. I have seen Democrats and Republicans gerrymandering in states they control. I have seen both parties fail to tackle the hard inequities in campaign funding that allows corporations to pick our Senators and Congressman. Now it has all led to the fourth anniversary of a war that should never have been fought. This, above all other things should be looked at the hardest, for this war is criminal, just like the people that started it.

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Tim Gatto is Ret. US Army and has been writing against the Duopoly for the last decade. He has two books on Amazon, Kimchee Days or Stoned Colds Warriors and Complicity to Contempt.

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