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What Some Forget About the War in Iraq

 article about war in iraq

This article belongs to Off the Cuff column.

One glaring truth that many people seem to forget, mostly the misinformed writers who write with such a formidable sense of knowledge to the reader, is that the 'troops' and or 'the military' as a whole, all took an Oath to 'serve and to protect.'


This means that, even if their leaders are dreadfully wrong, or incorrect, certainly at the expense of these troops and the innocent people who are unfortunately in the way, these troops are bound by that Oath. It's also a law.


Should they decide not to fight or to desert, they are tagged as cowards, and some may face life in prison at hard labor, a dishonorable discharge or even, a firing squad if in the midst of a 'fire fight.'


Some people (and writers) seem to think that the troops can 'protest' the war by carrying signs or marching in anti-war marches, yet these are also considered a form of 'desertion in the line of duty,' or as they used to say as far back as America's Civil War (1862), 'going over the hill.'


In the USA of late, there is a story of a young Army officer who decided to 'go public' with his refusal to go to Iraq to fight in the war, because he agrees that the war is a waste of life and effort. Now, bear in mind that this came after at least one year of officer's training school and other forms of warfare training, although most important of all: it came after he had signed up and took that Oath. In short: he knew what he was doing and what would be expected of him then, and now.


When I was on active duty during the Vietnam War, I got wounded and sent to Hawaii for R & R (Rest and Recuperation). It was paradise all right. I loved it there, after I got out of the hospital and was able to tour the islands on a motorcycle. I was there for about five months.


One day, in downtown Honolulu, there was an 'anti-war' march. We were all warned, before leaving our duty stations, that by no means were we to join in the march. In fact, we were told to not go anywhere near the march.


I understood, completely, once I reflected upon that Oath that I took. Right or wrong, I took the Oath, although I must admit to not fully understanding just what I was swearing an oath to. Hell's fire, I barely knew where Vietnam was located in the world when I got my orders to go there at age seventeen. I did know that it was somewhere in Indo-China, but that's about it. I only wanted to serve my country proudly, and with honor, as my father and his father had done. And with my background heritage of Cheyenne/Irish, my bloodline has likely been in wars since time began.


What we simply must understand, is that the troops and or military, cannot make the changes to end a war or for that matter, to alter it.


Most of the world may think that the people of the United States must surely approve of such wars when it is our elected officials who push the buttons of war; not us.  Many point out that no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq, and, althought they were not, they forget about Saddam killing hundreds of thousands of Kurds (over 300,000) with those very types of weapons (poisonous gas) as well as hundreds of thousands (some figures have it at one million) of Iranians during their war in the 1980s. My feeling is that simply doing away with Saddam and his cronies of mass murder liberated Iraq. Running their country should be lift up to them, but which Sect will be in charge?


Lest we all forget: Saddam knew months ahead of time that the inspectors were coming over there to try to find these WMDs. That was certainly enough time to have gotten rid of them, don't you think? I mean, it's a mighty big desert over there.


I believe the real problem that most thinking and peace-loving peoples have with the war in Iraq is that it has gone on for way too long (out lasting WWII) with way too many lives lost for a purpose that has already been dealt with: Saddam is dead and so are most of his cronies of mass murders or they are behind bars, awaiting their headless fate.


We are all sick and tired of the war with no one having the answer as to how we go about getting out, because if the united coalition of troops were to pull up stakes tomorrow the various sects in Iraq would start killing off the weaker ones who need our help the most. They are the ones with no homes, no jobs and no one in whom they can put their trust.  They will be the greatest in numbers to suffer and be killed off.


Please don't think for one minute that I agree with President Bush's policies. I do not, nor have I ever for that matter.


Last week, the U.S. Congress voted to reject President Bush's new Iraqi policy of sending in more troops (about 28,000) and funding (said to be in the 'billions'). But the President can veto their vote and go ahead with his plans anyway.


What also bothers me about the U.S. Congress and the Senate is they have done nothing to stop and/or prevent the corruptions that continue in the rebuilding of Iraq! We have heard factual news reports of construction companies that proved to have been guilty of shoddy work while being paid in full as the new buildings crumble in the desert wind.


Wars used to be fought over land and retribution. Now they are fought for political reasons that only the politicians can create and fathom.


The people should not be blamed for the faults of their elected leaders. They should find a way to make it a law that if an elected politician does not do what they promised to do before being elected, then they should be removed from office in disgrace and be prosecuted.


I know, dream on.


That's off the cuff.



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