This damned war. More harm than good.


Just try to imagine yourself in a situation if you will?

It’s 2:00 am and you’re sound asleep in your bed, your 3 children in theirs. You’re suddenly shocked awake by a bang! Your front door has just been knocked down. Your children are screaming, and as you rush out of your bedroom to try and protect them from whatever evil has just crashed through your door. Rushing into the hall you’re suddenly confronted by men with rifles screaming at you in some completely unintelligible language. If you have the good fortune to be capable of keeping your composure enough not to get shot, they just keep on screaming at you, almost drowning out the screaming your children are doing. This continues while these men rifle through your house like savages, you have no idea what prompted them to be there, not that it matters a whole lot at the moment. If you’re lucky, they’ll have found nothing and eventually leave and you kneel down and hold your family for hours. Evenually you’ll have to spend the money to fix your front door and try and put your house back in order.

My question is, how would you feel about these people that have just invaded your home and threatened the safety of your family? Would you believe that these guys were tasked with fighting terror – – – or would you say that they were terrorists themselves?

Don’t for a second think that I’m unpatriotic. I love my country and I respect our soldiers to the highest degree. I just want it to be better, which is the only reason I’m bothering to take the time to write this. The point I am trying to make is this “War” can’t be won the way it’s being fought. I consider it to be like performing heart surgery with a shovel.

In previous wars, our enemies wore uniforms and fought us face to face for the most part. When you set out to fight terrorism, you have to realize that you aren’t fighting army against army. What we’re attempting to do is to fight army against ideology, and the only way to do that is to win over the hearts and minds of the people. Without good informants, providing good intelligence on your enemy, you don’t have a snowflake’s chance. So when you bust into someone’s home in the middle of the night, you’re not going to be winning people over. I don’t expect all our young soldiers over there to completely understand this, not that it would matter much if they did. They’re just following orders from their commanders.

In America, we’re somewhat religious, but if religion here required what it does in the middle east, I imagine many people wouldn’t bother. My point is, it is extremely important that we respect their religion. It’s important that you understand, it’s not their religion that is creating terrorists, Islam, buy in large is a very peaceful religion, even more peace-loving than Christianity from what I understand. There are Islamic fundamentalists however that are twisting the Koran’s meaning for the purposes of creating terrorists.

In Islam, women are required to be escorted by a male family member if they’re to leave their homes, which seems archaic to us, but that’s their religion and that’s their belief. I don’t like it, but until it is punished with incarceration or violence, it’s none of my or your business.

I watched a documentary where the whole community was outraged because American soldiers went into someone’s home and removed a woman from the home. Somehow I doubt that this woman being detained by coalition forces and interrogated or imprisoned was worth turning the whole community against you. In my mind, it should have been handled much more delicately, one option that would have been much better would have been to have the Iraqi police handle her arrest, and then interrogated by coalition personnel if need be.

Another thing are soldiers are being tasked with is public relations along side providing security. How are our soldiers supposed to accomplish this without turning even more middle easterners against us when they can’t speak the language of the people they’re dealing with? I think we’re pretty ignorant for us to think that we should be able to go anywhere in the world and it’s their responsibility to speak English.

Honestly, I don’t really know what we’re trying to accomplish in Iraq or Afghanistan, but bombs aren’t going to solve it. Not when we’re blowing up civilians, that just isn’t going to cut it. The Iraqis seem to be handling our occupation of their country about the same way I imagine most Americans would, including me. If armed Iraqis were patroling our streets, busting into our homes in the middle of the night, bombing my country, etcetera etcetera, I’d be fighting them too.

If we ever expect to win this, our soldiers, for the most part anyway, need to be able to speak the language. We need to operate more transparently so that the people there understand why we’re doing what we’re doing. We need to be on their radios and on their televisions making our case, asking for their help. There’s lots of people that need work in Iraq, and they’re not scared to fight. Why not give the good ones jobs as police, so they can start to do the job that we’ve been trying so counter-intuitively to do and we can start to withdraw our troops from the country?

Because, by my mind, staying in Iraq isn’t worth another single American Soldier’s life. I’d like to offer my heart-felt thanks to all our Soldiers, past and present my sincere thanks for what you do. I hope you all get home to your families safely! I’d love to hear from any of you out there, please drop me a line or post a comment, and Merry Christmas. I wish all of you were home with your families.

Justin

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