Tuesday, April 08, 2008

"War"

What is it good for? The song by the same title says, absolutely nothing, but I disagree. There are times when war has to be fought to protect the lives of innocent civilians and to oppose despots who are bent on world domination. America hasn't really had one of those situations since the second World War, but we have created a couple in order to keep our fighting men sharp and to test out our latest weapons under battle conditions.

The Iraq war began in March of 2003 and for all intents and purposes, ended on April 9th of the same year. On May 10th of 2003, The President of these here United States delivered his now infamous "Mission Accomplished" speech. So in about a month and a half, the stated goal of removing Saddam Hussein had been accomplished and most of the organized resistance had been eliminated and the Iraq war was ended. What we have been embroiled in since the date of "Mission Accomplished" is the "Iraq war". In order to fight a war, you need an enemy, a goal and at least a measurable standard for success. The United States currently has none of these. At least not in Iraq. Our goal is to supposedly fight al-qaeda (which according to reports make up less than 1% of the opposing forces) and to help the Iraqi government establish a stable and viable democracy. What the US forces actually spend most of their time doing is helping to quell sectarian violence within Iraq. So the "Iraq war" is actually a police action to help prevent a full scale civil war from erupting. The "Iraq war" is no more than the most expensive police force the world has ever seen, which has cost the United States the lives of more than 4,000 soldiers and will ultimately cost in the trillions of dollars.

I am not here to argue the merits of starting this war (there were none, by the way), but now that we are in a "war", could we at least agree to drop the silly tag. Could we stop having the President talk about how we are winning the "war", when there is no war to be won. The only real problem with fighting a "war" is that people die (without the quotes) just like they do in a real war. John McCain promises victory in the "war". I would like to know what exactly justifies victory when we aren't FIGHTING ANYONE! The men and women of the armed services who volunteered to serve their country are being done a great disservice by this "war".

There is an actual war going on in Afghanistan, but that has taken a back seat to the "Iraq war". How many more of our brave men and women have to die before we demand an end to this "war"? Kids play war all the time and no one dies, but this administration plays "war" and hundreds of thousands pay the ultimate cost. War is necessary at times for the good of mankind. This "war" was unnecessary and good for absolutely nothing.


2 comments:

Sandy Jimenez said...

Well said/written. That picture with Petraus sitting silently next to the mic, with all of those medals depresses the hell out of me.

Mark In Irvine said...

Very astute observations. Shout it from the rooftops.