Archive for the 'Military' Category

Jul 10 2007

Why We Should Stay In Iraq

Published by under Military

I really need someone to help me understand some things.

Everyone is up in arms about Iraq. Most people want the soldiers back home. President Bush’s approval rating is at 29%, presumably because people are mad about the war. Certainly, most people have enough money right now to buy every gadget and possession they can imagine so the economy can’t be the issue.

Personally, I believe we will live to regret the day we prematurely leave Iraq and I’ll tell you why.

Something not often reported in newspapers are the REASONS why al-Qaeda blows things and people up. Why is it that they like murder so much? Of course, most Westerners, the lazy people that we are, will simply say, “Oh, they’re crazy.” And that’s the end of the discussion. But below the surface is a reason for violence that would change many people’s views of what’s happening in Iraq.

Al-Qaeda and other radical Isalmic organizations are fighting for nothing less than worldwide sharia law. They want the rule of Islam to be instituted as the state government in every country in the world. Because THEY are currently in the middle east, they’re starting there. They view anyone who does NOT want to implement sharia an infidel. That is why they have no qualms killing other Muslims. They do not view them as true muslims but as kufr, apostates from the Islamic faith. Thus, as any infidel, death is their deserved fate for rebelling against the teachings of the Qu’ran.

While this is an incredibly short explanation and does not get into much detail, it is enough for me to ask my question. What happens when the US leaves Iraq and Iraq is not able to stand on its own (which it certainly isn’t now!)? Who will take power? Is it only the US that the men of al-Qaeda want to see ousted? It is not. Like the Taliban has done in Afghanistan, al-Qaeda will continue to ruin the country of Iraq. What is worse is that Iraq, unlike Afghanistan, has natural resources in the form of oil. If al-Qaeda takes over Iraq upon our departure and builds the infrastructure to the point that they are able to export oil, they will have an endless stream of revenue to finance their terror plots worldwide.

And make no mistake that their ambition is not only the subjugation of Iraq or Afghanistan. Like any organization with goals, this is just the beginning of a grander plan.

So I ask again…why are we fleeing Iraq? Yes, soldiers die every day and that is tragic. And Iraqi civilians are being killed by the dozen and that makes me super sad. But to look BACKWARD and talk about “Bush lied” or any other such rhetoric is NOT where the debate should be focused. Those decisions are sunk costs. The current decision should ONLY be framed by what’s best for all parties going forward. Because I believe my analysis to be correct (gleaned from other sources, obviously, as I’m not that smart), I think our only course of action is to stay.

To give al-Qaeda time to mobilize its forces (people), resources (weapons/cash), and overthrow the Iraqi government would eventually spell far more death and destruction than we can imagine. Because Iraq is not their end game. They have sworn over and over that they want every country to be under sharia law. So whether we like it or not, this battle against radical Islam (which should really be termed a different religion altogether) is just beginning.

If someone can convince me I’m wrong, I will certainly listen. But it bristles me that so much of the rhetoric and debate on Capitol Hill focuses on so much emotionalism and so little reason. I wish the war wasn’t happening either, but it is. And if we don’t finish it right, we will pay a far higher price in the future.

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Jul 04 2007

Freedom

Published by under Military

What can I say that doesn’t sound like a cliche? Today I realized that I often write things which SOUND good but which I don’t actually believe. I don’t like that because it is self-deceiving. It makes me think that I believe something I don’t. So while I could use all types of cliche words and phrases about freedom, I’m not going to. But that doesn’t mean my writing has to stink.

I fly the colors out in front of our house every day. Putting the flag up consistently is a reminder of the hundreds of thousands of lives that have been spent so that we live how we do today. That is an overly-stated, simultaneously¬† unappreciated fact. Familiarity often breeds complacence or indifference (not only contempt). Some days I’m so moved by hanging the flag that I cry. I imagine my grandpa in World War II, a fighter pilot who flew Hellcats. I think about the fear he managed daily in sorties that sometimes resulted in the loss of friends. He escaped, though narrowly at times, unscathed. He inflicted destruction and took more than a dozen Japanese lives in the name of freedom. It was truly freedom he was defending.

And oh the scars of war that so many, past and present, have borne. From bullets, bombs, grenades, mortars, missiles, and memories of all these and more. Unforeseen to the inexperienced soldier and civilian are the rigors of war that threaten body and mind and the impossibility of continuing “normal” life upon returning home. How can we, having never experienced war, know the battles that continue in our friends and relatives who have fought and survived war? I don’t imagine we can. But how much I wish I could – that I could offer them the freedom they have given me.

But maybe I will serve to continue the freedom they fought for. Because if the freedom of our country comes to a place where we are backed into a corner (like at the outset of World War II), I will go Marines and try to be an officer. But, in the mean time, I have a worry about our country. The peace and affluence we know is softening us to being principled. The only principle many people in our country have is comfort – comfort for everyone. War is not comfortable so it’s thought we should ever and always avoid it.

Let it be known that comfort is only secured when those trying to make us UNconcomfortable are silenced. The battle against radical Isalmism (not to be confused with peace-loving Muslims) is a battle. And it will continue for many years to come. So this is an issue I hope my close friends will consider in more detail and become principled about if they are not already.

Over the next few days, I will have a multi-part series on why we will be locked in a war against radical Isalmism for the year to come. Tonight, I will leave with a quote from John Stuart Mill. And a prayer that we grow more resolved as a people in this country – resolved to maintain our freedom through the exercise of our minds in securing the principled, visionary minds our nation has always had.

“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself” (John Stuart Mill).

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