I hate that I am posting a liberal, anti-war, get-out-of-Iraq post on Memorial Day, but it does seem to be the most fitting time. Before people start to characterize me as a military-hating, anti-war, delusion peacenik liberal, hear me out for a moment.
I am in full support of all branches of the US Military. I think the work they have done and continue to do worldwide has been essential to world stability and America's strength and superiority. But I also think the time has come where their presence in Iraq no longer adds to American security and does seriously jeopardize the security of our boys (and girls and bois) in uniform.
I may sound callous when I suggest that American lives are more important than other lives. In the eyes of the US Government, at least, they should be. Americans both civilian and military, at home and abroad must be protected. The original premise of the war in Iraq was to ensure our safety at home. It is not the job of American forces to unilaterally solve the political problems of other nations. Our primary objective was to remove from power forces with the ability to put Americans in danger in the United States.
The mission succeeded in some ways and failed in others.
Clearly, Saddam Hussein is dead. Osama bin Laden has gone into hiding and has been unable to successfully orchestrate a large-scale attack on US soil since 9/11. Many other terrorist leaders have been killed or captured.
Unfortunately, every day, we lose more young people, primarily men of my own age, to a war that has had very little positive effect on American life.
In the months following September 11, 2001, America was in absolute fear of another attack. We were so fearful that we were willing to relinquish some of our most sacred liberties to the government to ensure our protection. While we now must live with a greater government intrusion in our personal lives than ever before, we feel only slightly more safe. This is evidenced by the paranoia that still surrounds us in public transportation, parks, and other public places. Unattended packages, groups of Arabs, and any whisper of a bomb has the potential to ground a flight. Even a bottle of shave gel or cologne can set the airlines in a panic.
The truth is, we were careless before 9/11. We, the American people, and our government should have been paying more attention and enacting policies to prevent terrorism. Now we are in a war to prevent further acts of violence. Unfortunately, our war has ceased to provide a net gain in terror prevention and is instead training guerillas that are well prepared to fight, and kill, Americans.
The best that can be done now is to reduce the situation. Our government has no other suitable option than to begin a withdrawal of troops and enact domestic policies that will prevent the war from reaching our soil.
On this Memorial Day, I want to applaud our armed services for their hard work and sacrifices, and honor those that have fallen. Their work and sacrifices have not been in vain. Their work might, however, be better suited toward other ends than a fruitless war in Iraq.