Today our combat troops left Iraq. After six and a half years of fighting, teaching, protecting, dying, learning and organizing our troops are coming home.
I realize Saddam Hussein was a terrible leader. If he was just full of boast and bluster he would have been annoying, but easy to dismiss. He, however, was often vicious to his enemies and he didn’t just rattle sabers, he rattled “nukes”, something the world cannot allow. We can’t give potentially hostile nations ruled by nutburgers nuclear weapons. No one should have nuclear weapons. I know we opened that Pandora’s Box, and I know we can’t “un-invent” things, however major powers have agreements in place not to use “nukes”. But some very militant small nations have not signed on. “Nukes” could give them big-nation status. We would have to treat them differently – using fear to breed respect gives a poor, backward nation greater clout.
But the UN not only found no nukes in Iraq, they didn’t even find other “weapons of mass destruction.” So, should we have ever gone to war in Iraq? Was this like using a ring of tanks to kill a mosquito? I think so. Did any good come out of it? Maybe. We now have many thousands of Americans who know a lot more about Arabic culture, and more Iraqis with first-hand acquaintance with Americans, than we have ever had before
We don’t know what will happen in Iraq when we leave. Have Iraqis become somewhat democratized or will a new “sheik” take control for good or evil? Have we created any goodwill for America in Iraq or the opposite? Will the training given to the troops in Iraq hold and form the backbone of a stable and lawful society for all Iraqis? Whatever the outcome we are so relieved to have our troops home and we mourn everyday for those whose lives were lost and those who were injured. And we have not left Iraq without American resources as many civilian Americans still remain in Iraq to help with the transition to the “post war” Iraq.
Just for today, it’s a good day!