15 August 2005

In response to Steve

I don't often respond to people that leave comments, but this is a special case, so I decided to take some time and address this properly. Apparently Steve and I disagree about Cindy Sheehan's nutbaggery that she is demonstrating in Crawford in her quest to smear our President. Steve and I talked about what would happen if America and Iraq's roles were reversed, would I support the foreign army in our country. Steve had the following to say.

First, let me repeat the scenario on which I ended earlier and the question which you did not answer: if America was under the thumb of someone as evil as Saddam, and a foreign nation showed up and sent him scurrying into a spider hole--as you, I, too, would welcome that intervention--if that same foreign power began building permanent military bases in our country, wouldn't you wonder what they had in mind?

Not at all, I would understand the foreign power in question understood that for my country to be safe and a free member of the international community, an occupation would be necessary. Germany and Japan still house U.S. troops as well as Italy; we built permanent bases in those countries to ensure that our sacrifices would not need to be repeated. Permanent bases are a way for our country to permanently keep an eye on the country we fought. It ensures us a base for future operations in the theater, as well as giving us the power to ensure that the vanquished nation doesn't give itself an ideology harmful to our own country.

Steve then broke out the oil argument.

But if they didn't pack up and go, but instead appeared to want to hang around and influence what happens next, wouldn't you grow suspicious of their intentions in our land--especially if their own culture is known around the world for its insatiable thirst for oil and beneath our soil a veritable ocean of oil (and a mountain of money!)is just waiting to be got? What would you do to see that those foreigners got the heck out of our country?

I personally would do nothing to see those foreigners get out of my country. If they came in a noble and true form as we came to Iraq, I would do everything in my power to help them achieve their ends. What does oil have to do with anything? I stated earlier, if we truly wanted Iraq's oil at its highest production level, ewe would not have invaded. Had all we been after was the oil, we would have reached a deal with Saddam as all countries that are pragmatic do. Instead we chose to overthrow a dictator that could have destroyed most of the oil producing infrastructure had he chosen to do so. Why would we fight a war that had the potential to destroy that which you claim we were after? Saddam has shown in the past he was willing to destroy the oil, why would an oil man such as Bush risk losing that? Finally if it was about oil, we sure are doing a shitty job protecting that resource. Third string Iraqi troops are guarding all the infrastructure, refineries, and pipelines. If we were after the oil, why aren't U.S. patrols and Base camps setup along the oil pipelines and among the refineries. I am on my third tour of Iraq and I can tell you that we almost never go anywhere near the oil facilities as we have more important missions to conduct. Oil is not and never has been the major reason we are here.


At this point Steve moved back onto the Cindy Sheehan story.

Now as to Sheehan making a mockery of her son's death, it seems to me that the "sacrifice" of one's life or loved one is reduced to "senseless loss" if the cause for which that life is given is even a smidge less than absolutely necessary. In that urgency of mission, it seems to me, we find nobility and the highest definition of what "sacrifice" is all about.

Who is defining the cause as less than absolutely necessary? Casey Sheehan reenlisted while in theater, he told his sister before his death that he was "exactly where he wanted to be." To my mind that is the highest nobility, someone who wanted to be here, who volunteered a second and third time (volunteered to reenlist and volunteered for the mission that killed him). Ms. Sheehan can speak her mind, this isn't about that. But if her son was proud to be here, why would the mother tarnish that memory of him. Casey Sheehan was not drafted, he wanted to be here and his mother apparently has decided to not honor his memory in line with how he lived his life as a soldier.

Next we hear the old canard about Saddam and 9-11 not being connected.

This brings up the reasons Bush gave us for pre-emptorily invading a country that had nothing to do with 9-11. Honestly, were you afraid of Iraq before the administration began selling us the story about the smoking gun mushroom clouds, a story, by the way, they apparently knew was false!

Steve, I know Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11, I have never claimed that. And was I afraid of Iraq before? You better believe it! I rarely talk about myself and my previous career, but I was an intel analyst that specialized on the Middle East when I was in the Army. I was terrified of what Saddam was up to as the sanctions continued to fall. I was terrified that Saddam was increasing his aid to terror organizations. He avoided Al Qaeda, but all terror organizations are evil, worthy of the death of all of their members. I was worried about what kind of terror groups were training in Iraq, I was worried if those WMD's were not being given to those same terrorists. As for those WMD's they are somewhere, there is unaccounted for material, maybe they were destroyed, but I doubt it. I am more convinced they are hidden in the Western Desert somewhere where people have either forgotten about them or don't care to retrieve them. When I was here last year, we found an entire artillery battalion, (18 Self propelled Howitzers) hidden in the sands of western Iraq,they had been there for 5 years, and those pictures have since been on the Internet. If one man can hide something the size of an artillery battalion, how hard would it be to hide 55 Gallon drums of Chemical agents?

Again Steve goes back to Ms. Sheehan's beliefs.

This is where Sheehan is coming from, I think. The sacrifice of her son's life appears to her to be no more than a senseless waste of his life for a cause far less than noble. The people across the road from her were described as being "Pro War" yesterday in the paper. I don't know how anyone could be "Pro War," especially when that war was a war of choice, as this one was.

First of all I am Pro war, not pro-war as in I love war, but as in I believe it necessary to engage and destroy any who dare to oppose or threaten America. By engage I mean to kill them ruthlessly, without mercy, and with no regard for their feelings, living conditions, or social beliefs. They threaten my country and my family and my way of life, ergo they must die. People that volunteer for the military since the Iraq invasion understand this, many volunteered after 9/11 for this same reason. Cindy Sheehan can believe what she wants, she has that right that has been given to her and protected for her by people like her son. He apparently thought the cause was worth it, his mother apparently thinks differently. The bottom line is that President Bush did not kill her son, Moqtada Al Sadr holds that honor. Yet Ms. Sheehan has not once mentioned that man. Furthermore, Cindy is becoming a self parody, with her rant yesterday about not paying taxes, demanding Israel leave Palestine and that Bush be impeached, she just lost what credibility she had built in the previous week out at Camp Casey. She has firmly entrenched herself with that leftist fringe element that thinks Israel is akin to Satan and that Bush is Hitler. I went from wishing to console this woman to actually loathing her. She has become nothing more than a pawn of the left wing moon bats. I hope in the afterlife if her son has questions for her actions that she has good answers for trying to sabotage our war effort, a war that he, I and tens of thousands of other soldiers believe in.

Steve concludes with a his opinion about the oil situation in Iraq.

Finally, there was no way Saddam could have destroyed the oil beneath Iraq sand. He could have taken out the wells, as he did in Kuwait, but that oil was still going to be there and you know it. But why buy it when we can own it ourselves? Doesn't it strike you as telling that while all the looting was going on, the one building we did look after was the oil ministry there in Baghdad?

When I say he could have destroyed the oil, I mean the process to pump it and ship it. Saddam taking out the wells, the pipelines and the refineries would have made that oil unobtainable for a number of years. (BTW he also destroyed a lot of the wells in southern Iraq in 1991) Secondly, we don't own the current Iraqi oil wells, the Iraqis do. As for the ministry of oil being guarded, it's exactly what I would have done, that ministry contained much of the information regarding the running of Iraq's oil industry. That oil industry is the one thing that could make Iraq a prosperous free nation. The only other thing I would have guarded besides the oil ministry would have been the museum of antiquities.

Anyway Steve, we see Iraq through wildly different eyes. I have spent a lot of time here and have seen why it is worth it. I have seen the beauty in the Iraqi people and how grateful they are that we are here. I have seen our own news media try to snatch defeat from our victory. And I have seen Cindy Sheehan make a mockery of our president and our military with some of her rants. I have seen the mother of a dead soldier ally herself with people that say that the people that killed her son and other insurgents like them are heroes. IF you have been to Iraq I apologize, but if you haven't been here, I would say other than your opinion you don't really know what's going on over here. That being said, I appreciate the feedback and the comments, I'm not looking to make enemies with anyone, I just get tired of trying to get people to see the truth in Iraq, not the media edited version of the truth.

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