I heard that on the talk radio station I was listening to as I was riding down to Camp Atterbury in January, 2003, getting ready to go to Iraq. All through the war, every gathering site that had power had a tv set with the news on. About all we ever heard was “this war is evil and wrong.” They protested outside the hospitals as the first injured started to come back, saying “the real tragedy” was that we soldiers were surviving, we had to travel through the airports in civilian clothes so the hippies wouldnt attack, stupid lazy college kids terrified of a draft (that only the democrats want and keep trying to institute. But reality has no place in our modern colleges) spit on us and called us baby-killers; it was just like the 60s all over again. Not that I particularly cared. The wolf cares nothing for the opinion of the sheep, and neither does the sheepdog.
But I keep hearing “was it worth it?” from people expecting the answer to be “no.”
I was on some missions where we went into the deep desert. People lived like they had for thousands of years, quite literally. 4 generations of family living in a 3 sided tent they shared with the flock they followed. There might be a propane stove or a cell phone; these type of things would stand out because the one or two modern items would be the only things that didnt look like they came out of the bible stories from Sunday School when I was a wee kid.
We stopped at one tent where a kid had scratched his arm on barbed wire; a minor cut so common for county life, no one even bothers to mention it. You splash some Hydrogen peroxide on it and go on about the day. Except these people didnt have Hydrogen Peroxide. Or bandages. Or anything else. A scratch you or I would ignore had gotten infected, was pushing towards gangrene, and his family was afraid we would amputate. They were shocked to find out a shot and a bottle of pills was all it took to fix him; the wonders of penicillin.
One of our sister battalions guarded the building of a girls’ school. Squads would take turns escorting the young girls to class so that they wouldnt be shot at. Another group protected the teacher, who lived on-grounds, so that she wouldnt be killed. We were also trying to stop the practice of child brides; men in their 20s and 30s marrying girls 8 and 9 years old. But that, we could only do through words. We werent allowed to shoot the sick bastards. Pity.
I knew of women my battalion had stepped in and prevented from being executed for such “lawful” reasons under islamic thought as not wearing the full black body tent in 135*F temperatures. We saw teen age girls (we werent allowed to speak to them) who were able to be educated for the first time in generations. The MP unit that shared an outpost with us shut down a brothel that specialized in young boys, where we found out that orphans (of both genders) were being sold as sex slaves.
And thats ignoring the fact that even the New York Times is now admitting there were chemical weapons; the only one of the 12 points in the AUMF that democrats can ever remember. Hillary and obama and Reid sat through briefings telling we had captured old stuff and new, even as they went on tv chanting “Bush lied”. They knew the weapons were being used, that soldiers were being poisoned, and that the soldiers were being denied care, so that the democrats could keep chanting “Bush lied.”
But was all this worth it? Was the 5000+ dead, the several hundred thousand permanently crippled (most due to VA incompetence, military indifference, and democrat spite) the eventual loss in a war we had already won; Did we sacrifice for nothing? We saved lives. We brought freedom. We showed a different, better way. Most who live there was, and want, that better way. It is only because of the current administration that life isnt better in Iraq.
To me, the bottom line is simply this: I lost a lot of blood in that desert, and a few great friends. And I’d gladly do it again. Just not for this president; he wasted it all twice, he doesnt deserve a third chance.