Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Troops Remain Positive While Death Toll Climbs

President Bush is traveling to Crawford, Texas today to ring in the New Year with his family and while much has changed during 2006 in the world, very little has changed in Iraq. People are still killing each other in the streets of Baghdad and other cities throughout that war torn country and roadside bombs are still killing US troops almost on a daily basis. Over the past year, the American people have told President Bush about their dislike of the Iraqi War in many ways, including removing the GOP from leadership in the US Congress in November. However, no matter what the American people and other political and military experts believe, President Bush is unmoved in his Iraqi war strategy and while the Bush Administration does not say, “stay the course” anymore, in reality that is exactly what they are still doing.

Just like the centuries old conflict between the Israeli’s and Palestinians, members of the various branches of Islam in Iraq have mistrusted and many times hated each other for decades. It was naive at best for President Bush and other pro-war members of the government to believe that the only thing that was keeping the Iraqi people down was Saddam Hussein. While no member of the current Bush Administration is willing to publicly admit the real reason why it was so important to go to war against Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Most certainly the American people believe that it was a mixture of revenge against Saddam because he attempted to assassinate the first President Bush and more importantly the vast supplies of crude oil reserves that lie underground inside the country.

The past few days it has been difficult for me to watch US soldiers, still fighting inside of Iraq, talking to their families back home in the United States via media teleconference calls. There is no doubt that most members of the US armed forces believe that they are doing the right thing in helping the Iraq people have a chance at a better life. This is why most citizens of the United States support our troops in the field even as support for the idea of the War in Iraq continues to drop on a monthly basis. Unlike Vietnam, the American people have learned to separate the hatred of war from the men and women that wear a military uniform. US soldiers give up so much, for so little in pay to serve in the US armed forces and the American people recognize and support people that are willing to make such sacrifices in order to serve their country.

Another year has passed with little to no real progress for peace developing inside of Iraq. Maybe because millions of us will be celebrating the arrival of a New Year within the next few days, I am reflecting back on what conditions were one year ago on the ground in Iraq. Unfortunately, the situation there is not any better now than it was at this same time last year. I am so discouraged that President Bush has taken a stubborn approach to Iraqi war planning and policies and it is difficult for me to see his positions changing in his last two years as the President of the United States. I guess there is still a chance that President Bush will be right in his war objectives in Iraq and in 20 or 30 years the world will be a better place because of the choices he has made. However, my gut feeling tells me that this is unlikely to happen and just like LBJ and JFK are remembered now for also being stubborn men because of their actions in Vietnam, President Bush will most likely be viewed by history in the same way.

Read more: Civil War - Iraq Plan - War Politics
Archive pages: Iraq Debate - War Divides
Related: Bush Fight Back, Stuck In Iraq, Bush Poll Numbers

Troops Remain Positive

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