Iraq wants us out.
Some misguided soul named Nicole who was surfing the net stumbled upon my “Support Our Troops” post where I ranted about the yellow ribbons. The post is nearly two years old and she obviously did some digging to find it. (Perhaps she was searching Google for information on where she could find her own yellow ribbon.) She decided to use the comments link to blast me as “ignorant” and a “disgrace.”
Yeah. Right. Whatever.
In response to her ignorant (I really can’t think of a better word; ignorant does mean “lacking in information or knowledge in general,” which fits her perfectly) comment, I attempted to shed some light on the situation. Real light. Not that narrow rose-colored beam cast by the conservative propaganda machine. I pointed out that her Marine boyfriend is not fighting for our freedom. He’s fighting for the freedom of the Iraqi people. And, according to an article on the Editor & Publisher Web site, “New Survey: Iraqis Want a Speedy U.S. Exit — and Back Attacks on U.S. Forces“:
Past surveys have hinted at this result, but a new poll in Iraq makes it more stark than ever: the Iraqi people want the U.S. to exit their country. And most Iraqis now approve of attacks on U.S. forces, even though 94% express disapproval of al-Qaeda.
At one time, this was primarily a call by the Sunni minority, but now the Shiites have also come around to this view. The survey by much-respected World Public Opinion (WPO), taken in September, found that 74% of Shiites and 91% of Sunnis in Iraq want us to leave within a year. The number of Shiites making this call in Baghdad, where the U.S. may send more troops to bring order, is even higher (80%). In contrast, earlier this year, 57% of this same group backed an “open-ended” U.S. stay.
By a wide margin, both groups believe U.S. forces are provoking more violence than they’re preventing — and that day-to-day security would improve if we left. [emphasis added.]
With this in mind, and knowing that 3,000 Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have died in the conflict, how can any American continue to support the War in Iraq?
Don’t get me wrong: I do support our troops. These people are making the ultimate sacrifice — unquestioningly following the orders of their commanding officers, literally risking life and limb to achieve military objectives decided upon by someone far removed from the field of battle. Throughout history, the military has protected us from threats to our way of life, from the Revolutionary War through World War II.
If our military forces were fighting off an invasion to our shores or helping to protect one of our close (and grateful) allies from attackers, I’d be doing whatever a normal citizen could do to help (short of putting one of those ridiculous yellow ribbons on my vehicle — ah, just kidding).
But I don’t support the Iraq War. In the three years since we invaded, it’s become clear that we had no plan and no real idea of what to face there. Sure, we got rid of Saddam Hussein, a murdering bastard responsible for the wholesale slaughter of his own people. And we’ve brought “democracy” to the country — whatever that is worth. (I’m still not convinced that democracy is the right solution for every country, but we won’t go there, since I’m not prepared to stand on either side of that argument.) But we’ve brought Iraq into a state of chaos, where our own people have become part of the problem.
I want nothing more than for all of our troops to come home and be with their families this holiday season. I know that won’t happen. But I also know that blindly supporting the policies of our government in Iraq won’t help anyone — not our military, not our people, and certainly not the Iraqi people, more than half of which want to kill us.
Please let’s do something proactive about the situation. Please let’s wrap up the situation in Iraq quickly and get our people home.
I want my ignorant friend, Nicole, to be able to wrap her arms around her boyfriend — her whole boyfriend — on U.S. soil and and move forward in a life together.