4489 American lives lost


(Originally written in the Spring of 2014 but not published due to my OWN technical inadequacies)

This represents the number of Americans killed in Iraq since the conflict began on 19 March 2003. ADVISORY: The link provided ALSO has a reference to the names of the brave Women and Men who lost their lives so access those areas with the understanding that you may see someone you know or know of. If that applies to you, dear reader, my deepest and most hearfelt condolences and prayers for your loved ones.

Irrespective of the reason we launched the campaign, or as Madam Secretary Clinton would say “What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?” (no link added) the fact remains that these were Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines (I include the Coast Guard as sailors) who answered their Country’s call. Now that our involvement in the conflict has “ended” sans resolution we find ourselves facing a situation now of our own creation. We have, in essence, made the country ripe for the picking.

We did not fight to win. Well, our TROOPS fought to win. Our leaders just wanted to put on a good show for the world and that they did. Now President Obama has declared that we have left behind a

sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq

We see images of the troops we trained, outfitted and equipped laying down their arms and fleeing before a much lesser opponent. My first impression when I saw that was Jar-Jar Binks giving up the first chance he got.

I have been hearing squawks of sending troops as “advisors”. I do not believe ANY advice we give will be heeded or acted upon. The Iraqi are a military in shambles, preferring to follow rather than lead and seem predisposed to having someone else fight their battles for them. The last time we sent in “advisors”?

(Emphasis added)
“American foreign policy after World War II had been based on the goal of containing
Communism and the assumptions of the so-called “domino theory‖—that if one country fell to Communism, the surrounding countries would fall, like dominoes. The Eisenhower administration was concerned that if Vietnam fell under Communist control, other Southeast Asian and Pacific nations, including even the Philippines, would fall one by one. In response to that threat, the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) was formed in 1955 to prevent Communist expansion. President Eisenhower sent some 700 military personnel as well military and economic aid to the government of South Vietnam. This effort was foundering when John F. Kennedy became president.

In May 1961, JFK authorized sending an additional 500 Special Forces troops and military advisers to assist the pro-Western government of South Vietnam. By the end of 1962, there were approximately 11,500 military advisers in South Vietnam; that year, 52 soldiers had been killed.

The president would soon send additional military advisers to support the South Vietnamese Army. By the end of 1963, the numbers had risen to 16,000.”

Military Advisors in VietNam

People commonly reference their “slippery slopes” and equate current events to traumatic past events but there are too many similarities to let this one pass.

With the ISIS (ISIL to some) forces advancing and retaking the gains we have made over the past decade, the President has been “requested” to provide more support, be it air power or logistical aid. At some point, U.S. personnel will come under fire once again and the desire and demand to retaliate will force us back into a conflict that will never have resolution. This will be the modern equivalent of the Gulf of Tonkin incident. Back into the fray we go.

Then as in now, the Senate sat idle and allowed the President to conduct aggressive foreign policy without oversight. Whether it was to provide themselves with “plausible deniability” or to use a modification of Woodrow Wilson’s second term slogan “He kept us out of war” to read “WE would have kept us out of war”, I cannot say. Ambition and politics are strange bedfellows.

We have spent officially 1.7 Trillion dollars assisting that nation and what have we to show for it? Lives lost, bodies broken, shattered and rent asunder and for what? We will never change the “hearts and minds” of the Iraqi people. They will never become a satellite of the West. Their conflict has been ongoing longer than we have existed and will continue to the last person. Sometimes it seems like our elected officials, many who have NEVER borne arms in service to their country, just want to prove how tough they are.

We will now face an opponent who by all accounts split off from Al Qaeda because the latter was not radical enough. There will be no prisoners, no quarter given and absolutely no mercy. They will publically eliminate any Americans they can and they will ensure the images are beamed around the world for the shock value and hatred they will arouse. When we retaliate, and we WILL, regardless the Rules of Engagement, we will be out to kick somebody’s ass!

Where will the Iraqi military be? “In the rear with the gear”.

About BarryFN

Native New Yorker, Catholic school and private college educated, Veteran of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Navy. Sailor, Pilot, Instructor, parent and gatherer of information.

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