Well. This has been an interesting week.
I’ve had my share of anger and disillusionment over the events that have unfolded in Iraq this week. There’s so much to be said about it that I don’t really even know how to express it.
I never went to Afghanistan, but between my two deployments, I spent a year of my life in Iraq. Like many Marines and Soldiers that found themselves in that tumultuous little country over the last decade, a small piece of me will forever remain there. I remember the roads of Zaidon, Fallujah and MSR Mobile and Michigan as well as I remember my home state of Oregon. I remember the people teaching me Arabic words and proudly showing me their customs when given the opportunity.
I’ve seen a lot of Iraq veterans express remorse over their lost brethren in the country, given the current state of affairs. Many of them feel like it was all for naught at this point. Some might see this as being selfish, caring more about our own than the country we were fighting for. This is not the case. This emotional response is the result of genuinely caring about the state of affairs in the country. We want Iraq to succeed because it gives us closure. Knowing that Iraq is better than it was is the only thing that we have.
It was the bad war. It was the war that no one wants to take credit for. It’s the war everyone tries to forget.
Yet myself and thousands of others were there, and we can’t forget.
I feel disappointment on many levels in these recent events. On one hand, I want to blame ourselves for pulling out too early. On the other, the country of Iraq has simply been mismanaged. It also disturbs me that the Iraqi army and security forces are simply laying down their arms, tossing their uniforms and giving up. It’s a troubling situation all around. Still, at the end of the day and politics aside, it is really the people that are suffering. The ISIS forces have been brutal, and up to 500,000 Iraqis have been displaced from their homes in Mosul alone.
As for the comic strip, the President just announced that we will not be putting and boots on the ground. More than likely for the best.
Either way, I’d start brushing up on your Arabic, because you never know.