This column was posted on one of my discussion groups
After you read this, tell me if you think we are now safer.
I'm still waiting for all the flowers Cheney told us we would be welcomed with.
“Let’s Have At It”
Hit your “turning point” on the war yet?
The turning point for Staff Sergeant David Safstrom came in February of this year, on his third deployment in Iraq with the 82nd Airborne Division. They killed a man that they caught setting a roadside bomb, and they were stunned when the search of his body found an I.D. card showing him to be a sergeant in the Iraqi Army. He thought: “What are we doing here? Why are we still here? We’re helping guys that are trying to kill us. We help them in the day. They turn around at night and try to kill us.” Most of his fellow soldiers in Delta Company echoed his feelings when the New York Times reporter talked to them. Sergeant Safstrom explained that in his first two deployments, he and his fellow soldiers were gung-ho and had no or little reservations about being in Iraq.
Sergeant First Class David Moore, a self-described “conservative Texas Republican” and platoon sergeant in the same unit, told the reporter that he now strongly advocates getting out of Iraq. “In 2003, 2004, 100% of the soldiers wanted to be here, to fight this war.” Now, 95% of his platoon agrees that they should get out of Iraq.
Sergeant Safstrom explained why he believed the American presence was pointless. “If we stayed here for five, even 10 more years, the day we leave here these guys will go crazy. It would go straight into a civil war. That’s how it feels, like we’re putting a band-aid on this country until we leave here.”
Safstrom also recalled his thinking one week after the 9-11-01 attacks, when he walked into a recruiter’s office and joined the army: “You guys want to start a fight in my backyard, I got something for you.” The deception that was foisted upon these young people, and the country as a whole, is stunning. I remember reading about and seeing photos of graffiti put up by American troops in Iraq, with the message of “Remember 9-11.” These young people were willing to kill, and be killed, thinking that they were fighting the people who attacked us on that day. For several years now, anyone who has been paying even moderate attention to the situation knows that the people in Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11.
What have we done to the Iraqi people? A study by medical researchers that has never been successfully disputed has shown that over 655,000 Iraqis have died since the invasion. Approximately 2 million have fled the country. Recently, reporters have discovered among these refugees that way too many young Iraqi women and girls, especially those with no fathers as breadwinners in the family, have been forced into prostitution. Approximately one-third of Iraqi doctors have fled the country, and 2,000 of them have been murdered. Another 1.6 million Iraqis have been displaced within their own country. Our USA is spending $6 Billion a month on the Iraq War, but we have refused to allow any Iraqis as refugees into our country, except for 202 of them.
Our country is now spending $50 million a year on advertising for the army. My son, in his senior year of high school, was stunned to discover a large, brand new SUV, with big speakers and a big TV screen, backed up to the main doors of the commons of our high school one morning. The hip looking young man with shades on, who was greeting all of the students he could, turned out to be a military recruiter. Casey asked him who was paying for this big, showy rig and the equipment. The guy smiled and said it’s just part of their budget in the military. Our military is also now spending $1 Billion a year on enlistment and re-enlistment bonuses. Will this madness ever end? Will we ever get leadership to focus on serious anti-terrorism measures, instead of creating new terrorists in droves?