My heart is heavy and my soul is angry, seething in fact as they both come to grips with the death of 24 more Marines in just the past week at the hands of these pesky, backwards, insurgents, whom we are this close to overwhelming. Can you feel the heat from the fire of Rome's hallowed halls?
As a Veteran of fifteen years in the U.S. Navy, I feel a deep affinity for my brethren still wearing the uniform, still under arms. When one of them dies in the line of duty, a profound sadness pervades my soul and I have to pause and in remembrance and reflect upon what it means to be an American, less I fail to grasp the significance of their sacrifice. And in my own way I honor each one in my heart, and my deeds.
Yesterday Bush stood before a crowd in Texas and stated that these young men and women (they are not kids and it dishonors them to refer to them as such), are not dying in vain, that they are dying for a just and noble cause, and that their struggle was selfless one. I agree that their devotion to duty and country is selfless, but I highly disagree that the cause they are dying for (and being maimed for in large numbers) is just or noble. I wonder how long the cause would remain just, and the mission noble, if one of the Presidents daughters were to join the all volunteer force and find herself in Baghdad, or Haditha? Of course there is little to no chance that one of Bush's daughters would undertake so selfless a sacrifice for their country. That measure of devotion to country is left to those of lesser (economic) means, and higher moral purpose. The Bush twins are about as shallow and witless as they come.
That aside we don’t belong in Iraq and we never did. Invading Iraq was a glaring mistake made by a man and Administration with a limited grasp on reality, intelligence, and vision. It is an invasion that squandered-and continues to squander-limited resources and diverted our Armed Forces attention from the real threat hundreds of miles to the East.
With each passing day, the quagmire that is now Iraq grows ever deeper and the terrorist who now openly use the country as their own private how-to-be-a-terrorist proving ground, grow ever stronger. We have after all swelled their ranks with our stupefying and habitual disregard for the rule of International Law, and complete respect for any human life not wearing an American flag on his or her arm. Iraq has now become what our government claimed it was, but wasn't before we invaded: a terrorist training facility, complete with ready made live targets for them to practice their evil craft upon. Why shoot at a plywood dummy or sandbags when a multitude of real American soldiers and helpless, hapless, powerless Iraqi civilians are at your disposal?
Yesterday's IED was the largest yet; powerful enough to penetrate the armor of a Marine Corps Amphibian Assault Vehicle and flip it on its side. Fourteen men died at the hands of an insurgency that in the mind of the Vice President of the United States, is taking its last breath. And how did six Marine snipers get wiped out if the insurgents, the terrorist were not tracking them? The attacks bespeak of an enemy who is become more cunning with each attack. We are now stuck in a hell of our own design, how can we even think of drawing down troop strength under such circumstances?
What we need now is bold insightful leadership to help get us out of this mess; what we have instead is Bush and his fumbling, arrogant band of neo-conservative idiots whose vision is marred by the dark clouds of stupidity that hang perpetually over their heads. And now and for the foreseeable future, I have to steal myself for more death, and sadness, and anger, and hope that it does not permanently sour my already astringent soul.