What about the soldiers that are there now? What about those in the midst of being sent back or training for their first trip into the bowels of hell?
There was an IHT article I read late Sunday evening when my spine was screaming at me to take a pill and lay down. The article was from the soldier’s perspective; soldiers that are there now and are on deployment number two or three. It broke my heart. They are now losing patience and faith in the “mission” and not because of anything our dear leaders are or are not doing. They are losing faith in the Iraqi’s that are supposed to have their backs..the ones they have been training and arming. The Iraqi army is trying to kill them. I am sure this isn’t news to some, but when you actually hear it from the mouth of one of our own…it takes your breath away.
The article started out with the story of an insurgent who was killed as he attempted to plant a roadside bomb. As they went through his clothing, looking for identification, they came across a badge…a badge that identified him as sergeant in the Iraqi Army. As one soldier put it:’
“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.” “If we stayed here for 5, even 10 more years, the day we leave here these guys will go crazy,” he said. “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.”
This soldier is in Delta Company. I have heard many times how Delta Company is the cream of the crop, the A-team so to speak. The article goes on to state that of the soldiers they interviewed for the story, they gleaned this pov from the majority of them:
“But in interviews with more than a dozen soldiers over a one-week period, most said they were disillusioned by repeated deployments, by what they saw as the abysmal performance of Iraqi security forces and by a conflict that they considered a civil war, one they had no ability to stop.”
The Iraqi security forces are militias beholden to local leaders, not the Iraqi government. They most likely signed up to get a paycheck to feed their families and possibly to provide Intelligence to the insurgents leadership. One soldier was quoted, as saying he thinks over half the Iraq army personnel are insurgents in his estimation.
The rightwingers will tell you that the soldiers are proud of the job they are doing, they care about upholding our government’s goals, and they care about the ‘mission’. The sad truth, which we won’t hear about on the evening news, is that the soldiers are only beholden to their brethren. They just want to keep each American soldier safe until his or her tour is over and they can go back to their lives as Americans. They have “each other’s back”. They no longer believe in the mission or trust the Iraqi that is standing at their side. In the words of one soldier interviewed for the story:
“I don’t want any more of my guys to get hurt or die. If it was something I felt righteous about, maybe. But for this country and this conflict, no, it’s not worth it.”
This is the unkindest cut of all. That they know their mission is futile. It makes the horror all the more intolerable for me. I have really, in some twisted inner vision, wanted them to believe they were making a difference. I want them to believe in what they did when they were blown to hell, that it was worth it. I would rather have them be at peace with all they had done and seen when they died in the sand so friggin far away. The thought that one of these soldiers will die knowing full well he is a piñata in a civil war makes me wild with anger. Simultaneously I want to cry…. a long, low wailing cry that helps all the pent up mental anguish I feel about this shit escape into the darkness of the night.
With my niece in harms way in Afghanistan, I have the right to feel this way about George Bush’s War on Terror and what it is doing to every man and woman that is fighting it. Their only goal is to keep their friends alive. They have the noblest of intentions.
And Bush shits on them daily, every time he opens his piehole and talks about supporting the troops. What balls this man has. How can one man and his cadre of chickenhawks be so ruthless with so many lives and lie to them? Lying to me is one thing but sweet Jesus, lying to them is criminal.