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February 22, 2010

What If We Won A War And No One Cared?

A combat veteran and accomplished author, David Bellavia is an honest to God American hero. As the US presences in Iraq winds down, he looks at the cost so many paid to make this moment of victory possible and the sad fact so many of our fellow citizens don't seem to care.

Someone is responsible for everything that goes wrong in America. It makes us feel better to know it wasn’t our fault.

The war in Iraq was no different. While many scurried to blame Donald Rumsfeld, General Franks or President Bush for losing the war in Iraq, they bet against the American fighting men and women to turn the tide of the war. “The mission” in Iraq was evil. The troops would never be maligned as they were in Vietnam.

I don’t begrudge these people. They simply will never get it. They are the type of people you need to protect in a society. They are innocent and naive.

It is the job of the warrior to hide them under the bed and tell them it will be okay, before we run off to combat the threat.

The ones that hold my contempt are those who, even today, know of the sacrifice made, the incredible progress gained and still will not acknowledge what was won on the ground in Iraq. They cheapen the sacrifice of how it was earned. Operation Iraqi Freedom is no more.

Operation New Dawn (the exact same name of the Battle of Fallujah in November 2004) is the new name of the deployment to Iraq.

What we achieved in the face of an implacable enemy, overcoming many in our own government willfully ignorant of our struggle, is what I believe to be the defining moment of my generation. The veteran today is the embodiment of what it means to be an American. Even when our valor was used for political sport, we continued to serve quietly.

There's more at the link. Please read his description of a young Iraqi woman who died for nothing more than the right to vote and the sacrifices of his comrades that enabled that day.

Iraq has been at a tipping point for awhile and probably will be for some time into the future. So was America a long, long time ago. It's a comparison that can be taken to far but the fact remains, no nation rises or falls in a straight line. There are ups and downs, success and failures. The final outcome for Iraq will not be known for years, probably decades. It is up to the Iraqis to decide that outcome and it always has been. It's a country with a lot of history going against it but thanks to hundreds of thousands of men and women (and their families) who served in the US military, they have an opportunity to build something reasonably decent by the standards of that part of the world and if they succeed, it will be of immeasurable benefit to us.

Far too many people were wrong about the Iraq War and don't have the decency to admit it now. Thankfully, we have men like David Bellavia, the guys at This Ain't Hell, Blackfive and a host of other proud veterans who continue to serve by reminding us of what they and their comrades, especially those who didn't survive, did and to tell their stories. In the long run, they will win again and take their well deserved place of honor in our nation's history.

In the meantime, the least we can do is remember what they did, celebrate their victory and challenge those who would deny what these heroes accomplished for our country.

Oh and we can say thank you.


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posted by DrewM. at 02:46 PM

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