The Iraqi troops are finally on their way to home sweet home from a long and winding road. I welcome them as heroes. They are Freedom Fighters. As a veteran of the United States Air Force, my heart is happy to see them come home to their families and the news is timely for the Holidays. Soldiers and veterans are responsible for participating in something greater than ourselves as we do the best to make our nation proud while spreading democracy throughout the world.
We have been in Iraq for almost a decade and this war has indirectly helped the rest of the Arab world in places such as Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Syria. We have seen perceived untouchable leaders get toppled within the past decade from Saddam Hussein to Muammar Gaddafi. We gave American Life and money to the new democracy which in turn helped to spark other democracies.
But should we pull out all of our troops?
A very good friend of mine came to the United States when he was a teenager. His family sent him here to flee the Saddam Hussein regime, and he told me horror stories of the approximate 600,000 Shiites dumped into mass graves Hitler-style. His family in Iraq is very grateful to the United States for helping bring down the evil dictator, but concerns of our troops leaving Iraq so soon is weighing on their minds. They understand bringing Saddam down was a big deal. They are concerned that 40 years of the Saddam regime may take a little bit more time for the Iraqi’s to gain adequate morale. They are a new democracy and the United States’ direct military influence is now gone.
Now that Saddam is dead, do we protect our investment with sufficient military the same way we did in Germany or South Korea? Or do we implement a creative peace keeping mission?
Will Iran have direct influence over Iraq? I do not believe so in the short term, however, according to the BBC, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki essentially owes his position to Iran’s support. Unpredictably Iraq voted against sanctions in Syria when the Arab League voted to impose economic sanctions against them recently in November.
If we want to maintain military presence, the politically correct thing to do is to maintain our presence in the Arabian Sea. For the time being, the relations we have with Qatar helps ease our concern toward a peaceful end to Iran’s nuclear program.
With all of that said, I understand we need to smartly spend our tax payer money as we charge ahead. Osama Bin Laden was not captured in Afghanistan as we spent millions and millions of tax payer dollars trying to find him at hand. We purely need to be smarter in capturing depraved leaders, and if this means to help encourage a revolution that appears to be from the people within said government – then so be it. It is less expensive to accomplish what we accomplished in Libya by leading from behind, than to bomb an entire country only to rebuild it’s infrastructure soon after with our tax paying dollars. I am told neighborhoods in the middle of Baghdad still do not have sufficient water and electricity.
All in all I feel relieved to hear of our soldiers coming home. This was a long war and I have been concerned for our military forces being spread too thin for some time now. It is time for our soldiers to heal and become re-energized. Military morale should be invigorated as we embark into the dangerous unknown surprises this millennium has to offer us. It is also a time to focus on a stronger continent and unified front within the Western world.
Our troops are withdrawing during a time in which many in our nation feel broken and down trodden. Perhaps for a moment, a spark might light up in our eyes as we capture and share some of the happiness I know these soldiers have in their hearts as they come home to their loving families.
Welcome home, Iraqi troops. We missed you and we love you.
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