As I've not blogged about Iraq in a while, I've felt a jonesin' to do something, but just couldn't figure out what exactly to write. This past weekend I received an inspiration. The inspiration was named Corporal James.
Corporal James had just come back from Iraq about a month or so ago. He was attached to a local reserve unit and was finishing up his second tour in Iraq. I noticed his short hair and tatoo in a watering hole I had visited for dinner and walked up to thank him for his service. I bought him a beer and he thanked me for the support (and the beer!) and we began to discuss the military, his experiences there, and how he was shocked at the lack of support and lack of reporting of the positives that have happened over there. Additionally, he was irritated at the confining rules of engagement and much of the bureaucracy that has somehow taken hold there. He wasn't a complete rube, he understood the cynical nature of politics and the like, but he said it seems like many of the people who should be on the side of the military weren't, like the officers who were more worried about their careers than the success of the mission.
It reminded me of the many discussions surrounding Vietnam and how the politicians took the war from the military and made it a political football rather than a military action. How the media's continued harping on the death toll and the protests took away from what should have been a successful military campaign. I told him about the 'Big Lie' that Joseph Goebbels theorized about during the Nazi era, where if you tell a lie so unbelievable enough times, and grind it into people's unconscious, they'll eventually begin to believe it. He agreed that the Democrats and the media, as well as many Republicans have bought into the big lie and were fooled by it.
His main point? "Shut the hell up, let us finish our jobs and come home to our loved ones"
I couldn't have said it better myself.
Semper Fi, Corporal