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The Sandbox: There is no "winning" here.

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Rose Siding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 06:55 PM
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The Sandbox: There is no "winning" here.
...Stationed in: Baghdad, Iraq
Hometown: Salem, Oregon

It is extremely hard to be here and not question the people and events that led to our being here. I don't question my own personal choice to be here. I ran, not walked, to my local recruiter with the desire to serve my country. And I am much more fortunate than many soldiers serving here. I am on a large, well maintained FOB (Forward Operating Base) located smack dab in the middle of the Baghdad International Airport. I can go to Burger King every day, and I sleep in an air-conditioned trailer with internet access every night.

When I go out on missions, I get to see the way the "other half" lives. I have to wear all my gear, even while I'm fixing trucks in the 120 degree heat, convoy from place to place, sleep outside on a cot, run to the bunker when mortars go off, and experience the horrifying feeling of seeing an IED go off at the front of a seven-vehicle convoy (I was driving the rear vehicle) and wondering for seconds-that-felt-like-hours if someone I worked with and cared for was hurt or killed, while simultaneously breathing a guilty sigh of relief that it hadn't gone off seconds later on my truck.
Let me break it down to you as I see it...We tell the Iraqi people when they can leave their homes and for how long, when they can be on the road and when they can't. The majority of Iraqi people have no electricity, except for dangerous generators supplying too many people with less than sub-standard wiring. Iraq is a deeply divided country of people who went right back to hating each other as soon as their common enemy was ousted. Democracy will only give the upper hand to the majority, the Shiites (whose most radical sect, the Hezbollah, already hold 23 seats in the Lebanon parliament).

Meanwhile, the only thing the Iraqi people know is that a foreign army is occupying them to protect them against "insurgents" who, I'm saddened to say, would probably not be here if American forces weren't roaming the streets, searching people's homes and enforcing curfews.

I'm not so idealistic that I think all the conflict would simply vanish if we were to leave. History has proven otherwise. But there is no "winning" here.

That's from an entry on Trudeau's amazing new blog.
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