Saturday, August 21, 2010

U.S. troops out of Iraq

It has recently come to my attention that the United States military has roughly 50,000 troops in Iraq.

I find this deeply offensive.

Members of this same military attacked and invaded Iraq less than 8 years ago. By conservative estimates, this has lead to hundreds of thousands of Iraqis being killed, injured or maimed. U.S. troops have subjected Iraqi prisoners to unspeakably sick acts of cruelty and bizarreness at Abu Ghraib. The heavily bombed city of Fallujah has seen dramatic increases in cancer, leukemia and birth defects since the invasion began. This ensures that, for unknown years into the future, Iraqis will be cajoled by their coworkers into donating one dinar in exchange for a sticker and the right to wear jeans on some randomly selected Friday.

Emotions are understandably still raw and most consider Iraq to be sacred and/or hallowed ground. The presence of these 50,000 troops in Iraq is therefore nothing short of a poke in the eye, or perhaps even the equivalent of rubbing salt in the wound.

Some say that these soldiers are from the moderate branch of the U.S. military. While I have heard differently on Democracy Now! these troops may very well be there to help with the cultivation of dates. But that doesn’t change the fact that they wear the same flag as those that invaded Iraq. Is there any doubt that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney take great delight in the seeing troops stationed in the land they once invaded? If you know anything about them, you would know that they consider this presence to be a monument to their victory.

I want to be clear that I am not disputing the right of the United States to station troops in Iraq. The 14th amendment to the Magna Carta plainly guarantees this right. But is it too much to ask of Uncle Sam for him to take into account our sensibilities and our feelings?

Having troops stationed in Iraq is the ultimate provocation. It harms relations. Several years ago, some in Ohio wanted to reform the Ohio National Guard. The president of the United States at the time said that while the state had the right to do so, that they shouldn’t because the wounds of of Kent State were still not closed and bandages big enough had yet to be produced. The good people of the Birthplace of Aviation listened to this and then made the right decision by giving up their ambition of having a national guard. I hope that the United States will follow this example and remove all of its troops from Iraq.

3 Comments:

At August 21, 2010 8:02 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

...The president of the United States at the time said that while the state had the right to do so, that they shouldn’t because the wounds of of Kent State were still not closed and bandages big enough had yet to be produced.

You are too funny. At first I was confused, because I thought you meant "reform the Ohio Nat'l Guard" as in to make them less corrupt(?), but now I got it.

 
At August 21, 2010 10:40 PM, Blogger rob payne said...

And with mercenaries and security the total comes to 125,000 soldiers remaining in Iraq. I believe something like 40,000 were removed or are being removed (probably to Afghanistan). Excellent post, you should post here more often. Next watch the 2011 date slated for the removal of the rest come and go without notice, or something will happen that will require us to stay. If not there is always the old standby of just inventing a story like the Gulf of Tonkin in order to stay there.

 
At August 22, 2010 4:12 AM, Blogger Mimi said...

I keep hearing that all "combat" troops in Iraq have been withdrawn, but what if there's some incident, actual or trumped-up, by the "enemy?" Aren't those remaining troops armed? Couldn't they just turn into combat troops once combat has started? If not, why are they called "troops?" I fear this is just another example of slippery weasel words by our devious government.
Strong and thoughtful post, Micah.

 

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