One Veteran's Voice

27 November 2005

As goes Israel

I mentioned this in one of my previous posts, but it warrants repeating.

If Ariel Sharon can rethink his policy, maybe there is hope for the Middle East after all.

Ariel Sharon spent the greater part of his life fighting Arabs. He was a ferocious fighter, an able general, and he is proving to be a competent statesman.

Stick with me for a short history lesson
. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is at the root of our current predicament in the Middle East. The nation of Israel was arbitrarily created after World War II to insure that no further genocide would ever be carried out against a people that had been wronged. In the process, Arabs were displaced, their holiest city (which also happened to be the Jewish holiest city, after all, they worship the same God) was made part of the new nation, and the Arabs, believing this international intervention to be the last straw in a series of Western misadventures in the region which began with the crusades, attacked Israel. Israel, with highly motivated and trained soldiers and international support in the form of money and arms, most of it from the United States, consistently defeated the Arabs in a series of wars. The Arabs that still wanted to fight turned to unconventional warfare. Terrorism. The 1972 Olympics. Hijackings. 9/11. Islam became to some a means to achieve a political end-- the destruction of Israel, and all those who support it.

Flash forward to the present. Our current misadventure in the Middle East was conducted under the auspices of ridding the world of the insane Saddam and his weapons of mass destruction. In actuality, the war in Iraq was orchestrated by certain elements of the American and British governments that believed that by creating a democratic and free market society in Iraq-- a large, oil rich, unstable country ruled by an unpopular tyrant-- other countries in the region would follow suit, radical Islam would be debunked, oil production would increase, and the threat of terrorism would be reduced.

The fatal flaw in their logic was to underestimate both the number of troops that would be necessary to undertake such a nation building mission, as well as the intensity with which it would be resisted by a proud and suspicious culture which has been taught from birth to distrust the west, including the United States, as having colonialist and imperialist aims.

Let me be clear about this. The average Arab believes that the United States intends to permanently occupy Iraq. Many Arabs seriously believe that the attacks of 9-11 were orchestrated by the Israeli secret service. I had an enlightening conversation with an Iraqi guard at my camp, and he grilled me about whether or not I supported Israel. He simply could not believe me when I told him I was neither a Christian nor a Jew. Bin Laden took the radical jihad against Israel and redirected its anger towards the United States. He declared war on American civilians. Bin Laden claims that the United States wants to occupy the Muslim holy lands and will not rest till it subjugates all the Muslims. Right now we are pretty much proving him right. (Do not misconstrue this paragraph as being sympathetic to Bin Laden the person. I would shoot him dead with the pistol sitting next to me if he were here in this room.)

Here's the good news-- men like Sharon are realizing that Israel's hard line approach and military action have not always made the nation safer. Sharon realizes that Israel must engage in real negotiations with the moderate Palestinians and make concessions for a lasting peace. Sharon would not call this a "cut-and run" approach to foreign policy. It is the smart thing to do. It is the only solution to the problem.

President George Bush, a man who never had to fight for anything in his pampered life, could take a hint from Ariel Sharon, a man who had to fight for the very existence of his country. Instead, the President utters incendiary remarks like "Bring it On!" How many American lives did that one cost? How many Arab's did he alienate forever? Personally, I am fed up with the current President and his heavy-handed attempts at foreign policy. I truly believe that he is directly responsible for the deaths of almost as many Americans as were killed on 9/11. I am not a coward. I am not a peacenik. I am not a conspiracy theorist. I do not believe Bush "lied" to the American public. Most people in the know did believe that Iraq had some chemical weapons. President Bush is not an innocent bystander, however. He did not tell the truth about the real motivations for the war. The intelligence was exaggerated, cherry picked, and presented in a manner that precluded disagreement or real debate. Dissent was treasonous, and suppressed by attack dogs like Scooter Libby, Donald Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney. Collectively, they purged men like Gen. Shinseki and Joe Wilson, moderate voices questioning administration policy, from government. Bush knew what he was going to do in Iraq well before the last bullshit U.N. resolution that he used as his mandate.

If you, a male of sound mind and body, are a United States citizen between 18 and 35 years of age, have never served in the military, and support the war in Iraq, don't even bother commenting and expressing your views until you have seen your nearest recruiter and enlisted. I dropped out of college to do it, you can do it too. Otherwise I will denounce you with one word, "Hypocrite!" How can you ask others to make the ultimate sacrifice when you will not do it yourself, especially when our Army and Marines are hurting for new recruits?

If you, a male (or female) of sound mind and body, are a United States citizen serving in the Armed Forces in Iraq or elsewhere, I do not intend to demoralize or discredit your incredible efforts and honorable sacrifice. I got shot at as well. I killed as well. I handed out candy to children as well. I know what it's like to be on active duty and not be able to speak out. I also know that a lot of guys are re-enlisting not because they agree with the ideology, but because it's a stable job with benefits, a good bonus, and they have hungry mouths to feed. The military will never publicly question its civilian leadership. That is not its job. Its job is to fight and win the nation's wars. President Bush has created a self-defeating situation where the military can not win. The lesson that ideological republicans such as Reagan and Powell learned from Vietnam was that the United States' fighting man could never again be sent into battle with unclear goals or with his hands tied behind his back. A continued large scale foreign military presence can not further the goal of a democratic Iraq. I simply cannot stand by idly as more people die. It stains my conscience. I can accept that the cause I fought for was true and just, but ultimately foolhardy. Truth is--when I was fighting I was more concerned with my the immediate survival of myself and my comrades than any political goals. Democracy was the furthest thing from my mind when I was blasting people with a 7.62mm machine gun. As a soldier, I am satisfied with my performance in the fight, but I was, and am, unsatisfied with our government's performance. We as a nation deserve something better than what we are getting. Take it back.

3 Other Voices:

One Salient Oversight said...


Keep blogging. You do have a powerful voice.

11/27/2005 04:52:49 PM  
Drainbamage said...

Very good information I wish people who did not understand it as you do would have a chance to check out your site.

Where did you get the candy you passed out to children in Iraq?

11/30/2005 11:49:21 PM  
OneVeteran'sVoice said...

Usually either the leftovers from care packages that nobody wanted or from MREs (meal ready to eat).

11/30/2005 11:59:06 PM  

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