Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I pray, God save Liberty in the hearts and souls of Americans. A vital election is coming up and We the People have an important decision to make.
Generally, politics plays a deeply important role in how I vote. However, in my eyes politics plays a very distant second in this upcoming election. We have a mess to clean up and a People to be accountable to, the Iraqi people; with that duty transcending our personal comfort zone.
A pivotal moment that led me to put my life on hold and join the effort in Iraq had nothing to do with our politics; it had to do with Right and Wrong. No matter what I thought at the time about the stated justifications for war, in 2004 the people of Iraq began showing an overwhelming desire to be Free of Saddam. I watched as a fat and happy truck driver –feeling safe and content in my part of the world-- as Iraqi’s flocked to the polls in January of 2005, and I felt embarrassed as they came out of hiding in droves, braving the war-torn streets of towns and cities in defiance of Saddam’s Army, to vote in numbers far exceeding our own in recent elections.
I watched a news report of that historical vote from the comfort of my living room as a young Iraqi lad carried his grandmother to the polls. When I saw their image on TV, I leaned forward in my newly bought over-stuffed LazyBoy chair to hear the grandmother weakly utter that she was so thrilled to have this opportunity to cast a vote against Saddam Hussein before she died. Through an interpreter she said how happy she was to live long enough to see this day! As I leaned back in my chair, a tear ran down my cheek.
About a month or two later I heard a report about a small (American) Army unit up in northern Iraq that chose to not fulfill their fueling mission stating that they took a vote and decided that their mission was too dangerous. What?!, I thought -- has party wrangling and leftist ideas become so strong here at home that even our soldiers are feeling the pangs of ignorance, putting their own personal safety above the call of duty? Weeks later, at 49 years old, I was 30 pounds lighter and in a National Guard uniform; someone has to help America live up to its’ word, whether we agree with it or not!
I put my life on hold, greatly upsetting the harmony of my cozy family life, accepted a sizeable drop in pay, and decided it was time for all able-bodied straight thinking Americans to put up or shut up. Due to my previous Marine Corps experience from the 1980’s, and my years of driving a big rig, the Guard immediately sent me to 88M (heavy truck) Instructor school. Afterwards I joined a transportation Unit, endured a few months of training in the New Mexico desert, and deployed to Iraq for a year. After returning stateside I stayed on active duty an additional year to assist in instructing deploying troops. In all, I spent over 2 ½ years on active duty in support of this --as it seems to me-- liberation effort.
Because of all the negative, political rhetoric coming from our Congress, echoed by our Academia and other loudly-covered leftist talking heads, the everyday people of Iraq laid low fearing the eventual wrath of Saddam’s supporters if and when we gave up and pulled out. But by late 2004 more and more of the Iraqi people began stepping forward, putting their lives in the spot light, and we owe them the promise of our Word – to stay the course until they can secure their own lives – their own future.
I knew back in 2003 our timing for the invasion was all wrong; I remember not being convinced that we had justification for such a task. Nevertheless, the facts now are that we caused an upheaval in the lives or the Iraqi people. We eventually gave them cause for Hope and a semblance of real Freedom. They came around, putting their lives at stake on the Word of America. The least we can do is, fulfill our promise to them. I live by the words of John Quincy Adams, “Duty is ours; result’s are God’s.” We cannot turn the clock back by ignoring the current reality.
Remember the giant plastic shredder Saddam used to viciously intimidate his detractors- Remember the airbus Saddam’s regime bought to assist in training terrorists- Remember the gassing of Kurdish women and children, lying bloated and purple, and dead, in the streets of northern Iraq- Remember the mass graves of Saddam’s dissidents, made up of men and women who stood up against Saddam in year’s past, accompanied by their children, in dozer-dug massive graves. I remember, and so do the People of Iraq. There are many humanitarian reasons justifying our invasion not related to oil or other economic/political spins; let’s get ‘er done then (Charlie) wrangle over the politics.
Next up to help in the liberation effort, is you. Some say, 'If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.' I say, if you stand for something and don't know why, you never stood at all. Rise above the political fray and see this effort for what it is through the eyes of millions of Iraqis. They are living in the present while we fight at home over the past. Stand up with purpose and be counted. Vote for the only candidate left who believes we have a moral obligation to the people of Iraq; this is a defining moment in our history, and the liberation effort far outweighs our personal political comfort zone.
I hope you are able to look into the future and see how we today will be viewed; defeat by quitting is not an option. Quitting will be the greatest “gift” we could possibly give Al Qaeda, and the radicals coming from Iran and Saudi Arabia, by pulling out before Iraq is independently able to muster its own civil forces. Until that time comes, we have a humanitarian mission to complete, imparting the seeds of Liberty upon the hopeful people of Iraq who put their faith, their very lives, on the line because of us. Doesn’t anyone remember the thousands who were slaughtered when we pulled out of Vietnam? Want a repeat? I don’t; we have a moral obligation to minimize the loss of life in a war we are responsible for, and I pray we stay the course. This cannot be simply a war, kill, liberate and come home. We must stay engaged; one. two generations, maybe more---- the people of Iraq will need time to change their way of thinking. Tribalism must be stamped out before we pull out. The question now is not if we should go; we are there. The question now is .. do we have the stamina, the will, and the backing to stay until real democracy sprouts in a land filled with historical violence, with a religion that promotes inhumanity by man to man? Pulling out in a year or five years or 8 years will be a mistake.
Lord help us all, as we have a duty to do the Right thing that transcends our own personal internal political squabblings. No, I don’t expect all you couch potatoes to get up, loose some weight and head to a war zone. But I do expect to see some of you over there! And the rest of you should prepare to assist in what is destined to be a long and arduous war for peace. This cause will take at least a full generation- let's find the political will to, as President Bush put it, "stay the course."

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