Nearly 9 years ago the United States of America entered the country of Iraq (again) with Operation Instant Thunder. Save the 4,000 or 5,000 troops that will remain "in country" to use an old Vietnam War term, all our troops will be gone. There are some closing thoughts on Iraq from your Best Asheville, North Carolina Bed and Breakfast.
Some things we might have gotten wrong:
1. There were 19 terrorists involved in September 11, 2001. 15 were from Saudi Arabia. 2 from U.A.E. 1 Lebannon 1 Egypt. Conspicuous in its absence: Iraq.
2. WMD. Not so much.
3. Despite claims by then Assistant to President Bush on Economic Policy, Lawrence Lindsey, that the expected cost of the Iraq invasion and subsequent regime change would cost between 100-200 Billion.....He was ridiculed by Rumsfeld and Mitch Daniel, the Budget Director for his estimate after they described him using such words as "boloney" and "very, very high" in reference to his cost estimate. His job was lost for his honest commentary. The final cost of this war is expected to burgeon to 3 TRILLION DOLLARS!
4. Faring equally badly were others trying to be real about the cost of this war in human terms. Appearing before a committee in front of Paul Wolfowitz, deputy secretary of defense, Gen Eric Shinseki met with similar types of insults to his also inaccurate estimate that the Iraq invasion might take several hundred thousand U.S. troops. In fact, more than 1.5 million Americans have served in the Iraqi war. More than 4,500 of them gave their lives in this war and more than 30,000 wounded- Which fails to include the estimated 100,000 suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
5. A "hot button" topic in the current news cycle is the 99% vs. the 1%. While an important discussion wages regarding the distribution of wealth in this country for the purpose of this blog look at these numbers in another way. If 1.5 million served in Iraq- half of one percent basically did this work for our nation. Not even 1%. I recently heard one of the talking heads and he quipped that of course we should support the troops because we don't want TO BE THE TROOPS. Clearly, the above percentage bears this out. If there is anything fair about a war.... When The Dreaded Draft was still IN, the real, dirty, down in the trenches truth about WAR was shared more equitably. All of us had a "dog in the fight" or the potential to have one. Even some obscure senators kid shipped off to the Ivy League as an avoidance of this duty found, to their dismay, if they partied too hardy and got booted from academia...they too were subject to the long & always hungry arm of Uncle Sam!
Some things I pray we get right:
1. To the less than 1% that exclusively shouldered this horrific burden our county took on while the rest of us enjoyed tax breaks and never had to worry about being one of "The Fallen" regardless of our view on the "rightness" of this war....We owe them a debt. If all we can get right is this one, singular, honorable obligation we cannot fail to do it.
Merry Christmas Troops! I cannot think of a brighter, more thrilling Christmas gift than to see the young, hopeful, joyful faces of those service members finally leaving Iraq and coming home. It surely is our most Shiny Gift.
Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast