I would like to respond to a comment left on my last post...
Do you think that what you are doing is worth the deaths of 25,000 Iraqis and 2,000 US soldiers, or, is this going to be like Vietnam - a completely pointless exercise?
The reason I ask is that it seems that we are helping to install an Islamic government with strong ties to Iran, which will lead to the enslavement of women.
Must make you wonder what you are fighting for!
Many of the terrorist who have been killed in the fighting here in Iraq are not Iraqi. I can't divulge the breakdown as I have heard from our intelligence assets, but many of the terrorists we catch are NOT indigenous Iraqis. There are Syrians, Saudi's, Jordanians, Iranians, and other personell from other countries. There are definately Iraqis that take part in the insurgency.
If you are counting people killed by the terrorists, innocent people killed by suicide bombers, that is the reason we are here. To protect those innocent people until the new Iraqi Security Forces are able to do the job themselves.
As a soldier who takes part in combat operations, I know that there is the possibility that I may never make it home. We are doing a dangerous job, but I signed up for it. When I signed my contract, almost 8 years ago, I knew that I was joining an organization that someday might put me into harms way. I knew that I might fight and die in a foreign land. I joined the Army to defend the freedoms of our land. Detractors of this war may claim we are not fighting for freedom. I beg to differ. By fighting this war here, we are not only procuring freedom for a new country, but we are taking the fight to our enemy. We need to show the terrorists that if they attack our homeland, we have the capability and the resolve to destroy them where they plan and plot to kill our citizens.
One of the great things of freedom is choice. Choice is the cornerstone of freedom. Iraq did not choose to be ruled by Saddam Hussein. They did not choose to be oppressed, starved, and murdered by the thousands. We have given them choice, an opportunity to excersize their volition in how they want their government to rule the country.
Islam is a fact of life here. Moreover, Islam is a way of life. Islam is inextricably intertwined in the day to heppenings of the average citizen. When a religion carries so much precendence in a society, aspects and beliefs of the religion are bound to manifest themselves in law and government. Shari'a law is what these people have known for generations.
If Shari'a law is incorporated into the constitution, and the constitution is ratified by popular vote, then we have done our jobs. We have given them the opportunity to freely elect their leaders, and on 15 October, they will have to ability to adopt or discard the laws the leaders have created. Wether or not the constitution contains elements of Shari'a law is the choice of the people.
I don't see enslavement of women here. I have seen female doctors in the hospitals, I have seen news of women attending and graduating police academies. Women participated in the election in January, the first time EVER. Older, more traditional women still wear the black "abaya", but you often see women wearing modern, colorful western influenced clothing. Women here may not be treated as well as they are in America, but I do not believe that enslavement is a term that properly describes the status of womens rights in Iraq.
As for my own personal hopes for this country, I wish to see this country succeed, no matter which law they adopt. I would love to see them have free and fair elections, and live peaceably under the government they choose.
I don't know of a single soldier who has spent time in the sands of Iraq who doesn't care about this country. I have invested almost a year of my life working to secure this country so its people can live free from tyranny. No, it's not a lost cause. This is not another Vietnam, and I don't believe for a second we will allow it to go in that direction.