Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Soldiers Worry About Faltering US Support For War in Iraq

There's an NBC video out (featured on liveleak.com) - in which three soldiers from Apache Company are briefly interviewed about their concerns regarding American opinion toward the war. They all express essentially the same sentiments;

What I cant stand are people who say they support the troops but not the war. If you support us, support us all the way. If you don't support the mission we are over here fighting and dying for then we have died in vain.

I have to say, I sympathize with them. It is especially gut wrenching if we attempt to define the mission for which they have been and are dying. The mission, of course, has changed rather dramatically over the course of the last four years. I would say the first thousand or so US fatalities died in a mission to rid Iraq of WMDs and to remove a key ally of Al Qaeda. Nobody supports that mission anymore. The second thousand died in a mission to bring a western style, secular, free market democracy to life in the heart of the Middle East. Not even Bush or Cheney still pretend that is a possibility. Now what is our mission: Prevent Iraq from being divided up between Iran and Syria? Wipe out Sunni insurgents in Al Anbar? Fight the Terrorists over there so we don't have to fight them here?

That's why we don't ask the military anything about their mission (except maybe whether they think their orders are legal or not). The soldiers should know that their mission is to follow the lawful orders of the civilian representatives of the citizens of the US. If their orders are to come home now, that is their mission. I would support that mission all the way. At least none of them would die in vain executing it.

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