I can’t believe the war in Iraq is essentially over. It was done with a minimum of embarrassment, but also with a minimum of violence. This was the longest war in the history of our nation, spanning one third of my life. And now, thankfully, its done.
Its strange to think that some people have turned this pullout into a polarizing issue. Forget about that. Our troops are home, and they performed admirably abroad. I don’t think the decision to go to war in Iraq is divisive anymore. The most progressive Liberals will tell you that they would probably never have given the President the ability to go to war unimpeded had they known it would have taken this long, and cost so much money, and so many (not considering other wars) young lives. The staunchest Conservatives will tell you that it might have worked a little better under different circumstances, better strategies, etc. But what links those two viewpoints is the recognition that it was time to leave. I congratulate President Obama on effectively ending this ordeal with such little fanfare, and so quickly.
It lasted a whole nine years. At times, it seemed that things were going well. I remember how proud I was (even though I had not supported this particular war) when the ecstatic Iraqis began destroying statues of their deposed dictator. You could tell in their eyes that this was their Berlin Wall crumbling, albeit with a much less certain future. We had used our immense military power to take down a truly evil man. If only the elements that brought him into power were more easily destroyed. The nation was too divided for a quick reconstruction, and changing the hearts and minds of a whole country was not feasible given the amount of time that America generally allows before demanding results. These are all lessons to be learned, and in this case relearned. But everyone deserves a little blame. So everyone should be elated.
Maybe, in time, the infrastructure that we have built, including a semi competent police force, military, and just upgraded amenities in general will allow for a generational shift toward peace in that nation. I have always believed that the more money and resources that a nation can gather, along with a free government that oversees injustice in commerce or in civil rights, are the keys to building a more humane society. In short, the happier and more motivated that Iraqis become, the less they will fight with one another and other nations. Hopefully, we have done enough. The story is not over yet.
This clearly was not a war in the sense that WW II was a war, with huge death counts and international uncertainty. It was, however, something that was becoming more and more of a black cloud. And now, this issue has been laid to rest. It seems as if our country was spiraling under the weight of war, recession, and unrest. This was a step in the right direction. When I heard the news, I got that warm patriotic feeling again. My patriotism was not gone, rather it was restrained. It was akin to the feeling that a parent has when their child spends a week in detention. They still love him with all their heart, but they aren’t exactly singing their praises for those seven days. But detention is over.
We pray for those that we have lost, and remind them that it was not a sacrifice in vain. For those of us that are here right now, rejoice. Our nation has dealt with issues that dwarf this war over the course of our history. And just like this one, it took years for life to improve. Congratulations everybody, we are on our way. And I love this country.