Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Iraqi Sovereignty Day

I realize that I haven't posted anything in over 10 days now. I've been spending some time working on my Antarctic stuff, so that has kept me out of trouble for now. Other than that, not too much has been happening since 22 June. The evening of 22 June, we had a mortar attack that ended up with seven incoming mortars.

Then again this morning, just as I got off work and got changed to get in bed at about 08:15am, we had an incoming mortar round. It was close enough to shake the wall some, probably just east of the wall around Lost Lake by the sounds of it. Enough to get me on the floor and find my flak vest and Kevlar. Although, most likely the reason for my skittishness is that today is Iraqi Sovereignty Day. Last year on this date, we officially gave Iraq back to the Iraqis.

Now a year down the road, the insurgents are still trying every trick to instill fear in the Iraqis. It does seem ever more obvious that the insurgents filtering across the borders from Syria and Iran are very intent on intimidating the Iraqi people in any and every way possible. But, take heart, the Iraqi people are and always have been a very tolerant group. They have lived for centuries in relative harmony with one another, whether Iraqi Sunni, Iraqi Shiite, Iraqi Kurd or Iraqi Christian. They do realize that the troublemakers that are here now are not necessarily Iraqi. Even more important, they remind themselves that no Iraqi would treat another Iraqi with such disrespect and irreverance.

It is said that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Saddam didn't have to answer to anyone when he put his adversaries to death for negative words against him let alone even a suggestion of an uprising. But as a semi-resident assisting force, we are held to a different standard. We are expected to answer up for every insurgent that we may have insulted while they are in prison. The Middle East audience is oftentimes quick to overlook that this same idiot that has been arrested and is being held in jail is first off, more than likely not an Iraqi citizen and is being imprisoned for having built, set and having detonated IED’s in the road that kill our soldiers and Iraqi soldiers.

Let’s also not forget to mention that he may be one of the many jailed insurgents instigating explosions of cars and buildings (anything from stores, restaurants to mosques) killing many innocent Iraqi citizens. I’m pretty sure that even Saddam wouldn’t have been tolerating that for too long if he was still running the show here. He wouldn't be conducting interviews to determine whether they were Iraqi Sunni, Iraqi Shiite, Iraqi Christian, Iraqi Kurd, Saudi, Syrian, Palestinian, Iranian, etc. The sword cuts equally sharp no matter the religion or nationality when sovereignty is threatened.

The longer I stay here, the more I do actually believe our soldiers and military will need to remain for an unspecified amount of time. It isn’t only an Iraq question. It really is a necessity if we are to root out the influence of the insurgency in this part of the country and even this part of the world. Until Iraq and Afghanistan are ready to take on these foreign instigators on their own, we will need to be here in Southwest Asia in some way, shape or form. To leave this area now would create an incredible vacuum of power that will be gladly filled with the corrupt influences of something much more vial than Saddam (and Kofi Annan for that matter.)

The void created without the influence of Saddam has been very difficult for our allied forces and the new Iraqi government to fill and change. It certainly isn’t something we can walk away from. The U.S. and allies have already dove in headfirst and now we are going to have to see things through. We can’t run out on what is only started. We have committed ourselves to this cause and owe this much to the Iraqi and Afghani people.
Just wanted to wish you a Happy 4th of July. I appreciate what you are doing over there. Take care, Dave! Shelly (a regular reader)
I just wanted to let you know that we are thinking about you. I know that it has been crazy over there from what we see on the news. Please remember that you are loved and supported from all of us in Arizona!!
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