As most of you know, I was a strong supporter for going into Iraq, and freeing the people of that country from a dictator who brought about oppression and was helping to shape the ideology of the region into one of hatred and zealotry. I honestly felt that if we gave the people, the citizens of Iraq a choice between what they had, and what their future would hold, that they would choose a freer (and in our Western Ideology, better) life.
I think we were fairly successful at first. It really seemed that we dragged our feet though in the beginning of 2004 with some key objectives. Completely disbanding the entire former army of Iraq, which at the time appeared willing to work with US forces (the way they surrendered in the name of Saddam embarrassed France, even). All these young men, with no skills other then soldiering, and now no paychecks being set loose on a country wasn't a very good idea, in retrospect. The whole Sadr fiasco, and Fallujah just solidified in the mind of Iraqis that we really didn't have a clue as to what we wanted to do over there... other then be there.
And then there was Zarqawi.
Just a little interjection here. When this war started, we were told numerous times "this is a war with out borders" and "the enemy knows no boundaries". Which is true. So, in my own weird way, I have to ask myself, what is our objective then? How does one win a war on "terror"?
I guess you win a "War on Terror" by winning in the court of public opinion. You win this sort of war by decapitating the voice or the leadership of the group. Sure another person might "step up and fill in", but it would also lead to confusion, turmoil and treachery in the ranks of an organization that is based in violence and corruption of a Religion that is supposed to promote peace.
I sort of bristle every time I hear "we just finished up operation intrepid, and we tried to hunt down Zarqawi... we were unsuccessful in finding him with our 100 man unit that canvassed the entire North West or Iraq for the past 72 hours".
DUDES.. put the army in action, coral the frigging guy and blow him in a trillion pieces! Trust me, THAT is what will sway people to not side with him and his cause. And while you're at it, getting rid of, I don't know... THE LEADER of Al Qaeda might be a priority as well, and not something designated for a 5 man S.E.A.L. team. Maybe?
I guess I'm frustrated in the sense that we really have to take a look at Iraq, and see where we are. Are we better off now then in 2003? Were we making headway in the beginning of 2004 before politics and objectives in Iraq obscured every thing?
I know, I know.. it's the media's fault that people are tired of seeing American's dead, and it's the media's fault that we hear stories about how unsatisfied the Iraqis. And I'm sure someone will point out that no matter how bad it is over there, they prefer United States forces over Saddam. I guess I prefer to have my arm broken rather then severed. Neither one really feel good though.
Let me state again that I did vote for Bush in 2004, and I did support the war on terror. This has NOTHING to do with my political leanings. All I'm saying here is that in my opinion... we aren't "winning" the war in Iraq, and by definition, we really don't seem to be winning the "War on Terror".