Thursday, December 01, 2005

More Ramblings About Iraq

Iraq has become the quagmire of the middle east for the American military. What is the problem in Iraq and why is the situation getting worse and worse? It is you know, even though you are hearing that things will work out. Lets look the situation over!

The size of Iraq is 271,596 sq miles. It has a population of about 24 million people. We have about 100,000 soldiers there. That is one soldier for every 2.7 square miles. This is not exactly inspiring is it? The British conquered Iraq in the last century but things were very different then. There certainly was no movement like there is now to disrupt the occupation and the upcoming vote. Some genius decided that we could use Iraqis to help us because we didn't have enough troops, but no one really knows how to figure out which Iraqis are on our side and which ones aren't. It seems to me that one of the simplest things to do would be to infiltrate an Iraqi unit by a terrorist or Saddam supporter. These units are not reliable. It has been said in some areas that the Iraqi desertion rate is over 80% but I have no way to verify this statement. I have to tell you that I do believe that this is close to the truth. I think that many Iraqis thought that if they jointed the Iraqi military or police that they would be protected by American forces until they could get on their feet. Unfortunately this doesn't seem to be the case. The American forces have their own problems.

I wonder if the insurgents are getting stronger? You don't hear anything about this. It seems to me that many Iraqis must be having second thoughts about helping the Americans. They may be afraid of us pulling out. When I was in the service we always had enough equipment to do the job, but I read so much about our forces not having what they need, it is such a shame. There was an article in the paper the other day about military dog handlers begging their relatives at home to send dog food because the dogs were starving. Can you believe that? It seems to fit right in with the troops not having the armored vehicles they need when they go on patrol. What kind of military action is this when you don't have enough troops and they don't have what they need? Are we talking about the US military here, it is hard to believe? The next thing we are liable to hear is that we don't have enough bullets.

This business about punishing soldiers who use parts from unused vehicles to make their vehicles safe for patrol is unheard of. Taking these kinds of parts has been an unsung tradition in the military since some supply sergeant borrowed oars so that Washington could get across the Potomac Why do some idiots feel that they must make examples of their own troops. I say there is no place in the military for these people.

What about all the munitions that we didn't round up when we conquered Saddam's army? The Iraqi army was very well supplied in terms of hand held munitions. I don't think we could even calculate how many munitions are in the hands of the insurgents. I think it is safe to say that they wouldn't run out of ammo any time soon. Here we are, the world's leading technological nation, yet we can't detect buried or hidden munitions? You would think that satellites, dogs, informers, spy planes or something could do this. If a reward was offered for caches of weapons beyond a certain size this might help. I don't have the answer but it does seem strange.

I have always felt that we shouldn't have gone into Iraq. I also felt that if you do something, do it right. You would think that we would have learned this from Vietnam, but apparently we didn't. Look at the similarities. There is no front line, we can't tell the enemy from the friend, and troop morale is low because some troops are not convinced they are doing the right thing among other problems. Couldn't we have gotten rid of Saddam covertly? We were very worried that someone like him would take his place if he was eliminated, but look at the mess we have now. How are we ever going to stabilize Iraq if we keep doing what we are doing? Even the Iraqi people are getting divided on whether there should be elections or not. I guess the real question is, can there be elections?

Has anything really been gained by taking over Iraq except access to more oil and big contract awards to favored companies? We got rid of Saddam and his family, but a lot of his supporters just went underground and are now sabotaging everything we do. They are terrorizing their own people and killing American troops. If we were to pull out now, Iraq would probably have a reign of terror so terrible that it couldn't be contemplated. It seems that we will have to stay, but for how long? I hate to say this but the situation sort of reminds me of Northern Ireland and we all know how long the British stayed there. I think Iraq could turn out to make Northern Ireland look like a picnic. Even if we pulled out tomorrow and a wave of violence didn't happen (I can't believe that) would Iraq be over run by its neighbors? Who knows?

As time goes by we might even see the draft restarted. I know the president said no draft, but the military desperately needs men and you can't just keep extending the tours of those over there. Just think what this country could have done with the money being spent in Iraq. This is a country where something like 40,000,000 people can't get hospitalization insurance and many seniors can't afford drugs. Does anyone in power care, well let's look at what has happened recently. The drug companies had done everything in their power to stop people from buying drugs from Canada where they can get them cheaper. Social Security cuts are being proposed by the government. A drug plan was passed that does nothing for the average person but adds 45 billion in costs according to some estimates. I could go on but why bother?

So the question goes back to what do we do about Iraq. In the ancient times the leader of a country would have went to the Oracle at Delphi and asked this question, but there are no oracles around today and no one seems to know what to do. I don't know but I didn't plan the Iraq invasion. What kind of plans did we have? What were the plans for the rehabilitation? Were there any plans? All I remember is being told how the Iraqis would love us for liberating them. Who would invade a country without a plan, a viable plan? I guess we would!

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Ken is the webmaster of About Facts Net. About Facts Net is a free magazine online that carries unusual and interesting stories. Photographs, video and audio often accompany the articles. Suitable for the family. Articles that qualify are accepted.

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