It’s Not About Winning or Loosing
It’s not about who wins or lose, it’s about how you play the game. This is one of the first lessons taught to kids playing little league sports. I’ve always thought the phrase was intended to teach children to put a greater significance on enjoying the integrity of the process and to not place such importance on the goal of winning. However, too often this lesson is lost on people. It is the nature of some individuals to win and be first whenever they find themselves in a competition.
A person can be told he or she could have anything they wish, but whatever they wish for their enemy will have double. Chances are good that this person will never be content unless they could wish for some harm. The very idea that the subject of their abhorrence can have more is simply too much to bear. Sometimes, even winning isn’t enough. The competitors must be utterly destroyed and run out of town in a cloud of humiliation. The drive to not only win but crush enemies beyond their existence may help explain some of the thinking that goes into justifying the invasion of Iraq and the perpetuation of the conflict.
The current White House administration couldn’t bear the thought of Saddam Hussein kicking up his heels in his palace in Iraq and controlling all that oil. It didn’t matter that he defied some United Nations charter, it didn’t matter that he gassed a part of the Iraqi population a couple of decades ago, it didn’t matter that he was accused of having nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, anthrax, bubonic plague, or that he is accused of trying to purchase yellowcake uranium, helium, or aluminum like a crack dealer in an alley in downtown Niger. If none of these problems existed something else would be cause for war down to a news clip of Saddam Hussein jay walking across a Baghdad boulevard. I can imagine the President’s rhetoric for such an occasion.
He brazenly defies their traffic laws. Therefore he is a menace to the Iraqi people. So, god told me that we, the righteous people of the United States, who can throw rocks, smart bombs, and missiles from our glass house, have the responsibility to liberate those poor traffic law abiding Iraqi people.
So we attacked, mission accomplished, Saddam Hussein capture, members of his family are killed, captured, or on the run, switched to fighting al-Qaeda, part of the war on terror, and now we can’t leave because that will embolden the enemy.
Nobody realizes that the enemy has already been emboldened. The United States invaded Iraq more than four years ago and is no closer to a win now than it was then. Some significant events have probably happened along the way. But, the initial count of enemy combatants climbs exponentially each and every day fueled by the large and ever increasing number of reports of US troops atrocities from Abu Graib prison, Guantanamo Bay, and the streets of Baghdad, Fullujah, Kirkuk, Mosul, Karbala, and wherever else our soldiers go on hour behalf. And the hornet’s nest that’s been enraged isn’t even close to being calmed down. And those hornets are able to generate more drones faster than what the military can kill.
The President argues that if we don’t fight and destroy the terrorist there then we invite them to come to our country and we will fight them here. That sounds scary. But the fact of the matter is we already have terrorism here in America. The Virginia Tech shooting where thirty four people were killed was an act of domestic terrorism. The courthouse ambush in Moscow, Idaho was an act of terrorism. Columbine high school was an act of terrorism. The Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma was an act of terrorism. These events and others just like them are acts of terrorism and no one thought to use our military, by far the most extreme measure of force by man on the planet, to keep them from happening again.
And think of the terrorism the people of Iraq suffer everyday from our military being there. Our soldiers regularly kill law abiding Iraqi people at road checks because they don’t understand their instructions. Door to door searches of Iraqi homes terrorize entire families simply trying to tolerate the occupation. Each of these events makes the recruiting process for al-Qaeda and other organizations so much easier. The sooner our soldiers leave the sooner the Iraqi people can get on with their lives.
The retribution that will come from our actions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and other places around the world will come no matter how long we stay in Iraq. Instead of sacrificing our troops as lambs led to slaughter and making them easy targets for the terrorist groups over there we need to suck it up and bring our troops home where they will have a much better chance for survival.
Winning or loosing in Iraq should not be our primary issue. We had the chance not to play this game and like slack jaws yokels we made the choice to jump in with guns blazing. But our military cannot win this alone. Our military will only inspire others to join the fray because we look so much like the global bully who carefully picks his fight with others who are obviously much smaller and weaker. The way we play this game has become so unfair.