I had forgotten about it until this week when the numbers were coming in and the media began their doomful wails. I had called it prescience in the post, but that foreknowledge was borne of experience. The inevitable outcome of a known course.
This week I have watched it come to fruition.
If we want this war to end then we are going to have to bring down the hammer on Al Quada in Iraq, and when we begin to push, they are going to push back. The harder we fight them, the more desperate they will become, and the more they are going to respond with violence. We are going to lose more soldiers than ever before, but a full on engagement is truly the only way to bring American soldiers back home.
I'm not in the habit of talking about the war here, other than supporting our troops of course. I've adopted soldiers serving in Iraq in the past and we're gearing up to start another email campaign to let the guys and girls over there know that what they're doing, and the sacrifices that they're making, are appreciated. Christmas is also approaching and, if you've ever done this before you already know, it takes a while for the packages to arrive and get dispersed so an early start is always best.
You can call it a bit of prescience on my part, having been a soldier myself, and having been stationed overseas during the first Gulf War, that I'm looking at the up-coming months with a sense of both dread and also an increased sense of patriotism.
I can't even begin to imagine what the coming months are going to reveal, but it will be extremely polarizing to the American people.
One thing is for sure. There is going to be an increase in the number of soldiers that we lose in Iraq. We may lose more in the next few months than we have lost in the war so far. And that is going to be a huge payload for the media spin doctors, and the Democratic Party is going to use that fact to force their own campaign agendas.
'We The People' have been calling for an end to the war. We want the conflict over and we want our children (and spouses and parents) back home. That means that the conflict is going to have to be heightened. They can't leave, honestly and practically. Safely. Without first eliminating a threat that is growing rather than receding from terrorism. That means that our soldiers are going to be in much more danger than they have been in the past, merely by the nature of this type of assault. They will be putting themselves in positions of risk that they have not been in before.
I do see how this going to get spun though. No one has been louder in calling for an end to the war than the Democratic party, but as soon as those numbers start to rise we are going to hear about what a failure the campaign is. I happen to believe that it's just not so. As a former soldier and veteran let me assure you that the soldiers fighting over there are well informed of what their objectives are. This is still a voluntary Army and the GIs, both male and female, who are charged with defending our country are not going blindly into the abyss. They aren't cattle being led to the slaughter. They are an incredible fighting force and I don't think they've had a real opportunity to show their capabilities thus far.
'I The People', here in the land of me, me, me, also want our troops back home. I don't ascribe to the motto that if you don't support the war, you don't support the troops. And frankly, I feel embarrassed for anyone who can't come up with a more literate approach to the matter than 'If'n yur not fur us, yur agin us!' It insults my intelligence when I hear such lowbrow responses to something as complex as the way Americans feel about this war.
We're now in a position of 'damned if you do and damned if you don't'.
We have to amp up this conflict. We have to bring the hammer down with a resounding thud. And we are going to lose troops doing it. I'm dreading the campaign ads where dead soldiers are paraded as victims to provoke people into making a decision based on emotions rather than facts.
This isn't so much about voting or politics as it is about soldiering. I spent too many years wearing a uniform myself to not recognize how this tide is going to turn. And the only way it's going to turn in our favor is if we make a firm decision to crush the enemy and have it over once and for all. We'll hear about our soldiers being ambushed. The body count will blare on the evening news. But no one is making a comparison to the enemy body count.
I'm going to mourn the loss of every soldier that we lose. I'm going to mourn for their families at Christmas. And there will be a lot of them. But not as many as there will be if we have to spend another five or six or seven years fighting over there. And the way things have been going since this war began, I'm afraid that, without making some major offensive strikes, that could be a real possibility.
We just have to keep the faith.
We have to trust in our leaders.
And I don't mean the White House or the War/Money Machine. What would our commander-in-chief know about soldiering, except how to get out of it? No. I mean the platoon leaders and the squad leaders, people who actually know how to lead--and how to motivate their troops. Because that's what the Army is. It's small groups of soldiers who have worked together and trained together and they will look out for each other. I know this from personal experience. They've learned to fight as a unit. And, given the opportunity, they are going to do what they have been trained to do. And God bless each and every one of them for that. And please watch over them.
My thoughts are with them tonight.
I do believe in our soldiers.
My faith is strong.