My Friend and My Soapbox

Day 31
I had dinner tonight with my friend that I talked about several days back. I have to be more careful how I talk about him now. I think he’s probably my newest user. Turns out he’s with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. We talked about his experiences up in the Fallujah area. Another guy from his unit joined us. It was interesting to hear their stories.

I told you all that the 3rd ACR went home. Well, apparently there are about 90 or a 100 guys still here to pack up their vehicles and gear on the ship. Most of the folks still here are guys who do not yet have a year in country.

I mentioned the rearrangement of our workspace. Yeah, that was every bit the fiasco that I expected. We’ll just leave it at that.

Lots of activity in Fallujah these days. The Marines got hit pretty hard. 10 or more dead in one weekend. Welcome to Iraq. Some 200 people total, mostly Iraqis. Personally, I think they should have locked the city down hard in response to that city’s blowing up a helocopter full of service members headed out for R&R. Our reaction then should have been much stronger. Not with retaliatory strikes but with a much greater presence of force. A side note, those were 3rd ACR soldiers on that helo. My friend lost five friends that day.

There is still a long way to go if the Iraqis are to have the opportunity to build a democratic and free Iraq. Pulling US troops out now will allow militant leaders like Sadr the opportunity to replace Saddam Hussein and his reign of terror. And with that, our children will be coming to this region to fight yet another war. More importantly, the Iraqi people will be returned to the horrorible hell they lived in under Saddam.

The US must finish this. The US must see this through to the installation of democratically elected government in Iraq. It will probably take several more years. The current administration should be preparing the American people for that. Presidential candidates should be explaining how they will ensure that the 600+ American lives lost in Iraq so far will not be in vain but rather will be counted as the heros by the free Iraqi people of the future.


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