the long, hard war
War will always have its victims. When a large number of soldiers die at once, the reality of the the casualties of war stares us in the face. And then, just like everything else that happens in a war, it will polarize us.
There are those that will point to today's news and give it as a reason to pull out of Iraq. There are those who will mourn the deaths, but feel the need to stay in Iraq, to continue on.
Some will see the attack on the helictopter as proof that Iraqis don't want the coalition forces in their country. Some will see it as proof that Saddam's people - together with other Muslim militants - are still strong in number and that's why we need to stay.
If we stay, there will certainly be more casualities. This is a war, after all. Not just a battle against Saddam's forces, but a battle against terrorism. Eventually, the resistance will be defeated or they will retreat. Eventually, there will be a kind of peace in Iraq, certainly something better than what was in place before the war.
If we leave, there will be still be casualties. Iraqis who are not part of the resistance. The peace process. The dream of democracy. The militants and terrorists will win. Their ranks will grow as they become emboldened by the absence of coalition forces. And Iraq will be the new breeding ground, the gathering point for terrorists world-wide.
Chaos will return, old laws will be enforced, families will be torn apart and the people will once again suffer as they did under Saddam. The casualties of the inner wars of Iraq will be great. And all of the soldiers of the coalition forces who have died during this war will have died for nothing.
I am sorry for the families of the soldiers who died today. I am sorry for the families of the innocent civilians who died during the course of this war. But pulling out of Iraq now would be like spitting on their graves.
Wars are generally long and hard and filled with death and destruction. But they are fought for a reason. I still believe in the reasons I have been a supporter of this war to begin with; to root out terrorism and its supporters, to free the people of Iraq from a horrible dictatorship, to bring freedom to a place that has known nothing but despair and fear.
We started something we need to finish. People will die in the process. That is war. Every person who signs up for the armed forces knows that they run the risk of dying in combat. If we bring our troops home, all those dead soldiers will have died in vain. And all the people of Iraq who want freedom will be abandoned and left to the wolves.
So what is it you really want? Which side are you on? Do you want us to cut our losses and come home, leaving Iraq the way it right now? Or do you want us to stay and finish the job, knowing their will be casualties in the process?
Iraq can, in the future, have a country that has risen from the depths of terror and horror. Or Iraq can, in the future, revert back to that horrible state and become just another place that anti-American terrorists get together and make plans.
That's the choices I see here. What do you see?