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Why Do We Fight in Afghanistan and Iraq?
Patriotism is one word that means different things to different people. It often pops up when discussing the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Both wars are convoluted affairs costing lives, both offer nothing to America except money spent and lives lost. Let's take Iraq, long before America went to war with Iraq in 1991, in the 80s, America supported Saddam in many ways in their fight against Iran for eight years. America's interest was to look away at the Saddam atrocities and use of chemical warfare against their own people. When the Iran war was done, America switched horses against Iraq and Saddam for the exact same reasons we looked away in the 80s! Saddam seemed to pose a threat to Saudi Arabia with its belligerent bravado. When Iraq actually moved a few troops across the border, suddenly America was in danger via Saudi Arabia and its oil. Thus, America invaded but stopped far short of Baghdad and did not take out Saddam. The first Gulf war was not really a war, more of a skirmish, in which US easily won. Little life was lost. The Iraqi Army was pathetic.
The first Gulf War was really about preserving America's oil supply. Then, Sept. 11, 2001, happened. Terrorists gave America its second "Pearl Harbor". Terrorist ties had tentacles in numerous countries including Iraq, Saddam was thought to be working on weapons of mass destruction and Bush 2 thought it was time to overthrow Saddam, something his father stopped for good reason. Bush 2 supported the need by the WMD weapons said to have been developed and the al-qaeda. The WMD was iffy at best then and since was proven just a fabrication. The latter, also, was tenuous at best. Yet, these two reasons were fodder for the anti-terrorist cannon that followed 9\11. Bush 2 thus invaded Iraq again and this time consumed it all and toppled Saddam. That was over seven years ago and thousands of American lives. For what?
Iraq remains a big question mark as to whether it will remain pro-west or anti-west once American forces leave. How was Iraq a threat to America? It was only because Bush presented it in such a way so that the public would support it. Even in 2010, few, if any, American or Western companies have invested in Iraq in its rebuilding. Too risky, still. Yet, China has already made oil and construction contracts. China will reap any benefits from American blood spilled there. Is it really patriotic to be killed or disabled for this sort of cause?
Afghanistan is just as lame. This war was on the back burner for years, with no serious attempts until Iraq was "calm". Then, it went full bore to "eliminate the terrorists". For every taliban killed there, new ones are created across the border in Pakistan in remote areas that only drones can reach. Terrorists will always be around to wreak havoc on whatever targets they go for. There is no winning in Afghanistan, unless America plans to colonize it. The corruption in the government has been noted yet not much can be done about it. How is losing two arms or legs for an American soldier the patriotic thing? how did that make any difference except ruined his own life over this futile war? It didn't. Everyone knows it, but we say they were patriotic. What is meant is that the soldier had no choice but to follow orders and pray to God every day that he would make it home safely. Will we think the same in 2020, when America has long left this area and realize, nothing changed despite the life lost and billions spent? Will disabled soldiers who did their job think their sacrifice was worth it? Ask some Vietnam vets who did a similar thing. Anger is a word you hear.
Neither Iraq nor Afghanistan is the "Good war", aka, WW2. That had real purpose, real consequences. Iraq and Afghanistan is not a patriotic war. America is not remotely endangered by either, no matter how each turns out. Having another democracy in the Middle East is a nice idea since Israel is the only one, but things were fine before either. Iraqi oil will end up in Chinese hands as they develop the fields. Terrorists continue to exist in both countries. Tribal rivalries will continue. Corruption is part of their way. Then, there is Iran, stoking the embers to their favor whenever they can, however they can to influence the Islamic way and eroding any democracy America managed to plant there, until there is none.
Unfortunately, America is in too deep and pulling out is not seen as a patriotic thing to do when the handwriting is on the wall. It should be.