posted on May, 8 2009 @ 10:55 AM
I hope you don’t mind, but I have a really hard time stomaching some of the anti-troop, anti-war, “good things can’t possibly happen in this
world” comments. Terrible things happen in war (the ones you think are illegal and those you may think are justified). I know several pieces of
crap individuals serving time in prison due to the injustices you mention. However, I think the OP has done a great thing by going against the grain
and posted something positive.
I understand why some of you might think the pictures may not be genuine or possibly common sight throughout Iraq and Afghanistan. However,
constantly focusing on the bad and evil sometimes limits our focus. Times are changing a lot over there. I think the children’s friendly faces,
clean clothes (depending on the quantity of fresh water, most individuals you come across will at least be clean), and clean(er) neighborhoods are all
more commonplace nowadays. By the way, mentioning Darfur as a counter example is not a legitimate argument against Iraq or Afghanistan. Darfur does
have some major issues, but if someone found positive images pulled from there I wouldn’t bash him.
You will always be able to come across areas that fit your stereotypical view of a war torn and impoverished community. (I am sure it would take
equal time to find areas in the United States which are equivalent if not worse.)
If you are thinking that I am mistaken or ignorant to the realities which are plaguing our world, let me back up my above statements:
I (though ignorant at the time) enlisted immediately following 9/11 and served in the US Army [75th Ranger Regiment and 404th Civil Affairs Battalion,
Special Operations (Airborne) Unit]. I left the military with an honorable discharge after I fulfilled my service. I was then recalled from the IRR
in 2007 for another tour in Iraq.
My missions in Iraq took me to the worst places the country had to offer. I never once had the luxury of patrolling in the “Green Zone”. I have
been to Sadr City, Adhamiya, Baqubah, among many others. During my time with Civil Affairs, I was up close and personal with Iraqis on a day-to-day
basis. My mission was to ensure the standard of living for Iraqi citizens was rebuilt. I evaluated sewage issues, availability of fresh water, fair
governance (so one faction did not feel abused by another), local economy, security for civilians, and claims of malpractice by our troops against
Iraqis. Projects were started daily to reduce the strain of our presence in the country and bring normalcy back to the citizens. No, all of our
goals have not been achieved yet. However, there are good men and women over there making a positive difference in these people’s lives.
Yes, there are bad places in this world where children wear ripped and dirty clothes (I need not look any further than my own city limits for examples
of this) and sewage drains from homes into the roads (I’ve seen it in Iraq as well, but it more of an exception now). Yes, atrocities committed by
individuals against their fellow man (regardless of race, nationality, or creed) happen at a sickeningly high rate around the world. Yes, wars are
horrible and typically fought to promote a sometimes hidden agenda behind high-level closed doors. I will not argue against you with any of these
points. However, I will argue that most of the civilians in Iraq are NOT as pitiful as some of you are making them out to be.