Thursday, June 01, 2006


Recently I read an article from AP, written by Douglass K Daniels, reporting on the potential fallout from the killing of Iraqi civilians by our Marines and I can not help but to wonder; will our troops be the scapegoat of the Iraq War fiasco?

This is a valid question because our troops were indeed the unfair scapegoat of the Vietnam War fiasco.

Our soldiers are not a bunch of great guys eager to fight to protect our freedom, democracy and well being. They are far more than that. They are the warriors of our country. In fact, they are very dangerous warriors who are trained to kill, highly motivated by purpose and committed to “live winning or die killing”. They are not blood thirsty but they will do whatever is necessary to win. That is what we train them for and what we expect from them.

War is a bestial endeavor and it brings out the worst in human nature. In order to survive in war, soldiers have to let loose the primal beast inside everyone of us and rely on its survival skills and instinct to keep them alive while hoping that, afterwards, they will be able to bring it under control again.

Our troops have not only sworn to die for us but they have voluntarily agreed to expose themselves to being wounded and/or mutilated and further, to jeopardize their own sanity to keep us safe. Many come back from war to broken homes and lives and all of them have to endure the long process of taming back the beast they had to let loose. A good number of those soldiers spend the rest of their life trying and are never able to succeed.

The sacrifice our troops are willing to make for all of us is so high that there has always been a silent covenant by which, we the people, have agreed to spare every soldier live that we can and to use our troops only as a last resort and in situations of clear and present danger.


Living up to this covenant is what forced President Truman to take the dreadful decision of dropping the atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Staying faithful to this covenant is what forced President George Bush Sr. to stop our troops from marching over Baghdad in Dessert Storm. As a soldier, he knew first hand the true nature of war and the cost in soldier lives of pursuing further that war as well as the devastation that we would have inflicted to Iraq. Loss of lives and devastation that was not warranted since we had already accomplished the mission we were there for.

In Vietnam, that covenant was broken and we sent our troops to die for political and strategic reasons but certainly not because we faced a situation of clear and present danger. When our troops came back we made them the scapegoat of that mistake instead of going after the politicians and leaders who took the decision of sending our troops there in the first place.

During the Vietnam War we saw on television the face and true nature of war and most Americans were disgusted by those images. We should not forget them though because that is the nature of every war and every time we send our soldiers to fight we should expect reruns of the same nightmare. That is why in a civilized world, war is the last resort.

Regardless of what Hollywood portrays, war is not a gentlemen affair and our soldiers are not gentlemen in fatigues, democracy preachers, country re-builders, peace seekers, policemen or any other dove like, politically correct term you want to use to define them.

Our soldiers are dangerous and lethal warriors. They are also very scrupulous but they are human beings and do have a breaking point. They will get the job done though and in doing so we should expect situations such as “Haditha” to happen because when you go to war, you literally move into Satan’s domain and, hell, has a way to rub on.

On the other side, we the people, not our soldiers, should take full responsibility for whatever excesses our troops may unwillingly commit because it is us who sent them knowing before hand the nature of their mission.

In Iraq, our leaders and politicians have once again broken the covenant we have with our troops and sent them to fight and die for political and strategic reasons under the masquerade of a clear and present danger situation.

Further, our trigger happy leaders have unnecessarily endangered the live of our soldiers by keeping them in Iraq, doing a job that is not theirs to do, long after they had accomplished their mission. An extended stay that has cost lives because our leaders were arrogant and did not secure a diplomatic agreement in the United Nations for them to take over Iraq once our troops were done.

Once again, there are voices being raised to make our soldiers the scapegoat of this fiasco. Politicians taking distance, advocating for punishment and running away for cover leaving our soldiers hanging out to take responsibility for their actions.

This time though, we are watching like hawks and will not let that happen.

We the people will stand behind our troops, behind every one of our soldiers, and will take full responsibility for any and all of their so called wrong doings. We will never again allow for the responsibility to be placed on their shoulders and we will never again pay back their heroic sacrifice with reproach and neglect regardless of what they might have done.

We will not punish our soldiers for what is our responsibility in order to save face in Iraq. We shall place the guilt were guilt is due; with the politicians that send them there.

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