Iraq: Do Americans Have Patience?
As Andrew’s post highlighting the reporting of Rocco Dippo shows, the real story, “the view from the ground,” is different than what we regular Americans are getting from the mainstream press. But that really is no excuse. As Mitch Lewis writes:
We cannot make decisions about this war based on fatigue, anxiety or self-interest. The stakes are too high for that. If the news is disturbing, don’t look at it until you can read it with your head instead of your gut. Eventually, find the courage to read beyond the “if it bleeds it leads” headlines. Choose to base your thinking on your intellect and will instead of on your weariness or fear. Choose to look beyond your own needs to the needs our nation and our world. As a nation, choose whatever strategy or course of action you think best achieves the greatest good and the members of the armed forces will execute it.
With very little effort, we could find blogs written by all sorts of Military Bloggers (millbloggers), including those who are blogging straight from Iraq or Afghanistan. They’ll tell us what exactly is going on: the good and the bad. But even when bad things happen, they persevere. Even when they think that too many Americans are unable to do the same:
Too many Americans simply don’t understand what it means to “see this thing through“:
Why is it that the combat troops want to see this thing through, but the average American is tired of this war? What do you have to be tired of? Do you have any understanding of what it means to be truly tired? To patrol for hours in 120 degree heat wearing 100 pounds of kit? I’m sorry that watching images of Iraq on CNN has taxed you so greatly. No really, I am. That’s ok, though, because I’m willing to share some of your load so that we can press on with the mission. Because that’s what we do when we get tired.
Whatya think? Can you stand a few more “reruns” of the “War in Iraq” TV show? Can you handle “fighting” the war from that easy chair just a while longer? Apparently, the Democrats in the Senate–with their finger in the political wind–can’t take it anymore. Well, given that they are political animals, can you blame them? No, you can’t. They’re listening to what most Americans are telling them, after all.
I’d agree with the premise of this post if I thought that (a) the war was *worth* seeing through, and (b) that “seeing it through” (which I guess means keeping our troops there indefinitely?) would have a positive outcome.
I disagree on both counts, which is why I personally want the war to end. It’s not that I have war fatigue, or that I’m impatient, it’s that I think we fundamentally shouldn’t be there.
That quote about the Marine Corps being at war while America is at the mall is all too true and incredibly poignant.