I thought I'd give my two cents worth on waging this war today. I don't in any way profess to have the answers to managing Iraq politically or strategically. Nor do I have an opinion about how our leadership is handling the situation....haha...you guys thought you'd catch me stepping on my crank, didn't you?!?!
As a working family man in America, I take pride in being able to support and provide for my family. With that responsibility, comes the daily endeavor that we call a career. For the sake of this discussion I will leave out the moral and emotional responsibilities of being a husband and father. Those are far more important than the financial support role...but are not a point of my discussion. I'm going to get an earfull about this from my wife...but I'll survive.
In Iraq, the majority of the working age males are unemployed. And as most of you know; in the Muslim culture, family is the one of the keystones of life. Now consider if you were sitting at home all day without a means to support your family financially and watched those effects on your life and the life of your wife and children....how would that effect you mentally. I know that I would probably be pissed off and frustrated. And who would you be pissed off at? I'm guessing the easy "blame" target...in Iraq that equates to the U.S. We shut down their industry and either closed or destroyed alot of the workplaces. In the big scope of things...it was the correct thing to do to meet our strategic goals in Iraq. Three years after the fact and many, many unemployed adult males later...we wonder why we are seeing such a growing insurgency. I would like to see some of the state industry of this country be reopened and put some folks back to work. Hell, I don't care what they are producing; could be widgets...who cares...but at least they are working. Work means money; Money means food on the table; Food on the table means happy families; Happy families means proud, happy Men and finally Proud, happy Iraqi men means less attacks on American servicemembers.
That may be a very simplistic way of looking at things. And yes, there is alot more involved...such as religion, culture, yada yada. But it's a start. The notion that pride as an Iraqi will drive these folks into spontaneously starting a new government and developing western laws and ways....well, may be a little overly ambitious...for now. I think proof of this can be found anywhere in America. Find an area riddled by unemployment and you find destitution and crime at its highest rates. "People are people"at the core, whether they are American, Chinese or Iraqi and personal pride in the ability to give an adequate quality of life to your family crosses all cultural borders.
Now don't think ole Barbie has gone "tree-hugging" all of a sudden. If one of these wacky Iraqis comes at me with aggression on his mind...I'm NOT going to offer him a bologna sandwich or a 5 dollar bill. I'll definitely be offering the business end of my M-16....I plan on going back to my flying career, supporting MY family and eating at my dinner table one day soon.
R, K and G...Love you...have dinner ready when I get home :o)