ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – US Navy Lieutenant John Kerry appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee debating Vietnam in 1971. He said to the Senators, “How do you ask someone to be the last man to die for a mistake?” Over 40 years later John Kerry is the Secretary of State and David Hickman is dead. Army Specialist David Hickman was 23 when he was killed in Iraq in November, 2011. He was the 4,474 American service member to die in Iraq. he was the final one. The Greensboro, North Carolina soldier was the last man to die for the mistake of invading Iraq.
Eleven years after the invasion Iraq has fallen apart. Sunni Muslims and Shiite Muslims are slaughtering each other. Al Quaeda, which did not exist in Iraq before the invasion, is now the strongest insurgent force in Iraq. In 2004 95 US Marines died in vicious house-to-house fighting in Fallujah to gain control of the Iraqi city. Now, the Al Quaeda flag flies over Fallujah. The Iraqi government has not been able to keep what the Marines won. The entire country is spinning out of control. A death spiral that began because the US invaded.
It doesn’t stop there. The Al Qaeda forces that came into Iraq after the invasion are also fighting in Syria. Now Syria’s falling apart. US troops are gone from Iraq. this is all in the hands of the Iraqis trained by the US. The same in Afghanistan. Our troops are gone at the end of 2014. So, controlling the Taliban will be up to the US trained Afghans. It doesn’t look good there, either. And all of this upsets the men and women who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan that they might have done all of this for nothing.
Troops throughout history have ended up fighting and dying for nothing. The British in Afghanistan in the 1840’s. The French who invaded Russia under Napoleon. American troops fighting Phillipine insurgents in 1898 or American troops in Vietnam. Having fought and bled for nothing is awful. Being the last man to die for a mistake is unspeakable. But, it’s happened before through the centuries. In Iraq, it’s happening again. Afghanistan? Let’s see what happens when we leave. But, vets of both wars should brace themselves. They may have been brave and honorable. But, it may not have meant a thing.
I’m Charles Jaco and That’s Jacology.