Being a member of the military means putting your life on the line. And American soldiers have incurred heavy casualties over the past several days in offensives throughout Iraq. Street battles have taken place in Baghdad and Fallujah, with Shiite militias and Sunni irregulars putting their differences aside to fight American troops.
All this is undoubtedly old news. But the elephant in the room is that no one is discussing is that these American deaths were unnecessary. The Defense Department’s lack of a coherent plan for the occupation and normalization of Iraq created a power vacuum now being filled by the likes of extremist cleric Ayatollah al-Sadr. We are paying for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s too-optimistic vision of post-war Iraq with every body bag returning to the United States
Last year, with the Defense Department having golf outings with the embezzlers and petty thieves of the Iraqi National Congress and giving away contracts to Halliburton and Bechtel, creating a viable plan of occupation seems like it was the very last item on the agenda.
What will happen now? It is not to difficult to see that Iraq has become a quagmire our country will be involved in for a long time. Rumsfeld’s Defense Department still clings to an optimistic vision for post-war Iraq that is becoming more and more irrelevant and dangerous with every street battle our soldiers fight.
Our soldiers and civilians are dying because of the poor planning of those in power, and the government must change its attitude quickly before the price becomes even more unbearable.