Similar to the Vietnam War, public opinion is building to pull our troops out of Iraq before the job is done. Do we give in to this pressure? What about the American lives we have lost and the massive killing and injuries our military has inflicted in Iraq? Just as it was with Vietnam veterans, if we don’t allow our troops to finish their job, they too, will suffer the horrible effects of sacrificing so much for nothing.
The late Al-Qaida’s No. 2 leader, Ayman al-Zawahri wrote in his letter to his then top deputy in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, “The aftermath of the collapse of American power in Vietnam – and how they ran and left their agents – is noteworthy.” The Jihadists must have a plan ready to fill the void if the Americans suddenly leave Iraq. (Washington AP, 10/11/05)
Once again, as they did during the Vietnam War, some anti-war demonstrators are trying to force our country to cut and run from something we started. Al-Qaida believes it’s just a matter of time when Americans will show its lack of commitment and backbone.
Those American men, who fought in Vietnam and put their lives on the line for our country, did not deserve the horrific and disgraceful treatment that our country heaped upon them when they came home. Many years after the war, the effects still linger on in many forms, such as guilt, humiliation, anger and ruined lives due to mental and emotional problems.
There is no doubt that many anti-war demonstrators, back then, thoughtlessly, just wanted to be “part of the crowd.” Their actions and behavior ultimately caused our country to cut and run in heated battle - unthinkable behavior of our great country, the defender of freedom throughout the world!
The Vietnam War could have been won! We didn’t lose; we simply allowed them to win! The purpose of the war is debatable, but our military was committed and should have been allowed to achieve its purpose. Not only did we abandon a country and its people who depended on us for their freedom, we also lost the respect of our Allies and countries throughout the world.
Almost 60,000 Americans were killed; more than 300,000 were physically maimed for life and tens of thousands were damaged in many other ways - all for naught - all in vain! Our military was not allowed to finish the job with dignity and purpose!
Think about it for a moment. These were young men who bravely committed their lives to their country. They pledged to willingly give up their lives if necessary to fight for America’s interests. Most of them experienced conflict and fear beyond imagination. Many of them killed and maimed other human beings during the war and watched many of their friends in horrible pain and dying, something most American people have not experienced and seemingly cannot put into perspective. They returned home with these horrible experiences in their memories. These are not easy things for anyone to live with, but they will have to deal with these memories the rest of their lives. Our country should have helped them accept what they were forced to do, instead of humiliating them and causing them to feel guilty and alone.
It’s too little and possibly too late, but our country is now realizing it made a huge mistake treating Vietnam Veterans as criminals and causing them unwarranted guilt. Americans are now trying to make amends by showing compassion for our current military personnel. Affection and admiration is being displayed in many ways, such as tying yellow ribbons around trees and such, and throwing parades when soldiers come home. We, in this great country, should be doing these things anytime our military personnel have put their lives in harms way to defend our freedom and interests.
If the American soldiers of today (who incidentally are all volunteers and knew what they were getting into) are not allowed to finish their job with respect and dignity, the results will be the same as those of the Vietnam War. The maiming and deaths of soldiers will have been without purpose.
Where is the grit, the spirit, the pride and strength of the American People? We must not make the same mistakes. Think of the potential damage to our country and its fighting soldiers and veterans if we cut and run from Iraq before the job is done!