Some time during 2003, I performed a medivac out of Baghdad as a C-141C Flight Engineer. Over 18 months, I would perform dozens. At the beginning of the war, all air traffic from Ramstein Air Base would be routed down the Arabian peninsula and then make a turn at Jeda for Kuwait international VOR. Then we would turn north again and fly to Baghdad international. Depending on winds, it was 9 hours down and 7 hours back. Air evac and preflight duties could be as long as 3 hours before leaving Ramstein. Once on the ground in Baghdad, it could take 4 hours to load wounded, especially while under rocket and mortar attach. So, a normal air crew duty day was about 23 hours. When we took off from Iraq, the entire fuselage was always full of wounded. Our greatest anxiety as aircrew and med-crew members, was losing a patient on one of our missions. Our second greatest fear was being hit by anti aircraft rockets on approach and departure.
Our Medivac technicians were the most dedicated and selfless human beings I was ever associated with.
During Desert Storm, Iraqi soldiers gave up in brigade strength. During the second Invasion of Iraq or “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” The Iraqi soldiers again abandoned their posts and surrendered in brigade strength. When ISIS came in with only 3,000 militants, Shiite soldiers ran from their posts and left copious American military hardware. Just a few days ago, Shiite troops ran from Ramadi and left more American military hardware. Military hardware that can now be used to kill American soldiers. We spent utter billions in Iraq. The banks were filled with American money. The Iraqi bases that ISIS over ran, filled with American military equipment. Equipment that could outfit an entire army. The cost will eventually cost the American tax payer over $6 trillion. The VA budget grew from $50 billion in 1999 to $178 billion a year today. There is a VA claim back log of one million. There is no end in sight. Now, Rick Perry wants to add another trillion to the bill and ship it to our children. In 2012, he said “don’t spend all the money!” Now he has changed his mind.
Rick Perry’s position of boots on the ground in Iraq seems to be totally misguided.. The Iraq soldier has proven time and time again that they will run from a fight. Why then should we commit the blood of our children to their civil war. Why should we send our sons and daughters to Iraq a third time and spend their blood for the freedom of peoples that will not stand and fight for their own families?
Did our gallant marines go door to door in Fallujah and spill blood just so Iraqi soldiers could give back all the gains made at the drop of a hat. Is that not an insult? Fool me a third time well damn……
As an airman, we are considered boyscouts with Baretta 9mm. We are not the heroic tough guys. We are highly trained , dedicated and operate million dollar machines. Instead of boots on the ground, we have 150,000 pounds of fuel sitting behind us. One simple mistake and we become BBQ.
When I was performing Air evacs, I garnered more respect for the boys and girls that served in uniform and less for the idiots that run the country. I grew up on a Navy base that had a contingent of every service. I went to school with the kids or Navy, Air Force, Army and Marines. My father served in Vietnam and Agent Orange shortened his life by 20 years. We always support the troops if not the mission. I learned that at Hawthorne Naval Ammunition Depot when I was 12 years old during Vietnam.
The Muslims in Iraq have proven that they do not deserve the blood of American patriots. Why on earth would we send more men and women to die in Iraq when Iraqis refuse to fight for their own freedoms. Where does it say that Americans are responsible for the domestic and religious relations of a Muslim country? How are you able to construct an argument that supports more intervention in Iraq? Why are we supposed to intervene in a Sunni Shiite war? Whose side are we on? Logic dictates that we simply seal off Iraq from weapon logistics and let the population kill each other off. It wont be long until they will want to quit fighting and come to terms. It is not in our national interest to take sides in 7th century Muslim idiocy. We would always be the bad guy. As it is, Muslims are now taking us as fools from Benghazi to Syria and Iraq.
Iraq was an oil war. The idea that we fought for Iraqi freedom was smoke and mirrors.
Sorry if I am not a tough guy… Sorry that I preferred saving lives than taking them. Sorry if I feel that diplomacy is more important than the application of blood and guns. Sorry If I feel that Muslims 10,000 miles away do not deserve the final measure of our gallant troops. In the Strategic Air Command, our motto was “Peace is our Profession!” Our so-called conservative leaders have changed that motto to “Perpetual war is our profession!” The US is now using the American troop in nation building and regime change. Our entire foreign policy has been bastardized so special interest can make money. It happens in every war. But now, Republicans have turned it into strictly a money making proposition for their political benefactors. It is quite embarrassing to see politicians jumping through hoops for special interest like a monkey on the streets of Bangkok.
Imagine if we had spent the money we spent in Iraq here in America, on planes, infrastructure, medical equipment, and education. Where would we be?
Perpetual war is not a conservative position. It is a neocon construct that has been fed to the public. The money we spent in Iraq could have paid for a new Air Force aviation fleet in it’s entirety hundreds of times over. The opportunity cost 15 times that. If the stimulus did not work, then show me the Iraqi freedom return on investment? Show me the return on investment in Iraq that our patriots paid for with their final measure?
My lineage served at Valley Forge with Washington’s last 2500. They endured terrible hardships and gave themselves selflessly for the cause of freedom. The troops that threw themselves at the stone wall at Fredericksburg to end slavery ,deserved our support. The Seaman who fought at Midway against Japanese tyranny, deserve our respect. The airman flying B-17s and dropping bombs on NAZIs over Europe deserve our gratitude. The Marines that stormed the streets of Fallujah in the name of Iraqi freedom, our greatest reverence. As far as the Iraqi soldier, they don’t deserve another tiny drop of blood from any American patriot.
John Kerry, the Winter soldier, should be saying: ” who wants to be the last soldier to give his or her life for Muslim extremists in a civil war in the deserts of Iraq!”