|6/17/2014 1:31:00 PM|
Service members did their jobs
|Iraq has gone to hell on greased skids. |
With the most extreme of Islamic militants taking and holding territory paid for in blood by Iraqi, American, and Coalition troops, years of effort and $2 trillion in treasure are going up in black, oily smoke and dissolving in a welter of blood.
There will be plenty of opportunities to cast blame: On the Bush Administration for getting the nation into the conflict in the first place; on the Obama Administration for a too-precipitous withdrawl; on the Maliki government for showing the U.S. the door and for failing to create an inclusive government.
There are plenty of willful misjudgments, lies and mistakes to go around in the story of the intervention in Iraq, and plenty of people whose lives have been unalterably scarred - not least the Iraqi people themselves.
And our own veterans of the war can only watch in dismay as the work and sacrifice of years is seemingly rendered pointless. Yet it is not pointless. No matter how any of us feel about the war, we must acknowledge that the men and women of the United States armed services did their job. Volunteers to a man and woman, they did what their country asked of them, year after year, deployment after deployment. So did their families. No more can be asked or expected.
Whether their work was doomed from the beginning or promising but squandered, they did the best they could and have earned the respect and appreciation of those of us who did not have to walk in their shoes.
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