Guest Blogger: Emily Clemetson

September 30th 2010 V.I. Day

On September 11th 2001 this country was rocked by a horrible act of unjustifiable terrorism. We engaged in open warfare with the people of a nation that harbors terrorists. George W Bush promised to hold those individuals accountable. The State is Iraq, and the people were the enemies of freedom and liberty who attacked us with blatant ruthlessness and even greater cowardice. Almost a decade later this great country is victorious! We set out to annihilate the enemies of freedom and we have done so. What’s more we did it with class, we did it with tact, we did it with the consideration for the welfare of all; women, children, elderly, religious groups, etc. Furthermore, by openly engaging the enemy with class and dignity and most importantly respect for humanity we have come full circle from the manifest destiny principles that this country was founded upon.

Our mission as of 2003 was for our combined armed forces to destroy the enemy utilizing all prescribed rules of engagement. Our tactics were to close with and destroy the enemy by fire and maneuver and close-combat. In addition to our infantry doctrine we attempt to win the hearts and minds of the people who similarly want to eliminate terrorism and inhumanity. Over seven years later we have all but fully accomplished our mission. We have trained, supplied and empowered a people to fight their own battle and sustain themselves against inhumanity. We currently have fewer than 50 Marines still operating in Iraq today, and our focus has shifted to Afghanistan. To summarize: we won. No matter how you look at it, the mission we started with has been accomplished. Forget about anything politicized, forget your personal feelings of George W. Bush and his regime, we won and we won with class. We are Americans and we defended the freedom of those who did not have it.

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9 thoughts on “Guest Blogger: Emily Clemetson

  1. Stephen raulli says:

    Approximately 31 innocent Iraqi civilians have died each day. Approximately 109,000 Iraqi deaths–60% of them have been innocent civilians. That’s over 60,000 innocent people dead. The mission was to find Osama Bin Laden. That’s the small detail we haven’t yet covered. We may have killed some people who harbor hate, but what about people raised to hate us? Or people who saw the U.S. kill their family? Is that really the end to terrorism?

  2. ecgove says:

    If we really had class, we would have won this war without any bloodshed. To kill over 100,000 innocent Iraqis by destroying their homes and livelihoods and claim our mission was to save them is an act of terrorism in itself. We invaded the country under false pretenses, spent billions of dollars sustaining a military presence in Iraq for seven years, physically and emotionally abused Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib, and the person responsible for the 9/11 attacks (Bin Laden) is still at large. This war was about as far from a classy victory as you can get. Go to the homes of the 4,000 American soldiers killed in Iraq and tell their parents that the war was a victory, I bet they’d disagree. You ask people to forget their personal feelings about George Bush, but their personal feelings stem from the incidents in question. We should not be proud of this “victory,” we should honor those who fought and died for our nation, but we should NOT be proud of what we did to that country.

  3. Olivia Carb says:

    I’m sorry but I completely disagree. Who are we to go into other people’s lives and attempt to revamp it all? How would we like it if some political super-nova came crashing into the US and told us “hey everything you’re doing is wrong so we’re gonna change it!” Now I understand that Iraq was in an absolute state of disarray when we arrived and now that Obama has pulled 100,000 troops from there… our mission to instill Christianity and democracy and peace and order has failed. In the absence of a stable government able to provide the security the Iraqi people need, sectarian violence in the form of killing Christians has dramatically increased as the seeming weakness and indecisiveness of our current administration has only renewed power to Al Queda and Islamists everywhere.

    And while we have attempted to appease the “manifest destiny principles this country was founded upon,” our country has absolutely no god-given “right and duty” to expand into other territories… especially when our own country is a mess. While we have achieved democracy and capitalism (and are self-righteous and ethnocentric enough to think every one else should have it) our health care is in shambles, our youth are increasingly illiterate and pregnant and on MTV, we haven’t achieved equality among all people, and every other country seems to hate us. I also don’t really associate barbaric and violent behavior with being classy and tactful.

    This “War on Terrorism” has been anything but a success… you say the mission was accomplished, and that part of this mission was to eliminate terrorism and inhumanity. These are horrific, intangible and unpredictable actions brought on by radical individuals/collective groups. How is it that we can eliminate something that can occur anywhere in the world, by any radical extremist, at any given moment? And how have are any of these military “tactics” employed humane and done with class? Regardless of our intended “respect for the natives” we still killed innocent people, we ransacked and destroyed their villages, we tarnished their landscapes with blood violence and shards of metal. Eliminating any “politicization,” we still went to their dysfunctional home without an invitation, fucked it up even more (while not being fully aware of it), and put them on clean-up duty after we abandoned the project.

  4. PJ says:

    I completely agree with Emily. If the US did not step in and kill terrorists and take bad people out of power, the world would be in shambles.

    Some say that we kill innocent people. That is collateral damage in war. How many people seem innocent cause they had street clothes on then blow up cause they had a bomb strapped underneath their clothes.

    How many people would have died if Saddam Husein stayed in power? Don’t forget that he killed and tortured his own people and if we let that happen and did not take his people out of power it would have continued for years and then how many innocent people would have died? War is war.

    And you can’t say that if we had class we could have won with no bloodshed. We can’t talk to people like Saddam Hussein. You need to kill them. And you need to kill their followers, that is a fact of life. And you can’t expect soldiers in the war zone who are human and in life or death situations to be perfect. They will kill innocent people, it is inevitable. We stopped a crazed tyrant who killed his own people on a massive scale. We won, and so did the good people who live in Iraq.

    Now let’s go find Osama Bin Laden and kill him too.

  5. theonlinevoiceblog says:

    Emily, I definitely see your point here.
    After September 11th, the United States was put in an unenviable position of trying to exterminate terrorists without creating more hatred for America. Well, I suppose we succeeded on one of those fronts, as we have killed Saddam Hussein and many of his followers. In this case, I believe the United States had probable cause and needed to avoid this dictatorship by getting rid of Saddam. We were able to find Saddam and kill him, which I suppose is a victory because it is a step in the right direction towards getting rid of the people who hate us with so much passion. However, to say that we’ve won the war at this point seems pretty premature, also one of our missions were completed.
    As a previous comment stated, you can’t account for the amount of hatred we’ve created by engaging in this war. We’ll always be able to point to the fact that we were able to exterminate Saddam and his awful regime, but it seems like doing so hasn’t eliminated the terrorists at all. Instead, our efforts to overthrow the dictatorship and change the Iraqi government seem to have created a great deal of hatred for the USA in this region, which is not effective in eliminating terrorism at all. Sure, there will always be people that hate America, but we’ve increased that number due to our involvement in this war.
    And if you come to the conclusion that we’ve failed to eliminate terrorism, there’s certainly no way you can think we won the war. Previous comments told us that we’ve spent too much money and lost too many lives in this war, and we still haven’t been able to implement democracy and Christian values within Iraqis. That’s not a victory in my book.
    However, I understand and support the fact that we entered this war, unlike many others. Put President Bush’s poor attempts to justify the war aside; he should have just come out and said the real reason why we entered the war. We were in a state of vulnerability after 9/11, and we had to flex some “military muscle” to prove we weren’t going to accept being attack by religious radicals. Our country was founded on the principles of freedom and strength, and entering Iraq after the September 11 attacks defended those principles to the “T.” Regardless of whether you believe Bush’s rationalizations for entering the war, I believe it was the correct decision because it was his only option. Not fighting back would have sent terrorists the message that Americans are weak, and could have facilitated future attacks. Nonetheless, it’s clear our work is far from done in the Middle East.

  6. Isabella Comstock says:

    if war was the answer than we needed a better plan.
    If you want war as a solution to a problem than you better have everything mapped out, know what the strategy will be, know what you are going to do once you kill “the bad guy in charge” and how you will rebuild afterwards. I can’t say the U.S went in with a clear plan and it has showed. We may have killed ‘the bad guy’ but how long have we been there? and how much have we REALLY accomplished?

    if going around killing bad people was acceptable than Vigilantes would be legally doing their work – but is that what we want? that’s anarchy.

    and how can you consider 60,000+ innocent deaths “collateral damage”?
    how many of those innocent people with bombs strapped to them felt trapped or forced? and if they did it of their own will – is that the sign of a country that wants our help?

    i’m not saying Saddam should be alive … but i do believe that if we are going to fight another country’s war for them and “come to the rescue” we need to be welcomed and we need to be smart and have a plan – a complete plan, through and through. Otherwise we are just invaders.

  7. Amaury Ramirez says:

    There is no possible way to go to war without having any bloodshed. The reason why there is war is because there is a disagreement of some sort. If its either political, financial or any other reason, the armed forces must be used to eliminate the problem. In our situation at Iraq, many innocent lives were lost. But I am a firm believer of kill millions to save billions. Hussein was executing his own people, therefore the United States intervened and took the tyrant out of power. This makes me proud of being an American.

    Stephen has these statistics about 31 people dying a die in Iraq. But this is the price to pay for war. People die in every war, so what makes this war different. I think we need to show our war veterans that we support their efforts and that they risked their lives to protect our freedoms. And by stating we have won the war, we show the parents of soldiers that have passed away that we appreciate them. Some innocent Iraqi lives have been lost, but American lives have also been lost. This wasn’t something that we did for our country, at least not directly. This was an effort to help a country that is thousand of miles away from our country.

  8. Tom Michaud says:

    To have class, we never would have even gone into Iraq or elected “Dubya” to be our president (though if Gore had won, our country would be run by a billion powerpoint projects). If we had actually taken the time to realize who was attacking us, and focus our efforts solely on bringing them to justice, i think this could have been over soooooo long ago. I think it is important for the US to step in and help those in need, but we have people who need help here, at home. If we cant even help ourselves how can we help others? When we have people here who cannot even survive under our “freedom” then something is wrong with the way we go about things.
    But PJ, if what you’re saying is true, then there will always be bad guys that we need to kill. People will always hurt others, and also, maybe our government is feeding us false info. Like the whole WMD’s in Iraq, yeah way to go USA you really are the best! (Sarcasm). But the point is that there will always be people who take advantage of others to get what they want. There is such little value for human life in our culture that it is ridiculous.

  9. eurogate says:

    I agree with you Emily. People who were against the war have to realize that something had to be done. The first gulf war was a half assed job Saddam was rebuilding his arms and modernizing his oil infrastructure. Lets say the US didn’t invade Iraq, in 10-20 years Saddam would have been a much bigger problem, and I bet many more US troops would have lost their lives. My only complaint is that I feel the amount of money spent on the war was obnoxious. I am sure if they sent over a smaller force we could have completed the mission for a cheaper bill. People have to realize regardless of WMD’s the war was necessary. Remember how the French didn’t support the war? (freedom fries)….. The France’s largest oil company had large investments on oil deeds in Iraq under Saddam. With Saddam out of power they would probably lose billions. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/oct/10/france.iraq)

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