A new poll has a ton of veterans saying neither war was worth it. Even I…now, sitting back looking at the shit show that both have become, I begrudgingly admit it as well. Looking at what we’re getting in exchange for nearly two decades of war, yeah man, it’s just not fucking worth it and it pisses me off to say that because when I left for the last time in 2007, we were winning.
I didn’t really have a choice where I went, I joined the Marine Corps right after high school in 2004 and got sent to Ramadi, Iraq in September of 2005 with 3rd Battalion 7th Marines. We kicked ass. We took some big hits too, great men, fathers, husbands, leaders, warriors…they weren’t perfect but they were my brothers and what did we as a country hand them? Not a definitive victory that’s for sure.
Granted people are at odds over whether or not we should have or should not have gone. That’s fine, there are ten thousand opinions on both sides regarding the validity of their arguments, but me…when you ask me if it was worth it…I have to ask if we won.
And we didn’t. We did this pseudo placating nation building-esque bullshit. We chased our tails in the deserts and mountains of the Middle East for damn near twenty years and here we are, negotiating with the Taliban, having to deploy troops to Iraq again to quell ISIS as recent as two years ago…
So for all the blood, sweat, tears and limbs that were lost, was it worth it?
Because we failed to do one thing that we could at least take solace in. Win.
Make no mistake, all war is hell and should be avoided at all costs, but the least we could do to ease the conscience, the wounds and the war-weary amongst us, both civilian and veteran alike, is to win.
It wouldn’t make it any more right or any more wrong, but it’d be a nice consolation prize to those who spent their youth in peril. It’d be nice if we could walk away and say
“Yeah, but we won.”
Truthfully looking at Afghanistan and Iraq…I can say we killed more of them than us, but I can’t really say if we won or not. That my friends, that’s fucking bullshit.