Coming Home from Iraq Disillusioned
Here's yet another piece written by a disgruntled Marine who believed he was going to Iraq for all the right reasons -- it didn't take long for him to realize he was sent by an incompetent administration who lied about the reasons for going in the first place. Christopher Sheppard even volunteered for a second tour:
I believed the Bush administration when it said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. I believed its assertion that Iraq was trying to buy yellowcake uranium from Africa and refine it into weapons-grade uranium for a nuclear bomb. I believed its claim Iraq had vast quantities of biological and chemical agents. After years of thorough inspections, all of these claims have been disproved.Sheppard, now a a former Marine captain, is currently finishing his master's in mass communication and lives in Marysville.
The war has cost the American taxpayers $250 billion and counting. The vast majority -- 94 percent -- of the more than 2,300 United States service members killed in Iraq have occurred since Bush's "Top Gun" proclamation. The cost in men and materiel has been far beyond what we were led to believe.
I returned disillusioned by what I saw. I participated in the second battle of Fallujah in November 2004. We crushed the insurgents in the city, but we only ended up scattering them throughout the province. The dumb ones stayed and died. The smart ones left town before the battle, to garner more recruits and fight another day. We were simply the little Dutch boy with our finger in the dike. In retrospect, we never had enough troops to firmly control the region; we had just enough to maintain a tenuous equilibrium.
I now know I wrongfully placed my faith and trust in a presidential administration hopelessly mired in incompetence, hubris and a lack of accountability. It planned a war based on false intelligence and unrealistic assumptions. It has strategically surrendered the condition of victory in Iraq to people who do not share our vision, values or interests. The Bush administration has proven successful at only one thing in Iraq -- painting us into a corner with no feasible exit.
I will never trust any of them again.