A sacrifice for nothing

The fall of Fallujah, met with complete indifference in the very neocon circles that endlessly proclaimed the supreme importance of the Iraqi Adventure, sickens the Marines who fought there:

“I don’t think anyone had the grand illusion that Falluja or Ramadi was going to turn into Disneyland, but none of us thought it was going to fall back to a jihadist insurgency,” he said. “It made me sick to my stomach to have that thrown in our face, everything we fought for so blatantly taken away.”

The bloody mission to wrest Falluja from insurgents in November 2004 meant more to the Marines than almost any other battle in the 12 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many consider it the corps’ biggest and most iconic fight since Vietnam, with nearly 100 Marines and soldiers killed in action and hundreds more wounded.

“Lives were wasted, and now everyone back home sees that,” said James Cathcart. He fought as a private first class in the Marines in Falluja in 2004, and was discharged with post-traumatic stress disorder. For many veterans of that battle — most now working in jobs long removed from combat — watching insurgents running roughshod through the streets they once fought to secure, often in brutal close-quarters combat, has shaken their faith in what their mission achieved.

It shouldn’t shake their faith in what their mission achieved, because one can’t have faith in nothing. It should shake their faith in the US political system and the commanders-in-chief who are abusing the trust of the American military.

Let’s hope they remember this the next time the usual suspects are beating the war drums for attacking Serbia Iraq Afghanistan Syria Iran.