Last week, my eyes were suddenly opened to the reality of this war. I’m so accustomed to absentmindedly listening to the negative reports of the media concerning the Iraqi war that my own opinions have been lost within their twisted promulgations. The media has an iron grip on us and what we think; if they only report half the story that’s what we believe and refuse any other ideas. But this is exactly what they have been doing, giving us only half; I don’t know about you, but I want the whole story. There has been an increasing amount of negativity concerning this war. The lack of security Iraqi’s feel, the newly closed schools and the many other problems have created a country that is worse off than when terrorists controlled it. I am not going to dispute any of these reports, they are probably true, and I am certainly not going to list the positive changes that are being made because I don’t think that will entirely change your mind. I am, instead, going to concentrate on two specific statements, which the media has used as a battle cry to pacify. These statements revolve around the war’s cost both monetary and military.
I had the privilege to talk to retired Brigadier General Richard Merion. He is a remarkable man who is not only a former president of the Alumni Association of our own university, but served for thirty years on active duty in three branches of the army and reserve duty in the National Guard. This man is the one who opened my eyes. He is spending his supposed retirement years still serving our country. While the media is shouting how much money is being wasted in Iraq, the true story, according to General Merion, is completely opposite. It is true that we have spent a fortune on this war, but it is the same exact amount of money (160 billion) that cost New York City one day six years ago. Remember that day? The day of 9/11? We are now just reaching, in five years, what one tragic day cost. As for the brave men who have laid down their lives for our freedom? This war, the war on terror has taken less lives in five years than what was taken from us in one day. We have lost about 2,400 men in combat in five years. In World War II, we lost 8,000 in one day.
These numbers seem to dispute the claims of the media or am I wrong? How much is enough to spend fighting for those we lost? I’m not trying to argue that how we are fighting is right nor that this war is exactly what we need. I am just showing the media does not keep everything in perspective. The General also disclosed to me that Iraq is a focal point that what is being done there must be done there. The people do not feel safe because they have terrorists entering their country from others like Assyria. If we do not kill these men now, the next focal point may be here. What kind of Americans would we be if we stood by and let these men repeat another New York or Washington tragedy? So, I ask you again, how much are you willing to spend to avenge the thousands of lives we lost and save the millions we could lose? Don’t listen with deaf ears like I did to the media; they may not be telling you the whole story.