Was it all worth it?


Combat troops are out of Iraq and by the end of 2011 the rest of more than 50K soldiers left will come home.

It seemed like we were never going to get to this point. We heard words like “leave responsibly” and “finish the job” and so we waited  — patiently most of us – until the Obama administration made good on a campaign promise to end this war.

The looming question being asked today is: “Was the war in Iraq worth it?”

Some experts were quick to say “too early to tell.” Some war activists were quick to say “hell no, it wasn’t worth it.” The American people then began to line up and choose sides. Politicians struggle to try and say the “right thing” so as not to anger their constituents. We’re so predictable.

Seven years after the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, our troops headed out like thieves in the night. No celebrations, no victory songs, no pomp and circumstances … they just left. Where are the ticker-tape parades? If the media didn’t tell us, we would have never known they were leaving. Many of the troops interviewed seem to just be glad they got out in one piece. I’m glad they did, too.

Maybe they were thinking about their fallen comrades – more than 4,400 of them – which make us all, deep down inside want this war to be worth it. With a price tag of $750 billion of our children’s future spent, we try to remember the most important things and forget some of the things that haunt us now – and will continue to for a long time.

We’d rather remember the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s statue or maybe even his capture or execution. We try to forget that we put him in power over there in the first place, or that we never found any weapons of mass destruction. I even feel like I lost part of my Christianity for cheering with friends the day Saddam’s sons were gunned down in a vicious shoot out.

We’d rather remember the photos of the Iraqi people voting or their children going to newly-built schools. We don’t want to even talk about the number of Iraqi people who died because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Whether it was from a terrorist bomb or one of our bombs, I’m still waiting on an official count of their numbers. We don’t even talk about it, which should let you know how bad it really is. It makes me sad to even think about it.

The bottom line is that if we even have to ask this question, then we probably already know the answer. Was the Revolutionary War worth it? Were WWI and WWII worth it?

If my son comes home from school crying because some kid bullied him and his father allowed it and I go and beat up the man and spank the boy in front of my son, was that worth it? If a felon attempts to rape my daughter and I shoot and kill him, was it worth it? When did violence become the first option in solving problems?


The only lesson to learn here is that America needs to get the beam out of its eye before trying to get the speck out of another country’s eye.