In this video I discuss my reaction to the Intercept’s article. Let me be clear, I am not trashing the US Navy’s investigation or the Intercept for reporting on it. That’s the Navy’s duty and the Intercept’s right.
What bothered me were the comments from political opportunists who are anti-veteran and anti-America. Do I think it was in the United States’ best interests to invade Iraq? No, and I didn’t think so at the time either. I thought it was a distraction from the war in Afghanistan.
It didn’t stop me from doing my duty though because I know one single truth about the war in Iraq: the argument that Iraq would be better off with Saddam Hussein in power is complete garbage.
Here’s a thought exercise:
In a perfect world, what would President Bush want Iraq to look like today? In the worse case it would probably be an oil exporting country with a free market and streets lined with Starbucks and financial buildings. Children would be going to school, people would have jobs, the country would be democratic, and there would be peace.
Could you say the same for Saddam Hussein? If he had his way, would Iraq not have willingly entered another war with it’s neighbors? Would there be peace? Would the country still be in the grip of terror?
So the region is currently dealing with a major terror insurrection rather than a general war between two nation states. There’s killing and violence, and it sucks, but let’s compare the numbers of deaths in the region between the 8 year Iran-Iraq War and the 13 years since the US invaded Iraq:
Iran-Iraq War: 1 million from Iran, and 500,000 from Iraq
US War in Iraq: 242,000 as of May 24, 2016 by the anti- Iraq War site Iraq Body Count.
And in the short seven month long Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, 1000 civilians were summarily executed.
So again, even given the numbers provided by an anti war group, the argument that Iraq would be better off with Sadam Hussein falls a bit short. In fact, compared to it’s previous history, things still suck in the region, but they aren’t as bad as a general war waged by Saddam Hussein when he was allowed to operate with full capability.
But here’s the important part . . .
None of what I just said matters because logic does not matter in these arguments. The people who want to trash America and trash veterans are going to believe what they believe no matter what. They’re also going to use this situation with the late Chris Kyle to their advantage and spread their beliefs all across the internet.
So all of us who face these comments have a choice: we let them ruin our days or we don’t.
After reading the article, I let myself sit there and dwell, growing angrier and angrier with each comment I read. I shouldn’t have done that. That hour could have been spent creating something or building something that could have moved me forward.
Instead, I sat there and put myself in a bad mood.
So here’s my advice . . .
Don’t dwell on anything other people say. If you get angry, acknowledge it, and then move on with your day. Get out there and PT or work on something that can help push you forward.
These people want you to feel bad, and they want you to get angry. Prove them wrong and honor your brothers by living the best life you can.