As a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom II, a former State Department contracted Cultural Advisor of the last class of Iraqi YES Program students, and having spent roughly 2.5 years in the Baghdad Regional Security Office, I thought it would be important to share with my fellow Americans, 30 snippets from Iraqis who appreciate our sacrifices.
These snippets are comments on the US Embassy Baghdad Facebook post. When you think Iraq is a place we need to remove ourselves from, may I remind you that there are Iraqis who need and cherish our support and continued presence. As a reminder, the militia protestors at the embassy are the not same protesters who have been protesting in Baghdad for the last 3 months while getting gunned down by Iranian-backed security forces.
In a previous writing I annotated how Somali Piracy saved Somalia in part due to its demand for global Actors to come together and work the way they should have in the first place, twenty-plus years ago. I argue the same is true for ISIS in Iraq. Arguably the primary issue with stabilizing Iraq from 2003 to 2011 was the lack of regional affiliates working together, instead they worked against each other. Saudi support for Sunni factions battled Shiite factions supported by Iran. This proxy warfare left the Coalition Forces and the Iraqi people stuck in the middle while paying the price dearly. Stabilizing Iraq without two regional power players fighting it out in the streets of Iraq would have shown to be far easier. Read More
As the SOTU played out Iran was detaining 10 US Navy Sailors as a near PR stunt. And as such they were released soon after: Iran releases 10 US Navy sailors after boat drifted in Persian Gulf. If half of your Facebook friends are like mine there much anger and social media promises to seek revenge against Iran once social media comment at a time.