10:32 am on October 15, 2014 Email Ryan McMaken
For those of you who believe in using the military to invade a potentially threatening country:
I was in Iraq during 2008-2009, before I got there I believed that the USA was doing great things there. I honestly believed the US was doing good, cleaning up that part of the world. Fortunately I have a bit of background in business and economics.Unless you have been there you will not understand, because everything you hear from the media outlets or the government is either a lie or seriously leaves out important information.
The day I landed at Baghdad International, all those beliefs started to crack. Over the course of the next year everything I believed about the “good” america was doing, went out the window.Here is the truth, before we invaded, Iraq was one of the poorest countries in the world. The people barely got along with each other,because they are a patchwork of cultures and religions that really never wanted to be together. Saddam was just a symptom of that, not the cause. Putting in place democracy does not change any of this, it simply changes from tyranny by an individual to tyranny of the masses.We invaded and basically put into place martial law, which quickly ruined the economy further. Many people could not find work or develop businesses. Iraqis did not trust the currency, many outlying villages and regions were using bottled water, cigarettes and goats for currency.
When the US disbanded the Iraqi military, there was no work,so many of those former troops started joining up with mercenary organizations, “radical” groups and many became the so called “insurgents” (which is invading army code for: “The locals hate us and are attacking us”). In fact a large number of ISIS troops right now were once part of the Iraqi military. The current leader of ISIS AbuBakr al-Baghdadi, was imprisoned by the US for about 5 years, it appears he was tortured. Many former Iraqi generals are now top leaders in ISIS.
On that first day, as my plane came into land at the Baghdad Airport.I looked out the window. Blast holes from American bombs could be seen poke marked around the city. Several bombed out buildings that were abandoned, never repaired. Over the city I could see Apache attack helicopters circling the city, occasionally dropping flares, I was told it was a “Projection of Force” or “Show of Strength” (Read:Threat) to the population. The highways and roads around the city were relatively empty compared to what you would expect from a bustling growing city, although I would see the occasional American military vehicle use the roads. As my plane pulled into the airport I could see the gates and airport vehicles were in disrepair. Flat tires, doors barely hanging from hinges. Had to go through an insane amount of security AFTER I got off the plane, took at least an hour to get through. As I walked through the terminal I noticed whole sections chained off, dust had piled up in some gates from disuse. Up on the ceiling hung the flight schedule for various flights leaving and arriving the airport, they still used flip cards on their flight schedules (instead of the computer monitors you see today in wealthier countries), I was told those flights were from the day before the US invaded Iraq, 5 years earlier. Our base looked like a giant trailer park that had invaded Saddam’s former resort home.Poverty was everywhere, the people were understandably unhappy and the US was making matters worse. Many troops saw the same thing I did,that is why some of the biggest supporters of Ron Paul were coming from the armed forces. Cause we saw the truth.
To this day, I cannot say if there were WMDs in Iraq, but if so I suspect they were not meant for a country thousands of miles away (i.e. USA), more like they were meant for Iraq’s neighbors or its own people. As for Saddam Hussein, remember he was originally a US ally in that region.I am now of the opinion that the USA was the very invading force that we were swore to defend against. We killed a lot of innocent people over there, lets not forget one of the first bombs we dropped when we invaded was on a restaurant in the middle of Baghdad, Saddam was known to frequent this establishment. He was not there but we killed the owner, some workers and a few patrons that happened to be there at the time. All innocent people as far as I am concerned.Finally, I have to say one thing, when people have thanked me for”Serving my country”, I cringe! What does that even mean, do people even know? So I “served” came home and live in a country that according to the freedom index http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking ) ranks between Bahrain and Estonia, I now have to pay some of the highest taxes in the world, in an environment of growing regulations,militarized and corrupt police, marginal and expensive education system, crazy healthcare regulations, I can’t even legally buy the light bulbs I want!!!! So what does it mean to “Serve my country”?Perhaps its code for: Enslaving yourself and innocent people everywhere.