Shut-up and Make a Difference

Felicia Whatley

It’s easy to have the luxury of saying we shouldn’t go to war. The reality is that the troops that afford you the liberty to whine don’t have a choice. They wear their uniforms with honor, and when it is time to go, they go.

I was deployed during my senior year of college to Baghdad, Iraq. I was excited to go. I was proud to serve my country. And even more enthusiastic to learn first hand why we are there.

If you care about saving lives, you’ll care about the civilians who don’t want Al Qaeda and other terrorists on their streets. And you’ll be grateful that the war stays in the Middle East and not in places in the U.S. like New York.

When they send mortar rounds and rockets over the T-Walls trying to kill Americans, they don’t have very good aim. And quite frankly, they don’t care if they take their own people’s lives for the cost of war.

I have met the children in Iraq who are too poor to afford shoes. Churches and non-profit organizations from all over the United States donated clothes and thousands of beautiful toys and candy for the holidays. It didn’t matter to them it came from a Christmas and Hanukah American spirit.

We are making a difference in Iraq.

From an article in 2005, before much of the reconstruction had really come to life, Rosemary Goudreau wrote, in Good News in Iraq, that “3,100 schools have been renovated, that the Iraqi Police Service has trained, and equipped 55,000 police officers or that the Baghdad Stock Exchange opened in June of 2004.” Those numbers are peanuts compared to how things have shaped up today. We have given back Anbar Province and others to Iraqi control because they are ready to defend and police their own towns. U.S. troops have taken control from terrorists in almost all cities in Iraq. The terrorists are fleeing and retreating and the children can play outside again.

With men, the women have voted and a new government, a democracy, rules Iraqis.

Does “Socialist Alternative” let you read about those good things happening in Iraq?

Yes U.S. troops are dying. They are dying for you and for your families, and for the idea they did something right, something selfless in this world for people who may never understand.

If you really want to make a difference, volunteer and have a voice where it matters. Don’t take it out on the military recruiters. Join the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, United Way, or U.S. Aid.

If you truly want peace, then raising battles on the home front against your own country’s troops is not the way to do it. Get involved in the political process the right way. Support your troops. You may need us someday.