Of War, Iraq, and Victory Flags

It’s a palpable, deflating experience when you walk off the battlefield with this single thought: we will be back here again.  It’s the point where war loses its purpose—to bring about a better peace—and where your fight became the interregnum in a longer cycle of destructive waste-ization of a culture, people, or nation. Each time I left Iraq, I left a piece of me there.  The war became so protracted and its causes so intractable, I closed my eyes and could visualize my teenage son walking Anbar, Salhuddin, or Diyala with a weapon. Of the pieces I left behind, I foolishly aspired that each piece would germinate into something, somewhere, someone better than what I found.  However, this is an idealistic, nearly childish view of war, the conditions that cause it, and the things that ultimately make a people no longer opt for war and what it brings. I am reminded of all of this as the Government of Iraq (GoI) claims that with the regime’s reclamation of Tal-Afar (Lt. Gen McMaster knows each meter … Continue…