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Iraq Vets' Story Painful to Read, but I Thank You

By · August 8th, 2007 · Letters
I was glad to see CityBeat's cover story "Surviving Iraq" (issue of Aug. 1) but found it painful to read. I am respectful of the men and women who serve, but I hate that they're being lied to, used and sacrificed by a government that lied about the reasons for going to war and continues to lie daily about the need for "staying the course."

It must be remembered that the invasion of Iraq was illegal, as is the occupation. The U.S. set up a puppet government and labeled the resistance an insurgency.

Insurgency is insurrection against authority, yes, but U.S.

authority in Iraq is illegitimate. What we are seeing is resistance against an occupying force.

I condemn the use of terror tactics by either side but, again, it must be remembered that the invasion itself took the lives of thousands of civilians. The preceding decade of brutal sanctions, along with bombing in so-called "no-fly zones," killed a million Iraqis -- half of them, according to the United Nations, children under 5.

The bottom line is that the invasion was premeditated and illegal. The people in the military are compelled to follow orders and have essentially been forced to participate in a crime -- the conquest of a strategically located country for control of its resources and to establish a permanent military presence in the region.

The article's closing quote by one "survivor" was, "I don't have anything to prove. Ever." On the contrary, I think we all have something to prove: that we're better than the criminals who started this war.

-- Jim Byrnes, Hyde Park



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