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Why I Want to Go to Iraq

As a woman and an American, I recognize the global war against terrorists as the great calling of my generation. That is why I want to serve my country as a Marine Corps Officer. I want to be part of a military that liberates an oppressed people, fights terrorists and secures liberty in America for the next generation. Radical Islam has already claimed the Middle East and permeated Europe, Asia and attacked the United States on its own soil. Iraq is one critical battlefield in this war of good vs. evil. If we do not win the battle in Iraq, the war will be fought on American territory.

Radical Muslim terrorists are empowered by weak responses from their victims. U.S. politicians who publicly declare defeat and advocate surrender are emboldening the enemy and assisting in their propaganda campaign.

I realize that, as a young American, I will be dealing with the effects of U.S. surrender for the rest of my life. I realize that, as a woman, my gender will suffer the most in the event that the war is fought on U.S. soil. We are fighting an enemy that is obsessed with oppressing and abusing women. It is my duty, and would be a privilege, to defend my country and way of life against an enemy that insists on the destruction of all those who do not worship Allah in the way that they do.

Politicians must allow for victory by giving the troop surge and General Petraeus’ leadership a chance for success. If we surrender by leaving prematurely, we will legitimize the authority of insurgents who rule by their terror tactics worldwide.

While it is too soon to claim the impact of the troop surge a victory, it is certainly too soon to assert that it is a failure. In his testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on June 27, 2007, American Enterprise Institute Scholar Fred Kagan reported,

“Sectarian deaths in Baghdad dropped significantly as soon as the new strategy was announced in January, and remain at less than half their former levels. Violence is down tremendously in Anbar province, where the Sunni tribes have turned against Al Qaeda and are actively cooperating with U.S. forces for the first time.”

Violence is going down and areas are being secured. This is absolutely necessary before political, civil and social advances can be made. The best way to earn the trust of Iraqi citizens is to secure a safer environment than they had previously. Gen. Petraeus is committed to defeating the insurgents, to empowering the Iraqi government and army, and to getting us out as quickly as possible without leaving the country to our enemies.

My generation has the incredible opportunity to represent the true America to Iraqi people who had been exposed only to anti-American propaganda. Iraqi citizens have been taught to think of the United States as the “Great Satan.” What a surprise when Americans showed up and offered medical services, improved their access to electricity and clean water, rebuilt schools and ousted an evil dictator. In order to continue providing these services and rebuild Iraq, the borders must be secured and violence must be contained. Pulling the troops out now will reduce security dramatically and terminate the ongoing development of Iraq. It will create a vacuum that could be filled by Al Qaeda and used as a training ground for terrorists. An increase in military personnel is the best chance for political and civil improvements.

My generation also has the option of ignoring evil and taking the temporarily easy way out: refusing to serve their country and blaming this war on our President rather than on those who seek the destruction of America. Those who choose temporary, personal safety over defending the liberty of their nation will achieve neither. If we do not defend our nation against terrorists, we will lose both liberty and security. Ignoring the threats and actions of Al Qaeda will not quell their intent to destroy us; it will embolden them.

I want to be a face of the greatest country in the world that says to the people of Iraq, “There is a better way.” The U.S. military and all Americans have an incredible opportunity to offer services, protection and freedom to a people who have never experienced anything other than an oppressive government and a tyrannical leader. I want to support a military that toppled an evil tyrant and opens the door to democracy for millions. I want to assist a military that frees women from oppression, giving them the chance to vote and learn in a classroom. I want to be part of a military that wins.

Written By

Ms. Rode is an Assistant Policy Analyst at Concerned Women for America and a United States Marine Corps Officer Candidate.

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