Thanking soldiers during Memorial day is no longer enough after 18-years of continuous war in the greater Middle East, writes retired U.S. Army Major Danny Sjursen in the American Conservative.
“These days, most Americans, and especially their political leaders choose the vapid, simplistic path: thanking soldiers, flying flags, sticking yellow ribbons on car bumpers. There’s nothing inherently wrong with all this, of course, but let’s not pretend it helps anything, said Sjursen.
Thousands of soldiers died in Iraq as a result of lies, deceit, and intelligence mistakes said the former Major. “In retrospect, we brought not democracy and stability to Iraq, but chaos and civil war,” he added.
The invasion was largely ineffective and did not leave the country a better place. Among other things, the extended military intervention in the Middle East resulted was the alienation of Sunni Muslims, a heightened desire for autonomy among Kurdish groups, and the rise of the Islamic state, according to Sjursen’s editorial.
Sjursen’s editorial also reminds readers that the post-9/11 wars have resulted in a mental health epidemic among returning service people. Twenty-two veterans commit suicide daily, according to veteran-focused nonprofit Mission 22.