December 20, 2004
Okay, I deceived you and myself, too, I guess to get us into Iraq. But that doesnt matter anymore. People are giving me a pass. Were at war. More than ten thousand Americans have been wounded in combat and more than a thousand died. That means nine out of ten wounded are surviving. Thats an extraordinary testament to our helmets and vests which often save the body but, unfortunately, not the arms and legs and face. Well probably have an even higher rate of survival now that weve received some reporter-planted complaints from soldiers and had to speed up armoring vehicles. I also have to thank our doctors who save lives by instantly operating in combat zones. Our pilots and airplanes are great too. They can get the most severely wounded warriors back to the United States in four days. During the Viet Nam War that took six weeks; and only one in four wounded survived the communists, who were planning to conquer us.
Now weve got a lot to be thankful for. Those civilian casualties the liberal media have been telling you about arent ours. Im also sure the reports are exaggerated, those claiming that the United States has killed ten thousand Iraqi civilians. And those estimates of fifteen or twenty thousand dead are way off. We pride ourselves on limiting collateral damage. And I guess Im lucky I dont spend much time thinking about how many Iraqis weve mangled. Theres no way their medical care is as good as ours, so Ill bet no more than three-quarters of their casualties survive. So lets say weve wounded or maimed sixty thousand Iraqi noncombatants, at most. Its unfortunate, but weve got to do this or sure as hell itll soon be happening in Des Moines.
Id like to call our enemies in Iraq terrorists but you know the word everyone insists on using insurgents. They really are a primitive bunch, cutting off peoples heads, planting roadside bombs, and trying to force people to be as backward as they are. Theyre the worst. But there arent that many of them. Thats what I believe anyway, and hope you do too. Id frequently been told, and then told you, there were only a handful of foreign terrorists. Then last spring I heard there were as many as three thousand insurgents, most from Iraq. And we quickly killed at least three thousand of them. But up popped reports they then numbered five thousand or more. I cant figure that out. I know the liberal media is lying about my policies creating more enemies. Anyway, we soon killed ten thousand or more of them. So what do I read this week? Hell, now there are twelve, eighteen, even twenty thousand insurgents. Im not going to admit it, but it looks like every time we kill one, two take his place.
As badly as Ive screwed things up, there really is a chance that something wonderful will happen. Late next month, as you know, there will be democratic elections for the first time in the several thousand year history of Iraq. Damn, that means Iraq is even older than the world so many of my followers and I believe in. Anyway, the Iraqi people will have a chance at liberty. I cant imagine they dont want it. Im just concerned, very privately, that they dont want it badly enough. They dont seem to want freedom as badly as the insurgents want repression. Thats what it looks like, doesnt it? All the time I get these reports of ten, twenty, or thirty Iraqi police officers being slaughtered while on duty in their jail. Or sometimes theyre marched out front and shot in the head. Its about the same with Iraqi soldiers. Theyre often ambushed. Awhile back that sure was embarrassing when wed just trained fifty soldiers then sent them home unarmed riding a bus, and all of them were forced onto the ground and murdered. How do you explain those wartime soldiers being unarmed? More importantly today do Iraqi police or soldiers ever kill any insurgents?
Dont tell me you wouldnt have screwed up too if youd tried to run a war like this, or any other. The bottom line is if the Iraqi people want democracy, weve given them the opportunity to have it. If they cant defend themselves against the insurgents aided by our soldiers, arms, and money then they dont want what were offering. And Im vowing now, in the strictest confidence, that Im not going to keep more than a handful of U.S. troops there beyond this time next year, at the latest.
Clark is the author of two books. The latest review of HITLER HERE by Historical Novels Review Online can be read on his web page.