Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Why I don’t care about Iraq anymore (II): Was that war just a drunken hook-up?

If you didn’t read the entire discussion the other day about why Jim Gourley no longer cares about what happens in Iraq, despite having given a big part of his life there, do yourself a favor. Find a quiet place, sit down, and read all the comments. I think this is one of the best ...

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Flickr

If you didn't read the entire discussion the other day about why Jim Gourley no longer cares about what happens in Iraq, despite having given a big part of his life there, do yourself a favor. Find a quiet place, sit down, and read all the comments. I think this is one of the best discussions I've ever seen on the blog. I learned. I appreciate people taking the time to write.

Here are some of the observations that struck me:

"CompanyGrade": "I would go back.  Not to revisit any achievement but for my wife.  Maybe it would explain to her all the things I've never been able to talk about."

If you didn’t read the entire discussion the other day about why Jim Gourley no longer cares about what happens in Iraq, despite having given a big part of his life there, do yourself a favor. Find a quiet place, sit down, and read all the comments. I think this is one of the best discussions I’ve ever seen on the blog. I learned. I appreciate people taking the time to write.

Here are some of the observations that struck me:

"CompanyGrade": "I would go back.  Not to revisit any achievement but for my wife.  Maybe it would explain to her all the things I’ve never been able to talk about."

"Mitch281": "’The reason my unit was so successful…’  I feel like every Joe says this about his battalion/brigade/regiment/division.  Few soldiers are going to publicly admit that their units spent 12 months not making much of a difference.  Even if it is true."

"AbrahamRash": "Like that drunken hook-up that you secretly know deep down inside is a bad idea even at the time you’re chasing after it, the morning after, you don’t even leave a note. You just walk. Just like Americans did with Iraq."

From our favorite Akademie: "I truly believe that our force protection policies have this (perhaps unintended) consequence of keeping us apart…… I am not arguing with Jim’s feelings, they are genuine and widely shared. I just don’t believe it had to turn out this way."

And always dependable Gourley also scored again with his slapshot response: "Iraq has already given and taken from me everything it’s going to."

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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