Iraq is a nation in chaos as sectarian violence continues to cause their downward spiral toward civil war. The hatred these sectarian groups display for one another causes hundreds of innocent lives to be lost every month.
The reports on the number of deaths in a monthly breakdown are hard to find because the statistics vary from site to site.
Fox News reported the U.N. put the number of deaths at 1,045 in May alone. This was the highest death toll since June 2008.
In June, the death toll was estimated to be 622 (iraqbodycount.com). During July, it’s reported almost 700 people have been killed in militant attacks, including car bombs, ambushes and gun fights (MSNBC).
Some veterans who have been watching what’s going on in Iraq are questioning their service time there. They are beginning to wonder things like: “What was the point? Why did my friend die, but nothing is changing over there?”
These are questions that Andrew O’Brien, an Army convoy gunner who served in Iraq during 2008 and 2009 said other veterans are asking him. During his travels, he said he’s met dozens of Iraq veterans trying to make sense of the time they spent there.
It even has O’Brien questioning his service in Iraq. He said: “Now that I’m hearing about this, all I think about is the guys we lost in Iraq. It’s hard not to think that it meant nothing.”
The continuing violence in Iraq could be a factor that triggers a deeper anger to grow in veterans who risked their lives over there. They will think their sacrifices were for nothing. That they watched their friends die in vain.
MSNBC reports that Alex Horton 28, served a 15-month Iraq deployment from 2006 to 2007. He was in the 3rd Stryker Brigade of 2nd Infantry Division during “the surge.” He expressed his feelings about the continuing violence in Iraq. Horton called the situation “frustrating” adding:
We understood our mission was to create enough space for the Iraqi military and government to competently operate. That space was opened with the grit of American and Iraqi forces and measured in blood.
In one of their biggest tests since the surge, the Iraqi military not only failed us, but their own people.
Obviously only the Iraqi people can turn the current upheaval in their nation around. The question remains will they be able to do so before a civil war breaks out and causes even more bloodshed.
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