The Dillard Doctrine

Urban Conservative Commentary on Politics & Life

Still Worth the Sacrifice

This is cross-posted over at Jack and Jill Politics. A “honor bound” to Jack Turner; we’re brothers in the same struggle, our methods are just different.

Update: (3/25) a horribly edited version also appeared in the Richmond Times Dispatch.

This week marks the 5th anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War. As we approach the anniversary, many antiwar organizations will take their cause to the streets, the media and the internet. Undoubtedly, they will state their case that the war has been mismanaged, that too many lives have been lost, and that what we’ve lost in the conflict far outweighs what we’ve gained.

I served onboard the USS CONSTELLATION during the opening days of the war in 2003. For me, while it is important to acknowledge the views of those against the war, it is equally important to acknowledge the progress that has been made in Iraq, and why we must see its citizens through to stability and a strong self-governance.

I take encouragement in our cause from the fact that Iraqis are taking an ever increasing role in the future of their country. For example, Iraq’s security forces-which now hold responsibility for security in nine of Iraq’s 18 provinces-grew by more than 100,000 in the past year, and now boast over 500,000 personnel. Volunteers calling themselves the “Sons of Iraq” have stepped forward to secure their own neighborhoods.

While al-Qaeda and other extremists remain a threat to Iraq’s future, their capabilities are seriously diminished. In the past year, thousands of extremists have been captured or killed in Iraq, including hundreds of al-Qaeda’s top leaders and operatives. Evidence of this diminishing threat can be seen in the 60% decrease in the number of monthly attacks (placing them at the same levels as 2004-2005), and the 75% decrease in the number of civilian deaths (placing them at a level not seen since 2006).

There is one constant between the antiwar movement and individuals like myself who support our troops and our mission: we want our military to come home, safely and quickly. Where we differ is that pro-mission Americans want them to return under a banner of victory and honor. The facts on the ground show that we are winning the battle for a free, strong, and secure Iraq. The mission that was prematurely declared accomplished during my military service is being accomplished today.

The Iraq War will go down in history as one of our country’s most expensive undertakings. Soon, this country will lose its 4,000th service member in the conflict. These sacrifices are felt by us all, and we honor the memory of those who gave their lives in defense of this country and in the birth of a free Iraq.

The price of freedom is no less expensive in Iraq as it was during the birth of our country. The truest way to honor the sacrifices of our nation is to finish the course we have set out on. We must allow our military to win in Iraq, and give them everything they need to complete their mission and return with honor.

Honor Bound to Defend Freedom,



Written by Coby Dillard

March 19, 2008 at 12:41 pm

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