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About Those U.S. Troops Who Died in Ramadi


I can’t help but wonder how the family of Michael A. Monsoor is reacting to ISIS’s recent conquest of Ramadi in Iraq. Monsoor was awarded the Medal of Honor for actions taken during the 2006 Battle of Ramadi, when U.S. forces fought insurgents for control of the city. The medal was awarded posthumously.

Monsoor wasn’t the only U.S. soldier who died in Ramadi. According to the Wikipedia page “Battle of Ramadi (2006),” more than 80 U.S. soldiers were killed and more than 200 were injured.

My hunch is that at least some of the family members of all those dead Americans are thinking to themselves, “Okay, ISIS now controls Ramadi. But at least my loved one died so that Americans can be free.”

Of course, that’s easier than thinking that they died for nothing. But the fact is that they did die for nothing. Just look at Ramadi today for proof. Indeed, just look at Iraq.

The thousands of U.S. soldiers who died in Ramadi and the rest of Iraq died for nothing, just like those 58,000 plus U.S. soldiers who died in the Vietnam War. They all died for nothing too.

Let’s put the facts on the table:

  1. ISIS didn’t exist before the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. It was the invasion itself that ultimately gave rise to ISIS. That’s what sometimes happens when a foreign nation effects violent, involuntary regime change on another nation. The side that is ousted sometimes becomes angry and will do whatever is necessary to regain political power. Recall the CIA’s regime-change operation in Guatemala, which gave rise to a violent civil war that lasted for three decades, killing and injuring millions.
  2. Monsoor and all the other U.S. soldiers who died in Iraq did not die in the defense of our freedom because our freedom was never threatened by Iraq. At the risk of belaboring the obvious, Iraq never attacked the United States or even threatened to do so. The United States was the aggressor in the conflict and Iraq was the defending nation.
  3. None of the Iraqis who killed U.S. soldiers at Ramadi or elsewhere in Iraq had anything to do with the 9/11 attacks. They were doing nothing more than trying to rid their country of a foreign invader and occupier.
  4. The WMD scare was nothing more than a scam that President Bush and his minions used to garner support for their war on Iraq. With the WMD scare, Bush was trying to make it look like Iraq was the aggressor and that the United States was simply engaging in a preventive war or a preemptive action before Saddam Hussein unleashed a barrage of WMDs on the United States.

The excuse was bogus from the get-go. Bush and officials in the national-security branch of the government wanted regime change in Iraq. After partnering with Saddam in his 1980s war against Iran, they wanted a new dictator, one who would be more cooperative. That’s what the brutal sanctions in the 1990s were all about — trying to bring about regime change by squeezing the economic life out the Iraqi people. When the sanctions didn’t succeed, Bush resorted to an invasion. The WMDs provided convenient way to scare the American people, especially given the high level of fear after the 9/11 attacks.

  1. The U.S. government had no legal authority to enforce UN resolutions regarding WMDs in Iraq. Only the UN had such authority and the UN refused to order or authorize an invasion of Iraq.
  2. The U.S. Constitution requires a congressional declaration of war before the president and his army are permitted to wage war against another nation. There was no congressional declaration of war against Iraq. That means that Monsoor and those other American soldiers died in an illegal war of aggression against Iraq.
  3. The U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq did not produce a paradise of freedom, stability, and prosperity. Instead it produced a nation of perpetual conflict, chaos, violence, death, destruction, arbitrary arrests, indefinite detention, torture, and civil war. According to the book The Good War That Wasn’t, which is primarily about World War II, author Ted Grimsrud writes that the sanctions that the U.S. government enforced against Iraq “helped transform Iraq from one of the most prosperous Middle Eastern nations into one of the most impoverished.”

Grimsrud then writes:

A country that had had the highest levels of education, the best medical system, the broadest distribution of wealth in the entire Middle East was pauperized by the American invasion and occupation.

  1. The massive death toll from the sanctions, totalling in the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraq children, along with UN Ambassador Madeleine Albright’s infamous statement that the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi children from the sanctions were “worth it,” were major contributing factors that produced the deep anger and hatred that led to the 1993 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 1993, the USS Cole, the U.S. embassies in East Africa, and the 9/11 attacks, which were then used as the excuse for taking away the freedom and privacy of the American people.

At least some U.S. soldiers who fought in Ramadi are not suffering from self-imposed delusion. A little more than a year ago, in a USA Today article entitled “Veterans Feel Sting of Ramadi and Fallujah Losses,” U.S. soldiers expressed their sentiments as al-Qaeda insurgents were surging back into Ramadi:

Peter Monsoor, retired brigade commander: “Most veterans are deeply disappointed that the struggles and the sacrifices they made … have seemingly been for naught.”

David Bellavia, recipient of the Silver Star for heroism: “How do you tell a parent that, ‘Yeah, your son that was killed. … The mission was worth it,’?”

Jeremiah Workman, recipient of the Navy Cross: “My heart is aching right now. I think of those Marines and sailors and soldiers that were there and that were lost and that were hurt.”

Question: What will it take for the America people to reject, once and for all, a foreign policy of foreign intervention and regime change and all the death, destruction, enmity, and loss of liberty and prosperity that come with it?

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.