Each day the number of convoys leaving Iraq is growing as the political requirement that we withdraw approaches. In one sense, we have no option, as withdrawal by the end of this year was agreed upon at the political level. However, leaving before Iraq can truly defend itself against Iranian and other terrorist intervention does put the fruit of the valor and blood of our troops at serious risk. It’s worthy of note that President Obama did not so much as pick up the phone to talk with the Iraqi leadership to discuss their readiness to stand alone. My sad conclusion is that he wants the political plumb of saying he got us out more than he wants to protect the frail democracy that is Iraq.
Some in the media say that Americans are hated in Iraq and that they really want us out. That is partially true. At the official governmental and media levels they do want us gone so that they can say that they are standing alone and don’t need the rich Americans. However, below the national level, at the provincial and regional levels and in the streets the attitude is very much different. There, where the terrorists have killed and destroyed local people, the Iraqi citizens know that we are there to help them—not to occupy their nation. Those people truly don’t want us to leave.
That said, Oct. has been a busy month, as many of the individual military units are packing up and sending equipment back home. “More and more convoys of vehicles and equipment are being packed up and shipped out in preparation to exit Iraq,” said Staff Sgt. Erick Torres, convoy cmdr., 233rd Trans. Co, from Ala. Each truck carrying military vehicles. including High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles, MRAP vehicles, and tanks is backed up to a ramp, and the vehicles are carefully loaded onto the flatbeds. “The most challenging part of this job is loading the vehicles,” said Torres.
Once the cargo is loaded onto the trucks and the paperwork is complete, the convoy is then lined up at a designated staging area to await departure. The US still has thousands of soldiers, and an abundance of equipment that need to be shipped home before the year’s end. Soldiers and civilian contractors work long hours to make sure equipment is packed properly and ready for transit.
“Part of being the convoy commander is identifying vehicles and equipment by serial number, and matching them against the unit rosters before they’re shipped,” said Torres. “It makes for long days, but it’s a necessary part of the process,” he said. “Each convoy is assigned a security team to escort the cargo from COB Adder to their final destination,” said Torres.
And so our military is faithful to its political leadership as they begin to Cut ‘n Run, leaving the battlefield to the enemy. This is very sad.