Iraq: ‘I Just Want to Go Home’

Ali Al-Saadi/AFP/Getty Images

Iraq: ‘I Just Want to Go Home’

As the drawdown of U.S. troops continues in Iraq, it’s a battle to sustain morale.

For a nation that popularized the use of shrinks, its own administration seems to have little grasp of fundamental psychology.

Psychology, the study of human behavior, has been a fashionable pseudo-science since Freud and his infamous theory on dreams.

Following World War ii, professional psychologists, psychiatrists and sociologists spread like a plague through America. Popularized as “shrinks,” it seemed fashionable as religion lost its flavor in a secularized world for psychiatrists to become the new-age priests. They developed a whole new profession, replacing the traditional role of the priest, dispensing behavioral analyses, counsel and advice from an evolutionary Freudian view in lieu of what people once sought from theistic religion.

The military forces embraced the new “science” of human behavior. They developed tactics for wearing down enemy captives in efforts to extract information. They employed army psychiatrists to deal with battle trauma and the individual social challenges faced by the average soldier both in combat and after.

In the field of medicine, a whole tranche of classified psychological illnesses became listed in medical books. As time went on, the drug companies got in on the lucrative market produced by the new fashion and developed all sorts of pills and potions ostensibly to deal with various psychological ailments.

The uptick is that we now have more beds occupied in psychiatry wards, more people classified as psychologically unbalanced, more military personnel furloughed or discharged due to diagnosed psychological illness than at any time in our postwar history.

Time was when a soldier was designated either brave or a coward. Once, courage and cowardice were commonplace descriptions for behavior in battle. Now the definitions of both are blurred by the new language of psychobabble.

This can all become horribly confusing to the average military grunt.

Of course it’s all exacerbated when politicians, academicians and legislators contribute to a blurring of the average soldier’s role.

Historically, the military man’s role was very clear. Defeat the enemy. Fight for God, king and country and the protection of loved ones back home. Fight till the enemy is vanquished.

It’s taken 60 years of repetitive defeats in battles fought not to win, but for compromise, to produce today’s increasingly feminized, homosexualized and significantly psychologized approach to fighting a war. The results have just reinforced Herbert Armstrong’s prophecy, following World War ii, that “the United States of America has won its last war.”

America has not won a single war since the enemy was vanquished, for a moment in time, in 1945.

When an infantryman’s role becomes one of hiding from the enemy, of negotiating with the enemy, of relying on pushing buttons in a type of electronic war game against the enemy, rather than charging the enemy head on and routing it, something happens psychologically. He becomes divorced from war’s reality, and this in turn leads to doubts as to the worthiness of his role.

When his role is further compromised by an administration that cynically seeks to use a whole military campaign for political gain rather than telling the truth about its intentions to negotiate what in effect is a retreat in defeat, the rot sets in.

This ultimately leads to demoralization.

Hence the quoted remarks of one of America’s soldiers in Iraq last week.

“It’s kind of a slap in the face to see on the news that all combat troops are out. We’re infantry guys, and that’s just a name change. It means nothing” (Washington Post,August 28).

When an administration deals with a war the way that Washington is now dealing with Iraq, the results are foregone. Seeing the writing on the wall behind the cynicism of politics and the deceit of the largely ignorant liberal press influencing the minds of the masses, it falls to the lot of military officers to acquaint the families of their charges with reality.

“Col. Malcolm Frost knew there would be questions. The official end to the U.S. combat mission in Iraq was approaching, but his soldiers, operating in two of Iraq’s most dangerous provinces, would still be here.

“He sat down and penned a letter to the soldiers’ families. ‘Sept. 1, 2010, does not mean a light switched on or off in Iraq,’ the brigade commander wrote. ‘… The weight of responsibility upon our shoulders is great, because we must follow through to the very finish.’

“Iraq remains a battleground, American soldiers say, even if they are no longer kicking down Iraqi doors.

“Instead of carrying out combat missions, Frost’s unit has been designated an ‘advise and assist’ brigade” (ibid.). That’s another way of saying that Frost’s men are watching the backdoor as America retreats, just awaiting the moment for their own departure.

The Washington Post describes that role as “to train Iraqi security forces, gather intelligence, assist Iraq’s fledgling air force, and, ultimately, close up shop and go home. The lower-profile approach under Operation New Dawn is the latest step in a transition that began more than a year ago when American soldiers were pulled back from Iraq’s urban centers and for the most part retreated into their bases” (ibid.).

Thus it is admitted that the U.S. is in retreat in Iraq. The end is inevitable. Realists, a number of such comprising our sworn enemies, will simply view this as another defeat of the once mighty America. It’s just cold, hard, practical applied psychology. When an army retreats to its bases and begins to pull its troops out, the enemy sees the reality. It is on a winning streak. Hence the rash of bombings in Iraq last week as the ragtag Islamist insurgents had a field day jeering at that “Great Satan,” the United States of America.

Why can’t the gurus in Washington who divine this administration’s foreign policy see this simple reality?

Psychologically, the result for the morale of the remaining U.S. forces in Iraq is inevitable. As the Washington Post quoted one U.S. infantryman, “Honestly, I don’t really care. I just care that we go home.”