- Posted August 22, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Marko Responds to Congressman Grayson Article
My name is Marko Milakovich and if anyone has any curiosity about me, I invite you to satisfy that curiosity by visiting my website: www.marko4congress.org
The following is my response to the comments recently made by Representative Alan Grayson concerning Iraq, which appeared in USA Today August 10, 2014.
It is a never-ending cycle of ill-qualified politicians, most often with little experience or historical knowledge, to keep repeating the same, age-old mistakes on international policies and strategies. This is particularly frightening when our military, an instrument of our national policy, responds with honor and commitment and many of our warriors sacrifice their lives in the process. Their sacrifice should not be taken lightly.
When the U.S. departed Iraq and did not keep a meaningful force in place because of the lack of Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), was this an excuse to vacate and leave a large void, which has now been filled by ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State? Historically, we have always retained a presence after a conflict and in every case, we had a SOFA. Why didn’t we obtain one in Iraq? The obvious reason is that our government was not serious and did not want to leave a meaningful residual force. What are the consequences of this? Genocide there today, and a highly probable, strategic threat to the very security of our country in the future – more terrorist attacks within our borders. It is in our national, strategic interest to take action when needed to protect the security of our country. Historically, we have tended to be slow to prepare for war, but we have been fortunate enough to have quickly responded to the need when it was essential. The threat of ISIS/ISIL today in the Middle East will become the terrorist acts of tomorrow in the United States.
“If the Iraqis won’t defend themselves, then why should we?”, states Mr. Grayson. The simple answer is, “When it is in our national interest.” Too often the United States has been quick to pursue activities in another country for political reasons. This is shameful, because it typically means forsaking our values for political reasons and typically imposing our viewpoints upon another country and their culture. I firmly believe that our American values are a statement of our essence to the world and should reflect the bedrock principles conveyed in the United States Constitution. In this specific case, based on the information available, there is no question in my mind, as well as in the judgment of recognized experts, that the United States has an urgent, strategic interest in opposing ISIS/ISIL and that it is better to do it there, now, than within our borders. I obviously disagree with Mr. Grayson and I pose the question on competency of subject matter without regard to political titles.
On the other hand, I do agree with Mr. Grayson that we should not be the world’s guardian to become involved in every crisis in the world. However, we must be consistent in the implementation of actions regarding our values and national interest. Of necessity, this is often a judgment call because the world does not present us with clear black and white situations. This is the domain of national leadership – for better or worse.
“Ain’t gonna study war no more. Gonna lay down my sword and shield. Down by the riverside.” Mr. Grayson, this quote you cite truly frightens me. It only takes “one” to start a fight/war; it is not a mutually agreed upon event. Conversely, it takes two serious parities to negotiate a peace. History is replete of many examples, from Pearl Harbor to the present day Israeli-Hamas fighting, which were initiated by “one”. If we had laid down our arms in the name of peace, we would all be speaking Japanese today.
We were not mentally aware of the threat when the horrendous act of “911” happened. I personally encountered an International Terrorist five months prior to “911” and when I called to report it, I was not believed. Now there is an open border to the United States with an untold number of “foreign operatives” able to easily enter our country. Are we mentally prepared for the predictable outcome? Will we later look back in retrospect and bemoan our inaction and blindness? Should we “lay down our sword and shield”? I for one, will reinforce my shield and sharpen my sword and stand ready should my country need me – and I hope it is before, and not after.
Marko Milakovich is an Independent who will be on the ballot competing for the U.S. Representative position in Florida. He refers to himself as a Citizen Warrior. Mr. Grayson is the current incumbent.