Those Boots on the Ground Are for Dying In

President Barack Obama has said no boots on the ground, but, as I have posted, they are already in Iraq. He has already sent them.

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But if you don’t want to believe me, Politico Magazine has published the analysis of a veteran: “I Was a Pair of Boots on the Ground in Iraq.”

I was once a pair of “boots on the ground,” so I know a little about what the phrase means. And I can tell you that, listening to the back-and-forth between the White House and the Pentagon over who exactly we’re sending to Iraq (and now possibly Syria), neither side is giving the American people the whole story. First of all, you know those boots on the ground everybody’s still discussing whether we should deploy? Well, they’re already there. We are already effectively engaged in combat in Iraq, in direct contradiction of what President Obama said when he announced he was taking action against the Islamic State terrorists, telling the American people in an address from the White House that the mission “will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil.” He said pretty much the same when he told troops at MacDill Air Force Base: “The American forces do not and will not have a combat mission.”

It’s just not true. The only question is whether the American people will not be deceived for the umpteenth time as to what we are really doing. Like John F. Kennedy’s “advisers” in Vietnam, like the U.S. military secretly training Manuel Noriega (only to arrest him on drug charges later on), or the Reagan administration giving weapons to Saddam Hussein to fight the Iranians, or the CIA funding mujahedeen in the 1980s who were later to become al Qaeda, or the Bush administration using the threat of weapons of mass destruction as a pretext for invasion, this strategy to send in “advisers” to fight the Islamic State is subterfuge, and reflects conflicted leadership.

How can we stand up and call out Vladimir Putin for his deception in the Ukraine—for covertly using Russian soldiers and pretending they’re Ukrainian “separatists”—and at the same time say with a straight face that our “advisers” will not have a combat mission?

Maybe you are someone who wants a full military commitment to go back to Iraq. Maybe you are opposed to it. But whatever your position, no patriot wants a few Americans sacrificed in a half-hearted effort to “degrade” the capabilities of ISIS.

Only politicians—who want to commit America to combat without letting Americans know what they are doing—want that.