Iraq Veterans Speak Out Over Militant Takeover

Thursday, June 12th 2014, 6:50 pm
By: News 9

The militant group has taken over two of Iraq's three major cities. The very places retired Lieutenant Colonel Steve Russell lived for over a year.

He knows the Iraqi people and says this isn't what they want, and this isn't good for America.

The barrage of bullets coming from the guns of terrorists have caused the people, retired Lt. Col. Steve Russell befriended in Iraq, to flee their homes and become refugees overnight.

"Say a prayer for the Iraqi people, it's a false notion to say they want this, they don't," Russell said.

While Russell's thoughts are on the welfare of the Iraqi people, his heart breaks for his comrades efforts that he feels is now lost.

"This is about America and its foreign policy, and it's tragic that my service and the friends that I lost are being thrown away because of a lack of foreign policy," Russell said.

Russell points to history for what we should have done.

"After WWII we had a commitment to Germany, we had a commitment to Japan, it's an American flag planted that says if you pick on little brother, you're going to have to deal with big brother," Russell said.

Today at a military job expo some veterans are just as disgruntled. One even telling News 9 this a "slap in the face" and asking "what good did we do?"

Russell says there's still good we can do with military aide. However, he says the U.S. needs to encourage Iraq's Prime Minister to unite all tribes to fight for a civilized Iraq.

"If he would step up and do that, it's fixable," Russell said.

Russell was also a commanding officer in the task force that found and captured Saddam Hussein.

Currently, he is running for Congress in Oklahoma's 5th district.