The neoconservatives will go down as one of the most misguided, ill-informed and ideologically blinded political movements in American history.
Their leaders have been exposed as frauds. Their ideas have been exposed as naïve and unsound. And their influence on American foreign policy has resulted in sectarian war, humanitarian crises, instability, tens of thousands of American casualties and a veterans' administration overburdened by ten years of two wars.
In 2005, while Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz and Bill Kristol were sitting at desks in Washington, my unit was fighting their war in Iraq. They were playing armchair general. We were kicking in doors, getting shot at and driving on IED-planted roads in unarmored vehicles designed for amphibious assaults.
The Neocons were wrong about every premise and prediction on Iraq. They were wrong about the country having nuclear weapons. They were wrong that we would be greeted as liberators. And they were wrong that the differing factions wouldn't become embroiled in sectarian battles.
By now, the Neocons and their bellicose foreign policy should be thoroughly discredited. And yet, media outlets continue to give them a platform to theorize about the current situation in Iraq.
Wolfowitz made headlines for alleging President Obama was somehow not taking ISIS's march on Baghdad "seriously." Kristol went on CNN to declare that the invasion of Iraq was "necessary and just" and that calls for an apology from the Neocons are "hogwash." And Cheney actually had the gall to write in a Wall Street Journal op-ed: "Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many."
A recent CBS/New York Times polled showed that only 18 percent of Americans think the Iraq War was worth the cost we paid in American lives and resources. And only 19 percent think we should send military troops back into Iraq.
So here's what I'd tell Cheney, Kristol, Wolfowitz and the rest of the Neocons who think that -- despite overwhelming public disapproval -- we should go back to Iraq: If you want to launch another war in Iraq, go fight it yourselves.
Cheney, in particular, has spent the entire Obama administration calling the president "weak." If he and the rest of the Neocons are such tough guys, then it's time they volunteer to do some of the fighting.
I'm enormously proud of my service in Iraq. And as a Marine, I would have gone anywhere my country sent me. But the Iraq War was a disaster, and it seems that the only people who can't see that are chickenhawks like Cheney.
Follow Ruben Gallego on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RubenGallego