I have avoided writing anything about the political situation that has been brewing between the US and Iraq. I have worked very hard to not end up spewing out vitriolic rants against the Shrub and his latest bouts of idiocy. I have successfully avoided making any comment about the War on Iraq (otherwise known as "The War to Finish What Daddy Started Because I Want To And You Can't Stop Me!"). I have said very little at all about any of this.
Until now. Tonight at dinner, seated around a table with 9 other coworkers, we looked over toward the bar as the employee there turned up the sound on the television. The Shrub was on the air, giving a speech.
From my corner of the table I couldn't really hear what he was saying, but I really didn’t have any desire to hear it anyway. I knew that whatever it was, it would only make me angrier, and more convinced that this war that the Shrub in his infinite and arrogant stupidity has started is a very bad idea.
See, I happen to believe in something very simple. America isn't supposed to be the one that starts the fights. We're supposed to be the ones to help end them. We're not supposed to be the one to hit first and then ask questions later. We're not supposed to be the ones to ignore diplomacy and negotiation. We're the ones that have the power to show by our example how treaties and agreements and all of that can work. And yes I know that my country hasn't always followed those rules, but I do know that the current administration has done a damn good job of making sure that very few will ever be able to trust us to follow those rules in the future.
All I can see right now is my country's already battered reputation being rapidly stripped away. And it is painful to look into the future and try to grasp how many years it will take, once that horrid little excuse for a President is finally voted out of office, for our future leaders to try to repair the damage that he and his administration have done in their blundering.
I may not like war, but I am not so naïve as to think that the human race will ever live in perfect peace and harmony. And because it is in our nature – all of us – to fight and to be greedy and to hurt other people (although some people take those to far more extremes than most), I do understand that sometimes war is the only thing that will defuse a situation. I accept that sometimes war is required and justified, and that yes it is ugly and horrible and people die, but when it is done – the type of war that is necessary – things will be better for it.
I worry about the troops over there –Iraqi and American, and all the other nationalities involved. I have friends who are on the front lines and what little details they have given us scare me by how real the danger is that they are in. Yet they are all there because they are doing their job and it doesn't matter that maybe they don’t necessarily believe in the cause; they are doing what they promised they would do. And while I certainly don't agree with the philosophies and practices of the Iraqi regime, I know that the soldiers who fight on the Iraqi side are probably fighting for the exact same reasons. They may not want to fight and they might be just as scared and worried as our side, and maybe they don't even believe that what they are fighting for is right. But they are just doing their job too. And it scares me, and infuriates me, that these people – my friends and all the ones whose names I'll never know – could possibly die in a war that I cannot figure out how to justify.
I feel like I'm just spinning in rambly circles and right now I don't know how to say everything I want to say about what is going on. I'll just give up and point you to a few people who were a lot better at putting into writing what I've been thinking and feeling.
This has been an AlphaBytes entry.