Like most working people today, I get the news in small bits and pieces , a few minutes here and there. Everything swirls around in my head and it eventually forms my opinion on the situation.
I saw on the news the other day, a General explaining to his troops that their year long tour of duty in Iraq was being extended for four more months in order to re-secure Baghdad. My heart goes out to these men and women, as I know how fatigued they are and how much they need time at home with family.
I recall reading somewhere that the majority of soldiers going into Iraq in the beginning, believed that Iraq/Saddam was directly involved in the 9-11 attacks and was actively supporting Al-Quaeda. Then, recently I read that more than half of American voters still believe this falsehood that was so widely promoted by the Radical Right media.
Then I catch another bit of news, that the new Iraq government is considering a partition of Iraq into Kurd, Shiite and Sunni sections in an attempt to halt the civil war that has erupted.
I see that we have blasted Iraq (which in history classes we called the Cradle of Civilization) to smithereens. And now we are obligated to rebuild it, by means of funneling billions of dollars into the pockets of Dick Cheney's buddies at Haliburton, and a few more billions that have just disappeared. We have basically bankrupted the country in financing this war without allied support, and according to reports it will take billions more to refit our military and National Guard after the conflict is over.
The Al-Quaeda terrorists do not reside in Iraq. They have not all travelled to Iraq to fight against us there. They have small cells throughout the world, and are patiently planning their next act or terror. They wish to destroy the infidels, especially Americans, because we support Israel as a Jewish state in the midst of Islamic nations. (I think Israel has a right to exist, but deplore the continual violence that goes on there)
Also noted is the disbanding in late 2005 of the CIA unit dedicated to the apprehension of Osama Bin Laden. I was in favor of using all resources at our disposal to find Bin Laden and destroy his network of terrorist training camps, so this has me a bit puzzled. Do we have him on ice somewhere?
Then we have the matter of the vacationing George Bush, who surpassed Reagan's 8 year record total of Presidential vacation time in 2005 with 3 1/2 years left to go. I have to ask, who is really in charge of running the country?
Cheney, Rove and Rumsfeld, the Old Boys With War Toys, and billions of (dollars worth of ) reasons to make war?
I'm sure that some of the complexities of the situation have escaped me, but I was never in favor of the war in Iraq, not from day one. Shock and Awe did not impress me. I do not think we are "making the terrorists come to us (in Iraq)", I do not think we have improved the lives of the Iraqi people, and I do not think the world is a safer place because of the war.
My family has a long history of patriotism and service to country. My father was in the Navy and was at Pearl Harbor when it was bombed. He survived and served through the end of WW II. My brother-in-law was a Marine and served two tours in Vietnam, receiving the Navy Cross for heroism. My nephew was Air Force and served in Desert Storm. Please do not call me a traitor or say that I don't love America.
In the Vietnam war we had 50,000 body bags. The Iraq war has its 2,500+ flag draped caskets (which we aren't supposed to photograph) and its thousands of deaths due to "collateral damage".
It is time to formulate an exit strategy for this ill-thought-out war and bring our troops home.