I try to stay away from the news nowadays. Usually it does nothing more than piss me off, but after hearing a little snippet on NPR yesterday or this morning (I can’t remember exactly when it was) about the President’s announcement yesterday, I decided to check out the hubbub. Soooo, I found this. And “this” pisses me right the hell off. I mean, I think I hit 8th, 9th, maybe even 10th level pissed upon reading this article and a few more that I decided to dig around through.
After that fateful day in September of 2001, I felt like many of us felt. I was angry, pissed, scared, and worried. I had kind of a kill ’em all and let God sort them out mindset. I was all about blasting the fuckers responsible back to the stone-age. I followed the war fever and the patriotic unity among those in government straight through Afghanistan and even supported military intervention in Iraq, just knowing that Saddam Hussein was evil incarnate and had enough “weapons of mass distraction” to wipe us out along with anyone else that he felt like removing from the face of the earth. I believed it when we were told how necessary it was to go in and take him out. I believed it when we were told that the secured Iraqi oil reserves would pay for any military action and the cost would not be passed to the taxpayer. I believed it when we were told that the operation would be relatively short and sweet. I believed it when we were told that a minimum of American boys and girls would be put in harms way. I believed it all. All.
What do I believe now?
I believe that we need to take care of the wounded soldiers and veterans that we have on our hands now rather than sending more of our men and women in uniform back over there to have come home wounded, or worse, dead. I believe that we should have heeded the words of Dick Cheney, John McCain, and others that, before Bush II took office believed that any intervention in Iraq would do nothing more than remove a force that kept the various sects vying for power from killing each other and swallowing the country in a civil war. I believe that we should heed those words now. NOW! I believe that sending “military advisors” to Iraq is nothing more than a prelude to a larger force that will go over there again. I believe that Iraq is not worth one more drop of American blood spilt on its arid ground. I believe that Jim Wright was right in his opinion and indictment of those that rattle the sabers in the hopes of driving more Americans to wanting more war (If you have not read this piece, it is the most poignant piece on this entire debacle I have read, and that includes over 10 years of reading…lots and lots of articles and more than a few books). I believe that the President caved on this. I believe the President has let down those whom he depended on to put him in the White House in 2008, and those he needed to keep him there in 2012. I know that he lost my vote in 2012 because he sold his political power in order to pass a healthcare reform bill that does more for private insurance companies than it does for the American people. I believe, now, that he has lost my respect, because he lightly pushes progressive causes just enough to placate liberals so that they won’t go ape-shit on him when he does something like this. I believe that the one “liberal” that could have kept this from happening caved in order to save face for his party and the hopes that his party does not lose too much power in November.
I firmly believe that this advisory role will escalate just as it did in Vietnam. Though the number of dead Americans, 4,411 (according to the Department of Defense), is far less than those that died in Vietnam, 58,220, how many more Americans have to die or get wounded before we cut our losses? I’ve read memes and posts from those that would disagree with me, stating that the sacrifices made by those that have already given their lives in this conflict will mean nothing. And to that, I say bullshit! To them I say does it make their sacrifice that much more meaningful to have more American blood spilt on that altar? So, how many more Americans need to spill their blood to make the sacrifice given by those before that much more meaningful? How many? HOW MANY???
How many more Americans need their lives altered by life changing injuries and mind changing psychological distress? How many more American families need to feel the loss that so many American families feel now? Go on. Tell me. I’m waiting.
Not one more drop of American blood needs to be spilled; not one more American life needs to be laid down for the security of a foreign country that we have already spent a generation trying to secure. Period. End of story.