Friday, June 24, 2005

Damage Control

What a quagmire we find ourselves in. I'm talking about Iraq of course, but also this nation. After being blind-sided by 9/11, we as a nation allowed ourselves to be lead into a war that was both dishonest and unwinnable, and in the wake left by the tsunami that is the war in Iraq, we are a nation so divided, so conflicted, that hope seems as lost as the battle we are fighting.

Over a glass of wine tonight, Bubba and I glanced at the war report that shows an ever increasing number of casualties of the armed forces who are fighting this battle for us. 3 a day (not as many as the 3 a minute who die in Africa from poverty-related issues, but I digress) and this does not take into consideration the number of long-term wounded who will never recover from the effects of this war (see seriously), nor the Iraqis who have suffered and died.

Paul Krugman would like us to discuss the reasons we went to war in the first place. Many other would like us to start working on an exit strategy. The administration asks us to "stay the course". Our elected leaders are waging a war of rhetoric, each calling for the other to apologize or resign for their latest hyperbole. And in the meantime, more soldiers and Iraqis die, more terrorists are born (trained by the so-called insugents in Iraq) and the war goes on.

I'm a pacifist; I seldom agree with others' reasons to go to war. Bubba is a realist; he accepted the need to wage war in Afganistan (if we had only stayed the course there). But what has happened in Iraq, what is still happening and will continue for generations to come, is just wrong.

What is equally wrong is what is happening in this country. I'm too young to know what it was like during WWII, Korea or Vietnam. I'm sure there were people who called for war's end then, and others who fought equally as hard for a victorious finale, but in the end our democracy survived. Will we survive this time. At this point damage control will begin when we stop looking for a win situation and start thinking about what our democracy really means. We the people...