Friday, October 13, 2006

Do Your Eyes Leak When You Read The News From Iraq?

Mine do. I can't help it and anyone who has known me in person would be very surprised because tears do not come easily to me. When I'm angry and frustrated, yes, but I can usually be detached when I'm reading.

Not so with the Iraq war and the casualty counts. We are losing young lives for no discernible reason and destroying yet another generation in the foolish pursuit of pride. We have accomplished what the Decider initially said was the goal. Capture Saddam. Check. Weapons of Mass Destruction. There weren't any, check. Engender a democracy. The Iraqis had their purple finger moment. Check.

Why are we still there? We aren't going to win the war on terror by causing more of it. Heck, because of current policies we are causing terror within the USA. When military families are afraid to open their door because they don't want to talk to the chaplain (imagine it was your family that waits for news) and the other military suit with him, that is terror perpetrated on those who are giving the most and only them.

This grief is not evenly distributed amongst all Americans, it is being suffered by an unfortunate few. With every deployment that a service member serves, their chances of dying increase. During the Vietnam conflict people volunteered to serve more than one tour, it wasn't forced upon them. Now we have active duty service members, the Reserves and the National Guard who are serving more than one tour. Some are up to three and four.

As long as just a few serve and pay the ultimate price, this war does not exist except as an abstraction to most Americans and that is just not right. Everyone should weep or have to swallow hard every time a service member dies. Otherwise, ir just doesn't matter, it is someone else's war, someone else's problem, someones else's loved one.

I wish I could be cold and dispassionate about Iraq, but after reading the latest stories of the fallen I now understand why my dad was so angry when I enlisted before the Vietnam Conflict was declared over. He knew that nobody cared except the people who were left to grieve.

Crossposted at Big Brass Blog.

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