Sunday, May 27, 2007

You Can't Have It Both Ways

I want to say, as most do, I hate war.  War is an abomination.  Yet rarely in the 100,000 years humans have made "modern" war upon each other have they turned from the task, if the reason was noble and true, an honest cause to fight for.  There is nothing honest or true about Iraq or how we ever got there.  Saddam Hussain as everyone knows had nothing at all to do with WTC or secret WMD.  The whole thing reminds me of the ills I recall from the war of my time, Viet Nam, where free people helped others fight communism and keep it from their land.  We lost.  We let down the South Vietnamese, abandoning them to the North and the whole country has been communist since 1975 when we finally ran away in rooftop helicopters.  We didn't know what we were up against, stayed too long because politicians believed we could win (read HAD TO) and it lasted until close to 60,000 American "babies" died.  The amount of Vietnamese murdered?  In the hundreds of thousands.  Did I support those who went to fight?  No.  When I say "support" in this entire entry I mean "in principal".  I pitied them because they had no choice, we had a draft in place.  We should never have been there.  My friends of only 18 years who were with me at the movies one day, had a gun in their hand the next and were mowing down women, old people, babies, dogs, even burning them alive, everything but the Viet Cong because they couldn't find them.  The "enemy" was in the jungle in places only they knew, we didn't.  They could fight in pajamas and scandals for crying out loud.  Some of my friends came back.  Sort of.  Some I was forced to welcome home by putting flowers on their graves.  To this very day, kids I knew in the 60's, the days of peace and love, are strapped into wheelchairs, legs gone, an arm missing, just staring out into nothing.  And they're the lucky ones.  War is just so toxic - I'll never forget the posters with the little girl picking flowers we all knew so well:  "War is not healthy for children and other living things."     

We shouldn't be in Iraq.  So, obviously I don't support the war there.  Do I support the people who chose to continue the useless fighting and killing, mostly of civilians, and far too many due to "friendly fire", malfunctioning ordnance, a very unclear view for the soldiers as to what our true objective is, ad infit.?  How can I say "I don't support this war, but I support the folks who fight it."  It makes no sense to me!  Did you read what I just said?!?  People support the fighters but not the fighting - what???  Hey I've nothing against them, they made a decision and went with it; but to decide it's a noble deed to place oneself in a situation so immoral and yes even illegal as to bring terrorism to the doorstep of anyone, ANYONE at all, well no I'm against it.  Of COURSE I am.  We've brought such hatred to an already volatile region of the world.  We've used terroristic methods ourselves, yet we decry it.  All I hear are flag-waving fence sitting rationalizing about why we're in Iraq.  Don't most people want us the hell out of there?  It's not our war, it's a civil war and we've caused enough trouble for others by our presence.  Whose face are we trying to save, as in Nam?  We started this, running into Afghanistan yelling "Get Osama!"  He'll die of old age, I'd say.  Right now, innocent people are dying.  Human beings are being murdered, like any other war.  Only this one has no purpose, no direction, and if we eradicated every insurgent/terrorist on the planet I'd feel no reason to be proud.   

You may say, "Well, this is where the terrorists make their homes, we must root them out - that's a noble cause."  If that were really true, we would've deployed troops into South Yemen, the safest country for terrorists to hide, and our government knew that.  Still, people who hate because of a difference in religion and a way of life are everywhere in the world.  Yes, it's right to prevent such a cowardly deed as 9/11/01 from ever happening again.  Just exactly how do we accomplish this?  Kill every "muslim-looking" person alive?  Since we couldn't do that here we went overseas to kill who we believed to be terrorists.  If we remain in Iraq will there never be another bombing in the world?  Did we even care before it showed itself here?  Did anyone demand we get involved in the Bosnian civil war?  How does arming ourselves and shouting "We'll get you back you bastards" do any good?  Calculations say we "won" this war over 6 years ago, didn't we?  Why are we still there, dying in the rocks and sand?  Why would anyone support going there and exactly what would it accomplish?

For what it may cost me, I stand my ground:  I do not support the war in Iraq, therefore I can't support those who chose to fight it.  "Support" in wartime to me means "principal".  So of course, if our soldiers needed encouragement that we'll do everything to get them back, I support that.  I support helping them end it.  When a principal becomes the funeral of one mother's son, it's over.  No discussions as to right or wrong, a person is dead.   

You may've noticed our troops are being forced into several terms of duty.  Re-used over and over.  I've read that there just aren't enough reserves or new recruits who can back this tragic farce of a war, who can't see the "nobility" of what's happening there.  Recruiters can't even accurately explain why we're there, what our reasonable long-term goal is.  Certainly the soldiers who've been there, and are told they have to return don't see the point, they've seen too much useless death.  The goal stated by our government is impossible.  Bring democracy to a land which doesn't practice it?  Bush and his kind say they'll start leaving when the Iraqi start "doing their part" in having elections and governing themselves.  We all know what happened after their first election.   

The more we engage these insurgent off-shoots of al-Quada, the more their numbers grow.  There are decidedly MOREof "the enemy" now than 6 years ago, when we "won" and it's because of our continued presence there. 

Looking to WW2 I know I'd feel so much differently.  Korea.  Even our own Civil War.  But this?  It's madness.  The ruling party even stands firm against the President in this one matter.  Republicans and Democrats alike just issued another statement for consideration that 1400 troops be sent home immediately, followed by up to 5000 within the next 18 months.  A small presence being kept there until a government is firmly in place, that's what they're asking for.  Though it's bound to fail, too many powerful people are sick of the dollar-drain and insist something more tangible be done than the continued bleeding out of men and women into that land of sorrows.  This is alot more logical than killing ourselves trying to win an unwinable war.  

The person who risks life and limb to uphold standards they believe in have my respect.  Do you believe what's happening in Iraq and Afghanistan is worth risking life and limb for?      

 

11 comments:

ab45yui said...

I don't see too many comments on this one.  I don't feel educated enough on politics to go a round on the rights and wrong of this war, but if you follow the media there has been findings of chemical weapons.  For whatever reason, the media chose not to exploit this finding as loudly as when they decried the initial basis of war was unfounded.  If you would like to take a look at articles on their finds, just google "Weapons found in Iraq".  I think the last posting was a finding of chemical weapons in 2006.  Time will answer all the un-answered questions as to the rights and wrongs of this war, but I think once a person has an opinion on it, it won't be easily changed unless they are media sheep.

Like you, I will support our troops.  There are so many ways we can help them.  Each military agency more than likely has a website set up where you can either email a soilder or send care packages to their unit.  They need to hear from us, that we care.  I know the Air Force has "Air Force Crossroads".  Check it out.  My daughter has adopted a soilder, and I'm thinking about doing the same thing.  They need friends, family and our prayers.

luddie343 said...

Cathy 2 Lynne:  Thanks for your insights, but I think the best support I can offer any soldier is rally to get them home, asap.

ab45yui said...

That goes without saying, Cathy.  We all want them home! :-)

treesrgreen78 said...

While I am a Canadian, our troops are still over there standing by your misguided President.  They brought another shoulder home yesterday, one who lives about 10 minutes from me to be buried with full honours.  This war to me has never made sense.  The only purpose it serves is the absolute total waste of human life.  How many soliders have to die before your "dumb ass" president pulls out of Iraq.  I do not know much about politics in fact I abhor the subject.  To me most politicians are in politics to line their own pockets and nothing more.  The very few that are in politics that care about the people are few and far between.  I agree fully with your entry Luddie, you dont need to be knowledgable about politics to know that this war is a travesty of magnificent proportions and the loss of life has gone on long enough.  Bring those men and women home to their families.

frankandmary said...

Regardless of my feelings for the war, I do support the people that must be there because it exists at this time.  I provide packages for soldiers who receive nothing from home, just little packages of small 'someone cares' proportion ~ thru Treats For Troops. Should I stop if I disagree with the war?  I do not feel I should.~Mary

lanurseprn said...

Great entry Cathy. I wish they'd stop this nonsense and come home, too. It is very reminiscent of my childhood, and Vietnam. I lost people in that war. Oh wait...it was a "conflict." I recall them saying it's not a war...it's a conflict.  Bullshit. People fight, get killed, it's war.  
We had no business staying in Iraq this long. It's one of those unwinnable things. And Bush isn't about to admit defeat.  No way. I'm just hoping that they don't decide to bring back the draft just in time for my son to go.
Pam

rockoned7 said...

Wow Cathy, what a subject! In war, life is nasty brutal and usually short. Without  war, life is peaceful serene and lovable. Or is it? The history of warfare has shown signs that man cannot justify the slaughter of innocents, the right of self defence, or aggression by one state against another without equality, without first examining the moral stance that this brings to the table.
Each religious fraction has given their credence to a time to fight for one’s values, hopes and inspirations. When this fails, the result in your words an “abomination” of common sense, hatred , arrogance and moral codicils. The United Nations were set up as a vehicle for shortcutting this call to arms. Is it working ? Is it well founded? And against what principles does it stand?
Having lived through the Cold War and trusted with two buckets of instant sunshine the thought had occurred that the only winners in war were the dead and the dying. They were the true heroes. The fact, that I could personally wipe out two or four sizeable city populations at a short notice, thankfully were never carried out by our leaders and sanity prevailed.  Now it is threats that cause us exasperation and the call to bear arms with vengeance, re-dress, power and morality instead of the usual first retaliatory strike.
However, all wars are winnable but do not become so when the number of losses grow to out live expectations whether that cause is right or not. Again it does take the laws of science to decree that once a job attacking an enemy goes unfinished then the cost is that much higher at the second or subsequent attempts.  Our dead are dying with yours and what did the poem of the first world war say “it is a noble and honourable thing to die for one’s country” Tell that to the 60,000 mothers who lost sons on the first day of the Somme 1914.

pharmolo said...

Good entry, Cathy. I agree that Iraq is bearing all the wholemarks of Nam - which would have been foreseeable before George W. sent in the US cavalry. What a mess.

logoladymjh3 said...

I have seen, in the original entry and all comments thereafter, that everyone hates war and supports the troops.  The only other thing that stands out to me is the fact that everyone wants the troops home - and NOW!!
What happens to all of the unfinished business our troops would leave behind?? Will the terroists/insurgents follow us back to the states??  Will we be the recipients of war on our turf??  And what happens to all the thousands of men and women that return to our shores??  Do we have a place for them? jobs that will give their lives meaning and an income for survival?  housing?  How will they feel to come home after fighting so hard and leaving many of their buddies behind?  How do you explain this to the familys that have lost loved ones?  Was it all worth sacrificing their lives, limbs, etc to just come home and leave a job unfinished?  I think NOT.  I do not agree with the war - I don't agree with any war.  But we are there - and I believe we need to finish what we have started.  The war will not end because our troops come home.  Why, you say????  Because it has been left unfinished - and we will continue to pay the price, all of us!!  Whether we are for the war or not, whether we support our troops or not, whether we support President Bush or not, doesn't really matter.  What matters is that we are there and we need to finish what we started.  If for no other reason, but to give meaning to our precious men and women that have given their lives so that we could be free.  No matter how we feel, we need to finish our mission and allow our service men and women to return home with feelings of some sort of pride, a sense of purpose and closure to this crazy mixed up mess.  
God bless America.
Gemmy.

gehi6 said...

A lot of hard thinking in this entry  Would that those who started the Iraq war had thought a lot harder about these other wars that led our country into a quagmire.  I remember President Bush saying oh there won't be any casualties (to speak of)!  What a misunderstanding that man had of invasive war.  HIs father stopped before heading for Bagdad and had more reason but 9/11 caused a lot of people to crave a war of retribution, even if it was with people who weren't quite to blame for that, but were for a lot of other stuff   Gerry  http://journals.aol.com/gehi6/daughters-of-the-shadow-men/  

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