Friday, December 02, 2005

Bad War!

Our involvement in Iraq just keeps getting worse. Over 2000 Americans, countless Iraqis and scores of others are dead. Many thousands more have been maimed, crippled or otherwise seriously injured. Hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent. The "war on terror' still rages and no satisfactory outcome in Iraq is evident at the end of the tunnel. Hell, we can't even find the tunnel.

Americans are pretty much hated everywhere throughout the world. My older son lives abroad and, in order to remain relatively safe, he does not openly broadcast his heritage. He's not ashamed of being an American, but he wants to be able to go about his day to day life without being brow beaten or worse by those with anti-American sentiments. Fortunately, he speaks the native tongue of the country in which he resides with reasonable fluency. He claims to have lost much of his "American" accent.

We have sadly discovered that we Americans are not nearly so special as we have been led to believe. We lie, we torture, we kill: all in the name of "national security." That has long been the catch-all defense for any such behavior on our part. We believe that we walk the higher ground, but so, too do bin Laden, al-Zarqawi and the rest. Regardless of what we think of them, they are seen as true believers by their admirers. They are just as sure of their sight as the most zealous American hawks. Each believes that god is on their side. Take god out of the equation and you have something much different. You have greed, lust for power, racial and cultural bias. Hatred. As this situation stands, there is really no common ground; no point from which to even begin discussions. Each side looks upon the other as less than human, as minions of the devil. Who is right? Who is wrong?

Bush has painted us into a corner. We blew our way into Iraq, and, now, there is no graceful way out. Bush and his cronies believe that they are going to create a democracy in Iraq. No matter how long outside forces stay in Iraq, once they are gone, the situation will quickly revert back to chaos. We are dealing with people who have lived with violence as a way of life for literally thousands of years. Many in this part of the world still harbor a 7th century mind set but wield 21st century weaponry. Aside from the city dwellers, those still living a nomadic existence in the surrounding deserts are tribal. The tribal leaders vie with others for territory and power. There is no reason to believe that this will change simply because we made it possible for the Iraqi people to vote. Blood will run in Iraq for years to come.

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