Tonight I’ve listened to all the pundits spin the Republican and White House talking points that tell us why we’ve got to stay the course in Iraq. I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to write and so I put some prose together and sent it to the Olean Times Herald. That’s the big newspaper in our area. Writing those few lines was cathartic and helped to me to do my part to end this war. My wife thought it was the best piece I’ve written for newspaper submission. I’ll wait and see if the paper publishes it. The Democrats and one Republican, Chuck Hagel, on the Senate Foreign Relations committee finally went on record against the latest escalation in Iraq. “The Decider” decided that we can’t leave Iraq and no one in Congress has the fortitude to stop him either by impeachment or censure. We have to stay there and prop up the puppet regime we’ve put in place.
My heart goes out to the troops there. What on earth must they be thinking? How can they go from day to day with no relief. They’ve been extended, stop-lossed, and rotated in and out of Iraq more than any soldiers in any of our previous wars. The Vietnam tour was 13 months. Bomber pilots in World War II got 25 missions and out. Many never got that far, but at least they had something to hang on to. These poor soldiers have no such hope. The professional all-volunteer military is being raped by this President and his minions. National Guard units never designed for extended war-time deployments have been employed as front line troops and given little if any access to health care when they return home. Their careers and financial obligations loom and no help is extended. I see all kinds of yellow ribbons and hear lots of hollow talk, but little evidence of any support for the troops.
What can thoughtful people do to help? Gandhi fasted to end violence? Is there a spiritual answer to end the Iraq War?