Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The War

I read in National Geographic two articles about the medical care of wounded soldiers and Iraqis. Pretty shocking stuff, as all war is, of course.

Also a powerful article by Bob Herbert of the New York Times. Some excerpts:

Americans are shopping while Iraq burns. The competing television news images on the morning after Thanksgiving were of the unspeakable carnage in Sadr City — where more than 200 Iraqi civilians were killed by a series of coordinated car bombs — and the long lines of cars filled with holiday shopping zealots that jammed the highway approaches to American malls that had opened for business at midnight…

There is something terribly wrong with this juxtaposition of gleeful Americans with fistfuls of dollars storming the department store barricades and the slaughter by the thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, including old people, children and babies. The war was started by the U.S., but most Americans feel absolutely no sense of personal responsibility for it….

The war has now lasted as long as the American involvement in World War II. But there is no sense of collective sacrifice in this war, no shared burden of responsibility. The soldiers in Iraq are fighting, suffering and dying in a war in which there are no clear objectives and no end in sight, and which a majority of Americans do not support.

They are dying anonymously and pointlessly, while the rest of us are free to buckle ourselves into the family vehicle and head off to the malls and shop.

Time magazine reports: Security Adviser Steve Hadley told reporters on Air Force One on the way to Estonia that Bush will be a good listener at the meeting. "We're not at the point where the President is going to be in a position to lay out a comprehensive plan at this point".

After months of accusing the Democrats of having no plan, it is obvious Bush doesn´t have one either. And now of course news reports are appearing that one of the President´s top advisors doesn´t believe the Iraqi Prime Minister has the ability to stem the violence in his country. (Lest you think it is just liberal, biased media reporting this, World Magazine is reporting it also).

I am starting to realize I use this blog to vent about the war. But I don´t know where else to go with my frustration. And when Tony Snow says something dumb like "I think the general notion is a civil war is when you have people who, to use the American Civil War or other civil wars as an example, where people break up into clearly identifiable feuding sides clashing for supremacy within Iran…, thereby making in this otherwise unintelligble sentence a geographic mistake (must be learning it from his President) and, as Jon Swift comments, “referring by mistake to the upcoming war in Iran instead of Iraq”, I don't know what to do anymore.

Look at this picture, pray for our brave soldiers and pray to God that our government somehow starts thinking with clarity, common sense and bravery.

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