Friday, July 02, 2004

From the Mouths of Soldiers

There hasn't been much on my mind to write about of late. Rather than
rehashing what we've been doing around the house (growing grass), I'll
mention that Ellie's 25th birthday came on the 30th. Her parents drove
up from VA and are now spending the summer up at their lake house. It
was great to see them, it's really too bad Ellie and I live so far from
them now. We hope to spend some weekends up north at the lake house,
including this upcoming weekend.

The title of the post has nothing to do with the above. This morning
Ellie and I were carpooling to work. I often like to listen to National
Public Radio when we drive, so I was getting my morning news fix. NPR
apparently has an ongoing interview with a Army soldier, who has just
returned from a year in Iraq, preceded by a year in Afghanistan (I may
be mixing this up, I can't seem to find the piece on NPR's website so I
can't check my facts). One thing I do remember clearly and distinctly
was when the interviewer asked about how the soldier felt about our
justification in going to Iraq he said "I have to be careful what I say."

This really got my brain spinning, enought to inspire a blog post. If
even our soldiers can't say with positive conviction we did the right
thing, I think obviously we haven't. I don't think anyone debates the
war in Afghanistan was justifable. The war in Iraq is something else
though. For many Americans it is a badge of shame. Recently I've been
watching Band of Brothers on the History Channel. An
outstanding drama in my mind, I think some of the actors really managed
to capture some of the sadness of war. There is a striking contrast
between the comments of the soldiers involved in World War II and the
soldier on NPR this morning. All the WWII soldiers believed in what they
were doing, and don't offer this justifcation for WWII : "We just doing
our job, what we were ordered to do." They were truly defending the
freedom of the people of the world.

Our soldiers cannot say that about the Iraq war. Many have been shouted
down for comparing Iraq to Vietnam, but at this point the similarities
are obvious. We are in a country that doesn't want us there. Soldiers
die nearly every day from guerilla warfare. At this point I just don't
have much spirit to write much more on the subject. It's too saddening,
too infuriating. I'll put it simply, and just say I think I'm one of
many that is losing faith in our government. I think it will be
interesting to see the participation in the Novemeber elections, if more
people turn out than in 2000 or fewer. Time will tell.

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