Monday, November 27, 2006

Iraq thing, you make my heart sing

The Iraq invasion and subsequent occupation re-politicized me as no other event has done since the Vietnam struggle. I have been obsessed with it this past four years, as readers of State Street well know. I make no apologies for that. If you must be obsessed with something, then why not be obsessed with Hell, War, Death, and Destruction.

My opposition to the Iraq occupation has gone beyond politics. I inhabit the antipodes from those who blindly want to kill every Muslim for 9/11 retribution.

History tells us that there are enemies to freedom and democracy. Many of those who tell me freedom is not free miss the important part. Freedom sometimes comes after hundreds of years of struggle and then only in the right circumstances at the right time. Some people in the United States think you can buy freedom and democracy cheaply. If you are poor, you go to Wal-Mart to get it. If you are rich, you go to Cartier. Privilege spawns this attitude. People will not admit it, but pure and simple privilege and hubris make things like Iraq happen.

Congressman Rangel has called for a new draft of armed forces personnel. I suspect he is being disingenuous when he says it. I do not fault his logic though. If the United States is dedicated to a perpetual state of land wars, then is it not incumbent upon every able bodied citizen to participate? The market determines participation now, but is this not another market failure?

Some people are in favor of escalating the Iraq conflict. They forget one of the shameful parts of the Iraq conflict. Not many want to go there, and not many want to pay for it. At times, I want to say, either go there or at least put your money on the line rather than the money of future generations. I exercise futility in saying that. This is the land where you can get anything you want. You just go to Wal-Mart or Cartier with your credit card to get it.

The recent election shows that many people who once supported the Iraq invasion and occupation have changed their minds. They no longer believe the many falsities repeated daily about the conflict. Yet the powers in Washington still want to make one last desperate effort to retrieve the hopeless situation in Iraq. Senator McCain, who I once admired, wants to increase the troop level in Iraq and fight it out until the last woman or man is standing. The thing I find reprehensible about his stance is that he does not have the guts to call for another draft of troops. At least Congressman Rangel plays out the logic for all to see. As Senator McCain knows and we all know, the call for a military draft would be political suicide for a Presidential front-runner. Senator Clinton joins ranks with him. The recent election shows that the powers in Washington do not listen to public opinion because they do not care about it.

I remember the night the Iraq invasion started. I was with many folks who cheered the beginning of the conflict. Many of those same people have changed their minds. They are better people than I am because they have changed their minds, whereas I never had to do that.

Many say the Iraq occupation is not like the Vietnam War. The hair splitting over differences would be great entertainment if the stakes and the tragedy were not so high. The thing I enjoy now is that Vietnam veterans to whom I talk consider it exactly like Vietnam. I huddled with a group of Vietnam veterans this past Veteran’s day, and we all agreed as to how eerily Iraq repeated the Vietnam conflict. I know this is anecdotal, but I enjoy the shift in opinion all the same. It is better than listening to someone spout something heard on Fox News.

I have said it here before and I will keep saying it. Nothing good will happen to the United States until we leave Iraq. Until we leave, the so called war on terror will be weakened, hopes for freedom and democracy for all people in the world will be weakened, the poor and working classes will fall farther behind in their struggle to achieve the good life, and the ideals the United States preaches to the rest of the world will fall on deaf ears. I know those are grandiose claims, but the evidence after almost four years in Iraq is on my side.

I do not care what your political persuasion is. If you are opposed to the occupation of Iraq, I join you in solidarity. You are my brothers and sisters. The life of one Iraqi child is worth more than all our political opinions.

The United States has yet to face its real test in Iraq. Once the troops have left Iraq, humanitarian goals and necessities remain. I am sure many people think that you can buy a solution at Wal-Mart or Cartier with a credit card.


At 1:49 PM, Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I couldn't have said it any better myself. And I didn't.

At 4:50 PM, Blogger Lynn said...

Anvilcloud -


At 1:40 AM, Blogger Renegade Eye said...

Good post.

The idiot Rangel is dead serious about the draft. It is being recommended by Democratic Party study group. The World Socialist Website had a good article about it.

At 2:00 AM, Blogger Lynn said...

renegade eye -

Thanks for the pointer. I will check it out.


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