19 March 2008

Five years later.

It may seem as unbelievable to you as it does to me, but it has been five years since the U.S. invaded Iraq. Whatever you may think of that and everything that goes with it, today didn't seem like a day to post about something else.

Let's just hope everyone involved on every side can suddenly grow up and figure this all out, so both Americans (and other nations' troops) and Iraqis can get out of harms' way as soon as possible.

Here's hoping five things, one for each year: 1) the non-Iraqi extremists and troublemakers leave the country soon; 2) the people can pick up the pieces of their lives shortly after; 3) an independent and genuine government comes to power, without undue influence of self-interested Americans and their massive permanent military bases; 4) the full truth is eventually revealed about why and how our troops were sent there; and 5) all those responsible for crimes against our nation, its ideals, and humanity at large will be held accountable and punished like any common felon.

And most of all, here's to the nearly 4,000 American soldiers, hundreds of "coalition" soldiers, and the tragically uncounted hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians who have lost their lives, as well as all those injured, as a result of this horrifically unplanned invasion.

Let's do better in the future, for ourselves, our children, and all the people who share this world with us.

9 comments:

Mary said...

Well said.

Shannon said...

And Amen again!

LiteralDan said...

Let's just hope we don't have too many more of these kinds of anniversaries.

Kori said...

Beautiful and spot on.

muskrat said...

Yeah, and here's to the > 100k who deploy and leave all that (and all whom) they care about for months and months and months.

one year ago today, i was on the plane for war (for the 3rd time).

utter misery.

LiteralDan said...

Kori: Thanks. It was kind of depressing to reread this, but nice to imagine the alternative world.

muskrat: Absolutely-- I've always been grateful for people willing to sign up to be on call to defend our nation and serve in other worthy causes all over the world, and I can only hope this mess they threw you all into doesn't discourage too many people from serving in the future.

I planned to sign up myself after 9/11, figuring we were all off to defend the nation and there was no other honorable option, a la WWII, but in retrospect I'm glad I hesitated to see how things panned out in the immediate aftermath (aka who was responsible and what were we doing about it), since they decided to send everyone to Iraq instead of finishing the job in Afghanistan.

I feel so badly for everyone sent off to Iraq who had volunteered to defend America (or their home nation in other cases), and who feel angry and frustrated but who were then left without a choice. I feel even worse for those who fulfilled their end of the bargain but who were then pulled back in for more than they signed up for, just because The Administration is having understandable recruitment troubles for their war.

It's just a whole series of tragedies all around, leaving widow(er)s, orphans, and grieving parents all over our country and others.

I'm very glad for your service, admiring of your going back so many times, and happy for your loved ones that you made it back safely. Hopefully you and many others won't have to go back again.

Vernacular said...

One thing (among a few) making me nauseous in this election season: Neither party is recognizing the full-out idiocy of us being at war in Iraq in the first place. The UN disagreed; there were no weapons; Richard Clark (remember him?) said that Bush came to him after 9/11 and said "Find a way that this is tied to Iraq." We need to just be done there.

I like what Obama says about restoring our reputation around the world. For Bush & Co. have ruined it. I am all for a president who would rather have unilateral, non-preconditioned talks than one who creates a preemptive, shock-and-awe (motherfuckers) war.

For the entirety of my kindergartners' short lives, we have been warring with Iraq.

Vernacular said...

p.s. This post IS patriotism; I'm glad that you've labeled it such.

Also, your 5 things, one for each year, is absolutely right on.

LiteralDan said...

Every time anyone points out that we shouldn't have been there in the first place, someone else makes the understandable point that it doesn't help us much now.

I'm hoping blame is placed appropriately and punishment served once all is said and done.