Monday, March 24, 2008

We Made a Mess

My mother used to always tell us "if you make a mess, you clean it up." I was thinking about this recently, at the 5 year anniversary of the beginning of the war in Iraq.

We (the United States) made a mess. A big one.

I am really struggling with this war. First let me say, I was against it from the beginning. I was never convinced that those grainy spy satellite photos of supposed "weapons of mass destruction" sites were indeed, just that. Once we got in there, and realized there weren't ANY WOMD, it was too late. We had done too much damage to the country's infrastructure. From there, the downward spiral began.

Today they announced that we passed the 4,000 mark, on number of U.S. deaths in Iraq. Four thousand. Some would argue that it's a tiny amount compared to the lives lost in other U.S. wars, but tell that to the parents of those 4,000 dead. And while you're at it, tell it to the parents of the soldiers of the coalition - who aren't Americans and didn't even have a "dog in this fight." Tell them. Oh, and please don't forget the innocent civilians in Iraq, the women and children, who have died. Let's not forgot those who struggle to live every day in a world of violence and chaos.

I really want us to get out of Iraq. I really, really do. I think we are fighting a losing battle. I think as soon as we withdraw, the country will clash in civil war. It's like they're just waiting for us to leave so they can kill each other.

But on the other hand, we made a mess. We have destroyed this country. Sure, Saddam was a madman. Sure, he was a murderer and tyrant. But is this country better off now because the U.S. took this action? Most people would say "no" not by a long shot.

I heard that the U.S. is having a difficult time getting the Iraqi government to take responsibility for even the smallest of duties - like paying teachers. Even though the U.S. is pouring billions of dollars in to Iraq, schools aren't getting built, teachers aren't getting paid, electricity is not coming on, unless the U.S. pays for these things directly. How do we get the Iraqi government to take a leadership position? How do we get the Iraqi government to be fair to all its citizens? How do we fix this mess that WE created?

The five year anniversary of a war that Cheney said "might last 60 days." I really have no idea what the solution is. I do know that the war is creating a huge strain on our economy (unless you're an oil company or military contractor).

I think we owe it to the Iraqi people to fix what we broke. I'm just not sure how we do that - is it fixable? Are we just spinning our wheels? How many more soldiers have to die because of a lie?

Finally, will the world ever evolve in to peace? Why is it so difficult to love our neighbors?

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