Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Perspective on the War

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

I heard a comment on the radio less than an hour ago that left me waxing philosophical.  The person speaking made reference to our brave men and women in uniform who are "fighting to keep our country free."  My gut reaction to that statement is to proclaim that George Bush's "war on terror" was launched to seize Iraqi oil fields and transport routes, and to depose Saddam Hussein because Little George wanted to prove something to his daddy.  Bush's international strutting had diddly-squat to do with keeping America free.   And basically, that is what the history books will one day show - in every place but Texas!

But does the phony pretext of the war mean lessen the significance of the contribution of these brave souls who put their lives on the line in the hell that is Iraq and Afghanistan?  Certainly not.  They marched off to war after having been indoctrinated in the lies of Bush, and Cheney, and Fox News, firm in the belief that they were needed in the Middle East to keep America safe.  (Many actually believed that the World Trade Center had been attacked by Iraq - it wasn't.)  But naivete aside, they put on uniforms and entered the fray for the most noble of reasons - the defense of their nation and her citizens.

So yes, these young people are patriots fighting to keep our country free.

I am currently reading the most disturbing book that I have ever encountered.  The Good Soldiers by David Finkel (a reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner) is a devastating account of an Army battalion that was sent from Ft. Riley, Kansas, to Iraq as part of the Bush "surge" in 2007.  Finkel was embedded with the unit.  He tells of the war through the experiences of this unit in such graphic detail that some nights I can only read a couple of pages before I have to set it aside.  It is sad and shocking and painful, and it shows how out-of-touch George Bush, a man who forgot to go to Vietnam, was with the realities of humanity.

I will review The Good Soldiers in this forum after I manage to complete it.  Each of my children can expect to receive a copy, because I don't want any of them to blithely allow their children to march off to war without a complete understanding of what war is all about.

1 comment:

molly said...

Thanks Dad. I could not imagine sending my kids off to war.. being exposed to things that would change them forever and doing horrific things that they can't take back & must live with forever. As any mother would feel, I don't want them anywhere near that.