Thursday, April 15, 2004

As a former USAF Nurse who served in the Vietnam Era and cared for many of our troops newly arrived back in the States, wounded and in pain, both mental and physical, I am sad this evening.

Today the news was confirmed. Another several months in the sand for our troops in Iraq who have already served the promised year. In the sand, in extreme danger and in the line of fire because of what the president tells us is "democratization." I think several extra centuries might be needed for that. How about a peaceful political turnover and get the heck out of there.

No Western political perspective can be injected into the region, but we can expect to leave the impression already set a long time ago of the empire building of the West. Try reading up on the history of the region in the 20th century. Europeans who now hold themselves up as paragons of peaceful non-intervention (like France) were involved with Great Britain in a carving up of the region into the "countries" we see today.

Tediously enough, we are inheriting the same job - defending our oil interests as well as trying to set up a better governmental form. Both of these efforts are worthwhile until the death toll mounts to a level that brings horrible chills of remembrance of the days of the early period of Vietnam buildups - first "advisors", then "a few troops to help" and then all out involvement and thousands of deaths and injuries leading to thousands of veterans living out their lives in hospitals - forgotten by the general public, and remembered only by families, and by those who cared for them and still care.

As I write, planes are bringing the dead home from Iraq but the press is forbidden to cover this story - forbidden to photograph this story. Our men and women are on the lines. You won't find the old men who sent them there in the trenches. The ancient Greeks took war seriously. If the occasion warranted it, they voted to go to war or not to go. each man who voted knew he himself would go if the vote was yes. believe me this made the process a bit more up close and personal. A bit more responsible.

Our troops deserve more. They deserve to have had a Plan B in place when they were deployed back in 2003 under Plan A. They got rid of Saddam, and they deserve to come home with that job well done. One promise broken leads to many more promises broken, and morale cannot but reflect this. Keeping faith goes both ways.

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