April 1st, 2003
15 years ago I learned something critical and important about myself. It’s beyond the scope of this blog to talk specifics, but let’s simply say that I made some greivous mistakes in my youth, for which I have atoned. I will never forget these lessons, and the people who have helped me be a better person over the years.
The world is upended right now, and things are upended for me a bit at the moment, but this too shall pass, with determination, hard work, and some proper meditative calm.
Probably none of this makes sense, but that’s fine. I’m thinking too much about my audience for this blog and not about what what matters. What matters is that this is a space for me to bleed on the page. A place for me to work stuff out.
So hey. Time to do that.
I’m sick of the war. Not of the media coverage. The war. I’m displeased with the revealed vapidity of the press, which seems to think wars are quick, bloodless affairs, and are shocked, shocked to see that human beings are turned to mush by war. I’ve seen a fair number of broken, bloody bodies in my medical background, and warfare is the creation of carnage and destruction. And I don’t like it. This is not so much a political opinion I’m voicing here, just an observation that I feel sick in my heart when I look at news of almost any kind. For example, here’s the… Quote of The Day: An American Serviceman in Iraq
“When I go home, people will want to treat me like a hero, but I’m not,” he told the Times. “I’m a Christian man. If I have to kill the other guy, I will, but it doesn’t make me a hero. I just want to go home to my wife and kids.”
And it’s true, Americans are shocked that this is not a “cakewalk” – and yet this is what the populace says it wants, Saddam is a bad man, and he must be removed.
How many bad men run countries around the world? Are we going to deploy men and women to depose all of them?
As my Grandmother might say: It makes me want to spit!
And then I read articles like this: War-Gamed: Why the Army shouldn’t be so surprised by Saddam’s moves
In which we find that in the wargames that we have played for scenarios that are something like Iraq-Invasion ’03, the side playing the faux-Iraqis was chastised for playing his role too well.
And that makes me want to spit too. What in the hell are we doing by playing wargames against glass-jawed opponents? If you’re going to spar, you should spar with someone who’s going to challenge your skills. Stacking the deck, putting a finger on the scale — however you choose to describe it, it’s not a good thing to cheat the military of challenging opponents.
Because certainly the enemy faced in Iraq is a challenging opponent.
In terms of a conventional army, they’re not challenging. No.
But as far as irregular forces, which have the capacity to kill, to trick, to use subterfuge, car bombs, suicide attacks, they can certainly hurt Americans well enough to provide death to American servicemen. I weep this night for the dead men.
How much of this will our forces endure?
There are people going back into Iraq to fight: War against Iraq stirs Arab Pride:
In contrast to the knee-jerk expressions of support for Hussein that are often heard among Iraqis, he carefully avoided saying anything about the Iraqi president. His desire to return, it seemed, had little to do with Hussein and everything to do with loyalty to country.
“I am going back to defend the Iraqi people; to defend the old women of Iraq; the old men of Iraq; the land of Iraq,” said the 33-year-old Shiite. “Do you allow someone to enter your home and force you out of it. They have put up the American flag in Umm Qasr. This is not liberation. This is occupation.”
National pride, for a nation with a dictator? It’s difficult for my brain to process such thinking, and yet there it is.
Meanwhile, I think of the Pictures of the Day
Amazing images of the war. Images of war
I have so much yet to learn about myself and the world. I’m always learning new things about this world and what it takes to survive and be a healthy person. With some hard work I’ll keep getting better.
I’m up too late. Time to sleep.