Watching Events Unfold In Iraq
I remember watching the news more than three years ago when I sat on my couch with this sinking feeling watching American tanks rumbling across the desert headed toward Baghdad. I remember being very convinced that it was a bad idea. We live in a different world than we did post Sept. 11. I remember feeling a public sentiment if we didn't support the war on terror, that as American citizens we weren't patriotic. I also recall desperately wanting to be proved wrong about the feelings I had about the Iraq occupation. I wanted there to be proof that our leadership in this country had made a good decision and I just didn't have all the facts.
I come from a military family that met the call when they felt their country needed them.
I wanted to believe. My grandfather fought for my right to be an American and the rights we hold very dear after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. My father waited for orders to deploy during the Bay of Pigs. They met their fear and served our country valiently and bravely.
And yet, I watched events unfold in Iraq and knew that it wasn't the same thing.
It honestly wasn't the same thing.
Now, many deaths later of American soldiers and the Iraqi people
, finally this country decided that enough was enough in living in a state of fear. I have always believed in international diplomacy. We did have a great deal of support after the bombing of the World Trade Center and yet, under our current leadership, we lost it.
I still don't know what the leadership of this country was thinking invading Iraq. Saddam Hussien is not a nice guy by any stretch of the imagination but there are other dictators in this world that are just as bad. The situation in Darfur
is horrible as an example.
With the Baker-Hamilton study group, an equally divided effort between Republicans and Democrats recommending diplomacy, I felt a sigh of relief when I heard the results. It's not perfect but it's better than what we had. Last night, my friend Mark was having a birthday and I stopped by where we were supposed to have a drink (I stayed for just a couple of minutes because of this sinus and I didn't feel so hot) but the Nightly News came on where Brian Williams sat down and interviewed James Baker and Lee Hamilton. The entire place became quiet with people of different backgrounds and diverse lives watching the television earnestly.
You could have heard a pin drop. All eyes on the television.
No one said a word. One of the men sitting next to me spent a year in Iraq. He has discussed it with me and he has made no bones about that he will fight for his country as a National Guardsman but he has privately questioned why he gave a year and dodged bulletfire in Iraq.
When the interview was over, no one said anything but I can safely say there was a sense that we were moving as a country in a positive direction. It was hesitant, but it was there.
And it was reported this morning that, finally, President George Bush may be "moving in a new direction."
I think we have learned that Washington can have too much power. Maybe that is changing.
I can only hope that Bush proves me wrong by listening to the study and coming up with clear solutions.
Yes, I am a critic of our president. I am thankful I still have that right due to people like my father and my grandfather.
This war has paid its toll. Maybe we can see some light at the end of the tunnel now.