I have a great deal to write about my thoughts on the war...but let me preface this by saying I do love my country. However, it's the current leadership that's in question, to my way of thinking.
I am back home, and have all the material from research/interviews I need to write my article. Collecting that went faster than I'd thought, so now I only need to write the article from my notes and material. I went for a long bike ride earlier, and it was nice to get the much-needed exercise, good for reducing stress/anxiety -- which all Americans must be feeling to some extent regarding the war.
It's not too surprising to me that more American troops are going to be needed over there; and now is when the glaring lack of U.N. support will start to be felt. IF America had gotten U.N. approval (just by being patient, if nothing else), we could call on our allies to help provide troops. But no, Bush had to rush in and go it alone. Now there's going to be more lives lost on all sides. And yet, still the polls here show strong support for the war; I have no idea when this will change, if ever. I was too young to remember much of how this country reacted to the beginning of the Korean and Vietnam wars...but I do know Vietnam went on YEARS before the public demanded a stop to it. That isn't encouraging.
Trying to subdue ALL the Iraqi people is going to be a great deal more difficult than the 'think-tank' wishfuls who advised for this war has led us to believe. Or at least led the majority of the American public to believe. I think there's a 'disconnect' between think-tank armchair planners and the REALITY of war. Too bad that Bush believed them.
As for the Iraqi people not being happy to see us, here's an excerpt from an article well worth reading:
You should have known we'd fight --By Burhan al-Chalabi
It is now clear to everyone that ordinary Iraqis are resisting this military aggression with their lives and souls. Commentators and politicians in Britain and America seem taken aback: how come the Iraqis are putting up such a fight? Why do they so passionately resist this attempt to liberate them from the brutal dictator, Saddam? But Iraqis aren't surprised at all.
When Iraq was first colonised by Britain in 1917, Iraqis were fed the same British propaganda about liberation through occupation. We fought the best part of last century to get rid of colonial Britain and, since then, have helped a great number of independence movements worldwide. Iraqis may wish for the current regime to change, but anyone who understands our culture will know that in this war Iraqis will fight and die, not to save President Saddam Hussein, but to protect their home, land, dignity and self-respect from a new world order alien to their way of life. We are an enormously proud people.
And so history repeats itself. Just as in the past century, the military superiority of the Anglo-American invaders may eventually overwhelm the Iraqi army, which is weak and ill-equipped because of sanctions, containment and isolation. But there is also no doubt that in the end this military crusade against Iraq will fail just like the previous British occupation of Iraq, led by General Maude, where the military odds were just as much in favour of the British army. Iraqis - in particular the Arab-Iraqi Shi'ites - fought bitter and hard and suffered thousands of casualties in order to liberate Iraq from the British occupation. They will do so again.
It is true that, this time, the British and US forces may assume control of sea, air and deserts of Iraq, but they will never win the war for the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. Not only do the people of Iraq face devastation by the US and UK aggression on a scale not previously known to mankind, but they also face death and destruction by another war - the civil war that would inevitably follow. We know what this means, because we have been there before.
Last night I watched a lot of our own media coverage, and at some point you are almost brain-washed by the hype for the war, how great things are going to work out eventually. Don't get me wrong: IF Bush's true motives are to free the Iraqi people, to give them all better, productive, happier lives, I'd understand. But awarding Halliburton -- VP Cheney's past employer -- a government contract to 'rebuild' Iraq makes me suspicious!
Last night I watched the Discovery program, "Why They Hate Us,"...it was so santized I wanted to puke. NOT ONCE was oil mentioned in the whole show, even after countless interviews with Arabs (did they cut those comments out?) I mean, come on...as the kid's say, GET REAL. If you grow up in the shadow of massive oil fields that support American wealth and dictator's wealth...but you are hungry, miserable, suppressed..then you KNOW oil is a vital element of the equation. Sooner or later, you are going to be very, very, very angry...and lash out. Thus, Sept. 11th.
IF Bush's goal is to free Iraqi people, to bring democracy...the whole way it's been attempted, I fear, is wrong. You don't bomb people's homes (while protesting you are not targeting them), starve them, cut off power and water supplies...and then expect them to be grateful to you. There was another way, and I think that was to have a covert operation to eliminate Saddam. However, I have to wonder if the CIA hadn't already attempted that many, many times and failed. And also if the CIA couldn't covertly start a revolution by the Iraqi people against Saddam, why would they think that a full-out war by bombing and attack would generate love for the Americans?
And how much GOOD could have been done with the 75 billion dollars we're going to pour into this war? Health care here would have been a darn good start, as well as providing direct aid to the hungry, starving, needy people in Iraq.
In the meantime, America has now gone against the U.N., provoked near-hatred by our former allies, and in effect, broken international law. And to top it all off, it looks like we're going to be fighting another long, protracted war which will kill our troops as well as innocent Iraqi people. The outcome...well, that remains to be seen.
I just don't think it'll be a pretty picture.