Wednesday, February 23, 2005

3 Minnesotans killed in Iraq

I shuddered when I saw that headline yesterday. I won't say that it was lucky that it wasn't somebody from the Austin, MN division of the National Guard. It had to be someone. It is a simple consequence of war. Innocent people die. Soldiers die. It's one of the unwanted consequences of war. Death.

I feel the pain of those in the central part of the state and my heart goes out to those who lost their son, brother, father, husband or friend. The deeper question I have is why, exactly, are the majority of our forces in Iraq comprised of our National Guard troops? These are the very people who are on guard to protect our homeland from disasters on our own soil. They are the ones who help in times of natural disaster or civil unrest. They aid in sandbagging during floods. They perform cleanup and aide after hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes. Who is going to perform these duties now that so many of our national guard troops are overseas fighting a war based on lies and half-truths?

Why, when our Army forces were so depleted, did our nation's 'brain trust' decide to enter into a war when we were unprovoked? Go ahead and flame me about how we were attacked. I can take that being that the very statement of us being attacked by Iraqis is untrue. Those who piloted the planes on September 11, 2001 were Saudi nationals with ties to the bin Laden led Al Qaeda group of terrorists. Bin Laden, who himself is a Saudi, is the one who we should be searching for.

Why, when we have already captured Iraq's tattered leader, do we continue to push on with a war which has the very real possibility to last many years more? There is a reason behind George W. Bush's father's decision in 1991 to not fully invade Iraq and storm Baghdad. He knew that those actions would lead to street-level fighting with immense numbers of casualties. It was a can of worms better left unopened. A can of worms which his son, W, decided to open and then lie about the reasons for opening.

Those lies have led to over 1,000 deaths of our mainly National Guard troops. These men and women are not career military persons. They hold down important jobs in the communities from which they hail. They, like one who was killed yesterday, are police officers in our cities. They are the lifeblood of our country and they are dying for an unjust cause.

I urge our leaders to rapidly scale back our occupying forces and return power and control to the new Iraqi government.

Our nation's future depends on it.

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