Monday, March 19, 2007

And so begins year five

Today marks the beginning of our fifth year in Iraq fighting a war against an enemy that isn't of any definitive nationality. Essentially, our nation's troops are stuck fighting an idea, not a nation or one particular ethnic group.

In the four years since the invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq, what has been accomplished? There have been elections by the people of Iraq. Sure, those who voted risked their lives to let their voices be heard and elected what would eventually turn out to be a leader who much of the nation of Iraq does not agree with and does not look favorably upon America. There have been thousands of deaths on both sides of this idealogical war. Death, though, is an unfortunate byproduct of war and is to be expected.

Those who are "only" injured return to America to face a shoddy care system for our nation's veterans. They return too soon to their jobs and have little if any adjustment period and often times struggle to accustom themselves to civilian life. Those who are still enlisted often return to another tour of duty. My good friend Army Guy will be shipping out for his second tour of duty during the span of this particular conflict but he will be stationed in kosovo. He loves what he does but is happy to be going to a relative picnic in Kosovo instead of the meat grinder in Iraq.

When will this war against an idea end? That is the question. I don't want to believe him but I do actually believe the president when he stated that the war began under his watch but will end under ours. While he keeps asking for more funds to keep the war machine going, he has essentially stated that it is our war.

Sure, our grandchildren will be bearing the burden for the trillion dollar price tag of this conflict many decades from now but I hope it isn't all for nothing. A certain radio personality today said it best: "I hope I am wrong but electing Bush again will be the worst thing ever for this country". I, too, would rather be wrong than right.

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