People. Just a reminder.
There are a bunch of pictures of the maimed and wounded from yesterdays bomb attack at the Boston Marathon, floating freely across the web. People are horrified at some of the images… And rightly so! Some are very bloody. There is one especially gruesome one of a man in a wheelchair whose legs have literally been blown off, with only his exposed bloody tibia and shredded skin hanging from where his leg used to be.
It’s the most horrific thing I’ve ever seen.
Then I started thinking. What a selfish bastard I am. Maybe that’s not quite the right term, but I can’t think of anything else at the moment. What got me kicking myself was the realization that a hundred thousand of our soldiers fighting in lost cause wars that have watched friends die right in front of them, with injuries just as horrifying and bloody, or worse, and we, who are safely cocooned by a 6000 mile distance from here to the war zone, have no freaking idea what they’ve been through. And you wonder why so many of our soldiers are committing suicide.
And then there are all the civilians in those countries, who have had their own people die as our hands. Yes, some were fighting against us. But why? Some might have been “terrorists”, but some were fighting against the invading army…. US! And none of that matters when someone tells the mother, father, or brother or sister that your son was just killed by this country’s hands. All that will come of this is a new generation of Arabs that will despise us even more than if we never went to war, and that means the potential for much more terrorism in the future.
This isn’t quite the direction I was going to go when I sat down to write this post. But it has to be said. There is the line of thought that the war in Iraq and Afghanistan has made us safer. I don’t buy it. I grew up in the shadow of the damage done to this country by the folly of the Vietnam war. The cost of that was a lost decade economically and politically. The current wars have cost our country at least 5 trillion and gobs of resources, but has more importantly cost the lives AND health of too many of our brave soldiers who had to fight because it was their duty. All of this waste has not made the world “safer”, and has put us in debt in more ways than can be counted. And I find it ironic; the same people who are rightly concerned about the national debt and the cost we are passing on to our children, are, by perpetuating this war, passing a much greater cost on to their children than they can ever admit or acknowledge.
Back to the images from yesterdays attack. People are horrified at the bloodshed. Well, OK. Too bad we are so disconnected from the violence that we have perpetrated on so many in foreign lands. Am I saying we shouldn’t have gone into Afghanistan? I can still see the justification of that. But I certainly can’t rationally justify the slanting (kind term) of intelligence that got us to support the Iraq invasion, or most certainly staying in either country for ten plus years! It’s inexcusable and pointless. Any good we did by kicking the Taliban out of Afghanistan has long since eroded away. No ones lives are better, only bloodier.
Just one more thing. I supported both the war in Afghanistan and the idiotic invasion of Iraq. While I still see the necessity of going into the former after 9-11, the latter was completely unnecessary. Like so many, the evidence was there, and i glossed over it.
Though I wrongfully bought into the notion that Saddam had to have at the very least started rebuilding his WMD arsenal, I didn’t think he would really have that much of it, and didn’t consider that to be the strongest reason to depose him. i thought that, with him out of the picture, that the country of Iraq would become a modernized country, you know, kind of like Israel.
I was a naive fool! At the time, I didn’t know the history of the reason very well, and had no idea of the sectarian undertows that dominates all aspects of life in the Arab world. I didn’t start digging into history and become a history buff until after we were already there. My ignorance made the support of such foolhardy actions possible.
Anyway, I know I’ve written it and said it before, but this is something that I need to acknowledge and remind myself and the world that I was wrong to support the actions taken in Iraq. I will not make that mistake again.
PS. Note, yesterdays bombing was not a “tragedy”… It’s an attack.