Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Back to Iraq

I haven't written much on Iraq lately. It has sort of dropped down in the headlines and the TV news.

There was however a very interesting article in the Post Outlook section on Sunday. It's by a former soldier, William Quinn, who was in Iraq for about a year. He is now a student at Georgetown University. He has some very interesting perspectives on the war and how the war effects people in this country. Here are a couple of quotes from the article:

The war didn't just seem to be taking place in another country; it seemed to be taking place in another universe. There I was, in desert camouflage, wondering how all the intensity, the violence, the tears and the killing of Iraq could really be happening at the same time that all these people were hurrying to catch their flights to Las Vegas or Los Angeles or wherever.

and this:

Six years later, 9/11 doesn't seem to have had much of an effect on most people's lives. But it has had an enormous effect on mine.
He ends the article by saying this:

I'm proud to be a student at Georgetown. Though I find some aspects of campus culture discouraging, I have a lot of respect for my professors and peers. But there are still days when I think about what it must be like back in Baghdad -- and wonder whether that's where I should be.
This points out the huge disconnect between those people fighting the war and everyone else in the country. When you get right down to it, the only people feeling the effects of this "war" are the soldiers in the military, their family and friends. Otherwise I cannot for the life of me figure out how the average American is impacted by this conflict at all.

Maybe, and this is a big maybe, the instability in Iraq has contributed in a very small way to the increase in gas prices. But that's a really big maybe.

As I've said on many occasions, if you are fighting a war then the whole country needs to be involved in it. The Bush administration has asked for no sacrifice by the American people. And for that matter neither has any Republican or Democratic politician. It is in short a disgrace.

Imagine Franklin Roosevelt saying during World War II oh don't worry folks we'll defeat the Japs and Germans without any sacrifice on your part what so ever. We won't retool industry to make modern weapons; we will just use the stuff from the last war. No you cannot imagine that at all.

There is of course a huge disagreement in this country on the war. It has been so badly managed on ever level possible. But my point is that if you go to war the whole country has to go to war. And unfortunately that's not the case. And the men and women fighting the war deserve better.


Anonymous said...

I've always assumed that the Bush people are intentiionally, as part of a larger strategy, making sure that Iraq has no effect on Americans' lives; they think this is the best way to manage the war. Their original intent might have been to create a tone of apathy that would dissolve any dissent. And they're succeeding. The only way that such spectacular mismanagement could go on for a half-decade is for no one to care. — Ed

Jason in DC said...

Yes I'd say that that is what they are doing too.

It means a great deal of planning on their part and having that plan work. They've show that they don't plan all that well.

So it could just be happenstance that it worked out that way.

But you do have to wonder if people really cared about what was going on if the war would have lasted this long. Unfortunately we'll never know