The Solitaire Rose Perspective on Gulf War II

In a few minutes, hours or days, we could be at war.

I still believe that this war was easily avoidable, and when the first gun is fired, our President has failed in his sworn duty.  For all the talk about how Diplomacy was "tried", the decision to start this war was made last August.  The UN was told to do what we tell them to do or else.  Allies were told to do what we tell them to or else.  Inspectors were told to give us the proof we need for a war or they would be ignored.  Inspections were working, a number of valid diplomatic plans were given, but our leaders ignored them, dismissed them and drove us headlong into a war that will alter how the US is seen by the world for decades to come.  For the first time in our country's history, we are the aggressor, we are the instigator, and we have launched a war without any form of provocation.  I cannot judge this act.  That is best left to history.  And sadly, history is never kind to countries who are the aggressor, even when they succeed.

This is a time for all of us to just take a step back from all the rhetoric on both sides and reflect on what is going to happen.

For those on the right who are treating this as if this is the Super Bowl, I'd like to remind you that war is fought by the young.  On our side, it is primarily people who don't have the economic means to go to college, don't have the connections to get good paying jobs, or are in the military as a matter of honor.  It's rare that a fighting soldier is older than 30, and most infantry troops are between the ages of 18 and 24.  The average age of the fighting soldier on the US side is 19.

When I was 19, I barely knew that disco was shitty music, let alone understood the long-term effects of my action.

On the Iraqi side, there are reports that there are soldiers as young as ten years old.  Ten.  Years.  Old.  They fight because they have to, pressed into service at the threat of death or worse, and they have been told their entire lives that the US is the enemy, hates them because of who they are, and they must fight to stay alive.

People on both sides will die.  Young lives will be ended.  This is no time to be celebrating and cheering.  Save that for when the war is over.

For those on the left, please remember that the troops are not the ones who chose to start this war.  They are your brothers, classmates, children of your friends and neighbors.  We did our soldiers a horrid disservice in the Vietnam war and many of them still have the mental scars of coming home to abuse after being in a war that stripped them of their self-respect and knowledge that those in charge knew what they were doing.  Yes, you have the right and duty to protest, but the soldiers and those of the right think that what they are doing is the right thing to do.  If you are as compassionate as you say, remember that.

I will spent the next days and weeks hoping that this war will be over quickly, that the loss of life on both sides will be as small as possible, and that those who are going to help the victims of this conflict are ready to help.  You should be too.

We dropped the ball in Afghanistan.  I said before that war that our leaders would fail to remember the lessions of World War One.they would move in, declare victory, and lose interest before helping the people of Afghanistan making us out to be as bad as those who hate the US say it is.  It isn't even a year later, and our government has ended funding for the rebuilding of that country, is allowing the Taliban to regroup and has allowed the Afghani people to suffer in the same poverty that brought the Taliban into power.

If we do the same in Iraq, that will double the number of potential terrorists.  Al Qaeda will continue to grow (Colin Powell said that Al Qaeda as over 100 countries that support it, while the US currently has less than 40 supporting its actions.a bit telling I think).  If we show the world that we are not a moral country, but are the brutal thugs we accuse our enemies of.  If you cheer the "liberation" of Iraq, will you contribute to its rebuilding so it will remain free?  Did you give any money to the relief operations in Afghanistan or did you forget the people there as our leaders have done?

When inspections were happening, the world watched and waited.  Now the world is watching and will judge us by our actions.  Are we the Greatest Country In The World as the rhetoric goes, or are we going to be the latest in a long line of imperialists who demand things to be done our way at the barrel of a MOB gun?

I hope that everyone on both sides of this issue takes some time tonight to plan how they will help in the healing of this event.  It has been said that any time war begins, it is the failure of mankind, and this is no different.

They say War is Hell.  This is, as most things the military tells us during a war, a lie.

War isn't Hell.  War is worse.   There are no innocent bystanders in Hell.

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