Do you remember being told that the need to invade another country was directly related to one man’s despotic desire to threaten the security of our nation through the use of weapons that could cause massive and wide-spread destruction?
Today we are told that we are fighting a war against insurgents of that same country who, we are told, do not want to see their country become free and democratic. Some suggest that some of the insurgents are the last of the despot’s followers.
When Saddam Hussein was captured, his captors decided to keep his personal handgun and mount it like a trophy. The intention was to present the gift to President Bush.
The intention was carried out, much to the delight of W. Apparently the gun is kept in the Oval Office and is used as a showpiece when visitors arrive. He is proud of what the gun represents: freedom for the people of Iraq.
More than 800 U.S. young men and women have died in Iraq. What’s more, more than 25 have died at their own hands, suicide being the killer.
Now, the turnover of sovereignty later this montth appears will be little more than a symbolic event.
Why do most of us not seem to care about any of this? Why do we go about our daily lives not thinking about what the future will hold for Iraq?
We should be reminded at this point that there is no connection between 9/11 and our invasion of Iraq, other than a media that led many of us to believe there was a connection. Other than a president who made all terrorists his axis of evil.
Here we are today. We are fighting a war. You and I are responsible for the killing of Iraqis and U.S. soldiers. We cannot be citizens of this country and excuse ourselves of not having a part in this violence. We cannot be guilt-free considering that the taxes we pay are being used to fund the killing. We may not be the ones making the decisions, but we are the ones who voted the decision-makers into office. One person is not responsible for waging a war.
This does not sit well with me, but it is true. If I am to be free at the expense of another human being’s life, then I do not want to know this freedom any longer.
Instead, I am searching for a freedom that results from dialogue and human understanding. We, if we are to posit that we are enlightened creatures, cannot allow our brothers and sisters to seek killing as a guarantor of freedom.
The dictator no longer rules. His gun is no longer in his possession, yet insurgents who are of no threat to our national security are still dying by that gun.
I hate when people use guns to find freedom.
(written 13 June 2004)