Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What's Five Years Anyway?

What does five years mean to you? Literally its a half a decade. It can be a small child getting ready for kindergarten, a slightly lengthened college career or the time to get ready for a Senator looking to be re-elected. It means a lot of different things to many different people. Yet one thing many of us share, is our nation's collective experience in Iraq. Five years ago our country was lied to and manipulated and on this day in 2003 our troops crossed the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border and deposed Saddam Hussein not too much later.

Since then, we have lost nearly four thousand soldiers have lost their lives, hundreds if not more contractors have been killed and tens of thousands have been wounded in one way or another. That means that hundreds of thousands of Americans know friends or family that have died in the war, or experience the post-war lives of the wounded. Sometimes it is hard to notice the direct effects in your community but then it sometimes not. A couple months ago I was grumbling about one thing or another when I was buying something at the pharmacy and I turned to my left and saw a young man who had a prosthetic leg. Every other part of him looked like a soldier...and I completely forgot what I was angry about.

The other day I was walking with my girlfriend and we passed the 69th Regiment Armory over on Lex and 26th. She noticed a group of National Guard troops and was shocked at how young they were. Even in our late 20s, it is hard to see people in uniform with baby faces. Those soldiers have the very real possibility of being shipped over to Iraq. It is incredible....and yet it is unconscionable.

And what, pray tell does George Bush think about his failed war? What does he gather about five years of death, misery, poverty and a new struggling theocratic government in Iraq? Does he think about the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians that have died, or perhaps the influx of terrorist organization into the country since he began the war? Well, why not ask him?

From The Huffington Post:

WASHINGTON — President Bush says he has no doubts about launching the unpopular war in Iraq despite the "high cost in lives and treasure," arguing that retreat now would embolden Iran and provide al-Qaida with money for weapons of mass destruction to attack the United States.[...]

Looking back, Bush said, "Five years into this battle, there is an understandable debate over whether the war was worth fighting ... whether the fight is worth winning ... and whether we can win it. The answers are clear to me: Removing Saddam Hussein from power was the right decision and this is a fight America can and must win."

Bush said the past five years have brought "moments of triumph and moments of tragedy," from free elections in Iraq to acts of brutality and violence.

"The terrorists who murder the innocent in the streets of Baghdad want to murder the innocent in the streets of American cities. Defeating this enemy in Iraq will make it less likely we will face this enemy here at home," Bush said.

So there we have it. More lies, the same lies and the tired rationale that somehow Iraqis who have decided to rebel against our occupying force would come over here to fight us in our homes. No Mr. President, it is you that sent our troops to fight in their homes. You sir, are the terrorist that helps to murder the innocent with your deception, your bloodlust and your greed for power and domination.

Five years to me is five out of seven failed years of your Presidency. It is five years that you have sent our soldiers off to die and many to be scarred (physically, mentally or both) for life. It is five years that you have trashed our reputation in the global community and plundered our economy to fight this godforsaken war. For shame George, for shame.