I have been very sad in the last few passing weeks, and as conflict grows more omnious, I have become more conflicted and more depressed. I finally reached my breaking point today because I have been repeadetly confronted with the issue of war today. I watched President Bush's speech last night. I have been against this war from the start. My brother is a soldier and a damn good one at that. Under no circumstance will I NOT support our troops.
As I listened to Bush's speech last night I was struck very deeply and sadly. Our nation seems to be in a state of confusion-- we are being govered (we being the general populas of people, not the government) by emotions, and so we support or don't support the war. None of us seem to have any logical thoughts floating around out there because we are so quick to blame everyone else (whoever the everyone else might be). My thoughts on the speech, as I listened, were that just about every place Bush said Iraq the word America could replace it. America has also been a bully and a dictator. America also has weapons of mass destruction. America also refuses to listen to the rest of the world. This made me sad. But this did not make me any less american. I am still proud to be a part of this system that in my opinion works. As I relized my own patriotism, I also realized that Bush, as much as I have disagreed with him on this point, has been waiting and waiting and waiting. In this sense, he has given peace a chance. He could have blown Iraq to pieces months ago and he did not. I hope that he won't blow Iraq to bits now.
Another thought. I was with my family this weekend, and my brother, my dad and I all had very strong opinions and words to voice about the impending war. Unlike my father, my brother was willing to talk with me. At the same time, I also had a book with me-- Black Dogs of Fate by Peter Balakian. Matt read the back of the book and said to me: "this description gives me a new perspective on Americans. Do you realize that the majority of Americans are people who fled from terrorist and dictator regimes? It's no wonder Americans always feel they should rescue those who are being wrongfully repressed." and I added in kind "Yes, this also makes sense why so many Americans have guns and maybe even why so many Americans die from gun shot wounds-- because Americans are a people who have fled terrorism and dictators and now they feel they must protect themselves."
Are we protecting the iraqi people? Are we making a mistake? I don't know. It's a very complicated issue. Saddam is a bad person. He kills his own people. He doesn't let them advance in this world. He has dangerous weapons. If we don't strike, he will strike. But, if we do strike, there is still a mess. At this point, I believe there is a far more complicated issue at hand rather than peace or war.
My brother will fight in this war, and I will pray for him and I will support him and all the other troops that go overseas to fight this war. I still do not like what we are doing, but I don't think that waiting is an options much longer anyway. Do we attempt to free the iraqi people, or do we let them all be, pretend we're being non-invasive for once, and watch the whole situation blow up in the end anyway? I don't know. Just think about the fact that there is much more at hand that peace and war.