Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A LEFT TURN ON MEMORY LANE

You have got to love the WayBack Machine, the website that taps into internet archives and pulls up old -- and I do mean, OLD -- pages.

March 19, 2003

My country went to war today. A deadline passed, a stand-off persisted, and then came the rockets.

If I had to sum up how I feel, I'd call it sadness. I'm so, so sad. I'm sad it's come to this. I'm sad that my feelings of overwhelming cynicism made me believe that it always would come to this. And I'm sad that so many people will not be satisfied, will not have had enough, until blood is spilled and people are dead.

When I was a child, I used to think that if we could just find a way to get out of Viet Nam, we would live in peace. After all, hadn't we learned our lesson about war? Now, nearly thirty years later, here we are again, sending troops to fight for something that vaguely resembles liberty. Something that's been dressed up in noble cloth and made to look like a noble cause. But try as I might, I can't see the Emperor's clothes. I have a sneaking suspicion that the Emperor is, in fact, naked.

My country went to war today. I pray that things will happen quickly, with a minimum of bloodshed and casualty, and then we'll bring our soldiers home in one piece. And maybe this time, we'll have learned our lesson.

The right lesson.

The part of all of this is that kills me is that, once again, I thought I was being a little hyperbolic for emphasis, and, once again, my prediction has come true. We now know we will not leave Iraq soon, if ever. And we're tied up in Afghanistan for even longer. This will be a 20 year war, I fear, and that's just the way most folks want it.

Here we sit, seven and a half years later, having learned absolutely nothing. And I still feel sad. And I still feel like crying. Now more than ever.

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