March 18, 2013-Mon 5th Week of Lent


So what’s new? Well for one it’s Monday and for two Monday is almost over. That’s big news. Seems after Monday the rest of the week goes fast. I only spend three hours a day teaching English to newcomers but on Monday it seems like four hours. I’m not sure why that is maybe it has to do with something in the water. This is also the week the Iraq “war” started, or the week when we started the Iraq war. Ten years ago we did the “shock and awe” thing, remember? Even today Dick Cheney has no regrets. George W. Bush has no regrets. I guess a hundred thousand Iraqis have a few regrets and over 4, 000 American families have a few regrets. We got snookered. Britain got snookered. And the taxpayers got stuck with a 2 trillion price tag totally unfunded. Iraq wasn’t even a good bet. You know and I know there was enough doubt about WMD  at the time before the start of hostilities to hold off invading a country with yes, an awful dictator. Yeah I didn’t like him either, but the cost of removing him and designing a country in our image was certainly not the way to do it. I like to think that the USA is slow to war, but in this case a knee jerk brought bombs raining down on the ancient city of Baghdad. Fire from the sky changed our foreign policy  forever with a shower of flames seen live on CNN. What’s next Iran? North Korea? Syria? We really need to have a deep discussion on what our real national interests are? Is it money? I’m not sure what it is so a discussion really needs to happen. But I guess what galls me the most is that Republicans  today still call the Iraq war a “War of Liberation” as Mitt Romney mentioned at CPAC recently. Really? We were lied to. The reasons to go to war was educated guesses based on faulty information and innuendo.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Nixon lied to us in 1968 by telling us he had a secret plan to end the Viet Nam war. He didn’t have a plan. (And as we know now, he scuttled the peace talks in ’68 to get elected…and by doing so added 15,000 more American names to the “Wall”) but we bought into it hook, line and electoral vote.

Why is it so hard to tell the truth? Or that you were wrong? What’s there to lose? Image? Power? Re-election? Jeeze. We need to admit that the person of Saddam was not as evil as destroying a country, ours and theirs. We need to lift our lamp beside the golden door not shove it into people’s faces. I don’t know…I think it will take decades before the first decade of the new century sorts itself out. But for the thousands killed in Iraq it is too late. For the lives of ordinary Iraqis whose ordinary existence was forever turned on its head, there will be no sorting out. All that remains is anger, sorrow and political corruption. We can’t prosecute Nixon any more but we can’t let Cheney, Bush or Rice forget what they did, with democratic help by the way, to this country and what was done to the once country called Iraq.

and so it goes…

A little song, a little dance, a little coffee down your pants... 40 years in the high school classroom and now on my own. A chance to think about stuff and how it affects everyone, not just me. Now residing in Oregon volunteering for a refugee organization.

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