Pulling the plug

Every day we are overwhelmed with information about Iraq.  Why we should stay, why we should leave, how the Iraq Government hasn’t met any of their promises, how many people got killed today, etc.  It is awful.

As Americans we are fed up.  I can’t imagine the Iraqi’s aren’t too.  In the New York Times today there was a comment from an Iraqi that hit me right between the eyes.  He talked about how Americans are watching a 3 reel movie and we are on the last reel and when it is over, we just walk out of the movie and that is it.  He didn’t say this but for the Iraqi’s, in essence, they are left to clean up the theater.  Reminds me of what Colin Powell said to Bush at the very beginning, "you break it, you own it."  We certainly broke it.

So we march into a country because we don’t like the leadership but it now appears that all the details about the country having arms of mass destruction didn’t exist but we had already sent our troops in to capture the leader because this particularly Administration wanted to.  Fast forward a few years, we have lost countless men and women soldiers to a war that really didn’t have to exist that has no hope in sight.  Although it has been discovered that at one point a few years ago we could have taken out Al Qaeda but Rumsfeld didn’t want to piss off the Pakistanis.  Iraq is a mess.  There is infighting going on among all the religious sects and even the groups that appear to be in cahoots with the Americans actually fight against us on off hours.  The American public is pissed, the military is pissed and nobody in their right mind is signing up to be part of the military or the national guard for that matter because we are sucking them dry too.  So, what are we to do?

It pains me to read about the war daily.  It pains me to watch the ridiculous fighting (finally) among the Republicans (who want to stay in office so they are dissing their head guy George and siding with the Democrats) and the Democrats who appear to not move forward on anything.  But, something has to be done.

We have to leave but we have to leave with a plan to help the people who live in Iraq who are caught up in something they didn’t plan on.  If you saw the picture the other day in the New York Times of 3 kids (7-8 years old) playing a game where on kid has a gun pointing at the other kids head and the other kid screaming at the guy with the gun.  They are aping what they see on the streets.  It makes your heart bleed that this is what these kids are growing up with.  What happens when they become adults?

We need to help Iraq (with the rest of the world) get their feet back on the ground and spend millions on education.  Education, I believe, is the key to peace.  When you read about Al Qaeda killing children as they leave school in Afghanistan in order to keep people from being educated, you know.  Maybe if some of the young recruits from Al Qaeda were educated and had a future to go to they’d feel different about making peace and shaking hands across the divide with people who may have different religious beliefs.  Agree to disagree, yes?

I certainly don’t have the answers but in our country, the poor rural or even poor urban areas have had success stories where kids have been touched and educated.  These kids have gone on to make something with their life.  If they are not given hope, how can they not continue to play the same games at 7 when they are 25.