On March 19, 2003, the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq began. We are a year further down the road and still no closer to bringing an end to this unbearable tragedy. The numbers are staggering, the cost too high. That this could have and should have been prevented – a war of choice, a war based on lies – heightens the tragedy even more.
Last week, the Senate defeated a measure that called for the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq by March 31, 2008. It failed by a vote of 50-48. While 48 Senators want us out of Iraq in one year’s time, 50 Senators, including both of our Senators, have endorsed an indefinite United States presence in Iraq. (John McCain, no doubt expressing the political “courage” he is often known for, abstained from the vote).
The fact that many in our Congress refuse to even begin discussing how to bring our troops home safely is beyond cruelty. It is criminal negligence. They are sacrificing our young men and women at the altar of a failed Presidency. They are shirking the responsibility they have to these men and women – and the people who elected them – out of a false sense of political loyalty. They impugn the patriotism of those who dare suggest that we provide our troops with adequate armor; with adequate medical care; with adequate time between tours of duty; Those of us who dare suggest that it’s time to bring our men and women home, they label as “not serious,” “cowards,” even “traitors.”
The Congress does have the power to end this war. Unfortunately, they lack the political will to do so. So we continue down this path, an occupation that promises to last at least another two years. 1,000 more flags in the ground every year. Brothers, sisters, friends, family, all lost to a terrible, destructive, costly war.
End this tragedy now.
There Aren’t Any Flowers in Baghdad Today (5/1/2006).