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Plaid Adder

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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 5,518

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With a Whimper

It appears that the war in Iraq is over.

I just thought I would point it out. It doesn't seem to be getting much play in the media. And yet, it is a day that I once longed to see more than anything else in the world; so I felt I ought to bring it to more peoples' attention.

I say "once" because I find that I don't really feel as happy as I thought I would feel when I got this news. It's possible that this is just because I've been faked out so many times that it's hard to trust that this time it's for real. There was "Mission Accomplished," of course; but I was never going to be one of the people who fell for THAT. And then there was the name change from Operation Iraqi Freedom to Operation New Dawn. And now, finally, the last troops are coming home (via Kuwait) and the flags are coming down and it would appear that in fact this war is over.

I listen to the speeches about what we accomplished in Iraq and I just feel like throwing up. This war did not have to be fought. It should not have been fought. It was unconscionably destructive, on top of being unconscionably expensive. The oceans of blood and mountains of treasure poured into it will not come back. The dead will not come back. Abu Ghraib does not go away. Haditha does not go away--though apparently the Army threw out their own investigation into that massacre, where some NYT journalist found it in a dumpster. The damage we did will not be reversed. It will grow into something new; and let's hope that whatever that is has a bright side, because it will surely have a dark one.

Instead of anything celebratory, what I find has come into my head is a line of a lament from a Wole Soyinka play called _Death and the King's Horseman_: "But oh, how late it all is."

Yes. Late. Too late in a lot of ways for a lot of people.

Better late than never.

I am quick enough to talk about what's wrong with Obama, so I guess I should say: He did finally end the war. He also did it without an aircraft carrier and a fighter pilot's uniform, and for that I am especially thankful.

I'd be more thankful if I had some evidence that Guantanamo will finally be shut down. Or that torture will once again become something unjustifiable. Or that...oh, what is the use.

The damage does not end with the end of the war--not in Iraq, not in the US. And I guess knowing that now, in a way that perhaps I didn't in 2003, I find it hard to celebrate.

All the same. The war is over. I want to thank everyone who has been through it with me here on DU. I know we're all about the other battles now. But it meant a lot to me to be able to write about it here, and I want to thank all of you who hated this war as much as I do and to say, well, congratulations. We lived to see the end of it.

The Plaid Adder
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