Saturday, July 07, 2007


It's a normal day here in America. The July 4th Fireworks have come and gone and, aside from the younger set trying out their skill on explosives at night, the festivities are over. We have properly celebrated the birth pangs of a new nation, born so many years ago, saluted the wisdom of Thomas Jefferson, and once again rallied together to hail our democracy.

I said it was a normal day, and the headlines are normal. Two more American soldiers died today. Fifty Iraqi citizens were blown to bits by a suicide bomber. Yes, it's back to normal now. We have all watched the fireworks in the sky and now, we can read about the fireworks in the Middle East.

We read these statistics and then we go shopping, or golfing, or picnicking, or any other activity. Hearing these statistics has become as normal as sipping coffee with a neighbor. We get a little indignant over the deaths of our soldiers, being picked off one by one, two by two, three by three, etc. But we should spend more time commiserating with the lives of the Iraqi people.

To some people, killing Muslims as though they were pesky flies is just what those Muslims deserve. They have twisted ideas that the Muslim faith consists of people who like to cut off heads and kill as many Americans as possible. It is true that radicalized religion picks the worst of human traits and tacks a religious title upon it. But a majority of Muslim people are folks just like you and me, hoping for peace, praying for another day of life.

How many orphans are being created in Iraq? What is happening to them? Who is feeding them, or do they wander hungry on those desecrated streets? How many children have watched their Mamas and their Papas blown to bits before their very eyes? How many children have been blown to bits themselves? How many injured in these bombing attacks? How many children live in Iraq with no legs, no arms, no eyesight?

This week some general whose name I didn't bother to note said that "leaving Iraq would cause chaos." I don't know how much more chaos leaving could cause than is caused because we are there. First, we shouldn't have gone there to begin with. Secondly, I am personally weary of those Bush Yesmen mouthing their phrases and twisting their information, doing what the Decider has decided.

If you disagree with Bush, he replaces you. If you are loyal, you are rewarded with a plush job. Thus, we have a whole new spate of generals, while the old ones, who disagreed with the Surge, are gone. These new men are a far cry from Eisenhower, Patton or MacArthur, those colorful, brave men who directed us to victory in World War II. They are in their posts for one reason....they always agree with Bush and Cheney.

Talk about rewards! It isn't only that Scooter Libby walks free, his loyalty intact, his mouth shut, it's the fact that Tony Blair is now an Envoy to the Middle East! What? Yo, Blair has displayed about as much understanding of the Middle East, including Iraq, as my dog. So he has the job that Jimmy Carter should have, and the obvious reason is...well, obvious!

So it all boils down to the fact that staying in Iraq means hundreds, if not thousands, more people will die, including American men and women, some of them just off the Soccer fields. Leaving Iraq might mean we will have another radically Islamic country to contend with, but at least we will be able to protect our own shores. At the moment, that open Southern border is an invitation to any radical in the world. The Canadian border stretches for thousands of miles through some of the most rugged scenery one could imagine. We need to hire much needed people to guard those borders. We need to guard our own ports. We need to keep an eye on nuclear facilities and universities with nuclear laboratories. We need to fortify our Energy policies and bring our infrastructure up to the modern age.

Above all, we need funding for alternative fuels, so we can stop attacking little countries to take over their oil supply. The neglect of Afghanistan has a lot to do with the failure of reaching those untouched oilfields in a former Russian province and bringing that fuel through Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan to the ports. Contracts were drawn up and they were ready to go with a pipeline, but they failed to consider the warlords, who guard their territory fiercely. They failed to consider the Taliban, Al Queda, all of the problems that made this plan untenable. So, their attention went to Iraq, and Afghanistan was neglected. The contracts were nullified.

So while the oil companies barter for control of Iraqi oilfields, the citizens die, the soldiers die. In Australia, the leaders admitted the war in Iraq was all about oil. In the U.S., we are told it is a Global War on Terror, but a great part of the terror is being felt by the people being blown to bits. That's real terror, not being able to go to a market for supplies, not being able to send your kids to school, visit a doctor, fill your car with gas, without risking disaster. They are leaving their homes, losing their homes to bombs, losing their loved ones. They are the real victims of this war, the common people, the citizens of Iraq. They are paying the price for this war.