Wednesday, January 09, 2008

THE SHAME OF IRAQ

Isn't it nice that things are better in Iraq? Well, anyway, that how it seems because there is much less media coverage about it. Hey, The Surge is working! Violence is down, security is up, things are getting back to normal for Iraqis. And....Hillary and McCain won New Hampshire!

How convenient for the architects of the Iraq fiasco. How inconvenient for Iraqis and members of the U.S. military.

I used to feel anger and frustration about the U.S. war in Iraq. Now the feeling that overwhelms me is shame.

I feel shame when I think that my country invaded and is occupying another nation without provocation or cause.

I feel shame when I see the estimates of Iraqi civilian deaths and injuries, in the hundreds of thousands.

I feel shame when I learn about the plight of millions of Iraqis who have been forced to flee their homes and their country under threat to their lives.

I feel shame when I hear reports, such as the excellent series by Deborah Amos on NPR, about Iraqi refugee families in Jordan and Syria who are not allowed to work; children who are not allowed to attend school (many have not been in school for 2-3 years); Iraqis who worked for the U.S. military, at great risk to themselves and their families, and are not allowed to immigrate to the United States.

I feel shame that my government is not making reparations to the displaced Iraqi people, or helping them rebuild their lives.

I feel shame that the U.S. Army and Marine Corps have dishonorably discharged thousands of men and women who served tours of duty in Iraq and returned with mental disorders, and are no longer eligable for veterans medical benefits.

I feel shame about the thousands of American military families whose lives have been torn apart by frequent and extended deployments.

I feel shame about the conditions in military hospitals, in which wounded soldiers are ill-treated.

And I feel shame that the people of my country don't also seem to feel this sense of shame about this new kind of America.

Dennis Kucinich is correct, in my opinion, when he talks about Bush and Cheney and the other architects of this invasion and occupation as war criminals. But it goes beyond that - way beyond.

And I am ashamed that we, the people, allowed this to happen.

1 comment:

pjd said...

Amen, brother. Amen.

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