Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Iraq: The Idea War

I've been watching a live feed on CNN.com of Ambassador Crocker and Gen. Petraeus being grilled about the current situation in Iraq by our Senate. The questions they must answer are not easy ones. Gen. Petraeus is fielding most of the security concerns and Amb. Crocker is handling the issues of Iraq's economy and internal political situation. In the middle of a conversation on the strengthening of Iraqi currency and 7% projected economic growth over the next year and just when I am beginning to compare that to our own falling dollar and shuddering economy, the shot cuts to President Bush, his head bowed in prayer, at a Medal of Honor Ceremony for a Navy SEAL who jumped on a grenade to save his friends.

This is George Bush's statement for the Iraq hearings, a statement about patriotism. To me, it is a reminder of my friend, also a Navy SEAL, who died a few years ago in Afghanistan. It is a reminder of the friends I went to Iraq with in 2003, and what it was like to have brothers in uniform. President Bush starts speaking - is he tearing up? It looks genuine. I think about who let this war happen, now that we all know it was a bad idea. It wasn't Pres. Bush's idea, but he pulled the trigger. For a moment, I wonder if he feels guilty. He's still human, after all, and he's reading a Medal of Honor citation for man who died doing something so honorable, while fighting a war that at best is somebody else's responsibility, and at worst is a frightening example of the power of special interests.

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