19 May 2006

When Iraq Is Personal.

For me, Iraq is a policy issue, it is a drain on our national budget, it is a section in every day's newspapers recounting the lives of fallen soldiers. For millions of people it is personal. I came across one such story today via a another blog linked at a website, sponsored by the Army for Army leaders. One piece of the long post read:

A colleague of mine, came to work today looking really distressed...We asked her what was the matter, she said, my cousin...my cousin got killed last night...He was shot...I didnt know what to say except, how???where??? She said in the Shaab area...He works with some Japanese company there..A group of armed men hurled in and shot everyone...Just like that...Then someone who knows my cousin went and called my uncle...who rushed to the scene to make sure it is my cousin and if it is to take his body...As my uncle tried to carry my cousin...A car exploded and now my uncle's leg has to get amputated....HUBBY and I just sat silent..All I was able to come out with was Wow...Felt really stupid...but what can you say in such a situation...."Im sorry to hear that"???

It goes on and on, and it is hard to see that we have accomplished something worthwihle. Saddam was not the best leader Iraq could ever hope for, but under his rule, there was not anarchy and a disorganized civil war. Oil is more expensive, not cheaper. Iraq, as it turns out, was never a real threat to its neighbors, unless you count Kuwait, which isn't any more of a good regime than Saddam's. Iran is emboldened, now that its two most powerful neighbors, Iraq and Afghanistan, have had their regimes dismembered.

The survival of the United States is not, and never was, at stake in Iraq. Neither was the survival of any of our allies. But, it isn't at all clear that we've done more good than harm.

No comments: