Thursday, May 18, 2006

When it comes to dying for country, it's better not to die at all.

It's my fault we lost the war in Iraq. Can we bring the troops home now?

I didn't believe hard enough in the war effort. I didn't by war bonds. I drove to work by myself. I bought my wife real nylons, didn't recycle aluminum, glass or paper and dumped any fat left over after frying up a burger right into the trash rather than send it off to make gunpowder.

I have loose lips that sink ships, forgot that careless talk saves lives, to keep mum she's not dumb and I didn't look out in the blackout. Under no circumstances was I willing to put one of those silly yellow magnetic ribbons on my car.

Here's the thing: up to this point I'd been holding out hoping that the folly of the Iraq adventure would become clear to all but the most stubborn of proponents of the war. As the predictable civil war grew and more and more Iraqi and American blood flowed, the impossibility of us salvaging a "win" out of the situation would be an inescapable conclusion.

For the most part that's come true as a now solid plurality of Americans consider the war a mistake. Unfortunately it's not those of you that set actual policy or your cheerleaders that've reached that conclusion.

What you do seem to realize almost instinctively is that this war and it's consequences is on your shoulders. To admit defeat is to damage your own credibility, to put your judgment in question and we can't have that. Better to stubbornly stick it out while our troops suffer than to let something that awful happen.

So you can point the finger directly at me. You can "if only" me to your heart's content. If only I hadn't been so critical of the lack of pre and post-war planning. If only I hadn't complained so loudly about false justifications for the war. If only I hadn't screamed like a banshee when it became clear without a doubt that there were no WMDs, no ties to Bin Laden, no real efforts to establish a liberal democracy in Iraq protective of the rights of all it's citizens regardless of sect, origin or sex. If only, if only, if only.

I won't object. There'll be no "I told you so's" or finger pointing from me. I just want the troops home and out of that mess. The sooner the better.

Their lives are more important to me than being right.


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