Well, today marks the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. I have kept my politics on this blog to a minimum (well...I did indulge in a Bush Countdown clock) even so, it should be no surprise to any frequent reader where my 'loyalties' lie.
I remember the months leading up to the war in Iraq - I remember how surprised I was that the vast majority of American people supported the idea of going that direction and when questioned their ignorant response was "Well they bombed us first!" I was saddened that our government would try to sell the war to us by tugging on the still too painful memories of what we lost on September 11th. I did not support the war then - ask Nathan - poor thing got an earful everytime he would let his guard down long enough for me to let politics in the discussion. I had this gut feeling that we would go in and stir things up in an area of the world that did not need to have things stirred up - and that we would be there for a long time. I remember specifically using the words quagmire and Vietnam.
Now don't get me wrong, Saddam was not my choice for 'Leader of the Year' - he did horrible things to a lot of people and I do think that should have been punished. Yet, on that January night when I watched his hanging on youtube I got misty eyed. It felt like vigilante justice, it did not feel like Democracy.
The most recent of my thoughts have turned to the lives lost. Do you realize that since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom the number of US military (soldiers, marines and sailors, etc) that have died in combat is higher than the number of US civilians we lost on September 11th? Does that bother anyone else but me? We were drug into a (now seemingly endless) war on a vengeance mission and yet we've lost more lives than the total number of those lives we were avenging.
I do not believe the world is safer because we invaded Iraq - yes, there were groups of people before all of this who hated Americans and yes, there were those who cheered in the streets when the towers fell but the groups of people who fell on that side of the line were in the minority. The blood we've shed 'in the name of freedom and democracy' has fueled the fires of hatred all over the world. If someone doesn't hate us they see us as the bully - the one who thinks they are above the law, the one who gets told 'No' by someone and yet we do it anyway because we can. I know that it has been prophesied and predicted for many years that times would become more perilous but I hate to think that Americans, who pride themselves on freedom and liberty would be the ones poking the wasp's nest.