Five years of war and…

What a bust.

They just don’t make war protests the way they used to.

 According to an Associated Press story…

“At the IRS, about 100 protesters led by a marching band gathered at the main entrance. Several jumped barricades and sat down in front of the doors and were immediately detained. The demonstrators said they were focusing on the IRS, among other institutions, because it gathers taxes used to fund the war.

Brian Bickett, 29, was among the first arrested. The high school theater teacher from New York City said he had never engaged in civil disobedience before.

“We need to find lots of different ways to resist the war, and I decided to try this,” he said.”

I can no longer support this war I once supported.

Too many lives lost.

Too many tax dollars misspent.

Truly I wonder in this situation what would Jesus do?

Part of me wants the troops to stay as peacemakers and to protect Iraqis from more loss of life.

Another part of me wonders why Americans have to be the peacemakers and why Iraqis can’t get it together to protect themselves.

Then I look at my 10-year-old son who has spent the last five years viewing the war from afar and occasionally visiting armories when I’ve written about troops coming home. Did I and others glorify this war too much? Will my son be eager to go off to fight another war that in the end achieves little?

Army Engineers told me and others about the good they’ve done in Iraq, the schools they built, soccer fields, hospitals and other ways soldiers have helped build and rebuild infrastructure. Some have even had the opportunity to share the Gospel, though I’m not sure they are officially allowed to. Slide shows depicted their works and won me over with the smiling Iraqi children.

But all in all, do the Iraqis who benefited from the engineers’ work, and then rework when the buildings and fields keep getting blown apart again, view the U.S. kindly? Do Iraqi children see soldiers as God’s emissaries or avenging angels from hell?

I feel we’re starting to get mired in a civil war, that the law of diminishing returns is kicking in and regardless of the Iraqis’ eventual loss of life our troops should come home.

Jiminy Christmas – what ever happened to the Peace Corps?


3 Responses

  1. I came across your blog on Technorati. Nice site layout. I will stop by and read more soon.

    Mike Harmon

  2. Hi Sam,

    I share some of your sentiments, even after having spent 15 months over there, helping to begin rebuilding their military. We trained men who had been part of The Republican Guard alongside members of the Pesh Merga from the north. There was a time they hated each other, but they were training alongside one another with a desire for freedom in their eyes (the majority of them).

    Some joined the new army for the money to help support their families and I am sure there were some infiltrators of the ‘terrorist’ variety. We had recruits show up at our compound who still had shrapnel in their bodies from bombings at recruiting stations.

    The internaitonal coalition leading the retraining effort made their share of mistakes. War is ugly, but at times necessary. Should we have toppled Hussein? Should we still be there? Regardless of all the politics , even after we are gone, and even if the Iraqi people fail in their attempt to have the semblance of a democracy, I really feel will have done the right thing.

    I come from the perspective of a having been a professional soldier for a long time and having been ‘intimate’ with terrorism.

  3. Thanks Dan. I appreciate that perspective. That’s exactly what I’m looking for.
    I’m not saying toppling Saddam wasn’t called for – I was wondering why we didn’t go through with that the first go ’round in Gulf War I as were many of the soldiers and families I interviewed at Fort Hood.
    No, I’m just thinking the second time out the military did it’s job and did it well as evidenced by the engineers who shared their photos and stories with me.
    I just think now it’s time to start getting the troops home and let the Iraqi people start taking care of themselves.

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