What else can March 19 be but Iraq's September 11, when an innocent people were made to suffer for the sinister actions of their so-called leaders?
September 11 surely taught Americans a lot about the world, but March 19 taught the world a lot about Americans. Hell, I am an American and March 19 taught me a lot about America. In no particular order:
Lesson 1: Victory doesn't need a description. It's fine just as a word. Of the many questions on my mind the biggest one is, what exactly does victory look like? When will the war pigs be satisfied? Stupid question, I know; war pigs are never satisfied. Yet they keep talking about victory without ever describing it. What is it to them? Every Iraqi fled or dead? An oil pipeline direct from Baghdad to the Bush Ranch? A democracy in Iraq that miraculously votes to sell oil only to the United States? This ongoing atrocity is the first and biggest clue they're not thinking endgame. (Just as this entry was going into the blogosphere, I ran across this. At least someone besides myself is wondering about how to make the Iraq War end. Too bad few if any in control are.)
Lesson 2: Our media isn't a check or a balance. It's an echo, or at best a very delayed check. Look at this severely promptness-challenged article in the Washington Post. It's been five years since the beginning of the Iraq war, and they finally get around to asking, "Golly, do you think this war by an oil baron for control of a nation with lots of oil wealth has anything to do with oil?" I can't wait to see The Washington Post's piece next week: "Should America get out of Vietnam?"
Lesson 3: Middle names are a great substitute for real political critiques. Barack Hussein Obama. Barack Hussein Obama. Oh my god, the dude's MIDDLE name is Hussein, which is the same collection of letters of the LAST NAME as the dictator of Iraq that the Bush junta assassinated. Therefore, he must be evil.
Lesson 4: Credit cards rule! Who cares if you can't pay now? Just rack up the debt and pay it later! John Sidney McCain (isn't Sidney a girl's name?) says if we must, the US will stay 100 years in Iraq as long as Americans are not being injured or killed. What a disclaimer for a land that's already taken 4,000 American lives! Only ninety-five more years (or 76,000 more American lives) to go! Bring it on you terrorist bastards! Our credit card has no limit so we can afford anything! We'll just keep pushing that debt into the future. Get to work, grandkids, because Uncle Sidney is paying it forward big time!
Lesson 5: Experience does not guarantee wisdom. Legend says that John Sidney McCain was tortured for five and a half years in Vietnam. It's stunning that someone so affected by war would be fine with prolonging it. Who could forget his Bomb Iran ditty? If that's someone who doesn't appreciate the gravity of war, someone who doesn't understand that bombs kill civilians as much as "bad guys," I don't know who is.
Lesson 6: Those of us tangled up in thinking, facts, consciences and humanity can over-think things. We brainstorm rationales: maybe controlling Iraq's oil made sense. Maybe they felt the USA had to secure the Iraqi oil supply before China or Russia could. That's probably the strongest part of the dozens of arguments tossed about to justify the Iraq war. If that was the reason, why didn't they just say that? Because people are squeamish about learning where their possessions come from? That's true, but this is a war here. If you're going to ask someone to die for a cause, can you at least have the courtesy to explain to them exactly what cause they're dying for? I guess not. It must be greed, plain and simple. Lesson learned.
Lesson 7: You can't critique the war. The minute you corner someone about all the corruption and contradiction the Iraq war has unleashed, they drop into a defensive stance reflexive as a turtle. "Oh yeah? Well I respect the troops." Somehow pushing someone in front of live bullets is a way of respecting them more than pulling them to safety. I hope I never run into a doctor who feels the same! Witness Lie-Master Karl Rove. (Video) Rove was a big part of helping the Iraq War happen and when he's called to account, he gets righteous, claiming our soldiers have suffered and he has witnessed it. Hey Rove! They suffered because of you, asshole! I'm sure they totally appreciate you using their pain as a backdrop to your "I Care So Much" drama, starring you.
Lesson 8: A turd in the hand is worth as much as Bush. A lot of whack-jobs are concerned that Barack Hussein Obama is a sleeper terrorist candidate ready to tank the USA once he gets in the highest office. They don't even notice someone fits that description and is in the white house: George W. "The Recessionator" Bush.
Lesson 9: Some Americans are as ignorant as the terrorists they claim to be against. They don't know anything about foreign countries, they don't try to learn, they just want to kill (no, they want SOMEONE ELSE to kill) anyone who looks different. They're basically Taliban but living in America and wearing American flags, and yet they embody none of the ideals of America.
So everything's a mess.
Now that we are near John Sidney McCain's 1/20th mark of Iraq War completion, I've experienced a strange synchronicity. All this negativity caused by the war and I just finished a book about the most incredible and positive story. As typical with the best ideas, it's quiet, it's simple, and it's largely ignored and unknown. It also costs a fraction of a single bomb. What's the answer to fighting terrorism? Schools. Schools? Yes, schools.
Read Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortensen and David Oliver Relin. The story is about how Mortensen was trying to climb mountains in Pakistan, failed, was helped by the locals and promised to build them a school as thanks. After about fifteen years, he now runs the Central Asia Institute that helps build schools in areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan where terrorist recruitment is high. When children (especially young girls) can educate themselves, extremist recruitment loses traction.
If fighting terrorism was the real priority, helping people help themselves would be the answer, not bombing them. Either we learn the lessons of Three Cups of Tea, or we're going to need far more than another 100 years to solve anything.
Larry Nocella is the award-winning author of the novel Where Did This Come From? available at Amazon and Xlibris and other fine online book stores. Where Did This Come From? is also available as an eBook. For more info, visit Larry Nocella's website at http://www.larrynocella.com/.