As the conflict in Iraq comes to a close, and the long arduous road of rebuilding a country begins, I've set aside this portion of my website to express what my feelings have been throughout the past few months. This will remain on my site until all our troops are home.
The Cold Within
It began with my hopes for a peaceful resolution to the situation, yet all the while it seemed we had gone too far for those hopes to be realized. Still, I prayed that there would be some way to spare the Iraqi people the horrors and devastation of war. I wrote to everyone involved in the decisionmaking, voicing my concerns. This is the letter I wrote to the President.
An Urgent Call to Peace
While we were at war, I replaced my usual homepage with this one. It explains my refusal to protest the war, and my support of those who had been called to fight.
In Their Honor
Finally, this is a page that expresses my feelings about war - this war or any other.
As I write this, the future of Iraq is uncertain. There is the inevitable chaos that arises at the end of war and the beginnings of rebuilding a nation. So much needs to be done. After suffering so many years under the brutal dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, the people of Iraq must now deal with the lack of food, water and basic necessities we all take for granted. I pray that the nations of the world can put their self-interests aside and assist the Iraqis in building a life where they can secure for themselves a life of prosperity, freedom and hope.
Could this war have been prevented? Of course. But it began a long time ago, and this nation needs to look very closely at our past choices and actions. Saddam Hussein was our ally against Iran and with our technology and aid was able to become the threat to his people and the world he eventually became. Just as we trained and armed BinLaden to fight against the Russians in Afghanistan, our past associations with ruthless individuals eventually came back to us, resulting in the death of innocent people. Our government's recent history is littered with death and destruction caused by such associations, from Vietnam onward. Over and over again, old men make questionable choices and young men (and now women) are sent in to clean up their messes. Our country is not the only one making these kinds of decisions, but we are the most powerful. We are also a country that stands for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. When our leaders behave as if we were the land of money, power and military might at the expense of human dignity, they degrade our nation's greatness and misrepresent the soul of it's people.
When I envision true leadership in the world, I look to Nelson Mandela. After so many brutal years in prison he came through it all without bitterness to eradicate the horrors of apartheid and bring long-time enemies together in peace and unity. It is this kind of courage, vision and heart that is needed throughout the world if we are ever to know a true and lasting peace.
I pray that all our leaders come to embody those qualities, and that we as individuals do the same.
Six humans trapped in happenstance
In dark and bitter cold,
Each one possessed a stick of wood,
Or so the story's told.
Their dying fire in need of logs
The first woman held hers back,
For the faces around the fire,
She noticed one was black.
The next man looking across the way
Saw not one of his church,
And couldn't bring himself to give
The fire his stick of birch.
The third one sat in tattered clothes
He gave his coat a hitch,
Why should his log be put to use,
To warm the idle rich?
The rich man just sat back and thought
Of the wealth he had in store,
And how to keep what he had earned,
From the lazy, shiftless poor.
The black man's face bespoke revenge
As the fire passed from sight,
For all he saw in his stick of wood
Was a chance to spite the white.
The last man of this forlorn group
Did naught except for gain,
Giving only to those who gave,
Was how he played the game.
The logs held tight in death's still hands
Was proof of human sin,
They didn't die from the cold without,
They died from the cold within.
Iraq - One Year Later