Monday, March 24, 2008

the iraq war goes to kindergarten

Five years ago my nephew Peter was born. He's a cute kid. He's funny, independent-minded, and talkative. A couple of years ago when he was still a toddler his favorite phrase to yell in a tantrum was "No way!" which was funny to everyone except my sister who had to hear it a hundred times a day. In a few months, he'll be headed off to kindergarten. Being five puts him in some interesting company. What else turns five this year? Let's see -- itunes...the Toyota Prius...and the Iraq War. That's right, if the war were my baby instead of George Bush's, it would be time to send it off into the world to fingerpaint, snack and nap the day away with other little mass slaughters and historic blunders. In five years, not only has much water passed under the bridge, but 4,000 U.S. servicemen and women have died, in addition to uncounted scores of U.S. contractors and, for a moment's pause, up to 1.2 million Iraqis. By almost any measure, the war is the greatest humanitarian catastrophe so far of this young century. The last eight years have witnessed enough bloodshed and depravity to forever haunt a generation that, like my nephew, isn't even old enough to remember anything different. And that is really the most unbearable thing about all of this. It is hard enough to read the dates on those tombstones and feel a chill as you realize these sweet children were in middle school when the tyrant who ordered their deaths first came to occupy his present office. How much worse to contemplate the possibility that the future milestones of this war - where are you now, numbers five, six, seven thousand? - are sitting somewhere in a junior high school classroom, or hanging out at the mall, or doing a little homework while watching TV? There are so many issues facing this country right now but the war is like a locked iron door between America and its future. Until we make a commitment to stop the bloodshed we will continue feeding our children into the maw of this madness.

1 comment:

shorthispanic=stedith said...

startling and sadly true, Weazoe!
i hope you're wrong and that 5 6 and 7 thousand just go on to have decent, normal, or even exceptional lives. pray to God to have mercy upon us.