Stop reading this right now if you support the war in Iraq. Really, just stop right here. You don’t want to know what a peace-loving person like myself has to say about it. I guarantee they are mostly bad things. Sure, there’s always the military goals of war, which it seems, can be achieved when a superpower invades a country less than 1/10 of its own military might. Stop reading this if you think that the removal of an evil dictator who used to be friends with the U.S. is worth the thousands of lives of innocent people who continue to die in the war. Don’t read sentences like this that suggest that there might have been a better way to help the people of Iraq. Stop reading my liberal, bleeding heart rants about the sanctity of human life. Don’t allow yourself to be misled by me or others who point out the path of peace. We really don’t know what we’re talking about, right? So stop reading this, since it won’t change your mind anyway. Don’t continue to read about the multitude of consequences of this war which will be extremely complicated and costly, pivoting the United States against much of the rest of the world, destroying most if not all of the tremendous sympathy it received after a tragic September day of 2001. Don’t bother to listen to people like me who are trying to end the war as soon as possible. So stop reading this, if you support the war. It just gets worse from here. Consider yourself warned.
Why doesn’t the popular media report the war as it really is instead of sanitizing it? What are they afraid of? Are they afraid that people will see the horrors that the war directly creates? Are they afraid their viewers will change the channel and stop watching their uber-important newscasts which continually show what is going on without showing the blood and guts which are invariably spilled all over the freaking place? Or could it be that they’re afraid for their jobs, their way of life, you know, living the ‘American Dream’? Whatever the case, it’s a crying shame that a country that was founded on, among many other things, freedom of press, has had its media turned into such a fear-filled ministry of propaganda. No real criticism of the war is allowed, except perhaps the occasional anti-war rallies may get a moment in between all of the commercials and briefings from the Pentagon. If the war is the correct action, then the criticism of the war should be trivial to argue down. Why not engage in the discussion? Who is afraid to speak their mind in a country which is founded on, among other things, freedom of speech? Of course this freedom has certain limits: I should get in trouble if I scream “Fire” in a crowded theatre, if there is no fire. Is screaming “Peace” during a time of war such a crime as well? If so, why?
Working for peace has become a full time hobby for me. It seems the right thing to do. It is easy to point at something that you don’t like and say that you don’t like it and then run away from it. Much harder it is to create something that you DO like and then point to it proudly. If we can realize that the people of Iraq are not our enemies, maybe we can also realize that peace people are not our enemies either. I don’t consider the supporters of the war my enemy. They are my countrymen, and they deserve my honesty and love. I could be very critical of the government if I wanted to. I avoid politics at all costs most of the time. Wars invariably draw me in though. For me, this war is a nightmare that I cannot seem to wake up from. I keep hoping that some day, I will hear that a cease-fire has been called. I keep hoping that some day, the troops will start coming home after a ‘job well done’, into the arms of their loved ones. I keep hoping that desperately needed humanitarian aid will flow into Iraq. I keep hoping that some day, the Iraqi people will truly be liberated and allowed to control their own destinies (and oilfields) without outside intervention. It would be quite ironic, and quite possible, that Iraq could become a “free-er” country than the one that liberated it. I keep hoping that some day, I can stop all of this dreadful work of reading and writing about war. I’d much rather be doing something fun, like playing violent video games.
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