It, of course, was Memorial Day. The front page of the Spokesman Review was devoted to the locals who have perished in wars lasting for far too long for far too little gain. Forty five of them. Young men and one woman. The oldest was 43. The youngest 19. All in the prime of life.
What an incredible waste. Multiply this by every town in the country and you have thousands. I cannot help but wonder if it has been worth it. Multiply again the numbers of spouses suddenly single and children left without a parent. Mothers and fathers who have lost a child.
I was so angry with George W. Bush for beginning the war in Iraq. It seemed to me so un-American. Americans don't start wars, we finish them. I guess that changed with Viet Nam when we engaged in a war different from what we were used to fighting. Even then the enemy was mostly recognizable. Now they aren't. No uniforms. Home made yet lethal weaponry. We stand out like sore thumbs - which we seem to be even to the locals.
For what? To stabilize a country not yet wanting nor able to be. Yet we've committed billions of dollars in continuing aid to a corrupt government who has already bilked us of billions. They scold us for our efforts on their behalf. We hang our heads and apologize and put restrictions on our soldiers as to who they can shoot and under what circumstances. My, how things have changed from the "Great Wars" where we volunteered in droves to bail out our allies and produced generals like Bradley and Eisenhower. Where are they now?
I understand why we have civilian over site of the military. We don't want to be like Egypt and so many others where the military takes over. On the other hand, civilians with no military experience seem to think they know better than the generals and we have one huge mess.
I guess this post is a day late and a dollar short. I thank each and every member of the military for their contribution to peace in our country. And I apologize for electing to high office those who haven't a clue as to how to run a war and won't listen to those who do.
We've gotten you into this mess. I don't know how we'll get you out. We can, however, elect those who understand the mission of the military and not overstep those bounds. The question is, will we?