A few days ago, someone sent me an email full of pictures of the hardships American servicepeople undergo with the instruction: "Support our troops because they are protecting our freedom". Here's what I wrote back:
Dublin, on U.S. Inauguration Day, didn't seem to notice. Oh, they played a few clips that night of the American president saying, "The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands."
But that was not their lead story.
The picture on the front page of The Irish Times was a large four-color picture of a small Iraqi girl. Her little body was a coil of steel. She sat knees up, cowering, screaming madly into the dark night. Her white clothes and spread hands and small tight face were blood-spattered. The blood was the blood of her father and mother, shot through the car window in Tal Afar by American soldiers while she sat beside her parents in the car, her four brothers and sisters in the back seat.
A series of pictures of the incident played on the inside page, as well. A 12-year-old brother, wounded in the fray, falls face down out of the car when the car door opens, the pictures show. In another, a soldier decked out in battle gear, holds a large automatic weapon on the four children, all potential enemies, all possible suicide bombers, apparently, as they cling traumatized to one another in the back seat and the child on the ground goes on screaming in her parent's blood.
If anything those pictures should convince us of the horrors of war and make us work more than ever to BRING OUR TROOPS HOME. They are not “protecting our freedom” The Iraqis never threatened our freedom in any way. We attacked them entirely without provocation based on out and out lies thereby instigating a precedent-breaking doctrine for United States foreign policy known as “pre-emptive war”. They did not have weapons of mass destruction and even if they did, so do we. Does that give other nations the right to attack us? They had nothing to do with 9-11 and any suggestion that they did is simply a lie. They were not Muslim extremists – they were a secular state and Saddam had only contempt for Bin Laden. Yes, Saddam was a brutal dictator but there are plenty of those in the world; are we to attack them all? We attacked them to steal their oil and to hand obscene profits to Halliburton. If anything the war is only enhancing recruitment efforts for militant extremists who, because of the instability in Iraq due to our invasion, are now streaming into the country, and who, by the way, hate our policies, not our freedom. Anyway, this administration is doing its level best to take away all our freedoms (remember the Bill of Rights that’s been decimated; all except the 2nd amendment that is. I suppose Gonzales thinks that’s also “quaint” the way he thinks the Geneva Conventions are “quaint”). Heck, nothing probably makes the terrorists happier than to see Americans sell their liberty down the river due to fear. I grieve for my country which I love more than I can tell you and of which I am now deeply, deeply ashamed.
I now feel more than ashamed. I don't even have a word for the feeling I have upon reading about that little girl covered in her parents' blood.