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May 19, 2008 |
I am a US Marine who has recently returned from Iraq. I have 90 days until I return to the Desert. Please bear in mind that I am a right wing, socially conservative Marine , not an English major as you read this. I hope the poem below will demonstrate the conflict I feel about our nation's current situation.
I ought to bust out a window with these books
Let some air in
90 DAYS till we're trapped in that suffocating heat and smoke
Trash just keeps on piling
Gotta burn up the phone lines
90 DAYS till I'm sharing one line with 30 buddies
Just want to let it all go
punch the desk or wall till knuckles are done
Just heard "Go to war" used as a curse
Makes sense, it gets their angry point across
90 DAYS and I'll be back to GroundHog day
sleep, work, eat, work, eat, work, sleep...
Run in a circle that won't change anything
but that just isn't so
Those folks had their Eid and Hajj in some semblance of peace
And she realized we were gone
So we charge forward
confident that tomorrow will bring a better adventure
I would like to know where are the protests from my contemporaries in America's colleges? Why do I not detect an appropriate sense of urgency from our citizens and elected officials to solve the problem we face (not just pull out, but actually solve the problem)?
Josh, I wish you a safe tour and a safe return. Keep your eyes open and remember what you saw. It's grievous that you feel so disconnected from your fellow citzens while you are wearing our uniform. According to a survey I saw, 60% of Americans between 18 and 24 cannot locate Iraq on a map. I doubt that 10% of them could explain why we are in Iraq in any way that you would recognize as representing reality. As for me, I am a Democrat and this is not my war and I'm sorry we're in it and there's no way I can sign onto it. Wars can only be fought with the support of the folks at home and this one lost that support a long time ago. This is what puts you into such a precarious position. It is the unique heroism of men and women in uniform that they put their lives on the line for policies that they believe to be wrong, and I admire that heroism, but I'm not in uniform. I'm just an old writer and I thought this war was a tragic mistake when we first invaded. I was in Florida on vacation with my family and CNN was all excited, correspondents standing by in Kuwait, journalists all thrilled to have a war to cover, and I walked down the beach and saw a bunch of aging protesters standing around a ring of candles in the sand, singing "Give Peace a Chance" and "We Shall Overcome" and other lefty songs from long ago, and I felt utterly powerless. The protest needed to come from Colin Powell, the only man who might've stopped it, and he fell into line and in doing so, he lost his good reputation forever. As for solving the problem in Iraq, I do not think we can invade a country and remake its culture and history. I think that after five years it's time to reexamine what we're doing there and why and for those responsible to take responsibility. None of this helps you in your situation, I'm afraid. Take care.