Saturday, March 18, 2006

Making A Difference

"There was never a good war or a bad peace."

-Benjamin Franklin

Today (Saturday) marks a grim anniversary in American history, it will be marking the third year we will be fighting a war in Iraq. A war, that we now know was built on false pretenses, a war that we were promised would be fought quickly with, "shock and Awe," a war that was unnecessary, and immoral. A war that would make us safer from terrorism. Sadly, we are not safer, and our finest men and women are being killed every day in a country that is on the edge of full civil war.Three years have gone by, and where are we? Do we dare speak our minds? Some do.Whether you are for or against the war, it takes an enormous amount of courage to protest, to blog about your opinion,or to even where a t-shirt with your opinion spelled out.

Just as in the days leading up to this dreadful mistake,called "Operation Enduring Freedom," and "Operation Iraqi Freedom," there are folks still willing to stand up and let their voices be heard, and their messages today, are just as they were three years ago, their message is, "Stop the war now." Here in California there are many protests, and rallies, planned throughout the state this weekend, to send a clear message about how Americans feel about the conflict. According to a recent Gallop poll, over 60% of American's believe the war is not worth the cost. That is a sharp climb from a poll taken just after the war began, when only 29% were not in favor of invading Iraq. Has your opinion changed?

It was very popular, during the last presidential election, to label someone a "flip-flopper," should one dare change their mind based on new information presented to them. If you allow pride or fear to run your life, you will be running from the truth, and from yourself, forever. It will exhaust you trying to keep up. To ignore your own integrity because you fear ridicule, is the saddest way to live your life. It takes a lot of courage to fight for change. It takes energy, and sometimes, we have to face great odds in order to fight for what we believe in, but what is the alternative? Years and years of conflict, within ourselves and with each other? If you once supported the war, but have since changed your mind, do you let your voice be heard? Do you say, "I was human, I had an opinion, based of erroneous facts, and now I feel differently based on new information." Does it hurt so much to be wrong, that we sit in quiet, for fear of being wrong again?

I am not casting stones here, I am trying to encourage you to take a stand this weekend. Attend a rally near you. Send a letter to your senator or congressman and speak to them about how you feel, and your desire for change. If you have a blog, this a perfect weekend to write about your feelings about the war in Iraq. If you don't have a blog yet, consider starting one. It doesn't have to be limited to this subject, it can be anything you want to share. Be proactive for yourself and for others. You will be surprised how good that first tiny step will feel. If you have never left a comment here, when I have written an entry like this, please feel free to leave me your thoughts. You are safe here, no matter what your feelings are. Your opinions are welcome, and I will not let anyone mistreat you on my blog. The only guidelines I have are that everyone maintain a level of maturity and manners when dealing with others.

2,313 of our troops have been killed in Iraq, and 17,004 American troops have been injured. 19,317 families changed forever. Who do you think the future may have lost? A future researcher who may have discovered the cure for cancer? A teacher of the year? How about a Nobel Prize winner. An amazing artist or musician, or a poet laureate. That question can't be answered, but we already know some of what we have lost, such as the amazingly talented Pat Tillman. A young man with a promising career in the NFL, who gave up that career to defend his country, after the events of 9/11. After he was killed, his family was told it was by Afghan rebels. We now know that his family had been lied to about how he died in Afghanistan.There is currently a criminal investigation into Tillman's death, which was caused by, "friendly fire." This is the fourth investigation into the incident.

Take the opportunity to take a stand, and make a difference.

If you live in the San Francisco area, there will be a rally held at the Civic Center in downtown San Francisco. If you are in the L. A. area, you can join my good friend Dave, contributing author to The Blue Voice, at the corner of Hollywood &Vine, in Hollywood, for an anti-war protest. Make this weekend, the weekend you make a difference for peace.

"Got Peace" artist unknown


Karen Funk Blocher said...

One of the problems is that people want simple, straightforward answers, preferably delivered by an authorty figure. Unfortunately, life is mor ecomplex than that. GWB wanted a simple answer, and look where it got him. Now he continues to stick to the same answer, long after it's been shown to be faulty at bst.


Globetrotter said...

Excellent post , Carly, and as you know, I've always spoken my mind on my blog about this war despite the consequences.

I voted for Bush the first time, something I hate to admit now.

The war changed a conservative Republican into a disenchanted Democrat. I am sad for our country. I am sad for the people in Iraq.

Unfortunately most people in the US don't really understand the depth of the problem here. Europeans do. They have always been more savvy about politics than Americans.

The problem between the Sunnis and Shiites is practically insurmountable. The Sunnis are like the white people in the US. The Shiites are like the black and Spanish population here. The Sunnis were the ruling class in Iraq. They hardly realized themselves that they had become a minority. It is not too farfetched to picture the whites in the US becoming a minority in the not-too-distant future. So now the Shiites are in power in Iraq. The Shiites also being the group that sympathizes with Iran. Although we certainly have many token minorites in office here within our gov't the truth is that many of the (conservative) white folks in this country would have a huge problem with a Mexican president. Right or wrong? Did I paint a clearer picture for those who don't get it?

So the current problem will take a very sensitive political process to bring it within the scope of a realistic democratic gov't. Surely the Bush administration has not the wits nor the ability to bring that about.

Sadly, the Kurds are stuck in the middle...

So where do we go from here? With the exception of worrying about the Kurds, I'd say get out and let them fight their own civil war, as we have already done here in America. Our presence there is nothing but salt on the wound.


I get upset talking about this.

Dave said...

Carly, I enjoyed your post. Nothing like a good protest to make for a fun weekend, right? :)

Seriously, I think that whatever one's political persuasion, we need to recognize that we're just not doing any more good over there. I have been a strong supporter of the Bush Administration (well, up until that eavesdropping fiasco, at least), and I think we needed to start this war...the bottom line is, they messed with us first. But it's time to get out...we've done all the good we're going to do, and I think we're beginning to do harm at this point.

I fear us repeating history, however, and think that a word of caution is appropriate here. I have family members who served our country in Vietnam (which our Iraqi operations are beginning to resemble), who remember with tears the hatred that their fellow Americans held for them when they returned from that war. The servicemen who are defending our freedom today are doing so with pure motives, and are following orders. God forbid we digress into a cycle of hatred as we have in the past toward those soliders, sailors, and airmen.

Peace is our goal here...internally, and externally. There certainly is such an animal as a just war, and this began as one. Now let us end it while maintaining some sense of that justice.

God bless, Carly!