Do The Freakin Math

Liberals and conservatives alike frequently rely on limited evidence, personal experience, religious beliefs or gut emotions to determine solutions for complex problems. From immigration to global warming - taxes to terrorism - or health care to free trade - analytical study is rare. Science based policy making isn’t the way of Washington. And the consequences are catastrophic. Change is urgently needed. Just do the freakin’ math.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Ground Truth - War is hell. Iraq is worse.

Words would be useless in conveying to any non-combat individual the reality of being a US soldier on the ground in Iraq. Any language description would be as enlightening as relaying the experience of skydiving to someone who has never even been in a plane.

Watching a movie isn’t going to be that much more helpful in relaying such a visceral experience but I suggest watching the war documentary “Ground Truth” will get you as close as you ever really want to be.

In the DVD nearly two dozen US soldiers talk about their experiences of combat in Iraq and in returning back home. After an hour and 20 minutes no one could seriously doubt that war is hell. And, war in Iraq is worse.

In a real ‘war’ there is far greater clarity about the purpose of killing. About who is being killed and the importance of it. There is no such luxury in Iraq. This profound truth of war on the ground in Iraq is that it is both psychologically transforming and life destroying for both our troops behind the weapons and lives of Iraqis on the receiving end.

These former soldiers do not advocate any solution for the crisis in Iraq but any viewer will conclude that the war dictated ‘rules of engagement’ are more than failing. They are murderous. Both to innocent Iraqi’s and to the psyches of our brave soldiers who were following the murderous orders of our commander in chief.

Just before the movie tonight I got a phone call from the a Republican Student campus organization surveying me about the “brain washing” of American students by the liberal professors populating most American college campuses (I’m also on a few GOP mailing lists as well). They were fundraising to combat professor’s claims that are president should be tried for war crimes.

One of our guests tonight shared her insight about the need to overcome the ‘culture of war’ that is ingrained in our society all the way down to our children. How right she is. The guttural real world language in this film may keep it from being shown on campuses. It shouldn’t. The obscenity of the Iraq war is infinitely more corrupting of our youth and the future security of our nation and world harmony.

This is a film everyone must watch. Another movie guest suggested showing it at Army recruiting offices. Many chuckled…including myself. We shouldn’t have. That was a hellish good idea. War is hell. The war in Iraq is worse.

A non-MoveOn movie guest asked what we wanted him to include in his letter to his Congress persons. I didn’t have a good answer. I don’t believe MoveOn did either.

There is no doubt, the war was a mistake (another male guest noted that he and many others predicted early on the outcome of the US invasion. Now, there is no shortage of people predicting the failure of sending in more US troops. I’m convinced that US involvement in Iraq is making our global security situation worse. I even believe our military approach to the global war on terrorism is making things worse.

The MoveOn staff requested movie night participants fill out a survey to evaluate the night. The most difficult question for me was “What one word best describes” your feelings after watching the movie. I wrote “ashamed”. Outrage, sorrow, sick…were also contenders…but ‘ashamed’ is what every American should be until all this ‘war’ madness ends. For me, the only other alternative is world law. In the closing lyrics of a old war protest song…’When will they ever learn” When, will we ever learn”. Maybe when we finally get hit with a nuke or weaponized smallpox. Maybe then we will learn. War is not the way. Give world law a chance.

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