I’ve had the song “Holiday” by Green Day (off American Idiot, in case you’ve been living under a rock on Mars for the past 2 years) on in my car a lot lately, making me think about the ever-rising death toll, wasting so many lives because of lies and incompetance. It’s easy to be desensitized to numbers; 4 dead in a helicopter crash doesn’t especially resonate with people, especially when the government bans any media coverage of flag-covered caskets coming home. CNN has a list of coalition forces killed in Iraq thus far, and who knows how many civilians have been killed. While the report about the Iraqi death toll that may have influenced the midterm elections is still being disputed, there can be no doubt that many more innocent people have been killed for a war they didn’t ask for.
I remember when the question of war was first raised a few years ago, protests going on nearly constantly, people on both sides of the argument trying to make their case. Now, it seems America is war-weary, many wanting an end to the war and devastation, but what can anyone do to end it? Indeed, I’m not a strategist or politician, but we’ve created a huge mess in Iraq that’s going to take many years, even decades, to straighten out and will require considerable commitment from the US; I don’t think the government put in place in Iraq is ready to take charge and they could very well be thrown out (or taken out) of their positions of power. It’s heartbreaking to know that we are truly damned if we do, damned if we don’t when it comes to the mess Bush’s crusade created, and while I don’t know if the troop surge will have any benefit or not, the country is going to need long term aid if anything good is to come out of this mess. It’s simply amazing to me what is allowable under the banner of war; guns, missiles, tanks, and hi-tech weapons allowing for as little conscience as necessary to be involved in killing other people just because your government told you it’s permissable. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate soldiers, if anything I think the government should take more responsibility in caring for (especially psychologically) those who have served, but I am apalled by the way so many lives can just become statistics because a few government officials didn’t think things through. Surely, if I someday have children they’re going to learn about this dark time in history and ask why we allowed such a horrific mistake to be made, a mistake that “The Decider” was endorsed by God. The more I think about it, the more it seems we’ve moving backwards into the Dark Ages, Christians acting more like Pharisees than the person they’re suppossed to admire. Perhaps there are people in every generation who are ill-at-ease with the state of things and worry about the coming years, but that’s of little comfort to me right now. Even though the technology to kill someone on the other side of the world gets better and easier to utilize, the conscience that’s suppossed to keep that finger off the button is increasingly ruled by superstition and stupidity. The question I have to ask myself is, what am I doing about it?