The point of Memorial Day is to honor the service and the sacrifice of those who have given their lives in the nation’s wars. But I suggest that we take a little time today to consider the living.
Look around and ask yourself if you believe that stability or democracy in Iraq â€” or whatever goal you choose to assert as the reason for this war â€” is worth the life of your son or your daughter, or your husband or your wife, or the co-worker who rides to the office with you in the morning, or your friendly neighbor next door.
Before you gather up the hot dogs and head out to the barbecue this afternoon, look in a mirror and ask yourself honestly if Iraq is something you would be willing to die for.
There is no shortage of weaselly politicians and misguided commentators ready to tell us that we can’t leave Iraq â€” we just can’t. Chaos will ensue. Maybe even a civil war. But what they really mean is that we can’t leave as long as the war can continue to be fought by other people’s children, and as long as we can continue to put this George W. Bush-inspired madness on a credit card.
Start sending the children of the well-to-do to Baghdad, and start raising taxes to pay off the many hundreds of billions that the war is costing, and watch how quickly this tragic fiasco is brought to an end.
At an embarrassing press conference last week, President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain looked for all the world like a couple of hapless schoolboys who, while playing with fire, had set off a conflagration that is still raging out of control. Their recklessness has so far cost the lives of nearly 2,500 Americans and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis, many of them children.
Among the regrets voiced by the president at the press conference was his absurd challenge to the insurgents in 2003 to “bring ’em on.” But Mr. Bush gave no hint as to when the madness might end.
How many more healthy young people will we shovel into the fires of Iraq before finally deciding it’s time to stop? How many dead are enough?