For 5 long years, the United States has been engaged in an illegal war against Iraq. That is 5 years too many, 5 years too costly, in so many ways.
Five years after our military first put on an explosive show of its firepower, nearly 1 in 5 Iraqis is now a displaced citizen or a refugee in another nation, according to the International Organization for Migration. That's nearly 5.1 million human beings—2.7 million displaced and 2.1 million refugees—who have been forced to flee their homes.
Five years after George W. Bush pushed for a war that he knew had no moral or legal basis, documentation shows that between 82,249 and 89,760 Iraqi civilians have been killed. These were human beings, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, teenagers, children, babies—people just like you and me—and they died needlessly and in fear.
Five years after most members of Congress cravenly authorized Bush to order attacks on Iraq, almost 4,000 American servicemen and servicewomen have been killed and between 23,000 and 100,000 have been wounded. The dead leave behind friends, lovers, fathers, mothers, siblings, aunts, uncles, and grandparents who now have gaping holes in their hearts. Many of the wounded may never be able to be gainfully employed again. Plenty of them have traumatic brain injury than can cause neuron death and lead to memory deficit, headaches, vertigo, anxiety, apathy, or lethargy. My 20-year-old nephew, the only nephew I have, is in Iraq now, and I constantly pray that he's safe.
Does the death of an Iraqi father make me safer? No. Does it make me happy? No. I am a pacifist, and every person who dies in this awful, evil war causes a tiny part of me to die. Does the father's death teach his children hatred? Yes.
Does the rape of an Iraqi girl and murder of her family by U.S. servicemen serve any purpose? Yes. It teaches that women's bodies are still property to be abused by men. It teaches hatred of Americans. It teaches that Americans are no better than any other group that engages in war.
Does the torture of suspected Iraqi insurgents produce results? Yes. It incites worldwide hatred of or, at the very least, disdain for Americans. It lowers the world's threshold for violence, stripping away the belief that all human life is sacred. It does not often produce usable intelligence; people will say anything to keep from being tortured.
Does the endangering of young American men's and women's lives in Iraq serve a purpose? No. It risks taking away their mental and physical health. It tears apart families. It greatly increases the chances that the world will be deprived of their talents, which could be put toward making the world a better place.
It is long past time to stop the madness, stop the torture, stop the raping, stop the killing, stop the decimation of an ancient nation. It is long past time for the Iraq war to end and for all servicemen and servicewomen of all nations to leave Iraq and go home.
Updated at 7:15 p.m.: I have candles burning in 5 windows of my home in mourning for all the souls of those killed in this evil war.
Iraq war March 19 blogswarm EditorMom