Archive for the ‘Iraq War’ Category

>The end of war

September 1, 2010

>Well the unjust war has ended. The work continues. The problems are not solved. The troops responded to the call honorably.

I wrote a letter to The Western Star in March 2003 before the war began, but President Bush didn’t read it. Or if he did, he ignored it.

Here is the letter, which followed an editorial the week before about patriotism.

March 5, 2003

I agree with your editorial comment about dissent being patriotic. It is hard to speak out against war when those who do so are criticized as being pro-terrorist. No one denies that Saddam Hussein is evil, or that he needs to be removed from power. But why is war the answer?

When we see or hear of violence among young people, everyone agrees that people need to be taught, at an early age, about conflict resolution, that violence is not the answer. Yet, what kind of example are our leaders setting for them when they have tunnel vision that can only focus on war? They are saying that violence is the only answer and do not want to give diplomacy and inspections a chance. Either they are blinded by this “ratings grabbing” war and their desire to control more of the world’s oil, or they just don’t have the brain power to think of any other way to resolve this crisis.

We hear over and over that terrorism is the enemy, yet the worst terrorist in the world hunkers down and hides for a year or so, and we forget all about him, while he regroups and makes plans for more acts against us. How many times have you heard President Bush speak of Osama bin Laden in the last year? All he had to do is hide and he is forgotten.

Saddam will probably do the same thing…we tear up his country, he tosses a few chemical weapons at our troops or Israel, killing our troops and our allies, then he can go into hiding for a while so we can forget about him.

How many of those leaders, from the president on down, have a son or daughter in the armed forces that is on the way or already in the Middle East? Probably none. I would be willing to bet that a large majority of citizens whose children or spouses are about to enter this war are not for it. Yet they, and the rest of us, find ourselves in the position of being loyal and supportive to our troops, while not supporting the cause for which they might die.

If we find, through war, that Saddam has no weapons of mass destruction, we will have spent billions of dollars and killed thousands to discover what we could have learned through peaceful means. If fact if he does have weapons of mass destruction, no one thinks we will be able to find and destroy all of them before he has used them on someone, somewhere. Iraq is like Pandora’s Box, and by opening it who knows what the consequences will be.

Unfortunately, we will probably soon find out.

Then the war started and two weeks later the Western Star published another of my letters.

March 26, 2003

The war against Iraq has begun and our attention must now focus on supporting our troops and praying that this conflict will end quickly with minimal loss of life.

We do not know how far the effects of this war will reach, so let us remember in our thoughts and prayers not only for our soldiers and their loved ones, but those who are affected throughout the world, including the innocent citizens of Iraq, who have already suffered through two recent wars and years of repression and sanctions.

As we learn of the tragedies and casualties of this war, let us use this as motivation to become adherents of nonviolence, and to study the works of Gandhi and King, who taught us that we must be the change we wish to see in the world.

President Obama was very generous in his speech last night, avoiding placing blame for the unjust invasion or saying “I told you so” about the weapons of mass destruction or the obvious truths about Iraq not being responsible for 9-11 or any of the other made up reasons that the prior administration used do fight “daddy’s war.”

I’ll just be generous too, other than that last paragraph, and wish only the best for the troops returning home, that they will be able to return to normal life, and for those who are being re-deployed to Afghanistan, I wish you safe passage and a quick resolve to the conflict in that country so that you, too, can return home safely, soon.

And let’s not forget the 50,000 troops that remain in Iraq. We hope for your safety and await your return home as well.

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>Ramblings and Peter Doherty

February 27, 2009

>“You should feel lucky to have gotten Wednesday’s paper.”

That’s what the woman at the Birmingham News told me when I called for the second time today and told her, like I told the other woman at 6:30, that the paper I pulled out of the plastic sleeve this morning was Wednesday’s paper. (Today being Friday).

Then she said they have had “thousands and thousands” of calls and it seems “most of our calls are from the Bessemer area.

But the entire week has been screwy. Tuesday, we received two papers, about an hour apart, both current for that day.

Wednesday we received no paper, and I could not get through to complain (maybe they had “thousands and thousands” of calls that day too).

Yesterday we got the right paper.

Today we didn’t get a paper. Oh, wait, I mean we got Wednesday’s paper. Surely they aren’t trying to make up for me not getting a paper on Wednesday by delivering it today. Old news is not good news.

So, I am about to go out and get a paper, somewhere, if I can find one.

Anyway, yesterday I was in Baldwin county touring the new DHR building with other members of the Public Building Authority and the Director of our DHR here in Bessemer. It’s a wonderful facility, and important to us because we have hired the same architect to build our facility.

Other Stuff

With his new exit strategy for Iraq President Obama has painted himself out of a corner. Sure, there’s some grumbling from Democrats who want a quick end to the war, but most Democrats realize we can’t just pick up and leave. Now he’s got support from Republicans too, so there aren’t likely to be complaints on down the road. The plan gives commanders flexibility and three more months to draw down, and leaves more troops than many hoped for, but hey, at least it’s a plan, and least it has a goal, and at least it will get our troops out of there.

I just heard a thud out front. 9:05 and the paper has arrived. Let’s see. Yes, it’s today’s! I’m going to go enjoy the pitter patter of rain and a late cup of coffee and the paper.

While I’m doing that, here’s the new video from Peter Doherty.

“Last of the English Roses” features guys playing football (soccer, really) on a playground, and a (gasp) guy on guy kiss at the end.

Not surprising from Peter, who’s pretty gay if past interviews mean anything. Gee, he seems like a character from my book…45 years ago. Well, the songs kind of catchy, anyway.

Thoughts of Pompeii, The Iraq War, and Happy New Year

December 31, 2007

You have about 3 1/2 weeks left to see Pompeii at the Birmingham Museum of Art. We made it a family outing on Saturday, and it was a really educational but also moving exhibit.

I have one child who is a senior in high school and one who is in college. One of them studied Pompeii in school, and the other did not. They both went to public school.

The more I learn about other cultures, whether they be in the present or in the past, the more I realize that we are all alike, and we haven’t changed much in all of history. Individuals seeking comfort and luxury, subtle and not so subtle references to sex (homosexuality as well as heterosexuality). People coming together to help one another. People of different classes dying together.

And you never know how an event will affect history. There could have been a young child who died that day who might have grown to understand science and physics in the same way that Newton or Galileo did centuries later. Of course, that can be said about every young person who dies at any time. Take for instance the 3902 American service men and women who have died in Iraq. Or the 80,196 – 87,350 Iraqi citizens who have been killed since we invaded their country. (See “Facts About the War” over to the left) Think of the potential lost.

A movie that shows how a young person’s potential can be lost or found is October Sky starring a young Jake Gyllenhall as Homer Hickam, and this is the true story of the West Virginia kid who for various reasons was pressured to follow the expected path of being a coal miner, but wanted to explore rocketry instead. Has Jake Gyllenhall ever made a bad movie? I don’t think so. This one is certainly worth watching.

In fact, you could rent it today, and watch it while waiting for the New Year! Right after the Auburn Game (Chick-fil-A Bowl), you should have enough time to see the movie before the ball drops, or the bullets fall, as will happen in Bessemer and some sections of Birmingham at midnight tonight. The insane practice of shooting guns into the air to celebrate. What will the story be in tomorrow’s paper? Hopefully not one of somebody killed or injured because of this reckless practice.

Regardless of how you celebrate, be careful, and have a good time. Wait until the lead has finished falling from the sky before travelling home. Happy New Year!!!

>Thoughts of Pompeii, The Iraq War, and Happy New Year

December 31, 2007

>You have about 3 1/2 weeks left to see Pompeii at the Birmingham Museum of Art. We made it a family outing on Saturday, and it was a really educational but also moving exhibit.

I have one child who is a senior in high school and one who is in college. One of them studied Pompeii in school, and the other did not. They both went to public school.

The more I learn about other cultures, whether they be in the present or in the past, the more I realize that we are all alike, and we haven’t changed much in all of history. Individuals seeking comfort and luxury, subtle and not so subtle references to sex (homosexuality as well as heterosexuality). People coming together to help one another. People of different classes dying together.

And you never know how an event will affect history. There could have been a young child who died that day who might have grown to understand science and physics in the same way that Newton or Galileo did centuries later. Of course, that can be said about every young person who dies at any time. Take for instance the 3902 American service men and women who have died in Iraq. Or the 80,196 – 87,350 Iraqi citizens who have been killed since we invaded their country. (See “Facts About the War” over to the left) Think of the potential lost.

A movie that shows how a young person’s potential can be lost or found is October Sky starring a young Jake Gyllenhall as Homer Hickam, and this is the true story of the West Virginia kid who for various reasons was pressured to follow the expected path of being a coal miner, but wanted to explore rocketry instead. Has Jake Gyllenhall ever made a bad movie? I don’t think so. This one is certainly worth watching.

In fact, you could rent it today, and watch it while waiting for the New Year! Right after the Auburn Game (Chick-fil-A Bowl), you should have enough time to see the movie before the ball drops, or the bullets fall, as will happen in Bessemer and some sections of Birmingham at midnight tonight. The insane practice of shooting guns into the air to celebrate. What will the story be in tomorrow’s paper? Hopefully not one of somebody killed or injured because of this reckless practice.

Regardless of how you celebrate, be careful, and have a good time. Wait until the lead has finished falling from the sky before travelling home. Happy New Year!!!