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January 25, 2011

Wars Abroad And At Home

Back when the war started it was hard to not think about the military operations that are currently going on in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, I think that the war has largely fallen out of people’s minds, unless of course you are there fighting in it, or have a loved one that is. I remember how angry I was to hear that the United States had attacked Iraq and that the president had launched an offensive. With the wounds of September 11th still raw and open, I felt like emotions were preyed upon and many civilians supported the war because they were angry, brokenhearted and scared.

Five years ago I said, “This war is wrong.” And a few of my good friends told me how unpatriotic I was and how I should leave the country because I wasn’t a “real American”. These same friends could not find Iraq or Afghanistan on a map and had no idea about the countries or the cultures that existed there. People that wave the flag and proclaim great freedom and loyalty to liberty and justice.

There is an idea that is prominent amongst many here in the United States. The idea that this country is the most advanced and liberal and that there is no other place in the world that anyone could ever possibly want to live. Even though people are coming across the border between Mexico and Texas to buy weapons because it is easier to purchase weapons in the U.S. than it is in Mexico. Even though during a presidential election the only things that people care about are race and gender, two feeble concerns that have nothing to do with what the candidate is worth. A place where the stories of violence and pain are so random and frequent that there are days that I just can’t read up on the news. Days that I just can’t hear about one more school massacre or random murder or death sentence for some killer who did something unthinkable to their victims. I say all of this because I just don’t understand why we don’t care about the war that is going on here, in our own country. The one that rises up in our faces daily.

I am not a liberal or a conservative or a democrat or republican. I support the troops because I know that many of them, some of which I know, had no where to go but the military. With college tuition continuing to increase and housing being unreasonable, the military, especially in the United States, is a decent choice. Then there are the troops that joined the military out of respect and love for their country and I, in turn respect and love them for their commitment. I also know that most of the troops are there because they are doing their job and it doesn’t matter if they do not understand why we have occupied these countries. They signed up for a job and they are doing it. I salute anyone that works hard and sacrifices and keep their word. I do however wonder when all of this will be over and if the gift of democracy is what the citizens of these countries want. And now, five years later, I just wonder where all of this is going and how it will end.

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