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March 19, 2008

19 March 2008

Today is the Mighty Mighty Blogswarm on ending the war in Iraq.

I knew I wanted to participate, but I’ve been worried about what to say, and how to say it. When I rant, I rant, and I didn’t know how to strike the right tone — I didn’t want to come across as strident, as I often do on issues like this (I think).

I did some searching online, and found some very cool ways to get the important messages across. But I didn’t want to just regurgitate information put together so much more aptly by others. Well, I will — at the end — but this has to be personal, too. So here is what struck me this morning (I’m nothing if not a procrastinator!).

Remember growing up and saying the pledge of allegiance? Remember following it up with a patriotic song? We’d start the day in school with these rituals; we’d do them at sports events, civic events, town parades, and so on. And I believed everything I sang. Sweet land of liberty. Forever in peace may you wave. Let freedom ring. Oh Beautiful.

Remember that? Remember the feelings of pride?

My daughters are ashamed of their country.

The past five years, the five years in which these girls have matured from little children to independent thinking people, have been filled with death, destruction, and mayhem. All in the name of American Business. The reputation of this country has been torn to shreds by those who care more about their bulging wallets than in the sanctity of human life — of strangers in foreign countries, and of American men and women, both on the battlefield as well as on “the home front” (our health care is among the worst of the developed world).

I know what you might be thinking. Of course our daughters would react negatively. The Consort and I disagree with this Administration, we’ve been against the war since the very beginning, marching and attending candle-light vigils, speaking our truth at home and with friends. But through it all, we’ve made it clear that it is worth it to fight for the things you care about; it is worth it to fix this country; it is worth it to spend our energy, money, and time to fix this place, rather than take our passports and move away.

But the girls, when they think of what this country represents, they think of Guantanamo. They think of the selfishness and self-centeredness of people in power and the cronies they support.

If you had to answer the question, “At this moment, are you proud to be an American?” What would you answer?

And that I why I think this war in Iraq must end. Because a healthy democracy means the answer to that question should not come after a hesitation, or involve qualifications (“Well, I’m glad that our country isn’t Kenya“*).

————

And now, on to some links.

The New York Times asked its journalists and photographers in Iraq to share their feelings on this fifth anniversary.

Here is how much money we have spent in Iraq so far:

Click here to learn more, including how much it has cost your state.

Also, the American Friends (aka Quakers) make some kick-ass videos. Watch this one:

*This was Impera’s answer when the Consort asked her the question.

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