So, today is my Birthday.
Also tomorrow is the first day of advent (the period to contemplate and prepare for the celebration of the birth of Christ).
Anyway, we are Saturday Mass people, so I got to hear the readings tonight.
One of the readings from Isaiah (from Isaiah 2) is one of my favorites, and THIS is what I want for my birthday:
"They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again".
I know, I know. What the heck kind of liberal, loony, peacenik, Utopian thinking is THAT. There's a WAR on, don't you know that? Of course, we (the US) would be willing to do that (beat our plowshares into swords, etc) IF all those other bad folks in the world would stop what they were doing. We are innocent don't you realize that? We were just minding our own business. We didn't choose these wars, these wars chose us.
Don't you understand that 9/11 "changed everything"?
Yes, there are actually TWO wars going on. One in Iraq and the other in Afghanistan (there are actually several more wars going on including action in Pakistan, Somalia, and other places - the two discussed here are the ones where are soldiers are pretty active). Neither of them are going to be over any time in the future.
I have asked this question over and over and over again. When do we know if we "won" in Iraq? There doesn't seem to be any answers to that question, except to continue to chant the mantra that we can't cut and run and we have to let the troops win.
And, when you ask your pro-war friends what winning means, you are told that you should be supporting the troops and your President, and to ask questions like that in a time of war borders on (and in fact may actually be) treason. Never mind that more and more, even the soldiers involved in the wars are publicly asking those questions.
When is it going to be over? Apparently, according to President Bush who recently signed some security "agreements" with the Iraqi government, never.
It is interesting that to them (our pro-war friends) "supporting the troops" means leaving them to their fates in Iraq and Afghanistan, and never questioning whether leaving them there in that environment is even good foreign policy. We certainly know that it is NOT good for THEIR health either from a physical standpoint or from an emotional and spiritual standpoint.
We were told that we "won" in Afghanistan, but now were finding out that it is more dangerous for our soldiers in Afghanistan than in Iraq.
The breaking point is coming. Look at the lessons of what happened to the military after Vietnam, then, in my opinion, multiply that by ten or twenty. That is what we are going to be living with for the next several years.
Do we have one more rebuild of our forces in us after the massive collapse that is going to occur? Or, are we going to be so depleted in treasure and talent after these wars (this breakdown doesn't even include the scheming by the neocons to start additional wars in Iran and now Pakistan to "secure the nukes" from Islamofacists) that we'll have no choice but to "study war no more."
When do we win? What does winning even mean? Instead of the plowshares thing, the answers to those questions is REALLY what I want for my birthday.