“Iraq: Where Do We Go From Here?” By Franklin and Betty Parker, bfparker@frontiernet.net

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“Iraq: Where Do We Go From Here?” By Franklin and Betty Parker, bfparker@frontiernet.net

(Appeared in the “Lion and the Lamb” column of the CROSSVILLE CHRONICLE (TN), Wednesday, May 23,
2007, p. 4).

Seven years into the 21st century the 4-year Iraq War goes on, costing blood and treasure. Over 3,200 (and counting) U.S. military men and women have died. Others are being painfully wounded daily in body and mind.

Middle East lives lost, maimed, and disrupted have risen to hundreds of thousands. The U.S. has lost the world’s respect. Rising Iraqi deaths and chaos evoke mounting anti-Americanism.

Yesterday’s “America the Beautiful” is increasingly seen as the world’s pariah empire.
Why does the fighting go on?

Reasons given by the White House include retaliation for Al Qaeda terrorists who in hijacked planes on 9-11-01 brought down NYC’s Twin Towers. Another plane crashed in Pennsylvania, and a fourth crashed into the Pentagon.

Another (now discredited) reason was that Al Qaeda was aided by Iraq’s late Pres. Saddam Hussein, who had weapons of mass destruction.

Today even our President and others who led us to war acknowledge that Iraq gave no such aid.

Pro-war hawks’ main reason is that if we do not defeat terrorists in Iraq and elsewhere we will have to fight them on American streets.

A U.S. majority now opposes the Iraq War. Anti-war critics say White House leaders keep the war going so that U.S. oil barons can grow rich controlling Middle East oil.

Future historians, anti-war critics say, will surely fault the U.S. public’s timidity and stupidity at allowing a flawed president and his neo-conservative advisors to steal the last two elections.

A well known aphorism holds that “All power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Sixty years ago many were slow to see the late Senator Joseph McCarthy as a deceitful self-serving rabble rouser. Many in the 1970s were slow to see President Nixon as a foul-mouthed illegal manipulator, allowed to resign (1974) rather than be impeached.

Read in any library the many respected authors who document George W. Bush as the spoiled son of a powerful family with strong ties to oil; a National Guard laggard who ducked his assigned duty, a swaggering schemer whose Machiavellian advisors helped him rush to war.

By unleashing the dogs of war he has irreparably tarnished our image and caused many to be killed, imprisoned, and tortured.

The billions of dollars wasted on war could have been, should have been, spent on humanitarian needs.

Our aggressive actions have mortgaged the future of our children and their children.

The U.S. first brashly stepped onto the world stage in the 1898 Spanish American War with a two-ocean navy. Thus began our “Speak softly but carry a big stick” policy.

We “manufactured” that first imperial war, too, on a trumped up promise to free Cubans from oppressive Spanish rule.

U.S. foreign policy leaders have since become increasingly obsessed with world domination, mainly for military power and commercial profit.

Will we at last awaken? Will we replace manipulative empire-builders with responsible moral leaders to restore Uncle Sam’s once revered image, to build a just society at home and a cooperative vision of a better world?

If so, we may again sing proudly that glorious hymn, “America the Beautiful.”

End. bfparker@frontiernet.net

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