Wednesday, September 01, 2010


I’m glad to hear that the war in Iraq is finally over, but the question, I guess, is why did it ever start?

The whole thing reminds me of when, at age 11, I tried to fix the slightly skipping chain on my bike. Before I was done, I had completely destroyed my rear derailleur with a screwdriver and bent the derailleur hangar with a hammer. I had to take it—in Mom’s car—to the bike shop, where they put everything back together so I could ride it home…with a slightly skipping chain.

Obama is to be commended, I think, for sticking to the troop withdrawal timetable, although I’d like to see a time when there aren’t any American military forces abroad, even in advisory roles. This is probably where the opposite ends of the political spectrum could come together: I’ll bet you could get both Lyndon Larouche-style Libertarians and Noam Chomsky-fueled anarchists to agree on this one.

I suppose I’m terribly naïve when it comes to international geopolitics, but it sure seems to me that that the best way to reduce the number of American casualties in foreign lands would be to bring those troops back home. And I bet a lot fewer of them would be injured in non-conflict accidents if they were doing stuff like repairing bridges and roads in their home towns.

According to the Times, when someone asked Secretary of Defense Gates if the war had been worth it, he replied, “It really requires a historian’s perspective in terms of what happens here in the long run.”

With all due respect, I’m going to disagree; I think the perspective of a mother who lost a so or daughter in combat or a child who was left homeless by the bombing could make a pretty good assessment, too, and I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be a particularly positive one.

But hey, at least this one is over, unless, of course, it isn’t.


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