I'm sorry I couldn't make it to the protests today. I really, really wanted to. As you can see, I was forced to conduct my own personal protest from the relative comfort of my awesome sofa. This is no reflection on you. Believe me, if I had to throw up on anyone else, it would totally be you. We'd have a good laugh about it too, you'd make a crack about partyin' with the boys years back and I'd laugh while hiccuping. Maybe Laura would have held my hair. I might have asked you for an Altoid though (is that cool?)
Anyway, you know that we've never had an easy relationship. At first I thought you were completely incompetent, but I had no idea. 9/11 happened. You did the right thing (well, other than stopping it, but maybe no one could have stopped it, no matter what that PDB said.) You invaded the right country, our boys and girls did good work there. They're still doing good work there, let's throw them some more support. It's just that in the days right after 9/11 when you asked your folks to find a link to Iraq, I guessed you were just covering all the bases.
Those cool guys you surrounded yourself with, did you know they were planning a way to get to Iraq for years? Maybe you did, maybe you didn't, maybe you don't even care. One thing is for certain, I think you got hoodwinked.
I thought the whole thing was suspicious way back when, but you know me, I decided to follow with a fine toothed comb. I remember watching the entire Colin Powell presentation to the United Nations. My Marine friend and I decided to watch it together (we are on slightly opposite sides but love to debate and concede points to each other, maybe you should try that with people you don't agree with, it's brought us closer together, but whatevs,) both interested in the outcome.
He watched because there was already a stop-loss and he knew that if we invaded, he'd be going. I watched it because I hadn't been convinced by the evidence you'd presented so far to go to Iraq. I figured that for SURE you'd pull out the big guns and drop the real evidence. Nothin' doing. I turned to my Marine friend and said, "I really hope there's something they're not telling us, because this isn't good enough." He agreed, he thought there MUST be something you were holding back. Turns out there wasn't.
Everyone around me was so gung-ho about the Iraq thing, they really were. Even though you later said you DIDN'T say there was a link between the awful events of 9/11 and Iraq, you totally did and so did your dawgs. Like, alot. Lots of people believed that. There was the weapons of mass destruction arguments, the idea that spreading democracy by force would make a better region, getting rid of a bad bad guy (though, if he was so bad, why did you guys hang the Kurds out to dry in the 92 uprising?) and that we had to engage in a proactive rather than reactive fight. I kinda think you used us, you used our patriotism and our trust. That was kinda mean.
In March of 2003 I was pretty bummed. It was clear that we were, no matter what, going to go into Iraq. I remember there were so many people that I worked with that were teasing me about my views. Like a Cassandra, I went around telling anyone who would listen that this was a bad idea, that this war would be very long and very bloody. I would mention that sixty years after WWII, we were still in Okinawa, and it was likely that we'd be in Iraq a minimum of 5 years, likely 10 years, and probably far, far longer.
I said that the Sunni and the Shi'ia, long played against each other under the Hussein regime, would take the opportunity to power grab and that those long simmering animosities would boil over into sectarian violence. After we totally dissed them, who was to say what kind of reception we'd get from the Kurds?
I said that the country would fall apart soon after invasion and we'd be responsible for the crumbling infrastructure, that we'd get the blame if it wasn't fixed right fast. No one believed me.
My marine friend and I got into an argument a few weeks before invasion, right before he shipped out for Pendelton. I said that I didn't want to send other mother's sons and daughters to die for nothing. He was angry because he said this is what they'd been training for since forever and who was I to say that I didn't want other people's sons and daughters to have to go. We eventually came to an understanding. I'd send him lemon poppyseed cake at Pendelton. He went, he served honorably and did great work, came back safely and married the coolest chick.
That's why when your right hand man said "I don't think anybody anticipated the level of violence that we've encountered," I got really, really angry. I DID, I ANTICIPATED IT. A chick who has a BA in History and that works for the Internet anticipated it. What is wrong with our government when some nobody like me KNEW what would happen when YOU DIDN'T. I guess I don't get that.
It's just that if you want to fight terrorists, maybe you shouldn't pick a place and out of hubris, create them. Bygones. Do I think we should leave? Nope. Like Colin Powell said way back when you were hell-bent on this thing, it's Pottery Barn, you break it, you buy it. And we've bought it (177 million a day.)
I also hate when people say that we should not protest you. Of course we should. YOU WORK FOR ME, for my neighbors, for the soldiers, for all the moms and dads. You are accountable to me. There are things that you've done that I'm mostly ok with, but there is a whole lot that is just not cool. That's why, when it's time for a performance review, and you're in my neck of the woods, I thought it was time to discuss your progress. 'Cause I have some issues.
So sorry I couldn't make it. I'm cooking another patriot down here and it's feeling selfish these days. I guess it's more interested in local politics than international strategems right now. I dig, I do.
p.s. Don't you love my muu-muu? My blog is totally magical. I wished for a muu-muu and it appeared at my door last night, straight from Northern Mexico. I wonder what I should wish for next...