At first it was the "cakewalk" war. That morphed into "when we capture Saddam." Then, we heard "after the elections" followed by the nauseatingly platitudinous "we won’t step down ’til they step up."
Now, it’s the "long war" or the "Global War on Terror." Translation: The never-ending war.
How many deployments does it take to psychologically destroy a Marine? For some, it’s one or two. For others, it’s three or four.
How many deployments until a soldier just says "no" and crosses the border into Canada or goes missing in America?
How many deployments until a soldier decides that suicide is better than going back to back in Iraq. Or back to back to back to back?
The recruitment requirement for soldiers will be never-ending. Because never-ending war means never-ending injuries, both physical and psychological. Because never-ending war means never-ending death.
Ret. Gen. Tommy Franks recently told members of the NRA that the number of American troops killed in Iraq means little compared to the threat of terrorism. He even went so far as to stretch the more than 2,450 now dead to 24,000 or 240,000 possible deaths as acceptable in this never-ending war.
If Franks is preparing us for the long haul of transfer tubes and flag-draped coffins, someone needs to remind this co-planner of the failed invasion and occupation that the terrorists who attacked us on September 11, 2001 were not from Iraq and that Saddam Hussein had no link to al-Qaeda. Tommy already knows this, of course, but his Medal of Freedom is the gift that keeps on giving-the one that came with so many strings attached. Those are the strings that George Bush pulls when he needs his backup band to connect the war with 9/11.
Our Messianic Decider recently said: "It’s really important for those who wear our uniform and the enemy and the people of Iraq to know that the United States of American will complete the mission and in so doing will make our country more secure and be laying the foundation for peace."
Someone needs to nudge George and tell him that those of us who are heartbroken from never-ending grief caused by never-ending death caused by never-ending war are sick of his never-ending lies.
Tony Blair and George Bush’s concessions of mistakes in Iraq are meaningless especially when followed by the excuse that they underestimated the "determination of our opponents to defeat us." These "opponents" are the people whose hearts and minds we were supposed to win but swiftly lost when we wreaked never-ending havoc on their cities and their culture.
Our Onward Christian Soldiers march to never-ending war has been and will be a never-ending catastrophe.
Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She’s written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she’s a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a novel last year, but since the death of her nephew, Marine Lance Cpl. Chase J. Comley, in Iraq on August 6,’05, she has been writing political articles. She can be reached at: Missybeat@aol.com