Well the unjust war has ended. The work continues. The problems are not solved. The troops responded to the call honorably.
I wrote a letter to The Western Star in March 2003 before the war began, but President Bush didn't read it. Or if he did, he ignored it.
Here is the letter, which followed an editorial the week before about patriotism.
March 5, 2003
I agree with your editorial comment about dissent being patriotic. It is hard to speak out against war when those who do so are criticized as being pro-terrorist. No one denies that Saddam Hussein is evil, or that he needs to be removed from power. But why is war the answer?
When we see or hear of violence among young people, everyone agrees that people need to be taught, at an early age, about conflict resolution, that violence is not the answer. Yet, what kind of example are our leaders setting for them when they have tunnel vision that can only focus on war? They are saying that violence is the only answer and do not want to give diplomacy and inspections a chance. Either they are blinded by this “ratings grabbing” war and their desire to control more of the world’s oil, or they just don’t have the brain power to think of any other way to resolve this crisis.
We hear over and over that terrorism is the enemy, yet the worst terrorist in the world hunkers down and hides for a year or so, and we forget all about him, while he regroups and makes plans for more acts against us. How many times have you heard President Bush speak of Osama bin Laden in the last year? All he had to do is hide and he is forgotten.
Saddam will probably do the same thing…we tear up his country, he tosses a few chemical weapons at our troops or Israel, killing our troops and our allies, then he can go into hiding for a while so we can forget about him.
How many of those leaders, from the president on down, have a son or daughter in the armed forces that is on the way or already in the Middle East? Probably none. I would be willing to bet that a large majority of citizens whose children or spouses are about to enter this war are not for it. Yet they, and the rest of us, find ourselves in the position of being loyal and supportive to our troops, while not supporting the cause for which they might die.
If we find, through war, that Saddam has no weapons of mass destruction, we will have spent billions of dollars and killed thousands to discover what we could have learned through peaceful means. If fact if he does have weapons of mass destruction, no one thinks we will be able to find and destroy all of them before he has used them on someone, somewhere. Iraq is like Pandora’s Box, and by opening it who knows what the consequences will be.
Unfortunately, we will probably soon find out.
Then the war started and two weeks later the Western Star published another of my letters.
March 26, 2003
The war against Iraq has begun and our attention must now focus on supporting our troops and praying that this conflict will end quickly with minimal loss of life.
We do not know how far the effects of this war will reach, so let us remember in our thoughts and prayers not only for our soldiers and their loved ones, but those who are affected throughout the world, including the innocent citizens of Iraq, who have already suffered through two recent wars and years of repression and sanctions.
As we learn of the tragedies and casualties of this war, let us use this as motivation to become adherents of nonviolence, and to study the works of Gandhi and King, who taught us that we must be the change we wish to see in the world.
President Obama was very generous in his speech last night, avoiding placing blame for the unjust invasion or saying "I told you so" about the weapons of mass destruction or the obvious truths about Iraq not being responsible for 9-11 or any of the other made up reasons that the prior administration used do fight "daddy's war."
I'll just be generous too, other than that last paragraph, and wish only the best for the troops returning home, that they will be able to return to normal life, and for those who are being re-deployed to Afghanistan, I wish you safe passage and a quick resolve to the conflict in that country so that you, too, can return home safely, soon.
And let's not forget the 50,000 troops that remain in Iraq. We hope for your safety and await your return home as well.