Now Playing: Lietta Ruger at Washblog
Topic: Members Speak Out
Deal with it; KING 5 interview w/ Haditha Marine in WA
The incident began November 19 when the Humvee that North Bend, Wash. native Lance Cpl. James Crossan was riding in was blown up by a roadside bomb.
Think issue of Iraq doesn't affect everyday life in our fine state of Washington? Think selectively ignoring the reality of WAR because it's too hard to grasp the inevitabilities of combatant war is a good way to cope with a reality-based issue? Wonder why I feel the need to continue to demand leadership from U.S. Senators of Washington state? And I wonder why more Washingtonian's don't feel as strong a need while the political football game continues to be played as a 'game' in the face of 'war'.
Did folks really think ignoring that our troops are sent into combat in 2nd and 3rd and 4th deployments wouldn't come home to roost in your hometown? How about when I asked Sen. Cantwell at my second opportunity to meet with her, May 6, 2006 about the two Fort Lewis Rangers who were killed in their 6th deployment and she didn't know a thing about it. And once she realized I was citing a link; Tacoma News Tribune;March 22, 2006; Two Ft Lewis Army Rangers killed in Iraq on 6th deployment article, she made a stab at ignorance 'how could they be on 6th deployment when the war has only been 3 yrs. That would mean the war would be in 6th year'
My reaction probably didn't help enlighten her much, but my astonishment at her lack of knowledge of military combat deployments in her own state astonished me into an astonished response. What I said was 'Maria, they're Rangers and combat deployments are combat deployments'. What was left unsaid by me was that combat deployments whether 3 months at a time or a year at a time are still 'combat deployments' where death happens on all sides. What I failed to respond to in my own astonishment was to point out the very real impact on a human being in a trauma-based killing, carnage and combat situation continues to live on manifesting the natural human reaction response to trauma for years to come, in our own communities here in Washington state.
Not a great way to help our U.S. Senator better understand the situation, I agree, but then, you know I would have actually expected the Senator to know more about the circumstances that directly affect some of her constituents in an issue of our country at war. And I would have actually expected that if she didn't or doesn't know, that she would listen to those of us who might have more direct knowledge since we are so directly impacted by this war. Yeah, us military families, who live with this freakin war while others are 'drinking liberally' and finding the stimulating fun in blogging.
Guess you can tell I'm extremely upset, and it probably reflects in my writing. I can only guess now at how people and media and blogs will react to Haditha, along with the other incidents that will be unveiled. But then I lived as a young military wife with a husband returning from Vietnam, so it won't be too hard to guess at some possible reactions.
You're willing to have the 2 returning Iraq veterans in my family be redeployed to this carnage? Expand that to mean returning any of the returning Iraq veterans to this horrific, undefined mission as an agreement with the Dem position of 'transition in 2006; when the Iraqi security stands up our troops can stand down'. You're willing to send in fresh new troops? Oh, you did catch the news that additional troops were just sent in, some fresh for the first time, some on repeat deployments. As in fresh out of high school, a high school perhaps in your community? How courageous is that and doesn't that make you complicit somehow in failing to do what we expect our U.S. troops to do in having integrity, courage on the battlefield, honor and dignity in the act of killing, maiming and carnage?
You do have a job as citizens in this upside down political relationship when our country decides to deploy military into combat. An old model I learned growing up as a military brat was a triangular model regarding war. A prepared military intended to PREVENT war. In war, a Commander-in-Chief with responsibility to the actual Constitution, to the deployed military troops and to the citizens. Military troops with responsibility to the Constitution and subsequent to that the Commander-in-Chief and subsequent to that the citizens. Citizens have a responsibility to the military troops by fully expecting and demanding the Commander-in-Chief respect and fulfill the responsibility to the Constitution and to the military troops he has put into combat on a war footing. Congress factors into this equation with both responsibilities and accountabilities of the same.
When that model is broken as it is in this circumstance with war in Iraq (and was with war in Vietnam), then I damn well do expect legislators to fulfill their end of the contract as representative of citizens of this country. And they damn well know they have responsibilities to live up to when they act in concert to send troops into combat. When it becomes apparant that legislators are not acting in good faith, what is left then is the citizens. And if the citizens are choosing not to act, then what is left?
Can you dare wonder why I expect more from our U.S. Senators, specifically Sen. Cantwell, and yes, I'm looking now at Sen. Murray who recently provided a lukewarm response on her position on the war; link; The Olympian; May 31, 2006;Iraq dominates talk during Murray visit .
Murray stayed away from taking a firm position on the U.S. future in Iraq, saying she voted against starting the war but has voted to help its veterans. She insisted that the next step for the United States is far from easy to discern in a war she estimated has cost
She said she personally witnessed Baghdad's devastated infrastructure and has spoken to generals who say infrastructure repairs are needed to bring security to the region. "That is a completely different strategy ... and it's something the American people need to discuss and debate," Murray said. "I think the president should redefine the mission and have a debate on it.'
Can you dare to wonder why I feel disgust with the political haranguing that argues in favor of doing nothing while folks argue we have to try to put Dems in power positions with no assurances whatsoever they will ACT in leadership on a life and death issue? Don't upset the Dem applecart cause we would get the other party candidate, so shhhh, keep still and just wait - you'll see.
What? What will I see?
Young readers who didn't live through Vietnam, can't expect you to know that 'history'. Since it isn't a high priority in school curriculums, can't expect you to know 'of it historically'. Ignorance is not bliss, however, and you don't get a pass because you didn't know better. Someday it will be your own children asking you the questions about what you did during this critical juncture in history. You can answer you were too busy making a living, going to college, studies, building a career and family but that you cared. And you will teach them to do the same should they face another critical juncture in history.
Older readers who have the history of Vietnam, (and this Administration does have a history of Vietnam, well enough to know what not to repeat and how to lull citizens to sleep) shame on you for taking our young to a new Vietnam. Doesn't matter what side of the argument or political party talking points you ascribe to, it was always bigger than politics and your legacy will live on; what did you do during this critical period?
What will you do tomorrow different than you did today to bring this horror to an end?
Keep quiet? Please don't, and if you make the choice to keep still till Nov elections, appreciate that 350 more U.S. troops will die by then (at the statistical rate of 2 a day are dying in the war) along with uncounted numbers of Iraqi citizens. Let that be on your heads come election day when you celebrate in victory parties the incredible work of getting your candidate elected or re-elected. And with no promises a Dem in power in Congress will assure any shift or difference for war in Iraq, except the continued cowardice already being shown, the death rates will continue to climb.
Depressing? You bet it is, and feeling hopeless, helpless? Then DO SOMETHING EMPOWERING and stop being Fearmericans.
To those of you who are doing something or believe you are doing something to hasten an end, and get our kids out of this war (extension of that is reduce the killing of kids in Iraq) I thank you and sincerely mean it from the depths of my heart. To those of you ignoring what is staring you in the face, it's not too late...