An IED exploded in my family’s living room

Dear Mr. President,

A couple of days ago, you said, “We’re not winning…but we’re not losing” the Iraq war. Nevertheless, when asked by a reporter if you were “still willing to follow a path that seems to be in opposition to the will of the American people,” you answered in the affirmative. 

Your words, Mr. President, were astoundingly obstinate: “I am willing to follow a path that leads to victory, and that’s exactly why we’re conducting the review we are. Victory in Iraq is achievable….And our objective is to put a plan in place that achieves that success. I’m often asked about public opinion. Of course, I want public opinion to support the efforts. I understand that. But, Jim, I also understand the consequences of failure…” 

I felt certain a rebuffed American populace would take to the streets. But we didn’t. Dutiful, complacent citizens that we are, we headed to the mall, heeding our Commander-in-Chief’s command that we “go shopping.” 

And so it is that you continue your march toward “victory,” accompanied by drummers that echo in your head but that are dog-whistle silent to the rest of us. 

Meanwhile, an IED from your calamitous war just exploded in my family’s midst. My brother-in-law, who’s well into his forties and serves in the Reserves, has been called to Iraq. This means he will have to put my sister, who’s bedridden with Muscular Sclerosis, into a nursing home so she’ll have the necessary care he has, to this point, lovingly provided. As you no doubt already know, our military is stretched so thin that commanders are now calling up (and recalling) recruits and reserves from the bottom of the barrel. “Hardship” deferments or shortened tours of duty? Those are relics of a bygone era, reserved for you and other members of the silver-spooned elite who are now waging this war on the back of citizens who can barely afford to eat pork and beans off paper plates.

Tell me please, Mr. President, where I can buy a little more time together for my brother-in-law and his family…or if that’s not possible, how about letting me borrow some of (inexplicable) your peace of mind? And if you can focus your attentions for a while longer, would you please also explain how many more sacrifices you’ll require of us (and of our Iraqi brethren), in support of your ill-conceived, wrongly-executed, and unnecessary war?

Regardless of your wreckless words or misguided actions, I’m still optimistic enough to pray for peace and believe it’s possible. I’ll just need to accompany those prayers with a fervent wish that wisdom be granted to you, our Congressional representatives, and all others who are responsible for your oversight. God bless us, and help us, every one.


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64 Comments

  1. I’m so sorry.

    “You see, our military is stretched so thin that military leaders are now dredging recruits and reserves from the bottom of the barrel.”

    They are? I know of several people in the reserves who are hoping to be called up, but haven’t been yet. I wish one of them could take your brother-in-law’s place.

    • I mean no disrespect to your friends’ wishes, but I hope they’re never realized. Instead, I’d like to see ALL of our troops withdrawn from the region. Peace, I want peace….

      😛

  2. I’m so sorry.

    “You see, our military is stretched so thin that military leaders are now dredging recruits and reserves from the bottom of the barrel.”

    They are? I know of several people in the reserves who are hoping to be called up, but haven’t been yet. I wish one of them could take your brother-in-law’s place.

  3. I thought I replied earlier, but it must have gotten booted.

    I am so sorry to hear about your brother in law. A man who so is so generous does not deserve to have to go. And your poor sister.

    And all in the name of one man’s ego. Makes me wonder, is victory really even winning? And why is that so important anyway?

  4. I thought I replied earlier, but it must have gotten booted.

    I am so sorry to hear about your brother in law. A man who so is so generous does not deserve to have to go. And your poor sister.

    And all in the name of one man’s ego. Makes me wonder, is victory really even winning? And why is that so important anyway?

  5. I can’t believe this…I’m utterly speechless…

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently. Why is this still going on? When is it going to end?

    I usually don’t place my political views on the table, but I do not like what he’s doing with our country. And now that this is happening to your family and effecting one of my friend’s family (you), I feel sick to my stomach. I really do =/

    I’m going to keep you and your family, and especially your brother-in-law and sister, in my prayers.

    **huggs**

    • It’s good to see someone from your generation thinking about this. I have the feeling your voices will make the difference! That means risking putting your political views on the table and in the streets, I know. Scary, but not as scary as the situation we’re finding ourselves in.

      THank you so much for the prayers and the hugs!

    • It’s good to see someone from your generation thinking about this. I have the feeling your voices will make the difference! That means risking putting your political views on the table and in the streets, I know. Scary, but not as scary as the situation we’re finding ourselves in.

      THank you so much for the prayers and the hugs!

  6. I’m so sorry your sister and brother-in-law are suffering for that man’s arrogance and delusions. And you’re right, Melodye, about wondering when we’ll rise up and demand an end to this. What are we waiting for?

    • I have no idea what we’re waiting for…the apocolypse? ‘Cause it sure feels like we’re headed for it, unless we take a sharp turn away from our current course. But thank you so much for reaching out to touch me with your sympathies. I appreciate that.

    • I have no idea what we’re waiting for…the apocolypse? ‘Cause it sure feels like we’re headed for it, unless we take a sharp turn away from our current course. But thank you so much for reaching out to touch me with your sympathies. I appreciate that.

  7. This is the best statement against war and our president’s foolishly stubbron inability to admit the truth: Not only is the war unwinable, it has already been lost. We don’t need more of our people to die and for their families to suffer that loss to prove it.

    • There are many, many tragic stories about the war and our warriors, don’t you think? The saddest part is that we’ve got a very short attention span as a nation, which means we don’t bother to put them together to get the larger, uglier picture. If we did, I feel certain Americans would hit the streets with pitchforks and lit torches.

    • There are many, many tragic stories about the war and our warriors, don’t you think? The saddest part is that we’ve got a very short attention span as a nation, which means we don’t bother to put them together to get the larger, uglier picture. If we did, I feel certain Americans would hit the streets with pitchforks and lit torches.

  8. I’m so sorry, Melodye.

    There are so many wrongs in so many places that it almost seems our choices are limited to sitting in a corner wringing our hands, or putting our collective head in the sand and…going shopping.

    Solving all the problems is way too big for one person…yet, I can’t help but wonder what would happen if each and every one of us determined to solve one of the problems that impacts most closely the world that ‘we’ live in.

    If each of us worked within our own sphere of influence to bring about one change…just one…would not the edges of our overlapping efforts make a significant difference in the bigger picture?

    Although you and I have never met – I sense the same kind of world-changing passion in your heart that I carry in my own. Our causes may not always be the same…but I’m so glad to know I have sisters like you who (like me) are beating the drum for a better place to live and raise families.

    Seriously…as suggested by a previous commentator, your post needs to be read in a larger venue. How about a letter to your elected representatives cc’d to the Governor’s office, the White House, and your local media?

    • You’ve got me pegged, there’s no doubt about that. I am a fierce advocate for justice and peace, and I’m willing to take on causes (remember the bill I got passed here in CA this year, for example?) when I feel I can make a difference. But this feels so, so huge, and so hugely important. I keep picking around the edges, trying to figure out where I would even start to use my energies, my focus, my resources.

      • Yes – I definitely remember the bill you got passed here in CA. That happened just around the time I first encountered you on line. The work you did was amazing, and proves that one person can make a measurable difference! I believe the passions that burn in us the hottest are our Divine Calling. When one carries such a passion, the question can legitimately be asked: If not YOU, then WHO?

        One of the many workshops I’ve been part of this year was one in Sacramento on Advocacy and Lobbying. You’ve DONE that…so no doubt you know this…but perhaps a reminder is in order as we ALL tend to lose sight of details: The Governor’s office has on staff, people whose job it is to monitor public opinion. Any time you send a letter to anyone in authority, cc the Governor – your voice counts. It is ‘assumed’ that for every letter that actually gets written, 10,000 others feel the same way – and simply failed to pick up a pen. I suspect that if Governors have public opinion monitoring staff, so do Presidents.

        Melodye, you have a gift. Your letter regarding your brother-in-law and his wife, puts a human face on the war issue. When you tell the story, it becomes personal. Where to start is actually the easy part…the only place anyone can start is where we are – and work outward from there.

        You live in one of the most influential areas of California (a hugely influential state.) You have influential friends. Your influential friends have even more influential friends – and on it goes. The voice of one person can be to one issue as is the flick of a single cigarette to a SoCAL forest fire – it just may take a little longer.

        If I can help, let me know. As ‘part of your network’ – my network is available to you. I, too, have influential friends.

      • I recently read an article that all the industries in the US are shrinking– except for healthcare. Healthcare is growing very rapidly.

        I hope they come up with a pill for stupidity soon.

        I really appreciate your posts about this issue. It amazes me that people can still justify the war.

  9. NO
    WAY
    NO
    WAY
    NO
    WAY

    Sending a 40something for THAT PIECE o’ ^%#?
    Hey BUSH
    You have two OF AGE daughters with lots of free time on their hands

    HELLO????

    GEORGE???

    GEORRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGREEEEEEEE???

    NO WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY, Melodye

    I AM SO angry

    I will be more coherent later but for now

    I don’t know how to make nice-nice

    %$#@#*&^%@!

    -8:42AM-

    • I don’t want to send his daughters…though it would be poetic justice, I think it’s insanity (ahem) to send anyone else over to Iraq. We need to bring everyone — EVERYONE — home.

      (HUGS)

      • You’re right. Forgive me G-d and forgive me, Melodye, for even thinking of sending two more of anyone to a place we should not be.

        I am so sorry I flipped off without a rational response. You are a symbol of all that is wise in this world as your perfectly-worded letter demonstrates.

        I hope your letter is in the mail today. This letter must not be restricted and read solely by those of us who dwell here in this LJ.

        Your family is ever in my prayers.

        This is not going down easily with me. I’m sorry. I am never at a loss for words but this entry cut my soul into a thousand jagged, angry pieces.

  10. NO
    WAY
    NO
    WAY
    NO
    WAY

    Sending a 40something for THAT PIECE o’ ^%#?
    Hey BUSH
    You have two OF AGE daughters with lots of free time on their hands

    HELLO????

    GEORGE???

    GEORRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGREEEEEEEE???

    NO WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY, Melodye

    I AM SO angry

    I will be more coherent later but for now

    I don’t know how to make nice-nice

    %$#@#*&^%@!

    -8:42AM-

  11. At least you respect him enough to address him as ‘Mr. President’. He lost that title to me when he invaded Iraq under false pretenses. Personally, I call him dickhead.
    I’ll send prayers for your BIL & his family – I guess every little bit can help.
    But what can you expect? The country is run by arms’ and oil dealers. They’re ridin’ high on obscene profits while cannon fodder is shipped over to stir up the silt over in the Middle East. Until there is enough outrage to vote every oil and arms’ dealer out of the white house, there isn’t much that’s going to change.
    (((((HUGS)))))

  12. At least you respect him enough to address him as ‘Mr. President’. He lost that title to me when he invaded Iraq under false pretenses. Personally, I call him dickhead.
    I’ll send prayers for your BIL & his family – I guess every little bit can help.
    But what can you expect? The country is run by arms’ and oil dealers. They’re ridin’ high on obscene profits while cannon fodder is shipped over to stir up the silt over in the Middle East. Until there is enough outrage to vote every oil and arms’ dealer out of the white house, there isn’t much that’s going to change.
    (((((HUGS)))))

  13. Melodye ~ I’m so sorry for you, your brother-in law and your family. My thoughts and prayers to all of you. Bush and Cheney’s handling of this war has shown such a high level of disrespect for service members and their families. Take care.

  14. I pray that God will wrap his loving arms around your brother-in-law and protect him in a very special way. May he also wrap those same arms around your sister and all of your family. This is my prayer today and for each day that he is away.

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