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.