The plan that the President outlined, way back when he was just running for President, was a sound one at the time. It came across as very logical and methodical. The problem was, and remains to this day, that the reality of getting out of Iraq is a hell of a lot more difficult than it looked. We are still there, and every drop of American blood spilled into Iraqi soil makes it that much harder to leave. Our men and women have been dying in that hellish desert for decades — generations — and it’s a hard, bitter pill to swallow, the idea that it was for nothing.
President Obama has said repeatedly that he wanted to end the war in Iraq and bring our troops home. It’s been one of his primary goals from the beginning. It has taken seven years of battling constant partisan in-fighting just to get to the point where we could even begin to discuss peace with one of the other major players in the region, Iran.
It completely blows my mind to hear Fox News, and even some more moderate news sources, continually attack President Obama as if his stance and actions in the Middle East are some new and bizarre personality anomaly. They blame the man for following through with his promise, as much as realistically able, and they blame him for the resulting destabilization in the Middle East. They blame him for not telling Iran to just fuck off and joining forces with Israel to take over that part of the world and just deal with the aftermath later. They blame him for trying (and failing, I admit) to put together a better National Healthcare system instead of putting our soldiers right back into the war machine for another two or three generations.
It is because of our sustained war efforts that our nation is seeing the collapse of our infrastructure, the collapse of our educational system, the collapse of our middle class into complete poverty and the rising tide of homelessness across every city in America. Our veterans come home wounded, both physically and psychologically, and left to the devices of an antiquated Veteran’s Administration that is hopelessly overwhelmed by sheer numbers.
What is amazing is that we have the ability to change everything. We always have; we just somehow lost sight of that fact somewhere along the way. Each of us, in our own way, allows the media, and relentless corporate advertising, to manipulate us into believing what they want, when they want. It only takes five minutes worth of research to discover that CNN is owned by Time Warner, roughly the third largest multinational communications company in the world. They also own HBO, Turner Broadcasting and Warner Brothers. So, think about exactly how much of what we see and hear every single day is controlled by just this one corporation.
We have to wake up to the fact that we, each and every one of us, still has control over our own lives and the ability to think and feel for ourselves. I sometimes give myself headaches trying to shake out and keep out the mental cobwebs these media and corporate spiders weave.
I take comfort in the knowledge that smoke can be dissipated and mirrors redirected.