Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Liberal's View of War

Let me start by saying yes I am against war, ANY war. I am a mother. I certainly don't want MY son in harm's way nor anyone else's for that matter, regardless of what god they believe in. That said, last October I was approached by ARMED FORCES ENTERTAINMENT to produce a comedy tour in the Middle East. One stipulation, they wanted me to perform to on the tour. And you know what? This little old anti-war mommy jumped in with both feet.
My father is a Korean War veteran. He is almost 80 years old and still can't bring himself to fully discuss what happened to him. So I always wanted to go overseas to perform for the troops. To give some laughs in a very tense atmosphere. To honor my dad and his friends who never returned home. But I didn't want to leave my young son, on the off chance I didn't make it back. Cut to this fall, my son's turning 18 in a few months, now's the time. So here was this menopausal, jewish, liberal going off to Kuwait and Iraq. What Empty Nest syndrome?
Besides being one of the best experiences of my life I also learned a few things. Back home we, myself included, are under the misguided notion that our troops don't want to be fighting or even be there. Let me set this straight....the entire time I was in Iraq there was not ONE WORD of discontent. And I had time to talk to quite a few soldiers. Did they miss their families? Absolutely! I go away for the weekend and I'm homesick. But the feeling that I got was that this was their job. They chose a life in the military. And they're smart as a whip. Are they bloodthirsty savages, enjoying the killings they are forced to do? Once again, no. But if you have someone throw a bomb at a stryker and it injures some of your buddies, you damn well are going out to find who did it and make them pay. Maybe it's the Brooklyn in me, but I have always been an eye for an eye kinda gal.
As a liberal, I have to say that we are still stuck in a Vietnam mindset of these "poor boys" were made to go over. That's what I thought and I was proven wrong over and over. Are they children? Yes, they are, but they have a sense of duty and loyalty that you just can't teach in Little League. I was so in awe of these men and women, not much older than my own son doing their duty to their country. Teenagers were flying the C-130 I went to Iraq in. TEENAGERS!
Now do I think we should be there? NO. War is nasty & horrific, but no matter how evolved humans become someone is gonna want something that they can't have and end up fighting for it. The Middle East has been fighting amongst themselves for many years, they don't want a resolution. They just want to argue...sorta like Congress. Now that we ARE there, we have to step up to the plate and finish the job, regardless of who started it. That's my biggest problem with the media and politicians both LEFT and Right. No one wants to resolve anything, just dig their feet in and say..NO YOU'RE WRONG. There is no solution, just more fighting. In that way America is JUST LIKE the Middle East. My point here is, while these grownup "children" are arguing who's right and who's wrong, real CHILDREN are being put in harm's way. And that's what's wrong with war.

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