I'll admit, I am far behind in my news gathering, but I am currently in the process of watching the CNN YouTube Democratic debates. There have been several things that have been said that I'm sure I will address eventually but since this is the most provocative question in politics today this is the one I'll address first.
When it comes to war in general and especially right now in Iraq, the arguments are basic although we do our best to complicate them. Do we A) fight, stay, deploy, fund in efforts to militarily enforce our views of democracy in a nation where they don't truly want it or do we B) preserve the lives of our troops and the nation's finances and make this a diplomatic fight - one done through words and the U.N. and treaties and trial and error?
The problem with option A is that people who disagree with the goal of the war feel that people are dying in vain.
The problem with option B is that people are far more responsive to bloodshed than words.
The question now is do we stay - knowing that this is in the process of turning into another Vietnam - and hope to God that our troops can make a difference before too many more die? Or do we pull out - knowing that this action will undercut the intentions behind the war - and admit that we, the United States of America, tried and failed?
My personal opinion is that we should do the latter, pull out, cut our losses, mourn for our troops, welcome them home and let the U.N. handle it from here.
Part of the reason could be that I just watched The Interpreter, which for those of you who don't know is a movie about a woman who interprets for the United Nations and who overhears a threat on an African political leader's life.
In the movie, she talks about how she believes in the U.N. and believes in what it stands for. Communication. As a journalist and an expressive personality, I can't help but be yoked to that. Communication.
Now, before you call me unpatriotic, I come from a military family. My uncle and grandfather are both retired Air force, my cousin is active duty Air Force, my other cousin is active duty Coast Guard. I have a friend who was in the National Guard and has thought about re-enlisting but he is afraid to because he has a son and doesn't want to go to Iraq. I had to think about what to say to him, how to advise him. It wasn't theoretical, it's his life. I have numerous girl friends whose boyfriends are overseas. It's very close to home to me.
I support the military. I believe that sometimes it is necessary to fight. And when all of this started, even in my limited understanding, I thought it was time for us to fight. But I also believe that sometimes mistakes are made, things get out of hand and sometimes we just can't do it alone. It has spiraled out of control. Let's try a different approach.