Reading at the Crossroads

Reading at the Crossroads is an archive for columns and letters which appeared in the Terre Haute Tribune Star. I also blog here when my patience is exhausted by what I feel is irritating, irrational and/or ironic in life. --gary daily

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Location: Terre Haute, Indiana, United States

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Monday, February 20, 2006

CROSSROADS COMMENT -- A Deafening Silence


Why is it so quiet at the Crossroads? When will we hear about the war again?

There is a disquieting silence around here. Nothing much about Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney and the gung-ho war gang Americans voted into power--at least once.

So why is it so quiet? Has some kind of battle fatigue set in? Is this what happens when you feel like you are stuck in the quagmire of a war without end? Is this how we cope, how we tune out the sounds of sorrow created by the heart rending deaths and horrendous casualties that continue to pile up?

Why is it so quiet when ex-CIA and State Department officials who were present at the scene of the beginning of the crime that is this war report that data was misused by the Bush administration to get us into war? These officials were standing near Cheney's elbow when that mighty hunter mendaciously proclaimed Saddam's weapons of mass destruction threatened us-- right now. Since then, these and others in the Bush asminstration have decided that they no longer could remain silent.

But they're not speaking for us. Only we can do that.

Why are we so quiet? Is it because we feel cornered, led into a cruel box of an unwinnable war lined with mirrors reflecting our policy lies and tactical failures? Are we silenced by what we see in those mirrors? Struck dumb by the reflections of a disaster partially of our own making, our own failure to ask necessary and hard questions of leaders who have failed to lead?

We pursue policies ignoring reason, history, and culture. And a deteriorating nightmare unfolds before us. Each day, each night, we turn away from the DVD of death, violence and destruction that should control our attention, move us to speak and act. Yet we sit mute. Why?

It's so very quiet. Is this quiet what Bush and the war machine around him is counting on? When Senator Bayh, one of the many leaders who failed to question the false and inflated information waved in his face hears nothing from us, does he interpret this silence as a form of permission and acceptance of the war? Is this why our representatives in Congress, Republican loyalists, but nearly every Democrat as well, feels free to pussyfoot around their gullible, silent blindness in the past? Why are they so quiet?

Why isn't there loud and continuous concern for the flesh and blood tragedy of sending more and more young and vital Americans into a many-sided war that cannot be won, a war that will have no winners, ever, no matter how long it drags on? The monetary waste in Iraq shows up in our sky rocketing national debt and we shrug it off; brave lives lost and courageous lives broken in battle can never be summed up, can never be ignored, will always be honored . But why are we so quiet about the lives that will be ended, will be broken, next week, or next month or next year?

And why do we remain quiet now that our reason for being in Iraq has been switched still again, turned into a war for pie-in-the-sky, cheer-leading, feel good objectives such as riding the country of the tyrant Saddam and "democratization." Saddams come and go in this world. And democracy is a fine ideal, but it's only an abstraction in the context of Iraq's history and the internal realities of religious differences within that sad, beleagured collection of peoples and warring religious sects.

In red state Indiana and red county Vigo, most people saw the Iraq War as a necessary action that would protect them from W.M.D.s. Why so quiet now that we have been swindled by Bush's Scare and Switch tactics?

And why are we so quiet about how the United States has inflicted deep wounds upon the bodies and the memories of the people living within the artificial borders of Iraq? Why are we quiet about what those wounds and memories mean for our foreign policy in the long future? Do we truly believe we are making lasting friends and supporters with the family clans of Iraq, the families that equate our intervention in their lives with the bombs of war, the deaths and injuries of war, the deprivation of war and Abu Ghraib?

These Iraqis have long memories and will not be quiet in our lifetimes.

We are quiet, far too quiet about all this and more.

When asked by those who have a political and ideological stake in the false and failed policy of interventionism: So, what would you do now, give up and abandon Iraq? We should scream in indignation for an immediate withdrawl from the scene of our high level policy crimes.

Voices, ours and our elected officials, should be loud and unrelenting in the expression of how it is wrong and cowardly to continue to send the best of our nation's women and men up and down roads lined with lethal and maiming bombs.

Clear voices, voices expressing our anger and our outrage, should speak the truth, the hard truth that the road we chose and continue to follow in Iraq leads nowhere.

Why is everyone so quiet, so silent, so mute, so blind, so passively accepting of a war that is so deafening in its consequences?

1 Comments:

Anonymous J. Spann & friends said...

Right on Gary!

8:18 PM  

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