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

The material I post on this blog represents my views and mine alone. The material you post on this blog represents your views and yours alone.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Sky Over Baghdad After Five Years

Senator Evan Bayh and Senator Hillary Clinton will be in Terre Haute tomorrow. Their votes supported this five years and counting war. Like most of us they listened to lies, lies from the Bush war machine and lies they told themselves. Because we listened, and because some still listen and believe those lies, act on those lies, we can call the Iraq war a human tragedy.

Tonight, as we rededicate ourselves to peace, we also recognize those who served and are serving in the military in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of those may have chosen to be with us tonight. Some may choose to be as far away as they can get from this determined gathering. And sadly, some may no longer have a choice. We thank them all for their service.

Every courageous man or woman wearing the uniform of the United States of America is required to take orders from the top down, regardless of how they may personally feel about the policies guiding and initiating those orders. This is how the military works.

Every courageous civilian citizen of the United States is required to speak out when their elected leaders lie to them and formulate policies that are detrimental to the welfare of the nation and its people. This is how democracy works.

The courage and the sacrifices of the civilian citizen are in no way equivalent to what our brave troops face each and every day in Iraq and Afghanistan. But citizenship does require courage and sacrifice. And the demands and necessities of true citizenship are what our military is designed to guard and support. Only another reason we have the responsibility to speak out, demonstrate, and act.

Not one marine who looked up at the sky over Baghdad today wants to be under that sky next year, or two, or five years from now. Not one of you shivering in front of this courthouse in the dark want to be here one, two or five years from now.

We are tired of shielding the small flames of our candles from a cold wind. We are tired of dreaming for, hoping for, praying for, this human-made tragedy to end.

We must rededicate ourselves and make it end. The old priority of Peace must be made new and stronger.
_________

Remarks delivered on March 19, 2008, to the participants of the Terre Haute - New Priorities Vigil, on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.
Gary W. Daily

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