War and warriors

Ron Angle is a Butte County resident and freelance writer, Angle and his family live in the Chapman community. You can email him at ronaldangle@yahoo.com

This nation has a very difficult time trying to objectively separate the role of the warrior from that of the politician that sends him (or her) off to war.

Actually, we have quite a hard time just understanding war. Seven decades after World War II, we still propound that war is “the defense of our freedom.” However, that war was the last good and just war, repelling enemies that actually attacked our country and those of our allies.

Not until the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers on Sept. 11 was our country again threatened within our borders. But that attack was not by any nation-state as was Pearl Harbor. Rather, we were attacked by a gang of multi-national thugs in the name of personal and religious ideologies.

In between those two epochal moments in our nation’s history, our politicians have sent our warriors off to fight wars that never threatened our homeland. First in Korea and then in Vietnam, our warriors died defending one concept: Capitalism is good, Communism is bad.

Those futile expeditions were coated in the ultimate spin: the Defense of Freedom and Democracy. It is such a noble concept that just its utterance should raise flags and generate spontaneous strains of the national anthem.

With mothers protesting the current war in the president’s backyard—and right here in our own Children’s Park—the role of warriors and politicians is becoming the hottest topic of the day.

The illogical rationalization that because our warriors our dying in a war, we must justify that war no matter what astounds me. It astounds me because there is no rational justification for the United States to be in Iraq today. Iraq did not attack the Twin Towers. Iraq did not possess weapons of mass destruction. Iraq posed no threat to the borders of the United States.

Iraq does produce a significant amount of oil. George Bush and his vice-president have a very vested interest in that oil and in the oil produced by Iraq’s neighboring states. And the Middle East is home to a religion that has always been perceived as a threat to Middle American Christianity.

Oil. Revenge. Religion. Are these worth fighting for? Worth dying for?

We will not prevail in Iraq. We are losing the war in Iraq as we lost the war in Vietnam. Someday we will build a monument to the warrior dead lost in Iraq, just as we built the Vietnam Memorial Wall.

Retreating from Iraq and its oil will not dishonor our warriors. It will dishonor the immoral politicians that allowed this all to happen.