Monday, October 09, 2006

The debate on Iraq

In my September posts I introduced a lot of the themes that I want to discuss in this blog - at least at the beginning. The debate over Iraq has not even approached the hostility and animosity that we saw during the war in Viet Nam. The current war in Iraq is an extrememly complicated issue that is generally translated by the national media into a series of 6 P.M. local news car crashes and apartment fires. I know more about the war in Iraq than 99% of the people in this country - which is an indication of the severity of the problem.

But I am a great believer in democracy and the good judgement of the American people as reflected every two years in their votes. The politicians will receive the judgement of the American people next month and we all will accept it - some more pleasantly than others - and continue with our lives.

I also believe in the collective good judgement of the Iraqi people. A few short months ago they got the opportunity, for the first time in many decades, to express their will at the ballot box. This election was considered fair by all international observers. Their new government is struggling now under very difficult circumstances. Those who look beyond the IED explosions on TV and the body count can see that they are trying to make this work.

But I don't want to talk about this now. I'm ready to talk about what happened during the first year of the war, when I was there. I published a book that was essentially a collection of the emails that I sent home when I was there. The book is mentioned elsewhere on this site. Those emails have the immediacy of when I wrote them. A reviewer said that this book doesn't have the warriors selective memory. But there was a lot that I didn't put in that book - for various reasons. Some of the omissions were dure to normal military operational security reasons. Others were due to the fact that I was sending these missives home to my family and I didn't want to overly alarm them. The fact that I was in a war zone was alarming enough.

What I really want to talk about is the plan for the occupation of Iraq. Or lack thereof. And that is what I plan to do.

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