Wednesday, April 09, 2003
Writing and the war: I haven't written much on the current war on Iraq, and that's not just because I've been overwhelmed by the home-buying/moving/home-improvement activities.
I've got friends over there in the Gulf -- good friends. From my church group there are 8 guys, all Marines, deployed over there. Four of them I consider friends. Two of them very good friends. They're both officers and enlisted men. They're pilots, riflemen, mechanics, engineers.
Several times a day, I go here and, full of anxiety, search for the names of men I know, men I respect, men I'm proud of.
So far, their names have not appeared. But that gives me little solace. Until a few days ago, the first name on the list of dead was Lt. Thomas Mullin Adams of La Mesa, Calif. -- my hometown. Adams was 27. As I unpack boxes full of books -- ones my parents wanted out of the rafters of their home -- I'm going to have to look at the yearbook for my senior year of high school. At 27, Adams was likely a freshman when I was a senior -- and there are only two high schools in La Mesa: Helix and Grossmont.
As each day passes in this war, I care little about what many of the talking heads on TV say. I don't care about the second-guessing. I don't care about the civilian casualties. I don't care if there's a "pause" in the campaign. I don't care about the small stuff.
I care about bringing a quick and successful end to the war.
When I see our troops -- my friends -- protested by simpletons who see President Bush as a Hitler and Saddam Hussein as a democratically-elected ruler, I don't know whether to scream or cry.
While our troops -- my friends -- endanger themselves to avoid killing Iraqi civilians I hear/see whining from people who point to sites like this and assail our soldiers. I read the SPJ-L list and see these arrogant, pompous, self-important "journalists" presented with a photo of an Iraqi girl cheering American and British liberators respond with:
How miserable a man he must be to find pleasure in the death and mutilation of children.
US networks report 100 Iraqi civilians an hour arrive in overcrowded Baghdad hospitals where there are shortages of anesthetic and antibiotics.
The United States' success in liberating the people of Iraq from a dictator who is responsible for the shortages of anesthetic and antibiotics is equated to finding joy in killing kids.
I haven't written much on the war, because many times I feel myself incapable of forming coherent thoughts through my rage.
As the fighting hopefully winds down, I'm hopeful that my emotions will follow.