Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Humiliation, Respect

The United States has lost. I don't mean militarily, because in the end I think the Iraqi government will eventually(several years from now) be able to stand up to the insurgents without the U.S. military to help them. No, the U.S. has lost something far more precious than that. The U.S. has lost its soul in this war on terror.

We have abused prisoners. We have destroyed an entire country, so that we could save that very same country. An entire generation of soldiers have now gone to Iraq and have had to face the horrors of war. These soldiers volunteered to defend the U.S. and have now become occupiers half a world away for a lie. A lie perpetuated by the leaders that were not elected the first time around, and yet somehow got elected the second time. Why? Because too many people feared that two men might marry each other.

Once, the U.S. was probably considered a champion of human rights. Now, we deny rights to anyone we deem an "enemy combatant". We don't stop torture anymore, we justify it. Or export it to someone else. Maybe it is legal to do this. But it certainly is wrong. The U.S. now threatens to unilaterally strike anyone who doesn't cooperate with out agenda. We respect no one. And then wonder why our support around the world has sunk to nearly nothing.

The U.S. has already lost. The fallout from our actions today will be a stain on my generation for years to come. The resources we are wasting will come back to haunt us when other countries, such as China and India, economically become our equals. The soldiers who are forever scarred by this war will never be the same people they were before we sent them to Iraq. And for some, what little trust we have in the government has been shattered, maybe forever. I only hope that one day, the price this country had to pay will be worth it. But I doubt it.