It’s snowing. The first flakes of this winter season are falling quite energetically down giving my morning world that gray edge and white glaze that comes only with snow. But my mind is on Iraq, an ancient desert land with no white snowy scrim to soften, what must sometimes become the sun’s harsh glare. I am wishing that Iraq will not wallow in anger, and sadness, and hate (both for us and for each other). Now is the time to rebuild Baghdad, your beautiful city and all the other cities, towns, and villages in your devastated land; chose a new future that eschews sectarian discrimination and violence. You can become a modern nation in an ancient land. You could work together to make Iraq a place where you would all love to live. Although you feel hostile towards the various groups that make up your population, you all have a lot in common and part of what you have in common is that Iraq is your home. I am just some American nobody sitting watching the snow come down, but maybe from my faraway perch I have more perspective, and I have a lot of hope.
Hate, vengeance, jealousy – we all know these emotions, but we know they are not the ones that build a great culture and a productive life. We all know that to turn your war-torn nation back into the home you all love, you need to be constructive, not destructive. You seem to have a good leader now, without the sadistic turn of Mr. Hussein. Start there.
I am very happy that our soldiers are coming home. I never wanted them to have to go to Iraq in the first place, and I was very upset (I won’t use the adjectives that would express my true feelings at the time) when our soldiers got sent back for tour after tour. My heart breaks even now when it thinks of the American families who lost a loved one, or maybe more than one. The injuries our service men and women suffered are also heart-wrenching. War is truly hell.
I can’t help believing that some affection grew between the American soldiers and the Iraqi people. Maybe I’m very wrong, but I hope not. I believe it is impossible for people to live in such close proximity for so long without forming some kind of bond. Maybe hostility is at the forefront right now and I can hear the anger of the Iraqi people towards America. They had a viable lifestyle before we came, it was stable, daily life was livable, their beloved cities were intact. It is incredibly difficult not to give in to anger and despair but Saddam Hussein really was a terrible leader who ruled by fear and pathology. Rebuild, please. Show us your pride in your ancient country, but give it the modern twist that will help it survive in the 21st century. I am thinking that someday our soldiers may want to visit Iraq again and that they hope to find it remade. Meanwhile, Merry Christmas us, because so many (although not all) of our soldiers are home from war.
The secret and gi-normous Embassy; I don’t know enough to speak about this, but I will be listening. Sometimes my beloved America has a little difficulty walking the high road. I hope all our motives for this secret embassy are not greedy ones.
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