Five years ago I joined a group of a hundred or so people in the park, next to the fountain, where we lit candles and held silent vigil, as part of a national effort to bring attention to the imminent invasion of Iraq by the United States. We hoped to shed some light on the debate over Iraq and bring an end to the wholesale rush to war. Unfortunately the orders had been given and the machinery of war was already in motion. No mere protest by a scattering of citizens, in parks and squares around the country was going to stop it.
Today five years after the invasion of Iraq, there are 130,000 Americans in uniform there, trying to keep the violence between Sunni and Shia Iraqis to a minimum as the Iraqi parliament quarrels. Trying to hunt down and destroy Alkaida In Iraq, the terrorist group that formed as a result of our invasion. The death toll among our troops is approaching 4,000. The death toll among Iraqis is untold thousands.
Now we are holding an election for a new President of the United States. This new President is going to have to decide what this nation should do about our occupation of that country, which is torn asunder, surrounded by hostile nations and sitting on a pool of oil more valuable than oil has ever been.
How do we move forward from here? Do we stay and fight for another decade, two decades or, as John McCain has predicted, a century? Do we pull out and allow chaos to ensue as ethnic groups within Iraq ally themselves with neighboring nations, each with an eye on controlling that pool of oil, and fight tooth and nail against each other, until an exhausted stalemate, or until a victory for Iran’s Shiite cohort?
I don’t have an answer. Perhaps someone else in today’s Iraq War 5th Anniversary Blogswarm has a good solution. Take a look see and let me know what you find.