That WWII hit from Bing Crosby always brings a tear to the eye of the older crowd, the dwindling set of WWII Veterans and their families. No doubt my grandmother’s eyes watered-up each time she heard that song. She lost her eldest son in WWI in France. She was a Gold Star Mother and, as such, was transported back to France some years later with the other mothers who lost sons during that Great War, to see the graves of their sons. The ‘war to end all wars.’
This year, many more Veterans will be home for Christmas thanks to the end of the Bush War on Iraq. Just one more Bush War to end before all of the troops in conflict will be looking at the snow and mistletoe and presents on the tree. And not only in their dreams.
As our troops finally exited Iraq a few days ago, the sectarian violence there ramped up, as if we didn’t know it would. The Shia Muslims are now in control thanks to Bush, Cheney, Rice and Rumsfeld’s intervention, and so it is now the turn of the Sunni Muslims to get back at their long-time adversaries. What was it that we were supposed to bring to Iraq? Something like democracy? Stability?
Fewer Americans these days ‘believe’ what they heard from the former White House quartet back in 2003; too bad they they weren’t paying more attention to it all back then, but we Americans are easily manipulated, especially by warmongers. There is already another war murmur echoing in the far-right political wings – even before all of our troops from Iraq have come home for Christmas. Bomb, bomb Iran. Yes, that murmur.
When will we ever learn? Korea. Vietnam. Iraq. Afghanistan.
I wonder how many WWII veterans and widows of veterans are jumping on the Bomb Iran bandwagon? Or Vietnam Veterans? The further distance from the conflict, the more clear the vision of war-making. My grandmother died a month after Eisenhower took the Oath of Office. I still remember her saying, “Maybe he’ll be a good president.” Although a staunch Democrat all of her life, my grandmother hoped that this new Republican might be wise enough to keep us from further wars.
Sadly for the families of 4485 members of the U.S. Military who served in Iraq, there will be an empty place set at this year’s Christmas table. Four thousand prayers of remembrance. Four thousand aching hearts.
And for what end? What did they die for? Freedom? Democracy? End of a dictator? Four thousand, four hundred eighty-five. These will not be home for Christmas, not even in their dreams.