On the occasion of bringing the Troops home from Iraq, Rachel Maddow opened her show with a strong piece about the conflicted emotions and moral stances we collectively hold about the Iraq war. It's been a long war, nearly 9 years since Americans invaded Iraq and about 20 years since the Operation Desert Storm thing. It's a long war that has cost a certain 1% of the population a great deal, namely the Military, who has been on full combat standing for the last 10 years fighting two wars while the rest of us were told in no uncertain terms by President GW Bush to go back to shopping.
That is - we as a country have been fighting these two wars, ten thousand or more American deaths in the war, a few hundred thousand locals killed between the two countries, a huge amount of ill-will formed against the U.S. because of our presence there as invaders/occupiers - but the emotional and physical cost has been paid by a small minority. Maddow said the military is 1% of the population which might well be true. Do the rest of us think about the war very much?
Collectively we have moral responsibility for the war - it is our votes for politicians, our political action (or inaction) which has given support to continuing the war. In my mind there was a period in 2004-6-7 when all hell was breaking loose there, I was aghast at what I was hearing, had proved to myself that the war was illegal (had no legal standing), that GW Bush and the whole administration should have been impeached and treated as the traitors that they were, but also realizing that the situation that had been created was so horrendously bad that Americans had to stay the course and get the situation to some kind of better resolution. We created an ugly mess there, and it was our mess to clean up, no matter how illegally and traitorously that mess was begun.
Even those of us who aren't part of that 1% of the population who is part of the Military - we ALL share moral responsibility for this mess.
Instead there is such a great divide between that 1% and the rest of us, that the ending of the war, the troops coming home, is barely a blip in the news stream. No ticker tape parades etc celebrating a victory. In fact the Republican spin job on this is that Obama is taking us home in shame as a loser, when in fact Obama was given what he would call an "Unjust War" (there are Just Wars and Unjust Wars) which he had to make the best of.
Back to Maddow's report. One issue she talked about is the current Republican Presidential candidates and how all of them (except for Ron Paul) want to continue American presence in Iraq. They've all taken stances against ending our presence there. And at the same time nobody in the Republican party seems willing to be seen as an inheritor to the GW Bush Legacy. The description I just gave of the horrendous and illegal state of Bush's Iraq war is, even if the Republicans are unwilling to admit it publicly, collectively hanging over the Republican party.
To top off the piece Maddow had on Col. Lawrence Wilkerson to give us a blistering denunciation of the Republicans who want to continue the Iraq war. He described them as suicidal, in that the Republicans are following a strategy of rejecting every single thing Obama stands for, and taking ANY stance that will hurt Obama. They want to hurt him in every single way they can, run him through every political torture they can think of, and they do not care a bit about the damage they do to the U.S.A. in the process. They are proving themselves willing to devastate our country in order to hurt Obama, which is how Wilkerson has the justification to call them Suicidal.