This afternoon I read a piece in the newspaper about gamblers in Taiwan who bet on whether war would break out in the Persian Gulf. Odds were at 11-10. The whole concept seemed rather improper considering the severity of the situation.
I was just finishing supper when the announcement came that our country was at war. "The world could wait no longer," President Bush explained two hours later. When Bush took office two years ago, who would have imagined that he would lead us into war?
I didn't want a war and I don't know anyone who did. This war is the first taking place in my lifetime and I find it frightening. Should the war last longer than expected and should a draft be imposed, my friends could be sent to fight Saddam Hussein's troops.
President Bush tried to convince Americans of the necessity of war even while anti-war protesters circled outside his window. He tried to appeal to peoples' emotions. He portrayed Hussein as a tyrannical dictator, one who "subjected the people of Kuwait to unspeakable atrocities." He was careful to mention that innocent children would be victims, as would fragile third world countries and new Eastern European democracies.
While many thought that the United States was bearing the brunt of this military operation, Bush was careful to emphasize that Iraq's leader "defied the United Nations" and that twenty-eight countries from five continents were "standing shoulder to shoulder against Saddam Hussein."
"This was a historic moment," our president said, and for those of us who have never known war, it certainly is one we'll remember.
I'm not sure I like being part of history. It seems that only the negative events are "historic." The space shuttle disaster is another example.
It's hard to believe that the day before the U.N.'s January 15th deadline for Saddam Hussein's troops to evacuate Kuwait, one of the big stories was Barbara Bush's broken leg. I could not help but muse: as if the media had nothing better to report.
Mrs. Bush's leg will heal, while lost American lives will not. n
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.