Far Too Many More Must Die

December 19, 2007
By Hannah Howard, Beverly, MA

When the Iraq war started, I was thirteen, and the whole thing was a little too hard for me to grasp. I remember watching the news and hearing about Iraq, but the reports meant nothing to me. It was the first major conflict that I ever really experienced, in a remote country, involving no one I knew. I didn’t really focus on it, in fact, it hardly affected my life in any way. As far as I was concerned, Iraq had little to no impact on my life. But as I grew older and more politically aware, I started to care about Iraq.

I got mad at my government. Mad that they thought it was okay to invade a sovereign nation, relatively unprovoked. Mad that they thought it was okay to punish the Iraqi people in ways Saddam Hussein never did. Mad at the government’s sense of self-righteousness and their totally unmitigated ignorance and disrespect for other cultures and values. Mad that they couldn’t get their geography straight and figure out that Saudi Arabia was where most of the 9/11 terrorists came from, not Iraq.

I gotten mad, but I’ve never been mad enough to do anything about it. I’ve got a life that’s busy and complicated enough as it is, without getting into organizing protests or writing letters to the President. Or maybe, it’s more that I have the time, but I choose to spend it otherwise.

So really, I’m not mad, more perturbed and irritated. If I were mad, I would act, I would care more than I do now.

If I’m not mad enough about Iraq and the way the government of the United States of America, which is supposed to represent my views and opinions, is conducting itself in the international arena, then there are thousands, maybe millions more just like me. We may know where Iraq is on a map, we may not. What we have in common is that we are passive. We sit by while the Bush administration goes about conducting itself like the conservative Christian love child of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez. I haven’t loudly protested against the Bush administration’s actions, I’ve only quitely despised them.

I know that if I, and the millions like me who quietly despise the Iraq war, do not act, the fighting will only continue, and the death toll will only increase. The Bush administration will never pull troops from Iraq, and even when they leave and the newly elected President takes the oath of office, the fight will undoubtedly drag on, until all the American troops have returned home. And even then, we have to take into account the Iraqi citizens that will lose their lives in the chaos that will occur after the troops have returned home. It’s a death toll that makes me regret being an American.

The American troops currently serving in Iraq are heroes. They may not be engaged in particularly heroic acts, but they are putting themselves in harms way to keep me and millions of other Americans safe. They have done far more for this country than I have ever done.

And I believe for that I owe them something, but, really what will I do to make them proud? The answer, one which I regret giving, is nothing. I’m not going to organize protests and write letters now. I’m not going to make care packages or write them letters. If anything, I’ve become an ounce more perturbed and irritated, but nothing more.

And because of this, innocent Iraqis will continue to lose their lives, American troops will continue to suffer from not only physical wounds, but mental ones as well. Iraq will be torn to shreds, as will America’s standing in the world.

And how will I respond? With a silent rage, but nothing more.

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This article has 1 comment.

steph said...
on Aug. 28 2008 at 5:37 pm
good atricle!


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