My wife and I had a friend over for dinner last and he says to us, over his plate of homemade Sky Line Chili (which, by the way, is awesome), "So have you guys heard we caught Saddam?"
I though he was joking, but after a round of 'You must be kiddings,' he convince me and I turned on the dreaded CNN Headline news. They may be the most watched new organization, but I'll tell you, they're also the biggest bunch of mush-brained idiots too. In any case, there he was on television, for all the world to see, getting checked for head lice by some Army medical technician. Sure enough the great bad guy has been caught. And apparently he's free of lice. Now what?
I watched a little longer as the crack CNN reporters got the word on the street from Joe American. "Well, I'm just glad it's over," was the word from one shivering New Yorker. "Hopefully the Iraqi people will finally believe we are there to help," was another concerned opinion. Of course, CNN didn't take long to show a sound bite from the Fuher stating his little take on things, and how the Iraqi people could finally feel safe from Saddam's brutality. Now all they have to worry about is some terrorist or guerilla firing an RPG into their bedroom while they are asleep. That's security.
I guess my point is this. Nothing is over. We still have American soldiers occupying a foreign nation-state. Those soldiers are still in harm's way over...what exactly. By invading Iraq we have completely destabablized the region. Even if Mr. Bush and his goons wanted to pull out, we can't now, because Iraq really would become a hot bed of terrorism. As it is every guy with a cause and a rocket launcher can cross the border and set up shop in the vast deserts of Iraq. We're too busy trying to keep our soldiers from getting killed in ambushes and trying to protect the oil to guard the huge borders of that country. This is a quagmire. This is, as they say, a cluster fuck. And capturing Saddam, though a boon to morale and Mr. Bush's approval rating, isn't going to change that.
Now I realize these things take time, but we need to get a reasonably stable government in place over there, and we need to get the hell out. Capturing Saddam may have helped buy Mr. Bush more time, but just how long does he think the American people are going to tolerate seeing their sons and daughters coming home in body bags with no clear exit strategy in place, and with no clear reason for being there? Many Americans may be gullible and lazy, but there are enough of us out here who are paying attention to notice the sudden shift in sales tactics from "We are looking for WMD's" to "We toppled a ruthless dictator for the good of the Iraqi people and the good of the world." Well, whatever the spin, none of this is worth our young soldiers' lives, and none of this is worth another Vietnam.
So while we are all enjoying our American Christmas of turkey and unbridled consumerism, let's just remember that there are people, American soldiers, dying halfway across the world because some lunatic tried to kill our
President's dad. Yes our troops have won a great victory. And yes, Saddam Hussein was no doubt a ruthles and evil son of a bitch. We won, we got him. Now let's make his capture really mean something and bring our boys home soon.