It’s Not A War
Iraq is one of the major issues in American political discussion today. The problem is that it is still seen and more importantly described as an American war. It isn’t.
That’s why the article in today’s LA Times is so – um – misworded.
In early February, the war in Iraq came home to this small railroad town on the Nebraska prairie where farms begin to give way to high plains.
Seven thousand miles away on a Baghdad street, a bomb exploded beside Army Sgt. Randy J. Matheny’s armored vehicle, killing the 20-year-old McCook High School graduate and stunning his small hometown.
“It caused us all to reexamine what we were thinking,” said Walt Sehnert, who has run a popular bakery on McCook’s main street since 1957. “Those of us who were adamant about the war had to stand back and take a deep breath.”
Across Nebraska, there has been a lot of reexamination lately.
One of the things that needs to be reexaminined isn’t the reality of what is happening, it is how we talk about it. Do you really want to bring the boys and girls back home? (And yes, someone like Pink really needs to cover Vera Lynn – it would do a world of good.)
If you want to extract America from the failed neo-con experiment in the Middle East, there is something very simple. You can do it today, tomorrow, until the boys and girls come home: stop calling it a war!
The ‘war’ in Iraq simply wasn’t. What started as an invasion quickly changed into a messed-up mop-up, a wrecked reconstruction and finally morphed into a moral morass best termed occupation.
Americans are a proud people they don’t like to lose wars. Stop talking about ending the war in Iraq. Stop talking about winning or losing the war in Iraq. Every time you say war, you extend the legitimacy for something that should have stopped a long time ago.
But you don’t win or lose an occupation, you end one. So start calling it what it is… an occupation.
And end the American Occupation of Iraq.