About two weeks ago, I happened to be driving on Centennial Lane here in Columbia/Ellicott City and noticed that a house had, in Christmas lights, made out the number "1649" on their fence. I didn't think too much about it at the time...I figured it was a house number or something.
Today I drove by the same house again. Today the number was 1670. All of a sudden, it clicked: this person is keeping track of the US death toll for the war in Iraq. It's one thing to hear about a specific attack or set of attacks injuring or killing 8-10 soldiers. I mean, it's still awful, but it can be easy to forget the magnitude of what's going on. Seeing those Christmas lights was a painful reminder of how many lives it truly is--something that's too easy to forget in the nightly news.
I've never been "for the war." I assumed that the Bush regime was lying to the American public before invading, and I 100% believed it was a mistake to go in. That DOESN'T mean I don't support the troops. It's certainly not their fault we're embroiled in this mess, and I respect what they do. Regardless, I want to see a quick resolution or end to the mess in Iraq, and for our soldiers to come home. Is this what it felt like during the Vietnam era, to scroll through the obituaries and lists of the dead to see if anybody you know has been killed in a pointless war?
It's time to face facts.
BushCo lied about WMD and Sadaam's ties to al Queda.
1669/1670 (numbers vary depending on source) brave US men and women have given their lives so far (courtesy of this page and CNN.com Specials and of icasualties.org)
There is no exit strategy for getting our troops out of there and back home.
Most of the al Queda terrorists involved in 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia. Note we will NEVER invade them because of oil.
The US cost of war (in dollars, not lives) is rapidly approaching $200 billion. 2E11 for you engineering types (source www.costofwar.com)
So, these were my thoughts as I finished my drive back home. Then, I went over to FOFC, a message board/forum related mostly to sports that I frequent. Every now and then somebody posts something with a political bent. Tonight was one of those nights. Already frustrated and emotionally charged because of 1670 Christmas lights, I read about something called the Downing Street Memo. This is a recently declassified document from the UK, outlining their pre-war plans for involvement in Iraq and at the same time pointing out some dubiousness of US intentions. Though this document has been public for about a month over in England, the media here hasn't picked up on it. Now John Conyers, Jr., a representative from Michigan, has a petition going. The petition asks for Bush to respond to questions about this memo, which so far he (and his entire regime) refuse to do.
The time to act is now. It may be a Republican-controlled Congress, and because of that we'll never get him impeached like we all know he should be, but at least we can start to get some answers. Or, at least, more lies. Please, read the Downing Street Memo (the link I have for it is through the UK Times Online, if that link is dead, a Google search of "Downing Street Memo" will return a bunch of hits). If you, like me, would like BushCo to answer questions that arise in part because of this memo, please visit Conyers' site and electronically sign the petition.
And, if you're looking for more information and facts about BushCo and what you can do, please check out the following:
The Democratic National Committee
Mark Morford's columns at the SF Gate