It was with great sorrow and fear that my family watched the insane and inexplicable rush of our nation to invade two countries that had absolutely nothing to do with the events on September 11, 2001.
It was with greater sorrow and fear that my family watched one of our indispensable members, Casey, march off to one of those immoral occupations in Iraq.
Our lives were shattered when he came home in a cardboard box, shortly after he was killed there on April 04, 2004. We picked Casey's body up from the airport in San Francisco for the final time at a United Airlines loading dock, where his cardboard box was unceremoniously loaded into the hearse for his last ride home. (And the longest ride of my life).
Along with the rest of our family, Casey was opposed to these wars of aggression and before he left for Iraq, Casey, a Humvee mechanic, told everyone that he wouldn't be able to "kill anyone."
Well, one president, thousands of American deaths, over a million Iraqi deaths, and almost nine years later, Barack Obama has announced that all US troops would be leaving Iraq by the end of this year. I'd like to remind everyone that Barack Obama stated that ending the war in Iraq would be the "first thing" he did as President -- and we could even "take it to the bank" (probably one of the failed ones), and that this withdrawal is something Bush-Maliki scheduled back at the end of 2008.
I would like to send my deepest apologies to the people of Iraq for what my country has done there, but also my congratulations (no matter how reserved) because this is something that the people of Iraq have been fighting for and I am happy for them that US troops finally will be vacating their country.
However, did Obama just forget about the heavily fortified 104-acre US Embassy in Baghdad that employs 3,000, or the enormous US consulates in Basra and Erbil, that will eventually employ about another 3,000 people -- or the thousands of paid mercenaries that will remain after the end of this year?
I didn't hear Obama talk about the destruction of infrastructure and lives for the people of Iraq -- or the high increases in cancer rates and birth defects from the usage of depleted uranium coated munitions.
The two most important things, though, that I did not hear Obama say are these: prosecuting members of the Bush regime for the hundreds of lies it told about Iraq, and paying reparations to the people of Iraq.
I can only hope that when US troops do pull out that the US puppet government pulls out of there, too, and the people of Iraq can finally and completely have their country back and with full and unfettered access to the natural resources that belong to the people. Unfortunately, with thousands of Americans, mercenary troops and foreign oil companies, I don't think the struggle is over.
Also, which war will Obama send these troops that are leaving Iraq to? Pakistan? Afghanistan? Uganda? Iran? Or somewhere else that we can only imagine?
These wars have cost my family dearly and have sucked at least three trillion dollars out of our economy.
We will never get Casey back and no amount of death/destruction will make his "sacrifice" "worth it" -- the only thing that could bring comfort to our family now is accountability and an end to war as the first go-to tool in the box of US foreign policy.