john lennon’s happy christmas war is over is playing in my head today. it’s a sad commentary that that song was released in 1971 after a very long (undeclared) war and forty years later it’s relevant again as the united states pulls out of iraq. (another long war, 8 ½ years of combat)
there’s a lot of criticism from one side against the pullout, a lot of statistics and verbiage from the other side defending the pullout. a whole lot of continued noise from the majority of americans who never supported the u.s. going into iraq in the first place. a lot of noise from the people to whom the country of iraq belongs.
not much from the soldiers who are still there or those who fought there. they were asked to do a job and they did it and 4,400 of them died doing their job.
some soldiers are leaving iraq to fight in another very long war in afghanistan. this war is less controversial, though the length of the american stay in that nation will become increasingly controversial as the country becomes less of a hangout for al qaeda. (let’s not even get started on what’s going on in pakistan and iran…)
those still in iraq have to move themselves and equipment across iraq and get out, an operation that still endangers their lives. there are those in iraq who still hate the united states and would do anything for the sick satisfaction of killing our fellow americans.
the political landscape is complicated, riddled with bullet holes and bomb craters but the personal landscape is very simple. no soldier wants to die in combat. no family wants to lose a loved one. everyone wants to celebrate something this time of year. everyone wants to hear some happy music.
even if it includes listening to yoko’s awful voice.