Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Tue, Mar 25 2008

I still don't get it

I didn't understand what Vice-President Cheney was trying to say in his interview with Martha Raddatz. I admit feeling frustration and anger at the idea that President Bush suffers a greater burden than those who serve on front lines. It could be that he (Vice-President Cheney) was trying to make us feel better, but for some reason I was upset at his words and at his apparent attitude. Someone else wrote a piece that included thoughts close to my own.

It just seems to me that maybe none of us, including President Bush, has really suffered here at home in the way that war often makes people suffer. Most of us are so far away from the guns and the bombed-out buildings that we can't understand the urgency that our country's leaders apparently feel over all this. And if they feel such urgency, we tend to wonder why we are still doing the same things in Iraq after 5 years?

It's becoming very difficult to sustain both support for our troops and support for our administration, particularly when our administration negates our misgivings and our fears as some statistic to be pushed aside. Our feelings are real and we ask for more than verbal pats on the head.

I've never been able to associate the events of 9-11-2001 directly with the conflict in Iraq. I've never felt as though our country's safety was directly related to the conflict in Iraq. I've never wanted to feel that some young person put his or her self in harm's way in Iraq so that I could feel safe here. I want Mr. Cheney to talk to us about that and to explain exactly what it is we are trying to accomplish there. Ethereal remarks about a war on terror make no more sense to me now than they did 5 years ago. Terror is in more places than Iraq. What are we doing there, specifically? If Mr. Cheney wants me to understand exactly what our goal is for fighting in Iraq, then he needs to answer these things instead of telling me (and others) how I should or shouldn't feel.

Patriotism is not blind faith in a few politicians who will be out of office in a few years or a few months. Patriotism runs much deeper than that. If we ask for specific answers and we don't get those answers and then we're upset, it doesn't mean we're unpatriotic. It simply means we're earnest in our wish to understand. The current administration needs to find a way to talk to us in terms that address our very real emotions and our willingness to understand exactly what is going on. We have to find ways to work together or we'll fail at any major task our country undertakes. It's imperative that our administration accept this and then explain their actions so that we can get behind them in their decisions.

posted at: 08:06 | category: /Politics | link to this entry

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