Our friends that live in an adjacent neighborhood, whom we have known for over a decade have three children: one girl, 14; and two boys, now 18 & 21. We have watched them grow up as our own children have grown and are each other’s surrogate family for holidays and special occasions. About three years ago, the oldest boy decided to go into the military. I had advised him against it at the time even though I had been in the Navy from 1987 - 1993 since I thought he needed to be secure in his spiritual walk prior to leaving home. He had just become a Christian. That episode kind of came and went with a bit of a tussle; he ended up changing his mind and had to maneuver to get out of the obligation. He then tried some community college. He worked knock-around jobs here and there, moved upstate to Duluth, MN for a time, lived with a girl, bought a car or two. Last year, he decided to give the military another try. I implored him to reconsider now that we are in a political ‘war without end’ and that he would likely be shipped right off to Iraq. He accepted my warnings, but figured that he would only be a reservist and that the MOS (job class) that he was assigned would probably keep him out of any war zones. After some other career prospects dried up, he decided to go active rather than stay reserve. Through all of these events, I have shaken my head (or allowed it to drop into my hands) and told him that he ought not to be so sure he won’t end up in Iraq because of his MOS. Last month, he left for Colorado with the understanding that the unit that he was being assigned to had just come back from the Middle East and would likely not be slated to go back anytime soon. Guess what? Turns out, last week he was assigned to a different unit than he expected. He leaves for Iraq in October. I feel entirely comfortable saying that I support him, in his decision, in his resolve, etc. But I shudder to think what he has gotten himself into and I am absolutely FURIOUS at the current administration’s call to “stay the course” while our men and women are dying daily. I made sure to make clear to him that whether he is in a ‘green’ zone, ‘red’ zone, or any other colored zone, that he is not safe in Iraq. “Don’t kid yourself”, I said, “war is basically 95% total boredom and 5% mortal terror. You remember to stay low, would you?” Having him go over to Iraq to fight a war that is unjust and likely won’t be won is tormenting me inside. What else could make a grown man cry? All the troops have America’s support even as a majority of us are disagreeing with the President’s policies in Iraq. Short of organizing a revolt involving pitchforks and torches, the minimum acceptable response from our elected leaders should be the drafting of articles of impeachment for President Bush. In December of 1998, the Associated Press reported on the wire that President Clinton had been impeached in the House of Representatives; that a majority of Congress people in the House had voted to affirm the first article of impeachment that charged President Clinton with perjuring himself to Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr’s grand jury. With the composite of information available in the public domain, surely there is enough for a measured response from the opposition party: · Allegations of US Ambassador appointee (not confirmed as of this date) John Bolton bullying intelligence analysts who disagreed with his interpretation of intelligence results. · The Downing Street memos indicating that the Administration was “fixing the facts around the policy” of regime change in Iraq. · $8 billion in missing funds from the Iraq operation appropriations. · Gross misjudgment (or arguably a lie) about Iraq’s WMD’s and thus the reason for going to war. · Under manning Operation Iraqi Freedom resulting in an unacceptable level of loss of lives. · Violating accepted international law by invading a sovereign foreign nation without provocation. Considering that Bill Clinton WAS impeached for perjury that resulted in, at worst, embarrassment for himself and his family, surely there exists enough evidence to impeach “W” Bush. What else can make a grown man cry? How about watching his country slip into fa scism?