Death before naptime
I’m no fan of tyrannical dictators, particularly men like Saddam Hussein, even so I can’t help but feel a certain regret that Iraq is now far worse in his absence. A scary story appeared on CNN.com today concerning the growing trend of violent rhetoric being expressed by kindergartners in Iraqi schools. One child was quoted as saying “I’m going to bomb, bomb, bomb the school with everybody in it,” while another claimed her father had given her a machine gun and had inducted her in the liberation army.
The problem is not merely that the Bush Administration horribly mismanaged the war; the very fact the conflict started in the first place only demonstrates how obviously distorted the perception of war in America is compared to its gruesome reality. For many Americans, they see conflict as the act of renewal; their very nation was founded on the principle of dissent and revolution. But the war that lead to their independence was nothing like modern wars, fought not on battlefields but in streets, libraries, and playgrounds. The children born and raised in this turbulent and violent environment become corrupted by it.
The victims of war, when they grow up, become the perpetrators of the same violence inflicted upon them. The option of peaceful coexistence is a concept lost amongst the sound of gunfire and smoke. Although it isn’t too late to turn the tide in this conflict, it seems as Americans increasingly demand to pull out of the mess they created, the opportunity to rectify their error becomes completely lost. What matters now is not whether the war was justified or not; the children of Iraq do not need vitriolic polemics. Instead, what they need now more then ever is the support of the very nation who launched them down this dark path. The question remains: will Americans own up to their mistake and fix it, or retreat, leaving these poor children to face the prospect of death before naptime?