I am a history reader. I grab as many books as I can find on history, and recently, I have been reading about World War Two as well as World War One. Without a doubt, the one thing that impacts me most about these wars is the suffering of the innocent, those whom no one could call combatants.
I shake my head and my heart as I read about atrocities committed against them; about death visiting the citizens of a simple small town or a farm in the countryside.
Then I shift my focus to the news for the last week or so, and I listen to a dozen talking heads, as they diligently argue whether the war in Iraq is a civil war or not.
We are arguing about what type of war is being fought in Iraq. Does it really matter what name you give the war? Has anything changed?
As far as I can see, innocents are being slaughtered, the poor and the downtrodden are made more so, and children are being exploited and killed. Fathers and Mothers leave for the day, and don't come home, ever again.
A fragile nation struggles towards some form of government, be it democracy or some other type. But beneath the surface lies the one thing that every soul longs for; freedom.
It doesn't matter if this is a civil war or not. It doesn't matter if democracy reigns or not. What the soul wants is freedom, and the war in Iraq is pitted against it.
What kind of a nation are we that we spend hundreds of hours arguing whether or not this war is a civil war or not? If we get the name right, does it mean that everything will turn out peaches and cream? I think decidedly not.
All of the intelligence and thoughtful conversations about what to call this war show one thing; we are committed to arguing about nothing, and thus, we are committed to accomplishing nothing in Iraq, and in any other place where we set our talking heads down upon.
Meanwhile, deep in the souls of the silent, the unheard from, the people who should be on the nightly news, freedom goes untalked about, hopes of a society where a man or woman can semi-determine their path is being lost.
I cry about this. I cry because it seems as if we haven't learned the lessons from the first two world wars.