4,120 servicemen and women have been killed since the beginning of the Iraq War. Though the warfront has moved to Afghanistan, soldiers are still stationed in the Middle East and I don't think that we're ever going to leave. Sure, we're trying -- we're always trying. The Soviets tried, too, and they left, but only after they'd been massacred. Same thing happened with the British in the early 1900s.
It amazes me that we -- the "West" as a whole -- still think that we can conquer a culture and people and geography that we clearly do not understand. It's in the blood of every native person in those countries to oppose us, and I can't blame them; we keep trying to mold them into something they're not and something they'll never be. They won't become a US in miniature. We can only hope that they will become themselves, over time: an Iraq and Afghanistan capable of supporting themselves without the Taliban or Al Qaeda.
I think we're doing the right thing by trying to get out now. This was a misguided war. More so than it is now. Now all we can do is support the troops who remain. Those who fought for us and those who will continue to fight for us in the wars we've yet to wage. There's not a year in the history of the United States that is not (within a decade) surrounded by a major war. Pick a year:
1786: Revolutionary War
1806: War of 1812
1928: WWI on one side and WWII on the other.
1998: We were in the middle of Desert Storm then, with some missions in Kosovo, too, and ten years later we were mired in Iraq and Afghanistan like we still are.
But that's not the point. The point is that I have 4,120 reasons to write. One more than I did a week ago. I have millions of families whom I do not know, but to whom I can relate.
This is the song I wrote a drabble to a few days ago, and since I can't figure out how to embed a youtube video into this post, everyone will have to deal with clicking this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAPXbypyaq0
That's the Catalyst by Linkin Park. Pair that with Sebastian Junger's amazing novel, War, and you have a Hannah so stunned and inspired I don't know what to do with myself.