I've been watching the news all day. Okay, that isn't exactly an unusual thing, but I've been watching it with a lot less laughter and derision at the usual parade of morons.
My memories of the first Gulf War aren't all that great. I was nine at the time, I believe. I remember sitting in my Grandma's house watching TV. I remember green video and lights shooting up into the sky: anti-aircraft fire seen in night vision. I remember seeing tanks in the sand and troops towards them with their hands on their heads. I knew we were fighting Iraq. I knew their leader was named Saddam. I knew the issue was a country called Kuwait. That was about it.
My American History classes in middle school and high school never managed to get past the 1950s, so I never learned about it in school. In the last six months I've watched a lot of documentaries from The History Channel and Discovery Channel, everything from Saddam's biography to what weaponry both sides have then and now and what military tactics the US & allies used during the 90s.
I think Saddam is a near-psychopath who has dangerous chemical and biological weapons. I think he would like nothing more than to have nuclear weaponry. For the last 6+ months I've hoped - but doubted - that this would end peacefully.
According to some - including people I consider to be friends - this makes me a nieve warmonger brainwashed by the Administration and the media.
I know Saddam has attacked his neighbors and his own people. I've learned about the horrible things he's done in the region. I've seen the pictures of the Iranians and the Kurds, heard about the rape and torture rooms, the psychological devices he uses on his own guards and troops to ensure their loyality. I've seen news reports on people who've escaped Iraq and still - years and many miles removed from their home land - are afraid to speak out against Saddam.
I wish there was someone out there who could go in and take out any 'leader' who does this to his own people. I wish it didn't take additional military and security-related justification. I wish it didn't have to be the USA going in there because of all the uncertainty and all the unknowns.
I believe, correctly or not, that this is a just war. I'm worried for our troops. I feel for the Iraqi people and hope that they will be able to look back on this day as the beginning of their liberation and not something else.
I'm trying to stay positive, but I know when I'm ready for bed I'll be afraid to turn off the TV, and in the morning I'll be equally afraid to turn it back on.