Sunday, March 19, 2006

Texans at War

As we mark the three-year anniversary of the Iraq war, protests are scheduled across the nation this weekend, including today's rally - Stop the War Now and Bring Our Troops Home- in downtown Dallas.

Before it's gone, grab a copy of the March 2006 issue of Texas Monthly, devoted entirely to Texans who have served their country at this time of war. Among the articles is one on Rick Noriega, a Democrat representing District 145 in the Texas Legislature, when he found himself called up to serve in Afghanistan. Rick designated his wife, Melissa, to serve in his stead until his return last August. Another story covers a soldier who blogs from Iraq. And "Fallen Heroes" is a somber roll call of the 203 soldiers with ties to Texas who have given their lives in the Iraq war.

As Matt Cook, the soldier blogger from the "War.Com" article, describes his role:
I've been here almost five months - a rough five months at that - and the patrols seem to blend together. We've done a lot of good things here, but tragedies often make it difficult to see the forest for the trees. I think I speak for many when I say that my biggest fear is leaving this place in no better condition than we found it. But whether we say it or not, in between our b****ing and bellyaching lies a purpose and a promise to each other. When we leave, this place will be better than we found it.
The brave men and women showcased in these stories, and the countless others whose names and faces we will never know, deserve leadership at home equal to their sacrifice abroad. What Bush needs now is someone who can put aside the slogans and produce what this administration has failed to produce so far - an actual plan to end the war. The MBA president needs a project manager, who can produce a plan with quantitative deliverables to measure our progress, and report back to congress and the American people. He needs a plan with timelines and a decisive end point, that tells us by what measure we'll be able to declare victory and bring our troops home. Real victory, the kind Matt Cook yearns for, is beyond our reach. But the only thing worse than acknowledging that now, is marking a second three-year anniversary with more grim statistics and the same result.


Bradley Bowen said...

Wow... great blog. I would definitely vote for the president you're describing there! Sadly, I think it could have been Kerry. Hell, it could have been Clark or Kucinich or Gore or whoever else wanted a shot. It's obviously not Bush.

texas toad said...

Thanks. I agree, any of them would have taken the obvious first step and fired Rumsfeld. Maybe we should bring al-Sadr, al-Sistani, and a few leaders of Parliament to Camp David and let Jimmy Carter go to town on them.