Mr. & Ms. Politician:
I heard you on the radio the other day. Public Broadcast, my favorite station. I listen to it every morning. Lately, though, I’ve taken to turning it off. Or not even turning it on. I don’t like starting my day angry and all this news leading into the next presidential election, well, it just makes me so mad I could spit red lava.
I don’t belong to any one party. There’s no point in it anymore. Not since Congress ruled that Corporations are people, too. You are all crooks. Lying. Cheating. Thieving. Carpet Bagging. Bunch.
But that’s not what’s upset me. I’m used to your lack of integrity, your money-grubbing ways, and your incessant exploitation of others. I’ve come to expect nothing less of you.
What has me so upset as of late is all this talk of Iraq. Reporters keep asking you if you would have sent troops into Iraq knowing what you know now. And you all keep saying the same thing: No.
Some of you are related to the fellow who ordered the troops into Iraq. The rest of you voted to send the troops into Iraq. Pontius Pilate, trying to wash your hands of all that blood.
You are fooling no one. Least of all me. I lived this lie once before, the one where you politicians send troops to fight a war that you later claim was wrong.
I’m angry because you get the opportunity to back-pedal your way out of a wrong-headed decision. While all the rest of us Gold Star family members are stuck everyday for the rest of our lives living by the decision you made to send our loved ones to fight a war that you knew from the get-go was wrong.
You were willing to barter away the lives of good men and good women simply to further your career goals.
Greed and Ego.
As a young girl, I was like so many of the Gold Star kids of today, growing up, hearing all your political double-speak and slowly coming to the realization that what you are really saying when you say it was a mistake to send troops into Iraq/Vietnam is that you were willing, more than willing, to allow all that bloodshed because you lack integrity, moral conviction, and wisdom.
It wasn’t your sons and daughters dying in Iraq/Vietnam.
It wasn’t your fathers and mothers.
All that bloodshed cost you nothing more than a vote on the floor of Congress.
Meanwhile, all the rest of us Gold Star families, we’ve paid the real price.We’re paying it still with every birthday missed, every baby born, every high school or college graduation, every anniversary spent curled up to an empty spot in the bed, and the endless nightmare of memories never made.
When people say to me, as they have throughout my life, that my father’s death in Vietnam was a waste, it’s you I think of. And I can’t help but agree on some level. I know things as an adult that I didn’t understand as a child. The wars you constructed, construct still, were/are altars built to your ego and your greed, altars where you unmercifully slayed/slay thousands of young men and young women.
For now, you can hide in the fortress of your gated communities and your lavish lifestyles. But, keep in mind, there will be hell to pay one day for the choices you’ve made, for the bloodshed you’ve wasted.
Karen Spears Zacharias is author of After the Flag has been Folded. (William Morrow).