An auspicious anniversary

The war in Iraq is now five years old. My oldest son, Joshua, just turned six. Like all other mothers, I dream of what the world will be like as he grows. Because of this war, I know of a few things that he, and his younger brother, will now have to face.

First, they will encounter a world scarred by a foreign policy based upon hatred of the “other,” based upon the notion that the United States has the right to dictate to others around the globe how they should be and how they should act.

They will encounter an unsafe world. As the bumper sticker says, we are making terrorists faster than we are killing them. Rather than work to give real opportunities for young men and women living the Middle East, we have ensured that some of them hate Americans with such a virulence that it will take decades to ebb.

They will encounter an astronomic national debt that has been wracked up to pay for war, to pay for hatred, to pay for the arrogance of George W. Bush. My children, and yours, will be paying for this war until they are quite old themselves.

They will encounter a nation of missed opportunities. Here in Portland, the school district is working to put together a $190 million levy to help rebuild ten schools in our city that are in the most disrepair. My son’s school, Winterhaven, is one of them. Contrast that with the price per day of the War in Iraq — $275 million. For just one day of the war, we could have ten new schools in Portland, and then some.

While this war has lasted five long, painful years, its legacy will follow our children for the rest of their lives. I know that my children, and yours, deserve better.


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