I am still horrified by what I saw of the concentration camps in Germany. I had dinner last night with an old friend. Her husband, now deceased, was among the American troops that liberated Belsen. He apparently didn't say much about it. I can understand why.
The spectacle of literally thousands of bodies being dumped into a large pit by the captured SS guards, with the townspeople standing by, was deeply disturbing. I'll be honest, it was more the antipathy of the townspeople, the "it was none of our business" attitude, that cut deepest.
Because, in many ways we are the same vis a vis Iraq. God knows that we should have learned our lesson in Vietnam. For years many of us opposed that war that eventually led to as many as a million Vietnamese civilian deaths. (We are still criticized for resisting this mindless bloodbath and there is still a lot of guilt out there unassuaged.)
We must not let this happen again. We must come to some consensus on how to vigorously oppose the war in Iraq. I have believed for some time that it is only because there is no draft that there is not a rallying of support from World youth. Many are with us in this fight (liberalAvenger, redJalapeno, jack*, and many more). The blogsphere has been a rallying point. But we are still in the stage of pissing and moaning. We are not yet at the stage of action. Because, and I will be blunt about it, action brings consequences.
I thought for a while that the political process that we felt was the best that could be invented, American Democracy, would correct this horror. It has not. It is questionable if it will. Do we have enough time to wait while it does? It has rumbled along for five years and, by all appearances, seems to be heading over a cliff.
This is the crux of our lives in the first quarter of the 21st Century. Either we solve the problem of the war in Iraq, and all the sidestreams it entails, or the America that we know will disappear, along with a lot of innocent people.