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chilling moment
This morning I just happened to be reading Drudge Report when a link caught my eye about a journalist being murdered in Iraq. I followed the link to read his op-ed piece in the NYTimes July 31st edition, and from there followed the link to his blog. That journalist was this man . He is dead, most likely because of what he wrote. He had recently reported that the Iraqi police force is infiltrated with extremists, among other topics including the power shortage in the country. He reportedly traveled without security the majority of the time.

The last blog entry informs readers about the New York Times piece and is dated August 1st. I don't know why, exactly, but this stopped me in my tracks. Perhaps it was reading the last words of someone who didn't know they were about to die a violent death. Maybe it is because I shiver every time I see the numbers climb of service men and women killed in action there, with no end to the slaughter in sight.

I reflected, not for the first time, about how change occurs within a country that is in "civil war". Change will only occur successfully when the citizens of the country themselves desire a change. It cannot be forced or man-handled unless the people living there are united in a common cause. This is not the case in Iraq. Far from it.

If we can be honest about ourselves about our motives in being there, which are mainly financial in nature, then we are at least beginning to see things clearly. This is not a humanitarian mission to save a bunch of poor souls from an evil dictator. The evil dictator is long gone, yet the violence continues to escalate because HE WAS NOT the enemy. The enemy is Islamic extremism, which is continually breeding and multiplying in the area as a result of our presence. There is no Hitler of Mussolini or other evil one who has all the power. It is insidious and undefined and bred into an entire generation of believers.

I ask you, if the world's oil supply did not sit largely in the Persian Gulf, would we have a dog in that fight? Probably not. I have other questions as well.

What are we doing to reduce our dependence on foreign oil?

What alternatives to oil are being pursued? ( ethanol, for example )

Do Americans really believe that what is happening in Iraq is a productive solution to the horror that we experienced on 9/11/2001? Before too long, the death toll in Iraq will surpass the toll of that day. More dead Americans, not to mention the Iraqis who have lost their lives by gettin' with the program that we represent.

I am sad, for many reasons, most of all that the powers that be in OUR country seem to not hear our voices any more clearly than those in the other countries that we seek to protect. Would it not be wiser to take care of our own for a change?

I say very little about this, because I don't want to be construed as being un-patriotic or un-appreciative of what our American troops are sacrificing. I simply want it to stop. Now.
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