Joe Colgan lost his son, Lt. Ben Colgan, to a roadside bomb in the first year of the Iraqi occupation. Every week Colgan stands outside the Federal Building inviting passersby to sign postcards asking members of Congress to do all they can to end the war.
What ought the United States resolve to do with Iraq in 2009?
I think the most just and profound statement our new administration could make concerning our misbegotten war in Iraq would be to begin an orderly withdrawing of all 350,000 military and support forces. This would begin no later than?March and be completed?no later than June 2010. The 60,000 mercenaries would be among the first to go.
Each American would benefit from apologizing to the Iraqi people for our invasion of their country. If we can come to terms with that mistake and admit some?responsibility for it, we will be able to also commit to financially helping the Iraqis rebuild all we destroyed. We ought to also resolve to understanding and respecting the Iraqi people and whatever government they choose to live with.
We Americans must rethink and challenge our country's use of military force to solve this so-called "war on terrorism" by occupying Muslim countries. I think it is another big mistake to put more troops into Afghanistan unless all the surrounding countries and our allies do the same. We also must question the idea to utilize mercenaries and contractors to fight our wars.
It is the responsibility of all American families who do not have sons, daughters, moms or dads in the armed forces to support and become watchdogs of the Veterans Administration. I ask them to please stop and walk a mile in the military families' shoes -- to think for a few moments about how they would feel waiting for their loved one to return from tour after tour after tour. If we citizens are going to continue to allow foolish wars to build our empire, then ensuring that our veterans receive the best care available, for as long as is needed, is not only our responsibility but our duty.