Since the off-year elections of last November there is divided opinion on what the vote was all about. Some think the people were saying with their votes that they had had enough of the Iraqi war. Others saw it as wanting a change in leadership in Congress.

The people spoke, yet the war goes on and has even enlarged to involve more American soldiers. Congress continues to look after their own egos and desires rather than take a dramatic stand on corruption or find a way to get out of civil war in Iraq.

So what is new? The American voter deserves more than what they are getting in Washington. One bit of hope is in the investigations the Democratic Congress has begun into all the stuff the Republicans let pass with their White House rubber stamp.

The war going on in Iraq will grind on whether American forces are there or not. Lebanon fought a civil war for 17 years and may be on the edge of another.

Everyone seems to think if American forces pull out, even gradually, that chaos will ensue. What in the world is happening now, if it is not chaos?

Possibly after a dozen or more years the Muslims, Shia and Sunni, who are still alive, can call it quits and begin to live together again as they have for centuries. And the added plus of not having more of our people killed or maimed would be a blessing.

So I suggest to the senators they get to work on how to end our part in this mess. All they seemed to be doing is running around trying to justify their votes for going to war. Those senators trying to be president two years ahead of time is not why they were elected to the Senate. The voter is not getting his money worth. (Even though we have the best government money can buy.)

What is so hard about diplomacy and multilateralism and working with other nations? To “go it alone” these four years has proven to be arrogant and wrong.

I wrote in 2002 and 2003 that an invasion of Iraq would not be wise nor pretty. I felt it would take some 80 years to recover our standing and strength, not to mention what it would do to the Middle East.

A lot of folks far smarter than I am knew the Iraqi dictator did not constitute an imminent threat to our country. To renew and continue weapon inspections there would have succeeded had we gone along with the other Arab states like Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Our coalition did not include them, but did include Poland, Fiji and some other places who did not want to lose American aid.

King Abdullah of Jordan warned, “A miscalculation in Iraq would throw the whole area into turmoil.”

Unfortunately, no one in the Bush White House listened as the hawks pushed through the Iraq War Resolution by a 75 to 24 vote. There was a sensible alternative to this vote, but it was defeated.

How now to get out of Iraq and finish the work begun in Afghanistan in 2001 is the problem. The area bounded by Iran, Syria, Turkey and Saudi Arabia will never be stabilized no matter how long we stay.

Just before every Christmas during World War II we hoped and prayed the soldiers would be home for the holidays. I put my faith in God and believe we should pray they can return before Easter. What a present for the families of the service people–Home for Easter–THIS YEAR.

Britt Towery, a retired Baptist missionary, writes for the Brownwood Bulletin in Brownwood, Texas.

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