As we celebrate the 5th Anniversary of the Preemptive Invasion of the Sovereign Nation and what may be the biggest foreign policy blunder in our nation's history for a myriad of ever changing reasons,
I am reminded of the cost to our nation,
I am reminded of the cost to its standing throughout the world,
I am reminded of the cost to its unity,
I am reminded of the cost to its financial security,
I am reminded of the cost of oil today vs. 5 years ago,
I am reminded of the cost to its servicemen and women and their families,
I am reminded of the cost to its undermanned Veterans services arena,
I am reminded of the cost to the military and its leadership,
I am reminded of the cost to our pocketbooks now and for generations,
I am reminded of the cost to our children and grandchildren paying for this War,
and I am reminded of the cost to our national psyche and understanding of what America means.
I am also reminded of the cost to Iraq.
I am reminded of the deaths of tens (and probably hundreds) of thousands of innocent Iraqis, even more than under the brutal dictatorship of Saddam,
I am reminded of the cost to the millions displaced,
I am reminded of the ethnic and religious strife and warring brought on their nation,
I am reminded of the emboldening of Iran,
I am reminded of the addition of thousands of extremists in a nation with very few (and even more throughout the world brought into the fold due to our invasion).
I am saddened that Americans did not do their due diligence and believed a narrative based upon desired outcome instead of facts on the ground.
I am saddened that we did not expect more of our leadership 5+ years ago.
I am saddened that we as Americans have not demanded more accountability from our Administration and Congressional leaders.
I am saddened that the administration did not listen to its military leadership.
I am saddened that we have bought into stereotypes regarding a nation, its people, its religions and its civilization without walking a mile in their shoe (as Jesus would demand).
I am saddened that Christianity has been tainted, not by its own message, but by its relationship to America and America's co-opting of it for another agenda.
I am saddened that much of the Religious Leadership in America finds patriotism and citizenship in an earthly kingdom a higher calling than to the message of Jesus.
I am saddened that there are many more terrorists and America-haters today than there were 5 years ago.
I am saddened that my children will grow up in a world in which their nation is more vulnerable and hated more because of the leadership of my generation.
I am even saddened that America's military was not allowed to focus its energies where its attackers lived and still live today.
I am saddened that the past 5 years have proven many of my worst fears 5 years ago correct. I am saddened I was not wrong (I really wanted to be wrong on this).
I must say that I expected more of us... all of us.
Happy Anniversary, baby.