I am lethargic with depression. The bombardment at home, and now as I travel, in Europe, of news from every political and military as well as civilian quarter that apparently signals the final unraveling of the Iraq “adventure” is, literally, mentally debilitating.
I find each additional loss of a soldier’s life to be almost physically unbearable.* It seems there is no good, or even half good, exit strategy; and no positive scenarios attendant to sticking around.
(*And why does such a statement not include the monthly thousands of innocent Iraqi deaths? For shame—on me.)
Part of my almost clinical depression is the nightmarish parallels to the Vietnam War in which I fought, and which we lost—though, frankly, I think the stakes are much higher this time. Much higher, at worst borderline apocalyptic.
Whichever political party wields the gavel as of 8 November is confronted only with Hobbesian Choices.
Here’s the content of a slide I use from Blair advisor Robert Cooper’s 2004 The Breaking of Nations:
“This is a dangerous world and it is going to become more dangerous. … We may not be interested in chaos but chaos is interested in us.”
(NB: Much to the chagrin of my closest friends, and upon deep reflection, I supported the war initially. What was I smoking …)