|I've been thinking quite a bit about war lately. As you have to know by now, this week was the fourth anniversary of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Can you believe that it's been four years? That's really quite a long time, four years. I mean, compare a newborn baby and a four year old. Or an eighth grader and a senior in high school! Or me, living in Burbank, California to me married and living in Dubai, U.A.E.
Yep, four years is a long time.
Anyway, as you know, I'm not and have never been a supporter of the Iraq War. But I don't feel like rehashing that right now. I don't feel like poking holes in the rationale of the attack, I won't bring up the "weapons of mass destruction" or our "promoting freedom and democracy". Nor will I bring up Kofi Annan and his remarks from September 2004 when he said of the attack, "From our point of view and the UN Charter point of view, it was illegal."
I'm going to look at it from my current point of view.
Because, hey, I know a few Iraqis now. That's a pretty big change for me since 2003. I mean heck, every Monday night I sit behind this one Iraqi dude in Economics class. We share cookies that we buy during the break, because, yes, Iraqis like cookies just like Americans like cookies.
What would George Bush say about my sharing cookies with the enemy, I wonder?
(Well, quite honestly, I don't share cookies with this fellow anymore. Recently his wife persuaded him to go on a diet - so no more cookies for him. See, Iraqis go on diets, too. They like cookies, and hate diets, just like us.)
I've met so many people from so many different countries over here in the Middle East. People from Iran, Lebanese people, people from Jordan, I must know someone from Syria but I can't think of anyone off the top of my head right now.
Oooh, but those cookie I eat during class? They're made in Syria.
Yes, I eat cookies made by a country in the Axis of evil.
And they're good, too. They're kinda like vanilla Oreos.
But what would George Bush say about eating the enemy's cookies?
It's interesting to me, almost like living in someone else's neighborhood. But kind of a rival neighborhood. Say if a Red Sox fan moved to the Bronx, or a Redskin fan moves to Dallas, or even a Manchester bloke moves to Liverpool...
(God, I hope that last one is nearly as accurate as the first two. I was going to use a reference to the Simpsons' Springfield and Shelbyville, and quote the "Lemon of Troy" episode, but I'm trying to branch out ...)
Anyway, not that I've ever been a flag-toting, gun-slingin', NASCAR watchin' American, per se, heck, in Boy Scouts we used to wear Hawaiian shorts instead of drab olive and replaced our boring red neckerchief with a day-glow yellow (hey, back off, it was the 1980s). But it's really been quite an experience to live in part of the world that is sort of being bullied by my home country.
Luckily most everyone here is global enough to know that just because a person is a citizen of a nation, that doesn't make him or her a fan of the nation's current regime. Actually, I bet the folks from these Axis of evil nations understand that more than anyone else. The majority of them just want to go about their lives, eating their cookies.
That's why I find it so sad that the 600,000 to 700,000 Iraqis and the 3230 Americans will never get to share cookies with anyone ever again.