Tuesday, March 04, 2008

When to Forgive Those Who Got the War Wrong

When the war is over;

When they have asked for forgiveness, and seen that they need it;

When American troops are no longer in Iraq;

When reparations have been made to those who still live;

When all the dead have been buried, and those responsible have genuinely wept for them;

When Iraq has been rebuilt;

When the lives of the American families who lost a loved when there have been rebuilt;

When the imperial ideas that lay behind the forces pushing for war have been uprooted from our national discourse;

When those who got the war wrong have seen the error in their judgments;

When those who actively started the war have been brought to trial for the crimes they committed;

When the terrorists that our ill-conceived war in Iraq allowed to escape in Afghanistan have been brought to justice;

When the damage to the reputation of our nation in "the opinions of mankind" has been repaired;

When the damage to our liberties and constitution that the war has enabled has been undone;

When no one is talking about our starting similar wars elsewhere in the world;

When the debt taken on to finance the war has been repaid;

When the neglect to our national infrastructure that was aided by the money put towards the war has been remedied;

When all those -- likely more than a million -- who died as a result of the war would have long since both died and been forgotten anyway;

When all those families, Iraqi, American and otherwise, whose lives have been shattered by deaths or wounds or exile or ruin, are long since died and forgotten anyway;

When the war is over --

-- then we should forgive those who supported it.

But even then we should never, ever, ever forget.

(apropos of what Atrios said; and, of course, of this.)

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