From: Subject: Date: April 21, 2005 3:53:51 PM CDT Hankblog

Friday, March 19, 2004

Send some prayers out please.

Via Daily Kos, who directs us first to this blog from a gentleman who did some very good humanitarian things in Iraq, as well as give us a snapshot of non-military life in the country.

Sadly, as you can guess from the title of this post, things have taken a turn for the worst. Buzzmachine has the news here.

There are a lot of other people out there making a contribution towards trying to build Iraq in their own way, just as Robert Zangas was. If you were opposed to the war as I was, never EVER forget that we need to offer support for anyone who is over there, American and Iraqi alike. Many are trying to help those negatively affected by the Hussein regime get their lives back to some semblance of normal in very trying times and circumstances. And some are paying the ultimate price in sacrifice. If you have disagreements, or anger, or frustration with the leadership that put the US in this position, you are obviously entitled to those feelings. By and large, I am in agreement with you on that front. But that is no excuse, nor is it acceptible, to indiscriminately condemn anyone who has a part in this action. Zangas was a Marine reservist who had already contributed one tour in Iraq. He was back over there of his own volition to contribute in every way he could. There are others like him. My friend Jamie has a brother who was idspatched to Iraq this year in the Army. We must support these people in their efforts in every way we can.

And for the conservatives who may read this, please support that it is in fact possible to oppose the war in Iraq and at the same be supportive of the troops. I can't speak for all who opposed it, but from my limited perspective, I believe that any action that can result in the loss of life in large numbers should be undertaken only as an absolute last resort. I do not question that in the long term, Iraq is much better served with Hussein gone. I think that the atrocities committed against his own people are crimes against humanity for which he can never be punished enough. But I think that the justifications that were used to motivate the country towards supporting this war were highly duplicitous at best (I say that in the name of being generous). I think that changing the reasons for which we engaged in this endeavor after the fact shows just how craven the current administration has been in its evaluations of the Iraq situation, and how like 9-11, they will do anything, politicize anything, in order to get the things they most desire. And that is not acceptable for the leader of this country, regardless of whether he or she is Republican or Democrat.

I will keep an eye on the posts to the blogs cited above to see it there is any word on a memorial fund for Zangas to aid his family. If there is, I will post it on the blog as soon as possible. Until then, keep his family in your prayers. May he be at peace knowing he did good work while we had him on this earth. In the meantime, you can also contribute to the Armed Forces Relief Trust, which helps service members and their families with medical bills, emergency needs, flights home, etc. You can give to them here.

Thanks for listening to some serious thoughts on a Friday.