I've always wondered what fear felt like.
Growing up I had never known. The brave little child that only cowered from the dark, jokingly, to appease the siblings. But you forget things; I forget things. Memories long gone, never to return. Always dangling behind my head, just within my peripheral vision but never quite there. I don't remember what fear felt like when I was still a child.
I don't remember the Gulf War. I never learned about it in school, either. I lived through it and all I know is that what's-his-face kicked Saddam's ass. And I've always wondered why we didn't depose him then. As a 10 year old boy, just wondering. I remember I was fascinated by the images I saw of the war on television. The burnt Iraqi tanks, the American soldiers firing rifles, rocket launchers, anything. I felt proud to be an American back then. I've watched a lot of documentaries about the War since then, but I have no personal recollection of it. I didn't feel the affects of the war. I didn't understand why so many people wore the yellow ribbons.
I have to wonder why I still don't understand now.
As I listened to President Bush give his speech at work, mostly ignoring the live television broadcast I was supposed to be monitoring, I was forced to think: Just how many of us has this man doomed?
It's not like he'll ask Iraq to send missiles our way. But some one can send them...
I live just outside Washington, D.C.. In suburban Maryland. Probably no more than 15 miles from the Capitol Building. We gave Saddam Hussein a 48 hour ultimatum. I think it's fair that I get one too. I do not want to go to war for the sole reason of "I do not want to be turned into radioactive goo with a bad case of anthrax."
I thought it would stop with Osama Bin Laden. I had hoped. I wanted our revenge and I wanted us out. I did not mourn or fear or weep on 9/11, because I thought that I would be safe. That it wouldn't happen again. I believe in Bush, I truly do. I think if he wants to be, he can be a very capable leader. I want to think that the CIA and FBI have gotten their act together enough so that I can sleep at night. But now we have to be the aggressors.
But now we are the aggressors.
We are opening ourselves up to more attacks because... I wish I knew. I wish some one knew why we were doing this. But we are. We are allowing the enemy, whoever they are to have a reason to attack us. It would not be like 9/11, because that wasn't revenge. Next time, it'll either be a counter-attack, or revenge. There will be deeper scars that may not heal as easily, I am certain.
But because I live near Washington D.C., I have to wonder and worry that maybe, just maybe I won't know if we've been attacked. I'd be dead already. They'll bomb DC and I'll be one of the first hundred thousand or so to go. I wonder why I don't have a say about whether I live or die.
I've never known what fear felt like.
I do now.
Oh my god, I'm crying.