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In Harm's Way
Published on Monday, June 19, 2006 by the
In Harm's Way
by Barbara J. Miller

Here’s the kind of story you hurry through because, if you think about it for more than 5 seconds, your heart gallops, your guts clench and you break out in a clammy sweat.

Two U.S. soldiers went missing in Iraq three days ago. We have just learned that Al Qaeda is claiming they have them. Three days in the hands of rageful fanatics whose modus operandi is torture and death.

Sound the alarm! Call out the troops! Make a statement to the press. “We will never stop looking for our service members until their status is definitively determined,” says U.S. Maj. Gen. William Caldwell. The thing is, after 10 minutes, it was already too late. “Status definitively determined” is a chilling warning about what is yet to come.

Think three years of mission accomplished. Think bombs and artillery, blowing thousands of Iraqi citizens to bloody bits. Think total chaos, 24/7. Think arrogant U.S. president delivering snarky sound bites. Think Gitmo. Think payback. Does that make it right? No and no and no. And as John Murtha noted, it’s easy to send someone else do the work and pay the price while the administration sits on its patrician butts in the safety of Washington D.C.

The burden of our nation’s warring insanity is now on the backs of those two captive soldiers. Our soldiers. We did this to them. Even before their capture, they’d paid a huge price, defending the indefensible in a country we’ve destroyed. In a country where we pay immense sums to administration cronies to rebuild a little of this, a little of that, at their leisure.

George, Dick, Don, Condi? I have some questions for you. How do you rise to face each new day, believing this is right? How can you continue to send our sons and daughters to kill Iraqi sons and daughters? How can you justify bankrupting this nation to fill your own pockets and those of your pals with oil-smeared lucre?

Today, we have soldiers missing in action. MIA, we say, because that makes it less personal and easier to bear. Turn to page two. Or seven. Meanwhile, an anguished parent, wife, child stumbles through these days, fearing the worst and knowing they cannot begin to imagine what the worst may be.

It is time for the United States to defend our military. Get them out of that hell-hole that we have co-created. Bring them home. And then rally them to begin a search for the soul of this administration, which is MIA.

Barbara Miller is an activist and writer who lives in Eagan, MN. She blogs at


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