What Did We Forget?

by James Glaser
April 22, 2003

We remembered the tanks and their shells. We remembered the planes and their bombs. We had plenty of food and water and you know we couldn't have forgotten those Gas Masks. For sure we remembered to bring the Marines and the Army, Navy, Air Force too.

We brought Doctors, Nurses, and even people to fix the computers. We had ship loads of bullets and truck loads of grenades. We had extra blood and bandages. Portable showers and toilets by the thousand.

We even brought brand new bombs like MOAB, the Mother Of All Bombs, first tested just before this war started. We brought "Bunker Busters that could penetrate many feet into the earth searching for Saddam before they exploded. We had bombs that would destroy all electrical systems without hurting anyone. Cluster Bombs, yes, we sent them too.

What we couldn't bring with us we had stockpiled at military bases built years before, just for this war. We had years of planing, more research than any war before, and we had an unlimited budget. We were ready and thought we had remembered everything.

But there were a few things we forgot. We forgot this was not a war of aggression, but a war of liberation. We forgot that those bombs that take out electrical systems of the enemy, also destroy those systems for the people we are trying to liberate. We forgot that those "Bunker Busters" destroy underground water pipes and sewage lines.

We totally forgot that bombing a city of five million around the clock can kill and maim the people we are there to save. We forgot that our embargo of Iraq these last twelve years, kept their medical supplies very low. We forgot that hospitals need electricity and water. We forgot that three weeks of around the clock bombing would exhaust any medical staff.

We forgot that in every war little children are killed and wounded and that children suffer in pain like adults.

We could have planned for all of this, God knows we had the time and money. We could have had generators and fuel sitting in Kuwait, for every hospital in Iraq that needed one and most did. We could have stockpiled medical supplies for the people we were liberating. We could have brought portable water treatment plants.

We could have done lots of things, if saving the people of Iraq was our goal. We forgot. Either we forgot or those planning this war were never told why we were over there in the first place.

I don't think the people of Iraq will ever forget.

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