Call us sappy, but with the holidays coming up, it’s almost impossible not to get all sentimental about spending time with loved ones and family members. The holidays are meant to be spent at home.

But for 130,000 Americans soldiers in Iraq, the holidays will be spent alone in a tent in the middle of the desert. For 130,000 Americans, death could be coming at any moment, and there’s no end in sight.

520 soldiers have been killed in Iraq since United States aggression began in Iraq. That’s 520 families who will have an empty plate at the dining room table during Christmas dinner, and 520 stockings that won’t be hung above the fireplace.

Not to mention that over 300 soldiers have perished since President Bush marched across the deck of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln on May 1 to declare that the war was won. “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended,” Bush declared in his crude, arrogant Texas drawl. “In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.”

At this point we’d just like to point out how bummed we are to have an idiot for a president. The first George Bush was better. Sure, he was Machiavellian and evil, but at least he had a decent head on his shoulders. And at least Reagan had a medical reason for being spaced out the last few years he was President. Bush has no excuse, except for the fact that he was probably a cokehead and a boozehound years ago.

There’s no question that Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator. It seems that every day, more and more mass graves are being discovered: bodies of women and children, often times with the blindfolds still tied tightly around their eyes.

What is up for debate, however, is the way the United States took it upon itself to remove him from power. Undoubtedly, the Bush Doctrine sets a terrifying precedent. The United States completely ignored the will of the United Nations in its attack on Iraq, a move which only further alienated the nation from the world in a time where we clearly need to be doing everything possible to unite with the world.

Not to mention the fact that the United States has helped several brutal dictators around the world gain power and keep it. Take Augusto Pinochet in Chile, for instance. The CIA aided and abetted the coup that brought him into (and kicked a democratically elected president out of) power, and the U.S. turned a blind eye as he massacred his own people.

The situation in Iraq has become a quagmire. The United States has committed hundreds of thousands of troops in an operation which no longer has any clear goal. Soldiers in Iraq have become at best crude police officers and at worst sitting ducks for an ever-growing Iraqi resistance army.

And we’re all in a prime situation to do something about it. The war in Iraq is likely to be a major point of contention during next year’s election, especially if the economy continues its up-swing. There’s little doubt that we’ll all be seeing clips of Dick Cheney swearing on Meet the Press that there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq during Dean (presumably) for President commercials next year. If your conscience tells you that this war has collapsed into complete nonsense, then vote accordingly.

So when you sit down to your Christmas dinner this year, remember the tens of thousands of U.S. troops who are halfway around the world, and also their families. Be thankful that we have citizens in this nation who are willing to, and do, give their lives to protect the ideals that make America great. And most of all, if you oppose this war, and the hundreds of United States soldiers that are spending this year’s holidays in a grave, then do something about it.

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