Monday, December 05, 2005

In a Blink

05 December 2005

So here I sit once again in the airport at Frankfurt, Germany. Only this time, I’m going the opposite way; back to Kuwait. I was telling a friend of mine just this last week that after the six weeks that I had at home in April and May, these two weeks home were like a blink of time. I accomplished the primary mission of relaxing at home with Phil and Cayenne, but also made time to meet up with my old MBA buddies at Rock Bottom one night (our former hang-out after our weekly study group meetings of the TMC2 [aka Tuesday-night Martini Club squared- cuz noone has just one martini!] during the Executive MBA program from NIU), dinner with Bob and Rae and their kids, visited with the sisters, the niece and nephews and even accomplished two days in Phoenix to visit my Gram.

Christmas came early wherever I went! The department stores would have been proud. My pent-up consumerism was working overtime over the last two weeks. I’m sure that you’ll notice my contribution to the numbers in the next month’s business report on the economy! But I stayed within budget and managed to even meet with the accountant and my banker to get the finances squared away. Retirement may be 20 years away, but you got to plan for it now if you’re going to be able to retire. Uncle Sugar may be your rich Uncle, but he ain’t givin you nothing he don’t have to.

Not to mention the trips to the doc to adjust the bp meds and the trip to the dentist to make sure the fangs were clean and operational. How on earth I squeezed so much into so little time is a real tribute to time management! I don’t know. I think that there must be something wrong with this whole scenario when you have to take vacation to spend time at home. If I remember correctly, it was HOME you take two weeks off a year to get a vacation *from*.

I have emailed with the folks back in Victory since I’ve been gone. Two people on my shift have left the company in the two weeks that I’ve been gone. Hmmm. Wonder if that says anything about what I’m going back to. I also told Eve that I’ll have to start walking with her on my running days off. Need to burn a few more calories if I’m ever going to get that boyish figure back. 

I must say that I had a really nice surprise on my trip out of O’Hare. (How many people can say that when leaving O’Hare?) An old Air Force buddy of mine, Priz works at the airport and we recently were able to get back in touch with one another. We were stationed together in Kalkar, Germany and also rented half of an old farm house near the site with another guy (Bert, you know who you are!) Between Classmates.com and the relatively new web site that Bill put together at Kalkarites.org, quite a number of us former “Kalkarites” are reconnecting and at least getting together virtually with email and a message board on the site. It’s almost romantic (in a European experience sense) that in our hearts, Kalkar will never be forgotten for so many of us. Having been such a small site, we tended to form very close bonds and really had a sense of family.

The weather was…well, what more can one say about weather in Chicago in November. If you want tropical weather in November, go to Hawaii. But home is still home and I went back to see people, not to enjoy the weather. As always, you just deal with the change of weather. Heck, even the two days I was in Phoenix was cool by their standards, so it doesn’t do any good to complain about the weather. That’s what you do when you don’t have anything better to complain about or need to make small-talk in a conversation you’ve been roped into that you don’t want to be in.

But since I’ve been in Iraq, I don’t get roped into too many weather conversations. It is usually more than likely that I’m pulled into political debate about the whole Iraq issue. So here it is; my view on this thing. Personally, I didn’t believe that Bush had a strong enough case to justify going into Iraq. But now that we are here, we must remain in place and continue on the path of reconstruction and training of Iraqi soldiers until the job is done. Period! No cut and run, no draw down until this has been accomplished. You may not like it and I may not like it, but the reality of this situation is that for us to leave now will only create a vacuum which will anxiously be filled by the Iranian contingency which is probably pouring millions of dollars as we speak, into the insurgency coffers.

The reality of this situation is that this is not a cocktail party that you blow out of when you’ve become bored with it. Our actions have impacted a people and a society beyond anything we may want to admit. Our time to speak up was long past once the tanks and troops rolled across the Kuwaiti border into Iraq. If we don’t like the way the party is turning out, then it is time to find more creative methods to accomplish the goal of establishing a stable government here in Iraq. At some point in time, we will need to engage the neighbors who have a vested interest in making sure that this ends up with a peaceful solution.

Nothing less than this solution is acceptable. All you pacifists out there may challenge me on this, but you cannot deny that a pull-out now is going to create a civil war in the Middle East of massive proportions. It won’t just involve Iraq and Iran. Everyone in the Middle East has an investment in making sure that this situation concludes in and maintains peace. You may want to stick you head in the sand and pull back, but keep in mind that the terrorist organizations are not going to take a vacation from their struggle to foster unrest and hatred.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?