The war has begun.
Wednesday evening the United States attacked Saddam Hussein’s Iraq after he failed to disarm, and after Hussein ignored President Bush’s ultimatum for him and his sons to leave the country.
This war is occurring despite fierce opposition from countries like Germany, France and Russia, and despite the protest of millions from around the world, including tens of thousands of Americans. The war is occurring despite a lack of consensus from the United Nations.
Is this war justified? This question is almost rhetorical because the views and opinions are as diverse as the people who have them. Some think war is always wrong. Others think war is not justified for the reasons outlined by the United States government. And some think this war is justified.
But regardless of whether you believe the action is right, it has begun. Lives will be lost, both Iraqi and American, wicked and innocent.
This will be the first war for many in our generation. The 1991 Gulf War happened when most of us were still children and unable to comprehend the realities of war. The ramification of this war will have profound consequences for all of us, as we approach the day when we take the wheel of this world and guide its future.
If this conflict causes more instability in the region, we will feel it. It will impact our economy and our collective consciousness. And, of course, this war may breed more contempt for the United States, and, consequently, could spawn more terrorism.
If this war changes us in any way, it should make us become more aware of the events that surround us. We should become more aware of what is happening and why. With that awareness, we can learn to make better decisions that could assure war like this doesn’t happen again. That could make peace a reality for all the world.