There was a ballot question which surprised and quite troubled me for the possiblilty that its ultimate tally can easily be misconstrued. Ballot Question #5 in Brookline: “Shall the State Representative from this district be instructed to vote in favor of a resolution calling upon the President and Congress of the United States to end the war in Iraq immediately and bring all United States military forces home from Iraq?” In spite of the good intentions of the people who worked so hard to have it included on ballots across the state, the proposal was poorly or perhaps ineffectually worded. It simply presented the issue of Iraq in the same polarizing light that the media continues to do, painting the question black and white, when it is actually so many shades of grey. I chose not to vote on this. It just wasn’t a yes or no question. Although, had I been pressed, the concept of "immediate withdrawal” would have forced me to vote ‘No”. And, in doing so I would have cast myself indistinguishably into the ranks of those who still cling to the idea that this war was or is somehow reasonable or just.
What is meant by “end the war in Iraq immediately”? … Tomorrow? Before Christmas? Before we give the Iraqis any semblance of stability? The case for war was built on a mound of deception and was executed without a clear plan. It has been a disaster. Immediate withdrawal without a plan would also likely be a disaster. Many of us who want to bring our troops home as soon as possible believe that careful planning will be the only workable way. We also realize that it will most likely not mean an “immediate withdrawal”. The decision-makers, be they Democrat or Republican, military or civilian, will have to have to exercise more forethought and bear a level of accountability for their decisions in ways that the current administration has been able to so far flagrantly evade.
As the results from this ballot initiative become known and supporters of this administration use the results to further entrench themselves into myopic delusions of an approving public, let it be known that many of us would like our troops to come home, but in a purposeful, well-planned and systematic way, quite the opposite of the “fly by the seat of your pants” on a cloud of deception approach that led us into this fiasco.