Wednesday, May 04, 2005

An Apology

One of the toughest things we face as human beings is admitting that we were wrong. It goes against our instincts to look back on our past and say "you know what - I had no idea what I was talking about - I was foolish, arrogant, stupid and most importantly, wrong." It is especially difficult to come to terms with our mistakes in a public fashion. But apologizing and admitting our mistakes, and growing and learning from them are what make us into strong and multi-faceted individuals. And in the end, we should have no regrets - only an understanding that we erred. After all, we are only human.

It is in this spirit that I offer a public apology for my viewpoints and actions upon the outbreak of the Iraq war. I know I've said many times before that this is not a political blog. But increasingly, my friends and family have been indicating to me that my best posts are those that espouse a viewpoint, and I am realizing that I cannot remove myself in my blog from issues that bother me in my mind. This would not be honest.

I would like to apologize for my actions at Ashley's, my favorite Ann Arbor bar, on that evening in March 2003. When the TV news anchors announced the beginning of the bombing campaign, I stood up and joined my boyfriend in a round of applause. This was unacceptable, and I am sorry.

I could attribute my views to my boyfriend at the time, and his conservatism and military bent. But that would be tantamount to saying that I had no identity separate from his and that I merely acted in his shadow. This is not the case. Like many young people, I was caught up in the moment, unwilling to look beyond the excitement of the day, denying the inevitable human suffering that would ensue.

I supported the war because I was a contrarian. I knew that my parents and many of my friends were strongly opposed to it. I wanted to shock them and take a different stance. I described myself as a neocon without fully understanding the implications of my statement. I decried liberals as foolish and said I didn't care about domestic issues, and that I was a foreign policy hawk. I apologize to my family, and particularly to my father for the hurt this must have caused them. My parents raised me to think for myself and to be sensitive, cosmopolitan and understanding of global issues. I insisted on thinking like Rumsfeld and deluded myself into believing that this was the way I was.

It is with much more understanding, historical knowledge, and humility that I can say today that I was wrong. The war was wrong. And even if it wasn't, no war should be celebrated with applause and revelry. I am sorry for the families of those that lost their lives in the conflict, American, Iraqi, or of any other nation. I am sorry that I didn't have the courage or the sensitivity to protest the war. I am sorry that I lost touch with my humanity, even if only for a short while, because it was at a time when humanity was sorely needed.

As part of this apology, I also would like to make a pledge: I will not remain silent because the majority is silent. I will not let my rational thought process be subsumed by faux-patriotic rhetoric and flag-waving. I will be a patriot of the United States of America in the truest sense of the word - I love my country and I do not want it ruined. There is so much good in the US, and it is all too easy to lose sight of that.

And if the United States is ever invaded, I will take up arms and blow those invading motherfuckers to the depths of hell. Because while I may be a liberal, I am not a pussy.


Anonymous Dad said...

That's my girl. Apology accepted. I had my worries, but knew you would get there. It is only the right wing propaganda machine that has given the impression that Liberals are wimps. You just need to look at the real wars of the last century to realize that. Without a doubt, the real Liberals are the real patriots in America. We really care about the future of the country - the whole country.

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"and how she grew"

10:34 AM  
Blogger Sydney said...

The bravest thing one can do is to admit they were wrong with humility. I love this post. I think it is very well articulated and just honest. If more people were able to do what you have, our society would be a muhc different place.

I really look forward to meeting you at Michigan. See you very soon!

12:23 PM  
Blogger LombaireFan said...

I just surfed in from a link on my blog - I can't help but notice a similarity here.

Interesting to see we went through the same process, and congrats on dumping Rumsfeld.

3:17 PM  

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