Operation Shock and Awe was problematic for me in a lot of ways. I was already harboring feelings of discontentment with the United States following the fallout of Gore v Bush in 2000. The nation was already at war in Afghanistan following the September 11th attacks and I just felt this overwhelming sense of unease. I recall Miles and I going to get our first passports because I wanted to be ready in case we needed to leave.
Part of those feelings stemmed from having a deep knowledge of politics, given my years in state government along with minoring in political science as an undergrad. Another source of consternation came from working in television news and recognizing that the media’s reporting amounted to the regurgitation of talking points from the Bush administration and lacked true investigative journalism. While I loved working in the control room, there a few disagreements with several of my colleagues who either based on political affinity or naivety were unable to comprehend the gravity of what was taking place before our eyes.
From where I sat, Bush and his administration had an agenda. U.N. Weapons inspectors were being discredited and undermined in order to advance a position to justify thrusting the U.S. into an unjustifiable conflict. Administration officials provided little to no credible evidence to support the purported imminent threat but rather used slogans and soundbites to anesthetize the American people who were still reeling from the Terror attacks in 2001. Regardless of whether the war was driven by a need to overcome feelings of Imposter Syndrome by Bush or a military fundraiser, tens of thousands have died. While the current administration has brokered a peace deal with the Taliban to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan, the conditional withdrawal will take 14 months.
After about 2 years, I walked away from television news. I knew that there was no more room for me to grow and that it was time to move on. I didn’t have the energy, nor the power to affect necessary change. I’d reconciled with the father of my son and we got married. It was time for a fresh start. Or so I thought.