It's been a good five years. Tough, yes, but in every way worth the effort we've put into this battle. We began the liberation of Iraq with the full support of the majority of Congress and the full support of a majority of the American people, and if that's not the way it ends, if America need's another wake up call to understand once again the true cost of freedom, than so be it.

I was in Amman, Jordan this morning, strolling through King Abdullah's lovely rose garden, thinking about this very thing, this 'freedom thing' that so many members of the opposition party like to say I'm obsessed with. The sun was shining brightly, the caged birds were singing, and well, it was hard not to be thinking about freedom.

'Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose'. That's a song that was made famous by a hippie girl, Janis Joplin, when I was a younger man. You might be surprised to hear this, but I believe there's a lot to think about in the peacenik music of that era. Consider this line from Bob Dylan - 'When you got nothin' you got nothin' to lose', and then that's followed by the line 'you're invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal'. All that freedom talk, yes it really was in the air, and it's every bit as relevant today as it was forty years ago.

There was a Motown record that asked the musical question, 'War... huh, what is it good for?' And it went on to provide the musical answer 'Absolutely nothing'. So if you were to lose everything, you would have nothing. It's as simple as that. And if you have nothing you have freedom. Imagine no possessions! Genius. Of course your freedom has given you the gift of invisibility, so why would you have any secrets to conceal? It just wouldn't make any sense.

So yeah, Iraq, it's all been worth it, although I'll admit that it's had it's twists and turns. As the Grateful Dead once said, what a long strange trip it's been. Hell, I though we'd be through with Iran and halfway done with Syria by now, but you can't always get what you want.


2008, Mark Hoback