Monologues for Men & Women
About the War in Iraq
free one-minute monologues for students
By G. L. Horton
copyright © 2006, 2007
The following one-minute mouth-off monologues
are about the war in Iraq. Some of them may eventually find their
way into a play, but for now I've shaped them into monologues
that challenge the actors to fill in the missing details from
their own imaginations: who, what, where, when, why, how?
This symbol means this monologue has been recorded. Click on the triangle to listen.
There's a holy war going on right now, whether you know it or not. Expecting
our side to fight with one hand tied behind its back is naive. At best, it's naive--
and at worse it's treason. You remind me of those foolish French pacifists before
World War Two. They worked against their government's upgrading their military's
tanks and weapons on the grounds that it might upset Hitler. Give him an excuse
to attack. He didn't need an excuse! Please! Read a history book. The Arabs hate
us because we support Israel, and because we aren't Muslim. They hate us because
our anything-goes sex and free-wheeling democratic culture is an insult to their
woman-hating tribal world. They have a hundred years of American insult to resent,
plus a thousand years of Western conquest to avenge. Don't try to tell me that
we'd all be holding hands and singing Kumbaya if only we'd say we're sorry and
bring our troops home. If we hadn't gone into Iraq when we did, we'd be going
in somewhere else: Iran, say; or Syria. After a second 9/11-- or after Israel's
wiped from the map. Our enemies are numerous and powerful, and they've got all
time in the world.
I have friends in the military. We
were in ROTC together. Playing pretend war was cool, and we never
thought then that some of us would be sent to fight. After graduation,
my best friend went to Dubai. Her first reaction to Islam and
the Middle East was judgmental, a gut reaction that was close
to disgust. But, now, years later, she has learned the language
and made some friends. Something similar happened to a friend
who was in charge of a company of Marines in Iraq. He too tried
to bridge the gap and found that most people want much the same
things- like love, family, health, shelter. I trust what these
friends of mine tell me, not what I hear from some talking head
on TV. I know it's easy for us Americans to make negative judgments
based on what we've been told, how we were raised, what we believe.
But the others we come in contact with are judging us, too-- based
on what THEY've been told, how THEY were raised and what THEY
believe. As for "Do unto others as ye would have them do unto
you"-- is called the Golden Rule for a darn good reason. And "Judge
not lest ye be judged" is good practical advice.
My brother was killed by a sniper on December
1, 2005. One bullet, and he's gone. My brother said to our mother
a week before he died, "Don't believe what you read in the paper.
The people don't want us here. The Iraqis haven't got running
water, but their men are trained killers, just like ours are.
They are doing what they feel they have to do, and they are dead
serious about it. If we stay here, it's not a matter of whether
they'll kill me, it's a matter of "when". A young man with a wife
and kids, gone. One bullet. Don't you understand? If it's not
your brother, your daughter, it just as easily could be. No one
is safe as long as we are "occupying" Iraq. Now, it's working
class kids who sign up with the military when they run out of
money to go to school. But the longer we stay in Iraq, the more
cannon fodder will have to go fight there. All those Iraqi soldiers
and police we're arming and training? They aren't going to take
orders from Americans once they've been built up. They're just
waiting for the day when they are strong enough to take revenge
for the thousands we've killed and jailed and humiliated. What
will our leaders do then? All you politicians and so-called patriots...
do you love this war enough to send your own kids? Share the sacrifice!
Or--how about giving up your tax cuts and buying our soldiers
some body armor? Or do you just hate everybody beneath you, all
of us who cry when our loved ones come home in a box? Anyone who
says that we should keep on this course, has no real conscience.
Enough is enough!
For every "proud to serve in Iraq"
soldier interviewed on radio and television, there are dozens
who are disillusioned and believe that we ought to leave the Middle
East. The dissenting soldiers are proud too, and loyal. They'll
obey orders. They'll sacrifice their lives if necessary. Good
disciple keeps them from speaking out. We, the citizens they serve,
must speak for them. Debate the decisions made by the President.
Honor the troops' committment by holding their commander in chief
to the highest standards. I don't enjoy debating this: my neighbors
are moderate Republicans, and I like them. They don't really like
this war, either, but they aren't ready to oppose it. These are
sort of stoic people. They voted for it, they'll stick it out.
But if we can convince them, one individual at a time, that the
war is not just a costly mess but is plain wrong -- they'll shut
it down. Because they're patriots. Talk to soldiers, talk to their
families. Spread the word.
When I was in college I took a course called
'The US Involvement in The Vietnam War'. It was taught by a Vietnam
veteran who'd lost both legs in the war. Watching hours of television
coverage on tape was part of the course requirement. What we saw
was just a drop in the bucket of the actual coverage back then.
But it was a lot more, and a lot more graphic, than the network
and cable coverage of the Iraq war now. What have we seen, beyond
lights in the sky during Shock and Awe? Talking heads against
a background of the American flag, excited about the power of
our technology to target the enemy. Shells and bombs and missiles
blowing up homes and vehicles. Nothing about the lives of innocent
civilians. Some times we see the effects of car bombs -- those
are the fault of the insurgents, aren't they? No reason for us
to get upset. But even then it's smoke and twisted metal and blackened
sand-- no dead children with mangled limbs. No grieving parents
holding them covered in their blood. We see the Marines with their
helmets and goggles and guns, but not the nearly twenty thousand
maimed soldiers here at home or the flagged covered coffins of
the dead. Those images exist: you can seek them out on the Internet,
if you have the stomach for it. The rest of the world sees them
on television. For the Iraqis, and our soldiers, they are daily
life. What would happen if they showed up in ours?
See also: One-Minute Mouthoff Monologues for:
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| Women | Anyone
Conservatives | Liberals
| War in Iraq | Religion