“Just a Horse”

There is no such thing as “Just a Horse” and Nancy Armour knows that when she ends her column today on Barbaro with:

“Grief,” co-owner Gretchen Jackson said, “is the price we all pay for love.”

Even if he was just a horse.

The Jackson’s are grieving today from their loss as are millions of Barbaro’s fans.

There is no such thing as just a horse, just as there is no such thing as just a dog, or just a bird or just another human being. Each and every one has a distinct ‘person’ality that we either choose to see or not. (Bear with me)
I was actually surprised to note the differences in bird personalities when I finally had a chance to work with them. Birders wouldn’t be surprised, but I was. I had never noticed before. And horses? I have 2 that are on opposite ends of the spectrum of personalities. And neither are anything like Mr. Barbaro.

That personality bit, where we can see it (as in your favorite dog) or choose not to (as in the herefords we drive by on the highway), allows us humans to compartmentalize each other too.

Right now the paradigm is ‘Iraq is failed and we need to get out. And get out soon.’ Yet that same person holding that train of thought also believes we should get in to Darfur. Why would anyone want us near their country when we clearly can’t handle things? Why would people want to risk the lives of our military for a civil war in Sudan, but not for one in Iraq? How is it possible?

Simple….We aren’t going to go into Darfur. So people can protest and complain and let their views be known on the subject and loudly.
“We feel badly!”
And yet they can be safe in the knowledge that nothing will be done so the protests can go on. That “compartment” can serve as an outlet for everything wrong in the world.

Arrrrgghhh – this world is horrible, there is war in the ME, Bush lied, and Darfur!!! Arrrggghhhh

Most people feel badly about a lot of things in this world. And a lot of things in this world can’t be fixed. Let me get back animal corollaries. Remember the Mutual of Omaha shows? First you’d get to know the pretty gazelle as it grazed and cared for it’s young etc. Then you’d get to know the pretty lioness as she napped and cared for it’s young etc. Then the two met.

Life. It’s easier if you can keep your compartments separate. Barbaro wasn’t just a horse. He was Barbaro. He wanted to live. He had feelings for his owners and they loved him with all their hearts. They knew it was time.

We have responsilities for those we take under our roof. The Jacksons’ definitely lived up to theirs.
At this point and time we have a responsibility to the Iraqi people. (and no I am not comparing them to “just a horse”) I am saying that right now, they are the real thing. Darfur is there in the outliers and it’s terrible what’s going on there but right now, it isn’t as real to me. They are the neighbors, or to keep with the animal theme, they are the neighbor’s herefords. Going to slaughter.

But right now we are IN Iraq. We took on Iraq and said you have to change. That means that we are responsible for their well being up until the point where they are responsible for their own. Everyone who knows anything, including the President and Prime Minister of Iraq say that we are still needed there. And so we must stay.

A friend of mine has cried over every Barbaro slip and I am certain she is fulling grieving today. I’m ok. He’s gone, it had to be done and wasn’t unexpected. But I put Barbaro in a separate compartment of news stories. He never became a “friend” and I never got to know him.
Darfur may have it’s day, but it isn’t today.
Today we take care of our own responsibilities and that right now is Iraq.