Monologues for Men & Women

One-Minute Mouth-Offs
About the War in Iraq
free one-minute monologues for students and auditions

By G. L. Horton
copyright © 2006, 2007 Geralyn Horton

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?

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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:
Younger people | Men | Women | Anyone
Conservatives | Liberals | War in Iraq | Religion


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