Thursday, November 30, 2006

Lest We Forget!

While our government continues to argue over whether Iraq is in a civil war, whether we can win in Iraq, what our strategy should be in Iraq, who exactly we’re fighting in Iraq, whether we should stay in Iraq, how long we should stay in Iraq ETC., our American troops on the ground there continue to be wounded and killed.

We’ve now been fighting in Iraq for longer than we fought World War Two. There have been 3,131 coalition deaths, 2,884 of those have been Americans. At least 21,921 U.S. troops have been wounded in action, according to the Pentagon. I’ve heard a lot of conservatives say things like, “well that’s nothing, compared to World War Two, or Vietnam”. I say, tell that to the families and friends of each of those KIA’s. Tell them that their sons or daughters death is no big thing given a historical context, I’m sure they would find that a huge comfort.

I think it’s important to realize and remember that these figures represent actual human beings. It’s too easy to forget that each of these numbers was a real person who lived and laughed, who had a family, friends and dreams for their future, just like the rest of us. Are casualties a grim reality of war, yes, and that is exactly why responsible political leaders exhaust all their options before they reluctantly turn to military solutions. Unfortunately, I believe, the current political leadership of the U.S. did not take that responsibility seriously enough and found it far too easy to throw our troops into harms way in an unnecessary and ill thought out war in Iraq.

CNN has a very sad and moving tribute to all of the military casualties in Iraq. It includes the names, ages and pictures of the troops as well as brief descriptions of where and how they were killed. Some people may find it hard to view, but I think it's a fitting tribute because it truly brings home the real price this country and its allies are paying for this war. You can find the memorial here: http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2003/iraq/forces/casualties/

2 Comments:

Blogger mike said...

This post puts a phrase into my mind that "Everyone counts, or no one counts".

12/01/2006 11:41 AM  
Blogger Leo said...

Yeah, that's a simple yet effective way to think about it. Thanks for the comment Mike.

12/01/2006 4:04 PM  

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