Friday, March 28, 2008

One Year Later

One year ago today, I decided to take a very small step towards keeping myself informed about the War in Iraq.

As obsessed as I am with pop culture, I'm trying to avoid becoming one of those people who knows nothing about the sacrifices being made by U.S. soldiers half a world away, and yet they know everything about who was just insulted by Simon, Auf Wiedersehened by Heidi and told to pack their knifes and leave Big Brother's house because the tribe had spoken.

I decided one year ago to add a section to my blog sidebar that shows the number of U.S. Soldiers who have lost their lives in the Iraq War since March, 2003.

As more of our soldiers die in Iraq, that section of my blog gets longer and longer. Maybe someone visiting my blog will see the number of lives lost, notice how often the numbers increase, and possibly take some time to acknowledge and give thanks to the men and women who bravely served and are serving our country. Maybe they will learn more about the current status of the war, which is, contrary to the lack of media coverage, not over.

On March 28, 2007, the number of U.S. Soldiers
who lost their lives in the Iraq War was 3,244.

On March 28, 2008, the number is 4,004.

That's 760 men and women who lost their lives fighting the War in Iraq.

To those who might say that this number is low and that since the number of U.S. soldiers dying in Iraq has decreased in the past year, this is an indicator that "The Surge" is working, the mission is almost (for the second time) accomplished, and even though the President lied to all of us to start this war, it truly was and is for the best... if you might say that...

That number - - Seven Hundred and Sixty - - refers to PEOPLE. Our friends and family members. They gave their lives for what little stability and what little democracy that presently exists in Iraq.

They are more than numbers. They are heroes. If our culture was based on common sense and not 15 minutes of crash and burn fame, our soldiers would be our nation's celebrities. Not a Survivor or an American Gladiator.


Project Christopher said...

GOD how sobering is this?!?! It kills me when someone says "it's ok, the numbers are going down" Since when is even ONE death OK? Now if that death included Da Bush and Boom Boom Cheney....
Hell, if we sent Cheney over with his shotgun we might make some progress....

Dharma Kelleher said...

I hesitate to call those killed in Iraq heroes. I don't mean that as an insult to the families and friends of fallen soldiers.

But the truth is they died fighting an illegal war, serving the egos and financial interests of the Bush Administration. Blood for ego. Blood for oil.

The truth is that these men and women have died in vain. It was Bush's vanity that directly led to their deaths.

Hero is one of those ridiculous words that we throw around to evoke happy feelings and cover up the ugly reality of a situation. Same with "patriot" or "family values" or "God's will".

These deaths are tragic. And unless the Bush Administration can figure out how to bring back the dead, the death toll will not decrease. It only increases.

unokhan said...

i'm afraid dharma has her finger precisely on this one

Stephen Rader said...

chris - It is sobering, isn't it? How many more will lose their lives in Iraq? And now, we're helping one faction of Shiites fight against another faction of Shiites. It just gets more and more complicated.

dharma & unokhan - Thank you both for your comments. However, I respectfully disagree. I believe anyone who chooses to put themselves in the line of fire for our country deserves to be called, and in fact is, a hero. I think that is the very meaning of the word "hero."

I don't believe in this war, but I believe that those men and women signed up they to fight for their country and believe in what they were fighting for. Our soldiers' hearts and beliefs are true, even though our President and his administration's morals are corrupt.

This may sound silly, but I don't watch the show HEROES because I believe that in a post-9/11 world, true heroes aren't fantastical characters with super powers. True heroes are the firemen who walked into those burning towers to try and rescue people knowing full well that they most likely would not come out of there alive.

If those men and women aren't heroes and if the men and women who gave their lives fighting in Iraq aren't heroes (even if Bush did lie to get us into the war), then who are our heroes?

Again, thank you both for your comments. It's refreshing to discuss these issues with intelligent and well-read people who are respectful of other peoples' views.