Friday, March 28, 2008

4,000 U.S. Soldiers Dead. Does Anybody Care?

War in Iraq: Death toll for U.S. soldiers reaches 4,000. Why don't we seem to care very much?

I'm just saying. Maybe 4,000 isn't enough for us to get enraged about. Maybe 4,000 U.S. soldiers, compared to 58,000 American casualties during the 15-year Vietnam debacle, is just not enough death to get our attention.

And what about the nearly 1.2 million--MILLION--Iraqi deaths since the U.S. invasion? What do they count for?

When the U.S. first invaded Iraq, I was convinced that it was a reasonable idea because I believed that the threat of weapons of mass destruction was real and that it would be a good idea to find them and remove them from within reach of Sadaam Hussein's trigger finger.

Now I feel, like many Americans, like I was, best case, misled, or worst case, lied to.

Meanwhile, the body bags keep piling up.

Do you know anyone who died in Iraq? Do you know a family who lost someone in Iraq? A friend of a friend, even?

This is why we can be so unexcited about this war, and why we can be ambivalent about whether we get our red, white and blue rear ends out of Iraq sooner rather than later. The war is distant, geographically and personally. We don't see battles and body bags on the nightly news; we aren't going to funerals for people we knew and loved.

Four thousand dead just isn't enough to get our attention.

But it should be.


Hpaul said...

Ahhh Ms Peevie...The question is not how many have died, but what if anything is being accomplished? Remember in one day on a D-Day practice session we lost 4000 American soldiers. I believe we are doing the same thing in Iraq as we did in Germany. We remove a tyrant and try to establish democracy. We did the same thing in Japan. It took over nine years to get all US soldiers out of Japan.
How many unarmed American civilians have died due to terrorists since we invaded Iraq? The cost has been high (at 4000) but, I prefer fighting terrorists with armed, trained soldiers willing to die, than with unarmed unprepared civilians. I really do think that is our choice. One death is too many if the cause is worthless.

E. Peevie said...

Hpaul, I'm working on a response. The comparison to Germany appears on the surface to be outrageous, but I want to be considered and factual in my response rather than emotional and inflammatory.

I'm maturing nicely, aren't I?

E. Peevie

daniel said...

to get black gold, you have to pay a high price and thats the real reason for the unauthorized invasion of Iraq. The UN is just a showpiece. blame it on the US for sidestepping the UN to serve its own selfish goals. US talk about human rights, you see people all around the world talking about human rights. I don't give a damn about right to protest against govt. As long as one has the human right to live peacefully. And thats what the US is not giving to our brethren in different parts of the world. In all the wars that have been fought, the US has a hand in majority of them. Comparing Iraq to germany and japan is just pushing it too far. To be honest, terrorist attack against the US are in a way provocated by the hawkish foreign policy of the US and too much interference in other countries internal affairs. The US is the UN and it is acting just that. They want to attack, they attack you. why the US has come to this? it did great in world war 2. instead of spending the billions in Iraq, it could better serve the people of the US. I don't know how the causes of Iraq rebuild and all can be called useful. It was done with lies and lack of sanction. What has been achieved till now. more chaos and more violence. Is this what the iraqi wanted? yes people will say they have freedom but what is freedom when you can't even gurantee you will live the next day? I wish the US will change its way and be a part of the UN and act according to the UN and not on its own.
another time :-)

GUNNY said...

Hpaul said...

"The question is not how many have died, but what if anything is being accomplished?"

I think HP is right, bu then the question becomes one of confidence in the goal in mind.

If one is persuaded that the cause is worthwhile, 4,000 is a tragic cost, but one necessary for the goal.

However, if one is not persuaded of the worth of the objective, then 1 life or 1 dollar will be resented.

The comparisons to Japan & Germany merely illustrate that there are certainly times when objectives can be costly, but we see the need to press on.

It's not a matter of degree, but a matter of a similar principle.

Don't forget, there were quite a few in the US who had absolutely no interest whatsoever in getting involved in WWII prior to Pearl Harbor.

And ... even then there were many rumors that the government knew of the attack, but let it happen to create outrage enough to join the fray.

It's easy for us over 60 year later to say, "Yeah, Hitler was bad. We should have got him."

But remember, nobody knew the fullness of his "badness" (e.g, concentration camps and so on) until after the liberation.

"Do you know anyone who died in Iraq?"

Yeah, I had a friend who died in Fallujah a few years back. (His name was Captain Sean Patrick Sims, a Texas Aggie dorm buddy.)

The hardest part for me was seeing his 10-month old son at the grave site throwing dirt on the casket and thinking he would have no experiential knowledge whatsoever of his father, who was a good man.

Clearly, to this young man, no cause is worth his dad's life.