Friday, November 04, 2005

The Cost

Yesterday the Arizona Daily Star reported the human cost in American lives of the war in Iraq.

Dead: 2,022
Wounded: 15,477

Iraqi casualties? Women, Children, Insurgents, Innocent by-standers? Sorry, we don’t keep a count of those. The only records are occasional pictures of survivors’ tear-stained faces.

I have withdrawn from all debates about weapons of mass destruction, liars in office, smoking guns, or shameful and deceitful bullying by high officials. I’m beyond caring about any of that. I am left, as are all of you, clasping the Iraqi tar baby to my breast; and I am left with a kind of aching puzzlement:

Has the sacrifice of 2,022 young men and women, and the wounding (some of it savage) of 15,477 others been worth it? What have we gained as a nation? Safety?… The friendship and respect of other nations?…Oil?…Anything?

I would love to hear from anyone who believes that this war has been anything but a meaningless failure, anyone who believes that the 2022 have not simply been thrown away for nothing. Like many other families in America we are closely connected to two servicemen. They are in harm’s way; they are courageous and patriotic; and I would like to know from someone why, if they should become statistics, their sacrifices wouldn’t be an idiotic, meaningless waste.

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