Wednesday, October 26, 2005

2000 Dead in Iraq

In the movie, "The Last Samuri", the Emperor -- referring to
one of his warriors who had died in the heat of battle --
said, "it was a good death." He meant, of course, that this
warrior had died honorably, the way a warrior would want
to die, fighting for a cause he and his brothers-in-arms
believed in and would gladly give their lives for...

Today's news is splattered with the sad toll that 2,000
US military members have been killed in Iraq, inspiring
many of us to ask the obvious questions:

WHY? For what PURPOSE? And what have those tragic
deaths GAINED for us and for the world?

Die-hard Conservatives will say, "It's all a part of the
(so-called) 'War On Terror' ", and, "War is ugly; if these
people were going to wail and moan about dying while
on duty, they shouldn't have signed up..."

Well, side-stepping the lack of Compassion in those
types of comments, consider these two thoughts:

1) The Bush administration did NOT, originally, go
into Iraq under the banner of "the War on Terror"...
The "cause" was, instead, "WMD", which is
now a "dark humor" joke in just about every comedy
outlet we have, and on tv, and in the papers, and at
many coffee machines in offices around the country.

Bush did a classic bait-and-switch with Americans,
changing the "mission" mid-stream and going back to
his que-cards: "War on Terror...", "noble cause...",
"defending our freedoms...", etc.

US service men and women are now over there dying
for that little shell game...

2) Even IF Bush had continued his success in Afghanistan
(post-9/11) by then turning to Iraq and saying, "you're
next", and had presented to the American public credible
DATA demonstrating that Iraq is some kind of way-station
for terrorists and their deadly tools and processes, he
would STILL, at this point, have to give an accounting:

What have we GAINED by the deaths of these 2,000
military personnel? That figure does not even include
the many hundreds, perhaps thousands more who are
maimed, injured, or traumatized by the war in Iraq...

Whatever else she might be or might have said (or be
saying), and whoever else she might be associating with,
Cindy Sheehan raises an excellent and poignant concern:

What "noble cause"??

WHY did her son - and the sons and daughters of 1,999
other parents - have to go and die in Iraq?? Are these
2,000 deaths "good deaths"???

It's just a question, Mr. President. I dare you to look those
parents square in the eye and honestly respond to the questions
they're all asking as they grieve over their losses...


Tobin said...

Gregory, I agree. Republicans who refuse to question the Iraq war have their head in the sand.

The truth is, there never was a legitimate rationale for the war. Let's review:

1. "WMDs": Saddam had none. Two thousand dead troops later, all we can say is "oops - we thought he had WMDs." Let's suppose he did. What evidence was there that he intended to use them against the U.S.? If merely HAVING WMDs is the test, then I say let's invade North Korea, Russia, Iran, Syria, India, Pakistan, China (for starters, of course, we'll finish off the others later). Never mind the hypocrisy that our own WMDs are safely stockpiled away.

2. "War on terror": Where is the evidence that Saddam was aiding Al-queda or was involved in any manner in the 9/11 attack? He sent money to Hamas, who was carrying out strikes on Israel. The truth is that Osama bin Laden, Al-queda and the 9/11 attackers had no connection to Iraq. They were fundamentalist Muslims who despised "secular" Muslims like Saddam. So if we want to declare "war" on terrorists who threaten the U.S., great! Let's just admit that it has nothing to do with Iraq.

3. "Saddam was an evil dictator who murdered his own people." True. On that rationale, why didn't we invade, oh, say, Cambodia (under Pol Pot), Nicaragua (under Ortega), Russia (under Stalin), Rwanda (under Tutsis and Hutus), Bosnia, Italy (under Mussolini) and any number of other countries who have suffered under an evil dictator. Let's not be selective here - let's invade them all!

Those who refuse to question the rationale for the war in Iraq have a dangerous "America right or wrong" attitude and usually resort to questioning the "patriotism" of those who disagree. My only hope, for the sake of our children who are sent off to fight illegitimate wars, is that they remain in the minority.

Greg said...

Fantastic response, my brother...

Especially poignant, given the fundamentalist, Bible-pounding, Angry White Conservative, America-Is-God's-Country-and-can-do-no-Wrong ENVIRONMENT we both grew up in...

It's sadly ironic to me that so many of those types decry foreign "theocracies" only to turn around and believe that "God" is somehow on the side of the American military...